Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
Mr. PianoWorld - the full interview
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
68 registered members (AprilE, ando, Agent88, almo82, carlos88, 20 invisible), 1,261 guests, and 8 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 2 of 3 1 2 3
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: pianobroker] #1270618
09/18/09 02:45 PM
09/18/09 02:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
F
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member
FogVilleLad  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
F

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
Originally Posted by pianobroker
I'm willing to bet that Samick does not do ANY voicing at all in the factory upon recieving the PREVOICED hammers from Renner. In a production line piano that makes it even more appealing as for consistency and cost savings...
Yeah, but what's the point to saving a few bucks when manufacturing pianos whose MSRPs for grands begin at +20?


Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: FogVilleLad] #1270788
09/18/09 08:38 PM
09/18/09 08:38 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
While I don't have a vintage Knabe, I do have a vintage 1925 M&Hamlin BB, and I must say, as Del has pointed out, hammers can make a huge difference, and the type of hammer really makes a difference...case in point......

On my rebuilt BB, I originally had the Able "Encore" hammer. The tone was not anything to write home about, and I was never 100% happy with it...the more they were played, the harder the sound became. I had them professionally voiced 2 times, all to no avail...within a week, the hammers were hard sounding again, with very little sustain, especially in the "killer" octaves, (5th and 6th) and above.

There were 2 things I had been wanting to do since I had my piano back from the rebuilder. One was to have the Wapin bridge modification, since after hearing in person, CC2's M&H CC Wapinized piano, I was sold on the Wapin. (CC2 posts here on PW) The problem was I could not afford it at the time, due to the expense of the rebuild. I finally had it done a few months ago. At first, I, the Wapin tech, (Roy Peters, who posts here as well and did an excellent job btw!) and my rebuilder, who was there at the time, were very surprised that the sound after the Wapin mod was not that great...the BB seemed to have lost something....that is until a few weeks later, I changed the hammers to the Isaac Cadenza "S" hammers. WOW cannot describe the difference!! The tone was now round, mellow, even just out of the box, without any voicing at the piano, and the tone and sustain were great....This dramatic change was due, I believe, to the hammers.

I believe, if I am not mistaken, that the Isaac Cadenza "S" hammer is a cold-pressed hammer? I am now a true believer that the Isaac hammer is one of the best, if not the best hammer out there, and that the Wapin bridge modification is right up there with the hammers. The synergy/combination of the Wapin and the Isaac hammer has brought out this beautiful tone, timbre and a sustain in my BB that is just incredible, especially in person. The more these hammers have been played, the more mellow and beautiful they have become. with no voicing at the piano! What you will hear on these recordings, are the hammers voicing themselves so to speak.

Perhaps what's going on here, is a perfect match of the hammer to the piano and the Wapin? Could it also mean that vintage pianos such as the Knabe would also benefit from the Isaac hammer? I should also add that I have the Isaac Profundo Bass Strings, and the piano has its original 1925 soundboard.

A lot of that beauty of tone and sustain, is captured here on these recordings I made with the Wapin and the Isaac hammers in place. Please excuse my tuning, it's not perfect. wink Try listening to these files with a pair of headphones, they sound much better than computer speakers. smile There is varied collection here of different kinds of music that shows the range of tone etc that the BB is now capable of. smile GP

1. Ampico roll scanned and played on the LX, "Am Sergestade" by Smetna, played by Margarite Volavy.
http://www.box.net/shared/pmie73stex

2. Ampico roll scanned and played on the LX. "Ned Wayburn's Charleston" http://www.box.net/shared/kdff2xa31p

3. "I'm in love with a Beautiful Girl", on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/u1gq50bqkf

4. "Fascination" on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/3ivfosjnz6

5. "La Vie en Rose" on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/lpb096nef1

6. "Dancing in the Dark" on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/eb4bmh0uoa

7. "Reflets dans L'eau" by Ravel, on the Ampico http://www.box.net/shared/b3krit1mgd

8. "Ever Lovers, Never Friends" on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/903txqcqqm

9. "Alabamy Bound" on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/zs8756b7cz

10. "If you Knew Susie, Like I Know Susie" on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/shkulmq4nc

Last edited by grandpianoman; 09/18/09 10:10 PM.
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Grandpianoman] #1270809
09/18/09 10:07 PM
09/18/09 10:07 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,925
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
K
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Keith D Kerman  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
K

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,925
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Grandpianoman,

If your piano lost something when the Wapin was first installed, then your piano made a dramatic improvement from having the new hammers put on, why do you credit the wapin?


