Dampp-Chaser Cost

Posted by: patdad

Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/24/01 10:17 PM

I'm considering a Dampp-Chaser for whatever upright I finally wind up buying. Our indoor relative humidity levels can range from 30% to 60% depending on the season.

Does anyone have a ballpark figure for the cost of the unit and installation for uprights? Are we talking $100? $300?

Thanks!
Posted by: Bob

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/24/01 11:09 PM

For the complete unit, (dehumidifier, humidfier, and control, expect to pay $300 +. Make sure to keep the unit plugged in, the tank filled, and change the paper towel wick occasionally.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/25/01 06:56 AM

PatDad:

I was quoted $450.00 for the installation of a complete Dampp-Chaser system.

Regards,
Posted by: Chris A.

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/26/01 11:17 PM

The $450 quote sounds a lot more in the ballpark than the $300 price. IMO, the Dampp-Chaser is a wise investment. But don't expect to skimp on tunings because of the improved tuning stability you'll likely experience.
Posted by: Lenny

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/27/01 04:14 PM

I just had the complete system installed in a new piano by the dealer for $275.
Posted by: patdad

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/27/01 08:55 PM

Wow - $275 to $450! It's more expensive than I thought. At least now I'll be able to budget more accurately for the purchase of the piano, the DC, ongoing maintenance...

Thanks for your help.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/28/01 04:31 AM

PatDad:

By the way, I would not buy the Dampp-Chaser system for my - or any - grand.
Posted by: Beth

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/28/01 08:33 AM

Why not, Bruce?
Posted by: AndrewG

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/28/01 09:54 AM

Me too! BruceD. I'd like to know your reason for objection...
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/28/01 03:04 PM

Beth and Andrew:

Given that the humidity affecting a grand piano - any piano for that matter - is that of the room in which the piano is located, and given that it is virtually impossible to create a micro-climate under the (open) underside of a grand piano, all the Dampp-Chaser is doing when dehumidifying is creating two (or three, depending on piano size) strips of heated air immediately adjacent to the sound board, but only in those areas where the strips are located. The rest of the sound-board is subject to the ambient temperature and humidity of the air circulating within the room. The temperature of the room could be considerably lower than that of the air next to the heater bars under the piano. I would argue - I do argue! - that you are doing more harm than good to a piano to have two (or three) narrow strips of the sound board heated to a higher temperature than the rest of the sound board.

It seems to me that humidification would be similarly narrowly localized, although I think the effect on the piano might - I say might - be less damaging.

On an upright, however, although the interior is not hermetically sealed from the ambient room humidity and temperature, there should be a better chance of a Dampp-Chaser creating a somewhat uniform microclimate inside the piano, just by the nature of its being an enclosed structure.

Now, ask me why Dampp-Chaser has been such a successfully marketed product and why so many individuals and institutions use it for thousands of pianos, I will simply have to say I don't know. It defies any elementary logic that I can devise. It makes more sense to me to work on ways of controlling room temperature and humidity than to try to control the humidity and tempoerature under a grand piano. However, I'm not known for the brilliance of my intellect, and I'm willing to be convinced, if I can be convinced, of the efficacy of such a system for a grand piano. Others more informed than I have argued this question on this forum at other times, and I remain unconvinced by their logic. Does any one else care to enlighten my dim-witted stance?

Cheerfully ignorant regards,
Posted by: Chris W

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/29/01 04:37 PM

BruceD,

I can't enlighten any better than you did, but I totally aggree with you. With two digital gauges in and out of an upright, one of the biggest things I noticed was just how hard it was to approach a microclimate, where the heater rods could take effect. I can only assume one should forget it with a grand and realize that any thingy's put in it/around it will be a *distant* second to simply controling the room.

The humidistat I bought for my home spun internal system would look very nice on, and, indeed, was meant for a wall. You'd be violating code to do that yourself (BTDT \:D ), but with success you'd really have something to show the forum.

Johnson Controls makes them. Because of a human hair element, they literally signal on/off during bad hair days :).

