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#2840903 04/20/19 12:28 PM
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Hi everyone,
I have just fashioned a 100% felt string cover for my new Haessler 186 grand, that has a Piano Life Saver System installed. I am able to stretch the felt around the harp and over the tuning pins so that it won't touch the action or the strings at all but at the tail the felt touches slightly on the strings at the hitch pins of the bass strings. I don't have an issue with the sound but am wondering if there are any problems associated with the felt touching the hitch pins or the strings. I tried a piece of wood block sitting on the harp at the tail to lift up the felt to minimize contact but I don't know if that is a better of worse idea. Any suggestions? Thanks!


Sila Shaman
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Haessler 186, Kawai CA78, Fender Rhodes Mark I and a whole lot of gear 🎶
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Hello Sila,

The best custom string covers on the market include small rods positioned correctly across the plate struts to ensure clearance above any moving parts or strings. When we make templates, we include the location of the struts, and the string cover maker sews sleeves into the cover to hold the small rods as well as fitting to the shape of the rim.

For your cover, you can implement the same. Wooden dowels are probably the easiest to source and the round sides will not harm the plate finish, but I still recommend being careful. With a little ingenuity, you can attach them to the cover so that it is easily installed and removed, but that is part of the advantage that makers like Dawson String Covers offers.


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Thanks Sam, I now used a long wooden dowel on one side and a magnet on the other side (where the plate is far out from the rim and there is no way to keep a dowel steady) pocketed in the felt to stretch across the front end of the piano which seems to work good. There are really no moving parts at the end of the tail where there is an issue of slight touching of the felt to the strings, which is where I have the wooden block lifting the felt. I guess my worry is about the felt touching the metal parts (plate/strings/pins) in general having any adverse affects in the long run. But I assume 100% wool felt should be safe.


Sila Shaman
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Hi Sila, It's a real pleasure having a accomplished composer like you on PW. I especially liked your "at the end of the day" album from your website. I'm interested in the process you went through buying your Haessler 186 and where you bought it from. I couldn't find any YouTube recordings of the piano, but I'd like to know what it sounds like.

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 04/20/19 05:38 PM.
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Originally Posted by Sila Shaman
Thanks Sam, I now used a long wooden dowel on one side and a magnet on the other side (where the plate is far out from the rim and there is no way to keep a dowel steady) pocketed in the felt to stretch across the front end of the piano which seems to work good. There are really no moving parts at the end of the tail where there is an issue of slight touching of the felt to the strings, which is where I have the wooden block lifting the felt. I guess my worry is about the felt touching the metal parts (plate/strings/pins) in general having any adverse affects in the long run. But I assume 100% wool felt should be safe.

I did much the same as Sam suggested - but I found that thin square pine rods (bit over ½") didn't roll and were easier to place - I've got a couple or 3 of each. But had dowels for a couple of years.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
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Thanks, the rods is a great idea as well.


Sila Shaman
www.silashaman.com
Haessler 186, Kawai CA78, Fender Rhodes Mark I and a whole lot of gear 🎶
Joined: Mar 2019
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Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
Hi Sila, It's a real pleasure having a accomplished composer like you on PW. I especially liked your "at the end of the day" album from your website. I'm interested in the process you went through buying your Haessler 186 and where you bought it from. I couldn't find any YouTube recordings of the piano, but I'd like to know what it sounds like.


Thank you, it is a great forum! My process was fairly simple yet it took a while. I went to some of the well known piano showrooms and Steinway re-builders in the larger New York area. I like a dark warm tone so that ruled out certain pianos of the bat. Tried a whole lot of pianos, realized that some of the ones that really spoke to me were out of my price range (a certain Fazioli (not all as some I tried were really bright), a Steingraeber and a Bluthner for example), new Steinways didn't work for me. I then focused on finding the right action/tone combination within my budget which pared it down to a wonderful rebuilt 1908 Steinway A2 (rebuilt by Cantabile pianos in Yonkers) and a Haessler 186 (at Allegro Pianos in Stamford, Conn.) which had certain elements of Bluthner in playability and resonance but I actually loved the warmer tone. Much like you one of the issues that delayed my decision was the lack of information on the Haessler. But at the end it won out by an inch as I preferred the action on it to the A2.
I am in and out this week but when I get a chance I can try to record something on the Haessler and post for you to hear if that helps.


Sila Shaman
www.silashaman.com
Haessler 186, Kawai CA78, Fender Rhodes Mark I and a whole lot of gear 🎶

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