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Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? #1405691 03/28/10 04:24 PM
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Carol I. Offline OP
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Yesterday we were piano shopping at a Steinway dealer (the subject of another thread), and I asked the store's owner about installing a Dampp-Chaser. He said he wouldn't recommend putting a Dampp-Chaser on a Steinway because, in his words, they do more harm than good and in particular can cause soundboard cracks.

When I replied that we have Dampp-Chasers on our two European pianos, he said that was a different matter, because European piano manufacturers don't dry out their wood as thoroughly as Steinway does, so Dampp-Chasers can be useful on European pianos.

I'd never heard this before and am wondering whether others agree or disagree.

Carol


Steinway D, No. 528716 (formerly CD-888)
Estonia L190, No. 6552
Blüthner B, No. 150915
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-380
Roland Digital Harpsichord C-30
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Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Carol I.] #1405737 03/28/10 05:30 PM
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Horowitzian Offline
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Disagree. You were fed a load of rubbish. My S&S B has a D-C; absolutely no problems. In fact quite the contrary. It is far more stable than it would be without it.

Last edited by Horowitzian; 03/28/10 05:31 PM.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Horowitzian] #1405747 03/28/10 05:43 PM
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Eric Gloo Offline
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The Steinway dealer you visited contradicted what Steinway & Sons says about the Dampp-Chaser systems.

From the Dampp-Chaser website:

Steinway & Sons

"The installation of a Dampp-Chaser Humidity Control System can, in our opinion, provide a degree of climate control for the piano which may not otherwise be attainable."


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Eric Gloo] #1405759 03/28/10 05:56 PM
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AJF Offline
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More dealer lies. And btw, companies like Bosendorfer, Fazioli and Shigeru Kawai dry their soundboards longer than Steinway.



Pianist, Composer
Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: AJF] #1405762 03/28/10 06:01 PM
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Steve Cohen Offline
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Also disagree.


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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Steve Cohen] #1405787 03/28/10 06:43 PM
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Dave Ferris Offline
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Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Dave Ferris] #1405790 03/28/10 06:52 PM
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Furtwangler Offline
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You know, if stuff like this weren't so pathetically sad, it would be funny.


Amateur Pianist and raconteur.
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Furtwangler] #1405817 03/28/10 07:26 PM
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JD Grandt Offline
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It is nothing short of a marketing miracle that Steinway manages with these types of representatives.

DampChasers? For a home, I've given up on them and promote Venta-Airwashers. Cheaper, far less maintenance and they serve the entire space (ie: humidify for sake of the piano, other furniture and humans living nearby as well as clean the air at the same time!!!) They have a 10 year warranty are neither warm-air (bacteria agents) or cool mist (agents of white dust).


John
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Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: JD Grandt] #1405829 03/28/10 07:48 PM
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Horowitzian Offline
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Originally Posted by newgeneration
It is nothing short of a marketing miracle that Steinway manages with these types of representatives.

DampChasers? For a home, I've given up on them and promote Venta-Airwashers. Cheaper, far less maintenance and they serve the entire space (ie: humidify for sake of the piano, other furniture and humans living nearby as well as clean the air at the same time!!!) They have a 10 year warranty are neither warm-air (bacteria agents) or cool mist (agents of white dust).

I've considered getting one of those, but honestly, the D-C works fine as long as you keep the piano closed when not in use. I have a smaller evaporative unit that works as a supplement if it's particularly dry. Where I am, too much humidity is rarely a problem except in the summer when it rains a lot more. Then the D-C really earns it's keep thanks to it's dehumidifying function.

If you are getting a room or larger unit, you definitely want an evaporative type rather than a model (such as the ultrasonic humidifiers) that merely atomizes the water into fine droplets. The wick of an evaporative type needs maintenance, but it catches the white dust (dissolved minerals in the water) as well as anything else that would otherwise end up in the air.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Carol I.] #1405985 03/29/10 02:22 AM
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beethoven986 Offline
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As the others have said, this is pure BS. The school I currently attend has invested in full Dampp-Chaser systems for every single piano in its inventory... Steinways and all. Find a different Steinway dealer, or switch sales reps.

Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: beethoven986] #1406024 03/29/10 04:20 AM
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Marty in Minnesota Offline

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All of my S&S pianos have D-C systems. They are in different climates and I notice an increase in tuning stability and consistant action regulation due to the D-C. For me, it is a obvious choice.

Last week, I received delivery of a new addition to the family. It is an S&S, Hamburg-D. Upon initial set-up, a D-C system was installed. Even with the transport, it held a very decent tuning during it's voyage. It will be tuned "in-home" for the first time this Friday.

BTW - I always keep the pianos closed unless I am actually at the keyboard. I do believe this little step helps.


