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Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
Olek #2465071 09/30/15 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Olek
You can try to measure the key height, compare at different places, with a thin metal rule if you have one.

0,3 mm low reduce aftertouch and modify a little the position of the capstan vs the whippen, enough for a pianist to notice it.

Hi Olek, I did a quick measurement by sliding in a thin ruler at the front of the key. I may be seeing a very slight difference (0.3mm would be incredibly difficult to gauge) but hard to tell. In the middle, the bottom of the keytop lined exactly with one of the mm markings, and away from the middle it appeared slightly less exact. But very hard to say if it's real or if I'm making it up!

I will try the other experiment when I have more time smile

It sounds like you have a lot of experience with Bosendorfers and I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge!



2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2465088 09/30/15 12:30 PM
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Thanks,

you can eyeball the key level by looking from the side, the eye exactly at the height of the key lip) but we use light long rulers that are slightly crowned so the center is 1 2 mm high, on most instruments. (so the keyboard can have a light crown up in mediums)

Ed, I think that "butter " touch does not refer to static or dynamic resistance but to the quality of the resistance between damper start then letoff start.

For instance, having a large enough play between the jack and the lever, make the beginning of letoff smoother thatn when the play is minimal (the springs need to be tense accordingly)

The level of the keys is changing the contact point of the capstan with the whippen heel , raising frankly the keys 1 1,5 mm add some resistance to the beginning of the stroke, biut this is detrimental to the end of the stroke.

There is the ideal original lining and some margin around.

A smoother feel is obtained with a lower key level (assuming the key dip is good) but the acceleration suffer.

Twocats, you can check by using 3 fingers (one from each hand) together and pushing slowly the keys, if the letoff and aftertouch are similar in mediums and in treble or basses (which are less used)
That is how we regulate the sharps key dip, by comparing with the white keys, where a gauge can be used more easily.

Regards



Last edited by Olek; 09/30/15 12:32 PM.

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Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2465093 09/30/15 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by Olek
You can try to measure the key height, compare at different places, with a thin metal rule if you have one.

0,3 mm low reduce aftertouch and modify a little the position of the capstan vs the whippen, enough for a pianist to notice it.

Hi Olek, I did a quick measurement by sliding in a thin ruler at the front of the key. I may be seeing a very slight difference (0.3mm would be incredibly difficult to gauge) but hard to tell. In the middle, the bottom of the keytop lined exactly with one of the mm markings, and away from the middle it appeared slightly less exact. But very hard to say if it's real or if I'm making it up!

I will try the other experiment when I have more time smile

It sounds like you have a lot of experience with Bosendorfers and I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge!



Take another ruler that you lay on the keys so you can see better.

But in fact we measure at both extremities, (54-65 mm "under the ivory" or at the surface of the key , depends of the brands) , the center can be higher or with a different measure, what counts is that the middle of the keyboard is not lower than the extremes when referring to a flat surface (generally it is a zone around octave 3 and another around octave 5 that are more impacted, then the real middle does not look so bad but it is also low

If you can find a long straight stick (even if it goes above 6 octaves) you will see better. even a ruler with 2 octave span can show you .

For the pulley (very rare on recent pianos) the keys move front/back a little?
If you knock on the front of the keys you hear the ones that are not tight on their pin, they sound more woody.

To see if there is a problem with the key frame warped or just not perfectly bedded,you play 3 strong staccato notes together , pedal engaged, and see if the neighbor hammers are moving, they should not.

The shank rest rail is easily noisy if the screws are not tight, it also resonates on hammer return when a hammer center have some play .

If you bang strongly on the stretcher angle (the part of the case above the keyboard) you should not hear rattles (push very lightly to both pedals to avoid the rattles coming from their mechanism) It is a little hard on the hands - we also slap all around to hear if there is an open tone at some point, meaning a part of the frame is not tight on its support.

Regards



Here is a trick to make the touch a bit toward buttery :

with the fallboard off, make a strong/firm glissando with a capstan tool extremity or a hammer shank, a small piece of hard wood, on the wooden dowels that regulate let off.

Test the touch before and after .

Does not stay put very long;

While you are at it, the same on all non speaking lengths of strings, front and back duplexes, the small portion behind agrafes ...




Last edited by Olek; 09/30/15 01:15 PM.

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Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
Olek #2465566 10/02/15 12:54 AM
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Olek, I tried using a yardstick (one meter) lying on its thin side, and I think there is a very slight drop in the middle octave and the one above it (also, there are a few individual keys that are a tiny bit lower than their neighbors). The lower octaves are completely flush with the stick and the upper ones, hard to tell. I will definitely ask my tech to take a look at the key dip next time he's here!

Last edited by twocats; 10/02/15 12:55 AM.

2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
Olek #2465570 10/02/15 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Olek
To see if there is a problem with the key frame warped or just not perfectly bedded,you play 3 strong staccato notes together , pedal engaged, and see if the neighbor hammers are moving, they should not.