Chris W
Posted by: EricL

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/29/01 05:25 PM

There is no question that controlling ambient temperature and humidity are a lot more effective in perserving the integrity of the soundboard than trying to create a microclimate on just one side of the soundboard. If the humidity on one side of the soundboard is very different compared to the other side, a humidity gradient is likely to be created across the thickness of the soundboard (bear in mind that it takes time for moisture to 'migrate' through the soundboard). The result is the development of internal shear stress in the soundboard (the more humid side tries to expand, but is restrained from doing so by the less humid side). This is definitely not desirable. Despite what people say about the effectiveness of the Dampp-Chaser System, I, like BruceD, will not contemplate its installation.

Eric
Posted by: Bob

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/29/01 10:19 PM

I agree that Dampchasers are probably limited in their ability to control humidity. The pianos I see still change in pitch, and customers always forget to keep the tank filled. There is no substitute for controlling the ambient humidity.
Posted by: Beth

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/29/01 11:22 PM

OK. I'm convinced. Now, how to retract that order for a damp-chaser I already sent to Santa......
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/30/01 06:27 AM

Beth:

I have it on fairly good authority that Santa orders are retractable up to the third week of November, this year. You should have no problem!

Cheers!
Posted by: Ivars Galenieks

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/31/01 01:49 PM

I agree that if not full climate control in room, it makes difficult to keep all piano in optimal conditions.

But,partially, There are some very simple and some more complicate ways of humidity control in piano.

The simpliest and oldest is putting water tanks either in uprigt or near it, or under Grand.This method I think has both good and bad sides. The good is that water tank 1 to 3 liters dry out quiet a long time and there is not trouble that customer ,if forgot to fill, in mid of heating season occures dry and instrument has more problems,than without.The bad side is that to close to uprights strings it leads to rusting. Also pinblock with years may have problems.
But these systems do not make any profit to technician.And seems too archaic to many technicians.

Another kind of humidifiers are those filled with hygroscopic material. They also work for local area, but are quiet welcome for uprights in pinblock zone.

Third type is device like Dampp-Chaser. Of course it must take time in many years to find it's pluses and minuses. I also have doubts in the locality of the effect,so I'm still going around it But this is most profitable item for making money.Plus-minus 100$ You are not able to make profit from hygroscopic device or inserting water tanks.

One thing is common to all types: warm air circulation is ascending, so this fact makes narrow application of each of them.

The most problematic thing is to keep in good condition great grands.

In grands, moisture moves throgh whole wooden mass starting from open pores to resoning board and pinblock. In that case,effect will be most stable.
If to choose, which way of application to use , one should follow idea,that more important is to keep instrument in enough moisture, that avoids quick loosing of tuning and resonator from cracks and loosing belly.If to say roughly, it is less damage for whole piano if there appears some micro rust,than whole wooden construction dries and cracks. The guarantee terms for strings is approximately 15-20 years.


P.S. Then, what is better to do? - what's better for instrument.

Ivars
Posted by: AndrewG

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/31/01 02:09 PM

Let me sound a different tone about Damp-Chaser. I had mine the first day my little beloved grand moved into my living room. I could not be happier since. My piano holds the pitch so good that I only need to have it tuned once a year. I know, I know, normally once a years is kind of less than the widely accepted minimum. Honestly, that's all I need. I do have sentitive ears to the pitch. All I'm saying is for.. well, just to tip the balance a bit. ;\)

AndrewG
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 08/31/01 03:14 PM

AndrewG:

I think I'd rather have two or three tunings a year, and have less concern about what possible damage the Dampp-Chaser might be causing to my piano over the long run. Furthermore, I enjoy my tuner/tech's visits.

Regards,
Posted by: mal777

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 04:01 PM

This is a very old thread, and I hope it is OK to revive it ?

