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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2965942 04/12/20 12:10 AM
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Todd,
Can you explain your choices that makes you decide to use either the 1-1-1 or the 50/50?
-chris


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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2965955 04/12/20 01:28 AM
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Hey Todd, glad you're here! So here is my attempt at your concoction based on your video and our conversation. It worked great, amazing how rich the hammers sound now, far more even tone, and the harsh notes in the treble I could never voice down with needles are now smooth as silk. Only took a few minutes too, actually took longer to pull the action out of the piano.

I like the mellow sound, reminds me of the Shigerus at the piano store. But my kids who are taking piano lessons want it to be brighter, so I'll meet them halfway with some more hairspray on the crowns. I used what hairspray my wife had, but I have a bottle of Big Sexy Play Harder on the way from Amazon. That should voice everything up a bit, and let me brush down the few notes that stand out a little too much. I'm liking the velvety tone as it is though, so we'll see.

Thanks Chris for introducing this method to me. Makes me want to spray it on all my friends' too bright pianos!

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Emery Wang; 04/12/20 01:34 AM.

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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2965957 04/12/20 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
Todd,
Can you explain your choices that makes you decide to use either the 1-1-1 or the 50/50?
-chris

Chris, since the extra 1 in the 1-1-1 is water, would it be for hammers that need puffing out? Not sure when hammers need that, but I'm imagining maybe hammers that have been filed a lot and are a little thin?

BTW if I did this again, I'd try 1 part fabric softener and 2 parts alcohol. 1:1 was starting to clog the cheap pump aerosol sprayer I got off Amazon.

Last edited by Emery Wang; 04/12/20 01:36 AM.

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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2965996 04/12/20 06:46 AM
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This isn't true and you in know it. Why are you misleading? The meaningful way is heard. Too many excited partials and the cancel more of the partials closer to the fundamental out. I know you know this (or at least should)

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2965997 04/12/20 06:46 AM
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He's not. You are.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2966019 04/12/20 08:44 AM
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Because their density and elasticity is different from tip to core due to their unique construction. If they were simply a blob of felt on the end of a piece of wood, they would have a linear response...but they are not, ideally (repeat IDEALLY).

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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2966021 04/12/20 08:54 AM
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Emery,

Thanks for sharing that. It's a surprisingly effective method. The silky sound is a characteristic which was a big draw for me. The 1-1-1 works in the sprayers that Todd recommended. It works great with my sprayer too, and I have not noticed any puffyness because of the water in the mix. But in this case i am of the belief that it is just thinning the softener. But there is nothing wrong with trying a 2-1 of just softener and alcohol. I might give that a try as well. Report back your results.
Amazing how fast and effective this is as you now know.

And welcome to the Todd Spray and Play club.

-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
BDB #2966048 04/12/20 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
With a hard blow, hammer felt rebounds slower from deformation than when it delivers a lesser blow. This makes the hammer seem harder to the string when it hits the string with more force than when it hits it with less. Hence the tone is brighter when played hard than when played soft. So the tone color changes with dynamics. Just what the composer ordered.

This is why continuously felted hammers swept the industry when Henri Pape introduced them.

A harder blow deforms the hammer and string more than a lesser blow. It may take time to rebound just from the fact that it is a greater distance to rebound from. More information is necessary.
Originally Posted by Roy123
Originally Posted by BDB
In other words, when less force is applied, the hammer is compressed less. When more force is applied, the hammer is compressed more. Just like a linear spring.
I believe you're missing the point--a linear spring has a constant spring constant whereas a nonlinear spring has a varying spring constant. In the latter case, the incremental spring constant is a function of the amount of compression. As such, the strings being struck experience a different spring constant as the hammer blow is varied. I believe you claim to have a math background, in which case, my post should have been simply understood by you.
This image should make it crystal clear. If the image does not embed itself in this post, the link labeled "image" seems to work fine.
[Linked Image]

The point that I "missed" was the one that you failed to make, just like you failed to understand how to embed images. Of course, the image itself has nothing to do with the question. It is just a couple of graphs someone has drawn. In order for it to be relevant, one would have to show that one or the other actually pertains to piano hammers. You would also have to show several things: That either of the graphs comes from piano hammers, that if one of them does come from piano hammers that it is accurate, that it is not linear instead of just a different constant, etc.

That is before getting to the pertinent part of the discussion: What voicing techniques make a difference in the graph, and what differences in the sound do you get from the graph. Or you could skip the graph entirely and go to what voicing techniques make what differences in the sound, which is pretty much what Chris and I are concentrating on.

