Piano problems encountered.

Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 11:37 AM

Hi,

Thought it might be interesting or fun, to hear what each of you may have run into from day to day this past week or so? For example;

Monday, I had a call that a leg was broken on a grand. It's a Howard grand with the kind of leg that slides into a cast iron plate. Without removing it, I suggested possibly, the screws were yanked out from the force of NONE turning castor's or, it maybe something cracked. I suspect it is the screws. Will figure that one out at a later date when my son is with me to lift it and remove the leg.

Wednesday. Had ordered two strings from well, a well known company. They were 1/4" short of where the wrappings should have been but, happened to sound perfect anyway so, they remained installed.

Thurs: Filed hammers on a Schimmel vertical, spaced and aligned them. Complaint, notes not making the same sound on each blow. Cause? They had shifted just enough to hit between the grooves instead of in the middle of them. They are okay now.

Thurs: Condemned an old Hudson spinet with split bridges and loose tuning pins. Positive side? They are purchasing a new piano instead.

Friday: Tuned a piano in a school that was empty but for the Janitor and secretary. Guess what room he had to work in?

That's my boring week. What was yours like?
Posted by: Matthew Lavender RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 12:40 PM

Let's see...

Had a clicking sound on a new Kawai UST-8. Thought it was the usual cause which is loose catchers. Surprisingly it wasn't. Turns out that the manufacturer had dribbled a little bit of glue onto the hammer butt leather. Scraped it off with a razor blade and bye bye click.

Had another clicking sound coming from the damper pedal on an old Yamaha P202. The cause was from a loose bracket, cause the metal lever to wobble back and forth as it moved. Tightened the bracket a bit to fit it to the lever. No clicky now.

Been a week of clicking noises. Had more coming from... *gasp* a BALDWIN! Could have been a million reasons for it but this one was from old, hard hammer butt leather. Informed the customer that all of them had to be replaced.

On a positive note I got to tune a nice Yamaha C7. \:\)
Posted by: Dave Stahl

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 01:09 PM

I tuned a 48 year old Kawai that was clicking and clacking like a wagon on cobblestones. Turns out, at least half of the hammer centers were loose in the flanges. It had the Yamaha type flanges with the steel plates, and it was an all wood action: pre ABS. The little plate screws had some rust and some were a bear to get out. I repinned all the hammers in the middle section. In addition, I adjusted the pedals and put a pin in the soft pedal dowel so that it would stay in place in the pedal lever. And the B 2 damper at the break was NOT lifting off the string either by pedal or by key, so I bent the wire, and voila. Tightened all the wippen screws, too.

The piano also had several loose tuning pins...I recommended that they not spend a whole lot more money on it, and put that saved money into a piggy bank for a new instrument. Not quite ready for the graveyard, but it will be in a few more years.

It musta lived in the desert.

Matt, I've seen that butt felt click more than a few times. I have used my chopstick voicing tool to reach in and break up the glue with a fair amount of success.

Good topic, Jerry. I often think about how tedious it would be to do nothing besides tune. I like diagnosing, repairing and regulating. It adds a sense of completion to the job, and it gives your ears a break!
Posted by: Mocheol

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 01:14 PM

Do the large castors on a grand piano get locked if the piano is left stationary for many years or should the castors be regularly lubricated.?
Just wondering
Posted by: Jay C Stark

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 01:45 PM

Loose pins... a big problem. I tuned (twice) a Howard Piano (not the old Ballwin Howard) but looked like a Korean or Chinese (no names anywhere, about 4”10”. A church gave it to him. This told me something. I replaced several of the wound strings first time tuning, didn’t notice loose pins. Second time there were 3 notes (last of the 3 string configuration) with all pins very loose, so loose that they would back up, would not hold the pull... The piano is ebony with a fine finish and look good and not more that a few years old. All other pins are tight. Daughter plays beautifully (about 16). Modest means. Somebody make a suggestion please.
Posted by: Bob

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 02:22 PM

I'm in Ocala all weekend doing rental D tunings for soloist John O'Conor www.johnoconor.com and the Ocala Symphony. The program includes Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto.

Andre Watts will play on this piano next week.

I powered this piano up earlier in the week due to lack of volume.

I'm sure I had some nasty pianos this past week, but once tuned, quickly forgotten.

