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sinking piano keys #313276
08/17/05 10:57 AM
08/17/05 10:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 42
Philippines
baaaad_kitty Offline OP
Full Member
baaaad_kitty  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 42
Philippines
i noticed that my piano (yamaha C2) has keys that keep sinking. i'm not sure whether its the humidity or the heat. i have dessicants inside the piano, which keep filling up with water but no matter how many i put it seems as if my piano is just so full of water! i had it tuned because of the sunken keys and the tuner told me that he couldn't tighten the strings anymore because they might snap?! is that right? or should i just find a better tuner?

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Re: sinking piano keys #313277
08/17/05 11:28 AM
08/17/05 11:28 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,743
Los Angeles
Jeff Bauer Offline
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Jeff Bauer  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,743
Los Angeles
Did your tech ever recommend a <a href="http://www.dampp-chaser.com/index_public.html">dampp chaser?</a>

When you say "Keys that keep sinking", are you referring to the pitch dropping or the actual keys resting lower relative to the key slip?


Jeff Bauer | Keyboard Concepts

Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Restored Steinway

My soundcloud page
Re: sinking piano keys #313278
08/17/05 11:53 AM
08/17/05 11:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 42
Philippines
baaaad_kitty Offline OP
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baaaad_kitty  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 42
Philippines
sorry i didnt specify. i mean keys lower relative to key slip. the pitch doesnt drop drastically.

Re: sinking piano keys #313279
08/17/05 12:17 PM
08/17/05 12:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,743
Los Angeles
Jeff Bauer Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Jeff Bauer  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,743
Los Angeles
Quote
Originally posted by baaaad_kitty:
I had it tuned because of the sunken keys and the tuner told me that he couldn't tighten the strings anymore because they might snap?! is that right? or should i just find a better tuner?
Tightening the strings has no relation to the position of the piano keys.

So in essence the tuner is right, continuing to tighten the strings will result in them snapping. Don't replace the tuner, as far as I can tell your tuner is a genius.

It sounds like you need to take the following action:
1) You need to regulate the moisture of your piano with a dampp chaser. I have not heard of using dessicants for this purpose, so I really can't comment about placing those in your piano except for the obvious tonal reprocutions.
2) You need to have your Yamaha action regulated once you have made the environment suitable for a piano.


Jeff Bauer | Keyboard Concepts

Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Restored Steinway

My soundcloud page
Re: sinking piano keys #313280
08/17/05 12:49 PM
08/17/05 12:49 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 864
Boston, MA
B
bellspiano Offline
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bellspiano  Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 864
Boston, MA
Dear Kitty,

Your tech should be tightening the strings only as necessary to make them sound at the right pitch. As Angeleno says, that's a separate issue from key height.

Uneven key height usually comes from an uneven deterioration of the little circular felt pieces under the key balance pins or of the delicate paper shims underneath the felts which are used to adjust the key height. These papers and felts are the supports which hold up the middle of the keysticks and hence determine the heights of the keys. (Each keystick tilts back and forth like a seesaw. When you push the front of the key down, the back comes up and starts movement in the action.)

The balance pin felts and papers can become uneven for many reasons, including moth and insect damage, rodent damage, and just plain wearing out. What the tech will have to do is take out the action and remove the keys, looking at the condition of the balance pin felts and papers. Replacing the felts is simple, but readjusting the key heights with the papers is careful work: adjustments may need to be as fine as 0.003" in order to make the keys nice and even. You will want to have a techician do this work who is patient and experienced in this particular task.

My guess, if you have sudden and recurring key height changes, is that you have some sort of mouse or insect problem in your piano and that the creatures are eating your felts and papers.
Let us hope that I am wrong and that your piano is just experiencing old age. In any case, this is a fixable problem.


Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA
Re: sinking piano keys #313281
08/17/05 02:20 PM
08/17/05 02:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 402
Southern Ontario,Canada
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member
Piano Guy  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 402
Southern Ontario,Canada
Are they uneven at rest with nobody playing, or do they stay "sunk" after you have played them. If its option number to check for friction, or too tight bushings along the front rail. Your tuner would be able to find the cause. I hope it isnt them dern vaarmints.... smokin


Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON
Re: sinking piano keys #313282
08/17/05 08:19 PM
08/17/05 08:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
The Philippines are a total *killer environment* for any piano [my wife comes from there... wink ]

Your problem is still not totally clear to me and I think, others here, baaaaad_Kitty [now that's a name.... thumb ] - perhaps show the responses you got here to your tuner and tell us what he said specifically.

Wishing you best of luck.

[Will be in Philippines with my family during Christmas ! ]

Norbert smile


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: sinking piano keys #313283
08/18/05 08:28 AM
08/18/05 08:28 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 42
Philippines
baaaad_kitty Offline OP
Full Member
baaaad_kitty  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 42
Philippines
hmm... i don't think it's an insect problem. and yes, they stay at uneven levels even after i play.

this may sound stupid, but are damp chasers the same as dehumidifiers? the ones i have in my piano are in plastic cases with some sort of powder in them that absorbs water from the air. then at the bottom the water collected by the powder.

last queestion. how much do technicians charge? the last time the piano was tuned, the guy charged PhP 14,000. that's equivalent to about $250.

thanks guys!

