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Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
#2718344 03/02/18 10:33 AM
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I've always been curious about the middle brace design in the plates of larger Steinways (B, C & D's). Why is the middle brace attached with screws rather than cast into the plate like all other manufacturers?

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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718360 03/02/18 11:23 AM
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There should be any computer simulation of ferro casting process. ...

I could imagine that they once had tried this, to cast the whole plate / bar system in one cast, but may have got an amount of "failure castings" which was much too much, and then decided to separate that bar. ...

The "knot points" are always critical... there is a heap of hot iron during cast, which tends to keep the most inner material a little bit longer liquid.., which then delivers cavations, holes in the inner structure which in the following processes may increase the chance/risk of breaks too high. With a third strut at that "fork point" this risk increases heavily.

(I beg for pardon as I am mechanical engineer but no casting specialist and so my english wording may be full of false words...)

Another reason could be that separating that bar makes stringing easier.


Pls excuse any bad english.

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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718370 03/02/18 11:51 AM
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The 7-foot Steinert was a copy of the B, but the brace was cast in. On the D, it is necessary to remove the brace to remove the dampers. I have not seen enough Cs to know about them.

You might find a patent for them which would explain what they were thinking, but I do not recall seeing them mentioned in any patents.


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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718374 03/02/18 12:06 PM
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BDB's answer is one I have been given as the reason, although Steinway was probably thinking of it in terms of installing the dampers. I would think this would be the same for the 3 different models.


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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
BDB #2718377 03/02/18 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
. On the D, it is necessary to remove the brace to remove the dampers.


Wow, is that safe to do with tension on the strings? If so, does the brace have a structural function?


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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718390 03/02/18 01:06 PM
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The tech who changed out the damper felts on my model D removed it and asked me if I wanted it reinstalled afterward. He claimed that once the piano has been assembled, it serves no structural purpose, but rather is put there to begin with in order to reinforce the plate for when it’s lifted. I don’t know if this is true. But I did reinstall it.

Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
SMA55 #2718406 03/02/18 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SMA55
The tech who changed out the damper felts on my model D removed it and asked me if I wanted it reinstalled afterward. He claimed that once the piano has been assembled, it serves no structural purpose, but rather is put there to begin with in order to reinforce the plate for when it’s lifted. I don’t know if this is true. But I did reinstall it.


I'm not convinced that it actually does anything useful.

lt would certainly need to be removed to get some of the dampers out on my piano.


The English may not like music much, but they love the sound it makes ... Beecham
Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
Fareham #2718414 03/02/18 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Fareham
Originally Posted by SMA55
The tech who changed out the damper felts on my model D removed it and asked me if I wanted it reinstalled afterward. He claimed that once the piano has been assembled, it serves no structural purpose, but rather is put there to begin with in order to reinforce the plate for when it’s lifted. I don’t know if this is true. But I did reinstall it.


I'm not convinced that it actually does anything useful.

lt would certainly need to be removed to get some of the dampers out on my piano.


In my Model B, only the last couple of dampers before the bass break are close to the break. The dampers are notched just a bit to fit around the plate at that point.

Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718416 03/02/18 02:58 PM
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I've always wondered what it was for also. I can give one "useful" feature of it though. It's a great way to identify a model D,C or B in a video without a view of the fallboard smile

Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718421 03/02/18 03:13 PM
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My understanding it is to reduce resonances in the plate.


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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
BDB #2718425 03/02/18 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
My understanding it is to reduce resonances in the plate.


Ah I see, thanks for that BDB.

Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718508 03/02/18 11:42 PM
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On my C, it's not necessary to remove it for dampers re-installation.


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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718513 03/03/18 12:17 AM
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These bolt in strut carry no string tension load. If they are there to eliminate plate resonances one would think they would be precisely fit. They are not. If they are just the right amount of "loose" in the way they fit the plate they can make buzzes on their own!

It makes no sense.


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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718524 03/03/18 02:48 AM
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I think they are a bit of a puzzle in their function. If they were there to reduce/eliminate plate resonances in the struts, wouldn't they best serve that task by being located approximately in the middle of the strut, thereby shortening their unsupported length? That would also best stiffen them, particularly if the cross bar spanned several struts. And they would best serve that function by being cast in. Nor would they be located where they interfere with the dampers as we see in Steinway's layout.

Of course, Steinway perfected the piano well over 100 years ago. Therefore, no further improvement in the instrument can be possible. We only ask these questions because we do not understand the deep mysteries of the Steinway as only Steinway can do.

To Ed's point about string tension load, the piano is strung and at pitch when the dampers are installed, and the strut put in thereafter.


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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718526 03/03/18 03:12 AM
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According to the Official Guide, Steinway went through several designs of these bars, starting about with the Monitor (1871) and Centennial (1875) Grands. The earliest Ds and Cs had bars that went from the center of the tenor, rather than the low end, and some did not have them at all. Those that did not have them probably had a cast-on bar that extended from the center of the tenor to the hitch pin area, like Baldwins and Yamahas. This is not noted in the Official Guide, but the Paderewski Steinway has that configuration.


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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718585 03/03/18 11:22 AM
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Sometimes the brace is removed to facilitate "inside work" when playing some pieces that require these techniques. This doesn't answer the original question, of course.


LAP
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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718660 03/03/18 06:07 PM
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They will stiffen the plate, but by how much one can't tell without some analysis. Struts don't necessarily eliminate resonances, but can move them up to a frequency that's high enough not to be bothersome.

Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718723 03/04/18 02:30 AM
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My wife always cuts the end off a ham before putting it into the oven. I once asked her why. She said, "I don't know...my mom always did." So she called her mom to ask, and her mom said, "I don't know why...your grandmother always did." So, she in turn called her mom, who was elderly and in a nursing home, and asked why she always cut the end off the ham. "Because otherwise it won't fit in my little roasting pan."

Not a true story; actually an anecdote I heard in business school years ago.

The moral of the story: perhaps no one remembers why they make them this way! wink



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Re: Steinway B, C, & D Plate - Moveable Brace
GC13 #2718728 03/04/18 03:28 AM
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The brace on my piano is held on by aouple of srews which are smaller in diameter than the hole in which they sit. It's a mystery to me why it's there, and later on in the year when we take it off, I'll see if I can detect any discernable difference to the sound.


The English may not like music much, but they love the sound it makes ... Beecham

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