I'm booked solid this coming week and have to tune several pianos and a harpsichord at the university early am before classes, or late eve after classes. Such is the life of a university tech!
Posted by: Sam Casey

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 04:31 PM

Had a memorable one. Seiler 208 circa 1990. Donated to a Methodist Ch by an uber-rich who attends EXTREMELY rarely. Music minister took tuning course in Penn several years back and tunes church pianos.

Two regular pianists are my customers. Both are piano teachers and HATE the Seiler. For years they've been moaning about getting me to look at it. No way says I. Too many cooks in the kitchen. A month ago the uber-rich donor attends a funeral for a relative and hears the piano. KABOOM, he hits the roof. I get a call, come down here and fix this. I say, clear it with the church, music minister and whoever else. Don't need to step on toes, got plenty of other things to do.

I get to church. 29% RH. Piano sounds like a tin can. Every note has string buzz. No back bearing. Tighten plate bolts and get easy 3/4 turn from each before snugging. Helps the buzzes greatly. Way flat, tuned twice to A440, CLP balance rail, teflon dust knuckles. Some hammers catching on backchecks, check drop off. NONE. Cranked 4 complete turns on rep spring screws before any lift. Did all wips the same. (NO time to accurately regulate.) Helped greatly. Brushed hammers to take the "crust" off and sweetened the voicing quite a bit. All the work was "just to get it playable."

Music minister comes in. "Was it a bad as they said?" "Well...." says I and played a few chords. He says, "there, a octave below middle C. That's out of tune."

I take deep breath, slowly exhale. "If you read your PTG info it suggests checking with 3rds and 6th's for accuracy..." "Oh," he says, "I like it more pure than that."

"Look," says I, "we can argue about a lot of things, but this is how I make the big bucks. The tuning is fine."

Says he, "by the way, who called you?" Oh boy, here it comes. I pointed to the brass plaque on the side, "this fellow."

"Did he say who was to pay for the service?"

"No but he was supposed to clear the way for my visit." At this point, I'm ready to get the blazes on the road. I leave my bill, call the teacher/pianist, tell my tale and wish all involved well, long life and prosperity. Too many cooks in the kitchen.
Posted by: Gadzar

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 07:01 PM

Jay, use CA glue on those loose tuning pins. Pull out the action and put some newspapers on the keybed before applying the CA glue.
Posted by: Ron Alexander

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 07:30 PM

I had a good week. No interesting stories, no Wurlitzers, just Yammie grands, except for Wednesday. I had to pronounce last rites on a 1903 Mendelssohn Upright. Such a beautiful cabinet, but the the action was absolutely shot.
The owner didnt want to spend to resurrect it, if that is even possible. Like a 1965 Chevy with a brand new paint job, but with a rusty corroded engine. Gone to the junkyard, R.I.P!!!!
Posted by: RPD

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 08:45 PM

Somebody tell me how to post pictures here and I'll show you something you'll not soon forget from MY week...RPD
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 08:56 PM

Don't ask me! I've never been able to figure it out! I can tune a planoooo but, I kan't do dis.
Posted by: dherbon

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/21/09 11:28 PM

A long early morning tuning! I was asked to tune a S&S D this morning for a very large all day jazz contest and a university concert in the evening. The piano was to be played from 8:00 am until 9:30 pm. Since the contest was also on Friday, the only time I could get to this piano was before the Saturday contest started. Another tuner tuned for the Friday session. I started tuning at 6:00 am in the auditorium. I was the only one in the building. The piano was not in too bad shape, very uneven, but before I finished tuning, the heating system came on to raise the auditorium to daytime temperature. The room temperature went up 10+ degrees. When I finished the first tuning, the entire piano had dropped 8 cents so I started over. Then someone finally came and turned off the work lights and unlocked the light board and turned on the stage lights. By the time I finished the second tuning, the piano was only 3 cents flat top to bottom. I did a quick touchup and was ready to leave when the contest manager came in and said all the schools except one canceled for the morning session because of the blizzard conditions outside. I said “what blizzard conditions?” What was so strange was that every time the piano dropped pitch, it dropped evenly across all octaves except the very top end. I think I will charge a little extra for this tuning. At least, it was a very nice S&S D and did sound very good when I finished.
Posted by: bernardk

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/22/09 12:13 AM

Hey, you can post pictures like this:

 Code:
[img]http://www.yourimageaddress.com/image.jpg[/img]
Go to http://www.tinypic.com and upload your images, then copy the link that it gives you and replace it for that link i placed inside the code box. Preview your post and it should be good to go.
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/22/09 12:58 AM

You can upload to Piano World, too.

