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Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
#2868048 07/10/19 04:03 PM
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In my baby grand piano shopping, I came across a 2004 Young Chang Pramberger 5'0" grand in a dealer's showroom. Overall nice sound, but there are two keys that are out-of-tune in a way I've never heard.

The highest G# produces two tones when the hammer strikes the strings. When I pointed it out to a store employee, she plucked the three strings one by one that that hammer strikes, and one of the strings was clearly flatter in pitch than the other two.

The highest C on the piano was worse yet. All three strings were of different pitches, nearly a half step between each. Striking the C key gave a mishmash of sounds that made it sound overall like going from the B key to the C key was going lower in pitch.

Do these particular pianos have trouble like that? Will a simple tuning help, or do you think this is a problem that will involve more major work and/or be a long-term headache?

A little background: the piano sat for 11 years in the showroom before it was purchased in 2015, then last month got repossessed, where it is now for sale again. It's been tuned twice that they know of. I'm not clear about whether they meant during the years that it was in the customer's home, or while it was at the store, or during the whole life of the piano. I do know that they haven't had it tuned since it was repossessed.

A problem caused by neglect? By structural problems with the instrument? Everything looked fine to me, but the sound of those two keys was awful.

Thanks for any advice you may have.

Last edited by Andamento; 07/10/19 04:09 PM.
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Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2868073 07/10/19 05:19 PM
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I could not tell without trying to tune those strings.


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Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2868075 07/10/19 05:21 PM
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If you have interest in the the piano ask the dealer to tune either the whole piano or those two strings.

Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2868077 07/10/19 05:24 PM
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Better yet, ask the dealer if you could have a tuner of your choice to tune those strings. If there is weakness, tuning it could just hide it temporarily.


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Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2868142 07/10/19 09:12 PM
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So... this is a piano that nobody wanted for 11 years it was gone briefly and now it's back. In that interval it's been tuned only twice when it should have been tuned 22 times or more?

A number of possibilities come to mind but the prima facie evidence would be that it's a schlock dealer. If they had it for 11 years and basically never tuned it, it can be expected to be unstable. If people didn't want it over that time there was probably something in the general maintenance/make-ready department that was never done that caused it to be undesirable.

It's probably a diamond in the rough but as you have already been advised, get another technician in there to check it out.


Keith Akins, RPT
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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: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2868293 07/11/19 08:16 AM
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Ditto what Keith wrote.

The cost of having it inspected and even tuned by your own trusted tech is insignificant compared to the cost of the piano. Think of it as an insurance policy.

Pwg


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Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2868329 07/11/19 10:06 AM
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Thank you for all the advice. I do like the feel and sound of this piano, except for those two keys, of course, and I told the store personnel when I left yesterday that I'm interested in the piano if they can get those keys to sound correctly.

They are getting in a tuner to tune those six strings and will call me when it's done. But from what you're recommending, BDB, Keith, and Peter, I'm thinking it would be a good idea to call the store today and tell them I'd like to have my own tuner/tech tune the piano at my expense. I trust his word, and believe I'd get a more accurate assessment about the piano's general condition than from a person the store hired.

Or, at the very least, I could have my tech come along to inspect the piano after they call me to say those two keys have been brought to correct pitch. I think, overall though, having my tech tune the whole thing, rather than their tech only work on those two keys, would be the best option.

I'll let you know what I find out. Thanks again for your help.

Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2868410 07/11/19 02:19 PM
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Yes, have them tune it, but also get your tech in there to check it all over and esp check the condition of those strings and pins up there in the problem area.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2869348 07/14/19 08:18 PM
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WARNING!

Some Young Chang grand pianos are known to be made with very hard V-bar on the plate. (The V-bar is what terminates the speaking length of the strings where the pass under it on there way to the tuning pin.) These hard V-bars damage the wire and thus I suspect the piano has some replaced strings which go out of tune very quickly.

Have your tech test the V-bar for hardness.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2869361 07/14/19 09:32 PM
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Had not thought of that Ed...good point. An experienced tech will be able to spot string replacements if he looks closely. There are always telltale signs.


Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
P W Grey #2869368 07/14/19 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
WARNING!

Some Young Chang grand pianos are known to be made with very hard V-bar on the plate. (The V-bar is what terminates the speaking length of the strings where the pass under it on there way to the tuning pin.) These hard V-bars damage the wire and thus I suspect the piano has some replaced strings which go out of tune very quickly.

Have your tech test the V-bar for hardness.



Originally Posted by P W Grey
Had not thought of that Ed...good point. An experienced tech will be able to spot string replacements if he looks closely. There are always telltale signs. Pwg


Thank you, both, for this information!

Also, I just heard this weekend that small grands (5' or less, or maybe slightly bigger) do not stay in tune very well compared to larger grands. Has that been your experience, as well, and if so, have newer models of any particular brands been improved in that respect?

Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2869483 07/15/19 11:01 AM
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In general smaller pianos will move more and more unevenly across the compass in pitch than larger ones.

The only "newer" models of pianos that have advanced technology to improve tuning stability are ones rebuilt by skilled technicians who know how to apply the principles we technicians are calling; "Hybrid Wire Scales".

The paradox being that the most advanced piano technology of our day is not available from any piano manufacturer.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2869962 07/16/19 10:19 PM
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Thanks again, all, for your answers to my questions. Piano's looked at and tuned now, but will likely not hold its tuning well, is the assessment.

I've decided I'd rather purchase a larger instrument that, if not new, has been tuned regularly over the years and will be more stable.

All your advice was invaluable. Many, many thanks.

Re: Out-of-tune strings on showroom Young Chang grand
Andamento #2869971 07/16/19 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Andamento
Thanks again, all, for your answers to my questions. Piano's looked at and tuned now, but will likely not hold its tuning well, is the assessment.

I've decided I'd rather purchase a larger instrument that, if not new, has been tuned regularly over the years and will be more stable.

All your advice was invaluable. Many, many thanks.


Glad you were able to make a determination about that piano. You'll certainly find another that is suitable to your needs -- this is a buyer's market now.


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

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