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
www.pianocraft.net
check out http://sitkadoc.com/
www.twitter.com/pianocraft https://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Keith D Kerman] #1270810
09/18/09 10:14 PM
09/18/09 10:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Hello Keith,

Because after the Wapin with the Able hammers, the piano did not sound like does now. I had this piano over 2 years and was very aware of its tone, timbre, and sustain.

I lived with the Wapin and the Able's for several weeks, was not happy with the sound, then changed to the Isaac hammers...the transformation was dramatic ...the piano never sounded this good until I changed both the Wapin and the hammers, and, the piano originally, without the Wapin and the Isaac hammers, never had the tone and sustain it has now.

So I came to the conclusion that the correct hammer and the Wapin, in this case, contributed to the great sound I have now.

Last edited by grandpianoman; 09/18/09 10:31 PM.
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Grandpianoman] #1270813
09/18/09 10:41 PM
09/18/09 10:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
C
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member
charleslang  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
I gotta try some of those Isaac hammers. Thanks for sharing your story grandpianomadam. My piano has Abel hammers, and I believe they are the 'encore' hammers. I have only learned from the technicians who did the work that they are a 'custom' Abel hammer. The encores sold by Wally Brooks are custom made by Abel, so my hammers might be the same kind you had. I'm not fully happy with them (but haven't yet given up).

The recordings are wonderful.


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: charleslang] #1270820
09/18/09 11:09 PM
09/18/09 11:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Hello Charles,

Thanks for the compliment on the recordings.

Yes, you do have the same hammer as I had. What I found is that even after 2 professional voicings of the Able's, within a week, sometimes less, they were right back where they were, hard and brittle sounding, with no overtones like you hear now.

Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Grandpianoman] #1270826
09/18/09 11:20 PM
09/18/09 11:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
C
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member
charleslang  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
'Brittle' is the perfect word to describe what my hammers sound like. I can pluck the strings by hand and hear more the tone I like than by hitting a key in some cases.


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: charleslang] #1270845
09/19/09 12:03 AM
09/19/09 12:03 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
C
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member
charleslang  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
The round tone with lots of fundamental that comes from the Isaac Hammers (both from pianomadam and on Ari Isaac's web site) reminds me of the Bösendorfer sound.


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Grandpianoman] #1271024
09/19/09 11:21 AM
09/19/09 11:21 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12
north carolina
M
moss Offline OP
Junior Member
moss  Offline OP
Junior Member
M

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12
north carolina
Thanks for sharing the recordings and your experiences with different hammers.


moss
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: moss] #1271039
09/19/09 11:51 AM
09/19/09 11:51 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
You're welcome Moss.

Here are a few more recordings.

1. "Oh Danny Boy" on the LX (Jazzy version) http://www.box.net/shared/fv9y9obc9y

2. "Jeux Deux" on the Ampico http://www.box.net/shared/en11ygvo8s

Someone had asked me if there was any processing used on these recordings, reverb etc. No processing was used other than a boost in the overall volume in Audacity.

The setup is actually quite simple, 2 Rode NT5 mics and the Samson Zoom H4 digital recorder. The mic switch on the Zoom was set to "low", hence my boosting of the overall volume level when converting the WAV file to an MP3 in Audacity.

Last edited by grandpianoman; 09/19/09 01:43 PM.
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Grandpianoman] #1271214
09/19/09 04:51 PM
09/19/09 04:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Here is another recording.....a jazz version of "Round Midnight" played on the LX.

