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Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size #2526744 04/01/16 10:31 AM
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Thermodog Offline OP
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Does anyone happen to know what size tuning wrench head fits the pins on a Kawai RX-6 7 ft. grand?

My church has an RX-6, and one string was recently replaced. It has gone flat, and our pianist has asked if I can tune it, since I have a tuning wrench and have done some minor touch-up of the tuning on my own piano. My tuning wrench has a #2 star tip.

We do work with a piano technician, and I wouldn't attempt to tune the whole piano, but I think I can save the church some money by tweaking this one string (if my wrench is the right size).

Thanks!

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Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Thermodog] #2526747 04/01/16 10:33 AM
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Try it and find out. If it fits snugly, it works.


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Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Thermodog] #2526955 04/01/16 11:04 PM
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This is a common misconception. All tuning pin heads will fit all normal piano tuning pins. (Not harpsichord or zither) The primary difference is how high up or down on the head of the pin the head sits. The difference is not in whether a head will fit but the way they fit.

Some piano technicians have preferences for one way or another in terms of fit. Myself, I always use a #3 tip for everything including an RX-6. Other technicians might use a #1 or #2 and do equally well. It's a matter of personal preference.

When we sell tuning levers to DIY technicians, we normally fit it with a #2 tip because that's in the middle and they don't have enough (as in any) experience to have formed an opinion of their own.


Keith Akins, RPT
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Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Thermodog] #2526959 04/01/16 11:20 PM
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All tuning pin heads will fit on any tuning pin, but some will fit better. A larger numbered head is more likely to hit the coil (or some other part of the piano) than a smaller numbered head, so it will have play or wobble on the pin. A smaller numbered head may be rather far up the tuning pin on some pianos for stability. Personally, I use a #1 or #2 head on pianos, choosing on the basis of which fits best.


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Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Thermodog] #2527295 04/03/16 09:13 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I did not know that!

Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: BDB] #2527442 04/03/16 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
All tuning pin heads will fit on any tuning pin, but some will fit better.


"Fit" is a flexible term meaning different things to different people—and perhaps many have never bother defining it to themselves. I suppose the ideal would be "low and tight" but the only options in the real world are "high and tight" or "low and loose". It's a matter of "pick your poison".

For myself, I choose "low and loose". Because, in the end, any lever will move a little before they "engage" with the pin, regardless of tip size—but they all do eventually engage.

Originally Posted by BDB
A larger numbered head is more likely to hit the coil (or some other part of the piano)


I've heard this said, but having never seen the phenomenon in the real world in over 50 years of piano servicing, I conclude that it is the piano technician's version of the "urban legend". At this point, I'll need to see an actual photograph of such an event in order to believe it really happens. Even if someone can verify the reality of this phenomenon happening, the point remains that it is of such extreme rarity as to have no practical significance.

Originally Posted by BDB
I use a #1 or #2 head on pianos, choosing on the basis of which fits best.


Again, I have no reason to persuade anyone to adopt a different size of tuning tip. It is truly a matter of personal preference. That doesn't invalidate anyone's choice, but, as is the case for any activity that involves the personal use of a tool—like a chisel, for example—in the end, personal choice is one of the factors in choosing what "works best" for any particular individual.



Keith Akins, RPT
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USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Thermodog] #2527532 04/04/16 04:50 AM
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Your #2 wrench will fit the Kawai Sub 1/0 tuning pin. Just make sure you are on the correct pin for the string you want to tune so you don't break it. # 3 tips work will with the "jerk" type hammer movement. Just don't flex the pin much, or the tip might break the coil. I find myself alternating between tip sizes, depending on which pin setting technique works best on a particular piano.




Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Thermodog] #2527880 04/05/16 05:01 AM
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Keith,

I know it's one of your favourite "myths" to bust, but I'll try to take a picture next time I come across a tip bottoming out against the coil. I've come across it numerous times; in fact, I only use my #1 tip nowadays, to try and preclude this from happening in the first place. I only fit a #2 tip if the #1 gives a really high fit on the pin.

Disclaimer: most of the pianos I tune are older German uprights with pins that are smaller than 7 mm, in fact, many are even smaller than 6.9 mm. The #2 tip that came with my Schaff extension hammer, has bottomed out against the coils on several pianos, making string setting much more time consuming and irritating because of the sloppy fit.

One thing I have also noticed, is that the shape of the bottom edge of the tip also plays a role. If it's more or less flat (like my Schaff #2), it will tend to ride on the coil. If it's somewhat countersunk (like my Watanabe#2), it will tend to fit around the coil.

2 cents from across the South Atlantic.


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
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Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Mark R.] #2528635 04/07/16 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark R.
Keith,

I know it's one of your favourite "myths" to bust, but I'll try to take a picture next time I come across a tip bottoming out against the coil. I've come across it numerous times; in fact, I only use my #1 tip nowadays, to try and preclude this from happening in the first place. I only fit a #2 tip if the #1 gives a really high fit on the pin.

Disclaimer: most of the pianos I tune are older German uprights with pins that are smaller than 7 mm, in fact, many are even smaller than 6.9 mm. The #2 tip that came with my Schaff extension hammer, has bottomed out against the coils on several pianos, making string setting much more time consuming and irritating because of the sloppy fit.

One thing I have also noticed, is that the shape of the bottom edge of the tip also plays a role. If it's more or less flat (like my Schaff #2), it will tend to ride on the coil. If it's somewhat countersunk (like my Watanabe#2), it will tend to fit around the coil.

2 cents from across the South Atlantic.


Mark,
I'm always learning. Certainly it is not inconceivable that a tuning pin could be too small for a tip--zither and harpsichord pins are extreme examples.

I'm not sure of the standard measurements, but it seems what you quote are smaller than "standard" 1/0 pins as we encounter them on any modern piano.

Your 2 cents was worth much more than that! Thanks for calling this to my attention. (But I do collect photos and would be glad to get one or more showing what you describe).

--Keith


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
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Thermodog] #2528648 04/07/16 07:14 PM
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Per Kawai: Kawai tuning pins are small at 6.9mm (undersized 1/0)




Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Bob] #2528721 04/08/16 03:18 AM
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kpembrook Offline
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Originally Posted by Bob
Per Kawai: Kawai tuning pins are small at 6.9mm (undersized 1/0)


Yeah. And I tune Kawais all the time using a #3 tip. Never came close to touching the coil.

Must be something about the shape of the head on the antique German ones ...?


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
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Thermodog] #2528722 04/08/16 03:19 AM
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Keith,

I normally don't take along my good camera (with flash, macro facility etc.) to tuning appointments, but I'll try and remember to do so, since my cellphone is absolutely useless in low light and short focal distance. It won't be easy to photograph, since the tip will obscure the coil. Perhaps a make-up mirror will help - I'll see what I can do.

[Edit: I've also seen pins with varying degrees of tapering. With some, the taper goes almost all the way to the becket hole, with others, not even remotely. I'm thinking that this may play more of a role than the actual diameter of the pin?]

Last edited by Mark R.; 04/08/16 03:25 AM. Reason: given in post.

Autodidact interested in piano technology.
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1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
Re: Kawai RX-6 tuning pin size [Re: Thermodog] #2528726 04/08/16 03:39 AM
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Here's an image that Emmery posted some time ago, to illustrate what I was trying to say in my edit above. Taken from this thread.

The lines mark the end of the tapers. The becket holes sit at the same height.

[Linked Image]
Emmery put it this way:

"Because the manufacturers only hold themselves to standards on pin sizes and standard taper angle, the amount they machine on the taper varies."


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
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1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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