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Re: Sympathetic string ringing
Gene Nelson #2899273 10/11/19 02:38 PM
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Thanks for the detailed advice, Gene. I must say that to the best of my ability, I have already regulated the damper, paying close attention to subtle movements of the damper on lifting and dropping. So it was as well regulated and aligned as any of the other dampers on the piano. I’ve also made sure the three strings of F2 are level. But still the harmonic ringing continues. I have some leftover Steinway, Steingraeber, and Yamaha trichord damper felts, and I plan to try replacing the current felts with each of these in turn to see if I can resolve this problem. My money is on the Yamaha damper felts, as I find Yamaha pianos to be shut off more completely by their felts than any others I know of. If necessary, I’ll even try using longer felts and even vary their positions on the damper head. But I have a couple of recitals coming up, so it will have to wait a few days. We shall see...

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Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899310 10/11/19 04:32 PM
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One option I have used is to add some weight to the damper block.
Lead wire about 3/8 diameter set into the damper block, not the damper lift lever.

But you should get your technician involved.

Also, checking for excess friction in the lift lever or damper guide rail bushing should be done by a tech.


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Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899321 10/11/19 04:51 PM
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Thanks for the additional tips, Gene. And I will get my tech involved. But for the sake of clarification, when you say that you set lead wire into the damper block, would you please clarify how?

Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899387 10/11/19 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SMA55
Thanks for the additional tips, Gene. And I will get my tech involved. But for the sake of clarification, when you say that you set lead wire into the damper block, would you please clarify how?


Sure:
First get the lead wire or small weight. You may need to have more than one size or weight. Experiment.
Find a good drill bit (that won’t cause tare out) the size of the lead, remove the damper block and drill a hole in it from the side, away from where the damper wire is inserted.then insert the lead and use a punch to expand it so it won’t work it’s way out. Do it on something solid like an anvil.
Color the lead with black flat paint so it’s relatively invisible.
Careful drilling, probably use small vise to hold the damper block, you don’t want to damage it.

Before doing something like this a little experimentation is good. Just tape a small weight/s on the damper block to see if It helps. be careful, it’s easy to mess up the regulation.


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Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899388 10/11/19 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SMA55
Thanks for the additional tips, Gene. And I will get my tech involved. But for the sake of clarification, when you say that you set lead wire into the damper block, would you please clarify how?


Sure:
First get the lead wire or small weight. You may need to have more than one size or weight. Experiment.
Find a good drill bit (that won’t cause tare out) the size of the lead, remove the damper block and drill a hole in it from the side, away from where the damper wire is inserted.then insert the lead and use a punch to expand it so it won’t work it’s way out. Do it on something solid like an anvil.
Color the lead with black flat paint so it’s relatively invisible.
Careful drilling, probably use small vise to hold the damper block, you don’t want to damage it.

Before doing something like this a little experimentation is good. Just tape a small weight/s on the damper block to see if It helps. be careful, it’s easy to mess up the regulation.

Don’t try this yourself.


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Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899393 10/11/19 10:21 PM
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Haha. I like the proviso you tacked on at the end of your second posting—the equivalent of “Don’t try this at home.”

Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899559 10/12/19 04:46 PM
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I just finished replacing the Steinway damper felts with extra long Yamaha damper felts. The sympathetic ringing of F2 is now thankfully gone.

Before this thread turns into any kind of Yamaha vs Steinway debate, let me just head that off by saying I don’t know if this fix was due to change in felt length, felt position, or (higher quality) Yamaha felt. But from past experience, I have to admit that I believe it’s due to the Yamaha felt.

Thanks to all for your advice and suggestions.

Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899576 10/12/19 05:48 PM
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Good job

One other thought and it’s just my idea that good damping requires that the damper should contact a node rather than antinode.
Can’t prove it.
On the F2 of the SS-D the wire is getting long and the damper line don’t seem to allow for that.
One custom SSD restoration I was involved with changed the lowest 5 plain steel trichords to wound bichords and shortened the length using an auxiliary bridge.
The scale was much smoother and I don’t recall any damping problems.


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Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899623 10/12/19 09:43 PM
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I’m certainly glad SMA55 solved his damping issue and I don’t want to take away from his success.

But in the spirit of the thread, it seems to me that replacing the damper felt with something different than stock is a solution looking for a problem. D’s don’t generally have damper issues on F2 and I suspect it would have also damped well if it were replaced with fresh new Steinway felt of proper length. Or even old (but undamaged) felt.

Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899626 10/12/19 10:05 PM
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I am not a pro tech, but I can tell you even in my limited experience, I have seen damper issues with F2 on Steinway D’s other than my own on at least two other occasions. And both of those were brand new. So my experience has been different than yours, jsilva. I happen to think that there is in fact a design issue with Steinway D’s in this regard. I think that to begin with, Steinway dampers are designed to be slightly leaky. In other words, I don’t think Steinway intends to have their sound shut off rapidly, in contradistinction to Yamaha. And then when you factor into the equation what Gene Nelson last wrote, I think it is no surprise that F2 can sometimes have the sort of problems about which I’ve been describing here.

Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899695 10/13/19 08:59 AM
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I follow what you’re thinking SMA55 and again I am glad your damping issue is fixed.

However the Steinway D is the most widely used concert instrument and you must agree that it’s difficult to imagine that either performing pianists worldwide are commonly suffering through non-damping F2’s on stock D’s (in good condition) while Steinway is sitting around non-attentive to it, or that technicians worldwide are routinely modifying the F2 damper on D’s while Steinway is sitting around non-attentive to it.

Something like soundboard thickness or scaling or the myriad of other complaints about Steinway can be argued from opinion no matter how convinced someone may be about what is best, but a non-damping damper is not opinion. That’s more comparable to keys not playing, or strings not sounding, etc. Even if the F2 damper is more prone to damping issues, Steinway’s solution works even if someone else thinks there is a better solution.

Steinway’s damping is softer than some other piano brands, but your issue wasn’t soft damping, it was a lack of damping smile

Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899702 10/13/19 09:07 AM
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SMA55,

You are correct.

Pwg


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Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899710 10/13/19 09:37 AM
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With all due respect, jsilva, judging from the tenor of some of your replies, I wonder if you either work for Steinway or are a Steinway dealer. And for the record, I’m not bashing Steinway pianos in general or model D’s in particular. After all, I own a D for some very specific reasons. But believing that they are perfectly designed pianos is not one of those reasons. I believe that Steinway does some things right, but also some things that are not so right. Personally I would say that a piano that is “prone to damping issues” IS a design problem. And for the record, I never said that my piano’s F2 damper lacked the ability to damp altogether; I’ve indicated that it was doing so poorly. Also for the record, my experience with dampers from one key to the next on nearly any Steinway piano is that there is a fair amount of variability in time (even if it’s on the subtle side) from the moment of key release to the moment of cessation of sound. And more so than most other piano brands I’ve tried. And because this is easily measurable and reproducible, it’s, as you say, a matter of fact and not opinion.

Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899745 10/13/19 11:59 AM
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This note on a Steinway D often has damping issues.

As a general rule; the best place to have the damper touch the string is where it is struck. One wants the damper felt ends to not be at a node point.

I have often had luck solving this issue by not having the felt reach the end of the head nearest the player. The offset head at F21 is not precisely placed. Each damper person fits them a little differently from piano to piano. So one has to fiddle around testing things if there is still a problem after simply getting the felt to properly fit the strings by various adjustment methods.

The factory often bends the strings sideways where they come out of the agraffe to "solve" leakage issues. I don't like doing that, it causes all sorts of problems that manifest later.


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Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899746 10/13/19 12:03 PM
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Steinways often have technician issues. So do all the other manufacturers.


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Re: Sympathetic string ringing
SMA55 #2899759 10/13/19 01:03 PM
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The problem stems entirely from the cross-stringing design. Straight-strung pianos suffer less problems in this regard for obvious reasons. There simply is not room to put the dampers in the ideal locations with that big knob of cast iron between them, so they do the best they can and "make them work". Sometimes better than others...sometimes not.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 10/13/19 01:04 PM.

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Re: Sympathetic string ringing
P W Grey #2899772 10/13/19 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
The problem stems entirely from the cross-stringing design. Straight-strung pianos suffer less problems in this regard for obvious reasons. There simply is not room to put the dampers in the ideal locations with that big knob of cast iron between them, so they do the best they can and "make them work". Sometimes better than others...sometimes not.

Pwg

Yes, this makes perfect sense to me. And even a layperson could eyeball the situation around F2 and lead him or her to suspect that there might be a problem there—and without ever even playing the piano.

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