The piano is slightly out of tune, but never the less, this song uses pretty much the whole piano scale, and shows how great the hammers and the Wapin work synergistically with the M&H BB for tone, timbre, and sustain.

"Round Midnight" on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/bd8bdedl72

Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Grandpianoman] #1271785
09/20/09 08:13 PM
09/20/09 08:13 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
R
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member
RoyP  Offline
500 Post Club Member
R

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
Thanks for posting this, Grandpianoman. GPM has been sending me recordings throughout this process, and I agree with him that the Isaacs hammers really made a huge difference. I haven't heard the piano in person since the new hammers were put on, only in recordings, but they are obviously great hammers. I want to try some soon. That said, I can definitely also hear the Wapin quality to the sound. I have done enough of these that I hear it when it's there. I don't know how you get to that sound otherwise. Several of these tunes, "Oh Danny Boy" for one, really show off Wapin. Definitely use headphones!

I would also like to say that I was most impressed by the player units on this piano. Having both an Ampico and an LX system on the same piano in itself is just incredible. I'm glad that I got to see it. I've done quite a few player installations, and understand the difficulty. You look at the bottom of that piano and you wonder how they fit it all in there. It made me afraid to touch it. Since I needed to wedge up the bottome of the soundboard, to support the bridges while pounding bridge pins, it was a little daunting. If you haven't heard a well regulated Ampico system, it's a real treat. It really puts a "pop" into the keystroke, like a concert pianist would, that is missing in most computerized systems on the market. The LX was wonderful as well, and equally impressive. Randy did a great job with these. I intend to go learn to install the LX soon.

Grandpianoman has a one of a kind, beautiful, inspiring piano. I am happy to have had a small part in it.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: pianobroker] #1271788
09/20/09 08:19 PM
09/20/09 08:19 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 13
A
Ari Offline
Junior Member
Ari  Offline
Junior Member
A

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Hello piano world. I am Ari Isaac, this is my first posting. I’m glad to be here and I hope my limited knowledge and wide experience willbe benefit some.



I had the good fortune to grow up in a family where both my parents were classical music lovers and both played piano and violin. The first vynil recordings I was presented with, when I was 13, were of performers like Rubinstein, Heifetz, Millstein, Kasals, Feuerman, Horowitz, Clifford Curzon and so on. It was those musicians, Heifetz in particular, who formed my ideas about musical tone. I, like Heifetz, believe an instrument has to have the capacity to ‘speak’. The tone must have the capacity to stop you in your tracks and make you, seduce you, compel you by its beauty, colour, richness, to listen. By the time, after having tuned pianos and rebuilt them for 20 years, when my total frustration with available hammers and their tonal shortcomings, convinced me to make my own hammers, I had the tone I was aiming for implanted within my consciousness. It was this perception of tone that has guided my every move in the effort and research to make the hammers I now do.


The starting point for a discussion of hammers will be, in this instance, how is tone produced in the piano by the hammer. In the harpsichord, as most already know, the string(s) is lifted from its resting position without being excited, by the plectrum and, at some predetermined point, the string having been displaced, is released to vibrate freely.
In the piano the strings are impacted by the hammer which, propelled by the action, is pressed against the strings resulting in two consequences. One is the displacing of the strings and the other, occurring at the same moment, is the damping out of a significant part of the strings’ potential tone. This means, all else being equal, that the tone we get is the sum total of string potential minus impact loss.
This phenomenon was soon seen as unacceptable and a material was sought to moderate the tone loss at impact. It had to be stiff enough to displace the strings but with enough give to somehow moderate the strident tone otherwise attained. As we all know, compressed wool fibers were found to be ideal because wool is flexible. This flexibility was seen to be ideal because it allowed the early hammers to be both stiff enough and forgiving enough to attain musical, color changing, tone. I’m not sure everyone understood the concept back then. Alfred Dolge certainly understood as proven by his most advanced hammer design: the felt stuffed and fastened into a molding shaped like an open clothes pin. This shape has flexibility as its prime design feature and, sure enough, was not accepted.
From about 1860 to 1950 compressed wool, hammer felt was left relatively flexible and often needed to be stiffened here and there to the levels required by differing soundboard response and concert hall sizes.
Since the 1950s the felts and the hammer making equipment have been changed to produce a hammer with an inflexible felt mass. This was done to accommodate greatly reduced press time; from a few hours or overnight pressing duration to as little as twenty minutes. with a blatant disregard of musical tone qualities such as musical color change as a function of playing intensity and string tone sustain. Such a felt mass does not flex and is adjusted, voiced, by needling which succeeds only in creating some movement in the felt mass repeatedly canceled by hammer/string impacts and natural drying out of the felt mass. the present chemical treatment of the felt as well as the heavy use of stiffening agents means a very dry felt for hammer makers to use.