It is understood by everyone that harder hammers produce a tone that is brighter and has more energy in the upper partials than soft hammers. Many people in the industry have noted and reported on tonal change by using hammers with nonlinear spring constants. The extent to which my graph exactly comports to piano hammers is irrelevant--I only wanted to demonstrate what a nonlinear spring constant could look like. My graph was simply a visual demonstration of the math I earlier described. Your comment on embedding an image was just a cheap and gratuitous shot. I haven't attempted to embed an image into a PW post for years, am working from home, don't have unlimited time, and didn't feel like fussing. My post was an attempt to provide information--that's all. Can't we address ourselves to the questions at hand instead of thinly veiled ad hominem comments?

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2966053 04/12/20 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
How does knowing about linear or non linear springs help me with voicing a piano hammer? How do i put that to use?
-chris

Of course, what matters is the tone profile one is seeking. However, we shouldn't denigrate the analytical knowledge that helps explain the experimental results. Often, the analytical knowledge can lead to better processes or products. Without analytical knowledge, we wouldn't have modern cars, modern medicine, modern electronics, and most of the other products and inventions that make modern life so much better than what people experienced during the dark ages. Analytical knowledge could lead piano-hammer manufacturers to better understand how to design and manufacture better hammers. I could lead them to better test and control their manufacturing processes, leading to more consistent and high quality hammers.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
covenantpiano #2966054 04/12/20 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by covenantpiano
This isn't true and you in know it. Why are you misleading? The meaningful way is heard. Too many excited partials and the cancel more of the partials closer to the fundamental out. I know you know this (or at least should)

I hope I'm not being pedantic, but I don't think it's correct to say that higher partials cancel the lower partials. I believe it is correct to say that harder hammers excite more higher partials than lower partials.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
BDB #2966055 04/12/20 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by covenantpiano
This isn't true and you in know it. Why are you misleading? The meaningful way is heard. Too many excited partials and the cancel more of the partials closer to the fundamental out. I know you know this (or at least should)

I hope I'm not being pedantic, but I don't think it's correct to say that higher partials cancel the lower partials. I believe it is correct to say that harder hammers excite more higher partials than lower partials.
Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
How does knowing about linear or non linear springs help me with voicing a piano hammer? How do i put that to use?
-chris

It is just jargon, for the sake of making people think that they actually know what they are talking about. In the end, it boils down to what I said: Everybody has a bag of tricks that they rely on to get the sound that they can get. You have yours, I have mine. Without listening to the pianos in person, it is really hard to evaluate them.

I appreciate your sharing this bag of tricks, but I am no longer doing much shop work any longer, so I have to limit techniques to those which are quick and clean, since I am in customers' homes. I do not want to fill their houses with solvent smells. I also like to do a little voicing on low-quality pianos, to show the customer what is possible, and to educate their ears so that maybe they will want something better sometime. You can do so much for them fairly quickly, and there are a lot more of them than there are high-quality pianos. You can really improve your reputation fast by performing miracles on cheap pianos, and it keeps you in practice for the better pianos.

I do believe that the results depend on how the hammer hits the string, as well as how the hammer releases from the string, but linear versus non-linear is not the factor.

Evidence? Your sentence expressed this idea in any absolute way. An absolute statement needs evidence, or should instead be expressed with some qualifications.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
BDB #2966060 04/12/20 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
if I press on a linear spring a little bit, it will rebound slowly. If I press on it a lot, it will rebound faster. I would not be able to tell the difference without more equipment than I am willing to invest, however. Same results with a hammer. Same results with a piano string. Without a lot of work, I would not be able to tell whether the change is constant or a variable. Either way, I am not certain what the difference would be as concerns a piano's sound.

A linear system is scale insensitive, and as Ed suggested, I think you are confusing speed with period. Let me try to explain with this example. If one plucks a stretched string softly, it will vibrate at a specific fundamental frequency. If you pluck it harder, the transverse wave will have a greater amplitude, and the transverse velocity of the string will be greater. However, the fundamental frequency will not have changed. The real question is to what extent the hammer/spring interaction can be modeled linearly, i.e., with linear equations, or to what extent a good model will require nonlinear equations.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2966062 04/12/20 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Chris, don't confuse scientific models with analogies. They are not the same thing.

Describing inertial properties, spring rates and periodicity elements uses standard engineering methods. The piano industry seems to need to elaborate with models that I find distracting. I think that tendency exposes the low literacy level of the profession.


Ed,
Do you have a source of "Scientific Models for Springs?" How do you use inertial properties, spring rates, periodicity elements to voice piano hammers? Could you describe that process?
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Roy123 #2966065 04/12/20 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Roy123
Originally Posted by BDB
if I press on a linear spring a little bit, it will rebound slowly. If I press on it a lot, it will rebound faster. I would not be able to tell the difference without more equipment than I am willing to invest, however. Same results with a hammer. Same results with a piano string. Without a lot of work, I would not be able to tell whether the change is constant or a variable. Either way, I am not certain what the difference would be as concerns a piano's sound.

