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Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340058
11/21/03 10:44 AM
11/21/03 10:44 AM
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Kevin,

I wonder if the other Petrofs have that same metallic sound. In other words, can it be attributed to the hammers or to the rest of the piano? That might influence your decision. Maybe the dealer has Petrofs (other sizes of course) with Abel or Renner hammers which sound fine. Then you might be comfortable with the purchase of a Petrof IV with Abel hammers.

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Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340059
11/21/03 12:35 PM
11/21/03 12:35 PM
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Indiana
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Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340060
11/21/03 01:16 PM
11/21/03 01:16 PM
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Illinois (Chicago Area)
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lb,

You bring up some interesting points. I will have to say that I have heard a lot of negativity from primarily the Estonia dealer about almost every other piano in the industry that I considered, all of which have been in Larry Fine's Tier 2 list. Of them all, Petrof is the most often criticized.

The Walter/Mason and Hamlin, Steinberg, Petrof, Yamaha, etc. dealers that I have visited were very professional: they did focus on what made their pianos great, but they did not rip apart the competition.

I do need to say that I did like the Petrof IV with the Imategawa hammers after it had been voiced. The first time I played it, though, it sound harsh and metallic -- just kind of "ugly," but I thought it had potential. After voicing and regulating, it played and sounded like a different piano. However...when I did "bang" the keys, I STILL heard that brightness/metallic harshness, particularly in the treble, but not nearly to the same degree.

The tech said that those hammers will harden and need voicing sooner than the other types, and over the long term, the "harshness" will worsen and voicing won't stop the problem -- only new hammers will.

Kevin

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340061
11/21/03 01:50 PM
11/21/03 01:50 PM
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Sorry that my comment seemed ridiculous. Yes, I am an Estonia owner. However, I did not recommend that he pay 2K extra for one. Quite the contrary. Nor do I think that he should be pressured by the Estonia dealer. Having been through that tactic with car dealers and real estate agents, I've resolved that if anyone tries it again I will withdraw my offer and let the other individual go ahead and buy it.

I still believe that apparently random selection of parts raises questions. I haven't forgotten those who paid a premium for an Olds Rocket V8 and got a Chevy motor instead. The major difference here is that the piano manufacturer has not been deceptive. Obviously the manufacturer does not feel that there is any qualitative difference and therefore doesn't make any claim as to what hammers are used. In such circumstances it is reasonable to expect them to use whatever is readily available or cheapest at the time.

However, the dealer himself was negative about the hammers...and has done a better job of planting doubts in the customer's mind than anyone else. With a little luck, the Petrof IV in the warehouse will be just what Kevin wants.

I'm glad that this dealer is willing to work with him. They weren't much interested in negotiating with me on any piano except a Weber WSG 57. It wouldn't surprise me if that is the very same Foerster 190, nine months later. What a piano!

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340062
11/21/03 01:55 PM
11/21/03 01:55 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Kevin:

I do need to say that I did like the Petrof IV with the Imategawa hammers after it had been voiced. ... However...when I did "bang" the keys, I STILL heard that brightness/metallic harshness, particularly in the treble, but not nearly to the same degree.

...

The tech said that those hammers will harden and need voicing sooner than the other types, and over the long term, the "harshness" will worsen and voicing won't stop the problem -- only new hammers will.

Kevin,

I have had the good fortune to try out bunches of new Petrofs recently before knowing anything about what hammer or what action or whatnot they put inside, or where and how they wer made. And with that uninformed (hence in this case also arguably less biased) frame of mine, I came away also thinking that the Petrofs have more "metalic" quality in its tone.

That entirely subjective observation was discussed here:

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=005047#000016

All hammers get brighter the more they are played. It's just a matter of degree.

If a piano sounds good to you, go for it. If it's not good enough for your ears, keep shopping. I believe very strongly that whien buying a musical instrument, a piano buyer's fingers and ears should have more say about which piano to buy than specifications, brand names of components, or even the brand name of the whole piano.

Good luck! smile

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340063
11/21/03 03:12 PM
11/21/03 03:12 PM
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Indiana
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Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340064
11/21/03 06:29 PM
11/21/03 06:29 PM
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Alex Hernandez Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by lb:
Alex

Your use of selected adjectives like “hard pressed” is obviously meant to plant negative seeds in peoples minds, it also exposes your bias in this case.
lb, the conclusions you have reached are wrong. The manner in which you present them can only be looked on as an attack.

I posed questions in this thread that were meant to invite intelligent discussion about the piano, it's components and the bearing their quality has on it's performance.

