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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3011992 08/09/20 02:20 PM
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Tirta,
I was afraid of that. I cannot recommend any other brand. Todd experimented with many brands before selecting All Fabric Softener. If you try another brand you are on your own path, whereas with All, you have others as feedback. If you do try another brand , avoid ones with dyes that will discolor the hammers. All is white in color. Maybe you could order it over the internet if not available locally.
-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
BDB #3011997 08/09/20 02:34 PM
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Hammer felt, to produce the expected tone color change with dynamics, must rebound from a slight compression quicker than it does to a more forceful one. In simpler terms the hammer must "seem" harder to the string when struck harder than when stuck softly.


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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3012136 08/10/20 12:47 AM
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Chris,

is Todd still on this forum?
I would like to know what other brands he has tried and what is his reasoning of choosing ALL.
CMIIAW I think the base ingredients of all fabric softeners should be the same, right?

After searching internet, this is the only ALL product that I can find in Indonesia:

https://www.tokopedia.com/yenzy/all-softener-2x-stainlifter-1-47lt

it is not the white ALL, can I use this one instead?

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3012194 08/10/20 06:24 AM
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Tirta,
I asked Todd and he said All Fabric Softener works the best and that the others will work too. He also said Rosewater will act like a softener. The link you shared seems to be a detergent and stainlifter, not a fabric softener. He also said that even if they are colored, that they won't stain much when diluted. Maybe when you select a softener to try, you could test it on a spare hammer or two?

-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 #3012220 08/10/20 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
Tirta,
I asked Todd and he said All Fabric Softener works the best and that the others will work too. He also said Rosewater will act like a softener. The link you shared seems to be a detergent and stainlifter, not a fabric softener. He also said that even if they are colored, that they won't stain much when diluted. Maybe when you select a softener to try, you could test it on a spare hammer or two?

-chris

Here is a link to the ingredients
https://nationaleczema.org/accepted-eczema-products/free-clear-liquid-fabric-softener/


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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3012246 08/10/20 10:07 AM
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Dogperson,
Thank you for sharing that.
It would be nice if a chemist would look over those ingredients and offer a natural alternative. After just a brief glance, looks like maybe the the coconut fatty acid salt is coating and softening the fibers?? As the rest of the ingredients seem to be cleaners and surfactants.
-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 #3012319 08/10/20 01:52 PM
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thanks Chris & dogperson.

I am not familiar with rosewater.
is it the one described here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_water ?

yes, looking at the ALL ingredients at that link,
it seems that the lanolin is substituted with coconut fatty acid salt?

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3012517 08/11/20 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
.... Yamaha hammers are indeed a hard, bright hot pressed hammer. The real fix is a better hammer of course. Cold pressed hammers have been used on Yamahas with great success.
.....

-chris

Hi Chris, out of curiosity what hammers would you recommend for a 30 year old Yamaha G1, which doesn’t need new hammers but could benefit from a nicer tone?

Thanks, Bill


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3012617 08/11/20 10:20 AM
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I have always used Ronsen Hammers in the past. Especially on C7's. That alone often got me repeat business. I'm not the only one to have noticed as many techs also have switched out the hammers. You'll get more power, warmth, and a wider dynamic range.

Lately, i have become a big fan of the Abel Natural Felt Hammers, as there is a silky sound to them i really like. I would easily try them next on a Yamaha.
-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 #3012786 08/11/20 05:33 PM
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Thanks Chris.

I’ll take it under advisement. I know with Ronsen there are several versions available. Is “natural felt” enough to identify the Abel set I should pursue? I have a full second set of new Yamaha factory hung hammers for this piano so any disappointments with the experiment would be low risk. I can tune, repair and regulate but I am not a good voicer.

Before I do swap hammers I think I will experiment with the spray and play to see what I can learn.

-Bill


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3024789 09/13/20 08:15 PM
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Well OE1FEU, not a concert piano or pianist by any stretch of the imagination, but here's a video of a before and after fabric softener voicing of my piano. Not sure if the subtle difference after voicing will come thru in the YouTube audio, but this voicing method really took the faint glassy edge off my Petrof hammers without dulling the clear tone of this piano and I'm quite happy with the results.


Last edited by Emery Wang; 09/13/20 08:16 PM.

Daily driver: Kawai MP11SE
First crush: Kawai GL10
Current fling: Petrof III
Foster child: 1927 Kurtzmann upright
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3024791 09/13/20 08:26 PM
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Very good job. I can definitely hear the difference. Good that you played the same piece. Nice playing too!


