Key sticking??

Posted by: kwoksmusic

Key sticking?? - 03/03/06 07:17 PM

Hi - does anyone have experience with a brand new piano with keys that stick? This is a brand new grand. Within 3 months, I have one key stick twice (i.e. fixed, then stuck again), and now a 3rd. key. I had an old upright for 20+ years, never had a key stick ever! Does anyone have experience with this problem and why it does that?

When such problems occur more than once, is this indication that there is a larger systemic problem and ask the dealer to change the piano?
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Key sticking?? - 03/03/06 07:36 PM

kwoksmusic :

I don't think at this point you should be unduly concerned. Your piano has just barely had time to fully adjust to its new environment, and the sticking keys could be caused by more than one "normal" phenomenon. Has there been any marked increase in humidity recently in your home? If your dealer/technician is working with you on this situation, you should have no cause for concern.

Regards,
Posted by: CTPianotech

Re: Key sticking?? - 03/03/06 07:53 PM

Sticking keys are one of the more common service needs of new pianos (and old). While there are a number of things that can cause a key to stick, fortunately it is usually a very easy fix.

One thing that can cause a sticking key is the key bushings need easing. Someone trying not to "overease" may actually not ease the key enough, thus the problem can return shortly after. Once again though this is only one of many things which can cause a key to stick, and one which is probably not covered in a warranty since this may be considered maintenance. Many dealers however, wanting to keep a "fresh" customer happy, will fix the problem no-charge anyhow.

If you have any concerns about some "systemic" type of problem I would recommend hiring an independent piano technician to inpect and service the piano for you.
Posted by: Bob

Re: Key sticking?? - 03/03/06 08:09 PM

We get sticky keys in new pianos all the time. When they occur more than once, it's likely the technician did not check all the keys when he fixed the first one. If one key needs to be eased, it's likely other keys need work as well. Lift up the front of the keys 1/8" and drop them. They should fall quickly. If they stick, the key center hole needs easing. Wiggle the key from side to side. This time of year they should wiggle 1/16" side to side. No wiggle and the front bushing needs to be eased.

Have the dealer send out their best tech. Key easing and a good look at the action should take a bit of time.
Posted by: kwoksmusic

Re: Key sticking?? - 03/03/06 08:45 PM

Thank you for your comments. Fortunately, the dealer is willing to work with me and of course he's not charging me - it's a brand new piano! His tech works on grands only (mostly Steinways and Bostons) and appears very knowledgeable but I don't think he went through all the keys, only the one I called him in for.
Posted by: Glyptodont

Re: Key sticking?? - 03/04/06 04:47 PM

I really believe I can help you here.

When I purchased my grand in 1990, a succession of keys began sticking. Each resulted in a warranty call, and the tech would fix the sticking key. Two weeks later another would stick. And so on.

Finally, the technician told me in a worried tone of voice, "this is a serious problem." The wire pins that are normally pressed into the action's pivot points were defective in my piano. The pins in my piano were copper that was electroplated with chrome. The chrome outer "skin" was peeling off of the pin, creating jams.

The tech went back to the store and had a long talk with the store owner. Finally they called me and informed me that the tech would replace ALL THE PINS IN THE ACTION. It took the tech two entire workdays, from early morning to end of day. The labor cost must have been very great, but the store owner stood the expense, no doubt hoping to get the reimbursement from Baldwin. In my case, I had purchased the grand piano new.

If you have a warranty, you may be good, such as happened to me. Otherwise, you may be in for some major expense.

I pray you do not have the systemic problem I had -- such as with with peeling off of the crome skin of the metal pins.

The person who wrote above advising you that this was no serious problem, just the normal settling in of a grand -- that's absurd advice. Sorry, but I have to say it.
Posted by: TX-Dennis

Re: Key sticking?? - 03/04/06 05:30 PM

I think your experience with the Baldwin is probably quite unusual. MOST owners of new pianos will experience a few sticky keys. MOST of the time they will be simple for a tech to remedy.
Posted by: Graybeard

Re: Key sticking?? - 03/04/06 06:11 PM

I think Baldwin's sticky key problems started when they went to sugar pine keys instead of the more expensive spruce.