Re: sinking piano keys #313284
08/18/05 10:03 AM
08/18/05 10:03 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 746
Midwest of the great USA
M
mamma2my3sons Offline
500 Post Club Member
mamma2my3sons  Offline
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M

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 746
Midwest of the great USA
Hi, I worked many times with nurses from the Philipines.

To answer your question, no, a Dampp Chaser is an electrical device installed in the piano that maintains the pianos humidity at the proper level. The piano owner must fill it with water or empty the water (such as high humidity in your case) A technician installs it.
They have a website: http://www.dampp-chaser.com/

There are also room DE-humidifiers that can be bought at the local hardware store for US $100. This is a machine that takes the dampness/water out of the air. There are also humidifiers that put the water back into the air when it gets too dry such as in the winter time.

Are you monitoring the relative humidity with a hygrometer? It sounds like the environment is a nightmare for your piano. No wonder you are having problems with your keys. The wood of your entire piano is shrinking & swelling. I wonder what the longevity of pianos in the Phillipines is. Maybe Norbert knows since his wife is from there.

Reading posts from those in other countries makes me really appreciate living here in the US, and how good we truly have it despite all the Michael Moores etc. I love my country.

Best wishes smile

PS.a tuning here goes for $75 or so & up.

Re: sinking piano keys #313285
08/18/05 11:50 AM
08/18/05 11:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,918
Chicago, IL USA
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Palindrome  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,918
Chicago, IL USA
I spent two years of my life living in the tropics. I remember the salt in the salt shakers liquefying during the warm winter rainstorms.

And from time to time, these forums can do with the reposting of a report of the effects of tropical weather on an acoustic piano (now almost 40 years old):

A Humid Recital Stirs Bangkok

Understatement can be a marvelously effective tool for the humorist.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
Re: sinking piano keys #313286
08/18/05 12:10 PM
08/18/05 12:10 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
$ 250 for piano tuning in the Philippines????

That's what a heart surgery costs in a hospital there....

norbert frown


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: sinking piano keys #313287
08/18/05 12:34 PM
08/18/05 12:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,876
Massachusetts
R
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Roy123  Offline
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R

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,876
Massachusetts
A Dampp Chaser is much more effective at adding moisture than removing it. In fact, it doesn't remove it, it just heats the air around the piano up a bit and that lowers the relative humidity per the psychrometic curve. An air conditioner in the piano room, if possible, should be a big help.

Re: sinking piano keys #313288
08/18/05 05:03 PM
08/18/05 05:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,918
Chicago, IL USA
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Palindrome  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,918
Chicago, IL USA
Quote
Originally posted by Norbert:
$ 250 for piano tuning in the Philippines????

That's what a heart surgery costs in a hospital there....

norbert frown
A man needed his piano tuned, and asked a musician friend for a recommendation for a tuner. The recommendation was for Oppernockity, who at an agreed time, showed up to tune the instrument. "How much do you charge?" asked the piano owner. "$50 for a tuning that will last six months, $250 for a tuning that will last the life of the piano." "Will they both sound as good?" asked the owner? "Oh, yes. The tuning is the same, the extra charge is to stabilize the instrument." The owner figures that, as long as he's never had this man tune for him, and doesn't know how good his work is, he might as well get the cheaper version; if he likes the man's work, he can always hire him again later.

After the tuner leaves, the man sits down to play. The instrument sounds magnificent! Truly a joy to play! After about half a year, it begins to slide out of tune, so the owner calls Oppernockity up to have him tune it again, this time for the permanent job.

"I'm sorry, but I can't come," says the tuner. "Why not?" asks the plaintive owner. "Oppernockity tunes but once."


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
Re: sinking piano keys #313289
08/18/05 05:08 PM
08/18/05 05:08 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
Now replace $250 with $ 2,500!

That's the buying power and *value of money* of $ 250 in the Philippines.....

norbert frown


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: sinking piano keys #313290
08/18/05 06:00 PM
08/18/05 06:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
boston north
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member
lilylady  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
boston north
Palindrome

"Oppernockity tunes but once."......

That was so 'bad' that it was funny!!!

;-)

Roberta


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: sinking piano keys #313291
08/20/05 10:12 AM
08/20/05 10:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 42
Philippines
baaaad_kitty Offline OP
Full Member
baaaad_kitty  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 42
Philippines
Quote
Originally posted by Norbert:
$ 250 for piano tuning in the Philippines????

That's what a heart surgery costs in a hospital there....

norbert frown
yeah, that's what the guy charged. i don't know the rates of other tuners. but my piano teacher said it should only cost PhP 700. ($12.5)

my mom is going to Hong Kong next month. she told me she'll look for a damp chaser there

Re: sinking piano keys #313292
08/21/05 12:21 AM
08/21/05 12:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,432
Surrey, B.C.
$250 instead of $ 12.5 eek

You must be one rich girl........

Here's my wife interpretation: you got money in the Philippines....watch out!!

Mr Rip=off lurking on each and every street corner....

norbert shocked


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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