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Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. #2933524 01/13/20 11:26 PM
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IreneAdler1891 Offline OP
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So I recently moved back to the West Coast from the East Coast, so of course my Schimmel K132 came with me both times. First time it was fine, only needed a standard tuning and one hammer was slightly in the angle, very simple things to do. I had this fabulous Schimmel trained German tech in Virginia.

Well, I moved back to the West Coast in late August and used a different piano moving company, as the one I had used previously hadn't called me back, and this other company, will name in a pm if the need arises, was highly regarded on BBB and Angie's list and had been in around for years. I thought it will be fine,as I was on a very tight schedule to move for a new job, and they could pick up my piano in the right time frame.

The piano arrived very scratched up with deep strap marks on the sides some of the long scratches going down to the wood beneath the high gloss finish, the most worrying one is right by the pedals. It looks like it caught in a old west bar fight. So I have had it tuned and looked my a tech recommended by the shop I bought the piano from. So much was wrong the middle pedal mute bar was completely bent out of shape, the key dip was way heavy, making my hand ache terribly at over 14mm. The tech had to replace the wool underneath the keys as it gotten shifted about and what not. The hammers were off from the keys, and the resistance of the damper was very off as well. So my tech spent over 4 hours fixing it recently, on my own dime as I am still in the process of wrangling the piano movers for all the damage caused by them. Never use this company, awful, just completely unprofessional since I got my piano back. Were nice at the booking.

But I find my piano even after all that work having been done to it, is not the same piano that left the East Coast, I had a lesson the day before it was picked up by the movers where I played all my big pieces e.g. Schubert Impromptu op. 90 etc etc... it was great. Now it has lost it's character the beautiful richness of tone, and the sustain pedal isn't working as well as it did, also I swear there is a funny sort of hum that accompanies some notes. I am at a lost to know what could be wrong, I have played it over five years I know this piano's sound so well. But I have reached the limit of my understanding as a pianist as regards the technical aspect of what could be wrong and how to fix it. I really appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.

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Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: IreneAdler1891] #2933652 01/14/20 10:35 AM
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David Boyce Offline
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Oh dear. It sounds to me as if your piano might have been dropped, or fallen over, during transit. Key dip of 14mm is surely ridiculous - something must have shifted out of place. The front rail baize washers, balance rail washers, and backtouch felt/baize should not have needed replacement, if they were OK before the move. Everything you describe suggests to me a sudden impact that has caused the action mounting and/or keybed/keyframe to shift.

I think it was not a good idea to have any work done on the piano, before getting the removers to check it prior to making an insurance claim against them.

Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: David Boyce] #2933961 01/14/20 10:11 PM
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IreneAdler1891 Offline OP
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Ohh I have made a claim against the piano movers, I knew from the off something was wrong with all the scratches. But they wouldn't believe my word there was anything wrong with the piano because I am only a pianist not a piano tech. and it was insured for it's replacement value through the moving company before it left the East Coast. But I couldn't wait any longer for my piano be somewhat playable its been months, my teacher wanted to start back my lessons and I was bereft without my music. But the sustain pedal is very weird I have to say and my Schimmel always had a lovely sustain my family and would joke you could go get a sandwich and it would still be sustaining. Now when you let the pedal off to take a new one it's like it all muddles together and doesn't refresh the sound at all... And it feels much looser then did to press it down then it used to. Could you recommend a tech in the greater Seattle area? I had someone from Artisan Pianos come out to the work but he was like the massive key dip couldn't been caused by the move etc etc... so he is nice enough but weirdly resistant to say anything against the moving company, even though he just needs to say how it is now. I have the German tech's report from before and my teacher can say the day before it moved it was fine etc.... I don't want anything but the truth. I just want to enjoy my piano again, it was causing me so much hand pain with the heavy action I had to take two weeks off. Any thought on how to remedy the strange hum of some notes?

Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: IreneAdler1891] #2933969 01/14/20 11:13 PM
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Sent you a PM.
Beyond what I wrote there: looks to me as if your piano is unplayable. If it is causing you injury to play it, STOP PLAYING IT.

