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#2049622 - 03/17/13 11:39 AM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: DanS]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1457
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
There are several piano rebuilding operations in North America that produce quite nice visual detail. The underlying skill, knowledge, and practices that produce the finest musical instrument are lacking at some of these places.

The OP's point was non-original or mis-matched shades of under-string felts are an indicator of shoddy overall work. If that is such an important point that they would reject such an instrument from consideration-I and many other great rebuilders would not want them as a client. SHADES of SHALLOW prejudice! Several manufacturers have changed the color of string felts they use over time-if they get to do it so do I. Of course if a customer sends their piano into my shop for rebuilding and they want to retain the original color-I do it if at all possible. Jurgen has now made that convenient compared to a decade ago.
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In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2049629 - 03/17/13 12:00 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: DanS]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6042
Loc: Rochester MN
Well, if I was looking at a fully restored/rebuilt 1918 S&S-M, with blue felt and cloth, a 1970's fallboard logo, an arched top music rack, and brass brightwork, I would immediately wonder about the skill and attitude of the tradesman.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2049630 - 03/17/13 12:01 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: DanS]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20743
Loc: Oakland
More important than matching colors exactly is matching all the small parts that have changed over the years. Things like rubber buttons and nails, particularly when something else was used originally. Too often the substitution is so poor that the replacements fail to stay in place.
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#2049657 - 03/17/13 12:55 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
DanS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 469
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
The OP's point was non-original or mis-matched shades of under-string felts are an indicator of shoddy overall work.
No, I never said that. I said my initial impression was that if the rebuilder didn't take the time to get the 'right' colored felt, than what other thing didn't the rebuilder take the time to do. Also, I was curious as to what the people here thought. It certainly wasn't a condemnation, just a question.


Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
If that is such an important point that they would reject such an instrument from consideration-I and many other great rebuilders would not want them as a client.
I never said I would reject an instrument with the wrong colored felt from consideration, although it would give me pause.


Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
SHADES of SHALLOW prejudice!
Try reading a little more carefully before hurling insults. I don't think it's fair to put words in my mouth, and then insult me for those words.


I certainly didn't expect my innocuous question about felt color would illicit such strong responses! If it's not a big deal, than why not use brown and yellow felt the next time an expensive Steinway come in for rebuilding! wink
_________________________
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

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#2049701 - 03/17/13 01:52 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: DanS]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1457
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I did say "IF" Dan. No insult was intended. If you realized how much detail work, skill and knowledge goes into correcting things like araffes, capo bar profiles and elevations, poorly spaced tuning pin, hitch pin, and bridge layouts (both for even spacing, avoiding conflicting front and neighboring note back bridge pins, and best speaking lengths) getting properly aged wood for bridges/soundboard/pinblock, etc., you would look deeper first when inspecting a rebuild than checking out the plate felts.

Getting parts plated in nickel is high enough quality is a challenge. Rebuilders are at the mercy of the platers care. sometimes the newly plated parts will tarnish two or three years out and there is not much you can do about it.

Marty, NY Steinway used brown string felts from about 1955 to 1979. Those years are not noted for the highest standards of workmanship. If I put brown back when rebuilding one I risk invoking those memories in potential buyers who have seen that before.

I am just trying to say COLOR is not that big a deal. As BD says buttons and bumpers have real significance to the functionality and appearance.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2049723 - 03/17/13 02:20 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6042
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
If you realized how much detail work, skill . . . you would look deeper first when inspecting a rebuild than checking out the plate felts.

How do you know that Dan doesn't realize what is entailed in a top quality rebuild? Your implication is that he does not.

- Nickel doesn't tarnish. It may darken with age, but it is not an oxidation process like brass or silver.

My reference was not of a Steinway from the era of 1955-1979. It was specifically tagged to 1918.

It is presumptuous of you to think that using a color which is deemed to be accurate to the original would negatively affect a potential customer. To use your own logic, you should not want them as a customer. But, for a very different reason. They should not want you as a rebuilder.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2049776 - 03/17/13 04:32 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: Supply]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3292
Originally Posted By: Supply
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
I agree with Ed McMorrow. Who gives a ______ about the felt color? High quality felt is high quality felt, and this is independent of what color it is.

Quality is of highest importance, of course, but color matters a great deal as well! Colors are to some extent the hallmark of the brand. A Steinway rebuilt with green or blue felt and cloth has something "wrong" about it. Its resale value will be diminished.

Fortunately, we can have our cake AND eat it too! Sure, if you buy all your rebuilding supplies at the one-stop shopping place for piano parts, your options may be red, red and red. But there are other sources which specialize in high quality felts in cloths in a variety of colors - burgundy, green, blue, browns etc.

Nowadays, there is no real reason for not rebuilding a brand with its traditional color of felt, except perhaps not caring. I would put "Who gives a __________" in that category. Who knows what else such a rebuilder is "not giving a _____" about....?


I hope my relative apathy about felt color is not being confused with apathy towards attention to detail. Rather, I am just perplexed as to why someone would be so concerned about felt color when there are literally hundreds of more important things that actually affect the function of the instrument that rarely get paid attention to with the level of detail they deserve. I would rather have hideous pink felt and an amazing instrument than the traditional red and a mediocre instrument. Of course, some technicians consciously decide to change felt color for reasons other than being lazy....