If so, wondering what the current thoughts are regarding using a dehumidifier or not? My Yamaha C3X silent is on order, and I want to make sure it has the best possible care, as humidity during summer is quite high here
Posted by: terminaldegree

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 04:30 PM

How high is the relative humidity in your piano room, and how much does it fluctuate? Is the room kept at a constant temperature with the use of an air conditioner?
Posted by: mal777

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 04:41 PM

The humidity here can get to over 90% in summer (Queensland Australia), and quite low in winter (well under 40%)
I have an air conditioner but don't run it during the night, or when I am out.

the following post is what has be wondering as to the use of Dampp Chaser is a worthwhile investment or not.



Originally Posted By: BruceD
Beth and Andrew:

Given that the humidity affecting a grand piano - any piano for that matter - is that of the room in which the piano is located, and given that it is virtually impossible to create a micro-climate under the (open) underside of a grand piano, all the Dampp-Chaser is doing when dehumidifying is creating two (or three, depending on piano size) strips of heated air immediately adjacent to the sound board, but only in those areas where the strips are located. The rest of the sound-board is subject to the ambient temperature and humidity of the air circulating within the room. The temperature of the room could be considerably lower than that of the air next to the heater bars under the piano. I would argue - I do argue! - that you are doing more harm than good to a piano to have two (or three) narrow strips of the sound board heated to a higher temperature than the rest of the sound board.

It seems to me that humidification would be similarly narrowly localized, although I think the effect on the piano might - I say might - be less damaging.

On an upright, however, although the interior is not hermetically sealed from the ambient room humidity and temperature, there should be a better chance of a Dampp-Chaser creating a somewhat uniform microclimate inside the piano, just by the nature of its being an enclosed structure.

Now, ask me why Dampp-Chaser has been such a successfully marketed product and why so many individuals and institutions use it for thousands of pianos, I will simply have to say I don't know. It defies any elementary logic that I can devise. It makes more sense to me to work on ways of controlling room temperature and humidity than to try to control the humidity and tempoerature under a grand piano. However, I'm not known for the brilliance of my intellect, and I'm willing to be convinced, if I can be convinced, of the efficacy of such a system for a grand piano. Others more informed than I have argued this question on this forum at other times, and I remain unconvinced by their logic. Does any one else care to enlighten my dim-witted stance?

Cheerfully ignorant regards,
Posted by: prout

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 06:09 PM

Originally Posted By: mal777
The humidity here can get to over 90% in summer (Queensland Australia), and quite low in winter (well under 40%)
I have an air conditioner but don't run it during the night, or when I am out.

the following post is what has be wondering as to the use of Dampp Chaser is a worthwhile investment or not.



Originally Posted By: BruceD
Beth and Andrew:

Given that the humidity affecting a grand piano - any piano for that matter - is that of the room in which the piano is located, and given that it is virtually impossible to create a micro-climate under the (open) underside of a grand piano, all the Dampp-Chaser is doing when dehumidifying is creating two (or three, depending on piano size) strips of heated air immediately adjacent to the sound board, but only in those areas where the strips are located. The rest of the sound-board is subject to the ambient temperature and humidity of the air circulating within the room. The temperature of the room could be considerably lower than that of the air next to the heater bars under the piano. I would argue - I do argue! - that you are doing more harm than good to a piano to have two (or three) narrow strips of the sound board heated to a higher temperature than the rest of the sound board.

It seems to me that humidification would be similarly narrowly localized, although I think the effect on the piano might - I say might - be less damaging.

On an upright, however, although the interior is not hermetically sealed from the ambient room humidity and temperature, there should be a better chance of a Dampp-Chaser creating a somewhat uniform microclimate inside the piano, just by the nature of its being an enclosed structure.

Now, ask me why Dampp-Chaser has been such a successfully marketed product and why so many individuals and institutions use it for thousands of pianos, I will simply have to say I don't know. It defies any elementary logic that I can devise. It makes more sense to me to work on ways of controlling room temperature and humidity than to try to control the humidity and tempoerature under a grand piano. However, I'm not known for the brilliance of my intellect, and I'm willing to be convinced, if I can be convinced, of the efficacy of such a system for a grand piano. Others more informed than I have argued this question on this forum at other times, and I remain unconvinced by their logic. Does any one else care to enlighten my dim-witted stance?

