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#1652983 - 04/02/11 06:57 AM clicking noise of key action  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 10
jordan2xyx Offline
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jordan2xyx  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 10
One quick question. I found that some old pianos, including the one which I am taking care of for my pianist friend have a clicking noise once you release the key. It gets a bit annoying when you play quick trills. My friend's piano has a wonderful action but this noise irritates him a bit especially near the mid registrar. Someone says it is to do with the firm leather on the rollers. Can I just if there is a cure or mitigation for that?

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#1653002 - 04/02/11 07:57 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]  
Joined: Apr 2009
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Dan Casdorph Offline
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Dan Casdorph  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
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Morgantown, West Virginia
Is the piano a grand or upright? If its an upright, is it a direct or indirect action?


Casdorph Piano Service
Morgantown, WV
www.casdorphpiano.com
All pianos are bald ones.
#1653012 - 04/02/11 08:18 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: Dan Casdorph]  
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jordan2xyx Offline
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jordan2xyx  Offline
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It is a grand piano.

#1653016 - 04/02/11 08:25 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]  
Joined: Aug 2002
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Bill Bremmer RPT  Offline
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Madison, WI USA
The most likely cause, especially at this time of year, is wippen flange screws which need to be tightened. That would be a routine service on any type action. It should be done first. It would only take about 10 minutes. It should be done before anything else is tried. It is possible that it is only a contributing factor to the clatter that is heard but even in that case, it would mitigate the problem.

The knuckles (also called rollers) of a grand action rarely make significant noise unless they have been contaminated with moisture such as from an inappropriately applied liquid or accidental spillage. They can become severely flattened but can be remedied by a bolstering technique or replaced (expensive) and there will be fairly extensive regulation needed after either.

Hammer flange screws should also be routinely and frequently tightened. They can make a similar noise. If the pinning is too loose in either the hammer or wippen flanges, it will also cause a clatter but either of these is less likely. It would be more likely that loose pinning would only be a problem among a few individual keys than all or most of them.

More information about the brand, model and age of your piano would be helpful in anyone's speculation from here about what the problem may be. In any case, that is all it could be is speculation for none of us can see or hear the problem. We're glad to offer any help or advice we can, however. My guess is that the problem could be mostly if not entirely resolved with a simple flange tightening and correction of the hammer line (grand) or lost motion adjustment (vertical).


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
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#1653059 - 04/02/11 09:59 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]  
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daniokeeper Offline
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daniokeeper  Offline
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Since it's happening when the key is released, it's possible that the hammer cushion rail or hammer rest rail (if this piano has one) needs snugging up.

Last edited by daniokeeper; 04/02/11 10:02 AM.

Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.morethanpianos.com
(semi-retired)
#1653070 - 04/02/11 10:21 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: daniokeeper]  
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Loren D Offline
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Loren D  Offline
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Originally Posted by daniokeeper
Since it's happening when the key is released, it's possible that the hammer cushion rail or hammer rest rail (if this piano has one) needs snugging up.


Yep. That's the first thing I'd check, as it is a frequent offender.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
#1653082 - 04/02/11 10:44 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: Loren D]  
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daniokeeper Offline
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daniokeeper  Offline
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Originally Posted by Loren D
Originally Posted by daniokeeper
Since it's happening when the key is released, it's possible that the hammer cushion rail or hammer rest rail (if this piano has one) needs snugging up.


Yep. That's the first thing I'd check, as it is a frequent offender.


The second thing I'd check would be the key up-stop rail. I ran into a similar problem last week on a vertical with a clicking noise. The up-stop rail needed snugging up.


Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.morethanpianos.com
(semi-retired)
#1653093 - 04/02/11 11:09 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]  
Joined: Jun 2010
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Loren D Offline
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Loren D  Offline
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The up-stop rail can also be a source of buzzing if the locking nuts on top are loose. That metal to wood buzz is just awful.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
#1653107 - 04/02/11 12:05 PM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,378
accordeur Offline
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accordeur  Offline
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Québec, Canada
Jack regulating button felt has hardened-up. You can "voice" them with needles to soften them up. Or any of what the others have said.


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
#1653145 - 04/02/11 12:56 PM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]  
Joined: Oct 2008
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charleslang Offline
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charleslang  Offline
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The noise I've experienced when the key is released comes from three places, spread out over a fraction of a second:
- repetition lever button (hardening of old felt like accordeur says)
- jack regulating button (as accordeur says)
- but the loudest noise comes from the final 'shock' of the hammer hitting its rest position. This sound comes from the energy being transferred from the falling hammer, through:
1. The knuckle
2. (down through the jack)
3. (across the wippen)
4. Through the wippen cushion
5. (to the capstan screw)
6. (to the key)
7. To the back rail cloth and
8. (the balance rail)

The numbers without the parentheses above are the places where there is felt or other soft material meant to soften the 'shock'.

Actions with newer or thicker felt (or flexible buckskin in the case of the knuckle) in those areas (knuckle, wippen cushion, back rail cloth) are most quiet.


Last edited by charleslang; 04/02/11 12:58 PM.

charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
#1654008 - 04/03/11 10:07 PM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]  
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Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
When was your friend's "old piano" last serviced? I mean a real service, not a one hour tuning? Pianos need care and attention to maintain their playability. It sounds like your friend's piano needs the "one in 10 year" service.

#1654238 - 04/04/11 10:06 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: Supply]  
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 39
mupianotech Offline
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mupianotech  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 39
Huntington WV
Again, who manufactured this grand piano? If it is a Kimball product,specificly a La Petite or similar, the jack adjustment screw bears on a very small piece of some kind of rubber-like material that gets hard with age and will click like mad. Needs to relaced with leather or felt.


Paul E. Dempsey, RPT
Piano Technician Senior, Emeritus
Marshall University
Huntington, WV

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