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/fileuploader2.html

Ignore that stuff about choosing a contributor or something after you click submit. It doesn't work, and has no effect whatsoever on the upload. You'll get a personal email with the image's location.
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/22/09 07:38 AM

"Somebody tell me how to post pictures here ..." RPD

_________________

It's a little tricky, especially if you're not familiar with html voodoo. I just put an image on my web hosting server and link to that.

If you do post a picture, try to get the file size under 200K to speed up the loading. There are still a few of us on dial-up connections with smaller monitors.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/22/09 11:01 AM

I think it's easier for dummies like me to just post it like I did before with the link to my online site. Tried it both bernardk & Horowitzian way and got so dang frustrated after an hour of farting around with it that I got mad and quit.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/22/09 11:35 AM

Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/22/09 11:37 AM

HAH well, I finally figured out how to post a picture but, deleted it... That's why the practice blanks in here... Sorry! Now, I have to figure out how to resize it cause it was wayyyyy to big!
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/22/09 01:55 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Groot RPT:
I think it's easier for dummies like me to just post it like I did before with the link to my online site. Tried it both bernardk & Horowitzian way and got so dang frustrated after an hour of farting around with it that I got mad and quit. [/b]
Here's a picture I uploaded to Tinypic:



That's Horowitz's piano CD314503 for those who are curious.

It even will resize for you. Are you having some problem on your end preventing it from working, do you think?
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/22/09 02:44 PM

Jerry in your Picasa3 you can use different sizes of pictures. The best would be the smallest size.....I think it is 640 X 480 or the other way around....the smallest one try that for starters..........also take Horowitzians picture for example. Right click on top of the picture. This will open up a window...go to the bottom and click on properties. This shows Horowitzian's picture of 500 X 332 pixels. You can right click on any picture on the internet and grab the details of the photo under properties....

Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/22/09 02:57 PM

Are you having some problem on your end preventing it from working, do you think?[/b]

Uh huh.... ME... \:\(
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/23/09 06:00 PM

Thought I would bring this one back to life because I never got a chance to respond last week. Well, last Wednesday 3 new customers for tunings. Spent the time tuning, and the initial consulting that happens with new customers, so about 2 hours for each customer.

Well today I got all three cheques back in the mail NSF. One was a doctor who wrote a cheque on an account that does not even exist. Another is a person two blocks from my shop. You know I should be plenty angry about this but I am not. I guess the storm is coming in later.

Now what? $125.00 per tuning plus taxes, and now I have to stop other work and chase these people down.
By the time I get a dime it won’t be worth a nickel………Sometimes it is not the piano that is giving problems……

Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/23/09 06:10 PM

Man Dan, sorry to hear that. Some people have no morals at all do they? Maybe you can put a hold on their funds at their bank somehow?

My day: Arrived at my college to fix sticking keys on a Kawai GM-10. Fixed them and more and then discovered the pedal lyre on the Steinway B was coming unglued. Took it home. it is clamped and drying now..

Next: I run into a gal with more Steinway problems. 2 notes hitting at once. I find a whole bunch of them. Hammers had shifted from all of this dry weather and heavy use so, when the soft pedal was used, it was striking the neighbor's. Fixed this.

Next: I go tune two nice pianos across campus. HEY, no problems!!! Whaddayaknow?

Next: I go across the street to the other side of the campus to tune two more. Tuned them, find that the pedal lyre on another Kawai RX-3 is coming unglued too!!! Left that one. Will return later when I more time and my clamps are freed up...
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/23/09 06:45 PM

Thanks Jerry,

Can’t put a hold on funds that are non-existent. First time customers will not be very happy with themselves, and plenty embarrassed, so I don’t have to do too much.

You have to wonder though why they are new customers. Maybe they got told to buzz off by the last guy because of the same thing……

One thing about those college contracts they keep you busy with a variety of repairs. What is coming loose on the lyres is it the vertical stems or the plate under the pedals?

