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Needling side of hammer #1400451
03/21/10 05:03 AM
03/21/10 05:03 AM
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tedhorton Offline OP
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What are the pros and cons of needling into the flat side face of the hammer?

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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: tedhorton] #1400471
03/21/10 06:53 AM
03/21/10 06:53 AM
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destroying the fiber continuity, then all the reserve that could be used for adding some force to the FF tone is used in once.°

It is too efficient, in fact. One of the french "vedette" voicer does that (and many other imbecilities, as shaping the underside of standard flanges in Steinway "arch" shape so you cant tighten the screws efficiently without changing the height of the hammer center pin - and the wood under the front of the flange get crushed by the high pressure on a small surface!)

I asked all my factory and colleagues contacts, NEVER they needle the falt side of the hammers (only on verticals needling at 90° with one needle near the heart of the hammer one can thicken a little the head on one side without filing).

Because the fiber is in strips, when needling keeping the fiber together whenever possible is prudent. avoid disruption whenever possible (of course strong needling aways disrupt the fiber a littel.




Last edited by Kamin; 03/21/10 06:55 AM.

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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Olek] #1400477
03/21/10 07:10 AM
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also hard on the action centers


Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/
Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: wayne walker] #1400569
03/21/10 12:10 PM
03/21/10 12:10 PM
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Steve Jackson Offline
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Actually, it's an established custom and some hammer manufacturers recommend it. There is a German 'factory' tool, a kind of pliers that is made for this technique.
I use it all the time, as do many other experienced voicers.

Steve

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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Steve Jackson] #1400806
03/21/10 05:49 PM
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Steve, would you be kind enough to say us which hammer maker recommand to needle the flat side of the hammers, and how are those pliers looking ?

I use the lower part with needles, yes but not from the flat side

If you allow the fiber to be distrupêtd at that place then you will have avery mushy FFF, with no possibilities back

The tone get some power, but get smaller at the same time, like if the hammer was getting smaller.





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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Olek] #1400891
03/21/10 08:14 PM
03/21/10 08:14 PM
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That's the way Ari Isaac has been voicing hammers for years. Take a look at the third question from the top.

I believe he has a tool for the job.

http://www.isaacpiano.com/faq.html


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Olek] #1401100
03/22/10 04:12 AM
03/22/10 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Kamin
how are those pliers looking ?


Look for Intonierzange Olbrich:
http://www.jahn-pianoteile.de/html/frames/neuheiten.html

Gregor


piano tech - tuner - dealer
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www.weldert.de
Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Gregor] #1401411
03/22/10 03:46 PM
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HI Isaac:

It is Ari Isaac. It has none of the effects you note. Renner USA warns against this, so it may depend on the hammer. On Renner I use both techniques. It's almost impossible to over needle this way, and with a bit of practice, one can get great results with little fuss. I don't use the pliers. I saw them in the Jahn catalogue last week, and they claim it is a factory tool in Germany, so I am sure there are lots of people using this technique. I use a single large needle in a holder. Some people use a dremel for real hard hammers. It works well, but leaves burn marks that have to be sanded off, but it is quick. Give it a try. You can even needle right under the crown if required, and the needlng hold for a lot longer on some hammers.

Take care,

Steve

Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Steve Jackson] #1401492
03/22/10 06:00 PM
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Hello,

Thanks for the added information. Yes it may depend of the hammer, of the tone you are after, etc. (for instance Kawai hammers are often needled to the max from the start, leaving no possibilities to the technician nor the pianist, only to wait a few years that they compress.



We always tear the fiber when needling, on the Renner hammer you empty the hammer if you needle like this this
It is a last resort dolution for old hammers on ones that are really not providing enough tone lenght, (thick sustained tone, what is called power, also) transforming the zone above the staple in a inconsistent cushion, all the possible tension get higher around the crown and slighly under the shoulders.

But no fundation remains, when the felt deforms under a strong impact the deformation goes less low (down to the mushy zone).

When you are lucky the outer of the felt is more tense, but the inside no.

But as it kills the elasticity of the FFF , the rebound of the hammer get smaller.

We usually can have the same result with only a few deep strokes in the region.

As I have seen at some occasion hammer that have been needled in their lower region on the flat side, after a few years, when the top have compacted and loosed its elasticity, therer is then no tone and no solution to get some back then.

The hammer is "empty" so to say.

