Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
Mr. PianoWorld - the full interview
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
56 registered members (7uturu, AZNpiano, chen, anamnesis, ando, CharlesXX, Chernobieff Piano, 13 invisible), 1,130 guests, and 7 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? #2750878
07/11/18 11:15 PM
07/11/18 11:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
S
SLT16 Offline OP
Full Member
SLT16  Offline OP
Full Member
S
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
Hi all,

I have a 1927 Winter & Co. Player piano. I have restored it myself, and replaced all felts, cloths, rebuilt the air motor, re-covered the bellows and the tracker etc. I am very satisfied with the final outcome, and it works like a charm. I have kept the hammers and the strings original, as they have been replaced some 40 - 50 years ago; thus, they were in good condition and didn't need replacement. Overall, the player has a lovely tone BUT the bass hammers are way too quiet, and it leaves me clueless of what i can do in order to make the sound more vivid and richer. The treble section is perfectly fine, but the bass hammers have sort of a quiet *thump* noise when they hit the string. It leads me to believe this has something to do with the hammers being very quiet. I've heard other similar player pianos, and their bass section sounds very loud and has a very vivid and rich sound. However, this isn't the case with mine. Being a 54" tall piano, i'd expect it to have a rich sound, but apparently that's not the case. The bass is so soft on this piano, to the point where you can barely even hear it over the treble. I've reshaped the hammers, and it has certainly rejuvenated the sound, but has not made a large difference to the bass hammers. Perhaps voicing the bass hammers would fix this? Or would i need a new set of hammers? I'd like to hear your opinions!

I also currently own a 48" Kawai upright piano. Although the Kawai has significantly shorter bass strings, the sound is much louder and richer than on the player. This leaves me quite baffled, as i'd expect a much taller piano to have a richer and louder sound.

Any ideas of what sort of work i might have to do in order to get the bass back to sounding good? I will appreciate any ideas and opinions.

Thank you.

Stepan.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2750880
07/11/18 11:39 PM
07/11/18 11:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,333
Nashville, TN
P
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Pianolance  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,333
Nashville, TN
You might want to post this question to the technicians forum as there is considerable knowledge there about such things.


Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.
Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2750882
07/11/18 11:48 PM
07/11/18 11:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,515
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,515
Oakland
Bass strings go dead with age.


Semipro Tech
Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: BDB] #2750891
07/12/18 12:51 AM
07/12/18 12:51 AM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
S
SLT16 Offline OP
Full Member
SLT16  Offline OP
Full Member
S
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
I don't think that's the case with me. I have a Bechstein Model 8 from 1913, original strings. Sounds marvelous and certainly better than the player, even though the strings on the player are twice younger.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfxgqnRFyoY

Here is the comparison video. I am pressing the keys relatively hard on both. Up first is the Bechstein which is obviously much louder and richer, and the second clip is from the player piano.

Last edited by SLT16; 07/12/18 12:53 AM.
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2750897
07/12/18 01:46 AM
07/12/18 01:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,515
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,515
Oakland
Neither of them sound that good to me.


Semipro Tech
Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2750920
07/12/18 07:53 AM
07/12/18 07:53 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,039
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,039
Georgia, USA
I'm no pro like BDB, but have you checked the seating of the bass strings on the bass bridge? Check to make sure the bass strings are seated good on the surface of the bass bridge using a wide-blade screw-driver or brass rod. Tap the bass string lightly just off the surface of the bridge, or just apply downward pressure with the screw-driver or brass rod using your hand.

Lightly tap the bass bridge pins to make sure they are tight and not loose. Check for cracks in the bass bridge. Check to make sure the bass bridge is making good contact with the sound-board and the bridge cantilever is not loose, if it has one.

Reseating the bass strings on the bass bridge may bake a big difference, or at least worth a try. It's worked for me in the past with weak sounding bass strings.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2750935
07/12/18 10:32 AM
07/12/18 10:32 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 479
Rockville, MD
Seeker Offline
Full Member
Seeker  Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 479
Rockville, MD
Your video confirms for us that the Bechstein 8 is the superior instrument...

Regarding your bass sound, yes, it COULD be the strings, really, or, it COULD be the hammers, or...something else.

Perhaps a place to start would be to apply a VERY small amount of hammer hardener at the strike points on two hammers - one midway up the unichords, the second midway up the bi-chords. If there is a positive change, proceed accordingly.

If that does NOT effect a change you like, it really might be time to replace the bass strings. People have their favorites here on PW; mine are from Hellerbass in Germany. They made a very nice difference on my 6'10" "Artist Grand" by Steinert.

Pianotek sells some easy to use hardener. There are various ways to apply it. A hypodermic syring without the needle can be used; I've seen people use a nail polish brush. Just make sure you use JUST A LITTLE for now.

Let us know what you decide to do, and, of course, post a video of before and after.


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: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2751010
07/12/18 03:05 PM
07/12/18 03:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 577
Columbus, GA
S
S. Phillips Offline
500 Post Club Member
S. Phillips  Offline
500 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 577
Columbus, GA
The Winter was not a high end piano and the strings need replacement. I would not advise spending the money on that because there are many other issues with it that would need to be done as well. Bass strings would eclipse the value.


Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.steinwaypiano.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2751075
07/12/18 06:47 PM
07/12/18 06:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 479
Rockville, MD
Seeker Offline
Full Member
Seeker  Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 479
Rockville, MD
No argument with S. Phillips on the economics or the worth of a Winter piano. We know she knows what she's talking about.

