Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright

Posted by: Bojan Babic

Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/26/13 07:30 PM

A customer of mine has 2 years old K5, with 3 broken bass strings in last 20 days. Always the different string. The piano is played by 14 years old boy, so I don"t think that he abuses the piano. Does any of you have similar problem with that model, or it is an isolated case here? The K5 looks like a very good instrument to me, everything else is ok with it.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/26/13 08:15 PM

Any time a string is breaking especially that often, it is more often abuse than not. 14 years old? So what? They can break them as good as anyone else can.. It is like a drummer breaking drum sticks. For some people it is fun to see how many they can break.

A K5 is a nice piano.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/26/13 08:34 PM

It is probably another case of "pedal to the metal and keep pounding those bass notes". Check the archives - much has been written on this.
Posted by: RestorerPhil

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/26/13 10:23 PM

Yep!
Pedal down, repeated rythmic pounding of the bass.

In my area certain flavors of gospel piano players use the style and break strings like crazy. The worst I ever saw was a little old lady church pianist. Every church she played for - same thing.

It isn't the piano's fault. It's the operator.
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/26/13 11:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Supply
It is probably another case of "pedal to the metal and keep pounding those bass notes". Check the archives - much has been written on this.
Yup! Pedal to the metal - 'Love it. 'Bet that's exactly what's happening. Search for- Shout House Pianos -, or that "Sandy Eggo" fella.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/26/13 11:48 PM

Maybe this time, it's David's fault!? smile
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/27/13 12:20 AM

It pains me to witness gratuitous damage to a good well built piano.

Even if strings were beginning to rust, (again, not the fault of the piano). String breaking isn't normal.

Education is the answer. Tell him and parents what is causing it - that's Is your duty.

Who is paying for the repairs?

He will be short on pocket money for a good few weeks.

Problem is, he wasn't to know. Nobody normally warns against this problem and some of the strings that haven't yet broken may have been severely weakened. (in my experienced, in a good piano like this one, weakened strings, when returned to normal use still have enough strength left to give normal service.

Bit of a quandary. Eh?
Posted by: RestorerPhil

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/27/13 07:24 AM

The most weakened strings are the lonely remnant strings of the bichords - the unisons with only one string left standing. These strings take the full brunt of the blows delivered after the partner string is gone. They fail next, so warn the parents of this likelihood.

I have had a few situations where this was happening repeatedly, so much so that I would go ahead and replace both stings on the spot with the best choice of universals. (I carry two of most sizes of both the coarse core and the finer core universals with me in a separate string box. After all, the piano is being beaten to death, a drum kit is flailing away three feet from the piano, so what do they care, obviously, if the replacement strings are universals or exact replacements?

Yep, my van is pretty full: Piano cradle, action cradle, string box, voicing box, stinging tool box. Oh well, I digress, but, if I am offered room and board, I travel equipped enough to almost do a minor rebuild right there at the house.
Just kidding! grin
Posted by: Olek

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/27/13 08:35 AM

both strings are changed usually at last on a good piano.

In a truck I would have drill press and compressed air

I made all sort of repairs on site, changing hmmers and shanks (drilling on site), keyboards bushings, new string set.

Mostly on usual maintenance job I need to add a large pinning job, and alittle keyboard repair.

With enough experienc we know beforehand which tools and parts we will need. What misses the most is a good table often.


For some reason, people call me to come sometime far, while I know there are competent techs locally.

Probable communication problems betyween tech and piano owner may lend to that situation.

There is one colleague of mine who works all around the country at a high level. (very expensive, also !)
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/27/13 10:24 AM

I have been successful at guilting students ( and faculty) out of breaking strings at one of the London conservatories by leaving broken strings for a week before repair and, much as I deplore signs, I have put some up explaining how unnecessary it is to break strings in creating a huge sound. Other students have pencilled names of known string breakers and another student put up their own sign asking who the idiot was who broke a string. Yet another student crossed out 'idiot' and wrote in "wanker" which is a British term of abuse meaning the person the term is directed at was only interested in their own selfish pleasure.

That particular sign has since been taken down but it has been most effective.

Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/27/13 10:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
Maybe this time, it's David's fault!? smile
Naw. These aren't wire cutters in my hand. They're a special type of ... uh, ... key easing pliers. Yea, that it. They're key easing pliers. Ahm innocent again. whistle
Posted by: Olek

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/27/13 10:53 AM

That remind of me asking the pianist not to play the piano because it have been tuned !