I just tried this, everything looks fine (neighbors are not moving). I think my piano is in excellent overall condition, and my complaints are very subtle things that I notice because I am trying to figure out what is different about my piano touch from the one I fell in love with!


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2465704 10/02/15 02:59 PM
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So I got in touch with John Slavick, the tech at Classic Pianos in Seattle who had prepped the Bosendorfer 225 that I loved, and he spent some time talking with me even though he was too busy to put me in his schedule when he's in Portland. He said that I wouldn't be able to replicate the tone of the new piano (which is okay with me) since Bosendorfer is constantly evolving their designs, but that I should be able to get the touch very close. He said he knew exactly what I meant by "buttery".

I had been thinking that I need to get a tech with concert prep experience to work on Bo anyway. I think my tech got us 90% of the way there, but I need to work with someone who's used to getting that last 8-9% out of the piano for concert pianists (or fussy people like me).

I've contacted someone who is recommended by both techs, and hope to hear from him soon!


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2465785 10/02/15 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by twocats
I've contacted someone who is recommended by both techs, and hope to hear from him soon!

He called me. And freaked me out saying that he can't speak for the work any other tech has done (i.e. possibly damaged the hammers through voicing), and that tone is tied to touch so I can't really say "leave the tone but change the touch". Apparently the best place to start would have been when the piano arrived in my home, never voiced since it left the factory. We're going to set up a "get to know you and your piano" meeting after he gets home and is front of his calendar, but it probably won't be for a couple of weeks. He's a Bosendorfer-trained technician with concert prep experience, while my current tech is not.

My tech did voice down Bo quite a bit, but he's known for being a good voicer so I highly doubt that he "ruined the hammers". He's conservative with needling down bright notes (endless patience for iterations), and the piano is sounding sweet now (arrived loud and bright, and was still slightly brassy after his first visit). It's now a tad on the mellow side, but I don't mind playing it in.

I know that the new tech is just trying to set some expectations because he can't say anything definitive until he sees the piano, but I can't help being nervous about it. John Slavick was also telling me that sometimes he puts new hammers on a showroom piano that's been overvoiced, and that starting fresh is something that I might want to consider ($thousands). I'm not psychologically or financially ready for that option at the moment.

Between my nightmare last night and this discussion today, I feel overwhelmed. I just need to get home to play Bo.


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2471889 10/19/15 03:25 PM
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The new tech came this morning for the "get to know you and your piano" meeting, and said that there are a lot of small things that can be done to improve Bo's touch and responsiveness. He and I are both not sure why my tech had not done a full regulation-- I suspect it's because most people are happy with the improvements from doing some regulation without the cost of a full one, but my goal had always been to get Bo playing at its best.

New guy said that there are limitations of what he can do from qualities inherent to the piano itself (he plucked a few strings to compare while voicing and we could both hear that one note had much more resonance in the string itself), from my previous tech's voicing which affects the hammers, and simply from age and wear (he said the noisy key return is due to the holes in the actual keys having gotten bigger over time-- he will try to remedy it as best as he can). He worked on one of Bo's harsh notes that had kept coming back, and it was sounding much better, hopefully will be more lasting this time.

He's booked out until the end of Jan but will come work on Bo for 2-5 days then. He's expensive but from all the other tech references, it sounds like he's one of the best techs in the area, and he said that the Bosendorfer factory training really taught him what they intended for their instruments and how to get there. He said that his goal is to make the piano disappear, so that only the music remains-- that is exactly the experience that I had with the 225 that I loved! I was lamenting a bit that I've realized that Bo will never be that piano (though Bo is far more beautiful and I could just admire it all day, while I did not find the black one with modern legs to be very attractive). He said he'll let me in on a secret, that oftentimes the piano that you play in the store is not the same piano once it gets into your home, and that I should just keep the memory of playing that piano as a special moment. He said that Bosendorfers are finicky instruments and need ongoing work to keep them sounding wonderful.

When he comes to do the work, he said to be ready to mentally say goodbye to the piano that it was, since people sometimes get very attached to what they're used to. Hopefully as part of the work, we'll achieve a "buttery" touch wink


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2471892 10/19/15 03:33 PM
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As much as I said I dislike the descriptive term "buttery", I realized that I do have a concept of what it probably means FOR ME. It would be an action that feels light but somehow there is still a feel of some resistance when playing a note. Something like the feeling of pushing a knife through soft butter.

Is that what you're thinking of?

Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
pianoloverus #2471893 10/19/15 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
As much as I said I dislike the descriptive term "buttery", I realized that I do have a concept of what it probably means FOR ME. It would be an action that feels light but somehow there is still a feel of some resistance when playing a note. Something like the feeling of pushing a knife through soft butter.

Is that what you're thinking of?

To me, it doesn't have to be very light, but must be smooth, and definitely with a feeling of even and controlled resistance. I had previously described the Shigeru Kawais as being a step further, like silky cream (ultra-smooth). I thought that the new Schimmels were the best example of "buttery".


