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33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? #2813194
02/10/19 06:34 PM
02/10/19 06:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 399
Scotland
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ShyPianist Offline OP
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Hi all

So I have just figured out this is what I have (the nameplate is “Eichner”). It was swapped by a piano shop back in the early 2000s in return for a Weber boudoir grand which I could no longer accommodate. The deal was done by my parents, I thought it might have been a bad deal at the time and now I’m sure it was!

After more than 20 years I really want to pick up my playing seriously again. Question, will this piano be a hindrance? I’ve already figured that it doesn’t hold its tune terribly well and the dampers seem uneven. The piano tuner has always been a bit non-committal about it as an instrument but as I wasn’t playing much I never pressed him too much.

Am I likely to need to budget for a new piano, basically?


“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
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Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2813937
02/12/19 07:47 AM
02/12/19 07:47 AM
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David Boyce Online content
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Has your regular tuner/technician advised you about why the piano doesn't stay in tune? Location can be a factor.
If you are thinking of an upgrade (and Sojin were certainly never among the top-rank pianos), you might consider going for a young-ish high quality upright, rather than a brand new one. You will probably get more for your money that way. A nice Yamaha U3 with not too high mileage and a good service history, for example, would give you a very high quality piano with a fine action and a very good dynamic range. Maybe something ten to twenty years old.

Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2813944
02/12/19 08:06 AM
02/12/19 08:06 AM
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Hi, thanks for the reply. I knew that would happen once I asked the question in another forum, now I have two threads going 🤦‍♀️.

The trouble is I really don’t have the budget for a new piano at all (new to me only or otherwise) and I realise after discussing this on here that I’m quite attached to this one. It is actually still at concert pitch after the last tuning a year ago so I guess that’s a bonus. Some middle register notes seem to go out of tune with playing which isn’t great! However it has been moved across the country and back more times than I care to remember so I don’t suppose that has helped (and if I’d realised at the time that this is not the “high quality piano” my parents were told it was I probably wouldn’t have wasted the money I have on those removals!).

I had a good poke around inside yesterday and aside from the tuning of individual bad notes I think it might just be a damper bar that needs adjusting, plus hopefully the pedal can be made less noisy! I think realistically my choice is to do my best with this one for as long as I can and perhaps to acquire a digital piano with a high quality action to supplement it. Unless by definition a Sojin will simply not accommodate advanced technique (which I do hope to reacquire!).

I’m having it tuned in a couple of weeks so I’ll have a chat with my tuner then. Thanks again.

Last edited by ShyPianist; 02/12/19 08:07 AM.

“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2813946
02/12/19 08:11 AM
02/12/19 08:11 AM
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You should not have to put up with a noisy pedal. Your tuner/technician should be able to fix that, and to adjust the pedal so that the dampers lift at the proper time, and also adjust the damper wires if necessary so that they all lift together.

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Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2814069
02/12/19 01:38 PM
02/12/19 01:38 PM
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New Hampshire
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Shy,

Your major instability issues should get under control with an internal humidity control system (assuming that the tuner is competent). That said, there are tuner/techs, and there are tuners, and then there are "tooners". Vertical dampers are not the easiest components to work on and some do not possess the skills to do a good job. It requires a thorough understanding of how and why the damper system is the way it is, and how to diagnose what is actually going on as well ad how to fix it. Tuners and tooners may not have this skill and therefore tend to not talk about doing anything about it...they tune...period. Nothing wrong with that, but face it...would you ask your family practice doctor to perform thoracic surgery? Probably not a good idea. Not saying this is the case, but if your tuner generally shys away from suggesting any performance improvements, especially if you are asking, it may simply be out of his/her comfort zone to do it.

All pianos can be improved. It is simply a matter of time, money, and talent to do it. The very first place of start is with humidity control. But some have an aversion to this thinking it will put them out of business. Not true...but it's hard to change that mind set (if it exists).

