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#2043979 - 03/06/13 03:48 PM sugary drinks and bass strings  
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 36
BEN120N Offline
Full Member
BEN120N  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 36
Today I have been to a Yamaha U1 at a school. The first 22 bass strings had lost all tone and sustain. I thought that the bass bridge must have come unglued, but on further inspection a fizzy drink has spilled through the top hinge and down onto the bass strings. There is tell tale evidence on the celeste rail, hammers, soundboard and pedal board.

Does anyone know if the sugar will crystalise and eventually fall off, or is it a new set of bass strings.

Thanks again,

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#2043984 - 03/06/13 03:54 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]  
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Zeno Wood Offline
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Zeno Wood  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
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Brooklyn, NY
New strings.


Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College
#2043986 - 03/06/13 03:55 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]  
Joined: Jun 2003
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BDB Offline
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BDB  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
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Oakland
New bass strings, new dampers perhaps, new hammers perhaps, to do it correctly.


Semipro Tech
#2043987 - 03/06/13 03:58 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]  
Joined: Feb 2012
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BEN120N Offline
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BEN120N  Offline
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Thanks for the prompt and unequivocal replies.

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#2044002 - 03/06/13 04:30 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]  
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beethoven986 Offline
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beethoven986  Offline
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Originally Posted by BEN120N
Today I have been to a Yamaha U1 at a school. The first 22 bass strings had lost all tone and sustain. I thought that the bass bridge must have come unglued, but on further inspection a fizzy drink has spilled through the top hinge and down onto the bass strings. There is tell tale evidence on the celeste rail, hammers, soundboard and pedal board.

Does anyone know if the sugar will crystalise and eventually fall off, or is it a new set of bass strings.

Thanks again,


What everyone else said.... and beat the student who did it.

#2044177 - 03/06/13 10:27 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,539
David Jenson Offline
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David Jenson  Offline
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Maine
After a frat. party at Bowdin College in the early 70s I discovered that a rather nice small grand had suffered an angel food cake and Coke attack. I told them to write it off. After at least one more tuner told them the same thing, they did.

Sugar and water is bad for pianos!


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
#2044193 - 03/06/13 10:52 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: David Jenson]  
Joined: Apr 2010
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kpembrook Offline
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kpembrook  Offline
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Michigan
Originally Posted by David Jenson
After a frat. party at Bowdin College in the early 70s I discovered that a rather nice small grand had suffered an angel food cake and Coke attack. I told them to write it off. After at least one more tuner told them the same thing, they did.

Sugar and water is bad for pianos!


All good responses -- Including beating the student(s) responsible.

For a contrarian position, if I were in an experimental mood, I'd unhitch the bass strings and give them an alcohol bath and scrubbing. Water with a surfactant could also be attempted but there would need to be a way to completely dry the strings. (Heat gun?? Hair dryer??)


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
#2044219 - 03/07/13 12:00 AM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: kpembrook]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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beethoven986 Offline
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beethoven986  Offline
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
Originally Posted by David Jenson
After a frat. party at Bowdin College in the early 70s I discovered that a rather nice small grand had suffered an angel food cake and Coke attack. I told them to write it off. After at least one more tuner told them the same thing, they did.

Sugar and water is bad for pianos!


All good responses -- Including beating the student(s) responsible.


thumb

#2044258 - 03/07/13 12:50 AM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]  
Joined: Sep 2006
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Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Let the offending student suck them dry...

#2044328 - 03/07/13 05:44 AM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]  
Joined: Jul 2009
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Mark R. Offline
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Mark R.  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Keith,

Given the unanimous sentiments here, I wouldn't have written this of my own, but as you've already posted a contrarian position: from a chemist's perspective, I would suggest a two-stage cleaning process:
1) Warm water with a little surfactant, to dissolve the sugary spill, preferably followed by a rinse in clean, warm water,
2) Alcohol (or even acetone) to remove the water and act as a quick-drying solvent, followed by judicious use of a hair drier (someone posted about this recently) or personally I'd consider a 10 minute stint in an oven at about 85-90°C (190°F), but I'm not sure whether this would affect the work hardening of the steel and/or copper wire.


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
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1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
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#2044329 - 03/07/13 05:44 AM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]  
Joined: Mar 2008
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Olek Offline
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Olek  Offline
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France
Originally Posted by BEN120N
Today I have been to a Yamaha U1 at a school. The first 22 bass strings had lost all tone and sustain. I thought that the bass bridge must have come unglued, but on further inspection a fizzy drink has spilled through the top hinge and down onto the bass strings. There is tell tale evidence on the celeste rail, hammers, soundboard and pedal board.

Does anyone know if the sugar will crystalise and eventually fall off, or is it a new set of bass strings.

Thanks again,


Plus the taste of the drink get awful when mixed with bass strings


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2044420 - 03/07/13 10:23 AM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: BEN120N]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Silverwood Pianos  Offline
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Vancouver B. C. Canada
Removing the bass strings and cleaning them is virtually the same amount of work as replacing the set minus the cost of bass strings.

Bathing the strings, drying them etc etc is probably the longer process. There is no guarantee all of the contamination will be removed.

Replacement bass strings guarantee success of tonal return.

Soon thereafter the top hinge will have to be removed and cleaned too.


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#2044493 - 03/07/13 01:04 PM Re: sugary drinks and bass strings [Re: Silverwood Pianos]  
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,620
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member
kpembrook  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,620
Michigan
Originally Posted by Silverwood Pianos
Removing the bass strings and cleaning them is virtually the same amount of work as replacing the set minus the cost of bass strings.
<snip>

Soon thereafter the top hinge will have to be removed and cleaned too.


If the bass strings were simply unhitched, there would conceivably be less time.

Absolutely right about the top hinge.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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