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Installed replacement bass string - they don't sound correct
#2955201 03/07/20 05:53 PM
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I installed a new pair of Mapes bass strings on my 1980 Yamaha G5 today. I originally broke one of the bass strings last fall when I was hoping to restore some life into them. So, at that time, I called Mapes and ordered a new set of strings for Bb2. Mapes had all the scale information based on my serial number. The strings seemed to fit perfect but wow, they sounded horrible! When I installed the strings, I used a light weight brass hammer and small aluminum punch and very lightly tapped the strings at the bridge and hitch pin right before bringing them up to pitch. After I heard how bad they sounded, I triple checked everything and went over the process again which resulted in the same sound. So, I carefully removed the Mapes strings then carefully reinstalled the original Yamaha string. Videos of both below. Is the Mapes sound typical of a replacement string? The frequency of the Mapes and original Yamaha string were the exact same frequency but the Mapes was around 1/2 or lower on the volume. They sounded completely dead.

With new Mapes string set on key Bb2



After reinstalling the original Yamaha string

Last edited by Piano World; 03/08/20 12:44 PM.

1980 Yamaha G5 Grand Piano
1924 Chickering Baby Grand
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Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955204 03/07/20 06:10 PM
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Did you give them a twist?


Jean Poulin

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Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955212 03/07/20 06:55 PM
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It sounds to me like they aren’t twisted (although, granted, I wouldn’t expect them to sound quite so dead even untwisted).

Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955218 03/07/20 07:13 PM
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I did give them 1 1/2 twists. However, this may be a complete noob issue on my part. I just took a look at the old broken string and the new Mapes. The copper was twisted in different directions between the Yamaha and Mapes. So, I very well could have been apply 1 1/2 twists in the wrong direction. Which we know would have loosened the copper on the core. I'm going to reinstall one of the Mapes and make sure it has twists in the right direction. Hopefully this was just a oversight on my part. I'll report back in a bit.


1980 Yamaha G5 Grand Piano
1924 Chickering Baby Grand
Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955226 03/07/20 07:40 PM
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Okay, chalk this up to inexperience on my part. This was resolved by paying attention to the direction of the copper windings. I had no idea that bass strings could be wound in different directions.

I just reinstalled one of the Mapes strings, put 1 1/2 twists in the correct direction and it sounds a bit better than the original Yamaha string. I'll install the other Mapes string tomorrow and report back if there is any issues.

Thanks for the help.


1980 Yamaha G5 Grand Piano
1924 Chickering Baby Grand
Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955243 03/07/20 08:42 PM
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If twisting in the correct direction alleviates the problem, you may want to change the subject of this thread, if possible. PW forum threads come back high on search results and it would be sort of crappy for a case of installer error resulting in a high, negative Google search result.


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Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955246 03/07/20 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by TurboMatt
This was resolved by paying attention to the direction of the copper windings ... I just reinstalled one of the Mapes strings, put 1 1/2 twists in the correct direction and it sounds a bit better than the original Yamaha string.


smile Glad you got it worked out and that you’re pleased with the sound. I suspect the sound will warm up at least a bit over the next weeks or months.

Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
jsilva #2955255 03/07/20 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
If twisting in the correct direction alleviates the problem, you may want to change the subject of this thread, if possible. PW forum threads come back high on search results and it would be sort of crappy for a case of installer error resulting in a high, negative Google search result.


I looked at the first post and the edit option is not there. However, it may be helpful for someone attempting to install bass strings on their own. I would be happy to change the thread if an Admin can re-enable the option.

Originally Posted by jsilva


smile Glad you got it worked out and that you’re pleased with the sound. I suspect the sound will warm up at least a bit over the next weeks or months.


I plan to replace all of the bass strings at some point this year. This will be a good experiment to see how long it takes for the Mapes strings to change as I've only read about strings taking time to break in.


1980 Yamaha G5 Grand Piano
1924 Chickering Baby Grand
Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955338 03/08/20 08:18 AM
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Matt,

Don't do ANY tapping anywhere except at the loop on the hitch pin to seat it on the plate. You should not tap anything until they have been at tension for quite some time. Bass strings will continue to "stretch" ĺactualky tighten at the loop mostly) for many months. THEN you might do some tapping...maybe.

Glad you got that one sorted out. Hope you can change the header.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955343 03/08/20 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TurboMatt
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
If twisting in the correct direction alleviates the problem, you may want to change the subject of this thread, if possible. PW forum threads come back high on search results and it would be sort of crappy for a case of installer error resulting in a high, negative Google search result.


I looked at the first post and the edit option is not there. However, it may be helpful for someone attempting to install bass strings on their own. I would be happy to change the thread if an Admin can re-enable the option.