Isaac hammers are made to function as a felt compression spring with the capacity to flex, that is, to be compressed by the impact on the strings. This compression builds up resistance not merely in the layers adjacent to the strings but throughout the hammer. As the two forces acting on the hammer change in relative importance: the inertia being gradually dissipated and gravity attaining a relative increase, there comes the point, just as the hammer would leave the string due to gravity, when the compression in the Isaac hammer releases and by lifting the string returns to it the lost parts of the string’s potential tone. An automatic consequence of Isaac’s design is a wide color range since the hammer’s flexing is a function of the playing intensity. The result is, you don’t need to voice for a color or a dynamic range, those are built into the hammer and are there right out of the box. Also, the hammers do, to a considerable extent, voice themselves due to the gradual relaxing of the inner compression imparted by the hammer press being limited by the tension around the outer layers. The Isaac hammer gradually achieves a balance which takes about 20/30 hours of playing.
The hammer felt selected for Isaac hammers is the least pre-treated in the industry and, consequently allows Isaac hammers to have the longest lifespan in the industry.

The Classical West hammer is a design aiming at increasing the spring of the hammer, even beyond the flexing capacity of the Isaac hammer, thus increasing the compression and the subsequent release resulting in a broader tonal spectrum.
At this point in time there is a patent pending and the Classical Wests have been installed on a few instruments including concert pianos with excellent results. they will be made widely available when enough experiential data has been collected to ensure and guarantee the results. That will be soon.

Ari Isaac.

A. Isaac Pianos.

Isaac@isaacpiano.com

416 229 2096

I make hammers and bass strings.

Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Ari] #1271791
09/20/09 08:23 PM
09/20/09 08:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
R
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member
RoyP  Offline
500 Post Club Member
R

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hi Ari:
Welcome to Pianoworld. Thanks for posting. Let us know more about the Classical Wests as you gather information.

Last edited by RoyP; 09/20/09 08:24 PM.

Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Keith D Kerman] #1271956
09/21/09 06:42 AM
09/21/09 06:42 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 51
T
Tim Coates Offline
Full Member
Tim Coates  Offline
Full Member
T

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 51
I've been following this piano's process from afar before Roy Peters went to install the Wapin Bridge. My understanding is there was quite a dramatic change when Roy did the installation. Only attributed to the Wapin Bridge. What the bridge modification did was to highlight the hammer problems as the piano was played more. The combination of the bridge modification with the Isaac hammers created the sound grandpianoman wants. I've been listening to the recordings he made with the LX system for several months and am blown away by the piano and the recordings. Not only were the hammers/shanks just screwed on and lined up, but the recording was not done with extremely high tech equipment. Go to LX's site and their demo recordings do not seem as good.

Tim Coates
Wapin Company, LLP


Tim Coates
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Tim Coates] #1272347
09/21/09 08:36 PM
09/21/09 08:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
First of all, welcome to PianoWorld Mr. Isaac! It's great to see a manufacturer of hammers give us valuable information. It's like the great piano techs/rebuilders that post here, such as Del Fandrich, BDB, Keith Kerman, Pianobroker, etc....all these guys have some great insights into the re-manufacturing of pianos, what works, what does'nt...now we have someone for hammers!

