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Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins #2791970
12/16/18 01:05 PM
12/16/18 01:05 PM
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HollowRiku Offline OP
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Hi! I'm from Spain, so sorry if my English is not perfect~

I bought a Kawai GL 10 piano back in 2016, two and a half years ago. They piano has been played almost everyday and tuned frequently but very gently. A few days ago one of the piano pins completely broke in two halves while I was tuning a key, I had no idea that could happen and I've never been violent while tuning, I'm always very careful.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

A professional piano technician has been trying to replace that pin with a new one, in the process he's checked the nearby pins and has noticed all of them are bent, have very noticiable marks on the places where the strings were attached, and the small hole where the string is attached is becoming bigger and bigger, the metal is deforming! That's the place where the pin started to break, the string went inside it through the hole and totally broke it as if the pin was made of butter.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

I have no idea if this is related to the fact it's made in Indonesia, if it's something that affects all the GL models or if I was just unlucky and got a defective one. The technician said he's never seen something this bad before, my piano is now cursed and he has recommended I should get rid of it and get a new one, since repairing every pin in the piano wouldn't be worth it smirk

I was wondering if anyone has heard any experience like this, I haven't been able to find anything~ I'm pretty worried about it, any suggestions / tips are welcome, thanks for reading!

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Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2791972
12/16/18 01:10 PM
12/16/18 01:10 PM
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Hakki Offline
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Did you buy it new?
If not how old was it and did you have a technician check it before buying?

Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2791974
12/16/18 01:12 PM
12/16/18 01:12 PM
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MarkL Offline
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I have the same piano, I just took a look at all the tuning pins and don't see any pattern of wear like that. Mine is newer and has only had two tunings.
It's under warranty, have you contacted the dealer where you purchased it?


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792073
12/16/18 05:20 PM
12/16/18 05:20 PM
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Portland, Oregon, USA
Emery Wang Offline
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Should have 10 year warranty, I'd try calling dealer as Mark suggests. Not sure if dealer is supposed to service, or if Kawai takes responsibility directly, but this definitely sounds like a warranty item.


Kawai MP11SE
Kawai GL10
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792140
12/16/18 07:58 PM
12/16/18 07:58 PM
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Rick_Parks Offline
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Originally Posted by HollowRiku
Hi! I'm from Spain, so sorry if my English is not perfect~

I bought a Kawai GL 10 piano back in 2016, two and a half years ago. They piano has been played almost everyday and tuned frequently but very gently. A few days ago one of the piano pins completely broke in two halves while I was tuning a key, I had no idea that could happen and I've never been violent while tuning, I'm always very careful...


Have indeed heard of people breaking the pins when tuning, because they were bending them instead of turning them without understanding the importance of proper tuning method.
I have not ever heard of Kawai having this problem with tuning pins...
How often are you tuning the instrument (you say frequently)?
I am not saying you are responsible, but it is entirely possible that an improper tuning method has been employed and has ruined these pins. In fact, if all are this way-- it is highly possible, since I can definitely tell from the last image that your tuning pins are being destroyed- they are all chewed up by whatever tuning hammer head type/size has been employed for the job.
No way should tuning pins look that chewed up after only 2 years of tuning.
Also, those wear marks at the hole look like- bottom of hole is worn downward (from pulling back on the pin, instead of turning), and top left of pin is worn from another maneuver with the hammer that is not good...

I am not trying to accuse you or saying you did this, this is all just my observation of what I am seeing in the pics...

Perhaps for some reason Kawai has goofed? It does happen...
One piano manufacturer in more recent history has had problems due to the metal they used for their piano action frames-- cheap metal that expands with climate change (not global warming/cooling/whatever-people-now-say type)... This has caused many a headache for them as a company... So mfg's do make mistakes.

Last edited by Rick_Parks; 12/16/18 08:06 PM.

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Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792150
12/16/18 08:15 PM
12/16/18 08:15 PM
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I would deal with the dealer, or the distributor for your part of the world.


