First regulation / height of escapement feel

Posted by: Bosendorff

First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/10/13 06:06 PM

Hello there,

I’ve got a brand new grand piano and it will get its very first regulation soon. Of course, there are a few things that need to improve with the action, so I wanted to get your opinion before I call the tech.

After the tech lubes the parts to get rid of extra friction and evens out all the weights for each key, I will ask him to adjust the action for better control, especially the trills, as right now I feel I need to fight against the action in order to play evenly. I also want to emphasize that there's no problem with the sound - only with the mechanics of the action.

I remember playing another piano, on which you would feel the "escapement/repeat" mechanism very early as you would press a key (I would say on the first third of its way down), and this piano had excellent overall control (playing pianissimo, trills, etc).

Right now on my new piano, the escapement/repeat mechanism doesn't engage until the keys are almost fully-down, so I was wondering if this is why the action is more difficult to control.

Is there any standard depth for the "set point" of escapement (first third of keys depressed, half way, etc.) ? Can it can be set earlier/higher for better control without damaging other parts in the long term ?

Finally, if there's no link between escapement and overall control of the action, what should I request the tech to check in order to improve precision/control ?

Thanks a lot in advance.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/10/13 06:15 PM

When the tech is regulating the action this should solve most of the problems.Ask for more after dip in the key set. Make sure you play a bit previous to the tech packing up and exiting your residence.
Posted by: Olek

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/10/13 06:35 PM

On a new piano the tech mostly will have to raise a little the shanks, that will give you some aftertouch. Whst you feel is first the weight of the dampers then the letoff but this make a progressive sensation of resistance , exacerbated bythe feeling of shank flexing.

be sure that you like the letoff sensation with sustain pedal engaged or no. Some techs raise the friction sensation when the note is just pulled slowly and cannot test it at real speed. Be carevful that too much friction mean faster wear of the knuckles, so in the end it is more important to control inertia and acceleration, than to have a strong brake at letoff moment.

The letoff sensation raise in time even when light at first... Often begin after mid blow..
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/10/13 07:47 PM


Yes good one Isaac after touch is what I meant.
Posted by: Bosendorff

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/10/13 09:11 PM

Thank you everyone for your answers.

Isaac, you have a PM. smile
Posted by: accordeur

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/10/13 09:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Yes good one Isaac after touch is what I meant.


smile
Posted by: Supply

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/10/13 10:12 PM

What brand of piano is it?

In any case, one can only hope that it will not be receiving its "very first regulation" when the tech comes. Good pianos have been regulated several times in the factory, then the regulation is later checked and tweaked in the dealership.

A newly delivered piano would ideally need no regulation at all, especially not the to the extent that you feel it needs. It is definitely not normal that a tech would "even out all the weights for each key" at the time of the first client in-home service. I hope you are not expecting too much from the tech, his visit, or your piano.

Best of luck, an do keep us posted.
Posted by: Olek

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/10/13 11:49 PM

Agreed with Jurgen, any change tend to settle, that is why regulation is done twice and more ,at the factory or workshop.

Then it settle differently when the piano is Played by a real pianist. Raising the shanks is also raising the hammers ;
indeed when you have no aftertouch the action feel too light because you lack control , at worst the tone occurs after the key have bottomed.

Aftertouch play with that synchronization allowing to take in account the shank flex during play (makes the sound production late at certain speed, hence the play at the bottom allow to feel the hammer at the same time than the key.)

I have seen your PM and will answer it..

Best regards
Posted by: Phil D

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/11/13 07:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Supply
What brand of piano is it?

In any case, one can only hope that it will not be receiving its "very first regulation" when the tech comes. Good pianos have been regulated several times in the factory, then the regulation is later checked and tweaked in the dealership.

A newly delivered piano would ideally need no regulation at all, especially not the to the extent that you feel it needs. It is definitely not normal that a tech would "even out all the weights for each key" at the time of the first client in-home service. I hope you are not expecting too much from the tech, his visit, or your piano.

Best of luck, an do keep us posted.


I think you have every right to expect your piano to be responsive and play evenly. Almost any new grand will have an action responsive enough to do this. The fact that it wasn't regulated very well before you received it, and so needs a full regulation now, isn't particularly unusual. It's certainly unfortunate, as the factory and then the dealer should have handled this, but we don't know the history or where you bought it from.

