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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2980316 05/17/20 12:00 PM
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Welcome to the club Ron,

Lease let us know what protocol changes you may make, and any observations you want to share or any questions you may have.

-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 #2980846 05/18/20 05:29 PM
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I have a few questions after having tried the method on some uprights with success, but of course there is improvement.

1. Do you spray several layers with the 1:2 solution or only a single one?
2. If more than once, how do you judge it?
3. Do you spray the hammers even if you don’t have time to reshape them? ( I did it and it improved the sustain quite a good amount).
4. If you harden the hammers with hairspray or paraloid b72, do you go too far and then soften again? If yes, how? With the 1:2 or 1:1:1 or simply 190 proof alcohol?
5. Does 190 proof alcohol soften hard tips?
6. can you imagine, soften harsh sounding hammers with the 1:2 solution during a tuning appointment? Or with alcohol 96%?

Thanks for answering my questions if possible.

BTW I got a huge positive reaction from a customer I tried it and she was completely happy with the sound of her grand.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Toni Goldener #2980925 05/18/20 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Toni Goldener
I have a few questions after having tried the method on some uprights with success, but of course there is improvement.

1. Do you spray several layers with the 1:2 solution or only a single one?
2. If more than once, how do you judge it?
3. Do you spray the hammers even if you don’t have time to reshape them? ( I did it and it improved the sustain quite a good amount).
4. If you harden the hammers with hairspray or paraloid b72, do you go too far and then soften again? If yes, how? With the 1:2 or 1:1:1 or simply 190 proof alcohol?
5. Does 190 proof alcohol soften hard tips?
6. can you imagine, soften harsh sounding hammers with the 1:2 solution during a tuning appointment? Or with alcohol 96%?

Thanks for answering my questions if possible.

BTW I got a huge positive reaction from a customer I tried it and she was completely happy with the sound of her grand.

Good Questions.

1 and 2) Only your ear can be the judge. For example, i have some new Ronsen hammers to voice soon. The problem (from listening to them) is that the tone is too soft and at the same time the sustain drops off the cliff. This means the low shoulders are too hard and the tips too soft. My first order of business, will be to spray the 1: 2 softener to build sustain. After i get that, then i will use the 4g-2oz. B-72 solution to build color and volume from the top. To build volume, I'll spray slowly to saturate 10-2 o'clock. After volume, its quick spraying to build the color(tips).

3) Reshaping is always a good idea, good practice, and can often improve the tone by itself.

4) Yes, i have found that you can go back and forth between the B-72 solution and the 1:2 softener solution. ONLY, use the 1:1:1 to correct extreme hardness and denseness. Otherwise the other solutions will be the go to's.

5) I haven't tried that yet. I suppose it could dilute and evaporate what was applied. I mostly think of it as a carrier in this application.

6) I think the 1:2 is good for that. Don't forget sugarcoating the strike points too with a short fine needle, or reshaping.


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 #2985536 05/29/20 05:16 PM
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Here is a video Todd Scott just posted on youtube of Dino Kartsonakis playing on a Norberg 9 foot Grand. I asked him about the hammers and how they were treated. He said that they are Abel Natural felt and treated with Big red sexy hairspray and the All Fabric softener. He did mention that he wished that he had softened them up a little more.

Anyways a fairly good example of this system in use on the concert stage.

-chris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C56...LGrOxejP2jx2nCk-P4Gy_gfUond5EZrVCzldoFy4


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 #2987462 06/03/20 01:58 PM
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Hi Chris

It is difficult to say anything about the sound quality of the grand in the video. For me it sounds a bit pingy.

Another question: I found out that a 1 part all and three parts of alcohol give me a „sugar coating“ solution. What is your recipe?

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2987466 06/03/20 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
Here is a video Todd Scott just posted on youtube of Dino Kartsonakis playing on a Norberg 9 foot Grand. I asked him about the hammers and how they were treated. He said that they are Abel Natural felt and treated with Big red sexy hairspray and the All Fabric softener. He did mention that he wished that he had softened them up a little more.

