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What is causing this noisy G-sharp (G#6)?! #2898069
10/07/19 10:29 PM
10/07/19 10:29 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
USA
R
Rickmaninov Offline OP
Junior Member
Rickmaninov  Offline OP
Junior Member
R

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
USA
Hello Everybody,

My piano has had a strange noise in a high G-sharp key (G#6) and to a lesser extent A key (A6) above it for the entire year I've owned it. It's been a frustration for me, and I thought I'd reach out to Piano World for some advice. : )

I can both feel something unnatural when I depress the key and I also hear this strange noise that accompanies it.
It's hard to describe, but I would say it almost sounds like a ruffling, chopping, rattling noise. It's somewhat subtle, but it's definitely there and it drives me nuts! Haha

I've had two of among the most highly regarded piano technicians in my area look at it. I think one heard what I was hearing and tried some sort of glue/adhesive on some part of the action, but unfortunately this did not fix the problem. I'm having the other tech do a half-day tune up on my piano this weekend (tuning, light voicing, regulation work, small fixes...).

Below is a link to a small clip I recorded of the problem. Please let me know if the sound provides any clues!

https://clyp.it/r0nszwwq?token=07c8c6265b5a5e301dfaee7a52b5519e

I've mentioned to the tech coming this upcoming weekend that the issue with G#6 (and A6) is pretty much up at the top of my list for fixes... Is there anything I should specifically ask him to check or do? Tighten action screws? Assess bridle/backcheck wires? Assess for possible hammer/shank wobbling?

In case these details are pertinent, it's a mid-1980's Yamaha C-series piano, but with new Abel hammers and Wessell, Nickel & Gross shanks put in last year.

Thanks in advance!

Rick

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Re: What is causing this noisy G-sharp (G#6)?! [Re: Rickmaninov] #2898082
10/08/19 12:14 AM
10/08/19 12:14 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 175
Washington State
AWilley Online content

Full Member
AWilley  Online Content

Full Member

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 175
Washington State
It sounds to me a lot like what a loose hammer sounds like, but it could be any number of things.

If I were examining the piano, I'd try doing various tests to try to narrow it down to various systems before going through each action part individually. For example: is it somewhere in the key (between your finger and the whippen), or is it between the whippen and the hammer, or is it in the damper system, or is it outside the action altogether?

Some tests you (or your tech) could try:
1. Hold the key 90% of the way down with one finger and then give it a forte blow with your other hand. Is the click still there? If it is this could help you to hear the quality of the click without the extra noise of the note.
2. You say you can feel something off in the key. Stick your fingers between the backs of the keys and the bottoms of the jacks/whippens and lift the whippens. With your other hand, raise the key (and alternately the key next to it for comparison) and give it forte blows. Is the click still there? If so, that rules out the action and narrows it down to the damper system, keys, and keybed.
3. Remove the cheek blocks and pull the entire action out of the piano by no more than 1/8 inch, and play the note. (may rule out weird clearance issues with backchecks against sostenuto)
4. Hold the damper up with your finger and play the note. Is the click gone? Or grab the damper from the top and very gently but sharply pull it up to its full height. Do you hear a click?
5. Play the note while holding down the keys on either side of the note. (could indicate if it's an action part clicking against a neighbor). Can you run a thin blade between the keys without it getting stuck?
6. Try it with and without pressing the various pedals. I once had a click that only showed up while the una corda was pressed. Sostenuto tabs could be suspect.

After that you can go through and very gently wiggle the action parts to test bushings and such, paying attention to how much play each part has compared to neighbors.

I don't remember if WN&G has felt bushings or if it's some sort of precisely fit plastic. I wonder if a poorly fit bushing could be giving the click itself.

Anyway the most imporant thing is that you're able to reproduce the sound in front of your tech. If they can't hear it they can't fix it.


Anthony Willey, RPT
PianoMeter
Willey Piano Tuning
Re: What is causing this noisy G-sharp (G#6)?! [Re: Rickmaninov] #2898171
10/08/19 09:01 AM
10/08/19 09:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 249
PA
J
jsilva Offline
Full Member
jsilva  Offline
Full Member
J

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 249
PA
I concur that it sounds a lot like a loose hammer (by ‘loose’ that would mean an extremely slight amount of play). It also sounds to me like Steinway’s teflon bushings, but that’s not a factor here.

WNG uses hard bushings. I haven’t had any issues with them in my limited experience but I agree it’s worth checking for play in the shank/flange.

Re: What is causing this noisy G-sharp (G#6)?! [Re: jsilva] #2898246
10/08/19 01:09 PM
10/08/19 01:09 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 625
Rockville, MD
Seeker Offline
500 Post Club Member
Seeker  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 625
Rockville, MD
It DOES sound like a slightly loose hammer, in which case, the fix should be (hopefully) simple enough.

Perhaps relevant - my technician friend and I were discussing replacing hammers/shanks/flanges on my piano with WNG when we replace the hammers this time. He has a full set of them (& Abel hammers) on his own Mason & Hamlin BB. He reports some experience with "clicks" caused, in some way he said, by a loose drop screw.

This is second hand testimony, so I can't verify though I trust the source's expertise and integrity.

Wonder if anyone else has experience with such clicks with the WNG shanks and flanges.

Last edited by Seeker; 10/08/19 01:10 PM. Reason: clarified my final question

Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: What is causing this noisy G-sharp (G#6)?! [Re: Rickmaninov] #2898343
10/08/19 06:23 PM
10/08/19 06:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,597
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,597
New Hampshire
I have had some experience with metal not remaining tight in the composite material.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: What is causing this noisy G-sharp (G#6)?! [Re: Rickmaninov] #2899133
10/11/19 12:19 AM
10/11/19 12:19 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
USA
R
Rickmaninov Offline OP
Junior Member
Rickmaninov  Offline OP
Junior Member
R

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
USA
Thank you all for your time and thoughtful responses! Hopefully all goes well this weekend! : )


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