(some of them find it funny, just before the rehearsal)

Good fight against string breakers RXD ! congratulations !
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/27/13 11:15 AM

An intelligent musician knows never to touch another musicians instrument. The same applies to a piano once it has been set up for a specific artist. An intelligent musician respects this too. The piano has become another musicians instrument.
Posted by: Olek

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/27/13 11:35 AM

Sure most musicians know that at last intuitively.

I used to say that to the pianist who was supposed to play for the concert (if I knew him enough )


Another one is that the piano need to rest 24 hours because it was just tuned wink
Posted by: Steven Bolstridge

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 12:17 AM

We know that many pianists break strings, but it does seem that sometimes there are other factors. One of my large churches had a Kawai RX2 donated to them in 2005. Within five months the first bass string broke, with more to follow. The previous piano, a Mason Hamlin grand, had been played on by the same pianist for years without any string breakage. Also her 1960 something Baldwin grand at home had no breakage.

After the ninth string, Kawai generously offered to pay for a replacement bass set from Mapes. These have been in place for 5 years now with with two broken strings in the last year. If she breaks them I will come, but all strings, or pianos, are not equal.
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 03:50 AM

I have observed that some makes are more susceptible to breaking strings under heavy use. It also makes a difference to the pianists perception of balance between the hands whether a grand lid is up or down.

How big was the M&H? A smaller piano will not produce the bass that a larger piano will and any attempt to reproduce what a first class larger piano was giving is doomed.

Different styles of music produce different string breaking patterns.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 03:51 AM

This is an interesting discussion re the evils of string breaking. There is a contrary view, however.

I knew a really great pianist/teacher who used to say:
"If you are afraid of breaking your piano, do you know what that means? It means you need a different piano!"

I'm not taking sides here. But, there is a viewpoint that pianos are meant to be used for the expression of the artist. The artist should not feel restrained in what he can do, or try to do, by the limitations of instrument. If the instrument is limiting the artist, then the instrument is worthless.

This isn't necessarily MY view. But, it is a view that I've encountered and I thought it deserved to be mentioned.

My flame suit is on and I'm running for cover. smile
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 05:05 AM

You are entirely right, Joe. I hear it from the composition faculty continually.

I just spent a few hours yesterday resetting bent damper wires and other anuses on a £95,000 concert grand after a composition student recital. The piano had been rendered unplayable for the following recital of serious piano music. The cleaners had to clean up paint that was splashed on the floor. Fortunately none of it got into the piano. Free artistic expression or just being wankers?, (persons only interested in self indulgence, see my earlier posts).

When I was a young trumpet player, many's the time I could have thrown that trumpet against a wall. Free expression or childish temper?

I am always wary of authoritative statements from our more vulgar pundits. There are better qualified pianists who can teach you how to create a large sound on a piano that will mask the sound of a symphony orchestra without doing any damage. There arent many of them but they are there.

A pianist broke a keystick on a grand. He came to me and admitted it showing me where a modern composer had written " violently" and " hammered" on the music. I asked him what does he do when it says " con amore"? You don't have to take poison in order to make an effective morendo. Any competent pianist can make a violent sound on a halfway decemt piano without damaging it.

I have many ideas for making pianos idiot proof. Each one of them would make it less of a musical instrument.

I do see your point but I have another hundred examples.

Bit of a quandary, eh?

What do you or the wise man you quote suggest we do??? I really would like an answer where everybody wins.
Posted by: Steven Bolstridge

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 09:26 AM

Originally Posted By: rxd
How big was the M&H? A smaller piano will not produce the bass that a larger piano will and any attempt to reproduce what a first class larger piano was giving is doomed.


Both church pianos are 5'10". The M&H is 1968 model and puts out less overall sound than the Kawai. Her home Baldwin is around 6'4"
Posted by: pianolive

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 10:28 AM

My experience with stringbreaking pianists is that it takes a certain touch to do that, a special touch technique. They can breake a string at any time they want to. I have seen it done only by classical pianists on different concert grands, Bösendorfer, Steinway, Yamaha. I think it is just a bad habit.
The cure from rxd sounds great
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 11:33 AM

Hello rxd,

I simply mention that this is a viewpoint that many hold.

We aren't talking about someone splashing paint on a piano.

