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Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: kpembrook] #2924287 12/18/19 11:24 AM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Keith, As regards string termination conditions and hammer weight, the length and breadth of my work on these issues has proven what I am claiming. I first started reshaping V-bars in about 1978. I first began testing LHTR in about 1982.

Kawai recently did testing on V-bars and the results I read confirmed what I found and first reported in 1979.

So the question for my peers is when does my practice become accepted as a best practice? Or, rather when does our profession begin to take responsibility for how pianos sound, feel and endure? When do Technicians finally decide to be true professionals and represent our clients best interests?


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
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Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2924319 12/18/19 12:51 PM
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Gene Nelson Offline
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I ask myself: why so much dichotomy among successful professionals?
I can’t think of any pro that I know who has superiority in this industry but I can observe so much success and grateful clients.
Possibly a Socratic circle exercise?


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Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Gene Nelson] #2924333 12/18/19 01:23 PM
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OE1FEU Offline
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Originally Posted by Gene Nelson
I ask myself: why so much dichotomy among successful professionals?
I can’t think of any pro that I know who has superiority in this industry but I can observe so much success and grateful clients.
Possibly a Socratic circle exercise?


https://www.ptg.org/about/registered-piano-technician

Money quote: "The field of piano technology is an unregulated trade. Therefore the Piano Technicians Guild has set its own standards of quality for piano technicians."

Any industry that regulates itself will look for the highest number of participants and will lower its standards to a Barely Acceptable level. The more people you have on that barely acceptable level, the more people will you have that either try to become way better than those low standards or to at least tell people that they do.

That's the dichotomy and those who need services will just have to trust what they are told is true.

Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2924366 12/18/19 02:23 PM
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Gene Nelson Offline
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All successful techs have much to contribute to the profession.
If you don’t pay attention your missing out.
If you think your superior your missing out.


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Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2924522 12/18/19 09:23 PM
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Here are two contrary quotes from this post:

Ed McMorrow:
“The basic physics are that when you add mass to a hammer, it most certainly will not return from the string faster and thus the return of the key is slowed as well. Escapement is of paramount importance to control. Lighter hammers escape faster. This means the pianist can go back to work quicker. “

Kpembrook:
Basic physics would indicate that key return would be faster with increased mass of hammer (with some variability on hammer attack velocity and back check setting). That doesn't necessarily mean that heavy hammers are desirable, in and of itself.

Although I am accused of being weak in Physics, I do recall from 6th grade that acceleration is not influenced by mass. I believe the fellow was Gallileo in the 17th Century who showed that. So a ( Lighter/Heavier Hammer) would exhibit the same speed.

There is an amazing physics course on youtube that demonstrated many of these principles with live examples. I recommend the Moment of Inertia Video of Walter Lewin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB8GNQuyMPc

-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
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Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2924539 12/18/19 10:27 PM
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Force = mass X acceleration so, for a given force, acceleration is inversely proportional to mass ... lower mass, faster acceleration. It's as true for cars as it is for anything else.

Paul.

Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2924546 12/18/19 10:47 PM
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I think the message of this thread is that there is more than one approach to achieve an excellent playing and sounding piano smile Some things may be universal, but many things are variable and subjective. Often a different approach simply has its own set of benefits and weaknesses.

Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Chernobieff Piano] #2924553 12/18/19 11:36 PM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Gravity only fully takes over the return speed of the action after the hammer leaves the string. Heavier hammers have more inertia and thus will resist a change in direction more for a given speed, so they spend more time in the escapement window. That is usually called dwell time by engineers.


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: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2924673 12/19/19 10:20 AM
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Some great insightful comments thus far, thank you.

As per a suggestion, I tried clipping some binder clips in front of the hammer heads on the middle register. I would say c4 to a5 is the trouble zone. Touch weight noticeably better, but the repetition is not as quick or as even now. However, that is only noticeable when doing very rapid single note repetitions. Maybe the placement of the clips, could be better, but I'm doubting this is a viable long term solution. I'll play with it a bit more. It did increase the down weight to around 55 grams or a bit over, which feels ideal to me.

Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2924699 12/19/19 11:39 AM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Hammer return in the lower and middle notes also includes some of the strings energy significantly enough to accelerate the hammers return faster than gravity alone. As you move to the higher notes, that string energy is wasted in burning up hammer felt. That is why the tone changes so significantly with hammer weight in the treble.


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: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2924718 12/19/19 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Hammer return in the lower and middle notes also includes some of the strings energy significantly enough to accelerate the hammers return faster than gravity alone. As you move to the higher notes, that string energy is wasted in burning up hammer felt. That is why the tone changes so significantly with hammer weight in the treble.

Prove it with a demonstration instead of words please.


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
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Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: pyropaul] #2924721 12/19/19 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pyropaul
Force = mass X acceleration so, for a given force, acceleration is inversely proportional to mass ... lower mass, faster acceleration. It's as true for cars as it is for anything else.

Paul.