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Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3024806 09/13/20 09:35 PM
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Great Video Emery.
Wish I could edit like that. The tone became warmer and the pings i heard in the before were gone. I also noticed you were able to to express a wider range of dynamics. I enjoyed the whole thing.
Could you share a link to the sprayer, i like that one.
And thank you for the mention at the end of the video, i wasn't expecting it so i was surprised. I forwarded a link to Todd, so he will get to see it as well.
Many thanks.
-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 #3024811 09/13/20 10:51 PM
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Here's a link to the sprayer Chris.

Thanks again for letting us know about this voicing method, it's really expanded my toolkit for improving the performance of my pianos. Your posts here and Tony's have been invaluable.


Daily driver: Kawai MP11SE
First crush: Kawai GL10
Current fling: Petrof III
Foster child: 1927 Kurtzmann upright
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3024817 09/13/20 11:25 PM
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Emery that is excellent. Your playing is wonderful too. Thanks for posting this. I have a candidate for this treatment now and I’m going to give it a try.

I actually have a second candidate that is too muffled. That one will need some surface sanding and polishing of the felt first and I can try the hairspray technique to bring it up.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3024829 09/14/20 12:32 AM
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Very informative video with great playing by the Mr. Wang!

I have a old piano with very hard feelings hammers that I decided to try this out on. Sadly I only have my phone for recording so any recordings I make sound kind of muffled. I used the origin 1:1:1 ratio of softener, alcohol, and water. Before the felts on the hammer felt very hard when I tried to dig my nail into it or squeeze it. Tone was a bit bright and loud but the trebel above C6 and up lacked power and sustain. Especially at the very top notes. I figured it was due to many issues because the piano is in poor shape. After spraying I left it for a day and came back and noticed the tone is mellower and the upper notes are much louder with noticably better sustain. The hammers themselves feel like a thin soft layer on the outside now but still very dense underneath. The piano is in poor shape, but I at least noticed an improvement.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3025343 09/15/20 12:03 PM
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Thanks very much for that video. I really appreciate your work and your playing. In the meantime I use the 1:2 nearly on every piano I tune, sometimes on sections only, sometimes on single notes applied with my index finger, for stand out notes or only for sugar coating.
Even a small upright became such a rich tone and also the customer said that he loves that piano because of its richness. Btw the voicing on this upright was done in only a few minutes. That is great. If you are familiar with this voicing method, it works wonders.
And I also was able to order my first big sexy hair spray here in Switzerland. Sometimes wonder happens.

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3025833 09/16/20 11:43 PM
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Thanks Toni. Your application of the solution has been very interesting, as Todd only discusses spraying. If you had to do a lot of hammers, would you spray, or still use the finger/paintbrush application methods? Do you spray to get the solution into the shoulders of the hammers?


Daily driver: Kawai MP11SE
First crush: Kawai GL10
Current fling: Petrof III
Foster child: 1927 Kurtzmann upright
Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3025858 09/17/20 01:58 AM
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If the overall sound of the hammers is brittle and harsh , I spray a layer on the tips of the hammers first and listen to the result after it’s dried. I am able to better hear then, how sustain is. If needed, I spray the shoulders at 9 and 3 for better sustain. For both I use the 1:2 solution.

I also use a sprayer for individual sections, let’s say the first five or six notes on the long bridge are ugly, I spray only these. The amount of solution I spray, I regulate by how fast I move the sprayer from one note to the other and the distance from the hammers. Now my index finger is “trained” to the sprayer so it is mostly quite what I want.
The paintbrush/finger application is for even out small amounts , let’s say sugar coating. Also using the 1:2 solution.

What works for me best is to make things a tiny bit too mellow first and then use my paraloid b72 solutions on the tips or wherever it is needed.

I now have my big sexy hair spray, but no experience yet. That will take some time now. I have tried other hairspray, but they all gave me a pingy sound although the hammers were mellow first. With the paraloid applied by drops I never had the problem. I hope the big sexy will be different.
Where I am still not sure how to use is the wire brush. Maybe someone has good experience here.
Thanks!

Re: Dissecting the Tone of Piano Hammers
Chernobieff Piano #3025930 09/17/20 07:48 AM
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The wire brush helps reduce the ping if you've gone a little heavy with the lacquer (hairspray). Always start with less than you think you need with the hairspray and then wait some time before thinking of adding more.

Best case is if you can return for a quick visit the next day and lightly brush across the ones that are too bright and possibly add a quick spray to the ones that need to come up more.

Ron Koval

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