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Voicing Ronsen Wieckert Hammers with B72 Crystals #2735027
05/08/18 09:08 AM
05/08/18 09:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 696
Indianapolis
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GC13 Online content OP
500 Post Club Member
GC13  Online Content OP
500 Post Club Member
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Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 696
Indianapolis
I'm looking for information and guidelines to communicate with my RPT for a follow up visit on voicing my Steinway Model B and the new hammers we put on last fall. I love the fundamental color range that the Wieckert hammers give the piano, but I'd like it to be just a bit brighter sometimes. At home, I find myself playing a louder than I want to reaching for a brightness to the tone that I just never reach, especially when playing pop, rock, or gospel styles. However, I don't want to sacrifice too much of the color range when playing softly. The hammers have been on for about 9 months now. They've had very little B72 solution applied to them. My RPT recommended that we take a very conservative approach on applying hardener to the hammers to try to let them play in naturally. I don't know much about B72 crystals or even what it is, but it seems to be the recommended method for working with Ronsen hammers. My RPT says that it is more malleable to work with. He definitely prefers it over any type of laquer. Is this true? I thought I'd get the PW take on it to see what else I can learn about it.

The piano gets played about 1 to 2 hours a day on average -- depending. Usually, everyone is at home when I'm home, watching TV, studying, etc. so I try to be very conservative about my playing volume. Should I hold off a little longer and see what I think down the line or should I have him try adding a little B72 to see what I think? I don't want to do anything that will have negative or irreversible results that will damage the hammers. And it's not like it's a performance or recording piano.

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Re: Voicing Ronsen Wieckert Hammers with B72 Crystals [Re: GC13] #2735061
05/08/18 10:42 AM
05/08/18 10:42 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 960
Miguel Rey Offline
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Miguel Rey  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 960
I had these same hammers on a Bechstein and it took about 2 years of pretty heavy playing for them to break in. Actually had to eventually voice down a little in the treble.




Re: Voicing Ronsen Wieckert Hammers with B72 Crystals [Re: GC13] #2735079
05/08/18 11:59 AM
05/08/18 11:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,023
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
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Keith D Kerman Offline
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Keith D Kerman  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,023
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
There are many technicians who are very enthusiastic about the Weichert felt Ronsen hammers treated with B72. I think it is undebatable that B72 will very quickly and easily harden felt and create more brightness and easier access to volume. IMO, this is the primary reason for the enthusiasm.

There are good, experienced technicians who like B72 and good and experienced technicians who prefer other hammer hardening solutions including lacquer.

You need to trust your voicer or find someone else. If you can show your tech what you like it will help. Perhaps there are a couple of notes on your piano that sound more like what you want all the notes to sound like. Reference them. Perhaps the sound you get at a louder volume is what you want at a softer volume. Demonstrate for your tech. Actual sound as a reference is much better than words, but sometimes a description helps.

Playing a piano in naturally is terrific but you may not have the patience for this approach and it will not come out evenly or give you the color variety of good voicing.

Again, get as clear about what you want and illustrate it to your tech.


Keith D Kerman
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