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Help with Regulation/Adjustment? #2736948
05/15/18 07:09 PM
05/15/18 07:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 30
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lbonini1 Offline OP
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Hello to all the Piano technicians out there, I hope you can give me some insight and help....

I have a few questions in regards to my Kimball Grand Piano, I recently got the strings that were broken replaced and it's been all good until as of late, I have started to lose some responsiveness in my action and I'm not getting much dynamic contrast anymore... I've noticed the Piano is very much out of regulation and the action itself is a bit worn and my RPT quoted me $600 to get the action restored and regulated but I don't have that money right now nor do I have the money to pay the tech to do these adjustments...

Is there any adjustments I could do that would buy me some time and get me some dynamic contrast back? I've also noticed that some of my hammers are double-striking.

P.S. Does anyone know a way I could mellow out the bright sound of my Piano? I'm pretty sure it's to do with the Hammers being grooved and a bit flat but I just want to know if there's anything I could do to again buy some time...

Thank you in advance, have a great day! smile

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Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: lbonini1] #2736987
05/15/18 10:01 PM
05/15/18 10:01 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,817
Tennessee
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Ed Foote Offline
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Originally Posted by lbonini1
Hello to all the Piano technicians out there, I hope you can give me some insight and help....

I have a few questions in regards to my Kimball Grand Piano, I have started to lose some responsiveness in my action and I'm not getting much dynamic contrast anymore
Is there any adjustments I could do that would buy me some time and get me some dynamic contrast back?



No.

I have never seen a starting scenario such as you describe that didn't go from bad to worse as the instruments were subjected to the ministrations of those both pernurious and uninformed. The piano is a specialty item, and the do-it-yourselfers simply raise the cost of enjoying one.
regards,

Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: lbonini1] #2736994
05/15/18 11:12 PM
05/15/18 11:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 58
Washington State
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AWilley Offline
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Adjusting "Let-off" is the textbook fix for getting back dynamic contrast, and you would probably need to adjust the "blow" distance as well. It's impossible to say exactly what needs to be done and to what extent without seeing the piano and making some measurements, and I don't recommend that you blindly do this yourself. Adjusting one thing to the correct spec without adjusting other things to compensate could make the situation worse. But if you are determined to proceed despite the great risk of shooting yourself in the foot, here's some ammunition in the form of YouTube videos: https://youtu.be/0wpMgxXo1wU https://youtu.be/8hOnMcsUh_c

Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: lbonini1] #2737014
05/16/18 12:54 AM
05/16/18 12:54 AM
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Posts: 30
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lbonini1 Offline OP
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I think I didn't explain myself well enough, I am aware of the regulation requirements of the Piano and have taken the necessary steps to measure everything out but I was wondering what was recommended. I'm not going in completely blind or anything...

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Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: lbonini1] #2737015
05/16/18 01:15 AM
05/16/18 01:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,813
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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There are some Kimball grands that will not work with the factory specs. If this were a better piano, it would be better to learn on. But you could get into some real trouble that nobody could help you with without being at the piano.


Semipro Tech
Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: BDB] #2737022
05/16/18 02:09 AM
05/16/18 02:09 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 30
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lbonini1 Offline OP
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Right... I guess I better start saving up then. Bummer, it's a real pain to play on, oh well.

Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: lbonini1] #2737104
05/16/18 09:08 AM
05/16/18 09:08 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 89
Washington DC area
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Ritz Offline
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I'll offer an alternative viewpoint. If it's an instrument that isn't particularly valuable and you have some time and mechanical abilities, there are probably many aspects of tuning the action that you can fiddle with on your own. There are MANY videos available that show you how and a few good books (and videos) that go into the "why" for various regulation approaches.