I'll give you a contrary experience of mine.

There is one pianist that I tune for that is probably the most physically powerful person I have ever met. I will sometimes joke with him the "just one of your fingers is stronger than my entire body! I wouldn't want to get you mad at me."

The guy tried several different brands of pianos that would basically begin to fall apart after a while. He eventually went to a Steinway, and though there is usually extra maintenance with each visit, the piano seems to be holding together.

I seem to recall stories about Liszt and pianos disintegrating under his hands. Was Liszt incompetent?

There may be things that could be tried in this case... maybe softening the hammers, SLIGHTLY reducing the blow distance, etc.

But ultimately, it may just be that this particular pianist and this particular piano are not a match. Maybe they could try trading it in on a different piano if this issue cannot be satisfactorily resolved.

I would hate to see a student develop some sort of phobia about playing his own piano.
Posted by: Olek

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 12:05 PM

Usually pianist that knows how to play very strong are not afraid to do so, but they will only at concert time.

An adequate voicing helps if they tend to play too strong at home because they dont do so for tone reasons, .more to have more sensations under the fingers (in my opinion)
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 12:30 PM

Joe, I can support all your arguments and match all your anecdotes supporting either side of the argument.

The F Liszt arguments keep coming up. Great composer. I have no idea of the tone quality he produced from a piano. Have you?.

I have worked with and heard live the greats of the piano world as part of my job It pains me to hear other well known pianists choking the piano sound with falty technique. A pianist doesn't have to be afraid of breaking strings with good teaching as many on this forum will testify.

You and me both, Joe. You devils advocate, you.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 01:16 PM

My point is simply that there are various, legitimate viewpoints.

I have no doubt that you could list anecdotes supporting your view as well. Nor am I trying to be disrespectful. But if the piano cannot keep up with the pianist, is it necessarily the pianist's fault? Maybe yes; maybe no.

There really is room for legitimate, respectful differences of opinion. It's just that with the current discussion and another recent discussion on this forum re string breakage, I thought that the another view should at least be heard.

Btw, I don't think the devil would want me as his advocate... he has enough problems smile wink
Posted by: Dave B

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 01:33 PM

I have a percussionist friend who can hit a drum head with a stick and it sounds like a gun firing. If I tried to do that, the stick would probably go right through the drum head.
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 02:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave B
I have a percussionist friend who can hit a drum head with a stick and it sounds like a gun firing. If I tried to do that, the stick would probably go right through the drum head.


I was tuning a piano for a concert. The tuning was just a check over. On the first single bass string I heard an almighty crack. I looked for a broken string but no, the drummer had been watching my timing and timed his rimshot to exactly my hitting the low E I looked up and saw his big beaming smile.

Joe. The best preventative is well shaped hammers. Concert pianos at risk have the top two sections restrung. Mapes make a wire that has a higher breaking point but tone is developed at a percentage of breaking strain so tone suffers just a bit but on a practice piano?? They may just start hitting harder to counteract this we shall see. Raising the hammerline often results on more tone. It helps up to a point. Softer hammers makes em hit harder so is ineffective. Let me see now. My colleagues at the Conservatoires meet often and compare notes. Generations of us have gone into this thoroughly. Playing with the lid down distorts the tone weakening the treble and making the tenor and bass boomy so pianists over compensate. This leads to broken strings so playing with the lid open helps those pianists who are listening to themselves and thats not many. Ever hear two tromonists playing a duet? They compensate for the room. Few pianists do. I hear it continually. Tell me about it.

Every September we get a fresh influx there's always a string breaker among them. There's nothing wrong with good modern new pianos. Some start to break strings earlier than others. I know hundreds of pianists so I'm not guessing. Our finest teachers know. they're the people I listen too.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 02:44 PM

What drives me crazy is Arturo Sandoval playing higher and higher notes on his trumpet, and then a mighty "crack" from the drummer as he hits the highest one. Just like breaking a string!
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 10:18 PM

Rxd,

I also love Berra-isms, btw smile

There are readers of this thread that are not as knowledgeable as you. You know that there are different views on this and you have defended your view wonderfully. But, some less-informed readers may not be aware that there are credible people that hold a different view.
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/28/13 11:45 PM

Joe, I do so agree. I just got thru sayin that I interact with such people almost daily. As long as they pay for their damage, I have no problem. Pianos in public places are strange, it always seems nobody really owns them.