The reason I ask is if the repairs are out of site you might want to slip a couple of wood screws in too….not seen you know….like stealth screws….. ……

Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
Posted by: Les Koltvedt

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/23/09 07:43 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Silverwood Pianos:
... One was a doctor who wrote a cheque on an account that does not even exist. .
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com [/b]
My wife is an independent medical transcriptionist...we always have problems collecting from doctors in my world, they are the CHEAPIST bunch around...
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/23/09 10:57 PM

It's the wooden stems coming apart from the bottom or top of the lyre. On Kawai's, I don't think they use enough glue. The Steinway is a B and was built in 1961, rebuilt a few times since then but, first time the lyre came loose on that one. Plus, it is miserably dry in there at 21-22 % RH which doesn't help anything.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/23/09 11:05 PM

 Quote:
Can’t put a hold on funds that are non-existent. First time customers will not be very happy with themselves, and plenty embarrassed, so I don’t have to do too much.
Writing a bad check is a serious thing. Here is a list of penalties in the states.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/25/09 02:06 PM

Today. Tuned a nice Yamaha C-7, replaced humidifier wicks. Sweet tuning piano..

Next: Drive to the college and returned the pedal lyre for the Steinway B with my son. Never could figure out how to get those damn things on by yourself with the braces n all. What a fricken pain. Anyway, with the two of us, done in 10 minutes.

Someone finds me in the college. More sticking keys on another Kawai K18. Another warped key slip.

Someone else finds me, "twanging notes when you play C and C# together with the sustaining pedal down." That's a new one on me. I giggled and said, is there actually music written like that as she was playing all sorts of no nonsense stupid sounding chording with 3 or 4 notes played together side by side. Maybe a new kind of rap crap? Sounded like a Chimp hopping around on the keys to me. "It only does it when you play it really hard and with the sustaining pedal down." I wanted to say, well, don't play it like that then. Play real music. But, I resisted...

Didn't fix it. Not enough time to do what that thing needed anyway. Voiced it down some but gee, if you play any piano THAT hard, it'll sound icky.

This afternoon, off. Have a Dentist appt. YUCK!
Posted by: Josef

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/27/09 02:34 PM

This week has been interesting.

I went to tune for a lady who had a great baldwin upright but insisted on telling me her life story as I worked.

A nice lady called me to work on her piano which was an Aeolian Vose and Sons console. She had to had it tuned in twenty years cause she stopped giving piano lessons on it. Four Strings broke in the pitch raise which I had fun splicing them cause I left my stringing kit at home. I am thankful to have a paint can opener to my rescue.

The real fun came when the dealer that I employed by is going out of business as of this week. The companies second store has been bleeding the company dry and now we can't keep up.

I got caught in the middle of a sale went arry because when the salesman and a snooty talkative teacher clashed over a nice Used Yamaha C3.

The rest of the week was spent reuglating and preping three grand pianos.

On the brighter note. I tuned a amazing Bosendorfer 9'2" grand and a Bosendorfer 52" upright this week.
Posted by: Scooters

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/27/09 05:09 PM

Just wondering,

Do you guys (and Gals) see funny characters in the text of the posts here on the forum? I wrote the Piano Forum contact email address asking about this but I'd like to know if you see them too?

Don't have any real stories yet. Still studying my R. Potter course. I retired from the phone company last year and thought I'd give this Piano Service buisness a go. In the Early '70's I was an apprentice until I landed a Tech job with MaBell. Worked there for 33 years. It will be nice to be self employed for a change.

I'm enjoying your stories though! I've never even seen a Boesendorfer. I do have the tech sheet and Regulation info. Very Very impressive write up! smile

Scooter
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/27/09 05:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Scooters
Just wondering,

Do you guys (and Gals) see funny characters in the text of the posts here on the forum? I wrote the Piano Forum contact email address asking about this but I'd like to know if you see them too?

[...]

Scooter


It's a code error of some kind. There a few in my sig line. That's supposed to be Srnade.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/27/09 07:14 PM

How to post pictures on PW is probably the most asked - and answered - question on all the forums.

Do a quick search...

(That's what we tell all the people asking the common questions, so no offence...)
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/27/09 07:24 PM

Yes it is an error code of some sort. You can see the punctuation marks on the previous page in my postings about the NSF cheques. Apparently the new sofware doesn't like correct grammer at the moment.

Or maybe it doesn't like the grammer on the last page. But the last page was from the old sofware. It seems to like it here. Hey Horowitzian, I would try to delete your profile stuff and then try loading it again. Might reset the whole thing there.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 02/27/09 08:06 PM

Oh, I did Jurgen, it ain't helping this ole mind much. I gave up. Got a LARGE on posted but, deleted it... Screw it.

Yeah, I see those funny thingy's too. He's playing mind games with us.

