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Uneven piano keys #2340506
10/23/14 07:57 AM
10/23/14 07:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 39
S
shah Offline OP
Full Member
shah  Offline OP
Full Member
S

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 39
I was trying an acoustic piano this afternoon when I noticed a couple of keys ended up higher then they should, making the whole set of keys looked uneven. I had to press the said keys down to correct them to their initial position. This did not happen to the piano next to it.

It is because of the quality? Is it normal when it comes to acoustic pianos. If that so, I am seeing a huge maintenance cost ahead with acoustic pianos. For information, those two pianos are of the same established brand but in different models. Thanks for views.

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Re: Uneven piano keys [Re: shah] #2340530
10/23/14 09:01 AM
10/23/14 09:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 305
Texas
S
Steve Peterson Offline

Bronze Level Supporter until October 5 2014
Steve Peterson  Offline

Bronze Level Supporter until October 5 2014

S

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 305
Texas
Shah,

To me, it sounds like your action needs regulation. This is a typical service for pianos, and will result in a much better playing piano. The technician will fix all sorts of issues with your action, including key height.

The fact that this piano needs this doesn't necessarily mean it is not a quality piano. All pianos actions need regulation. Better pianos will need it less, but there are a lot of other factors that go in including the way you play, how stable the humidity is, and the age and general condition of the action parts. All things equal, better pianos will maintain their regulation longer than lower quality pianos.

Make sure you have this work performed by a qualified piano technician (not just a tuner). Properly regulating a piano action is a skill that takes years to really understand.

Steve


Cello, Piano, Electric Bass

1967 Baldwin SD-10 | Kawai MP11
Re: Uneven piano keys [Re: shah] #2340564
10/23/14 10:24 AM
10/23/14 10:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 39
S
shah Offline OP
Full Member
shah  Offline OP
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S

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 39
Thanks, Steve. I am a month old beginner and I got a digital piano. I was at a piano shop earlier today trying to get to know acoustic piano better. Those two pianos I tried are showroom models. They are relatively new and for sure are not the reconditioned ones.

I guess it is not wrong to mention the make and model. The one with uneven keys is yamaha m5 whereas the one which has no problem is yamaha u1j. Not sure which one is a better model but i kinda like the sound of m5. But it is its key action that is holding me back. My a-month-old digital piano does not seem to have this issue.

Re: Uneven piano keys [Re: shah] #2340569
10/23/14 10:40 AM
10/23/14 10:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,106
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Sounds to me like tight key bushings due to being new... or the humidity in the show-room too high? I wouldn't think it was a major problem, but one that needs to be addressed by a qualified piano tech.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Uneven piano keys [Re: shah] #2340585
10/23/14 11:29 AM
10/23/14 11:29 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,557
Sandy Eggo, California
O
OperaTenor Offline
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OperaTenor  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,557
Sandy Eggo, California
Rickster speaks sooth.

NBD.


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
Re: Uneven piano keys [Re: shah] #2340619
10/23/14 01:14 PM
10/23/14 01:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,811
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,811
Reseda, California
The, um, *key* piece of information in the original post is that pressing down on the high keys returned them to the correct position. That means that Rick's analysis is correct. This is a normal symptom of the instrument being very new, and with a bit of playing, it'll go away, no cost involved. It has nothing at all to do with one model or the other being any better.

After a long time, and mostly a lot of playing, felt will compress and wear, and the keys become uneven. The most used keys in the middle go down the farthest, so you get a "smile". It takes years to happen, and the fix is not particularly difficult. The technician just puts paper shims -- they look like washers with small holes -- around the pins under the felts under the keys. It's a rather boring task, in fact. But you should do it once every 20 - 50 years. ;-)





-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Uneven piano keys [Re: shah] #2340673
10/23/14 04:10 PM
10/23/14 04:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 39
S
shah Offline OP
Full Member
shah  Offline OP
Full Member
S

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 39
Thanks all for the info. It looks like there is so much to know about piano, not to mention the lessons smile

Re: Uneven piano keys [Re: shah] #2340837
10/24/14 05:12 AM
10/24/14 05:12 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,073
California, USA
M
musicpassion Offline
2000 Post Club Member
musicpassion  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
M

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,073
California, USA
Originally Posted by shah
Thanks all for the info. It looks like there is so much to know about piano, not to mention the lessons smile
If you want to understand everything about the instrument, yes. There is a lot. But plenty of pianists just leave all the heavy thinking to the technician. And as long as you call him (or her) on a reasonable enough schedule for your piano, I think that works out fine.