Marty in Minnesota
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Marty in Minnesota] #1406047 03/29/10 06:31 AM
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nylawbiz Offline
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Which would be better: a whole house humidification system or a Dampp-Chaser?

Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Marty in Minnesota] #1406121 03/29/10 09:13 AM
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Horowitzian Offline
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Originally Posted by Marty in Minnesota
All of my S&S pianos have D-C systems. They are in different climates and I notice an increase in tuning stability and consistant action regulation due to the D-C. For me, it is a obvious choice.

Last week, I received delivery of a new addition to the family. It is an S&S, Hamburg-D. Upon initial set-up, a D-C system was installed. Even with the transport, it held a very decent tuning during it's voyage. It will be tuned "in-home" for the first time this Friday.

BTW - I always keep the pianos closed unless I am actually at the keyboard. I do believe this little step helps.


OT — Congrats on the new addition to the family, Marty!


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Horowitzian] #1406125 03/29/10 09:22 AM
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Dale Fox Offline
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One has to wonder what the motivation is for such a gross misrepresentation that this salesman gave.

In any case, I put at least a partial system on every piano that leaves the shop. We don't have the extreme dry winters here in Sacramento but rather battle with high humidity during winter and an ocean breeze that cools things down at night during the Summer and causes excess humidity swings on a daily basis. DC systems work great on Steinway and any other piano you can think of. Even better if matched with a string cover.


Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Horowitzian] #1406128 03/29/10 09:25 AM
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jim ialeggio Offline
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Newgeneration..

could you discuss the venta-airwashers a little more...I'm intriuged.

In many homes, the room with the piano is not separated or closed off to the rest of the house. In this case, have you found that this humidifier's effect on the immediate area of the piano becomes diluted, or not?

What is your experience with the noise level, as well as experience with the sales pitch bit about bacteria and mold? I'm not familiar with the product, but would like to see if its worth considering.

Jim Ialeggio



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Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Dale Fox] #1406156 03/29/10 10:02 AM
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adamp88 Offline
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Originally Posted by Dale Fox
One has to wonder what the motivation is for such a gross misrepresentation that this salesman gave.


I would assume ignorance. It's unfortunately very common in the sales world (at large), though I've been relatively lucky to have talked with knowledgeable and straightforward salesmen in my times in piano shops.

Last edited by adamp88; 03/29/10 10:03 AM.

Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
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Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Marty in Minnesota] #1406166 03/29/10 10:17 AM
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Dave Ferris Offline
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.


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2005 NY Steinway D
# 571692
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: Horowitzian] #1406204 03/29/10 10:59 AM
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SophieM Offline
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Did you get batteries for your camera yet? When are we going to see a picture of your B that you love so much? Can't wait!

Last edited by SophieM; 03/29/10 11:00 AM.
Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: SophieM] #1406273 03/29/10 12:03 PM
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Inlanding Offline
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For what it's worth, I humidify the entire room using an Air-o-swiss, and it's done a remarkable job. When it is more humid (summertime), I just won't use it at all.

It seems my sinuses have benefitted from the added percentage of humidity in the home as much as the unmolested 1917 Steinway has as it pertains to tuning stability and overall tone.

Glen


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Re: Steinways and Dampp-Chasers: Bad Combination? [Re: jim ialeggio] #1406350 03/29/10 01:16 PM
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JD Grandt Offline
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Originally Posted by jim ialeggio
Newgeneration..

could you discuss the venta-airwashers a little more...I'm intriuged.

In many homes, the room with the piano is not separated or closed off to the rest of the house. In this case, have you found that this humidifier's effect on the immediate area of the piano becomes diluted, or not?

What is your experience with the noise level, as well as experience with the sales pitch bit about bacteria and mold? I'm not familiar with the product, but would like to see if its worth considering.

Jim Ialeggio


Well as far as the info....check out the website at http://www.venta-airwasher.com/

Regarding the immediate area and dilution of humidity (that can't be the proper way to describe it), that would be something to consider with todays open-concept homes. I use two of the large ones in my showroom and discovered them while visiting the Steingraeber House in Germany last year.
I like them as an alternative because they cater to more than just the piano and have the added advantages of easy cleaning/maintenance and a cleaner (more dust free) home. (Also less dust accumulating on the soundboard under the strings in a grand).

Noise level - quietest I've experienced in person. There are 3 speeds, and number 1 is hardly noticeable. With the last 'other' humidifier I had at my home, I would run it on its normal speed on the main floor and could hardly sleep upstairs in my bedroom at night.
Bacteria and/or white dust...., do some checking around. These are legitimate concerns with exisiting humidifying units and Venta's system doesn't have any of these concerns, period.

Hope that helps!


John
J.D. Grandt Piano Supply Company
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