After this incredible sound transformation of my BB, I am now a firm believer that re-built pianos can be first rate instruments given the right equipment and expertise. The combination of the M&H BB, the Wapin bridge modification and the Isaac Cadenza "S" hammers, have transformed my piano into this incredible sounding instrument, and for that I am so thankful.

Roy, you did a fantastic job, thank you! Randy Cox, the rebuilder of my piano, also did a superb job with the Ampico, the LX, and the piano...thank you!

No one has ever tried to put both a roll playing reproducer and a modern solenoid playback system into one piano. Hats off to Randy, he engineered it all from the start, and put together the Ampico from parts all around the US, and built the "stack" from scratch.

A big thank you to Wayne Stahnke! Your LX playback system is fantastic.

My thanks to both Michael Walthen and Ari Isaac for their work!! I lived with that piano for 2 years, and it never sounded like it does now. It's hard to capture the sound on a recording...in person, the sound is even more spectacular.

I would also like to say thank you to Del Fandrich...right after I received the piano 2 years ago, I was trying to figure out why I was not happy with the sound up in the last 2 treble sections. I asked Del's opinion, and he suggested I use brass bars in place of the rosewood that was in front of the Capo'D'Astro bar, that along with the placement of these bars.....Randy installed them, and there was a noticeable improvement in those 2 sections

Tim you are right, the recording equipment I have is not that great, yet the piano sounds wonderful on these recordings. I have heard that a piano tuner/tech who has heard my recordings, says she can'
t get enough of the sound, it's so beautiful, and she keeps playing them over and over...:)

Here are few more recordings. Again, please forgive my tuning. wink

1. Liszt on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/rioipsjce0

2. "Rythym of the Day" Fox Trot from the 1920's on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/7yejjr76am

3. "That Certain Party" Fox Trot from the 1920's http://www.box.net/shared/6icq33x21d

3. Steve Allen "The Shadow of your Smile" on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/a7kkghvxti

4. Dick Hyman plays Fats Waller on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/3ql8orkf2m

5. "The Desert Song" by Romburg on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/z5hublejf4

6. "Tea for Two" on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/jyfkl1illo

7. Steve Allen/Pianocorder on the LX
http://www.box.net/shared/542cf5xv8p

8. Steve Allen/Pianocorder 2 on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/gmr3y5scmj




Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Grandpianoman] #1272378
09/21/09 09:37 PM
09/21/09 09:37 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,589
NYC
R
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member
RealPlayer  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
R

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,589
NYC
This is a most interesting discussion, and thanks to all who are participating.

It's of particular interest to me, as the owner of a M&H CC2 drastically in need of a new hammer set! As someone above commented, I need to find a local tech who is comfortable with cold-pressed hammers.

GPM, thanks for the audio links (though I have only listened through computer speakers thus far). I am not sold on the Wapin treatment yet, but definitely want to go to a mellower, cold-pressed hammer for this huge piano in a home situation.

Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: RealPlayer] #1272718
09/22/09 12:05 PM
09/22/09 12:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
R
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member
RoyP  Offline
500 Post Club Member
R

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hi Joe:
Nice to hear from you. We met at Dan's Piano Party last year, and talked about your piano a little, if you remember. I think that hammers are the place for you to start. Then you can see how it sounds. Wapin is one part in a recipe to create a certain kind of sound. It might suit your taste, or not. That's up to you. I don't think that every single person has to like it. But most seem to. In the case of both Dan's CC2, and Grandpianoman's BB, they had relatively new sets of hammers already. If your hammers are already shot, you want to start there.

In Grandpianoman's case, the mitigating factor that made changing hammers necessary was the player units. You have to hear that Ampico player in person to appreciate the workout it gives the piano. It gives the hammers a thumping, and they compacted rather quickly. The BB really needed a set of cold-pressed hammers, the degree to which I didn't fully appreciate until I had experienced it. Ari's hammers are very resilient, and work quite nicely.

