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#1652983 - 04/02/11 07:57 AM clicking noise of key action
jordan2xyx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/15/11
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 08:57 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]
Dan Casdorph Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 403
Loc: Morgantown, West Virginia
Is the piano a grand or upright? If its an upright, is it a direct or indirect action?
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Morgantown, WV
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#1653012 - 04/02/11 09:18 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: Dan Casdorph]
jordan2xyx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/15/11
Posts: 10
It is a grand piano.

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#1653016 - 04/02/11 09:25 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3845
Loc: 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 10:59 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1397
Loc: PA
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.


Edited by daniokeeper (04/02/11 11:02 AM)
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Piano Tuning & Repair
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(semi-retired)

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#1653070 - 04/02/11 11:21 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: daniokeeper]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2596
Loc: PA
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.
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#1653082 - 04/02/11 11:44 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: Loren D]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1397
Loc: PA
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)

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#1653093 - 04/02/11 12:09 PM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2596
Loc: PA
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

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#1653107 - 04/02/11 01:05 PM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1359
Loc: 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

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#1653145 - 04/02/11 01:56 PM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2152
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.



Edited by charleslang (04/02/11 01:58 PM)
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Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California

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#1654008 - 04/03/11 11:07 PM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: jordan2xyx]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: 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.
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Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1654238 - 04/04/11 11:06 AM Re: clicking noise of key action [Re: Supply]
mupianotech Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 39
Loc: 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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