Would you let them destroy your piano?

I said 'your' piano???

We had a foreign student here who was paying full fees. He had a habit of damaging pianos for all the usual reasons. I reported the damage but he was protected. ( full fees, rich family). The family bought the conservatoire a new piano. I don't know anybody more aggressively protective of a piano now, even though he could buy us 10 more.

People grow up.

What do we do with DIYers on this forum who are damaging pianos?
.......We educate them.

What do we do with less-informed people who may be on this forum?..Well,.I hope we don't patronise them. Let's not, eh? Freedom of expression?

A. S. Neil of summerhlll school fame believed in raising children with total freedom. He only had one object he kept in a locked room. Guess what? And how do I know this? There's a whole philosophy there.

We have a piano here that is set aside for experimental music. I never service it but I keep an eye on it and it's users and how they develop.

I do thank you for opening this up. None of this is personal, I'm just railing at the world, exactly like our freedom of expression people. I hope nobody got hurt.

I also just had an idea I could put into practice. Thank you.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 12:47 AM

It's not personal on my part either smile

No, I would not let someone destroy my piano.
I'm too busy "destroying" it myself lol. (You may think I'm joking, I'm not), Fortunately, I get an very good price on parts and labor is free. smile wink

I once had a teacher that had a policy that if you broke a string on the studio piano, that qualified you for a free lesson. The point was to not be intimidated by the piano, not to encourage vandalism.

Apparently, hard playing is not the only problem. Some students have the opposite problem: They are too afraid of damaging the piano to get anywhere.

To get back to the original post, I hate to think of that kid developing some sort of complex about playing hard. As you know, there are some exercises that are meant to be played with great strength... not to project... not for tone, but for the actual development of physical strength and endurance, like weight lifting for an athlete. If this particular piano cannot be made to keep up with him, then the sooner this is recognized the better. Just my 2 cents smile
Posted by: Olek

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 02:08 AM

Joe it is not really to the point you may break a string, usually.
Exercices are NEVER done with sustain pedal engaged (which is the most efficient method to create string breakeage, the sounboard is more free, the energy received by the wire is really higher and bass strings may have a facility to make a large motion for a longer time)

The action suffer from intense playing the capo, the keys, strings can break by metal fatigue but then it is time to change them

I am sure I could break a string while tuning, I dont.

Generally playing brutally on a misfunctionning piano (hammers and voicing first but 1 mm letoff is also a risk) make string break in my opinion.
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 03:11 AM

Yep. And there you have it.

"With great strength". Like any strength, it is patiently developed over time. Power can be simulated by jerking the keys down producing an ugly tone and broken strings.

I was conversing with a piano teacher about this. We talk about it a lot, these days, that's why I'm boring you here with it. We both agreed, for a while, that string breaking is unavoidable in developing strength. We both went away and thought about it and came to the same conclusion separately that strength must be developed. Just like all the athletic metaphors you made.

I was talking with a student. She emphasised the importance of warm up excercises where particular attention is paid to observing musculature.

A 14 yr old kid breaking strings, particularly bass strings is doing something wrong, as my head of faculty puts it "if they do that to the pianos, what are they doing to their hands?". It would be irresponsible, as I said before, not to educate him at least how to get to keep his pocket money.

Power can be simulated in the piano by jerking the keys down. This, of course produces an ugly sound and causes broken strings

Tuners break strings by poor methods of developing a test blow.

Isaac is right in so many things he says. The playing hand in tuning is so important. Also the 1mm let off does not necessarily make it easier to play quietly if the rest of the geometry is wrong and it certainly doesn't help with string breaking or tone quality.

I return to the example of the old timers who produce an unbelievably big fat sound with no damage.

The word 'obviously' has long left my lexicon.
Posted by: Olek

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 03:42 AM

Some brands are pushing the strings breaking limit far, also.

Our strings are not provided with normalized metal resistance (no DIN for piano wire only the producer owns parameters)

So the strenght of wire could have evolved.
I scaled an old piano originall mounted with soft wire once, to discover that modern wire would be off limits easely (and when using softer wire of today, no way to get above 15 without breaking.)

They used soft wire in the 80% yeld strech range, rausing to 95% in high treble (with a definite lowering of ih in the last sections.)