As far as finding a tech comfortable with cold-pressed hammers...I wouldn't be too worried. They are usually easier to work with. I just installed a set of Ronsen hammers with Weikert felt which sounded great out of the box. I didn't have to do anything to them other than lightly file. This is something that Tim alluded to above. Grandpianoman sent his hammers in to Ari, and put them back on himself. As a tech who has spent many hours fitting hammers to strings, I am a little bit incredulous that they sound as good as they do without being fit to the strings by a tech. But, there it is...


Last edited by RoyP; 09/22/09 12:07 PM.

Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: RoyP] #1272770
09/22/09 01:24 PM
09/22/09 01:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
F
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member
FogVilleLad  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
F

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
Originally Posted by RoyP
I just installed a set of Ronsen hammers with Weikert felt which sounded great out of the box. I didn't have to do anything to them other than lightly file.
Roy, this is the first time I've seen a post here re the Weikerts. What did you install them on?


Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: FogVilleLad] #1272789
09/22/09 01:49 PM
09/22/09 01:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
R
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member
RoyP  Offline
500 Post Club Member
R

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
It was a Baldwin SF10.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: RoyP] #1272857
09/22/09 03:33 PM
09/22/09 03:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
F
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member
FogVilleLad  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
F

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
I was hoping that it was big one! Would really like to hear that piano.


Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: FogVilleLad] #1272909
09/22/09 04:32 PM
09/22/09 04:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Roy is correct, both the Ampico and the LX give the piano a workout, and that's hours a day for me.

Also, the Able's never sounded like the Isaac hammers, even when I first got the piano...the tone of the Isaac hammers is just great, with a rounded mellow sound, but not too mellow...and what they did for the Wapin was just incredible.

Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: FogVilleLad] #1272953
09/22/09 05:31 PM
09/22/09 05:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
C
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member
charleslang  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
Originally Posted by FogVilleLad
Originally Posted by RoyP
I just installed a set of Ronsen hammers with Weikert felt which sounded great out of the box. I didn't have to do anything to them other than lightly file.
Roy, this is the first time I've seen a post here re the Weikerts. What did you install them on?


FogVilleLad, would you share your impression of how the Weickert Ronsen hammers differ from the Wurzen and Bacon felts? It is a little hard to read how they differ, reading the Ronsen site (see following).

http://www.ronsen-hammer.com/html/news.html

From what I understand, the Weickert felt is their 'top of the line' ("flagship for high-end restoration"). But the Ronsen Wurzen is mentioned much more often by rebuilders on these forums. The Bacon is "dark toned", which I suppose means that it is more mellow in tone?

Last edited by charleslang; 09/22/09 06:10 PM.

charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: charleslang] #1272986
09/22/09 06:34 PM
09/22/09 06:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Roy, that's a good question...what I did was remove all 88 hammers with their shanks, sent them in to Mr. Isaac, he hung them for me.....when I received them, I just put them back, centered them, and that was it. I guess Mr. Isaac did a great job in hanging them, because all I did was center them, and there has been no voicing done to them since I installed them, other than the 50+ hours of daily playing, perhaps even more.

Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Grandpianoman] #1273075
09/22/09 09:21 PM
09/22/09 09:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
R
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member
RoyP  Offline
500 Post Club Member
R

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
Charles: I believe that most of the comments on the PW Forum are about Wurzen because it has been around longer. The Weikert felt is a more recent development.

Fogvillelad: My impression of the Weikert was very positive. The piano sounded great, with very little extra effort on my part. It's my new favorite hammer, of those I have personally installed. I believe that it is very similar to Ari Isaac's hammers based on what I hear. It seems that the hammers available to rebuilders are just getting better and better. I think it's wonderful.

Grandpianoman: When I went to the Isaac hammer exhibit at the PTG convention in Grand Rapids, it was manned by Keith Akins. I had never met him, but knew the name. Keith is a long-time Wapin installer, and an excellent technician. I told him about your Mason and Hamlin BB. He said "of course", and that he has had similar success with Isaac's hammers and Wapin. Very interesting.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: RoyP] #1273146
09/23/09 12:05 AM
09/23/09 12:05 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
C
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member
charleslang  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
Sorry RoyP and Fogvillelad for mixing up your names. Thanks Roy for your explanation of your impression of the difference in the felts.


