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Just completed my first Grand regulation! #1382025
02/24/10 04:12 PM
02/24/10 04:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 551
London, England
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Phil D Offline OP
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Phil D  Offline OP
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London, England
Hi all,

Just got back from my second day working on a Bechstein 1904 Modal A baby grand. I suggested a thorough regulation after tuning it last week and replacing an ivory, and he went for my suggestion, which meant I had my first grand reg job! Barely touched grand actions before... but with some research and a lot of planning, I carried it off!

The action had slowed down to a crawl, which I tracked down to the flange centres being far too tight. Tried a bit of protek when I tuned it first time and it didn't really help, so I started by recentring nearly all the flanges. Hammers were worst. That took the best part of a day. Then today I regulated the damper lift as they were too early and weighing down the action. Decreased and evened out the blow distance, brought the letoff down across the keyboard, and sorted the una corda and sustain pedals.

Had a bit of a play, the tone had improved a heck of a lot along with the touch, massive improvement on dynamic range and control of pianissimo. Found I'd gone too far on some of the dampers, so I sorted that out. Had a noisy key that I couldn't diagnose, then I felt the hammer head and it was loose so I reglued that.

Then I gave everything a clean and a polish, and fine tuned. Nearly two hours later, and I was happy with it, had another play and it sounded fantastic!

Unfortunately the client is very busy, I was employed by his secretary and I've not had much contact with him, so I haven't had any feedback yet. I will look to get some in a couple of days.

It's a great feeling, a step up in my business. He has many contacts, I'm going back for a tuning appointment in May, he wants my to prepare the piano for a music evening he is hosting. The guest of honour is Arnaldo Cohen, who's playing Liszt's 2nd Piano Concerto a day or two later with the London Philharmonic. First time a piano I've tuned will be played by a concert pianist!

smile

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Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Phil D] #1382182
02/24/10 07:52 PM
02/24/10 07:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 41
SF Bay Area
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Mitchell Piano Svc Offline
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Congratulations. Did you have to do much to sell the whole job (and how did you do that) or did the customer request it?

Most of my customers are very reluctant to buy off on a complete regulation. If there's a problem, they're much more incremental in terms of, "just fix what's wrong and we'll do the rest later".


Rob Mitchell

Mitchell Piano Service
www.mitchellpianoservice.com
Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Mitchell Piano Svc] #1382244
02/24/10 09:33 PM
02/24/10 09:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,308
Old Hangtown California
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Gene Nelson Offline
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Old Hangtown California
brought the letoff down across the keyboard.

massive improvement on dynamic range and control of pianissimo.
_____________________________________________________________
Were the hammers blocking on the strings before this adjustment?


RPT
PTG Member
Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Gene Nelson] #1382522
02/25/10 09:47 AM
02/25/10 09:47 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 551
London, England
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Phil D Offline OP
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Yeah they were, some were blocking on quiet play, others were making a zinging noise as they interfered with the vibrating bass strings. I brought the letoff down to the lowest level set on the action. Maximum of 2mm adjustment, I think.

Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Phil D] #1382551
02/25/10 10:46 AM
02/25/10 10:46 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,976
Bradford County, PA
UnrightTooner Offline
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Did you shape (card) and mate the hammers to the strings first? I hope so...


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Phil D] #1382554
02/25/10 10:50 AM
02/25/10 10:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Mark R. Offline
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Mark R.  Offline
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Pretoria, South Africa
Wow!

Regulating damper lift, blow distance, let-off, pedals, re-adjusting damper lift, fine-tuning and re-gluing a hammer head - all that in under two hours? The pro's may scoff at this point, but to me as a non-tech, that's FAST.

I hope the customer is happy, and may your business thrive!


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Mark R.] #1382584
02/25/10 11:33 AM
02/25/10 11:33 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 551
London, England
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Phil D Offline OP
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London, England
Mark - Oh no no no, the reg took all day. The tuning at the end took two hours. Thought as I'd already spent so long on the piano, I may as well do as good a tuning as I possibly can!

Jeff - I did neither of those things... to be honest, because I really don't know how. I don't have the books I need to research these things yet, and as I did the shorter version of the piano tech course available to me, I didn't do much work on grand regulation. Can you explain further? From your tone it sounds like it's the most important step?

Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Phil D] #1382598
02/25/10 11:57 AM
02/25/10 11:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Supply Offline
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I have to jump in here. First off, I don't think budding piano technicians should be doing anything "for the first time" for pay, on a customer's property (piano). Period. That goes for other professions as well. It is surely nothing to crow about on the internet.