Those pianos could loose an Etd in the treble, because ih curve slow down so much.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 04:55 AM

I just went to this website :http://www.thepianoreview.com/piano-ratings.html The K5 is rated 3.5 stars
Quote:
Group #3
Upper Quality Consumer-Grade pianos. These instruments are mostly mass-produced and are more economical than those in the above mentioned categories.
Price Ranges $3,500-12,000.
Weber (DelFandrich Design) ****
Boston (Japanese) ****
Hallet, Davis & Co Boston ****
J. Strauss & Son ****
Yamaha (Japanese) ***1/2
Falcone ***1/2
Taylor ***1/2
Kawai (K5 , K6 , K8)<) ***1/2


According to their rating system, this model is rated between "Good" and "Very Good."

I still cannot help but wonder if this student might be exceeding the limits of this particular piano. It would be interesting to see if this student would continue to have a string breaking problem with a 1st tier piano model.

I personally like Kawais. Maybe a higher quality Kawai model if they want to stay with the same brand?

Btw, some stores do give the option of "Rent to Own." So, maybe they could try another instrument and see if the problem continues.

Edit:

Btw, in the original post:
Quote:
A customer of mine has 2 years old K5, with 3 broken bass strings in last 20 days. Always the different string. The piano is played by 14 years old boy, so I don"t think that he abuses the piano. Does any of you have similar problem with that model, or it is an isolated case here? The K5 looks like a very good instrument to me, everything else is ok with it.
_________________________
Bojan Babić
piano technician and tuner
Šid, Vojvodina, Serbia
_____________________________
bojanbabic@yahoo.com


The technician who is actually there does not think that the kid is abusing the piano. With respect, there is the possibility that the kid is not abusing the piano and that there may be some other issue.
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 05:28 AM

Thanks for all your research, Isaac, I've suspected that about stringing.

I've also thought of having the back checks set up so that they grab and slow the hammer as soon as somebody jerks the key down yet would take all other well trained playing. I wonder how long it would stay regulated like that? I'll let you know.

I got the idea from a Brass players spring device that released all the air as soon as there was too much pressure on the mouthpiece.

There have been almost no broken strings in the jazz faculty since the new head of faculty came 4-5 years ago, a pianist himself. Whenever I stop to listen, which is more often these days, I can hear the piano clearly whatever the ensemble.
All this with no prompting from me

I had a brief conversation with a faculty member this morning as i was leaving And he was arriving and we discussed a recital and master class from Gabrilov last week. He was amazing, such controlled pianissimos...( to be honest, I didn't think that piano would respond to such control, it was the same piano that got the abuse I mentioned, but it did. his half pedaling was responded to, that's what I was most afraid of.)."and he could really lay into it" sez 'ee with a pointedly knowing look at me. "and he broke no strings, did 'ee". sez I with a nonchalant air. . ....
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 06:08 AM

I just read your other post, Joe, sometimes there is a bad batch of core wire. That, of course depends on exactly which strings are broken. Where are they breaking? Which strings are broken.

I have worked on the complaints desk for a large company and can be very sceptical but always bent over backwards and gave benefit of doubt. I mostly went out personally and gave the piano a thorough going over. Is the OP the final arbiter or head tech?. Who else in the dealership can give another opinion? Has the dealership even been notified? There are guarantees to enquire into and take care of these things. The manufacturer will replace a faulty product if it deems fit without our opinion. Wonderful and fascinating as it is.

Does the tuner supervise all the practice sessions? It's difficult enough to get parents to do that when teachers request it.

I have seen chronic breaking strings where I spotted a fairly deep scratch on all the core wire of the remaining strings as though someone had run a nail file or something along them. This will create a weak spot. Have the tuner cast a practiced eye over the remaining strings and to look closely at the break in the wire of the broken ones.

Something splashed near the string could cause rust pitting. All this has been addressed. There is certainly nothing wrong with the make and model under normal use.
Posted by: Olek

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 09:26 AM

Excessive nudging while tuning also can provide bass strings some fatigue (bcause of the large angle at the upper plate pin)

While my actual overstretch method is also certainly dangerous, but I am experienced enough to feel if the wire begin to deform and be more cautious then
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 04:53 PM

I'm not criticizing Kawai. I think that I even said that I like Kawais in a previous post.

It seems that you folks are already working on 1st Tier pianos. If mechanical problems develop in a 1st Tier piano from heavy use, there is no where higher to go... nothing else to upgrade to. You are at the end of the road.

