What's going on with these strings?

Posted by: ando

What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 08:45 AM

I was scanning some ads for rebuilt pianos and came across a G3 with has been largely rebuilt, but I was shocked at the appearance of the bass strings ( and also the bridge looks to have had some treatment, looks a bit rough). They appear to have been wound in a curious way. Can anybody tell me what is going on here? Wouldn't such strings behave in an irregular way? They certainly don't look pretty. Should I run from such a rebuild?

Posted by: Olek

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 08:48 AM

May be they are drunk ?

sound pretty normal to me wink it may even be better for the tone (?)

I would be a little more concerned with the firmness of the pins, unless they are extra long ? there are yet cracks at the bottom of some of them

Posted by: Ed Foote

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 08:53 AM

That is just a style of winding that loops the end of the wrap underneath the first inch of the core wire. It should still be swedged where the wire begins it's winding. If so, I wouldn't be worried about it, at all. The winding looks like it is reasonably consistent, which is important.
Regards,
Posted by: Olek

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 09:14 AM

I believe it is done to have a better termination. more secure than the one done only with round pliers

Sometime a real double winding is done on the bridge side of the pin, which is supposed to fight some of the L modes (?)

The term for that escapes me, whipped ends ?
Posted by: Mark Cerisano, RPT

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 09:24 AM

I believe this is a technique to reduce the chances of the coil unwinding. But I have to ask, why would a manufacturer go to all that trouble and expense unless they had problems with unwinding coils in the first place? Why are they having problems with a procedure that most other manufacturers do not seem to have had any? (I've only seen this very occasionally, and only on the thinnest bass strings) What other unorthodox procedures have been used on this piano to cover up deficiencies? (If indeed, that is what we are looking at.)

What brand is this piano and where was it made? I've often seen unusual manufacturing design on pianos made in countries which do not have a long tradition of time tested practises.

I am more concerned with the bridge. Look at how deep those notches are! That leaves no support for the bridge pin and that is why they are moving sideways and producing those hairline cracks. Once a crack forms, it is very easy for it to propogate. I imagine that that bridge will have some huge cracks in it in 20-30 years. Especially if it is a relatively new piano, less than 10 years. (That is too young for a piano to have bridge cracks and that would confirm the poor execution of the bridge notching process.)
Posted by: Olek

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 09:33 AM

What I can say is that the best bass string winder I know use that form of winding end on the bridge side (in fact this is not the end but the beginning, you cannot do so on the other side , by evidence.

I also learned to wind that way, while I dont make bass strings anymore

It must have some impact on tone, obviously. may be a bit more cymbal type ?
Posted by: ando

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 09:38 AM

Thanks for the replies folks. That style of string wrapping is familiar to me from guitar strings, but on a guitar, the doubling back of the winding never occurs in the speaking portion of the string as it causes intonation problems as you play up the fretboard. It's only used to secure a string to a ball-end and prevent unwrapping. It struck me as strange to see this pronounced thickness in the speaking portion of these strings.

The piano is a 60's era Yamaha G3. It looks like a new bass bridge was made for it, but it's roughly done. Some rather careless looking hand chiselling done there. I too, was concerned about whether the bridge pins would be securely held, unless they used very long ones. It's a curiosity. I'm veering away from this piano now. It seems a bit unorthodox and I don't want to take any risks.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 10:56 AM



Originally Posted By: Olek
What I can say is that the best bass string winder I know use that form of winding end on the bridge side (in fact this is not the end but the beginning, you cannot do so on the other side , by evidence.


I order all of my bass strings from the same supplier that Isaac does. The endings are done like this. They are the best bass strings I have ever purchased. Gregor does a great job and always consistent. Never had a problem with any of them.

Switched over some time ago as the previous supplier was always sending replacements, or refusing to supply replacements of faulty strings.
Posted by: Olek

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 11:03 AM

the chiseling is possibly only on the back of the bridge, where it is less a problem, if the same is done at the front I would say no.