This book was recommended to me by a fellow forum member and I've been working my way through it. It's an amazing resource.

https://www.amazon.com/Pianos-Inside-Out-Comprehensive-Rebuilding/dp/0982756305

These guys have over a hundred detailed videos that I've found to be extremely informative and beginner friendly. They also tell you exactly which tools you'll need which you can buy from them or from other sources.

https://www.youtube.com/user/howardpianoind

Good luck with your endeavor. If you are good with your hands and have some patience, there are likely things you can do to help your situation in advance of handing a pile of money to someone to go through it with a fine toothed comb. That might allow you to make some subtle improvements until you've saved up for having a pro dig into it. I'm sure Ed means well and speaks from experience. He's actually mentioned in the credits for the book I listed above. smile

Best,


1938 Chickering Baby Grand
Trying to learn about these fascinating instruments
Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: lbonini1] #2737124
05/16/18 10:00 AM
05/16/18 10:00 AM
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GC13 Offline
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DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional. But I kind of concur with Ritz to a degree IF you take it slow and easy to judge your understanding of the process and aptitude. I take that approach to all DYI projects from pianos to cars and plumbing. The tools to do basic piano regulation are pretty inexpensive, but the cost can add up quickly. I've learned a lot by watching the regulation videos on the Howard Piano Industries website.

Here's a video on a complete reburb of a Yamaha C7 -- start to finish by another technician on Youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHKdPNCa4aA

You can always try it out on ONE or TWO really bad key taking it thru the entire process in the order he recommends. If you can improve those to your liking then continue thru slow and easy. If you get yourself in trouble, it shouldn't cost too much for your technician to undo the damage on a couple of keys.

But then you're going to end up spending some $$ on the tools and some basic supplies like punches for key dip and after touch, some lubricants and cleaners, etc. to get the job done, and it's going to take you some time work thru all of the process on your own, so your piano might be out of commission for a while as a DIY'er. By the time you purchase all of the tools and supplies yourself, you might find that you're not that far away from the $600 mark the technician quoted you.

Last edited by GC13; 05/16/18 10:04 AM.
Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: lbonini1] #2737146
05/16/18 11:11 AM
05/16/18 11:11 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,660
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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New Hampshire
I agree about the action. You are venturing into a complicated situation that is not necessarily intuitively obvious how to correct things. It is an interdependent confluence of levers and "gears" which was DESIGNED to work well for 20-30 years...then need major maintenance. The specific cause of the problems you are experiencing is doubtlessly an accumulation of issues rather than simply just one or two adjustments.

Buy Mario's book, study it and then get going. Don't venture in blind...please.

In the mean time, to reduce the brilliance a bit, go buy yourself a little brass brush (light duty, not heavy duty). Brush the tops of the hammers parallel to the string marks (not too heavily so as to break or move anything). This will temporarily soften things up a bit. You can do this repeatedly but don't get too aggressive with it. The flange screws need to be tight enough so the hammers stay in their current "alignment" or you'll have other problems.

As I write I am having second thoughts because things can start going wrong really fast if you don't know how to correct it...so BE CAREFUL! You can loosen hammerheads, or break stuff, or cause misalignment so that key don't work!

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: lbonini1] #2737147
05/16/18 11:17 AM
05/16/18 11:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 21
Austin, TX
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George Smith Offline
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If the $80 for the book is too much you can get the Arthur Reblitz book which is pretty good also. I got mine from Amazon for $5 used. I see one currently available for $5.95

Piano Servicing Tuning and Rebuilding

If you want to experiment with making the hammers sound less bright, please look for the thread on Keith Akin's "Voicing for the Rest of Us." He will graciously send you a copy.

Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: GC13] #2737162
05/16/18 12:19 PM
05/16/18 12:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 89
Washington DC area
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Ritz Offline
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Joined: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by GC13

But then you're going to end up spending some $$ on the tools and some basic supplies like punches for key dip and after touch, some lubricants and cleaners, etc. to get the job done, and it's going to take you some time work thru all of the process on your own, so your piano might be out of commission for a while as a DIY'er. By the time you purchase all of the tools and supplies yourself, you might find that you're not that far away from the $600 mark the technician quoted you.