Reading what you've written, it seems you're clearly the injured party here.
I've received pianos moved from afar, shipped them afar, as well.
Whenever that's been done, at the minimum, any case damage/imperfections have been noted on the shipping forms. The piano is checked by the receiver to be in the condition it was when shipped. If there were NO NOTED DEFECTS on your piano, and NONE were documented,and they developed during shipping, seems clear to me that you're entitled to remedies.

But, I'm not an attorney.
Were I in your situation, I'd get a consultation with an attorney about how to proceed. S/he might be able to depose a technician for you, squeeze the Moving Company with a "Demand Letter".

All best wishes.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
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www.AndrewKraus.com
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1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: Seeker] #2933977 01/15/20 12:12 AM
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IreneAdler1891 Offline OP
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I will look for your PM, I did have to stop playing for more two weeks my hands were just aching and hours later they would still be hurting, never had any such trouble before my teacher is very strict about good technique. The company insisted on tech reports now the action is back to reasonable level of 10mm, my teacher is not a man blessed with a lot of patience and I love his lessons so I thought win win get the reports and get back to some playing. But I would like to educate myself more as I will as a physics major I get the physics of impacts but how that effects the delicate working of thousands of parts and how to restore them to their former glory that I am lost on.

The piano company's mover in VA did look over my piano with a flashlight, before it was moved so I have his report and there was only a very tiny scratch on the piano that had occurred from piano's previous trip but it was so small I never got around to having it refinished hardly worth the trouble. When my piano arrived it was very late close to midnight, and they just bunged it out of the truck and took off the whole exchange was less then 10 minutes and most of that was them moving the piano, I had just gotten the cloths off it when they zoomed off. And off course who can you call at midnight.

Luckily my mum is a attorney so she is the one who has made the most progress with this dratted company, it has been trial getting them to acknowledge anything was wrong. What I would like to know is what is up with the sustain pedal and what is causing this weird humming, like muffled bees in a hive, and can it be fixed? I am very attached to my piano but I can't live this humming forever, it gets on my nerves after a while and interferes with the music.

Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: IreneAdler1891] #2934310 01/15/20 03:31 PM
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Irene, welcome to PianoWorld's Piano Technician's Forum. What a lousy way to arrive here, though!

You have two different issues, fixing your piano problems and then maybe gaining compensation for the bad move. My inclination is to give up on the latter for now, and maybe forever.

Get a fine Seattle technician - preferably someone with a workshop - to spend a few hours with your piano bringing it back to snuff. At worst you might have to move the piano to his shop.

Talk to a high-end piano store or the University of Washington or Cornish College for a couple of names. Keep us posted.

Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: Peter K. Mose] #2935013 01/16/20 08:27 PM
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IreneAdler1891 Offline OP
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Hi, Peter Mose,

I used to have a Pianoworld account long time ago but forgot my login email, so I just created a new account. It has been just lousy, been since September 2019 trying to fix my piano, I got a recommendation on PW from Seeker about a tech in the area. Even after all the work done to it thus far fixing the key dip issue it's sounds muddled and quiet, the sustain pedal is wonky doesn't work like it did. It had a really nice sustain, now not really. If you play a large chord e.g. F octave with A flat in the middle it is a muddle, and other times it hums.I hypothesize that if the impact created deep long scratches and caused such trouble with the key dip. Then the energy must have traveled to other areas of the action as well, it's got to go somewhere. Where my piano is similar to my room in VA, hardwood floors couple of windows, not too much furniture. And I loved it there, got some of my best practices there. It never needed a rug to dampen the sound, and now it's so muted.

Side Question: I went to the shop were I bought my piano, played the same model Schimmel upright and their approx 6ft grand, and found them to have much more clarity and richness of tone, that warm and dark tone that Schimmel is known for. When I mentioned this one tech told me that the sustain will always be better in the shop as "the other pianos will add to the sustain of that piano." Now while the sound waves will travel, their showroom is carpeted and the lids were down on the ones I played. The scientist in me says it would maybe resonate a little, the waves are not super powerful and they have to travel through the wood of that piano and across to the other pianos, and sustain is caused by the pedal accentuating the tone in sound board... who was pressing down the sustain pedal? Mozart's ghost? I was trying to be polite, but wanted to call him out on what sounded like BS. So what is the truth? Would the sound board of other pianos sustain the notes to that level, without anyone pressing the sustain pedal? Also he said that my piano being toward warm and dark tone would be less precise with the sound. This again seems like BS as my German tech had it in such fine voice and I never felt like it lacked clarity. Is my scientific instinct correct or I am mistaken?