In this case, I still wonder if the student may be exceeding the instrument... a 3rd Tier model. Assuming, of course, that the student bears any responsibility at all for the string breakage.
Posted by: Olek

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 05:06 PM

Originally Posted By: rxd

I've also thought of having the back checks set up so that they grab and slow the hammer as soon as somebody jerks the key down yet would take all other well trained playing. I wonder how long it would stay regulated like that? I'll let you know.


AH that backcheck thing is terrible, the hammer have always too much of a whip effect, sometime it also make the touch very heavy.

I have seen one grand piano of a major brand where the key dip have bee, lowered at the demand of the owner, then the checking was corrected, but the rub was not tested. (and they did rub, that brand is arcing the tails with only one arc, they lick too much in my opinion)

As a result the tone was too impacting strong, all the opposite from what the pianist wanted.

The technician possibly lost his nerves and voiced so much the hammers they had to be changed, with leading correction and all the work (8 days on site)

The customer was happy in that case as he had Weickert special felt on the new hammers (AA on the precedent ones)
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 09:35 PM

No. Isaac, I'm not talking of anything nearly so artsy phartsy here, just to rob a little powert just enough so that when the key is jerked down on a practice piano the concciencious player is reminded.
Simple. Not clever.
It's a practice device only. It will take all playing but string breaking playing and still have a complete dynamic range. You know actions work like that if neglected long enough. (Great excuse to neglect the practice pianos).

Of course not on a concert piano. Lighten up.
Posted by: Olek

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/29/13 11:34 PM

Originally Posted By: rxd
No. Isaac, I'm not talking of anything nearly so artsy phartsy here, just to rob a little powert just enough so that when the key is jerked down on a practice piano the concciencious player is reminded.
Simple.
It's a practice device only. It will take all playing but string breaking playing and still have a complete dynamic range. You know actions work like that if neglected long enough. (Great excuse to neglect the practice pianos).

Of course not on a concert piano. Lighten up.


Well I see what you mean. In my experience, if the hammer tail is shaped with one arc only as in Grotrian or Bechstein, it can stay relatively unnoticed in the touch, while at the same time making the impact more strong ; with more usual tail shape possibly it can work, you will have to regulate that very precisely and could have reclamations of blocking keyboard. I also believe that normal playing with force , not hardly, creates a lot of shank flex, may be more than the direct impact of brutal playing (?)

In brutal playing the knuckle leave the jack soon, then I dont know , the key touch may be its bottom before the hammer stroke but my guess was the opposite, and the string break because of that double strike hammer then key (?) may be not....
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/30/13 01:18 AM

Isaac.

just do it......Nike(?)

I just did it.

I just did it in 10 minutes on a bog standard practice piano. Just the simple re-adjustment.

It's doing everything I envisaged. The piano still has a complete dynamic range on every note unless I flex the shank excessively.

I can leep an eye on this piano every morning I'll let you know what happens.

In education, part of the job has too be a bit of imaginative experimentation. Sometimes hairball theories simply get in the way. We can be clever just for the sake of being clever.

"Behind every successful man is a woman"..... Telling him he's wrong!!!
It's an old joke but many identify with it. (with apologies to my girlfriends who are making my birthday last a whole week).

And that's why I have that Yogi Berra quote in all my posts.
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/30/13 06:43 AM

"...It's an old joke but many identify with it. (with apologies to my girlfriends who are making my birthday last a whole week). And that's why I have that Yogi Berra quote in all my posts..."

Maybe it's time to throw in a few Sophie Tucker jokes, or one or two from Mae West. Like, "She was a girl who climbed the ladder of success, wrong by wrong."
Posted by: rxd

Re: Frequently breaking bass strings on Kawai K5 upright - 01/30/13 07:41 AM

I said "my goodness, those are tight pants, how on earth do you get into them?

She said " you can start by buying me a drink".

That sort of thing, Jeff?

I said 'would you like to get in the back seat?' She said 'I'd rather stay in the front seat with you'.

I used to travel with a standup comedy show. Ever had breakfast with 7 professional comedians? They used to try out new material on the band. If the band laughed, they couldn't use it!! ...
Except when they were dying onstage, they could always turn to the band and make us laugh til the tears ran down our legs. Ever see Carson work the band?