Semipro Tech
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: Rick_Parks] #2792162
12/16/18 08:50 PM
12/16/18 08:50 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 4
HollowRiku Offline OP
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HollowRiku  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Did you buy it new?
If not how old was it and did you have a technician check it before buying?


Yep it was totally new! Supposedly it was checked before being sent, I bought it from Thomann

Originally Posted by MarkL
I have the same piano, I just took a look at all the tuning pins and don't see any pattern of wear like that. Mine is newer and has only had two tunings.
It's under warranty, have you contacted the dealer where you purchased it?


Oh I see frown I've recently sent an e-mail to Kawai Spain and Thomann, where I bought it, let'see what they can do for me!

Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Should have 10 year warranty, I'd try calling dealer as Mark suggests. Not sure if dealer is supposed to service, or if Kawai takes responsibility directly, but this definitely sounds like a warranty item.


I've contacted both via e-mail, I'm just afraid they're just going to ignore me or not believe me frown I'll let you know what they say!

Originally Posted by Rick_Parks
I am not saying you are responsible, but it is possible a wrong tuning method has been employed and has ruined these pins. In fact, if all are this way-- it is highly possible, since I can definitely tell from the last image that your tuning pins are being destroyed- they are all chewed up by whatever tuning hammer head type/size has been employed for the job. No way should tuning pins look that chewed up after only 2 years of tuning.


I admit I used to use a very average lever, but I got a professional one a few months ago (both with the standard hammer size). I explained that to the piano technician but he said a cheap lever shouldn't be able to cause that (I guess the chewing up part is indeed because of it, I also noticed that). He also said those pins were incredibly tight, the tightest he's ever seen, and that he doesn't want to tune my piano cause he knows he'll break them. He feels the materials are super cheap and doesn't feel like a Kawai model at all, even if it has its name ;_;

I've always tried to turn the pin delicately instead of bending it, maybe they were so tight that they were being bent in the process? Could the strings mark be caused by a bad tuning method too? He's shown me +20 years tuning pins that were used for many tests while restoring pianos and that belonged to pianos tuned tons of times by many different tuners and they were perfectly straight with 0 marks, I'm not sure and I might be partially responsible, but I feel there's something wrong about these pins, like they are super easily deformable frown

Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792169
12/16/18 09:24 PM
12/16/18 09:24 PM
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If the pins are crazy tight it may be a combination of things that has caused the problem .
A few questions
Would you have a pic of your "very average lever" and maybe a pic of the inside of its tip ? where did you get the lever from ? was the lever tip the right size for the pins ?
Not blaming you just trying to figure this out.

Also maybe a sideways pic of your lever tip sitting on a tuning pin would be helpful.

Last edited by michaelopolis; 12/16/18 09:25 PM.
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792186
12/16/18 10:11 PM
12/16/18 10:11 PM
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kpembrook Offline
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There are actually fake tools being sold. They are the $15-on-eBay kind of thing. They look like the real thing but in actual fact do not work. I have had a number of people report their experiences to me when they came my direction to buy a real tuning lever instead of a fake one. Some of them don't even grip the pin. Given the amount the pins are chewed up, you may have ruined a set of pins from being tunable with a legitimate tuning lever.

But that's not why they are breaking...

Tuning pins will normally break in the fashion of your photo when torque reaches around 300 inch/pounds (dunno what that is in newton/meters). I've done it when experimenting with tuning pin torque in various pinblocks. I think it happened once in an actual restringing job where the pins were too tight. Now, it may be that tuning pins from different manufacturers will have different levels of torque failure. But given that really tight-but-tunable pins would be around $150 inch/lbs, no pin should break if the assembly were done properly.

Also, the elongation of the becket hole is weird. I don't even know how that can be done in anything like normal stringing procedure. (Maybe stringing machine setup improperly?!?) Anyway...