Cheerfully ignorant regards,


In spite of claims made by BruceD above, I have empirical evidence that the the Dampp Chaser produces a very stable micro-climate for my grand piano, both below and, more especially, above. I live in Southwestern Ontario where the humidity varies just as yours. The house air conditioning keeps the RH in the 40-60% range, and the Dampp Chaser keeps the upper surface of the sound board at 45%, +\-3%. Without a whole house conditioning system, the variation at the piano would be greater, but still better than no Dampp Chaser.

Some technicians have posited that the constant cycling of the heating rods causes cellular damage in the areas of the soundboard that are proximal to the heating rods. No statistical evidence has been presented however. Considering that the Dampp Chaser system has been around for decades, there should be some empirical evidence of premature sound board failure.

There is also concern that the humidifier system causes localized swelling of the sound board. Again, no evidence has been presented.

It would be interesting to see if these claims have credence.
Posted by: mal777

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 08:18 PM

Interesting comments....thanks for your feedback prout

Mal
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: prout
Originally Posted By: mal777
The humidity here can get to over 90% in summer (Queensland Australia), and quite low in winter (well under 40%)
I have an air conditioner but don't run it during the night, or when I am out.

the following post is what has be wondering as to the use of Dampp Chaser is a worthwhile investment or not.



Originally Posted By: BruceD
Beth and Andrew:

Given that the humidity affecting a grand piano - any piano for that matter - is that of the room in which the piano is located, and given that it is virtually impossible to create a micro-climate under the (open) underside of a grand piano, all the Dampp-Chaser is doing when dehumidifying is creating two (or three, depending on piano size) strips of heated air immediately adjacent to the sound board, but only in those areas where the strips are located. The rest of the sound-board is subject to the ambient temperature and humidity of the air circulating within the room. The temperature of the room could be considerably lower than that of the air next to the heater bars under the piano. I would argue - I do argue! - that you are doing more harm than good to a piano to have two (or three) narrow strips of the sound board heated to a higher temperature than the rest of the sound board.

It seems to me that humidification would be similarly narrowly localized, although I think the effect on the piano might - I say might - be less damaging.

On an upright, however, although the interior is not hermetically sealed from the ambient room humidity and temperature, there should be a better chance of a Dampp-Chaser creating a somewhat uniform microclimate inside the piano, just by the nature of its being an enclosed structure.

Now, ask me why Dampp-Chaser has been such a successfully marketed product and why so many individuals and institutions use it for thousands of pianos, I will simply have to say I don't know. It defies any elementary logic that I can devise. It makes more sense to me to work on ways of controlling room temperature and humidity than to try to control the humidity and tempoerature under a grand piano. However, I'm not known for the brilliance of my intellect, and I'm willing to be convinced, if I can be convinced, of the efficacy of such a system for a grand piano. Others more informed than I have argued this question on this forum at other times, and I remain unconvinced by their logic. Does any one else care to enlighten my dim-witted stance?

Cheerfully ignorant regards,


In spite of claims made by BruceD above, I have empirical evidence that the the Dampp Chaser produces a very stable micro-climate for my grand piano, both below and, more especially, above. I live in Southwestern Ontario where the humidity varies just as yours. The house air conditioning keeps the RH in the 40-60% range, and the Dampp Chaser keeps the upper surface of the sound board at 45%, +\-3%. Without a whole house conditioning system, the variation at the piano would be greater, but still better than no Dampp Chaser.

Some technicians have posited that the constant cycling of the heating rods causes cellular damage in the areas of the soundboard that are proximal to the heating rods. No statistical evidence has been presented however. Considering that the Dampp Chaser system has been around for decades, there should be some empirical evidence of premature sound board failure.

There is also concern that the humidifier system causes localized swelling of the sound board. Again, no evidence has been presented.

It would be interesting to see if these claims have credence.



There's a possible risk in quoting very old posts. You do realize, I hope, that the quote from me was written almost 14 years ago, and that there is a caveat at the end of the post. I may have learned a few things in the interim. The information I posted was supplied to me by a technician - obviously not a Dampp-Chaser fan. That was given to me in 2000, even before that post was made!