Secondly, while the internet may be an interesting and useful resource for augmenting one's skills and education, if you want to be a "real" professional - in any field!! - you MUST invest in your education. Books and conferences may seem "expensive" but they are the best place you can be putting your money.

Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Supply] #1382801
02/25/10 04:28 PM
02/25/10 04:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 96
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joeydonuts Offline
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a customer is someone willing to pay a price. If the price willing to pay is lower than what is deemed going rate, than if Mark wanted to do it for WAY less being a newbe, than that is on him and the client. I just hope that Mark was honest in his ability. Posing as a professional makes for short lived business.

Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: joeydonuts] #1383211
02/26/10 07:49 AM
02/26/10 07:49 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Mark R. Offline
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Mark R.  Offline
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Pretoria, South Africa
Umm, joeydonuts, Mark (that's me) wouldn't touch a grand action with a barge pole. I think you're confusing me with Not a Mongoose.

Granted, I'm currently regulating my own upright's action according to Arthur Reblitz's book, at my own leisure - currently busy adding felt inserts to the hammer rest to reduce and even out the blow distance, because the v-bar on my upright is bent at the treble break...

But that's my own piano. If I ever did a regulation on someone else's piano (which I doubt), I'd never take money for it.

Just thought I'd put that right. ;-)


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Phil D] #1383221
02/26/10 08:25 AM
02/26/10 08:25 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,976
Bradford County, PA
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Originally Posted by Not a Mongoose
…..

Jeff - I did neither of those things... to be honest, because I really don't know how. I don't have the books I need to research these things yet, and as I did the shorter version of the piano tech course available to me, I didn't do much work on grand regulation. Can you explain further? From your tone it sounds like it's the most important step?


Hey, you did what you could with what you had. I am sure that the result was an improvement. It is really up to your customer, and no one else, whether the work was satisfactory.

There are many situations to regulate without shaping and mating the hammers. But if the goal is an improved tone, these should definitely have been done. The opportunity was perfect while you where re-centering the hammers.

I do understand that your situation may not allow you the expense of more training right now. Consider picking up some old uprights and getting refurbishing experience with them. Or maybe “adopt” some church basement pianos.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Mark R.] #1383428
02/26/10 02:07 PM
02/26/10 02:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 96
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joeydonuts Offline
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Originally Posted by Mark R.
Umm, joeydonuts, Mark (that's me) wouldn't touch a grand action with a barge pole. I think you're confusing me with Not a Mongoose.

Granted, I'm currently regulating my own upright's action according to Arthur Reblitz's book, at my own leisure - currently busy adding felt inserts to the hammer rest to reduce and even out the blow distance, because the v-bar on my upright is bent at the treble break...

But that's my own piano. If I ever did a regulation on someone else's piano (which I doubt), I'd never take money for it.

Just thought I'd put that right. ;-)


You are correct and apologize. wink

Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: joeydonuts] #1383462
02/26/10 03:19 PM
02/26/10 03:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 551
London, England
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Phil D Offline OP
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Phil D  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
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London, England
So I identified the problem, and knew how to fix it, but because I'd never done it before in totality, I should have done it for free? I said I'd barely touched grand actions, but this does not mean I don't know how they work, nor have not learned the basics of grand regulation. I've just never had the chance to put what I learned into practice on an entire grand. This was my opportunity, I charged less than the going rate, I didn't pretend to be more experienced than I am, I learned a lot, and the customer will be satisfied. Unfortunately it seems I missed something as the customer is unhappy with some bass notes and something in the treble, but I'm going back there next week so set that right. Sounds like a small problem, possibly a bad bass string that I can do nothing about, and perhaps a misaligned damper or two in the treble. I shouldn't have missed them, yes, but he is happy with the rest of the action now.

Thanks for the encouragement everybody. I hope my professionalism is not seriously in question! wink

With regard to investment in my training, I will be purchasing the Carl-Johan Forss tomes on repair and regulation, and a ticket to the UK piano tuner's convention with the proceeds of this job. That should go some way toward improving my training!

Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Phil D] #1383468
02/26/10 03:35 PM
02/26/10 03:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,976
Bradford County, PA
UnrightTooner Offline
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NaM:

When you go back, make sure that the grooves in the hammers line up exactly with the strings. This may be the problem with the sound. If the hammers had been shaped, this would not be as critical...

Best of luck and just keep doing your best!


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: UnrightTooner] #1383520
02/26/10 05:13 PM
02/26/10 05:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
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O

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
NaM:

When you go back, make sure that the grooves in the hammers line up exactly with the strings. This may be the problem with the sound. If the hammers had been shaped, this would not be as critical...

Best of luck and just keep doing your best!