Part of the efficiency when needling is the weight of the stroke and its speed, if you disrupt the fiber from the side it tears but not in an homogenous way, all the tension get to the top and the base get inconsistent. The guy that does that on ALL hammers there pretend he is after the "French tone" (understand it as "no guts" !)

Then you can bang on the piano with your feets and uyopu will never saturate, but forget about having a strong powerful fortissimmo !

Practically, the hammer felt "spring" get shorter and harder (ANdre Oorebeck explains that very well in his book on voicing)

Never free lunch with voicing, but hopefully when we begin with good hammers , the voicing stay consistent for a very long time.

I needle with one needle under the crown, on verticals mostly. does not stay long.

Basically when needling the very low part of the hammer we are aiming at some power (because it was not there enough from the start).

It may be appropriated to the hammers you tell of and the kind of voicing appreciated on your pianos (which is different from the usual european voicing, I believe, we aim at the maximum elasticity at forte, to get ther we need some felt density)

That rebound at FFF level allow to get a very differnt tone than the straighter dynamic that exists when the Forte is less strong.

I guess it is due to a reation of the bridges that ascollate back and forth, that produce new partials, the name is "quadratic effect", Del may probably explain that better than me.

Best regards



Isaac





BTW if you have to use a Dremmel to make holes in a hammer you can throw them !





Last edited by Kamin; 03/22/10 06:04 PM.

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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Gregor] #1401497
03/22/10 06:08 PM
03/22/10 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Gregor
Originally Posted by Kamin
how are those pliers looking ?


Look for Intonierzange Olbrich:
http://www.jahn-pianoteile.de/html/frames/neuheiten.html

Gregor


Thanks, Gregor,

seem like a new tool (I knew one for the shoulders, but nevers seen that one) ! It sound logical, but the way the hammer felt is done , to me does not allow to needle like that in a non harmful way, we cut yet enough the fiber when needling traditionally.

I asked : Steinway, Bechstein, Grotrian, Sauter, Petrof (and Mathias from Renner).

plus all colleagues that I know are good voicers.

Did you hear of those tools are being used in a German factories ?

That really surprize me !

Best regards !

ISaac


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Olek] #1401534
03/22/10 07:07 PM
03/22/10 07:07 PM
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Needling side of hammer? I would not dare.

The needle would go parallel to the hammer/string impact line. The result? The strongest you play, the more energy is absorbed by the hammer's felt, while it gets flatter and flatter.

The question should be: "What are the pros and cons of needling the hammers"?

a.c.

.


alfredo
Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: alfredo capurso] #1401781
03/23/10 03:32 AM
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Well , you can listen to the samples from the Ari Isaac site to hear what I mean, the fundamental rebound of tone is cut, and then mating problems are very apparent when notes are played a tad stronger (on a healthy hammer they are adsorbed more in the rebound)

The hammers look nice but I would not needle them that way.

When needling laterally, you produce knots or hard spots in the cushioning zone, exactly what we try to avoid when we chase for those hard spots to break them with the needles.(because the fiber coils are more brutally disrupted in regard of the way they are stretched when the hammer is made)


I guess that those inconsistencies appears in the dynamic, and create those tingling tones that are like mating problems, but probably are located lower in the felt

I am under the impression that with the voicing approach I hear on most US instruments , you aim for all the tone at the impact of the hammer.

To me a good tone appears After the attack, the rebound of the hammer is slower, that allow more energy to be transfered, I suppose.
There is a differencial within the hammer that allow the dense core to come in play only when the deformation is deep enough , hence the importance of a healthy cushion.

Unisons have to be tuned a little differently for that reason, probably. But it may allow more dynamic and more variations is tone.

The quality of the ppp tone which may sustain well and is thick enough tells that that hammer is properly voiced.

Last edited by Kamin; 03/23/10 03:56 AM.

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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Olek] #1401795
03/23/10 04:34 AM
03/23/10 04:34 AM
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Isaac,

I have no idea if or which German factory uses this tool. Indeed it is new, but not so new. I heard there was a similiar tool 100 years ago. I met the inventor on the Frankfurt fair 2 years ago and he claimed that the fibres are less destroyed than with the traditional way. He is writing a book about that and 2 years ago he had a provisional copy of it which he uses for lecture or tutorial. But the book seems not to be published yet. It was very interesting, it contained a collection of the different voicing technics of the top German brands and I believe to remember some microscopic pictures of hammer fibres. I am on thursday on the Frankfurt fair and I will ask at the Jahn booth if there are still plans to publish that book. Perhaps my memory strikes and it was never planed as a book, perhaps it was only his personal tutorial notice.