There were some - perhaps as benighted as I - who agreed with me at the time, as you may have noticed. Did I mention that that was almost 14 years ago?

Regards,
Posted by: mal777

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 08:38 PM

Yep I apologize for digging up such an old post Bruce ....just thought it worthwhile to get some newer opinions

These testimonials (on the Dampp Chaser web site I might add) are of interest. It is also endorsed by some well known piano manufacturers, including Yamaha

http://www.pianolifesaver.com/english/testimonials/pianists

Looks like I will go with it, as my last C3 suffered horribly from rusted strings in the high humidity here

Mal
Posted by: prout

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 08:57 PM

BruceD,

Please accept my apologies for possibly impugning your reputation. It was not my intention. I knew that the thread was old, but did not realize the possible consequences of commenting on essentially stale data.

Prout
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 09:40 PM

I am not a fan of the humidifier part of the DampChaser system. It produces a localized humidity effect on the part of the soundboard nearest the tank. It does not move humidity evenly across the bottom of a grand soundboard. You can see this by carefully observing pianos where the tank has been operating for a couple of days. Look at the surface of the bottom of the soundboard along the panel joints. The areas nearest the tank will show ridges or valleys depending on grain angle there are not along the same joint-farthest away from the tank.

Wood takes on humidity about five times as fast as it gives it up. So that stacks the deck against getting an even micro-clime of higher humidity across the soundboard.

The de-humidifier system I find very useful. I install the heater rods along the sides of the beams near to the soundboard. This gets the dry air above the edge of the case and creates a little micro-clime that spreads across the entire underside of the soundboard.

I use the 50watt rods and try to put at least two if they will fit in any grand.

I charge about $250 installed depending on travel distance of course.
Posted by: KWK

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 10:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
It does not move humidity evenly across the bottom of a grand soundboard.


I've heard of installations with and with out fabric spanning the bottom of a grand. Does the fabric greatly improve the distribution of humidity, or is it still too uneven?
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 10:54 PM

I don't install the fabric undercover. The construction and installation of it is at best mediocre. It looks like crap!
Posted by: Retsacnal

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 11:20 PM

Interesting to see this old thread revived, 'cause I'm pleased to see that some folks agreed with me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_drying#Equilibrium_moisture_content

Read the section I've linked to above about equilibrium moisture content (EMC), and the section directly below it that says wood in service (i.e. finished products) retains the same qualities. It says that "the EMC of wood varies with the ambient relative humidity...significantly, to a lesser degree with the temperature." The relative humidity in the room is key. Humidity "aimed" at the piano will quickly diffuse into the room around it. If the application of humidity is close enough, and constant enough, the affected area may react like Ed described above, but that's only because it "hits" its target before it dissipates. And that's worse--too high in one spot and too low in the others! Because not too far away is wood that isn't receiving the densely moisturized air. I suspect that a system correctly installed ought not be close enough to do damage, but, in either case, the vast majority of the moisture diffuses into the surrounding space. Even the moisture that does end up in the piano will be wicked back out again unless the entire room's relative humidity level increases to match the piano's. So, to the extent that they "work," it's because they raise the RH in the larger space. I know you can get a cover to help with this phenomenon, and that's why the cover helps, but the piano still is not air tight. If you increase the moisture content of the sound board from below, the moisture is going to move to and through the top, into the ambient space (until it reaches EMC).

Think about a space heater that can keep a room warm. Then take the same heater outside and it won't work as well--the heat quickly dissipates into the colder air. It's the same with humidity. And the only thing that can keep humidity "locked in" is an airtight space. No piano is air tight.

I'm skeptical of the heating application to reduce humidity too. Wood is a lousy thermal conductor. So, a part of the wood is "warmed," and the rest remains unchanged. So a little bit of wood has it's EMC adjusted, but not the whole sound board. Again, not good (imo). I would think the only thing worse than humidity fluctuations would be if the entirety of the piano is not subject to them equally. Part going up. Part going down.