Are you suggesting that a cold pressed and a hot pressed hammer sound the same out of the box? Are both hammers going to deliver the same tone on the same piano? This isn't a question of quality as much as taste. The issue of quality I raised was directed at the soundboards preparation and installation.

BTW I didn't mean to say "hard" but hot pressed". This was a stupid oversite on my part.

Quote
Originally posted by lb:
It seems that the Estonia dealers here are trying to take a perceived weakness in a competitor and blow it out of proportion.
Don't confuse me with anyone else here lb.
I am very comfortable speaking clearly and for myself. My comments were in no way intended to mold a perception about any of my suppliers or their competitors. Their instruments speak for themselves; good or otherwise remains the decision of the person sitting on the bench.

Quote
Originally posted by lb:
The discussion was about hammers and Norbert expanded it to actions and now you go to soundboards. We also had a ridiculous comment about day to day use of materials from someone that just happened to be an Estonia owner. Coincidence? Before you guys drag this thread to the casters or the cartons used for packing the piano, lets clear up some things.
lb why not address each question individually? Why assume some evil Estonian conspiracy when infact we all had separate reasons for bringing up these valid points.

Quote
Originally posted by lb:

No, you didn’t consider anything except taking the all to common occurrence of most salesmen not knowing the specifications of their pianos, and blowing it out of proportion.
lb you don't know me, my work or my skill set.
You don't know my training or history with my makers. To suggest I don't know my pianos is very puzzling to me. Would be so kind as to justify this remark?

Quote
Originally posted by lb:
Norbert is notorious for this, but Alex I thought you were above it. Lets address the hammers and actions and then if you would like we can discuss soundboard quality.
lb, Norbert and I were making different points for perhaps different reasons.
The instruments ability to project and resonate (soundboard) is relevant to this conversation and worthy of discussion.


Quote
Originally posted by lb:
Anatoli Stulove one of the most prominent researchers in the field of piano acoustics and piano hammers has determined, and published, that Imadegowa, Renner, and Abel hammers when ordered to the same specifications are equal in performance and quality.
I would love to read this study, is there a link?

Quote
Originally posted by lb:
Dr. Siegfried Hofman, the President of Renner said, and I quote “ The heart of an action is the wippen, and if the action has a Renner wippen it is a Renner action. Where the rest of the parts come from and where it was assembled is of little significance”.
This sounds like a company president protecting the integrity of his product regardless of the skill set of the worker who puts it together. I think it strains anyones credibility to suggest that the quality of the hammer,shank,knuckle or bushing cloth have no effect on the actions perfromance. This is not an argument that would be made by a high level technician working in the field day to day.

Quote
Originally posted by lb:
Alex, I would like you and Norbert to prove these guys wrong. If you could, use facts and statistics, but please refrain from using salesmen opinions and selective adjectives, and Norbert put your court jester personality on the shelf for a while.

lb
lb, Norbert Martin is his own man and can speak for himself. He and I were making different points for perhaps different reasons.

My opinions come from my experience in the field servicing pianos in the home, in schools and on the concert stage.

I suggest you receive them as such let's resume this discussion as professionals.

Also lb would you reveal who you are and what your track record is? I have been open about who I am from day 1 on this forum. I would like you to consider returning the courtesy.




BlĂĽthner USA, LLC
Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340065
11/21/03 08:13 PM
11/21/03 08:13 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
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O.k. I accept the invitation: let's talk about casters then for a moment.

It's the perfect place to 'show class' for a manufacturer should he happen to mean it.

To put on a $15.00 caster on a $20 k plus piano or a $ 50.00 one,IMHO, also tells something about the manufacturer's intention when building 'the rest of the piano'.

Or a $ 10.00 lid hinge as opposed to one that is easily twice,three times the price.

How about benches?

Let's shove a $ 50.00 wooden marvel in front of the piano as long as the piano can be sold as "world class-handbuilt piano" to the unsuspecting customer.

But there's one consolation for those who see me as a ruthless marketeer for Estonia here:

Estonia prices are going up in 2004..no question!

And will leave a whole lot of ....er..

" genuinely cheaper " pianos behind in their way!

Ende gut, alles gut! smile

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340066
11/21/03 08:24 PM
11/21/03 08:24 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 4,271
Olympia, WA
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shantinik Offline
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Olympia, WA
When is Indryk going to install a "Platinum Touch Action"? eek cool

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340067
11/21/03 08:27 PM
11/21/03 08:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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If this happens to refer to...ahem...Pramberger,I have bad news.

