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A normal tech procedure?
#2600287 01/02/17 01:46 PM
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To any tech out there: I recently had my acoustic grand piano maintenanced. One particular problem was the 2nd A and 2nd F# below middle C. These notes sounded unfocused with a strange buzz and really sounded underwater and noticeably different than the adjacent bass notes. My tech worked on them for quite some time and was having no luck. Then he tried this: On these two bi-chord notes he twisted the steel strings inside the copper wound wrap. This improved things quite substantially. Can anyone tell me how this works. Is this is a normal part of the acoustic technician's bag of tricks? He didn't explain and I didn't ask. Any comments are appreciated.

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Re: A normal tech procedure?
BOREGARD #2600288 01/02/17 01:54 PM
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Yes. Tightens the coil and the string vibrates more as a solid single unit. Loose coils loose energy. Should have been the first thing he tried. It has a distinctive sound that is easy to diagnose.

Re: A normal tech procedure?
BOREGARD #2600294 01/02/17 02:06 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

Re: A normal tech procedure?
BOREGARD #2600330 01/02/17 03:35 PM
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This (sometimes) works spectacularly well for dead bass strings.


Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate, Starr, ca. 100 years old full size upright.
Re: A normal tech procedure?
BOREGARD #2600432 01/02/17 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BOREGARD
To any tech out there: I recently had my acoustic grand piano maintenanced. One particular problem was the 2nd A and 2nd F# below middle C. These notes sounded unfocused with a strange buzz and really sounded underwater and noticeably different than the adjacent bass notes. My tech worked on them for quite some time and was having no luck. Then he tried this: On these two bi-chord notes he twisted the steel strings inside the copper wound wrap. This improved things quite substantially. Can anyone tell me how this works. Is this is a normal part of the acoustic technician's bag of tricks? He didn't explain and I didn't ask. Any comments are appreciated.


Your piano tuner did the right thing to try everything else first. Suppose there were loose hammer heads and this wasn't noticed until after the strings were twisted and things didn't improve? Once the correct repair was done, the tone on those strings might not match the others even if the twist was taken out, not to mention the instability of those strings for a few weeks. I hope he mentioned that these strings will drop in pitch a tad and need to be retuned in a couple weeks.

Btw, you didn't mention the make, size or age of the piano. I would only expect this problem, and twisting strings as an appropriate repair, on an older piano.


Jeff Deutschle
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Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: A normal tech procedure?
UnrightTooner #2600584 01/03/17 11:39 AM
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Dear Mr. Tuner: The piano in question is a Yamaha C3X. Eleven months old. It's surely not an "old" piano and has been well-maintained since purchase. My tech mentioned nothing about the affected keys needing a re-tuning but he did say these keys should be observed in any future maintenance/tuning/voicing for further twisting, etc. For now it seems to have helped. While I'm not a technician this seems to be an unorthodox procedure for a new piano. It's informative that you mentioned that this procedure would be expected on a older instrument. Any further comments are appreciated.

Re: A normal tech procedure?
Blues beater #2600593 01/03/17 11:47 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

Re: A normal tech procedure?
BOREGARD #2600602 01/03/17 12:01 PM
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It is not unusual for a new piano to have a wound string that needs to be twisted. Most new would strings are twisted as they are installed, but sometimes they forget a couple of them.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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