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Re: Lighthammer technique for dummies [Re: Chernobieff Piano] #2931098 01/06/20 11:54 PM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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If the hammer tails are smooth and the edges of them rounded the backchecks last way longer on hammers light enough to eliminate most or all of the front key weights. Plus the action will check reliably on soft blows with quite strong repetition springs. This makes the soft playing very secure, even and relaxing.

When the hammer bounces around on the rep-lever with soft playing like almost all contemporary grand actions do; the feel is uncertain. Pianists want to know where the hammer is, which direction it is moving, and how fast it is moving. The quicker they can gain this information the more time they have to "plan" ahead in the music.


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: Lighthammer technique for dummies [Re: Chernobieff Piano] #2931104 01/07/20 12:29 AM
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Emery Wang Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
I don't know why you call me a naysayer Emery, I actually agree with your bullet points. When I install a new set of hammers, just with the proper selection, they always come out lighter than the original anyway by a 1/2 a gram to a gram. Often there are only minor adjustments to the weights in the keys. I like the traditional time proven 3,2,1,0 method. When done right, its a faster than the hand can play action. And the hammer tails don't have to be sanded down to a 1/4" width and shorten back-check life. You can have a light fast action without going Frankenstein.
-chris


Hah! I mean you don't just drink the Ed McMorrow koolaid wink As a beginner, however, I'm happy to drink whatever koolaid is being served. Seriously though, it's good to have all the various opinions as I'm sure there is more than one way to do a lot of these things.

Ed, your book is in good shape. There is no dust jacket, but I don't know if there ever was one. All the pages are intact and binding is still holding.


Kawai MP11SE
Kawai GL10
Re: Lighthammer technique for dummies [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2931110 01/07/20 01:10 AM
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Emery Wang Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
If the hammer tails are smooth and the edges of them rounded the backchecks last way longer on hammers light enough to eliminate most or all of the front key weights. Plus the action will check reliably on soft blows with quite strong repetition springs. This makes the soft playing very secure, even and relaxing.

Would you explain this more Ed? It seems lighter hammers would be buoyed more by the rep springs and have a harder time descending to the backcheck.


Kawai MP11SE
Kawai GL10
Re: Lighthammer technique for dummies [Re: Emery Wang] #2931206 01/07/20 10:43 AM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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You have to consider the hammer and rep spring as a spring mass with a momentum that the friction of the backcheck must overcome, and the quicker return rate from the string of lighter hammers.

With lower hammer mass, the hammer escapes from the string faster and can be accelerated faster during the release from the string. Thus with a soft blow, the lighter hammer is traveling down faster than a heavier one would. This gets it into the check better.


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: Lighthammer technique for dummies [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2931241 01/07/20 12:09 PM
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Emery Wang Offline OP
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Thanks Ed. When playing softly, however, the hammer often does not strike the string hard enough to bounce back into check. Wouldn't a lighter hammer be prone to bobble in that case?


Kawai MP11SE
Kawai GL10
Re: Lighthammer technique for dummies [Re: Emery Wang] #2931456 01/08/20 12:38 AM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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In my experience, lighter hammers check better with soft playing than heavier hammers. They are easier to start and stop.


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: Lighthammer technique for dummies [Re: Emery Wang] #2933935 01/14/20 08:28 PM
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Emery Wang Offline OP
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Update and some questions:

First, I know you've all been on the edge of your seats wondering how my lighthammer project is going, so wonder no more! After perusing Ed's book and testing his technique, plus one recommended by Keith Akin on an old spare hammer, I've decided I probably don't have the skill set to do this right. Just trying to pull the staples out of the felt of the hammer made quite a mess, with the staple breaking rather than coming out. I can't imagine doing this 88 times on my pretty new hammers.

The action and tone on my piano is already very close to how I'd like it, and there is a good chance I would just make things worse. I think that ideally, adjusting/lightening hammer weight should take place in the hammer manufacturing process. I also think that instead of shaving shanks to adjust strike weight, simply replacing them with WNG shanks would be an easier option for me. Then all I have to do is make sure I buy lighter hammers that are properly graded. This leads me to some questions about hammer makers, which I'd be grateful for your insights on:

  • Do hammer makers sell hammers that are significantly lighter than stock Kawai hammers? If so, who does a good job making light hammers?
  • Are there hammer makers that will gradate their hammer weights to match a smooth curve from bass to treble? With the uniformity of WNG composite shanks, this should yield an automatic smooth SW curve, right?


So if I can find hammers that are, say, one gram lighter than my stock hammers, that would reduce my current static key downweight from 48g to about 43g. This would allow me to remove the front key leads, which if they weigh 10g, would move the downweight back up to about 53g. That's a reasonable downweight, and the reduced inertia should make a noticeable difference in making the action feel a little lighter.

What do you all think?


Kawai MP11SE
Kawai GL10
Re: Lighthammer technique for dummies [Re: Emery Wang] #2934188 01/15/20 10:28 AM
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P W Grey Offline
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Emery,

A different make of hammers will change the overall tone palette of the piano...period. it might be to your liking, it might not. Ronsen (to my knowledge) us the only truly custom hammer maker around, and no...you cannot get hammers made with a truly smooth gradation of weight. That is a "micro-management" of the situation. Too much hassle.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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