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Learning to regulate #618564
12/23/08 12:58 AM
12/23/08 12:58 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
B
b3groover Offline OP
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Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
I'm becoming increasingly frustrated by my lack of knowledge to approach certain issues that come up during tunings. Things that should be routine, such as "Why is this key sticking?" I adjust the obvious things and the problem persists and then I'm at a loss.

Is there a good book on regulating? I've read Reblitz, but I'm looking for something more along the lines of "If a key is sticking, check this:"


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Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
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Re: Learning to regulate #618565
12/23/08 01:12 AM
12/23/08 01:12 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,740
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
There is no magic pathway to diagnosing problems in actions. The only way to learn is to look at the action, figure out what every part does, and how they interact with each other. Once you know that backwards and forwards, then you can look at various sections of the action to see if you can find the problem. It takes experience and a mechanical aptitude.

It helps to look at a number of types of actions: English, Edwin Brown, Erard-Herz, Viennese, upright, Blüthner... and see what elements they have in common. The more differences you look at, the easier it is to understand how something that looks different could act in the same way, and the easier it is to understand how and why they function the way they do.


Semipro Tech
Re: Learning to regulate #618566
12/23/08 01:32 AM
12/23/08 01:32 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,018
Bradford County, PA
UnrightTooner Offline
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Bradford County, PA
Good post, BDB.

Also, I read an article on troubleshooting (in general) a while ago. It categorized troubleshooting into four basic methods. Start at one end and work to the other, start at the middle to divide and conquer, try what ever usually works, and use intuition. They each have their place.

No list of problems and cures could ever be complete. But understanding intimately the concepts of how different actions work should get you through problems without a list.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: Learning to regulate #618567
12/23/08 02:16 AM
12/23/08 02:16 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 386
Mexico
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Erus Offline
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Mexico
I am currently reading Regulating Grand Piano Touch and Tone, by Danny L. Boone, and think it's very good (not a troubleshooting guide, though).

The Potter course sections on repairs and regulation could be useful, too. I don't know if you have considered it. In any case, a used copy can be very good reading and a good reference.

What about getting action models to work on?

Re: Learning to regulate #618568
12/23/08 04:54 AM
12/23/08 04:54 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 634
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JDelmore Offline
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The back issues of the PTG Journal and the PACE lessons have a wealth of information. You don't even have to join to buy them (I think it's a whole lot cheaper, though). Also, for general problems, Steve Brady's Guide to Field Repairs is pretty succinct.


PTG Associate Member

"There is always room above; there is only the ground below."....F.E. Morton (with props to Del F.)
Re: Learning to regulate #618569
12/23/08 06:15 AM
12/23/08 06:15 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 466
Münster, Germany
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Gregor Offline
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Münster, Germany
What helps is to have an action model. Look repeatedly to the model and try to understand the way an action is working. It´s not one screw that fixes anything, it´s the interaction.

Gregor


piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany
www.weldert.de
Re: Learning to regulate #618570
12/23/08 09:17 AM
12/23/08 09:17 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 88
Illinois
Magz Offline
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Magz  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 88
Illinois
B3

I'm not a technician but I found loads of information about the piano at this address. Look through it. Maybe what you are looking for can be found here.

Wayne

www.stevespianoservice.com/

Re: Learning to regulate #618571
12/23/08 10:39 AM
12/23/08 10:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
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Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
Natural ability counts a great deal....

If you have mechanical aptitude and can think in '3D', regulation is basically a fulcrum and lever operation....
There is a lot more to it that that...but that's what it is...

I know it's a bit like the Monty Python sketch showing how to play the flute..."You put your fingers on these holes and wiggle them as you blow across the bigger hole at the end...simple really.


Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician


Re: Learning to regulate #618572
12/23/08 03:40 PM
12/23/08 03:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
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b3groover Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
I do have mechanical ability. I am not as familar with, say, spinet actions as I am with uprights. Perhaps it is because spinet actions are so hard to see.

I'll keep working. I just got my first grand and it needs some work, so I'll be playing with a grand action for the first time.

Today I tuned a piano with a bunch of double-striking notes, but I quickly deduced it was because the buckskin felts on the the majority of the catchers were gone.

I'll study Reblitz more. And see if I can find Potter's books.

I really need to join the PTG, too. Thank you, everyone!


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Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
Re: Learning to regulate #618573
12/23/08 04:04 PM
12/23/08 04:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,740
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,740
Oakland
The only difference between an upright and a spinet is the sticker.

When the leather is gone, I just glue new leather over the old. I have lots of cheap leather for that purpose. No point in spending a lot of time or money on a patchwork job.


Semipro Tech
Re: Learning to regulate #618574
12/23/08 08:54 PM
12/23/08 08:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
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Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
Try not to think of any issue as a one step fix....
EVERYTHING in an action effects everything else...take an holistic approach...
Don't try to reinvent the wheel....

Key dip
Hammers height/aftertouch feel
Let off distance
drop distance
Checking distance
Spring tension
Jack to knuckle relationship
Jack to balancier relationship.....

The list goes on.....

That's all before we talk about tone and voicing...

It's a big subject....and will keep you engaged for a lifetime...
If you're bored, you are not paying attention.
Good luck.


Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician


Re: Learning to regulate #618575
12/24/08 01:35 PM
12/24/08 01:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,017
Madison, WI USA
B
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,017
Madison, WI USA
Sometimes, especially on small vertical actions, the jack binds against the let off button rail. This can especially happen if there is too much after touch. If not, a slight adjustment of the rail itself, backing it toward you will keep the jack from binding.

When you say a "key" sticks, there could be a hundred or more problem which might result in what may be called a "sticking key". If you lift the action parts up and the key falls freely, the key itself is not sticking. The number one item to check is if a white key is binding against the keyslip.