A linear system is scale insensitive, and as Ed suggested, I think you are confusing speed with period. Let me try to explain with this example. If one plucks a stretched string softly, it will vibrate at a specific fundamental frequency. If you pluck it harder, the transverse wave will have a greater amplitude, and the transverse velocity of the string will be greater. However, the fundamental frequency will not have changed. The real question is to what extent the hammer/spring interaction can be modeled linearly, i.e., with linear equations, or to what extent a good model will require nonlinear equations.

The real question is NOT how to model the the hammer/string interaction with equations. The real question is how to develop the ear/hand techniques to voice the piano hammers evenly and bring out a beautiful tone. How does modeling, theories, and math equations do that?

-chris

Last edited by Chernobieff Piano; 04/12/20 11:19 AM.

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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2966066 04/12/20 11:28 AM
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I notice I am the only one concerned with the longevity of the tone quality. My friends, you need to consider how long the tone quality your tone regulation methods produce endures. Your customers who actually play the piano several hours a day will notice after a few days to a few months. If you charge people money for tone regulation that doesn't last, home customers will perceive that as a poor value.

One can get away with quick tone patches on the concert stage. But the piano will degrade in stability and evenness over a very few years. If the piano industry is to survive, the value proposition of ownership must be kept foremost in your mind. If the concert hall is the only place real pianos are found, the future of our profession is reduced to a death rattle.

I have many wonderful rebuilt grands with LightHammer Tone Regulation I have produced over about forty years and they endure and improve with use. That is an ownership value. It also simplifies my maintenance work.

*deleted*

Last edited by BB Player; 04/12/20 12:20 PM. Reason: Off topic paragraph deleted by moderator

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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2966080 04/12/20 12:10 PM
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Ed,
This is a friendly discussion regarding Voicing Piano Hammers. Its clear that when pressed for facts to backup your claims, you instead resort to dodging the question, Advertise your LHTR, and belittle Todd. That is not what furthers a profession sir.

Regards,
-chris


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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2966085 04/12/20 12:26 PM
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What makes you think that chemical voicing doesn't last? The old world style lanolin filled hammers are extremely stable and have the grease in them.

What do you think happens to hammers with holes punched all through them? The felt has somewhere to move and the holes get smaller over time. Would you really disagree that this happens? And when this happens, what do you think happens to the tone?

Bye the way, I saw what you wrote disrespectfully to me before you deleted it. It's a shame that you have so much hatred in you. That is the same reason I blocked you on Facebook. You are intolerant of anyone that thinks differently than you.

Please Ed... open your mind for reason.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2966089 04/12/20 12:36 PM
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Regarding too many partials equals less sustain, It's easy enough to prove to yourself by voicing and timing and a decibel meter and stop watch.

There is more energy being used with more partials and that energy results in less sustain. Think it through a little in this light.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2966092 04/12/20 12:41 PM
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Regards to stability.
I believe its more stable than needling.

Here's why.
Lets take the B-72 solution for example. The Paraboloid B-72 is a plastic. When diluted in alcohol the plastic particles are then in a liquid that will carry them into the hammer felt. After the solution is applied to the piano hammer only the alcohol evaporates off, leaving the plastic particles. If you think that the plastic particles are evaporated off too, you would be mistaken. If you leave the solution untouched in the jar, the particles will settle to the bottom of the jar showing they separate.


-chris

Last edited by Chernobieff Piano; 04/12/20 12:49 PM.

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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
covenantpiano #2966144 04/12/20 02:49 PM
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Scott, My deleted paragraph was all fact, it contained nothing that was degrading to anyone, it simply stated why using religion instead of science has been proven to create real problems for life in general. I stand resolutely against the destruction of our collective inheritance from our ancestors of a civilization rooted in natural law. That is why I call the adoption of the Nicene Creed the second crucifixtion. I refuse to allow a suicide cult to destroy that inheritance. The piano is a product of the Enlightenment.

I agree needles ruin hammer felt. Chemicals in lieu of widespread use of needles is preferable. Making hammers that are lighter and with less dense felt avoids both, and produces the most stable, responsive tone and touch possible. My "preaching" is so this is not forgotten.

I prefer nitrocellulose lacquer for stiffening hammer felt in the treble. It does break down over time and can be made to penetrate the felt well and has a reversible element available as well if the proper application techniques are used in the first place.

The acrylic and vinyl solutions change very little over time, hammers get brighter with use, so having the stiffening agent degrade some over time seems to work out better in long term value for pianos owners.


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