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jsilva Offline OP
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I was in for a short time today and tested the strike line and no hammer position appeared to solve what I’m hearing. I’m inclined to attribute the problem to something I have no experience with, such as bridge repair or soundboard replacement. I can try Chris’ lacquering technique, although the WNG hammers are already fairly hard (but I can easily test with an older Steinway hammer).

But one good thing is that the piano is being moved into a room with more active acoustics smile That should help somewhat with the tone.

I was able to remove excess lead from another 17 keys today...

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Have you measured the crown height from note 50 on up.
If so, then what did you find?? it could be a good place to investigate also, maybe.
It's easy on that model, string and tape, flat, convex, or even concave, I'm curious.

R. Blais.


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What I cannot imagine has little to do with what may be.
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jsilva Offline OP
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I haven’t but I can the next time I’m there.

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Hello, my Steinway O seems to have similar issues to that described by the OP. Can anyone PM me a reputable technician who services the lower Westchester, NY area? Many thanks in advance!

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On Tuesday I was pursuing an idea and got fairly frustrated because I hadn’t brought the tools I needed and was making do with what I had and then broke a string smile Not a big deal, however...

Today I replaced that string. According to the plate it was a 16. However the string on it was quite a bit smaller. When I put the new string on the tone/sustain was improved noticeably. I didn’t have a lot of time with it but it’s a little exciting.

But also frustrating. I don’t know how many strings are the wrong size in that problem area, but replacing potentially 20 or more notes doesn’t fill me with happiness!

I’ll investigate more when I’m there the next time.

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Certainly the thing was strung with all the wrong wire it's going to have a significant impact on tone and sustain.

I have seen idiot workmanship like that before.

Pwg


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jsilva Offline OP
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Idiot workmanship seems to describe every modifyable part of this piano... If changing the strings makes this piano sound better in that region it will be a big relief.

One thing I was wondering is if taking out all of that lead will weaken the key? There will be 4 or more empty holes in almost every key by the time I’m done. Do the holes need to be filled with something?

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You should be very cautious about removing weights.


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Personally, I would fill (glue) corresponding plugs of suitable wood on those holes. Yes, you do need some integrity. Pianotek sells plugs that work well.

I hope you're getting paid for all this.

Pwg


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jsilva Offline OP
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Thanks Pwg. I checked them out on Pianotek’s website. A little more expensive than I would have hoped but I should do it.

I am sort of being paid ... it’s a complicated story smile

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The drill bit supplier in the recent topic sells plug cutters.


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With or without lead in a hole, the strength of the key is the same. The action response sure changes!


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That makes sense Ed. Unless the leads are glued then they wouldn’t be adding any strength to the wood. So at least I’m not losing any key strength, although maybe I should put plugs in them at some point.

The keys I did take the lead out of do feel different, and better.

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The other day I replaced more of the strings (with Mapes IGS) and the improvement in tone is very noticeable. Some of the notes have the wrong size string and some are ok, but the improvement is with every note. The poorest notes have a substantial improvement.

What a surprise! (To me, at least.)

I’m not the fastest at replacing strings so finishing up that range will take a while. Yet another thing I’m doing to the piano...

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I was finally able to replace the strings in the ‘dead’ range with Mapes IGS. Sound is substantially improved! Almost finished with this piano...

[Linked Image]

Last edited by jsilva; 08/14/19 10:17 PM.
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Should've cleaned the plate when the strings were off. smile


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
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Originally Posted by adamp88
Should've cleaned the plate when the strings were off. smile


Yes... smile Thanks for pointing that out. I do have a detailing brush that would at least get the dust out. Tonight is my last night doing serious work on the piano (voicing and finish regulation) so I’ll try to remember to bring it.

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Regarding sustain and the soundboards role.
I am in the process of rebuilding a Mason and Hamlin AA. I installed a new soundboard in it that focused on having a correct rib scale. The original board had a massive rib scale and the panel was also very thick. I'll admit that the original board sounded very good, and most people would have wanted to keep the original. My client knows my work and so wanted a new board. I installed a thinner panel, engineered the rib scale and my crew and myself could hardly believe the improvement in sustain. I usually do a tap test on the old board and then the new one to get a comparison. Most old boards sound like table tops until the plate is installed, and only then will they exhibit sustain. My new boards are sounding like timpani drums even loaded with the strings. On Steinways the main problem with no sustain in the questioned section is 3 fold as far as a soundboard is concerned. 1) excessive downbearing, usually 2 degrees. 2) Weak ribs, usually the 3rd and 4th ribs from the top are under-engineered. 3) Too thin a panel at the top treble sections. I even did a Chladni test of Steinway soundboards and even that test shows that Steinway's are too weak in the top sections, indicated by sand traveling to that area at a low frequency of 50hz. All of those factors contribute to poor sustain. Since every other part of the chain (strings , hammers) are built on top of the soundboard, the soundboard is the main culprit that has to be covered over by the other parts of the chain.
I am posting a comparison chart of 2 section modulus curves of a Steinway S. This shows the original and my new version. The chart clearly shows the weakness at ribs 8 and 7. -chris
[img]https://imgur.com/gallery/QcTPdgo[/img]

Last edited by Chernobieff Piano; 08/15/19 11:18 AM.

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jsilva Offline OP
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Thanks Chris smile In the case of this piano the issue I was experiencing was mainly due to someone putting too small of strings in that range. That is just one of several really strange things done to this poor piano!

With the correct size strings, and possibly to some extent the Treble Tone Resonator I installed a while back, the tone is much improved in that range.

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