This is clearly a warranty issue. Even if the piano was worked on by incompetent people using sub-standard "tools" , the tuning pin failure shown in your photos is not something that can be caused by any kind of post-delivery situation or service. (Well, I suppose if one applied CA to already tight tuning pins, maybe...) Bottom line: your dealer and manufacturer need to make good to you on what should have been a good quality and thoroughly satisfactory piano.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792187
12/16/18 10:12 PM
12/16/18 10:12 PM
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Extremely tight tuning pins is common on many new pianos...Sometimes they need to be worked back and forth, in order to "break them free" (not the sort of break that you've got there LOL- sorry)... There have been recent threads on the topic of tight tuning pins that you may refer to.
If the pins are super tight, and you are not aware of what you are doing, and you have a wrong size tuning hammer tip (the kind that make the tip sit on top of the pin instead of seating properly over it), you will indeed be in for a bad end.

Again, could be cheaper tuning pins...But, generally piano mfg's don't make their own tuning pins these days- they tend to be a more general supply for many different mfg's. I mean it is not like we are looking at Kawai hiring someone to make their tuning pins in Indonesia out of cheap Chinese steal, or something like that smile That does not happen.

I am afraid that this does strike me as a mistake on the part of the person responsible for tunings. That would be my guess at least.

Still, you might as well try Kawai service department, but don't be surprised if they have questions like these for you. They are not likely to just say bring it back when they hear the problem.


Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: kpembrook] #2792192
12/16/18 10:29 PM
12/16/18 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
But that's not why they are breaking...
Tuning pins will normally break in the fashion of your photo when torque reaches around 300 inch/pounds (dunno what that is in newton/meters). I've done it when experimenting with tuning pin torque in various pinblocks. I think it happened once in an actual restringing job where the pins were too tight. Now, it may be that tuning pins from different manufacturers will have different levels of torque failure. But given that really tight-but-tunable pins would be around $150 inch/lbs, no pin should break if the assembly were done properly.

Also, the elongation of the becket hole is weird. I don't even know how that can be done in anything like normal stringing procedure. (Maybe stringing machine setup improperly?!?) Anyway...

This is clearly a warranty issue. Even if the piano was worked on by incompetent people using sub-standard "tools" , this is not something that can be caused by any kind of post-delivery situation or service. (Well, I suppose if one applied CA to already tight tuning pins, maybe...) Bottom line: your dealer and manufacturer need to make good to you on what should have been a good quality and thoroughly satisfactory piano.


I respectfully disagree with this assessment, as repeated bending back and forth ("The piano has been played almost everyday and tuned frequently...")... Again, how frequent are these pins being moved? If pins are "extremely tight', and not turning but rather bending every time (as is evident by the tip damage on the pins), then constant stress would cause metal fatigue:
Quote
Fatigue
Material
In materials science, fatigue is the weakening of a material caused by repeatedly applied loads. It is the progressive and localized structural damage that occurs when a material is subjected to cyclic loading. The nominal maximum stress values that cause such damage may be much less than the strength of the material typically quoted as the ultimate tensile stress limit, or the yield stress limit.

I.E. - the pins are normally NOT supposed to break because of their strength... But, will if bent back and forth repeatedly for almost 2 years.

Last edited by Rick_Parks; 12/16/18 10:30 PM.

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Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792203
12/16/18 11:06 PM
12/16/18 11:06 PM
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kpembrook Offline
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Quote
If the pins are super tight, and you are not aware of what you are doing, and you have a wrong size tuning hammer tip (the kind that make the tip sit on top of the pin instead of seating properly over it), you will indeed be in for a bad end.

Again, could be cheaper tuning pins...But, generally piano mfg's don't make their own tuning pins these days- they tend to be a more general supply for many different mfg's. I mean it is not like we are looking at Kawai hiring someone to make their tuning pins in Indonesia out of cheap Chinese steal, or something like that smile That does not happen.


Again, tuning pins have a breaking strength just as music wire does. When music wire exceeds its breaking point, it will break. Doesn't matter if you jerk or pull gently or even talk nice to it. It will break.

Same with tuning pins. If the force required to move the pin exceeds ~300 inch/lbs the pin will break. Doesn't matter how skillful or qualified the technician is who is turning the tuning pin. If this situation prevails in a piano it can only be factory responsibility -- whether in QC of tuning pin strength or humidity management or pinblock construction or whatever. The only conceivable exception would be sabotage -- as I mentioned earlier if someone applied CA to already tight pins.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: kpembrook] #2792207
12/16/18 11:26 PM
12/16/18 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
Quote
If the pins are super tight, and you are not aware of what you are doing, and you have a wrong size tuning hammer tip (the kind that make the tip sit on top of the pin instead of seating properly over it), you will indeed be in for a bad end.