If you're a potential future piano owner, I wouldn't want you to think owning a piano is this terribly difficult or super expensive experience (of course they can be expensive to buy, but I mean maintenance). I often tune my home piano about twice in a year, and it likely won't need anything more than that this year.


Pianist and Piano Teacher
Re: Uneven piano keys [Re: shah] #2340844
10/24/14 05:40 AM
10/24/14 05:40 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 932
Queensland, Australia
backto_study_piano Offline
500 Post Club Member
backto_study_piano  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 932
Queensland, Australia
Originally Posted by shah
Thanks, Steve. I am a month old beginner and I got a digital piano. I was at a piano shop earlier today trying to get to know acoustic piano better. Those two pianos I tried are showroom models. They are relatively new and for sure are not the reconditioned ones.

I guess it is not wrong to mention the make and model. The one with uneven keys is yamaha m5 whereas the one which has no problem is yamaha u1j. Not sure which one is a better model but i kinda like the sound of m5. But it is its key action that is holding me back. My a-month-old digital piano does not seem to have this issue.


Hi - I don't know the M5 - I think the M series is the budget Yamaha pianos (they're not sold here in Australia). A piano which is regulated that poorly in the showroom, I would personally leave alone - there are plenty of other pianos around.

The U series are their better series. The U1 has been around in various forms for many decades. At present, the U1J, I believe is produced in Indonesia, whereas the YUS1 is the more premium (dearer) Japanese made piano. I have known U1 pianos to have been used in quite hostile environments (school and Church halls etc) and lasted very well, with almost no costs other than tuning required. I would think that a U1J should be a long-lasting piano.

I bought a Yamaha UX - larger, and the premium line - in 1979, kept it for over 30 years, then gave it to my daughter who, with her 4 children are still using it, having spent almost nothing on it other than tuning - it's a bit worn now, but still quite good.

I would suggest that you don't rush. I've bought 3 pianos in the past 35 years, and each one took me about 6 months to decide which was the one I wanted. Check out what other dealers have, make copious notes about how you like the sound and feel - if you're not confident playing, ask the dealer to play something for you (most can play at least to some extent). I feel myself that the touch is more important than the sound. You could also consider used pianos - you may see a better piano which is maybe 10 yrs old for similar money to a new/near new piano.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Uneven piano keys [Re: shah] #2340977
10/24/14 11:37 AM
10/24/14 11:37 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,897
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
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Posts: 26,897
Oakland
Upright pianos can have uneven keys from misadjusted capstans. That can happen quite quickly due to wear, even the wear on a shop floor, but is usually easily rectified.


Semipro Tech
Re: Uneven piano keys [Re: BDB] #2341043
10/24/14 01:23 PM
10/24/14 01:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,811
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Offline
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JohnSprung  Offline
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J

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,811
Reseda, California
Originally Posted by BDB
Upright pianos can have uneven keys from misadjusted capstans. That can happen quite quickly due to wear, even the wear on a shop floor, but is usually easily rectified.


Yes indeed, but such wear results in keys being too low rather than too high. The O.P. was worried about a couple keys hanging up a little high, and they went right back into place when touched. That's just very new felt against the pins under the keys. Zero worries, zero cost, normal playing fixes it. The most important thing is that the O.P. should know not to be afraid of buying this particular piano for this reason.

The capstan adjustment is an easy one, it's one I'm confident in doing myself.



-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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