If what I just told you doesn't help, if you could provide a little more information on just how and under which circumstances the key or other action part is sticking, we may be able to provide more clues. It does take years of experience to be able to recognize these problems for what they are and when they occur.

Look for anything rubbing against anything else. Does the hammer move freely? Does the wippen assembly move freely? Does the jack move freely? Does the hammer fall into check very far back?

I'll be off here until next Sunday night at the earliest but if you haven't solved the problem by then, I'd be glad to continue to help you isolate where it is coming from. Remember that there may be more than one problem.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: Learning to regulate #618576
12/24/08 03:34 PM
12/24/08 03:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Bill's post reminds me of something I failed to find many-many years back. It was so very simple that I felt like a complete fool afterward being an RPT and all...

One key, was continually sticking. It was on console piano. It was a sharp key. I eliminated the key bushings, I eliminated something being between the keys, the hammer flange, the jack, all springs, dampers, spoons, every single thing in that key and the action of that key was eliminated but for one very simple thing...... Something that I never thought of looking for.

I finally called in a friend tech who found it right off the bat. It was the very front edge of the sharp key. It was rubbing on the back edge of the white key next to it. That's all it was... Talk about feeling stupid???

So, remember to look for what you are not looking for and think, think, think. Always ask, if you don't know. Even if it makes you look stupid because you will learn as I did to also look there too.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Learning to regulate #618577
12/24/08 10:32 PM
12/24/08 10:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 476
Angola, Indiana USA
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
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Jeff A. Smith, RPT  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 476
Angola, Indiana USA
The Danny Boone book mentioned above is great, as is one by Yamaha's LaRoy Edwards, "Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps." The last book has been criticized by some -- I believe superficially -- because it's easy to fall into following a rote recipe without understanding the big picture and ideas behind everything.

If you once really understand the general ideas behind the list of steps, you can recreate the appropriate steps whenever you want, and not be dependent on pure memory.

The Edwards book comes with DVDs as well, and Yamaha sells the set for a very reasonable price.

The PTG's "Technical Exam Source Manual" has a wealth of great info on regulation, both grand and vertical, and many other tasks anyone working on pianos for others should be familiar with.

Like with tuning, different teachers of regulation have different methods and preferences. It's good to consider more than one viewpoint.

Jeff


Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA
Re: Learning to regulate #618578
12/25/08 12:22 AM
12/25/08 12:22 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 143
Williamstown,NJ
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dschwoyer Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 143
Williamstown,NJ
I remember going through a store a few years ago,and one of the brand new grands had keys sticking due to a warped key slip.I brought it to the salesman attention as a courtesy,so they could correct it before a prospective customer plays it.


David Schwoyer
Dave's Piano service
Piano Technician
Re: Learning to regulate #618579
12/25/08 03:19 PM
12/25/08 03:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 386
Mexico
E
Erus Offline
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Erus  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 386
Mexico
Quote
Originally posted by Jeff A. Smith:
The Edwards book comes with DVDs as well, and Yamaha sells the set for a very reasonable price.
Where could I get that set? Who should I contact to get it?

I contacted Yamaha Mexico and they said they didn't sell it, I've also emailed Yamaha USA and have got no answer at all frown

Re: Learning to regulate #618580
12/25/08 04:57 PM
12/25/08 04:57 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 476
Angola, Indiana USA
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
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Jeff A. Smith, RPT  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 476
Angola, Indiana USA
Do you have any Yamaha dealers near you, or at least in Mexico you could contact about this? That'd be my first suggestion, to see if they could help you get in touch with American tech support.

I only have the toll-free phone number for Yamaha tech support in America: 1-800-854-1569

I don't know if that'd work for you or not. I suppose you've already looked around the company website for contact information ... I haven't, but it may be worth a try.

Good luck,

Jeff


Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA
Re: Learning to regulate #618581
12/25/08 06:47 PM
12/25/08 06:47 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 864
Boston, MA
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bellspiano Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 864
Boston, MA
As far as the question of "if a key is sticking, check this": Paul Adams gave a class at the last mid-Atlantic PTG conference called something like "100 Reasons for a Sticking Key." It was definitely not a class for beginners, but it was a lot of fun; Paul gave his original list, with short comments on each problem, and then he followed it with about 80 additional problems people had suggested to him when he gave the class on earlier occasions, and then he asked for hands from the floor and got a few more suggestions. (I was a bit disappointed: the problem I had wanted to suggest, key lead falling out of its hole and rubbing on the neighboring key, was about #127 on his list, so I wasn't the first or only one to have seen it.)

So I don't mean to be discouraging, but there just isn't a short list of what to check. The idea of getting an action model, or even a schematic, and working out what happens step by step is a good beginning exercise. When I was starting to learn piano work, I used to put myself to sleep at night by picturing the key front going down, not rubbing on the key slip, keystick balancing freely on the balance pin so that the key back rose without rubbing on its neighbors, capstan rising . . .


Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA
Re: Learning to regulate #618582
12/25/08 07:09 PM
12/25/08 07:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 386
Mexico
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Erus Offline
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Erus  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 386
Mexico
Thank you, Jeff. I'll keep trying.

Re: Learning to regulate #618583
12/25/08 07:13 PM
12/25/08 07:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
It has been touched on by others, but it cannot be over-emphasized: if the cause of the sticking is not apparent,
Isolate, Isolate, Isolate the individual components to see which one is malfunctioning.

Eg.: Physically remove the key (on an upright) and play the note by raising the wip with your hand. Does the sticking persist? Continue on in a logical fashion. This process will lead you directly to the problem. Note - sometimes there is more than one issue such as a slightly tight wippen flange pin and a divot in the wip heel felt...

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