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[img]https://www.clavio.de/attachments/fackel-hammerstiel-jpg.18369/[/img]

Heating up the hammer shanks makes them less rigid and gives you the opportunity to slightly adjust them and have hammers in the perfect position.

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OE1FEU #3081938 02/13/21 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
[img]https://www.clavio.de/attachments/fackel-hammerstiel-jpg.18369/[/img]

Heating up the hammer shanks makes them less rigid and gives you the opportunity to slightly adjust them and have hammers in the perfect position.

Thank you! Yes, that's pretty much the position he used the fire, just that I have an upright smile And that he used (if I'm right) an ordinary lighter. But I might be wrong. Just saw it from a side position.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
Zeitlos, why not message or phone while your piano is fresh in the technician's mind?

I will go and visit him as soon as the lockdown is over.
Basically I'm just trying to understand how effective voicing is. That will help me when I talk to him as well smile

Thanks for all your valuable input!

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Originally Posted by Sail26
All good ideas I'll check out. It definitely feels like the note itself or some harmonics with the note. It's possible it's even a tuning issue. I wonder, with the duplex scale, could it be the non-singing portion of the string is out of tune?
Easy to check this by inserting a strip of felt to mute the duplexed string of that note.
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
You should only need to wait 2-3 weeks before getting it tuned, not months. Though a tech may want to wait a few months before tracking down the sounds you hear.
Why would a tech want to wait that long?
Every tech that I have spoken to about doing anything other than tuning a new piano always wants to wait several months. Probably simply to see how it will settle in before making changes that would need to be redone or can’t be redone?


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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
You should only need to wait 2-3 weeks before getting it tuned, not months. Though a tech may want to wait a few months before tracking down the sounds you hear.
Why would a tech want to wait that long?
Every tech that I have spoken to about doing anything other than tuning a new piano always wants to wait several months. Probably simply to see how it will settle in before making changes that would need to be redone or can’t be redone?

Maybe you should try to talk to different technicians?

Once a piano is tuned, its full potential is audible and a good technician can get started to work on it by thorough voicing, if necessary.

My Steinway B got a complete overhaul of the acoustic assembly in December and three weeks after its return to my home (and 5 full tunings) my technician came over and took about 5 hours of thorough needling to give it its final character. 6 more tunings later he will do some final touches on single notes and the una corda part at the end of this month. There is no reason to wait a year until the strings have settled. I expect to give my piano at least 10 full tunings until the end of the year and hope that the strings have settled by then.

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To me it was an interesting experience, how much of a difference it can make when the piano is voiced and maintained. I don't think that the tuning itself has made that much of a difference to the overall character of my Schimmel.

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I expect to give my piano at least 10 full tunings until the end of the year and hope that the strings have settled by then.

You can be my customer! You know what pianos need! So many here expect to give the piano one full tuning at the end of every ten years.....

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Originally Posted by David Boyce
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I expect to give my piano at least 10 full tunings until the end of the year and hope that the strings have settled by then.

You can be my customer! You know what pianos need! So many here expect to give the piano one full tuning at the end of every ten years.....

I am afraid I cannot be your customer. By now I tune the piano myself and for voicing and the once a year thorough concert tuning I have access to a number of excellent concert technicians.

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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Once a piano is tuned, its full potential is audible and a good technician can get started to work on it by thorough voicing, if necessary.

I would modify this statement to say that once a piano is tuned and regulated, a good technician can get started to work on a thorough voicing. For a thorough voicing, one must first ensure that the action is finely calibrated and (most importantly) consistent in touch and response throughout the keyboard.


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Originally Posted by adamp88
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Once a piano is tuned, its full potential is audible and a good technician can get started to work on it by thorough voicing, if necessary.

I would modify this statement to say that once a piano is tuned and regulated, a good technician can get started to work on a thorough voicing. For a thorough voicing, one must first ensure that the action is finely calibrated and (most importantly) consistent in touch and response throughout the keyboard.

Of course. When you want to go into those details, you also need to mention that keyframe and keybed must be adjusted to perfection for a maximum of kinetic energy transmission. And unless it's a brand new piano, one should also check whether the strike line is really perfect or whether it has changed in a way that removing treble hammers and re-gluing them in best possible line improves the overall treble sound. Also make sure that on certain models it's possible to adjust the frame and slightly change the bridge pressure for the best possible sustain and slowest decay. And so on and so on. And let's not even talk about all the different approaches to voicing itself.

And when you work with a technician who works with a love for detail like that, then it is indeed possible to change the character of a piano. My last voicing session with one of my favorite technicians lasted 6 hours, which basically consisted of thorough and deep needling. After that the piano actually had a whole new dimension in sound: Dark and mysterious were not there before, but new complement all the other colors and the dynamic range of my beloved 1886 B.