Last edited by IreneAdler1891; 01/16/20 08:30 PM.
Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: IreneAdler1891] #2935304 01/17/20 11:49 AM
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Irene, (was also my sister's name who also played piano)
If you had spent time around PW forum especially this group you would have seen folk posting images and audio files of their piano's problems. This would be a great help to the technicians here. Use the full editor to link such files from a host site like dropbox.com or box.com If you have problems doing this we can help.
You have a very high quality piano and fond memories of how it sounded. Yes, having a reputable independent technician evaluate the problem is the best course of action but the technicians here have a wealth of experience and it may not take too long for your problem to be evaluated and possibly a simple mechanical fix. Of course the strap and scratch damage is a separate matter and photographs of that placed here will also enhance our willingness to support you. Pianos are usually well wrapped and crated for distance transport and many owners take a video of the piano being removed crated then again videoed on unpacking at the destination regardless of time of arrival.
Ian


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Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: Beemer] #2936031 01/19/20 05:23 PM
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Ohh that is an excellent idea, found myself at my wit's end after months of this drama, then I remembered Pianoworld, am so chuffed to be back. I really appreciate everyone's advice. I will try and set aside time to make a recording of my piano as it is currently. I have been gently practicing the last couple of days trying to get my hands used to playing again after so much time off. I will post some pictures I took of my pianos for the claims purposes. I wish I had made some recordings of it in VA, especially one I had this one practice of my Schubert impromptu where everything went right and really felt like a pianist. But I very rarely make recordings, just not part of my habit, and I am very aware of my own skills such as they are. My teacher is so amazing, he attended to the Moscow Conservatory for his degrees, so if I get a couple compliments a months I am on cloud nine. It's intimidating, but never thought I would have gotten this far on the piano, so it's all down to his lessons.

Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: IreneAdler1891] #2936502 01/20/20 09:40 PM
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Here is the dropbox link to the some of the pictures of the damaged done to my Schimmel, https://www.dropbox.com/sh/904yq7dpqmfslz7/AADKDmYGCuaATN5lyCu54_TTa?dl=0

It is a sad affair this piano is less then 20 years old, I am only the 2nd owner. I made some short recording today which I need to upload, but they are with the lid down as I rarely play with them up as the lid prop is two person gig imo, and this has been quite rightly pointed out by Seeker that this is not ideal conditions for detecting any issues with the tone etc etc.... So should I post these recordings of some portions of pieces that bother my ears or should I just make some new ones with the lid up?

Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: IreneAdler1891] #2936571 01/21/20 04:54 AM
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Irene, I'm rereading your posts, and I think your love for your Schimmel is compounding your upset. That's understandable; I'd be the same way.

But start by hiring a couple of highly recommended tuner/technicians to come out one by one and tune your piano and assess it. Pick their brains. Hire a new person every three or four weeks until you find someone fully sympatico.These are not intractable piano problems.

Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: IreneAdler1891] #2936587 01/21/20 06:18 AM
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Irene,
These white marks and streaks are strange and my first thought are can they be easily removed using Cory High Gloss Piano Polish which I use. You can buy it from this forum's shop or online. This to be done only after the insurance claim is resolved. How was it possible for scratches to happen on the underside of the fall? The fall should always be taped down for transport.
From your comment and from a mov file I was expecting some audio of the sound problem but there was none. So yes please post a sound recording that demonstrates any sound problem.
Ian


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2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Problems with my Schimmel K132 after moving. [Re: IreneAdler1891] #2936640 01/21/20 09:57 AM
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Judging from the pics, it looks like the movers did a pretty good bang-up job on your piano. Seems really sloppy and careless on their part. I hope you can get some kind of settlement/compensation for the damage.

As to issues and discrepancies with the insides of the piano, and how it may have affected the playing of the piano, that certainly warrants close scrutiny by a highly skilled tech, preferably with specific Schimmel experience.

Sorry to hear (and see) the issues with your piano. Not sure this is any consolation, but I used to tell my mom, when she would get upset when something around her house broke, anything man-made can be fixed or replaced. smile

Good luck!

Rick


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