Originally Posted by jsilva


smile Glad you got it worked out and that you’re pleased with the sound. I suspect the sound will warm up at least a bit over the next weeks or months.


I plan to replace all of the bass strings at some point this year. This will be a good experiment to see how long it takes for the Mapes strings to change as I've only read about strings taking time to break in.


To change the thread title, send a PM to the moderators


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Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955345 03/08/20 08:43 AM
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This is a useful thread.
Maybe change the title to "Replacement bass string sounds horrible."


Ed Sutton, RPT
Just a piano tuner!
Durham NC USA
Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
Ed Sutton #2955383 03/08/20 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Matt,

Don't do ANY tapping anywhere except at the loop on the hitch pin to seat it on the plate. You should not tap anything until they have been at tension for quite some time. Bass strings will continue to "stretch" ĺactualky tighten at the loop mostly) for many months. THEN you might do some tapping...maybe.

Glad you got that one sorted out. Hope you can change the header.

Pwg


Thank you for clarifying the steps I went through. The tapping technique was something the tech who initially worked on my action told me to do. I'll be honest in that it kinda made me cringe when he told me about that!

Originally Posted by dogperson
[

To change the thread title, send a PM to the moderators


I'll see if I can figure out who one of the moderators is and send them a PM

Originally Posted by Ed Sutton
This is a useful thread.
Maybe change the title to "Replacement bass string sounds horrible."


I would agree with that title name.


1980 Yamaha G5 Grand Piano
1924 Chickering Baby Grand
Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955409 03/08/20 12:28 PM
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What is a normal twisting amount? I've always used 1 full twist for single wound bass strings, and 1/2 twist for double wound bass strings...in the direction of the winding, of course. The Arledge bass strings I've installed require no twists.


Eric Gloo
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Richfield Springs, New York
Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
Eric Gloo #2955589 03/08/20 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
What is a normal twisting amount? I've always used 1 full twist for single wound bass strings, and 1/2 twist for double wound bass strings...in the direction of the winding, of course. The Arledge bass strings I've installed require no twists.

I think it depends on who made the strings.
In the Hellerbass FAQs there is more than what I quote here.
https://www.hellerbass.eu/en/faq/

Do Hellerbass strings have to be turned ... and how many turns?

Yes, we recommend two full turns for the single wound bass strings… and a half turn for double wound bass strings. The copper rises to the left, so they must be turned to the right – i.e. clockwise. There are a few exceptions...


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
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Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955622 03/09/20 01:55 AM
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I see (hear) 2 reasons for this sound only :
1 Basic reason. wrapped copper part of the string crawled out (a bridge) to hitch pin. hitch pin must be free.
2 It's defective string. Her copper part was bad fixed on the steel main string.

Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
Maximillyan #2955687 03/09/20 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Maximillyan
I see (hear) 2 reasons for this sound only :
1 Basic reason. wrapped copper part of the string crawled out (a bridge) to hitch pin. hitch pin must be free.
2 It's defective string. Her copper part was bad fixed on the steel main string.


If you read the entire thread, you will see this was resolved. I inadvertently put the twists in the wrong direction. The strings were reinstalled with 1 1/2 twists in the correct direction. I'll post a video in a week or so after the strings get settled in. I brought them up to pitch and within 5-6 hours they already went a bit flat. However, they sound correct now and not dead.


1980 Yamaha G5 Grand Piano
1924 Chickering Baby Grand
Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2955693 03/09/20 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TurboMatt
Originally Posted by Maximillyan
I see (hear) 2 reasons for this sound only :
1 Basic reason. wrapped copper part of the string crawled out (a bridge) to hitch pin. hitch pin must be free.
2 It's defective string. Her copper part was bad fixed on the steel main string.


If you read the entire thread, you will see this was resolved. I inadvertently put the twists in the wrong direction. The strings were reinstalled with 1 1/2 twists in the correct direction. I'll post a video in a week or so after the strings get settled in. I brought them up to pitch and within 5-6 hours they already went a bit flat. However, they sound correct now and not dead.


sorry, I glad for you. good lucks,

Re: Installed new Mapes bass string - sounds horrible
TurboMatt #2956755 03/12/20 08:36 PM
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Matt, if you look at the bottom of any post in a thread, you'll see the boxes labeled Reply, Quote, Report, and E-mail Post. Click the one that says "Report" and it gives you the pipeline to the Mod for this Forum. Too easy.

You could save some back-and-forth if you explain what the problem is, and suggest a different title. Mapes doesn't deserve the bad hit that Search engines that grab the title only will report. And BTW, if you did have a problem with them, or some other vendor, one of the first things I might do is report the problem and ask them for their guidance. After you try it out, that would be a good thing to mention in your thread.

This is not at all a dis on the suggestions our forum members have shared! I'm impressed once again.


Clef


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