That mean raising all hammers to the strings, with a felt strip intsalled avove the whippens so the letoff dont happens, or using a hook and note by note raising the hammer to the string , or using a finger under the jack and pressing the jack button enough so the leoff is too late.

The intention is to check hamme rmating.

Hopefully, on an used piano the hammer groves face exactly the strings because of wear. problems arise then when you change that position when screwing the flanges or if you change the position of the action in the cavity. As the lates is done to correct the hammer position that moved slightly left with the wear of the cloth on the left block in the cavity, by evidence when you do so you know what ar ethe consequences.

Some basic regulation , cleaning and lube, never hurts.
That is mostly at the hammer/strings level that you can make an incomplete job because of not training in voicing, shaping etc. A re shaped hammer will be a little ligter and a little less tall (by 1 mm +-) so it may be better to shape , then change the regulation.
But dressing the keyboard (and cleaning the pins) putting back the stroke , then regulating letoff, and checking the springs, is good.

The piano you worked on seem to need many things, as for damper timing, if it have to be changed it was not well regulated, or it have really moved with time (settling of damper felts + settling of key end felts)

In any case, for a grand the first step is to know or apprecite the height of white keys, and level them, they generally have go down in all the medium range( high treble and low basses are often showing the original dimensions)

You will find many informations on the corretc sequences and know how in the KJ Forss books.

There is also a problem whan you begin to arrange a misregulated piano : the remaining defets ar emore audible, hence the customer call.

If he can make the differnce between regulation and voicing, that is better. The best thing is to let him know what you did and what you did not. If he likes your tuning then he probably trust your for tone.

But there are many tuners than can screw up the voicing without mentionning, I would leave that aside, out of a little shaping or very light near crown needling, all things that can't really hurt.) Chacking the hammer mating and arranging the hammer shape are always good but for the second task one need a lot of training.








.


Last edited by Kamin; 02/26/10 05:23 PM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Phil D] #1383639
02/26/10 08:49 PM
02/26/10 08:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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Originally Posted by Not a Mongoose
... I hope my professionalism is not seriously in question! wink


Professionalism? Did I miss something? laugh


Sorry, couldn't resist

Good luck in your education, sounds like you have a plan, although I think pound for pound there is much more value in the Reblitz than in the Forss. Buy both!

Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Supply] #1383820
02/27/10 04:26 AM
02/27/10 04:26 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
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France
Hello Jurgen.

Reblitz have been and is the bible of many piano technicians. Indeed there are alot of detailled instructions, and plenty of interesting things.

But for regulation I've find the basis beteer explained in the PACE manuals (sold by the PTG) .

And the Forss for repairs is moire precise and detailed, when it comes to the concepts on why we do this or that.

Even the grand regulation sequence proposed in Reblitz is incomplete or miss the logical way, going along with a dimensions" rule" that was the old way to approach that (with plenty of "model measurements" that in the end only may apply in some case key level height, hammer stroke, key dip, etc seen as if they had to be in predetermided values, while it depends of so many things that the original action drawing and setup that was intended at the design state rarely is respected more than 80%.

SO to me basic understanding of the reasons why an action have a particular setup is more important that using a 45 mm hammer stroke and a 10 mm key dip on that model.
And those concepts are at last more examined in Pace than in Reblitz, and with more up to date information (may be not as much in Forss, but I liked the repair text that I've read before translation in French )

I will left aside little mistakes that are in the Reblitz, there are mistakes in all books (as leaving more space at the top of the jack when the knuckles are worn). Many things are detailed efficiently but many basic explanations miss (forces and their sence, leverage, acceleration, standard alignments, path of the parts)

Something may be left for seminars and trainings, or for future books I suppose. But the knowledge on action setup and behavior have evolved greatly during the last 15 years , for what I can see/hear.

Best regards.







Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Just completed my first Grand regulation! [Re: Olek] #1458374
06/17/10 05:18 PM
06/17/10 05:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,205
Jakobstad, Finland
pppat Offline
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Jakobstad, Finland
Originally Posted by Kamin
Hello Jurgen.

Reblitz have been and is the bible of many piano technicians. Indeed there are alot of detailled instructions, and plenty of interesting things.

But for regulation I've find the basis beteer explained in the PACE manuals (sold by the PTG) .

And the Forss for repairs is moire precise and detailed, when it comes to the concepts on why we do this or that.


I just wanted to say that I got the Forss books today (the two translated into English), and I want to thank you Isaac for giving me that advice. They both look very promising!


Patrick Wingren, RPT
Wingren Pianistik
https://facebook.com/wingrenpianistik
Concert Tuner at Schauman Hall, Jakobstad, Finland
Musician, arranger, composer

- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.

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