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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2977327 05/10/20 07:17 AM
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Ando,

If you send Ray the first and last hammer/shank assembly of each section, and tell him where the angles change (if different from these samples), he will do all that work for you. Then the only thing you will need is the tools and knowledge for hammer installation. ☺

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2977381 05/10/20 09:54 AM
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Why would a professional technician ever place their client in the position to select a type of hammer for their piano? What meaningful knowledge and experience would the client have to make a distinction like that? If they "know" what kind of hammer their piano should have to meet their expectations of tone, touch and longevity; why wouldn't they do the job themselves?


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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2977396 05/10/20 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
Originally Posted by Roy123
Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
Originally Posted by Roy123
All these conversations about ways to wrestle the bad tone out of hammers always makes me wonder why piano makers and rebuilders don't use hammers well mated to the scale design of the piano, that sound good right out of the box. I've owned and rebuilt several pianos over the years, but have kept my U1 through them all. About 10 years ago, after constantly fighting with the Yamaha hammers, and after researching and trying sample hammers from a number of manufacturers, I replaced the Yamaha hammers in the U1 with Ronsen Wurtzen felt hammers. Wow--what a change. The top octave or so needed a bit of juicing, but other than that the other hammers have hardly required any voicing at all. Here I am 10 years later, and they still sound excellent with hardly a touch of a voicing needle. The hammers hardly seem worn--they are displaying incredible resilience and resistance to grooving.

I present this result to show that a well made hammer, using the right felt, applied in right way, can produce superb results over many years, without all the manipulation described in this thread. Why wrestle with hammers that start out so far from ideal when there are options?

Sounded like you wrestled with the bad tone in the treble. I'm not sure that is a testimony to the point you were trying to make. Also, You are forgetting the human element to voicing. Some people may have a finer ear and require more evenness or brightness out of the Ronsens.
But that is what's great about good hammers, is that as a voicer, you have options to please the varied tastes.

-chris

No wrestling--just one application of a hardener, which seems like much less wrestling than the preneedling required of the Renners along with chemical treatments or additional needling. All the stabbing that hammers like the Renners require just seems all wrong. It's seems like proof that the hammers aren't a good match to the piano, or are simply too hard and dense to begin with. I also wonder how much resilience and longevity the hammers will have after all the needling, and I wonder if they will tend to go back to being too hard, and will therefore require a steady diet of voicing to maintain the desired tone? The Yamaha hammers on my U1 always seemed to need voicing. I also wonder how much excess weight that the very dense felt on those hot pressed hammers add. The Ronsens have been very even, and the Wurtzen felt, which is the densest felt that Ronsen uses, was a good match to the scale design of the U1. Everyone who has played my U1 with the Ronsen hammers has been impressed with the tone. Those hammers really lifted the piano to a new level of performance.

Roy123,
I agree with you regarding that the Renner are too hard, and I also am a big proponent of the Ronsens. But guess what, My client wanted the Blue points for the Baldwin. It wasn't my choice. So I installed the Renner Blue Points as my client requested, and I am not personally excited about them. I had a Steinway M prepared for the Todd class, but Todd picked the Baldwin for the class. The rest is on the Video. And i'm glad that Todd did his magic, because when i delivered the piano, the client loved it!!!!!!

-chris

That's interesting. One wonders why a client would decide he or she is so knowledgeable as to dictate a hammer type to an experienced rebuilder such as yourself.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2977413 05/10/20 11:08 AM
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I provide services to RPT's too. Many of them are just on the tuning and repair side of the trade and are not set up for soundboard and pinblock work. So when a piano comes in for those specialties, they often opt for me to do all of the work. Quite often they know what hammers and parts they want me to use and i tailor to their preferences. I'm glad that i have adopted that business model because I have built many friendships and have learned to work with other brands that i normally would not have used.

-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
"Where Tone is Key"
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
P W Grey #2977530 05/10/20 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Ando,

If you send Ray the first and last hammer/shank assembly of each section, and tell him where the angles change (if different from these samples), he will do all that work for you. Then the only thing you will need is the tools and knowledge for hammer installation. ☺

Pwg
That's a great idea, Peter, thanks. I never considered that.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2977540 05/10/20 03:17 PM
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Professionals set standards.

The "Pure commerce model" will lead to "I sell whatever they want to buy."

The pure commerce standard is also another business model for prostitution.


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.
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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2977729 05/11/20 04:17 AM
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The last few tunings with ugly sounding, harsh and brittle hammers in upright pianos I gave the fabric softener 1:2 solution and the B72 a try. B72 is in my bag for a longer time and I applied it on dull sounding hammers, a solution of 1,6 grams deluted in 100 cl acetone. That improves the impact on the strike point but never gives an ugly “ping”.

