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I'm new to this whole piano repair thing, but I was hoping that you guys could give me some very basic information. I have an old Schubert Piano (upright) that is missing its sostenuto rod. Guides are still there, so i can imagine where it runs, but I'm having a tough time understanding where/how it connects to the action.
I can't seem to find any photos or videos online that shows how this rod interacts with the action. Can you help a newbie out?
Eric, are you referring to the far left pedal (soft pedal)? If so, it typically operates a wooden dowel inside the left wall of the piano, which basically pushes the hammer rail closer to the strings, shortening the strike distance and softening the sound.
If you're referring to the middle pedal, it could have several functions. Sostenuto is by far the least common on uprights, as Jurgen said. Not very familiar with Schubert uprights myself so I'll let others answer that one for you.
Just to cover all the bases, if you happen to be referring to the RIGHT pedal (sustain, but not normally called sostenuto), it operates in a very similar way to the soft pedal, with a rod on one side or the other, but interacts with the dampers instead of the hammers.
Thanks for the clarification! You are correct, I'm not certain that this is in fact the sostenuto rod. I'm talking about the rod that connects to the middle pedal. The rod itself would run up the right side of the piano. There are two other fully connected rods (damper and sustain, I believe).
It is a strong possibility that I could have run a practice/muffler rail. Quite often these are removed from the old uprights when the felt is either eaten away or a tech perhaps tired of it being in "his way?" Look for a couple of screw holes - one on the inside of each case end. Another clue may be a couple of stop blocks with felt cushions which seem to have no function, or leather/felt padding wrapped around the action bolts to serve as stops for that missing rail.
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If the rod goes up the right side of the piano as you say, it most likely was some type of mute pedal (aka practice pedal, or silent pedal). Like BDB suggested, you might be missing more than just the rod.
EDIT: crossposted with Phil, but it looks like we're all saying pretty much the same thing.
These "practice" pedals have been standard for years on pretty much any Asian uprights, as well as most American. But the mechanism is slightly different now, it usually uses a cable system instead of the wooden rod. Some of the more experienced technicians around here would probably be able to help you more, either find or make a replacement part.