A whole-house solution is best (IMO).

People's opinions on this may change over time, but the laws of nature do not...

Posted by: BruceD

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/06/14 11:53 PM

Originally Posted By: prout
BruceD,

Please accept my apologies for possibly impugning your reputation. It was not my intention. I knew that the thread was old, but did not realize the possible consequences of commenting on essentially stale data.

Prout


Prout :

I appreciate your apology. Please don't worry about my reputation; these occasional contre-temps are just a part of life on the internet. No harm has been done and no feelings are hurt.

Regards,
Posted by: Eric Gloo

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/07/14 09:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
I don't install the fabric undercover. The construction and installation of it is at best mediocre. It looks like crap!



I install an undercover on grand installations. They are not the most fun thing to install, but they can be installed so they don't look like crap. smile

In my experience, the undercovers make a huge difference in the effectiveness of the whole Dampp-Chaser system.

There is a firm that makes a different type of undercover, custom-made for the brand and model of piano in which you're installing a Dampp-Chaser system. These undercovers are supposed to be much easier to install, with an effective fastening system.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/07/14 11:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Eric Gloo

There is a firm that makes a different type of undercover, custom-made for the brand and model of piano in which you're installing a Dampp-Chaser system. These undercovers are supposed to be much easier to install, with an effective fastening system.


Barnes String Covers, LLC.
Posted by: Carbonblob

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/07/14 01:32 PM

Hey Eric,

I'm going to PM you about the under cover 996 just posted. My tech was out yesterday and well, I'm going to pull the trigger and do this. That means the only thing I haven't done, climate-wise for this piano, is put it in a zip-lock bag.

Sorry to highjack..........blob
Posted by: Retsacnal

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/07/14 05:55 PM

I know this is an ancient thread that's been revived, but the title is about cost, and that got me wondering because i think some of the costs I've seen posted are much higher than those listed in the older part of the thread.

What's the going rate for these systems today? For the
  • humidifier
  • dehumidifier (I think Ed touched on this)
  • both
  • with and without covers
Also, we hear predominantly about one brand. What are the alternatives?
Posted by: backto_study_piano

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/08/14 03:47 AM

Originally Posted By: mal777
The humidity here can get to over 90% in summer (Queensland Australia), and quite low in winter (well under 40%)
I have an air conditioner but don't run it during the night, or when I am out. ...


Hi mal777 @ Gold Coast - Congratulations on your new piano. I see you've got 92% humidity at the moment - I'm Daisy Hill, where it's almost as high. I've still got the a/c on despite it being cooler outside now , but I kept the humidity down earlier in the day as the storms were rolling in. I'm much the same as you, only putting on the a/c when needed - and at night only use the bedroom a/c rather than the larger areas, and rarely use any heating. I do, though cool down with the dehumidify setting on the a/c when it is humid.

I suspect you'll find that inside the house rarely gets to the extremes of outside, unless its over a prolonged wet/dry cycle.

When I bought my previous grand 5 yrs ago, the tech insisted that it needed a DamppChaser - from memory about $1k. When I upgraded to my Grotrian a couple of years later, that tech wasn't as concerned, but he suggested that seeing I own it, he took the D/C off the previous piano and installed it on the Grotrian. I've got a little digital humidity/temp reader inside the piano, and it's always more moderate inside the piano than the readings in the room or outside. But maybe that is because (and particularly on days of extremes) I generally don't put the lid up, but keep the piano closed unless playing, including the fallboard.

I don't know whether a D/C would help rusting strings (which could be more dependent on your location at the Gold Coast and possible salt air). But I would suggest a string cover would be more useful for rusting. I put one on the Grotrian, and the strings (and insides) are like new after 2 years, where I don't recollect the previous piano were as good after the same time. I've home-made a cheap string cover - it's not pretty, but I generally play with the lid closed anyway. If I'm getting a visitor (rare), I'll slip it off before they arrive. Maybe one day I'll get the real thing?