They are coming now with genuine and complete platinum coated RENNER actions!!

norbert laugh


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340068
11/21/03 08:34 PM
11/21/03 08:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,969
Alex Hernandez Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by shantinik:
When is Indryk going to install a "Platinum Touch Action"? eek cool
Perhaps shortly after the "pearl tone" strings.




BlĂĽthner USA, LLC
Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340069
11/21/03 08:41 PM
11/21/03 08:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
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Okay Norbert, what's the scoop on the new, elevated Estonia prices?! What's the estimated increase (in either USD, CDN, or percent)?


"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
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Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340070
11/21/03 08:56 PM
11/21/03 08:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 345
Calgary
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Calgary
Kevin,

Sounds like you like Petrof and are looking for reasons to justify the purchase. I've got the same passion for them in the Model PII as well. They build an excellent piano, and I would not hesitate to purchase one.

Get the dealer on price (after of course trying a Petrof IV out with Abel hammers) as well as all the other features. Look at previous threads regarding about piano margins, and I think you will have a few more tools in your chest for an effective search. smile

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340071
11/23/03 12:34 AM
11/23/03 12:34 AM
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Posts: 295
Arlington, VA
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Gentlemen and Ladies -- I am SO CONFUSED after reading all of these comments on Renner and Imedegawa hammers. I have a new (March 2003 off the factory floor)Petrof IV, Chippendale custom Cherry cabinet. I just had it voiced for the second time. I was so worried about it, that I went on the forum to ask about "voicing" and got some very good comments. I showed the Forum comments to my techician (who does the concert voicings for piano artists at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC ). He spent 2 hours voicing my Petrof. I asked him about the hammers -- he said they are European hammers -- similar to the ones he's voiced on Bosendorfers and they have hard felt (which he needled and sanded) as opposed to soft felt (which needs to be lacquered apparently). I can only tell you that my Petrof absolutely "SINGS" -- I am convinced that the key is the technician who knows how to take a brand new piano and do what is necessary to the hammers. By the way, my hammers I noticed (when the technican pulled them out) had a red lining-- not a "blue" lining. Should I be concerned? Should I write to Petrof and ask them what kind of hammers they put in my piano?
Are they Japanese (ie., Imegedawa?) Are they Renner? Should I care?

Virginia (from Virginia)

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340072
11/23/03 12:35 AM
11/23/03 12:35 AM
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Arlington, VA
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Gentlemen and Ladies -- I am SO CONFUSED after reading all of these comments on Renner and Imedegawa hammers. I have a new (March 2003 off the factory floor)Petrof IV, Chippendale custom Cherry cabinet. I just had it voiced for the second time. I was so worried about it, that I went on the forum to ask about "voicing" and got some very good comments. I showed the Forum comments to my techician (who does the concert voicings for piano artists at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC ). He spent 2 hours voicing my Petrof. I asked him about the hammers -- he said they are European hammers -- similar to the ones he's voiced on Bosendorfers and they have hard felt (which he needled and sanded) as opposed to soft felt (which needs to be lacquered apparently). I can only tell you that my Petrof absolutely "SINGS" -- I am convinced that the key is the technician who knows how to take a brand new piano and do what is necessary to the hammers. By the way, my hammers I noticed (when the technican pulled them out) had a red lining-- not a "blue" lining. Should I be concerned? Should I write to Petrof and ask them what kind of hammers they put in my piano?
Are they Japanese (ie., Imegedawa?) Are they Renner? Should I care?

Virginia (from Virginia)

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340073
11/23/03 12:47 AM
11/23/03 12:47 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 363
Illinois (Chicago Area)
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KevinIQ77 Offline OP
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Illinois (Chicago Area)
Hi Virginia,

I remember reading about your piano and seeing its picture. Great story, great find.

I'll bet that you have either Abel or Renner hammers, on the basis of what I've learned about hammers in Petrofs, and because your tech said that you have European hammers. My understanding is that the new Petrof grands do not have Imategawa hammers.

I've been told not to worry so much the hammers, even if they are Imategawa. Recent information I've received suggests that even the Imategawa hammers may not be all that bad for the Petrof.

Since your tech is familiar with your piano, he/she probably can determine if you should be concerned.

Sure would love to hear what your Petrof sounds like!