Today: After tuning a Kawai grand, Kawai upright and a Baldwin L for a concert, I had another service call on a Kawai K18 with sticking keys. Tons of those the past 10 days. This one had warped hamemrs. (new piano.) And, again, shallow key dip and needed back checks regulated. Getting tired of that now.

Then, wondered off half way across campus to find a Baldwin studio that had a pedal not working. Pedals work perfectly but, the drums behind the piano are causing BIG BIG buzzzzzzzz sounds. Probably, that's the main complaint, who knows...

Then, hair cut and massage.. mmmmm, that nice...
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 03/09/09 11:54 PM

Today, I went to look at a piano that I had received a call on from a customer that had another tuner that had been working on it that had to make 4 different trips over there and still couldn't fix the problems.

They had raised pitch on the piano, broken several strings, attempted replacing the wires and each time, the wire pulled through the tuning pin. Obviously, they weren't putting the string in far enough to begin with. Finally, they managed to keep it in. But, the coils were quite sloppy.

When I arrived, it was still quite flat and horribly out of tune. And, I do mean, horribly out. Turns out it was the first piano this person had tuned for a customer. Guess we've all been there before. Anyway, I wound up condemning the piano. It was one of those cases where it probably should not have been tuned in the first place, just condemned right off the bat. There were far to many other things that were wrong with it such as several cracks in the sounding board a couple that were running behind bridges and buzzing badly. Loose ribs etc.

It was a Baldwin spinet only tuned 3 or 4 times in 50 years. It was the kind where the stickers went up through the wooden rail. The rail itself was slightly warped. Enough so, that the angle had changed causing the stickers to go upwards and backwards - towards the action at the same time, not only elongating the bushings but, severely sticking in the bushings because of it. Plus, 3 or 4 of the bushings were coming out.

All the hammer flanges were so loose, hammers were just flopping. Why they didn't bother to at least tighten the flanges while they had the action out 4 times, is beyond me but, they didn't. Of course, while the action is in place, you can't get at the screws. Both the key-bed and action rail are in the way.

Hammers were badly worn due to the flanges being loose. I eased key bushings, got it to playing at least, fixed the really horrible sounding strings that were replaced with 4, 3 and 2 coils, (tuned them I mean) and then said, you know, if it were me, I would not have worked on it in the first place. It's time to get a replacement piano. There are just to many other things wrong with it. They accepted that figuring I might be telling them so before I arrived. So, there goes another piano that bites the dust.

Sad. Had that piano been properly cared for throughout the years, it would have probably still been sounding okay today.
Posted by: Dave Stahl

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 03/10/09 09:49 AM

I had an interesting one late last week: a Yamaha U-1, only 6 years old. The customer had told me that some of the notes didn't make much sound. Just kind of thudded. The piano had come to sunny (at least for the moment) California from Philadelphia about a year ago.

When I got there, I found that most of the hammers were blocking against the strings. First thought was the change in climate messed with the let off. Not so. The checks were way out of regulation. I thought that maybe the balance rail had changed dimensionally with the weather. Not so. All other facets of the regulation--besides checking--were just about perfect.

I regulated the checks, and everything was fine. While bending wires, I wondered why this might occur. I've seen it before as a result of extreme changes in blow distance (way too much negative lost motion causing the checks to be too far forward), but never in a Yamaha. While it's a mystery that will probably never be answered, I figured that it must have been a tech trying to solve the problem some Yamahas have of notes bobbling occasionally.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 03/10/09 02:57 PM

My first thought was, were the dags in place for the move? That's what they are for after all, to keep the action in place during moving. I wonder if they weren't, if the action could slide around enough to cause that?
Posted by: Dave Stahl

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 03/18/09 12:07 AM

I thought I'd try to revive this topic, as today turned out to be an interesting day.

I tuned 5 pianos today. Each of them had a small or large issue or two to contend with in addition to the tuning.

1.A Walter 190 grand: way too bright, but right at pitch after 9 months without being tuned. I spent the extra 1/2 hour doing a "coarse" voicing to soften it up.

2. Samick SG 150 petite grand: As a prelude, when I opened the door (I have access via lock box combination hidden away in the shed), I heard beep-beep-beep, and thought "oh crap." "Please enter code" said the little display. The alarm went off. The cops came. I called the owner. Welcome to San Francisco, kid. I learned repinning action parts on this instrument. Lots of graphite or something in them there flanges. 3 jacks and 3 hammers today(not ones I'd fixed before) after a 2 year period of relative calm. And the pedal pin had pushed out of the pedal and bracket, so I reinsterted it. New grommet needs to be ordered.