But force isn't a given, it's variable in a piano. And did you watch the video? Mass doesn't influence acceleration.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2924742 12/19/19 02:24 PM
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Please note that my post about binder clips specifically described the experimental use of binder clips as a diagnostic tool. The original poster noted that the touch weight was too light, generally, and that it was difficult to tell how much weight might have been removed from the hammers by previous maintenance of the action.


Floyd G RPT
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Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Chernobieff Piano] #2924907 12/19/19 11:44 PM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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You can test it yourself. Lift a bass hammer up close to the string and watch how fast it returns to rest. Then play it softly and see it return faster.

Do the same in the upper treble.


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: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2925161 12/20/19 04:38 PM
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I think there's a bit of fuzzy thinking here and there in this thread. Acceleration due to gravity does not change with mass. F=ma, and force due to gravity is proportional to mass, so the acceleration is constant. Clearly, when the hammer strikes the string, both the hammer compresses to some extent, and the string is displaced. The rebound of the string and the hammer will both help accelerate the hammer away from the string. How much? Well, that becomes a bit complex. It depends on the lossiness of the hammer felt, and the hardness and mass of the hammer as acted upon by the frequency content of the string. The mass of the hammer, the springiness of the string, and the springiness of the felt combine to form a somewhat complex spring/mass system. I think, despite the complexities of the system, that a lighter hammer will always bounce away from the strings more quickly than a heavier hammer. The quicker rebound will damp the upper harmonics of the string less, and, other things being equal, will cause a brighter tone. Of course, other things don't need to remain equal, and hammer shape and felt hardness can be tailored to bring out the desired tone. I realize that my description is far less detailed than this topic deserves, but I hope it's a bit helpful.

Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2925206 12/20/19 06:27 PM
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Sample a long wound bass note:
Set let off just a little too close.
Play fff and use sostenuto to sustain the note.
Quickly play the note by slowly pushing the key through letoff. If letoff is set a bit too close,
the vibrating string will kick the hammer away from the string rather violently.
It seems to me that this reaction accelerates hammer return quite different than on a well regulated note.

My point is, on a well regulated note, I believe the hammer rebounds from the string before the string can recoil and therefore participate in hammer return. The nonlinear spring nature of good quality hammer felt is responsible for keeping hammer string contact time within the limit imposed by that value and avoids muting the string.

Anyone remember how hammer string contact time is measured?
Is hammer mass part of the calc? Memory says no.


Last edited by Gene Nelson; 12/20/19 06:30 PM.

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Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2925264 12/20/19 11:12 PM
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During the contact time, the component of velocity due to gravity is tiny in comparison with the contribution from the hammer bouncing off the string. A hammer striking the string from above would presumably bounce upward almost as quickly, and would certainly be faster than a stationary hammer that is merely allowed to fall away from a rest position where it contacts the string from below.

Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2925513 12/21/19 05:18 PM
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To the OP:

Another little tweak that could be done that might give you a little more of what you want is to adjust the jacks slightly forward (i.e. toward the keys) lining up the back of the jacks with the CENTER of the rosewood in the knuckles. This will effectively increase the leverage in the system, therefore increasing the effort needed to operate. The only risk in this is that if you come too far forward, there is the possibility of "cheating" where the jack slips out without activating the shank. So, balance and reasonableness is needed in making this adjustment. If you like it, it's a risk you'll have to live with. It can change with the humidity...good one week, iffy the next. Depends too on the condition of your knuckles.

Pwg


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Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: P W Grey] #2925576 12/21/19 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
To the OP:

Another little tweak that could be done that might give you a little more of what you want is to adjust the jacks slightly forward (i.e. toward the keys) lining up the back of the jacks with the CENTER of the rosewood in the knuckles. This will effectively increase the leverage in the system, therefore increasing the effort needed to operate. The only risk in this is that if you come too far forward, there is the possibility of "cheating" where the jack slips out without activating the shank. So, balance and reasonableness is needed in making this adjustment. If you like it, it's a risk you'll have to live with. It can change with the humidity...good one week, iffy the next. Depends too on the condition of your knuckles.


Pwg

Exactly the two things I noted when I first saw the photos--- looks like the knuckles are worn pretty good (flattened). I think this action needs plenty of work. The answer to your problems are not going to be solved in simply hammer adjustments/replacements and key-weights. You need the action reconditioned at the least.

Too bad I had to wade through all the deep weeds of this arguing to get to the few posts that are actually answering the OP.


Parks and Sons Piano Service
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Re: Hammers and touchweight on 1961 Steinway B [Re: Kernzy] #2925853 12/22/19 05:56 PM
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I just watched a video of two pendulums swinging side by side. The heavy pendulum swung at the same speed as the lighter pendulum. Speed was only changed when the radius of the swing was changed (placing weight higher). And when you talk about a hammer bouncing, then it is behaving like a spring. So a lighter hammer has a smaller spring, and the larger hammer has larger spring. It comes out to about the same speed because because the springs could be adjusted to do so.. If you shorten the distance of the hammer on the shank, then a claim of faster could be justified.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEQ7g01bJdQ


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
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