Just an observation. Could be wrong, but I've been doing this 44 years...just sayin

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2814086
02/12/19 02:10 PM
02/12/19 02:10 PM
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Hi, thanks for the detailed comments. The piano is in a room with a storage heater and a pretty constant temperature. Although thinking about it there’s also a computer in the room which could also be drying the atmosphere I guess.

I think my tuner is a good guy so I’ll be interested to hear what he has to say. I believe he’s a technician too, not just a “tooner”. I have asked him before about mellowing the tone and he made various suggestions at the time so I think he knows what he’s talking about (but then I don’t really so I suppose he could have been talking gibberish!). More to the point is that I’ve only recently been seriously interested in resurrecting my playing to a good standard, so I’ve not been so bothered about the instrument beyond keeping it in tune.


“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2814406
02/13/19 05:40 AM
02/13/19 05:40 AM
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Digital pianos are useful tools - you can practice with headphones etc. But, so far, they don't give the playing pleasure that a real, acoustic piano gives. There is a psycho-acoustic 'something' missing, even from the best of them.

Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2814801
02/13/19 08:01 PM
02/13/19 08:01 PM
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It does not sound like an " insurmountable" problem. Infact if the notes actually play then you, with the requirements of a novice have no problems in getting it fixed. Damp is not a good thing for pianos thus a constant temp above 18C should keep things in order.
I will be watching for the explanation - do ask your tec to explain !

Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2814810
02/13/19 08:17 PM
02/13/19 08:17 PM
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Hi, sorry to do this but I do need to clarify that I’m ex music college so while I’m certainly very rusty, I wouldn’t class myself as a novice. 😊 Hence my concern about the instrument.


“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2815055
02/14/19 10:42 AM
02/14/19 10:42 AM
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Unless your Sojin piano turns out to have some serious structural fault, I am sure it will be fix-up-able. And even if it doesn't give you quite the dynamic range or sonority that you would prefer, I think you will still find it preferable to a digital piano, until such times as you can go for a superior piano (get the kids down the mines/up the chimneys/into the mills at a young age, to help finance your musical ventures....)

Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: David Boyce] #2815066
02/14/19 10:55 AM
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Thanks, yes I’ve had plenty of quite reassuring replies that have allayed my initial worries. I can’t wait until it’s hopefully fixed up, that’s for sure!!


“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2815077
02/14/19 11:09 AM
02/14/19 11:09 AM
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Oh by the way, I definitely am going to invest in a digital piano, not instead of but to supplement this acoustic. My husband isn’t too pleased as he was hopeful of getting the space back! But I do like the idea of headphone playing, recording, attempting concertos, and messing around with historic temperaments. Hopefully I’ll end up with the best of both worlds. Now I just need about ten lifetimes to play all the things I want to play!


“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler
Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2815258
02/14/19 04:19 PM
02/14/19 04:19 PM
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Canberra, ACT, Australia
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It is likely that with a good long service including regulation, tuning pin tightening, hammer shaping and a good tuning that you should have a reasonable piano for your purpose. That may cost several hundred dollars but could well give you much bang for your buck.


Chris Leslie ARPT
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au
Re: 33 year old Sojin upright - flogging a dead horse? [Re: ShyPianist] #2816632
02/17/19 03:44 PM
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Hi peeps, a bit of an update. I visited the local piano store this weekend to try a couple of Kawai DPs against some acoustics. I quite deliberately tested with the Chopin E minor Prelude. Well without exception the Kawai uprights were awful. The actions felt loose and uncontrolled and the repeated left hand chords frequently just failed. At the third one I was starting to wonder if my piano was even worse than I thought and letting me get away with terrible technique. Then I tried an expensive grand and THAT felt like my piano. So I guess it ain’t so bad after all, and I’ve learned you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Who knew?! Can’t wait to get it tuned now!

Last edited by ShyPianist; 02/17/19 03:45 PM.

“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt) - stolen from Kreisler

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