Extra damper on Yamaha U3

Posted by: Kiwisda

Extra damper on Yamaha U3 - 11/14/12 12:50 AM

Hi. My first post in the Technicians Forum.

I have a 1980 U3-H (recently acquired). On the B2 string there's what looks like a kind of extra damper (smaller than the usual dampers) sitting above the hammer. (This is the first of those strings that are angled the other way from the bass strings.) What is the function of this...this whatever it is! Is there any connection to the fact that this note doesn't sound quite 'right' (a little twangy)?

Also, I'm struggling to find the right language to describe the sound I would like to achieve through doing some voicing on this piano. The tone is quite nice, except I think the treble is a little lacking in body – thin rather than bright. "Mellow" is probably not what I'm trying to get, because I'm afraid of losing projection in the treble; it's not really a matter of dulling down the sound. "Fullness" is probably more like it. I know it's almost impossible to convey in writing what I'm after, but is it possible for anyone to say if this richer, fuller sound is possible to obtain on this (reportedly rather fine) instrument?
Posted by: BDB

Re: Extra damper on Yamaha U3 - 11/14/12 02:21 AM

Yamaha is not the only manufacturer to have used those auxiliary dampers. The regular damper is cut short to avoid hitting the string that crosses over at that point, and the auxiliary damper is there to provide additional damping to make up for the lack of felt below the strike point.
Posted by: pianolive

Re: Extra damper on Yamaha U3 - 11/14/12 06:59 AM

The best way to improve the sound quality in these U3 uprights, is to install new hammers, european or US made hammers.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Extra damper on Yamaha U3 - 11/14/12 11:37 AM

The best way to improve the sound quality of most Yamahas is to find a good voicer. Yamaha makes good hammers, but they need some voicing.
Posted by: pianolive

Re: Extra damper on Yamaha U3 - 11/15/12 07:35 AM

Sure, you can voice the hammers, but after a short period of time the ugly sound is back.
Posted by: tds

Re: Extra damper on Yamaha U3 - 11/15/12 08:48 AM

Originally Posted By: pianolive
Sure, you can voice the hammers, but after a short period of time the ugly sound is back.


Not necessarily. It depends on the piano, the hammers, the skill of the voicer and the amount and manner of playing by the pianist.

Too many variables for such a broad statement, although you are certainly entitled to your opinion.
Posted by: pianolive

Re: Extra damper on Yamaha U3 - 11/15/12 10:07 AM

No, the problem with Asian hammers is that voicing do not last long. I am not talking about theory here and there, but from experience. Of course , you should always be experienced to do work on pianos.
I don't know exactly why these hammers behave this way. It could be that they use very short haired wool and therefore need a lot of chemicals to keep the hammerfelt together.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Extra damper on Yamaha U3 - 11/15/12 11:47 AM

If someone says he or she cannot do something, that does not make it impossible.
Posted by: Kiwisda

Re: Extra damper on Yamaha U3 - 11/18/12 06:23 AM

I thank you all for your comments, and sorry for the delay in saying so! (I got a bit busy and forgot to check for replies.) New hammers is an option, since they do have some wear. They could be filed down a little; but, of course, that takes away some of the mass of the hammer. Even then, I suppose the new hammers would need voicing.
Thanks again for the thoughts.