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Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 #2397721 03/13/15 08:20 PM
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PassingBy Offline OP
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Today, my tech came around, and he said the hammers on the piano are fairly worn. Replacing the hammers is a possibility down the track, so I have some questions for when it does happen. Buying the hammers from Yamaha, he says, will have more accurate measurements because they have the original specifications for each model and manufacture specifically for it. In that case, are there other options for hammers from other suppliers for an old Yamaha C7 (1983) that would work (fit) well and sound good? How do they come, as some sort of screwable assembly or only the hammers? Or how to purchase them?

Just a curious pianist passing by, thanks for your time!

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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2397748 03/13/15 10:51 PM
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What are the musical problems with your piano that you want to solve with new hammers?


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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2397753 03/13/15 11:17 PM
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Eventually, as the hammers are worn out and the tone deteriorates, I'd like a set that would hold up to heavy playing, wide variety of dynamics and tone. That's what a good set does? Preferably, a more rounded sound, but with punch enough where it is needed. I'm not good with tech terms, admittedly.. Currently, the hammers are flattening at the strike point with grooves, and the tone is brightening, but not unbearably so, any change won't be for at least a year, possibly.

Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2397822 03/14/15 06:28 AM
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Can you post a picture of that flattened hammers? Usually good filing and voicing will do wonders unless the hammers have been filed a lot in the past and there is too little felt left for proper filing and voicing.


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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2397830 03/14/15 07:15 AM
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If your hammers are in fact worn badly enough to need replacement, there are many excellent choices available. The marquee names include Abel, Renner, and Ronsen.

On a piano this old it would be common practice to replace the shanks and flanges along with the hammers. Your technician can explain how playing wear affects the knuckles and the flange pinning, and how this impacts your playing experience.

Hammer replacement demands mating the strings and hammers; the string plane in the unison sections must be flush with the strike point of the hammers for optimal tone production. Action regulation will be needed as well.

Good luck in your project! You'll be amazed in the improvement when you go from worn hammers to new ones.


Kent Burnside
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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2397851 03/14/15 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Rotom
Eventually, as the hammers are worn out and the tone deteriorates, I'd like a set that would hold up to heavy playing, wide variety of dynamics and tone. That's what a good set does? Preferably, a more rounded sound, but with punch enough where it is needed. I'm not good with tech terms, admittedly.. Currently, the hammers are flattening at the strike point with grooves, and the tone is brightening, but not unbearably so, any change won't be for at least a year, possibly.


I would ask your technician to talk to you about the difference between hot and cold pressed hammers.


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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2397872 03/14/15 10:05 AM
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Thank you everyone for your incredibly helpful responses!

In regards to filing, there's a possibly related issue that I'd like to ask as well. This piano has a silent bar installed, to allow for silent practising. And because of this, the let-off (I believe it's called) is much more than a normal piano. Would filing increase this distance? From my understanding, the gap would become larger as the hammer becomes smaller.

I do believe the shanks and flanges will be replaced along with the hammers, and I think the tech is leaning towards Yamaha for replacement parts possibly because it comes as a set already. Do other companies also supply parts like this?

A photo- I'll see what I can do. I have taken the action out in the past, and I believe I can do it again. The grooves are heavy, and in the mid-treble (the third group of hammers from the bass) they are starting to flatten.

From what I've gleaned today, reading around the forum, the $4000 I was quoted seems right: this is in Australian Dollars. I've also heard many good things about those brands of hammers on the forums - Abel, Ronsen, Renner- My guess is that it would have to be imported. If I were to procure a set with shank and flange as described above, how might one go about getting this?

I'm sorry for taking up your time with such a long post, but I'm really looking forward for a good result when that time comes.

Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2397877 03/14/15 10:16 AM
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Filing increases the let-off, but that is adjustable.

I think you should trust your tech to do what is right. Good results can be had with many different makes of hammers.


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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2397880 03/14/15 10:21 AM
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I trust my tech absolutely, mainly I'm keen now to explore hammers other than Yamaha.

The let off may or may not be adjustable, since the silent bar works but having the shank hit the bar to stop the hammer hitting the string. It's definitely a compromise, but that's what I just need to live with.

Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2397887 03/14/15 10:45 AM
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The silent bar should be adjustable as well. But eventually hammers wear so they cannot be adjusted closely enough.

You should consider what you might learn by exploring. We cannot really describe any differences in sound which are due to the hammers, or just about any other factor, because our language does not offer the words to describe sound accurately enough. We can describe how easy hammers are to voice, but not the results we get from voicing them.


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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2398335 03/15/15 08:47 AM
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Pardon that I'm posting in the tech forum, but I'm curious how many of the techs here have experience with the latest version of the hammers used on the C7X Yamaha, and whether they might be a good choice? Are they even available, and are they significantly more expensive than the alternatives?


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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2398358 03/15/15 09:50 AM
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I may be off base on this, but I seem to remember that the fine CX series is not only using a rib crowned structure, but is also using a version of a cold pressed hammer.

Anybody got any hard info on this.


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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2399443 03/17/15 07:52 PM
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I have done a little research, and it seems that if I purchase from these manufacturers, they will only sell the hammers, without the shanks and flanges- is this how they usually come?


Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2399591 03/18/15 06:19 AM
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Abel and Renner sell both hammers and shanks/flanges. However, you don't have to use the same brand; a Yamaha-style flange from Tokiwa, for example, will fit the action rail as well as one from Abel. The hammers are glued onto the shanks either by the supplier or by your technician.


Kent Burnside
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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: PassingBy] #2399602 03/18/15 07:04 AM
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Yamaha's shank flanges are real nice...laminated and probably stabilized wood where the bushings are drilled. I'd prefer them over the other shanks. Though I prefer them over other wood shanks, WNG composite/CF shanks are what I use almost exclusively, as they are dead nuts stable and consistent.


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Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: jim ialeggio] #2399725 03/18/15 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jim ialeggio
WNG composite/CF shanks are what I use almost exclusively, as they are dead nuts stable and consistent.


I'm pretty much in the same boat. After doing two back-to-back rebuilds using WNG shanks and then having to use conventional shanks from a certain famous manufacturer for a third job... never again.

Re: Hypothetically, New hammers for a C7 [Re: BDB] #2401400 03/22/15 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Filing increases the let-off, but that is adjustable.

I think you should trust your tech to do what is right. Good results can be had with many different makes of hammers.


Not necessarily. If you file just to the bottom of the string-groove in the hammer, let-off will remain the same (although it was probably off in an action with that wear, anyway). Only over-aggressive filing that removes more felt than necessary will increase letoff.

As you said, it's all adjustable, anyway.



Keith Akins, RPT
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