Anyways a fairly good example of this system in use on the concert stage.

-chris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C56...LGrOxejP2jx2nCk-P4Gy_gfUond5EZrVCzldoFy4

I am left speechless.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2987494 06/03/20 02:53 PM
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Hi Toni,

I agree it was on the bright side, as you may know, those pianists love to be heard. I have heard Todds 9 footer in other settings and its not as bright as it was in the Dino video. So he must tailor the voicing to the room and to the needs of the pianist.

I seem to have settled on the 1 to 2. I can vary how much it saturates into the hammer by the speed of the pass when spraying.

If you are using a hypo oiler the tendency is to heavily saturate with those. If that's the case, then a weaker solution may be what's applicable.

The final arbiter is your ear.

-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
Toni Goldener #2987593 06/03/20 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Toni Goldener
Hi Chris

It is difficult to say anything about the sound quality of the grand in the video. For me it sounds a bit pingy.

Another question: I found out that a 1 part all and three parts of alcohol give me a „sugar coating“ solution. What is your recipe?

Toni,

Are you using 190 proof vodka or denatured alcohol?

How quickly does it cause a response, and have you tried applying it at the start of a tuning (as you had suggested earlier)?

Peter Grey Piano Doctor (Pwg)


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2987639 06/03/20 11:17 PM
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My report on using this spray system on Ronsen Wurtzen felt hammers on a Steinway A.

I spent the last two days tuning, leveling strings mating hammers to strings and all the usual detailed prep work. I did encounter an unusual noise which turned out to be that my new stringer fellow left the agraffes at an angle to the strings. I'll have to talk to him about that LOL

Got it to the point that the hammers/pianos character is coming out. My first observation was that the tone was on the thin side (no bloom) and there were quite a few sustain drop offs. So being a cold pressed hammer I started with the 1-2 on the shoulders. Then i let it sit for 15 minutes. Then I went through it again and picked out notes that i thought were beautiful already to have as markers. Played up and down the compass and marked out the notes that needed to be brought up in power and color. Made two passes with the B-72.

These hammers are probably Ronsens best. The tone of them are magical, but there were uneven sections as pointed out above. A few years ago i would have been happy with just leaving them alone, they were that good.

Just played on the piano a couple minutes ago, and the tone has become sweeter and much more even and open. Never in my wildest dreams would i have thought to use a softener on a cold pressed hammer but when the sustain drops off like that, its the right solution to the problem.

So anyways i have made a total of four passes two with the softener on the shoulders, and two on the selected tops to blend and it made an amazing difference. And it only took a matter of minutes for the actual voicing once all the prep work was done.


Hope you all have the same experience improving the tone of your pianos like i have.

-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
P W Grey #2987655 06/04/20 12:55 AM
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I am using denatured alcohol, 96%. At least that’s the strongest one I can buy here in Switzerland. It is not for drinking (btw😉) and not for creating drinks. So I think it is denatured.
When coming to a new customer I first look at the hammers. If needed I give them a ten minutes filing, only breaking the string groove edges a bit. So the mating remains and the tone improves. Then I mellow down the peaks by adding the 1-1-1 with a paint brush carefully. The goal is to have the tone already now quite similar. Time about 15 minutes, filing included.
Next listen to the sustain. Spray if needed with the 1:2 solution.
Start tuning and pitch correction. 15 minutes later decide what to do: listen to the sustain,
Listen to the tone quality and power. If the overall sound is too harsh, spray tips with 1:2 solution. Keep on tuning for about 15 minutes. Recheck sound. Now the sound is mostly on the mellow side, but that is ok.
Then I add the paraloid on the 10 and 2 o’clock area of the hammer. Now the important thing comes: depending on the actual mellow sound I add the paraloid more or less near the strike point on both sides of it. So it can saturate quasi under the strike point adding power and a bit brightness to the strike point. That gives me very nice results and hardly ever a pinging. If I add paraloid directly to the strike point, then only a very very weak solution.
I think the whole improvement should not last longer than 20 minutes. But with the system you can do a huge amount of improvement in the given time.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2987891 06/04/20 02:14 PM
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Here a sound example of a Seiler upright I was never happy with.
The piano is not fine tuned jet. After the shoulder treatment with the 1:2 the sustain improved. Also the top treble was too weak and the midrange didn’t sing. Also the tenor break is much more better now. The video is made with my iPhone 6.