I'd say don't sweat it too much - if you feel the weight of the keys is uneven, this could just be due to uneven regulation and not friction problems. Either way, you will see a massive improvement from the regulation, and you shouldn't need to stress the problems you want to be fixed - if the regulation is done properly then all of them will go away.

Keep us updated
Posted by: rxd

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/12/13 02:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Phil D


I'd say don't sweat it too much - if you feel the weight of the keys is uneven, this could just be due to uneven regulation and not friction problems. Either way, you will see a massive improvement from the regulation, and you shouldn't need to stress the problems you want to be fixed - if the regulation is done properly then all of them will go away.

Keep us updated


Phil, are you suggesting that the OP not discuss their particular need with their tech? This is the worst advice in this situation.

Jurgen is right and I would certainly ask a few more questions of the purchaser. We both have far too much experience to accept this story at face value.

How could anybody who has been around this forum long enough to know better, purchase an unsatisfactory piano with this understanding or misunderstanding that a technician will come along and make everything like another piano that the purchaser remembers with no discussion????

This purchaser (and Phil?) is under the impression that the tech will reweight the keys first before doing a complete re-regulation of the piano and the poor tech is probably only expecting to do a first 'free' tuning.

I have come across pianos at festivals and in contracts I have taken on where the regulation is very peculiar yet international concert pianists and accompanists that I know personally and respect have fallen in love with the way they played.

We all know that too drastic a change of regulation will create a sometimes more drastic change of tone quality. The purchaser already likes the tone quality but not the action. Given that the piano that the purchaser remembers has properties very different from this new piano, what is the next step for a technician that is not familiar with this remembered piano??
Posted by: Phil D

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/12/13 09:57 AM

Yes you're right rxd, and I certainly wouldn't discourage discussion between the owner and his technician about what he needs and is expecting. I was just trying to assure him that the problems he is experiencing aren't unusual. I'd update it but I can't any more.
Posted by: bellspiano

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/12/13 05:39 PM

And certainly when I was doing "complimentary first tunings" for a local store, I would have fallen over in surprise and horror if the new owner of the new piano had asked me to reweight the keys. First, that is a specialist process which I was not qualified to do, and, second, Mr. Jim was paying me a discounted rate to do a once-over tuning. Maybe the OP's store provides a higher level of service, but I think my experience was not unusual.
Posted by: Olek

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/12/13 05:55 PM

I think we should not understand "reweight" it is just a terminology question

The keys are uneven due to friction, which is really not a big trouble, plus very common on a new instrument

"Even the weight" must read, "even the touch"

Posted by: bellspiano

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/12/13 07:16 PM

You could be right, Kamin; I was referring to the OPs phrasing, but that was indeed ambiguous. My point, though, was that not only is it risky to decide what is going on with a piano when I am not actually at the piano with the owner, but also that depending on the newness of the piano and the arrangement with the store, there may be three people involved in whatever discussions take place. There is much here that is not clear, and it could be unwise to give reassurance based on incomplete information.
Posted by: rxd

Re: First regulation / height of escapement feel - 01/12/13 10:16 PM

Originally Posted By: bellspiano
You could be right, Kamin; I was referring to the OPs phrasing, but that was indeed ambiguous. My point, though, was that not only is it risky to decide what is going on with a piano when I am not actually at the piano with the owner, but also that depending on the newness of the piano and the arrangement with the store, there may be three people involved in whatever discussions take place. There is much here that is not clear, and it could be unwise to give reassurance based on incomplete information.


And it is always incomplete information. Well said, Dorrie.

There are unsaid back stories on every thread. What is more ominous is the backstories behind the answers given.

Very often a reply is more in answer to what someone other than the OP wrote. Regular posters here know the history of petty squabbles between other regular posters and sometimes a difference of opinion carries over from some other thread, causing a poster to say something they wouldn't normally say just to get one over on some other poster as happened in this very thread only a few posts ago. The OP is often not aware of the history that posters have wih each other and consequently gets conflicting messages.

There are those who seem to answer every new post whether they know anything about the subject or not.

The politics of forums is a study in itself.