Again, could be cheaper tuning pins...But, generally piano mfg's don't make their own tuning pins these days- they tend to be a more general supply for many different mfg's. I mean it is not like we are looking at Kawai hiring someone to make their tuning pins in Indonesia out of cheap Chinese steal, or something like that smile That does not happen.


Again, tuning pins have a breaking strength just as music wire does. When music wire exceeds its breaking point, it will break. Doesn't matter if you jerk or pull gently or even talk nice to it. It will break.

Same with tuning pins. If the force required to move the pin exceeds ~300 inch/lbs the pin will break. Doesn't matter how skillful or qualified the technician is who is turning the tuning pin. If this situation prevails in a piano it can only be factory responsibility -- whether in QC of tuning pin strength or humidity management or pinblock construction or whatever. The only conceivable exception would be sabotage -- as I mentioned earlier if someone applied CA to already tight pins.


If I bend a tuning pin back and forth continually for a long period of time it is going to break. Period. It is called metal fatigue. It has nothing to do with what torque the pin would NORMALLY break at. It is just like that silly little paper-clip thingy on a manila envelope... Normally they work, but when I bend it back and forth back and forth back and forth--- snap. It happens in all metals. And it is not related at all to the normal breaking strength-- tensile strength.
Take your piano string-- after talking nice to it smile - and bend it back and forth many times, then try to tune it to its normal tension. It's going to break before your stated breaking point. The string is weakened by the bending (metal fatigue). It is an obvious factor to consider here.


Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792428
12/17/18 04:21 PM
12/17/18 04:21 PM
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I am not a piano technician.

However, I wonder about those dark rings around the pin, visible in the OP's 3rd and 4th photos (from top to bottom). The similarity of their spacing to the thickness of pinblock laminations suggests that those lines correspond to either the layers of wood, or the layers of glue/adhesive in the pinblock.

And, to me, those dark rings look like burnt material. I have seen YouTube videos of "technicians" turning tuning pins with a power drill (for installation, if I remember correctly).

So, I have to wonder whether OP's pins were either installed by a high speed power tool, or, whether someone along the way has turned the pins at speeds sufficient to generate excessive heat, thereby causing the burning, and maybe even some metal fatigue in the pins.

To our experienced techs: Are those black, charred rings, normal?

Last edited by Ralphiano; 12/17/18 04:22 PM.

Ralph

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Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792436
12/17/18 04:46 PM
12/17/18 04:46 PM
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I also note from OP's second photo that there is a lot of metal debris around the broken pin. I find the following observations curious:

1. In my experience, every episode of a metal bolt, shank, or pin breaking from being subjected to torque that exceeds the device's strength, has NEVER been accompanied by a debris field of small particles breaking off at the same time and then spreading around the area. They always break into two, or three at most, pieces.

2. The particles making up the debris field are not sharp edged, slivers that one would expect from tearing metal. They appear to be small arbitrarily shaped pieces, almost as if the metal had already lost much of its molecular bond, crystalizing perhaps, before the final torque incident.

3. The spread of the debris field is not what I would expect from just a tuning pin breaking under excess torque. Some of the debris is as far away as the adjacent pins, many pieces resting atop the wire coils on those pins. How odd that seems. Did the particles somehow become magnetized, explaining how they might have come to be perched in such an unusual position? The debris sitting on the plate tapers off before those neighboring pins. So, how did some parts of the debris have enough energy to travel beyond the end of the debris field and strike the adjoinging pins, and then, instead of rebounding from them, stay, and become perched on the very narrow top of those pins' coils?

4. The two main pieces of the pin do not show any sharp edges as usually appear when a healthy metal shaft is separated into two pieces by excessive torque. There is usually that one sharp point/edge, which is the final bit of metal to tear before the separation is completed. I am referring to the little point that looks somewhat like the very top of a soft serve ice cream cone. I do not see any of that here.

