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Keys don't go all the way down #2603391
01/11/17 07:38 PM
01/11/17 07:38 PM
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amadeok Offline OP
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Hello,
I'm having an issue with 2 keys on my Wendl & Lung baby grand piano:
Sometimes they don't go all the way down, not hitting the cord, and therefore not making any sound.
Is there anything i can do to fix this?
Thanks
Anand

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Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2603432
01/11/17 09:32 PM
01/11/17 09:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,169
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
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As always: best to call a qualified piano technician.

If its happening on a hard blow than it is probably the back check catching on the hammer tail. If this is the case you may be able to push the back check away from the hammer tail with a long, flat blade screwdriver. You'd have to go between the strings and it may be difficult to see the back check. If you over do it and push it too far the note won't repeat as well and may feel odd. Still, it would be better than the note not playing at all.

Here's a link to a piano action diagram so you can see what the back check is:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_(piano)


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: rysowers] #2603505
01/12/17 04:46 AM
01/12/17 04:46 AM
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amadeok Offline OP
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Thanks for reply.
I'll try that. In other words i should be careful to align it with the other back checks?

Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2603547
01/12/17 08:58 AM
01/12/17 08:58 AM
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Ed A. Hall Offline
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Originally Posted by amadeok
Thanks for reply.
I'll try that. In other words i should be careful to align it with the other back checks?


I might add, before adjusting these 2 back checks do the following. Use your screw driver and put a small amount of pressure on the hammer while you push down on the key. If the hammer binds up on the back check, then yes it needs to be adjusted for more clearance. If not, most likely there is another issue going on.

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Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2603568
01/12/17 10:16 AM
01/12/17 10:16 AM
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Oakland
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BDB Offline
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There are a bunch of things that can be causing this problem. There is no simple solution. If you try something which is incorrect, you can make things worse. You do not want to mess with the backchecks if they are not the cause of the problem.


Semipro Tech
Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2603591
01/12/17 11:31 AM
01/12/17 11:31 AM
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Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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The rest position of the hammers may be too low due to settling of new parts. Call a technician.


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Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2603680
01/12/17 03:02 PM
01/12/17 03:02 PM
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amadeok Offline OP
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I tried taking a look inside but there is a big piece of wood that impedes me from seeing the back checks. The only back checks i can see are the ones that don't have dampers. I'll call someone. Thanks

Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2603692
01/12/17 03:27 PM
01/12/17 03:27 PM
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amadeok Offline OP
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Should i avoid playing those 2 notes until it is fixed?

Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2603717
01/12/17 04:17 PM
01/12/17 04:17 PM
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Scotland
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David Boyce Offline
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It probably won't do any harm to play the notes, but obviously it's not going to feel or sound satisfactory until the problem is fixed.

Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2603768
01/12/17 06:57 PM
01/12/17 06:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
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Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
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It's always fun to see a video of the problem. Can you post a link?


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2603778
01/12/17 07:30 PM
01/12/17 07:30 PM
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Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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Back checks are among the most persnickety things there are to adjust. If you really want to learn how, I'd recommend getting a freebie junker piano from Craig's list to practice on. You really don't want to mess up the back checks on your good piano.




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Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: BDB] #2603790
01/12/17 08:11 PM
01/12/17 08:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,169
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
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Originally Posted by BDB
There are a bunch of things that can be causing this problem. There is no simple solution. If you try something which is incorrect, you can make things worse. You do not want to mess with the backchecks if they are not the cause of the problem.


I can't think of any other things that will occasionally cause keys to not go all the way down. Maybe a foreign object that is bouncing around. There certainly a bunch of things that can cause keys to stick, but to not go down all the way is a much more unusually occurrence. Other than the backcheck catching on the hammer tail, I can't think of any.

Sometimes if the balance hole has been elongated the key may cause the backcheck to catch the hammer on ascension if the key has shifted towards the player a bit. The fore and aft chucking could be the cause of intermittent issues.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: rysowers] #2603853
01/13/17 12:13 AM
01/13/17 12:13 AM
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Oakland
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There are a bunch of other things that can keep the keys from going all the way down. Several of them involve the backchecks, but changing the backchecks to resolve the problem is not the solution, and just makes things worse.


Semipro Tech
Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2603968
01/13/17 09:12 AM
01/13/17 09:12 AM
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amadeok Offline OP
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Later i'll post a video of the issue if you want to see it.

I notest that the back checks of the keys without dampers were not all aligned with each other, in particular 1 or 2. Could this be a sign of something?

Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: BDB] #2604082
01/13/17 01:46 PM
01/13/17 01:46 PM
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Posts: 3,169
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
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Originally Posted by BDB
There are a bunch of other things that can keep the keys from going all the way down. Several of them involve the backchecks, but changing the backchecks to resolve the problem is not the solution, and just makes things worse.


Please elaborate. These discussions always come in handy because they add to our troubleshooting repertoire. smile


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: rysowers] #2604104
01/13/17 02:58 PM
01/13/17 02:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
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Michigan
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kpembrook Online content
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Originally Posted by rysowers
Originally Posted by BDB
There are a bunch of other things that can keep the keys from going all the way down. Several of them involve the backchecks, but changing the backchecks to resolve the problem is not the solution, and just makes things worse.


Please elaborate. These discussions always come in handy because they add to our troubleshooting repertoire. smile


For one example ... low hammerline can result in snagging by the backcheck.


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
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Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2604109
01/13/17 03:06 PM
01/13/17 03:06 PM
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We just discussed another: Cheating jacks.


Semipro Tech
Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: amadeok] #2604178
01/13/17 06:53 PM
01/13/17 06:53 PM
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Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
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Cheating jacks will cause a note to not play, but won't inhibit the key going all the way down. The OP said "Sometimes they don't go all the way down" which means something is intermittently holding the keys up.

Its true about the low hammer line, but the offending notes would still have a back check closer to the hammer tails on the offending notes than the rest.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: rysowers] #2604195
01/13/17 08:13 PM
01/13/17 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rysowers


Its true about the low hammer line, but the offending notes would still have a back check closer to the hammer tails on the offending notes than the rest.


Possibly but not necessarily. It could be that the offending hammers were lower than the rest. It could also be a variable of backcheck head angle.


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, Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: rysowers] #2604239
01/14/17 12:34 AM
01/14/17 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rysowers
Cheating jacks will cause a note to not play, but won't inhibit the key going all the way down. The OP said "Sometimes they don't go all the way down" which means something is intermittently holding the keys up.


That is easy enough to try, so do it. You will find that the hammer not going up will get caught on the backchecks, which keeps the key from going down. This is by far the most likely cause of an intermittent problem than other things, although bad springs or tight joints could also be implicated. Misadjusted backchecks would not be intermittent.


Semipro Tech
Re: Keys don't go all the way down [Re: BDB] #2604240
01/14/17 12:46 AM
01/14/17 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by rysowers
Cheating jacks will cause a note to not play, but won't inhibit the key going all the way down. The OP said "Sometimes they don't go all the way down" which means something is intermittently holding the keys up.


That is easy enough to try, so do it. You will find that the hammer not going up will get caught on the backchecks, which keeps the key from going down. This is by far the most likely cause of an intermittent problem than other things, although bad springs or tight joints could also be implicated. Misadjusted backchecks would not be intermittent.


Definitely possible. But snagging jacks can also be intermittent -- depending on key acceleration.


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, Piano Technicians Journal

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