Kevin

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340074
11/23/03 01:45 AM
11/23/03 01:45 AM
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Axtremus Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Virginia:
... I can only tell you that my Petrof absolutely "SINGS" ... Should I be concerned? Should I write to Petrof and ask them what kind of hammers they put in my piano? ... Should I care?
You said your pianos "SINGS" -- I that means you really like its sound. That's all that matters. It's OK if you want to find out the brand of the hammers just to satisfy your own curiosity -- but don't go worrying about this brand versus that because, whatever brand of hammers you have now, they are doing a great job at giving you the sound you love. It's the resulting sound that matters, not the hammers' brand.

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340075
11/24/03 01:09 AM
11/24/03 01:09 AM
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Posts: 295
Arlington, VA
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I've sent a question about the hammers into Geneva International. I agree that it is the sound that matters after all is said and done --
but I'm really curious to know exactly what
type of hammers have been put in my piano. Also, the technician who did the voicing for me didn't seem concerned about it either. If I get an answer from Geneva, I will report back to the forum. Thanks.

Virginia (from Virginia)

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340076
11/24/03 11:14 AM
11/24/03 11:14 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 363
Illinois (Chicago Area)
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KevinIQ77 Offline OP
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Hi Virginia,

You might have better luck phoning Geneva International. I've tried to e-mail the company a couple of times...one time, I never heard back, and another time, my message was forwarded (by phone or e-mail) to the local Petrof dealer, who followed up.

I've also phoned Geneva International with questions. The person I spoke with seemed willing to help as best he could.

Look forward to hearing about what you learn.

Kevin

Re: Petrof Hammer Update (Surprise!!) #340077
11/24/03 05:04 PM
11/24/03 05:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
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Colorado
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I am popping in briefly to counter some misconceptions.

Alex,

I see where lb is coming from. Your questions seem biased to me too. Firstly, by calling Imadegawa "hot pressed" you imply that competing brands are not hot pressed, which is simply not true. All hammers are hot pressed, including the hammers on all the pianos you carry.

It looks to me that you are trying to lead readers to believe that Petrof has stiff soundboards and that they use japanese hammers to try to overcome that. This wouldn't in fact work, as I explain below. However, the fact is that Petrof went to Imigawa in '98 for some very specific reasons, and recently changed back to Renner also for some very specific reasons. (So no Mark, Petrof does not randomly change their materials, that was a 4 year span.) Neither decision had to do with soundboard stiffness, although I think the decision to change back to Renner had to do with trying to recapture their 90's tone quality. My Petrof has Renner hammers and if I don't keep it voiced it can tend to get harsh and brassy. That is true of all modern hammers except NY Steinway.

To answer some of your (very leading) questions:

Quote
If the function of the soundboard is to amplify and resonate the energy from the strings, then isn't it's ability to distribute and hold onto that energy for as long as possible an indication of it's quality?
No. Sustain is only a measure of quality if that was a design goal. First of all, the soundboard does not amplify anything, it transduces. In other words, it adds no energy to the system, it only converts string energy to soundwaves. Second of all, you could design a soundboard that could hold onto the string energy for a very long time, the only problem being that you wouldn't be able to hear it. The only way you can hear a piano is if that soundboard dissipates some of that energy to the surrounding air. The faster the energy is dissipated the more powerful and less sustaining the piano. The reverse is also true. So sustain is important, but only when balanced against all the other compromises and the overall design goal.

Quote

And isn't quality defined by not only the type of spruce used but the skill in achieveing this function?
The function of maximizing sustain? Only if that is your design goal. See above. I would say that quality is defined by materials and skill in achieving a design goal.

Quote

Won't a maker ability to overcome the rigidity on a board effect the hammer he chooses?
No, although they may try. The only thing that gets exited with a harder hammer is the upper harmonics, the overall energy of the strings is not increased. Hardness of hammer effects the quality of sound much more than the volume of sound. Although the piano may seem louder with harder hammers when it is virtually impossibly to play softly.

Interestingly, your more rigid soundboard should sustain longer than one less rigid, because it does a better job of holding the energy in the strings. And yet this may be the reason why pianos with more rigid soundboards actually sound like they have less sustain when they are equipped with hard hammers. That initial high energy level in the upper harmonics decays very rapidly, leaving the effect that the piano has no sustain. With softer hammers the energy level over time would be flatter, making the piano sound more sustaining even though it isn't.

Quote

If a soundboard is to rigid won't it benefit from a hotpressed hammer's ability to deliver more energy into the soundboard?
No. See above. Unless you want more energy in the upper harmonics and a less sustained sound.

As far as lb's hammer article, he only posted a link to it like 4 times.

I'm off again...

Ryan

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