But I seem to recall some large grands with some similar type of chiseling, simply on a less tall distance. (Bluethner ?)

I am painting my keyboard with hide glue (hoping it willr refrain me to type so much) ! I should have never bring that computer to the workshop wink
Posted by: Supply

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 11:17 AM

This form of under-wrapping is a more labor-intensive to produce than simple wrapping. As such you will probably not find it on low-end pianos. At Bösendorfer, the under-wrapped segment is flattend with a roller press prior to winding the string. It is almost invisible to the un-informed view.

It is even possible to under-wrap both ends of a bass string; this involves a nifty trick.
Posted by: Nash. Piano Rescue

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 01:07 PM

Are you sure the strings are not factory Yamaha ? I have several mid 80s G-2s in my shop and every one of them have the same type, exactly like that bass strings on them.
Posted by: ando

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 02:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Nash. Piano Rescue
Are you sure the strings are not factory Yamaha ? I have several mid 80s G-2s in my shop and every one of them have the same type, exactly like that bass strings on them.


The piano has all new strings and tuning pins. It's considerably older than the G2s you have. Mid 60's I believe. The strings look new, and I was told they are new. Whether they were factory Yamaha replacement strings I don't know. I know the work was done by a rebuilder in Germany.

Now that I've had confirmation that such strings are not a problem, the only thing I'm unconvinced by is the bridge work. My questions are:

1- Am I right in assuming that this is a replacement bridge which has been roughly carved?
2 - Would there be any reason to hack up a factory bridge like that?
3 - What are the chances that longer bridge pins were used and these won't have a tendency to tip over in time and crack the bridge?
Posted by: Del

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/04/13 03:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
I believe this is a technique to reduce the chances of the coil unwinding. But I have to ask, why would a manufacturer go to all that trouble and expense unless they had problems with unwinding coils in the first place? Why are they having problems with a procedure that most other manufacturers do not seem to have had any? (I've only seen this very occasionally, and only on the thinnest bass strings) What other unorthodox procedures have been used on this piano to cover up deficiencies? (If indeed, that is what we are looking at.)

What brand is this piano and where was it made? I've often seen unusual manufacturing design on pianos made in countries which do not have a long tradition of time tested practises.

The whipped end on wrapped strings dates back at least to the middle of the 1800s. It’s one of the most time-tested methods of string wrapping around. It’s probably also unnecessary but several (very good) string winders still do it this way.

ddf
Posted by: TunerJeff

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/05/13 01:43 AM

Dear Ando,

To answer the last set of questions;

1. Replacement Bridge?
Nah. The guy carved on the original bridge. Probably some small surface cracks at the pins, so he removed the pins, used the original notching as a guide, layed his chisel a bit farther back, and chopped out a new notch on the old bridge. That's why the pins seem so close, and the bridge seems so wide beyond the notching.

2. Longer bridge pins? Won't have a tendency to tip over?
Those pins are not correctly placed. They aren't properly supported in the bridge, and the bridge or pins will likely fail. I would expect some serious buzzing and instability in those strings from the very start, and only getting worse with time. Look how long the unsupported pins are from a firm base in the lower part of the notch! They'll wobble in a hurry. Some cracks are already visible in your picture, as someone has already noticed. Not good, boss.

3. Any reason to hack a factory bridge like that?
See above. I do think it was to 'correct' cracks around the pins, but not a clean job of it.

4. Should I run from such a rebuild?
Yes.

Any other opinions? I would not have confidence in this piano's longevity. I believe those bridge pins will start wandering immediately.

YMMV,
Harrumph!
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/05/13 01:44 AM

Isaac, Mark and others:

I've looked at the OP's picture several times, but I fail to see hairline cracks or elongated holes. I do see what I believe to be simply a shadow, on the proximal bridge pins (i.e. left in the picture) and the graphited bridge surface, where the strings go around the pins. But I'd be very grateful if someone could actually point out those hairline cracks.