That said, I do agree that if the felt color is a "hallmark of the brand" (i.e. Bluthner, Bechstein) that that should probably be retained. And fortunately, we have you to make that possible! wink
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
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#2049780 - 03/17/13 04:39 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3292
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
If you realized how much detail work, skill . . . you would look deeper first when inspecting a rebuild than checking out the plate felts.

How do you know that Dan doesn't realize what is entailed in a top quality rebuild? Your implication is that he does not.


In fairness to Ed, most people (even on this forum), don't know. They may have an idea, which is good, but they do not work on pianos, and shouldn't be expected to nit pick every detail. There are just insanely minute things that you just wouldn't think to look for unless you know to look for them, such as level strings, whether or not the dampers all lift at the same time, or how far the hammers drop after let-off, on and on....
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2049800 - 03/17/13 05:05 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: DanS]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1457
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Dear Mr. Policemen Marty who takes commissions from dealers who sell pianos to his students and doesn't disclose it and takes on the unenviable task of scolding conjugative licenses.

Dan's post only links felt color to overall approach to detail in a piano rebuilding. He asked no more.

The brass under the plating tarnishes because the plater didn't neutralize the PH. Hard for a rebuilder to police that. And very frustrating to me when it happens.

My presumption on a spec rebuild is based on my read on how it will sell in the market.

Marty, There is a new humble Pope; may his humility rub off on you is my wish for the day. You post frequently regarding technical elements and you do not have firsthand experience. The readers should keep that in mind.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2049840 - 03/17/13 06:28 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: DanS]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6042
Loc: Rochester MN
I have offered no technical advice about pianos. I am a pianist. However, I am curious about piano technology and have read extensively and followed threads in the tuner/tech forum. When I experience a problem with one of my instruments, the tool I reach for is my phone to call my tech.

I did not say that I accepted compensation from dealers. I said that I did not believe that the practice was unethical.

I do take issue when the tech gods upon Olympus deign to descend for the purpose of pontificating to the ignorant masses so that we might be enlightened by your magnificence. If and when I express and opinion, and it is countered with a condescending post, I will rebut it. All are free to state their opinions. Counter opinions are also welcome. It is the manner of the reply which must be considered.

You are not one to interpret Dan's intentions. He even felt it necessary to post his own corrections of what you wrote.

The readers can make their own assessment on anything posted in any given thread. They do not require your assistance.

It strikes me that you are capable of reading the English language, but comprehension is far from your grasp.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2049859 - 03/17/13 06:51 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
DanS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 469
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
I did say "IF" Dan. No insult was intended. If you realized how much detail work, skill and knowledge goes into correcting things like araffes, capo bar profiles and elevations, poorly spaced tuning pin, hitch pin, and bridge layouts (both for even spacing, avoiding conflicting front and neighboring note back bridge pins, and best speaking lengths) getting properly aged wood for bridges/soundboard/pinblock, etc., you would look deeper first when inspecting a rebuild than checking out the plate felts.


None taken!

I not going to BS you, I'm a player not a tech. However, I used to teach in the basement of a very well respected Steinway rebuilder here in NJ. He educated me a lot, since I used to practice on his pianos to work out the kinks (I've also taken a piano tech course). I've seen the attention to detail, and love really, that he puts into every piece he rebuilds. It's an art as much as a craft, maybe more so! However, I only done basic repairs on my project upright that would probably make you cringe!

My main question/concern, and maybe I should have said this in the OP, was a question of quality. Along with the rebuilder I mentioned, I know several other rebuilders, some that do good work, and others that just do the minimum to get the piano sold. When I see a Bechstein with red in the front, and blue on the strings, I have to wonder if it was rebuilted from the ground up with care, or if it was quickly done with cheap parts, and without the love... I was wondering how everybody else felt about this.

Originally Posted By: beethoven986

That said, I do agree that if the felt color is a "hallmark of the brand" (i.e. Bluthner, Bechstein) that that should probably be retained. And fortunately, we have you to make that possible! wink


I agree. I wouldn't have any problem with a Young Chang with blue felt, or even a Baldwin in green. However I would have reservations about spending 40 or 50k on a rebuilt Bechstein with red and brown felt.
_________________________
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

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#2049863 - 03/17/13 07:00 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: DanS]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3118
Loc: Northern England.
What`s so good about Bechsteins?? Honestly . . If it`s rebuilt, the chances are it`s pretty darned old. Like an heirloom, a family one at that. . . I wouldn`t have one in the house. You can`t turn `em down!!

Gimme a little Baldwin any day . . . with green felt .
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"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2049867 - 03/17/13 07:09 PM Re: Wrong Color Felt? [Re: DanS]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3292
Originally Posted By: DanS


Originally Posted By: beethoven986

That said, I do agree that if the felt color is a "hallmark of the brand" (i.e. Bluthner, Bechstein) that that should probably be retained. And fortunately, we have you to make that possible! wink


I agree. I wouldn't have any problem with a Young Chang with blue felt, or even a Baldwin in green. However I would have reservations about spending 40 or 50k on a rebuilt Bechstein with red and brown felt.


Brown felt? Yuck. I think most people would object to that on any piano grin
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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