I am suspecting that this pin has been subjected to high heat, and its metal composition had been seriously compromised before breaking. What sayeth the rest of you detectives?

Last edited by Ralphiano; 12/17/18 04:48 PM.

Ralph

Kawai VPC1
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Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792458
12/17/18 05:54 PM
12/17/18 05:54 PM
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I'd like to see more pictures including showing the model and serial number. Is it truly a Kawaii?


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792502
12/17/18 08:12 PM
12/17/18 08:12 PM
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Why am I seeing what looks like corrosion or other crud on the wires and around the tuning pins? If this is a two year old piano, that's a lot of oxidation. However maybe it's something else?

I am also seeing rings of rust on the threads of the tuning pin that would seem to correspond with the layers of pinblock internally. I have only that in really high humidity situations over a long period of time.


Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 12/17/18 08:14 PM.

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Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: P W Grey] #2792508
12/17/18 08:27 PM
12/17/18 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Why am I seeing what looks like corrosion or other crud on the wires and around the tuning pins? If this is a two year old piano, that's a lot of oxidation. However maybe it's something else?
Pwg

I thought that might be the nickel (chrome?) plating that is flaking off all the tuning pins in the photo. If there were a photo that showed the full length of the pinblock, I'm guessing those flakes will be everywhere.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: HollowRiku] #2792525
12/17/18 09:11 PM
12/17/18 09:11 PM
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I took a photo of my tuning pins to compare with the OP, looks like the construction is the same even though mine is 2 years newer.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: Kawai GL-10 HUGE problem with the tuning pins [Re: P W Grey] #2792549
12/17/18 10:29 PM
12/17/18 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
I also note from OP's second photo that there is a lot of metal debris around the broken pin. I find the following observations curious.........


The debris you are seeing-- I noted when I first looked it over... It is metal debris (or chrome chippings, as MarkL suggests), from his/her chewing up the pins when tuning (I am almost 100% positive). The pins are chewed up by the tuning hammer, and as it happens the metal dust and frag's fall to the coil.
As for installation- Kawai is using the usual methods. You appear set to blame the manufacturer (I address this below)...

Originally Posted by P W Grey
Why am I seeing what looks like corrosion or other crud on the wires and around the tuning pins? If this is a two year old piano, that's a lot of oxidation. However maybe it's something else?

I am also seeing rings of rust on the threads of the tuning pin that would seem to correspond with the layers of pinblock internally. I have only that in really high humidity situations over a long period of time.
Pwg

Saw that too and questioned it, Peter. Has anyone confirmed that this was indeed purchased as a NEW instrument yet?


NOW-
We have established these facts:

1 The person tuned it themselves (not being educated as to how to do this)...

2 The pins are VERY Tight...

3 When the Professional tuner-tech was finally called for, he refused to tune the instrument when he saw that ALL THE PINS ARE BENT...

4 The pins show themselves to be extremely chewed up around the edges (only capable by tuning lever)...

5 The owner confesses to having tuned for 1.5 years?("I admit I used to use a very average lever, but I got a professional one a few months ago (both with the standard hammer size"), all this time with a cheap lever before changing over (hence the pins condition).

6) The break in the pin shows a metal that appears to have twists formed in it's material (if you examine the close up of the pin)... This would be from continued twisting of the metal above, while the pin is not moving below... Understanding the method that we use to tune might help one understand this point. A tuning pin must be broken free from any resistance, in order to TURN the pin. If this force is not overcome, all that will be accomplished is twisting/bending/anything-but-turning. The pitch will indeed change, for a short while, and then fall back out of tune as the pin tries to return to its normal state (hence my diagnosis of Metal Fatigue). It would be very interesting to know HOW OFTEN she/he found it necessary to "tune" or "adjust" the instrument (this could be very telling).

With all of these facts (fact #6 is the only iffy one as a "fact"), I think it is only reasonable to suggest (at the least) that it might not be manufacturing that is to blame here.

Last edited by Rick_Parks; 12/17/18 10:31 PM.

Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com
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