The subject of tubby bass strings surfaces quite often. I messaged Bill with these questions recently. He asked me to post them here in public for everyone to learn from his responses.
On 1/16/2017 last year in the "Verdigris in windings of bass strings. A remedy?" thread, Bill described a process he uses on aging bass strings to extend their life for a bit. In that thread he discusses using a high speed drill with a soft wire brush or polishing tool on the strings. The next step he describes is loosening and twisting the bass strings.
I've got a Steinway B with new hammers. I'm extremely happy with it. It's freshly tuned and sounds very nice, except for some strings in the bass. They aren't tubby or dead, but they are not very brilliant. I can't get the "growl" that I should be able to get out of them. The tone is very round. On the other hand, some strings are still excellent. I'm wonder if your technique would be worth a try. So I have a couple of questions. I'd hate to use the wrong tools and do more damage to the strings than good.
1. Exactly what type of wire brush do you use on your drill? You mentioned a "soft wire brush". Is that made of brass? Is it a wheel or is it cup-shaped? Should I be sure to buy a brush with very fine bristles so I don't gouge and scratch the copper windings?
2. You also said a polishing tool would be even better. Is that a felt, cloth or some type of stone polishing attachment for the drill and/or Dremel?
3. You also mentioned a Scotch Brite pads of some type for the hand work around the struts and tight areas. Can you recommend the specific type? There are lots of options on the market from heavy duty for wood and metal work to cleaning dishes in the kitchen.
4. You also mentioned running the drill perpendicular to the string where possible. Am I correct in thinking that means across the strings rather than down the length of the strings?
5. Lastly, am I correct assuming the piano would definitely demand a tuning right after doing this part of the process even if this the polishing step works and the "twisting" part of the procedure is not required?
Thanks in advance for the feedback.
Last edited by GC13; 01/22/18 11:52 AM.