My previous previous piano - a Yamaha UX upright had no DamppChaser or equivalent, and was extremely stable in tuning and regulation, as were a few U1s and C3s that I had in various Churches & schools. Which makes me wonder how important a D/C is with Yamaha pianos.
Posted by: Carbonblob

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/08/14 04:20 PM

Hey Mal,

I don't think this is a highjack as it's still on topic, so...............

I mentioned in my other post, I've done everything I possible to slow oxidation due to our proximity to ocean air. It's not possible to stop rust but so far the string cover is yielding pretty good results (my tech concurs). Additionally, you might consider adding the following service, on each visit. My tech cleans the strings of any rust deposits, so they won't get out of hand or gain a foothold. It's the very first thing he does (I think he uses a stone material, just can't think of it right now), then we blow out the innards and clean up. Only then does he start to tune and regulate.

I did follow up with Eric and he was kind enough to share a great deal of information concerning undercovers. He very convincingly made a case for their installation AND he backed it up with proof. PM me if you would like the details. I'll be posting a thread (with pix too) once the covers installed. I tune 4X a year so I'll be able to judge, in short order, the effectiveness of the cover over tuning stability.....blob
Posted by: mal777

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 12/08/14 05:47 PM

Nice to have a local here so you know how humid it is. I have 2 hygrometers, and both are reading 99% today. (the maximum they go to) I'm about 1 km from ocean, so I suspect that could be the main cause of my previous C3 suffering from rusting strings. But the high humidity would certainly add to the problem.
I'm still 50/50 about the damp chaser....so many different opinions, but the string cover might help, and be considerably cheaper!
Is it just a piece of felt or similar cut to the dimensions of the piano, and lay it directly over the frame?



Originally Posted By: backto_study_piano
Originally Posted By: mal777
The humidity here can get to over 90% in summer (Queensland Australia), and quite low in winter (well under 40%)
I have an air conditioner but don't run it during the night, or when I am out. ...


Hi mal777 @ Gold Coast - Congratulations on your new piano. I see you've got 92% humidity at the moment - I'm Daisy Hill, where it's almost as high. I've still got the a/c on despite it being cooler outside now , but I kept the humidity down earlier in the day as the storms were rolling in. I'm much the same as you, only putting on the a/c when needed - and at night only use the bedroom a/c rather than the larger areas, and rarely use any heating. I do, though cool down with the dehumidify setting on the a/c when it is humid.

I suspect you'll find that inside the house rarely gets to the extremes of outside, unless its over a prolonged wet/dry cycle.

When I bought my previous grand 5 yrs ago, the tech insisted that it needed a DamppChaser - from memory about $1k. When I upgraded to my Grotrian a couple of years later, that tech wasn't as concerned, but he suggested that seeing I own it, he took the D/C off the previous piano and installed it on the Grotrian. I've got a little digital humidity/temp reader inside the piano, and it's always more moderate inside the piano than the readings in the room or outside. But maybe that is because (and particularly on days of extremes) I generally don't put the lid up, but keep the piano closed unless playing, including the fallboard.

I don't know whether a D/C would help rusting strings (which could be more dependent on your location at the Gold Coast and possible salt air). But I would suggest a string cover would be more useful for rusting. I put one on the Grotrian, and the strings (and insides) are like new after 2 years, where I don't recollect the previous piano were as good after the same time. I've home-made a cheap string cover - it's not pretty, but I generally play with the lid closed anyway. If I'm getting a visitor (rare), I'll slip it off before they arrive. Maybe one day I'll get the real thing?

My previous previous piano - a Yamaha UX upright had no DamppChaser or equivalent, and was extremely stable in tuning and regulation, as were a few U1s and C3s that I had in various Churches & schools. Which makes me wonder how important a D/C is with Yamaha pianos.
Posted by: Damateur

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 01/12/15 05:46 PM

Hi mal777, Here's a thread that might help, I plan to make my own string cover.
Posted by: Damateur

Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost - 01/12/15 05:48 PM

Sorry, here's the thread:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/253243/Re:%20Make%20your%20own%20string%20cover.html