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key rebound issue
#2965296 04/10/20 04:12 AM
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I bought this tonally gorgeous 52 inch Upright (brand new) Knabe WKV 132 MD and it has many keys that come up to 3/4 level as I play --I literally have to push up them up to key level. I don't think this should be emblematic of a new piano.. The piano is wonderfully voiced, sonorous, with impressively long decay, but the action is extremely stiff, and demands deep plying of the keys.
Here is a playing sample.

https://youtu.be/uv0LLi7vPV8

The company is being very nice--telling me to get a tech to address what seems to be a regulation issue. I am wondering why the factory does not properly regulate the pianos or does it expect the local dealer to do so. I compared this piano to a new Kawai 300, and while the Kawai was easier to navigate, it did not have the tonal wholeness, or beautiful voicing of the Knabe. It's true the Knabe is about 3.5 inches taller.

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Re: key rebound issue
shirlkirsten #2965314 04/10/20 07:41 AM
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Hi Shirlkirsten. Nice piano and playing! My guess is that you have some tight rail bushings that need easing. I've been told Asian pianos often ship that way, and the bushings on my Kawai grand needed to be eased when new. Does your dealer include any free tunings? If they send a competent tech to do the initial tunings, he or she should be able to ease the offending bushings for you.

Last edited by Emery Wang; 04/10/20 07:42 AM.

Kawai MP11SE
souped up Kawai GL10
Re: key rebound issue
shirlkirsten #2965369 04/10/20 11:14 AM
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When I was shopping for a new piano, I was amazed at how many pianos had tight keys, probably caused by tight key rail bushings. These pianos shouldn't have made it on the floor without easing the keys. IMHO, this should be done by the dealer since they typically do the final prep work. Easing the bushings (the felt lined holes in the keys) is not that difficult.

Re: key rebound issue
shirlkirsten #2965429 04/10/20 02:20 PM
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Better to have things be too tight on a new piano than too loose! Remember these are complicated machines with thousands of tiny parts made of wood and felt. Don't be too hard on the manufacturer. The quality of modestly priced instruments is probably better than it has ever been. Plus they have to ship these things all over the world to a huge variety of climate situations.

Having a good tech is just as important as having a good piano! And be willing to pay him/her for extra tweaks that will be needed to keep the piano working at the level you want. The servicing is really part of the instrument, and you get what you pay for.

Great to hear you play by the way!


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: key rebound issue
Emery Wang #2965477 04/10/20 04:30 PM
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Thanks for your insights. Yes, the dealer provides a free tuning but I am hopeful it will be a Registered Piano Technician with skill and know-how. Interesting, that I tried an Italian made Schultz-Pullman beside a Chinese made Schultz Pullman. The Chinese piano had abysmal regulation--you couldn't play soft without losing all the notes. Also, it had a stiff, uncompromising action. Yet the Italian made Schultz was impeccably regulated, and allowed magnificent dynamic contrasts without breaking ones fingers. It was smooth to the touch. Going for 16K before tax.

Last edited by shirlkirsten; 04/10/20 04:32 PM.
Re: key rebound issue
rysowers #2965478 04/10/20 04:35 PM
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I must share that the Samick Co. is bending over backwards to underwrite what needs to be done, a far cry from the Baldwin Co. of which I did not have a positive experience. Enough said. I will gladly promote Knabe on my you tube channel once the affected notes and action are straightened out. The kind of stiffness currently can cause injury. What is redemptive is the gorgeous voicing, and sustain, long decay that is uncommon to most uprights I had tried.

Last edited by shirlkirsten; 04/10/20 04:37 PM.
Re: key rebound issue
shirlkirsten #2965564 04/10/20 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by shirlkirsten
The kind of stiffness currently can cause injury. What is redemptive is the gorgeous voicing, and sustain, long decay that is uncommon to most uprights I had tried.
It's right so it

Re: key rebound issue
rysowers #2965567 04/10/20 11:59 PM
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Has to be the right tech, who is up to the job... Many of us have been through the war zone. We lost our reliable techs to retirement and the replacements are not always desirable. This piano was not regulated, period, and should have been. Once it arrives at the dealer, it should be regulated which means the dealer has to invest $$$ in pianos on the floor. There is a dealer here who happens to be conscientious about regulation. But he is the exception.

Re: key rebound issue
shirlkirsten #2965790 04/11/20 03:04 PM
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It's certainly difficult to control how felt and wood parts are going to react once the piano is moved from the factory to the various climates of the world. That's one of the reasons factories tend to rely on dealer prep for the final regulation. In theory even a humidity difference between the local dealership and your house could have caused this.

Admittedly, some factories do seem to be remarkably good at forestalling these issues, and Kawais from the factory in Japan (this includes the K300 IIUC) certainly have that reputation. Their use of ABS plastic for some of the parts helps with that too.

IMO as long as the dealer/manufacturer is willing to pay a tech out to fix it, without giving you the runaround, they're doing fine. These things happen.


Nathan Monteleone
Piano Technician / Amateur Rebuilder
PTG Registered Piano Technician

My pianos (in various states of rebuild):
- 1900 Mason and Hamlin AA
- 1911 J&C Fischer 6'2" grand
- 1935 Story and Clark vertical
Re: key rebound issue
TBell #2965924 04/12/20 12:09 AM
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I totally concur.. I remember back in the early 90's when I was looking for a new Steinway grand, I went to LA Steinway on Wilshire, and all the pianos were COTTON BALLS.. none were prepped by the dealer. Naturally with the cotton balls tone, the feel was also affected. The Dealer told me, "It's ok just buy the piano, and we will voice it when it gets to your place." That was a bad time for Steinway.. and I refused to buy a cotton balls sounding piano, with no voice. It's potential could not be predicted.

Re: key rebound issue
Nathan M., RPT #2965926 04/12/20 12:15 AM
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Yes, I got right on it, and sent my Knabe video to principles at Samick..along with pics of notes stuck well under key level. There was no b.s. from them. I think their reputation is important to them. In 1989, Steinway and Sons sent Franz Mohr, Horowitz's tuner to help straighten out my Steinway M 1917 that had been butchered by a Central Valley tech who ruined all the Steinway hammers, dousing them in lacquer. Glad I moved away from mid CA. Most of those tuners are now dead.

Re: key rebound issue
shirlkirsten #2966042 04/12/20 11:16 AM
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I am puzzled why you didn't notice what seems to be a fairly big regulation issue when you tried out the piano although it's true that one usually notices things when the piano gets home that one didn't notice in the showroom. Perhaps you were so enamored of the tone?

If you want to demonstrate/listen for sustain you should be listening to notes in the two octaves starting around the G above middle C. Any reasonable decent piano has no problem sustaining notes below middle C especially in the bass. Finally, sustain should not be measured by how long it takes for a note to become inaudible.

Re: key rebound issue
shirlkirsten #2966052 04/12/20 11:51 AM
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It is possible that the piano worked fine in the store, and changed once it was moved.


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