In 2 weeks we'll have another session to fix some unevenness that I've created through playing.

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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
And when you work with a technician who works with a love for detail like that, then it is indeed possible to change the character of a piano. My last voicing session with one of my favorite technicians lasted 6 hours, which basically consisted of thorough and deep needling. After that the piano actually had a whole new dimension in sound: Dark and mysterious were not there before, but new complement all the other colors and the dynamic range of my beloved 1886 B.

Ah, a whole new dimension in sound (opulent, pompous) is what the OP's piano had after regulation, tuning and voicing. But it turned sober after a day or two. Does an intoxicating peak in performance ever persist for long after voicing?


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Ah, a whole new dimension in sound (opulent, pompous) is what the OP's piano had after regulation, tuning and voicing. But it turned sober after a day or two. Does an intoxicating peak in performance ever persist for long after voicing?

Ah, no. There’s a misunderstanding. smile It has been opulent and pompous (in my ears) all the time. All those years. Also after the first tuning. What has taken away this opulent sound was the second tuning in addition with the steps mentioned above. Since the second tuning seems to have been more subtle than the first one, I suppose all those other steps have lead to those rather sober sound. However, after some playing I have to say that it’s impressive at the same time. And of course, not that I keep on playing I’m getting used to it and learn to love its advantages.
And of course, I suppose a Schimmel will always keep something of its romanticism.
I’m about to buy a Zoom h4n pro to do some recording. Maybe I can find out whether the sound changes (back) over time.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
And when you work with a technician who works with a love for detail like that, then it is indeed possible to change the character of a piano. My last voicing session with one of my favorite technicians lasted 6 hours, which basically consisted of thorough and deep needling. After that the piano actually had a whole new dimension in sound: Dark and mysterious were not there before, but new complement all the other colors and the dynamic range of my beloved 1886 B.

Ah, a whole new dimension in sound (opulent, pompous) is what the OP's piano had after regulation, tuning and voicing. But it turned sober after a day or two. Does an intoxicating peak in performance ever persist for long after voicing?

In my case it clearly did and the main reason for that I suppose is the fact that the technician went really deep into the hammers and fundamentally changed its structure and tension distribution. Many technicians voice too carefully and only needle the top layer of the hammer. This may bring good results in the short term, but in the long run this kind of voicing loses its effect quickly when you play the piano on a regular basis.

It's now two months of daily playing of about 1-3 hours and the sound quality is still there with this new element added.

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When he left for the second time I couldn’t believe my ears. It was very different. My Schimmels sound was really big, maybe sometimes even to pompous. All “colors of the spectrum” seemed to approach your ear and senses. Now it sounds very clean, restricted, its opulent ways are gone.

I see, before and after. I remember liking some of the out-of-tune unisons in the tenor of my Schiedmayer before it was tuned!

Anyway, would you say your Schimmel is balanced and melodic? Does it have good dynamic range and a variety of colour across the registers? Some say those are the signs of a well tuned and voiced piano.


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Yes, maybe it would have been better to phrase it differently "Before the second tuning/first voicing it used to be...". smile

That's why I asked what voicing really does and how huge the impact normally is or can be. Really an interesting thing.

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Zeitlos, my second paragraph is a synopsis of Steinway's aims for voicing. That's why I asked if your technician has achieved them.


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Thanks again for getting back to me. Well, it’s hard to judge for me whether my piano meets the criteria you mentioned in an absolute way. I mean, it’s very subjective, isn’t it? Maybe I I were more of an expert I could seriously answer your question. But unfortunately I am not frown So I can only tell you about my experience and how I hear it now.

Originally Posted by Withindale
Anyway, would you say your Schimmel is balanced and melodic? Does it have good dynamic range and a variety of colour across the registers? Some say those are the signs of a well tuned and voiced piano.

It’s balanced, I’d say. However, what has happened – since I demanded it – the midrange part of the piano is more prominent now. It was a bit subdued. I prefer it this way. Don’t know how he managed to achieve it. On the other hand - maybe as a consequence - the high tones seem to be a bit ... how to express... taken back. But again, this might be a result of making the mid tones more prominent. Keep in mind, it’s just a bit. It’s still nice, but if I had one wish left (it that’s possible) I would also have the upper tones pushed. So before, everything was opulent. Now the bass and the upper tones are taken back a bit. For the bass it’s useful.
Since the mechanic works more smoothly and also more precise no, and it’s easier to play, I’d say the dynamic range is better now since I can control my playing much better.
Variety of color: To me that’s the most important aspect. At first I was a bit “shocked” since everything seemed so clean and sober to me. But now I would also say color (maybe a new one) comes back into my ear. But I will keep an open ear on it smile

Today I’ve ordered a Apogee HypeMiC microphone. For various reason. One will be to find out how the piano’s sound develops over time (if one can hear this from recordings).

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