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2471936 10/19/15 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by twocats
there are limitations ... from qualities inherent to the piano itself... we could both hear that one note had much more resonance in the string itself ...

It's possible qualities like that may not be inbred but acquired over the years. I've found a bit of close work on the strings and their terminations, including the coils, can work minor miracles. All you need are some old toothbrushes and some compressed air.

PS Thank you for your explanation of buttery touch. It answered a question I just posted on PLV's thread about touch!


Ian Russell
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Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
Withindale #2471941 10/19/15 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by twocats
there are limitations ... from qualities inherent to the piano itself... we could both hear that one note had much more resonance in the string itself ...

It's possible qualities like that may not be inbred but acquired over the years. I've found a bit of close work on the strings and their terminations, including the coils, can work minor miracles. All you need are some old toothbrushes and some compressed air.

PS Thank you for your explanation of buttery touch. It answered a question I just posted on PLV's thread about touch!

Do you mean that the string terminations need to be cleaned? I will definitely mention it to my tech!

(I'm taking it as a good sign that he's booked 3 months out. This process is definitely a trial of my patience, but thankfully Bo is pretty great to play-- I just know it can be so much better!)

I'm glad my explanation of buttery touch helped you! Hopefully we can come to an "official definition" so that everybody agrees on and understands what it means wink


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2471958 10/19/15 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by twocats

I'm glad my explanation of buttery touch helped you! Hopefully we can come to an "official definition" so that everybody agrees on and understands what it means wink
There could never be an agreed upon definition of something as vague as buttery touch. I think it's much better and simpler just to say more specifically what you mean as you did in a recent post.

Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
pianoloverus #2471960 10/19/15 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by twocats

I'm glad my explanation of buttery touch helped you! Hopefully we can come to an "official definition" so that everybody agrees on and understands what it means wink
There could never be an agreed upon definition of something as vague as buttery touch. I think it's much better and simpler just to say more specifically what you mean as you did in a recent post.

I was just kidding. Obviously, touch is very subjective.

Last edited by twocats; 10/19/15 06:24 PM.

2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2472132 10/20/15 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by twocats
there are limitations ... from qualities inherent to the piano itself... we could both hear that one note had much more resonance in the string itself ...

It's possible qualities like that may not be inbred but acquired over the years. I've found a bit of close work on the strings and their terminations, including the coils, can work minor miracles. All you need are some old toothbrushes and some compressed air.

Do you mean that the string terminations need to be cleaned?

Yes. The aim is to get rid of all the microstuff you can't see. At the bridge this can accumulate between the string and the bridge itself as well as at the pins. I you imagine waves of energy rushing up and down the strings then quite small particles can leech it away. The upper partials give them several thousand opportunities every second to do so!



Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
Withindale #2472143 10/20/15 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by twocats

Do you mean that the string terminations need to be cleaned?

Yes. The aim is to get rid of all the microstuff you can't see. At the bridge this can accumulate between the string and the bridge itself as well as at the pins. I you imagine waves of energy rushing up and down the strings then quite small particles can leech it away. The upper partials give them several thousand opportunities every second to do so!

Ian, is this something I could do myself? The new tech is expensive and this sounds like something I could tackle! smile And thank you for your suggestion!


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2472246 10/20/15 02:05 PM
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Twocats, yes I think it's well worth a try. I'll expand on that later; I just tried to edit a typo and my post vanished - for the second time today!


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
twocats #2472291 10/20/15 04:01 PM
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the Schwander type action is more "buttery" than the "modern" type with butterfy spring and whippen center raised 3 mm.

AT the same time the down weight(or resistance during the first moments) can be higher, the "buttery" feel is more during letoff . that is how I see that

Most pianos using those sort of actions have softer front punchings, then even with a short aftertouch distance (about 1.2 mm) the feel is the one of a deep aftertouch

Last edited by Olek; 10/20/15 04:01 PM.

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Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
Olek #2472321 10/20/15 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Olek
the Schwander type action is more "buttery" than the "modern" type with butterfy spring and whippen center raised 3 mm.

AT the same time the down weight(or resistance during the first moments) can be higher, the "buttery" feel is more during letoff . that is how I see that

Most pianos using those sort of actions have softer front punchings, then even with a short aftertouch distance (about 1.2 mm) the feel is the one of a deep aftertouch
What is your definition of "buttery"? I think this thread has shown it can mean many different things.

Re: What do I mean by "buttery"?
Withindale #2472328 10/20/15 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Twocats, yes I think it's well worth a try. I'll expand on that later; I just tried to edit a typo and my post vanished - for the second time today!

Twocats, you need a compressor with filters to avoid splattering oil and moisture about. I directed the nozzle of mine at a sheet of paper and saw nothing untoward. You need to work all the way round each point as closely as you can using a brush to loosen stuff up (so to speak). A good light is useful, especially at the bridge. Cleaning round the tuning pins and coils made a surprising difference. My pianos are a lot older than Bo and one saw some action in WWII but, even so, they say cleaning the strings of a concert grand with a feather is a good thing to do. Good luck!


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
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