Gregor


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Gregor] #1403810
03/25/10 08:20 PM
03/25/10 08:20 PM
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Isaac,

just out of curiosity: How do you needle yourself... which tool, and which parts of the hammer, from which angles?


Patrick Wingren, RPT
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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: pppat] #1404389
03/26/10 03:44 PM
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Hi Patrick/Issac,

I just received, The Voice of the Piano, by Andre Oorebeek. It covers many fine details about voicing, the different sections of the hammer, hammer types, hammer shaping, needling, needling technique and where for what purpose, proper tools, etc. The DVD that comes with it is necessary as well because simple explanations with words are truly inadequate.

I've done some minor voicing for pianos I considered poorly voiced (voiced too bright) on which I do floor tunings to begin the process of learning. I am a bit hesitant to do too much, so as to not ruin the felt in the hammer. No doubt having some direct supervision (mentoring) would be a huge advantage - baby steps on this one...

Voicing and regulating is where each and every piano gains its full potential and where I will devote more time in the learning process.

I highly recommend the book.

Glen


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Inlanding] #1408928
04/01/10 08:28 PM
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what are the signs that tell you , you need new hammers.
i hope this is the right forum.
thanks,
paul

Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Inlanding] #1409542
04/02/10 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Inlanding
Hi Patrick/Issac,

I just received, The Voice of the Piano, by Andre Oorebeek[...]
I highly recommend the book.


Thanks for your input, Glen, I'm in the process of ordering it myself. Just have to get a bunch of tools squeezed into the same shipment from Germany. smile



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Musician, arranger, composer

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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: pppat] #1409560
04/02/10 04:58 PM
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The Oorebeek book is good for what it covers. However, the depth of the subject is so great that it is impossible to be comprehensive. Nothing substitutes for experience and experimentation, and unfortunately, that may mean ruining a few sets of hammers.


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: tedhorton] #1428684
05/03/10 12:09 AM
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This is the method I recommend to start needling on a set of hammers. It is most effective with the least potential for damage and the greatest potential to be reversable. My article in the PTG Journal goes into the details.

That said, I am not "stuck" (so-to-speak grin ) on any kind of needling or voicing technique. Ultimately you have to do whatever is necessary. If one approach doesn't work, you move to a more aggressive approach. That may mean even stabbing straight down deep into the striking point. But that is definitely not the place to start.

Also, someone mentioned in a previous post that there are other aspects besides needling that affect piano tone.


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: kpembrook] #1446541
05/30/10 09:48 AM
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I have received an article from PTG written by Mr. Akins yesterday. I have red it, and it seemed very interesting, and logical. Then I came to this thread to see what do the other technician think about this method, and now I am completely confused. So, it seems that I shall have to do my own research on that, because, as far as I can see there is no consensus on this issue.


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Bojan Babic] #1446828
05/30/10 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Bojan Babic
I have received an article from PTG written by Mr. Akins yesterday. I have red it, and it seemed very interesting, and logical. Then I came to this thread to see what do the other technician think about this method, and now I am completely confused. So, it seems that I shall have to do my own research on that, because, as far as I can see there is no consensus on this issue.


I have received the same article, Thanks Keith. Keith, would you use this method for fine concert voicing? How would it work with new installed hammers as pre-voicing? I sat in a class on side needling at the PTG Convention in Rochester a few years ago. I tried the procedure when I got back home, but I felt I was putting to much strain on the hammer butt centers.What is the be way to support the hammer? Thanks again for sending the article, I will try the procedure again in the future.


Wayne Walker
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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: wayne walker] #1447403
05/31/10 03:23 PM
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Sideneedling obviously has it's place. If it didnt I dont think people would be giving a class on it at a PTG convention.

I saw the needle pliers for voicing in a PTG journal under the tools section and the person writing about it was saying he used it in the Schimmel factory.

Keith makes certain qualifying statements about this technique and also says that it is one way of voicing hammers.

I have only gleaned the article but I think that apart from teaching the side needling technique, Keith is also saying that this technique works very well on every day well used pianos. A technique which if well learned can increase your income and reputation.

Thank you very much Keith.

Mark Davis


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Mark Davis] #1449558
06/03/10 03:10 PM
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I have just returned from a business trip, where I have applied some of methods given by Mr. Akins. The result on terrible sounding Yamaha GP1 hammers, was very good, and the teachers and students at the institution I were in were very pleased. I just did little of side needling, as he recomended, without touching the inner leyers of felt, and the tone was improved instantly. I shall watch that piano during next few years to see what is going to happen after heavy use.