Any comments are welcome.

https://youtu.be/po_xBuF4vD8

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2987894 06/04/20 02:19 PM
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Sounds very nice Toni, good job. Nice playing too.

BTW, I think you do a combination of spraying and painting? Do you find much of a difference between the two methods? I'm thinking of applying the B72 with a hypo oiler so I can be more precise in the amount and location applied to the hammers. Generalized spraying of the shoulders for softening and infusing fabric softener makes sense to me, but hardening parts of the hammer would benefit from more precision I would think.


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Current fling: Petrof III
Foster child: 1927 Kurtzmann upright
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2987902 06/04/20 02:44 PM
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Toni,
I enjoyed the composition myself. In fact i forwarded a link to Todd. Thanks for sharing that . I was a bit surprised hearing you used the 1-1-1 on the tips, but i can't argue with the results. Hammers must have been in a bad state.

Emery,

The spraying can be applied to a single hammer. In my work i am staying with just spraying. Mostly because of evenness. On the last piano i voiced (Steinway M) I used various methods of applications, but i think it complicates, because different methods require different ratios of the solutions. By staying with the spraying i have gained better control of the result. The Steinway A i just posted about, I used no needles and just my little spray gun. I'll post a picture of it because I had to alter it as i had dropped it and the container broke. So i made a mini container out of a hypo-oiler. And it holds enough to make 2 passes. Anyways saved me from having to buy another spray gun.

-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 #2987904 06/04/20 02:52 PM
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The 1-1-1 is applied with a brush and very very carefully only on single notes. It is really a tiny amount! It is sugar coating with a brush.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2988263 06/05/20 06:05 PM
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Toni,
For applying micro amounts to the strike line, you may want to try pipettes.

-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 #2988266 06/05/20 06:34 PM
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Here are a couple pics i promised.

First I listen to every note and mark with chalk.
[Linked Image]

Then I isolate the hammers according to the chalk marks. Then i place a shield to protect parts from spray.
[Linked Image]

This spraygun i use just for voicing.
[Linked Image]

-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 #2988323 06/06/20 01:10 AM
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Maybe a quick question from a non-tech: I frequently see videos and pictures about voicing a grand, with the action taken out. All hammers are then easily accessible. What about an upright? Is it significantly more effort to apply the solutions here? Or maybe not realistically possible so that other techniques would be preferred? Thanks in advance.


W.Hoffmann T122, Roland FP-50, Roland RD-64
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2988343 06/06/20 03:42 AM
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It's not difficult to take an upright action out! (unless it's a spinet).

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #2988380 06/06/20 08:08 AM
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Gretel,

In this thread Toni was voicing an upright piano . Maybe you could direct a question to him.

-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
Toni Goldener #2988387 06/06/20 08:41 AM
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Toni - I really liked your piece and the way you played it. You've got some beautiful music in you.

Regarding the piano - I liked everything I heard until the final flourish before the top Ab(?) You played a little ascending arpeggio, then paused before playing the final note.

I thought the notes in that range - top 8ve and a half of the piano? - sounded kind of tinny? glassy? I'm not a voicing expert, but my experience is that there is a loudness point, beyond which, if we voice the piano to be louder, the tone degrades. The piano simply has a "smaller voice", and if we make it louder, it sounds like it's yelling.

Sorry if this is not very technical, but I don't have the language to describe it otherwise.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
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I Make Music that Lifts People Up & Brings Them Together
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