Heresy! A man can never have TOO many tools. That's just crazy talk. smile If it was someone who only wanted to get their own piano in shape and they had no desire to ever do this again or no real interest in learning how this complex machine works, I would agree that holding off on buying tools and put that money towards paying someone to do the work makes the most sense.

I'd also add that if you're an amateur, I'd stick to fiddling with aspects of tuning/regulation that are easily reversible.

Best,


1938 Chickering Baby Grand
Trying to learn about these fascinating instruments
Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: GC13] #2737238
05/16/18 04:51 PM
05/16/18 04:51 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,641
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,641
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by GC13

But then you're going to end up spending some $$ on the tools and some basic supplies like punches for key dip and after touch, some lubricants and cleaners, etc. to get the job done, and it's going to take you some time work thru all of the process on your own, so your piano might be out of commission for a while as a DIY'er. By the time you purchase all of the tools and supplies yourself, you might find that you're not that far away from the $600 mark the technician quoted you.


This is no joke. In my first year of tinkering with primarily tuning and just a little regulation, I invested $1,000 in tools, books, and software, EASILY. And that wasn't ordering the best possible tool for each job, or even a comprehensive supply of them.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: George Smith] #2737410
05/17/18 10:15 AM
05/17/18 10:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 509
Rockville, MD
Seeker Offline
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Posts: 509
Rockville, MD
...and, if you prefer, you could try searching "Worldcat" at http://worldcat.org which will show you what libraries hold what you're searching for. I've used it to find "Under the Lid", Orabeek's bok on voicing (currently out of print in the English version I believe), and many other things.

Once you've found where, go to your local library, or whichever library is closest to you that does "inter library loans", and they'll get it to you.

All best wishes on your adventure.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: lbonini1] #2737422
05/17/18 11:34 AM
05/17/18 11:34 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,599
Scotland
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David Boyce Online content
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"Under The Lid" is the title of a book by Stephen Brady, covering various aspects of concert piano preparation, with anecdotes from people in the industry, and performers. It's excellent. http://underthelid.com/

I think perhaps you were thinking of "The Voice Of The Piano", a book with DVD, by Andre Oorebeek http://thevoiceofthepiano.com/about_book.shtml

Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: David Boyce] #2737452
05/17/18 01:10 PM
05/17/18 01:10 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 509
Rockville, MD
Seeker Offline
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Seeker  Offline
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Rockville, MD
David - you're absolutely right. I'll go back and correct a misspelling and my grammar. I've actually read BOTH books and watched Orabeek's DVD.

---> Well, I thought I would go back and edit that post, but for some reason, the EDIT button doesn't appear there though it did let me change THIS post.

Last edited by Seeker; 05/17/18 01:12 PM. Reason: Added Information

Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: Seeker] #2737457
05/17/18 01:19 PM
05/17/18 01:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 509
Rockville, MD
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Rockville, MD
I wrote: "I've used it to find "Under the Lid", Orabeek's bok on voicing (currently out of print in the English version I believe), and many other things".

What I MEANT was: "I've used it to find "Under the Lid" by Stephen Brady AND Orabeek's BOOK on voicing..."

I also had our library at University of Mary Washington order copies of both books (though Orabeek's wasn't currently available). My thinking is that pianists SHOULD know something about how pianos work, what to look for when performing on an unfamiliar instrument (e.g., amount of after touch, sometimes ZERO), and how to adjust their performances to the particular instrument on which they are playing.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Help with Regulation/Adjustment? [Re: lbonini1] #2737512
05/17/18 04:32 PM
05/17/18 04:32 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,599
Scotland
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David Boyce Online content
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Andrew, apologies for my misinterpretation! I took the comma to mean "which is", not "and". Something like "I like to eat plenty of apples, the best fruit to keep you healthy".


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