Are you perhaps referring to the place where the left distal bridge pin of each unison is driven into the corner of the next unison?
Posted by: Olek

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/05/13 04:24 AM

Well analyzed Jeffrey, you think the original bore was in the chiseled part ?

cracks are yet visible in the corner behind some pins (I thought it was original holes and original bottom of the cracks).
Posted by: Hellerbass

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/05/13 05:12 AM

Hi ando!

All answers are right: It is not a bug - it´s a feature ;-)

Some of my customers swear that this is not only good for optical or for a better holding of the copper end but also for better sound ...... there is more weight at the end of the string close to the bridge which transforms the moving to the soundboard better ....

But really bad is the location of the bridge pins on the bridge or better the shaping of the bridge .... the pin should be 2/3 of its diameters shaped and only 1/3 unshaped ... so after a few months or years the string is grooved a little into the bridge and leaves the bridge pin exactly at the middle of the pin and at the same time exactly at the beginning of the shaping --> the string must leave pin and wood at the same place.

I hope my english was good enough to explain that ...... and on the 6th pin from bottom ( on the sounding lengths side ) it isn´t really done in that way ..... the string never will sound good .... and if hit harder ... the string will buzzing/rattling etc.


Best
Gregor
Posted by: ando

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/05/13 01:34 PM

Thank-you to all of you for your thoughts on this piano. smile I have decided not to pursue it as an option - too much uncertainty about what was done and why. It was useful to know that these unusually wrapped strings are not a problem though. It's good to know that if this is done well, it is a sign of quality rather than something to worry about.
Posted by: ando

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/05/13 01:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Hellerbass
Hi ando!

All answers are right: It is not a bug - it´s a feature ;-)

Some of my customers swear that this is not only good for optical or for a better holding of the copper end but also for better sound ...... there is more weight at the end of the string close to the bridge which transforms the moving to the soundboard better ....

But really bad is the location of the bridge pins on the bridge or better the shaping of the bridge .... the pin should be 2/3 of its diameters shaped and only 1/3 unshaped ... so after a few months or years the string is grooved a little into the bridge and leaves the bridge pin exactly at the middle of the pin and at the same time exactly at the beginning of the shaping --> the string must leave pin and wood at the same place.

I hope my english was good enough to explain that ...... and on the 6th pin from bottom ( on the sounding lengths side ) it isn´t really done in that way ..... the string never will sound good .... and if hit harder ... the string will buzzing/rattling etc.


Best
Gregor


Ja, alles klar! Ich habe verstanden, was Du gemeint hast. Vielen Dank, Gregor!
Posted by: Del

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/05/13 02:09 PM

Originally Posted By: TunerJeff
1. Replacement Bridge?
Nah. The guy carved on the original bridge. Probably some small surface cracks at the pins, so he removed the pins, used the original notching as a guide, layed his chisel a bit farther back, and chopped out a new notch on the old bridge. That's why the pins seem so close, and the bridge seems so wide beyond the notching.

2. Longer bridge pins? Won't have a tendency to tip over?
Those pins are not correctly placed. They aren't properly supported in the bridge, and the bridge or pins will likely fail. I would expect some serious buzzing and instability in those strings from the very start, and only getting worse with time. Look how long the unsupported pins are from a firm base in the lower part of the notch! They'll wobble in a hurry. Some cracks are already visible in your picture, as someone has already noticed. Not good, boss.

3. Any reason to hack a factory bridge like that?
See above. I do think it was to 'correct' cracks around the pins, but not a clean job of it.

4. Should I run from such a rebuild?
Yes.

I can't tell quite that much from the pictures, but....

That style of bridge notching was -- still is -- fairly common with some manufacturers and some rebuilders. I'm not sure but what the bridge work is original in which case it's already lasted quite a while.

On the other hand, you could be right....

ddf
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: What's going on with these strings? - 02/07/13 12:30 PM

I don't think the notching is original either. The side cut is at 90 degree. Most Yamaha's are at a lesser angle there. The cut square with the string line is also near 90 to the bridge face. I have never seen Yamahas with that.