That said, it seems as if the OP has already put more time, effort & cash into what the piano would fetch in dollars & cents.
But, he LIKES it, and with the exception of the bass strings, the way it sounds.
Ed Foote has provided ways to test the bass strings as well as ways to harden the hammers if the strings are still worthy (enough).

Me, I'd try treating a few hammers and listen after a day or so.
It won't sound like a B8...but may a 1928 Winter, tricked out a bit, will more than suffice.
...but I'm sentimental, and I like strange old pianos.


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: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2751077
07/12/18 06:55 PM
07/12/18 06:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 133
V
violarules Offline
Full Member
violarules  Offline
Full Member
V
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 133
It strikes me as... odd... that a person would spend considerable time and talent restoring the player system of an old piano when you aren't happy with even the basic sound or tone of the piano.

Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2751087
07/12/18 07:50 PM
07/12/18 07:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 30
Boston MA
M
martin snow Offline
Full Member
martin snow  Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 30
Boston MA
Nothing ventured nothing gained especially on a 1927 Winter, so mix a 3/1 cocktail thats 3 parts lacquer thinner to 1 part lacquer, so for what you need 3 teaspoons thinner to 1 teaspoon lacquer, mix and transfer to an applicator something like an eye dropper or small plastic dispenser that you can control the flow, initially try hammers 1-8 with 6-8 drops on high shoulders and strike point 'crown' of hammer, leave overnight, and test the following day.....


Head Piano Technician and Restorer at Boston University School of Music since 1986. Tuning clientele in Greater Boston and South Shore. Restoring now just Steinway and Mason and Hamlin grands for sale. 617 543 1030.
Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2751108
07/12/18 10:08 PM
07/12/18 10:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,623
Philadelphia area
D
Dave B Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Dave B  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,623
Philadelphia area
I would first check the bass strings. Sometimes a twist will bring some life back. Have you taken a close look at the bass bridge?


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: violarules] #2751153
07/13/18 04:41 AM
07/13/18 04:41 AM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
S
SLT16 Offline OP
Full Member
SLT16  Offline OP
Full Member
S
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
Dear violarules,

I forgot to mention that the bass was ONCE good. However, i have reshaped the hammers, and i believe that led to the demise of the sound. Besides, i am very happy with the mellow tone of the rest of the piano. The last 3 octaves sound especially pleasing.

Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: Seeker] #2751157
07/13/18 04:53 AM
07/13/18 04:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
S
SLT16 Offline OP
Full Member
SLT16  Offline OP
Full Member
S
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
Dear seeker,

I am aware that a Winter is certainly not very economical to restore, as it's not a very good piano in the first place. However, i am doing it as per request of my family, as this piano has been a member of our family for as long as anyone can remember. Nevertheless, although not the best investment, the countless hours put into it, and the money invested has certainly been a satisfying process. The piano went from a worthless piece of junk, to a well performing player piano. Regarding the player action, it's performing at 90 - 95%. So now, if i get that bass tone improved, it will be both a very nice player, and a nice piano.

Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2751158
07/13/18 05:19 AM
07/13/18 05:19 AM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
S
SLT16 Offline OP
Full Member
SLT16  Offline OP
Full Member
S
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
P.S. this is a recording of my Winter. It might be to some people's liking, but the bass is too soft and too mellow in my opinion. However, apart from the bottom 2 octaves of the bass, i quite like the overall tone of the piano.

Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml5pMB6VSjg

Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2751180
07/13/18 08:19 AM
07/13/18 08:19 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,039
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,039
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by SLT16
P.S. this is a recording of my Winter. It might be to some people's liking, but the bass is too soft and too mellow in my opinion. However, apart from the bottom 2 octaves of the bass, i quite like the overall tone of the piano.

Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml5pMB6VSjg

Well, you might not be an experienced player piano restorer, per-se, but you are certainly an experienced pianist! Heck, you don't need the player mechanism... just keep playing it yourself! smile

Why not just give the bass hammers some time blossom and compact again, since you said you reshaped them. If you want immediate results, go with the lacquer recommendation posted here earlier...

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: Rickster] #2751311
07/13/18 08:08 PM
07/13/18 08:08 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
S
SLT16 Offline OP
Full Member
SLT16  Offline OP
Full Member
S
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
Australia
Thanks Rick,

It's certainly nice to hear a nice word or two about my playing smile

This video was actually made before i rebuilt the air motor, re-tubed the tracker bar, rebuilt the tracker, and cleaned the strings. So the player piano is much more impressive now than it was in the video.

Re: Very quiet bass hammers. Any ideas? [Re: SLT16] #2751317
07/13/18 08:47 PM
07/13/18 08:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,515
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,515
Oakland
The player mechanism is going to affect the sound somewhat.As I said, neither recording sound that great to me. You really should call in a professional to evaluate the piano in person, and give you options.


Semipro Tech

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

New In Our Store!
New In Our Store!
key racks with hand sanitizer
Attn: Piano Teachers, Music Teachers, Studios!

A rack made from actual piano keys, with individual hand sanitizer for each student!
Tons more music related products in our online store!
(ad)
Jazz Piano Lessons
Jazz Piano Lessons
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Fingerless Gloves?
by MacMorrighan. 09/19/18 11:14 PM
Kawai CP vs Yamaha CVP vs Roland GP 609
by G4Jazz. 09/19/18 10:44 PM
An absolute bargain
by David-G. 09/19/18 08:19 PM
Eighth notes
by Progman. 09/19/18 05:31 PM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Steingraeber
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics187,384
Posts2,746,715
Members91,045
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1.1