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Regulating Hammer Blow Distance #2705808
01/17/18 06:06 PM
01/17/18 06:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 35
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asb37 Offline OP
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I am a amateur learning how to tune and regulate pianos. I have a basic question about regulating blow distance.

When setting the blow distance in a piano, should all hammers be set to an even hammer line? If so, won't the blow distance in the bass be higher than the blow distance in the rest of the piano, given that the bass strings sit higher than the normal steel strings?

For example, in my piano, if I regulate the bass hammers to 1 3/4 in, they are higher than the rest of the hammers because the bass strings sit higher in the piano, causing an uneven hammer line.

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Re: Regulating Hammer Blow Distance [Re: asb37] #2705814
01/17/18 06:19 PM
01/17/18 06:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
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Oakland
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BDB Offline
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The hammer line is measured from the string to the tip of the hammer at rest. The tips of the bass hammers are the same distance from the string, not from the hammer rest, so the line is uneven if the piano is overstrung.


Semipro Tech
Re: Regulating Hammer Blow Distance [Re: asb37] #2705815
01/17/18 06:23 PM
01/17/18 06:23 PM
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Posts: 1,643
Canberra, ACT, Australia
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Chris Leslie Offline
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If you look at the hammers you will see that the bass hammers are indeed set back relative to the treble hammers by the same amount as the strings are.


Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au
Re: Regulating Hammer Blow Distance [Re: asb37] #2705863
01/17/18 09:34 PM
01/17/18 09:34 PM
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asb37 Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies.

In my piano, the entire line of hammers was set even, so the travel for the bass hammers was 2 in, and the rest of the piano 1 3/4in or so.

So, the proper regulation would be to set the bass hammers to 1 3/4 in, correct? In this case, the bass hammers will be 1/4 in or so higher than the rest of the hammers. This piano is overstrung.


Last edited by asb37; 01/17/18 09:38 PM.
Re: Regulating Hammer Blow Distance [Re: asb37] #2705872
01/17/18 10:08 PM
01/17/18 10:08 PM
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What make of piano is it? That much of a difference in the hammer blow would make a big difference in the playability.


Semipro Tech
Re: Regulating Hammer Blow Distance [Re: BDB] #2706060
01/18/18 11:58 AM
01/18/18 11:58 AM
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asb37 Offline OP
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It is a 1998 M&H model A. I feel like it takes a lot of work to play in the lower octaves, so I was experimenting with a shorter blow distance. (I've also measured down weight, friction etc.)

The blow distance in the bass hammers was a little over two inches. The weird thing is, if I actually set it at 1 3/4 in, the hammers contact the frame when I slide the action out. I'm able to get it out because they bend downward easily, but it makes me nervous keeping them set like that, so I added some blow distance. Clearly this piano wasn't designed for a 1 3/4 in blow distance in this section.

Re: Regulating Hammer Blow Distance [Re: asb37] #2706091
01/18/18 01:06 PM
01/18/18 01:06 PM
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Ed A. Hall Offline
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Originally Posted by asb37
The weird thing is, if I actually set it at 1 3/4 in, the hammers contact the frame when I slide the action out. I'm able to get it out because they bend downward easily, but it makes me nervous keeping them set like that, so I added some blow distance. Clearly this piano wasn't designed for a 1 3/4 in blow distance in this section.



This is actually quite common. You might try a blow distance of 1 7/8 in.

Re: Regulating Hammer Blow Distance [Re: Ed A. Hall] #2706111
01/18/18 02:35 PM
01/18/18 02:35 PM
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asb37 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Ed A. Hall
Originally Posted by asb37
The weird thing is, if I actually set it at 1 3/4 in, the hammers contact the frame when I slide the action out. I'm able to get it out because they bend downward easily, but it makes me nervous keeping them set like that, so I added some blow distance. Clearly this piano wasn't designed for a 1 3/4 in blow distance in this section.



This is actually quite common. You might try a blow distance of 1 7/8 in.


Thank you for replying. That clears things up. I appreciate it!

Re: Regulating Hammer Blow Distance [Re: asb37] #2706280
01/18/18 11:41 PM
01/18/18 11:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
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Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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I never actually measure the blow distance with a ruler. In my view, that is the wrong way to approach the setting. But I can say this: 1 3/4" is way too short. You need to learn more about after touch. When you do, you will discover the right way to set the blow distance.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: Regulating Hammer Blow Distance [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2706293
01/19/18 12:29 AM
01/19/18 12:29 AM
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Posts: 181
Haverhill, MA
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Gerry Johnston Offline
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Gerry Johnston  Offline
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Haverhill, MA
Bill Bremmer is correct. Hammer blow distance can vary a bit without having a negative effect on the action. Pay more attention to after touch along with key dip and let off. If these are correct the hammer blow distance might just take care of itself.


Gerry Johnston, Registered Piano Technician
Haverhill, MA
(978) 372-2250
www.gjpianotuner.com

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