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: tedhorton] #2537565
05/07/16 03:26 PM
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this thread is originally from 6 six years ago.

I wonder how do you think of side needling now.
Is it still considered dangerous?
or more acceptable?

Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: tedhorton] #2537683
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Hammers that have been chemically hardened will have a crust of hardener on their sides. This is formed like the dark ring around a drop of spilled cofee after it dries. The edges have more solids that migrate there during the drying. The crust is thin and can be removed by filing the sides of the hammer. The tone will improve immediately, no needling required. I can't get enthusiastic about squeezing hammers, with which I've had plenty of experience. It doesn't offer minute control of either where or how much a hammer is softened. It sure is fast, though, and probably has its place in situations that don't warrant a more expensive process, or on hammers that have been practially ruined by too much hardener. As for side needling, if it can do what radial needling can do, which I doubt, it can't do it any easier. When you needle a hammer in such a way that it seperate the parallel layers of felt, the needle goes in easier than when you put it in radially. This shows that the hammer structure is weaker in that direction already, yet you are setting about to weaken it still further. If a hammer sounds hard, why not needle it in the direction that it feels hard,not the direction that feels softer already? I don't see the point of dealing with the awkwardness of side needling.


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: tedhorton] #2537803
05/08/16 01:19 PM
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Side needling? Ridiculous! The action is not designed to withstand side forces like that, plus the grain of hammer felt is such that if you desire to soften it by needling, prying it apart across the grain is much more productive and stable than prying it with the grain.

Needles function as little pry bars stretching the fibers apart.


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Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: tedhorton] #2750644
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Kansas
Side needling is often used to create more flexibility in the core of the hammer. It's done right above the wood molding which may increase compression time of the hammer felt, causing the hammer to push on the string a little longer, changing the wave form of the string(s). The technique can be useful in creating bloom where there was none, or at least improve sustain.


Vince Mrykalo RPT MPT
KU Piano Technician

Science has become the belief in the ignorance of experts - Richard Feynman
Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: tedhorton] #2750677
07/10/18 08:40 PM
07/10/18 08:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,984
Georgia, USA
Rickster Online content
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Rickster  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,984
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow RPT
Side needling? Ridiculous! The action is not designed to withstand side forces like that, plus the grain of hammer felt is such that if you desire to soften it by needling, prying it apart across the grain is much more productive and stable than prying it with the grain.

Needles function as little pry bars stretching the fibers apart.

I'm probably not qualified to participate in this discussion, but that has never stopped me before. smile

I agree with Ed here.

I've not done much hammer voicing on other people's pianos, but I've done a good bit on my own pianos. I've worked with some hammers that were so hard that a voicing needle in the proper voicing tool would not penetrate the surface of the hammer, near the strike point, more than a 1/16 of an inch, if that.

I learned that if I can get a good grip/hold on the hammer, supported at the tale-end with a piece of wood molding, etc... and drive/stab the needles hard enough to penetrate the compacted felt, some positive results can be achieved. If the hammers are hard and bright already, needling the strike-point is not likely to do more harm than good.

The problem with the high-impact stabbing of the hard hammers with the voicing needle is that you are bound to get some blood on the hammers sooner or later. smile

Dan Silverwood, who used to be a member here, and darn good piano tech, sent me video on hammer voicing, and I learned from it. The guy in the video rared back and stabbed the he** out of some hard, Yamaha hammers with the voicing needles, and it yielded good results. If he felt the hammer was over-voiced, he would pound the hammer strike-point rapidly on a wood board using the key. That would bring the tone back up a bit.

I've also used some rubbing alcohol and fabric softener and water solution with some results, but it is harder to control the end result with the liquid felt softeners.

I have tried the needling of the hammer from the side without much results, that I could tell.

Again, as I've said before, hammer voicing is a unique skill that not every piano technician possesses.

Of course, I'm just an ignorant dabbler...

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Needling side of hammer [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2750692
07/10/18 11:20 PM
07/10/18 11:20 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,492
Vancouver, Canada
DoelKees Offline

2000 Post Club Member
DoelKees  Offline

2000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,492
Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Side needling? Ridiculous! The action is not designed to withstand side forces like that, ...

I think the idea is to support the hammer on one side and stick the needle in on the other side.

Kees


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