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: charleslang] #1273210
09/23/09 03:25 AM
09/23/09 03:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
F
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member
FogVilleLad  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
F

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
No worries. All I know is that Ronsen's hammers are, from lightest to heaviest, Bacon, Wurzen, Weikert.

Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: FogVilleLad] #1273535
09/23/09 01:21 PM
09/23/09 01:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Quote
From Roy: Grandpianoman: When I went to the Isaac hammer exhibit at the PTG convention in Grand Rapids, it was manned by Keith Akins. I had never met him, but knew the name. Keith is a long-time Wapin installer, and an excellent technician. I told him about your Mason and Hamlin BB. He said "of course", and that he has had similar success with Isaac's hammers and Wapin. Very interesting.


That is very interesting...maybe there is some synergistic component in play here between the M&H BB, Wapin, and the Isaac hammer?

What is very interesting to me, is that fact that is the original soundboard from 1925, yet it does not sound "old"...why is that?

Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: Grandpianoman] #1273632
09/23/09 04:16 PM
09/23/09 04:16 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
C
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member
charleslang  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,187
Originally Posted by grandpianoman
Quote
From Roy: Grandpianoman: When I went to the Isaac hammer exhibit at the PTG convention in Grand Rapids, it was manned by Keith Akins. I had never met him, but knew the name. Keith is a long-time Wapin installer, and an excellent technician. I told him about your Mason and Hamlin BB. He said "of course", and that he has had similar success with Isaac's hammers and Wapin. Very interesting.


That is very interesting...maybe there is some synergistic component in play here between the M&H BB, Wapin, and the Isaac hammer?

What is very interesting to me, is that fact that is the original soundboard from 1925, yet it does not sound "old"...why is that?


There are several threads about soundboard performance and age if you want to do a search to see what's been said.

One major factor to sounding good is downbearing of the strings on the bridge. As the board gets older, the years of the strings pressing down on it push it down a little, and when there is less downbearing the tone gets thin, especially in the 'killer' octave area.

One question that I would add is whether in addition to loss of downbearing there is some other aging that affects soundboards negatively. In other words, is it possible to have a soundboard that you adjust so that there is downbearing, and crown, but where the sound is not as good as it could be, simply because of other aging factors in the wood? Or in other words yet, is downbearing the only major factor?


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: Hammers for Vintage Knabes [Re: charleslang] #1273721
09/23/09 07:28 PM
09/23/09 07:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 54
Cincinnati, OH
S
SpectrumMan Offline
Full Member
SpectrumMan  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 54
Cincinnati, OH
The question about the age of the soundboard....

The whole of the industry of piano making has focused on improving the soundboard coupling. If we rely on a stiff and relatively new board to resist the energy coming off the string we will be okay. But as the flexibility of declines with age, the coupling of string with the soundboard becomes too strong. Initial impact pulse traveling across the string towards the bridge and away from the hammer will arrive at the bridge and a significant amount of the energy of this pulse will be absorbed before it has a chance to be reflected off the bridge. Harmonic sound is the result of reflections of the impulse back on to the string at each reflection. These reflections build a standing wave which in turn partitions the energy in harmonic packets, which are then transferred to the board and ultimately to the air around it. If the board is older it will allow more energy to be initially transferred to the board; thus a dead sounding instrument.

The current manufacturing model relies on this green flexibility of the board to provide the right impedance. The Wapin configuration decouples the string from the soundboard and reflects more of the initial pulse back into the string where it can do work to strengthen the harmonic standing wave.


MichaelW
Page 2 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Crackling noise when recording digital piano
by Tommm777. 11/13/18 01:01 AM
Summer Camp Opportunity with orchestra
by pianofan1017. 11/13/18 12:47 AM
Pedal noise fix for Garritan CFX
by HCC. 11/13/18 12:34 AM
Hailun - Out of business?
by StevenG. 11/13/18 12:12 AM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics188,309
Posts2,760,584
Members91,477
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2