3. Kawai RX 3, pretty new: No real problems, just some creaks starting in the rep springs, and a sqeaky pitman. Adjusted upstop rail as I had the action out. Pitch raise, tune 440.

4. George Steck spinet, circa 1940s: Interesting piano. You can actually remove the action without disconnecting any stickers (though I didn't do it today). Broken pedal assist spring, causing too much weight on the dowel, which lifted some dampers off the strings. Replaced spring, added felt to bottom of pedal to get rid of scraping sound at interface. 20-60cents flat. Pitch raise only, per time limitations.

5. Steinberg upright, 2 years old. No big problems, but an annoying creak when pedal pushed. Lubed damper lever springs with Protek MPL 1 (vaseliny looking stuff, good for this sort of thing) and spring tool. Kind of a PITA, but noise gone.

It was a long day. The fact is, piano techs can earn decent money, but doing so requires a fair amount of elbow grease and thinking on your feet.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 03/18/09 02:38 PM

Nice post Dave. It can be frustrating when almost every piano has a problem or two.

I like the easy stuff too. Yesterday, Gulbransen spinet. Had my son with me. Push one key down, a whole bunch go down. "Jer, what is it?" He guessed something under the keys? After a few guesses, I finally hauled out the pencil crammed between the stickers and back checks. problem solved.

This next one should really be titled problem hearing:

Customer, had a good RPT come in and tune the piano. Wasn't happy. RPT returned 3 different times trying everything he could think of, tuned it sharp, flat, in tune and nothing helped. Finally, he recommends me.

I come in, tune it, have him set down and check everything he complained about with the other tuner. "Marvelous, he said, just marvelous, I love it!" I said, play it again. Then, I went up and down the scale, all the way up, all the down, up down etc.... "Beautiful, good job."

I walked out the door and said to my son, watch, he'll be calling before we come home. Sure enough, 3 hours later he called saying, "it doesn't sound 'true' up in the treble area and sounds sharp."

I returned the call that night with this message on his voice mail.

(Fake Name)--- Jon, I specifically had you check the notes you were complaining about for a reason. I had talked with the previous tuner and talked with him again after I was done. We played them in octaves, individually, you name it, we tried it. You were very happy, remember?

Did I mention that he was also a bit confused? When I got there, he thought I was the insurance agent. And, repeatably insisted that we didn't have an appointment which he made with me himself... His wife said, "I have to live with this every single day!!!"

Jon, you had your hearing aides turned up to the point of squealing. Turn your head one direction, you will get one sound, turn it another, you will get another sound. The piano is in tune Jon. I can come back out and check it but, I will tell you the same thing I am telling you now and will charge you for it besides... I checked it in front of you, you checked it before I left. I know my work and the work of the other tuner. Sorry Jon, but, it is your hearing and/or, the hearing aides not the piano or the tunings.

Next day... He calls back... Jerry, I talked with my oldest brother who also wears hearing aides. He said, that he can no longer listen to his old records as they all sound so distorted and very out of tune that it drives him nuts. I guess that's what is happening to me too! I never heard of that before, he said. I thought, I have, my dad wore hearing aides, my grandmother and father in a law did too and they do produce different levels of hearing than normal hearing does sometimes. Especially when you have it cranked up to the point of squealing with or without loud noises. Just try dropping a plate near them and watch them jump out of their skin from the shattering plate! He readily accepted that he was the problem.

Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 03/21/09 01:01 PM

Did you know that a portion of the pedal lyre on Kawai grands, (I don't know if all of them are this way or not but, The RX-3 is for sure, the year of this one is 2006) the lower box of it anyway, is partial PVC? What a pain to work with! No wonder they come unglued all of the time! If you clamp them like you normally would with a full wooden pedal lyre, you will SPLIT the plastic around the wooden posts that enter into the box into tiny little spider lines.. Ask me how I found this out???

Cost me $142 to have my re-finisher repair it.
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Piano problems encountered. - 03/21/09 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos
[...] Hey Horowitzian, I would try to delete your profile stuff and then try loading it again. Might reset the whole thing there.

I just saw this...it fixed itself some weeks ago in the most mysterious fashion. Perhaps Frank waved his magic wand. grin