Now my question is: if you come across a piano and after analyzing sustain, sound quality and loudness, makes it sense to spray the shoulders and the tips with the 1:2 solution, let it dry for about 15 minutes, (doing some action work in the meantime), do a pitch correction, add B72, if needed and then do a fine tuning? That is a question for a “normal “ tuning appointment. What do you think, especially the ones that are common with Todd’s voicing method? Thanks.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2977760 05/11/20 07:00 AM
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Along the lines of Toni's question, I am wondering what to expect with mildly worn hammers (obviously with string grooves). Or would reshaping be a pre-requisite? Obviously not looking for tier one results...just a mild improvement.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2978125 05/12/20 03:33 AM
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Chris
In what kind of alcohol does the paraloid b72 solve?
Here they tell me that it is not possible.
Thanks

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2978189 05/12/20 08:38 AM
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Toni, you can use ethanol or acetone. Acetone doesn't penetrate as well as ethanol, but is still quite effective.


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2978207 05/12/20 09:27 AM
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Toni,

I was using the brand Everclear, but switched to Denatured Alcohol from Home Depot. Both are 190 proof. The alcohol takes longer to dissolved so make up a batch ahead of time. It can take a couple of days. Stir often.

Because of the wicking behavior, alcohol penetrates deeper, the acetone stays near the surface. Maybe that could be useful for different applications.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
"Where Tone is Key"
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2978267 05/12/20 12:22 PM
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Thanks very much for your replies!! In the shop they told me that the paraloid will not solve, but I try it anyhow and see what happens.
Today I came across a very very ugly sounding grand with 12 mm grooves in the hammer. The customer complaints that the grand sounds loud and screaming. So I gave it a hammer filing and a regulation and a tuning. After filing the hammers I gave a good layer of 1:2 on the shoulders and the tips and after having dried it out for about an hour the harshness was gone and as expected the sustain came back and the harshness was gone. It was already quite even and I gave the tips in the middle and treble a few drops of paraloid b72. That really brought the thing back to life and when it was too much, I carefully added a slight coat of the 1:2 where needed on individual hammers.

In the end the customer was very happy and also me, the piano sounds amazing now. Soft tone in pp p range and a punch when increasing the volume and of course also the change of the color in the different loudnesses.
It was great.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Toni Goldener #2978270 05/12/20 12:33 PM
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A good portion of the harsh tone of worn hammers comes from grooves, and specifically the edges of the grooves. This makes a hard angle in the waveform, and that sounds harsh.


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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2978277 05/12/20 01:10 PM
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Yes, that is absolutely right, the grooves are a part of the harsh tone. After filing I did listen to the sustain and the overall sound, witch was still harsh, surely a little bit less than at the beginning. But what was a big advantage of using the 1:2 was, that I almost didn’t use needles and I could avoid a long stabbing with the voicing tool. The piano was from a pianist, so you probably can imagine what that means for your hand and wrist when these hammers were never really served. It seems that they will be renewed in a few years.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2978688 05/13/20 01:17 PM
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Good report Toni.

1:2 Fabric softener:Alcohol?

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 05/13/20 01:19 PM.

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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2978736 05/13/20 04:15 PM
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Exactly. One fabric softener, two parts alcohol.

Chris: is the paraloid solution you use not extremely strong? 1part paraloid and two parts of alcohol? Then you probably spray one a very thin layer over the tips. Didn’t you get a ping with this solution? And how sound the hammers before you add the paraloid? Are they sprayed with fabric softener every time you before you spray with paraloid?

Thanks!!

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2978806 05/13/20 08:53 PM
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Hi Toni

If my conversions are accurate, your mixture is too weak (1.6g -100CL, this converts to 1.6g - 33 oz). I'm surprised that it made much a difference in tone.

I use (1 Tblsp B-72 : 2 oz alcohol) =( 4g: 2oz) = (4g: 6 CL). This is the Erwin Thick. I made a batch thick so i can thin it as my ear determines. That's important, that your ear is the determining factor, not a predetermined mixture ratio.

The medium is (4g : 4oz) = (4g : 12 CL)

The Thin is (4g : 8oz) = (4g : 24 CL)

I have been spraying the thick, but if i was using a hypo oiler, i would go with the thin to start. The reason is because the hypo oiler saturates and the sprayer atomizes.


-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
"Where Tone is Key"
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www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2979178 05/14/20 09:55 PM
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I am getting close to the voicing stage of a Steinway A i'm working on for a client who lives in Kentucky. It has New untouched Ronsen hammers installed. I listened to them for the first time this afternoon. Remember these are cold pressed hammers. Right off the bat the tone is weak and the sustain is poor. I will be using the Spray method with the B-72 for hardening and the softener to build sustain. Kind of strange to say the tone weak and my first action i will take is to apply a softener. This is because the sustain is poor, this means the shoulders are too hard. Then i will be using the B-72 to build the volume and brighten them up.

I'll keep you posted on how this new method of voicing works on Ronsens and the steps i take.

-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
"Where Tone is Key"
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2979316 05/15/20 07:12 AM
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Chris, please do keep us posted.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2980053 05/16/20 06:13 PM
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Thanks for posting this Chris - I've been able to test this protocol on some problem pianos and have found it a valuable tool to add to my kit!

Ron Koval

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