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Damper pedal #628566
03/21/08 10:34 AM
03/21/08 10:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
Indianapolis
diinin Offline OP
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diinin  Offline OP
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Indianapolis
My damper pedal suddenly quit working. It was always kind of hard to push, so something must have broken in there. Is this something I can fix myself? I expect it would be covered under warranty, right? So then would I contact the dealer, or a tech directly?


Charles Walter Queen Anne 1520 (polished cherry)
Roland fp-4 (black)
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Re: Damper pedal #628567
03/21/08 11:24 AM
03/21/08 11:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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Dont push hard, it may not do that.

You can go under the instrument and see if the intermediate dowel that pass thru the keybed is not out of iots usual place. It can happen even a long tme after the delivery if the part moved during the move (because then the lyra is off)

I suggest you have a look of the external system and levers, they are not difficult to understand.

You could try to move that dowel with your fingers to see if it is not locked (it should move a little) If you understnd how this works, you may be able to put the dowel in its place, but not every time, if it is out of its normal location inside the piano, it is difficult if you don't know what you are doing, there is aways an apparatus to keep that dowel at the good place (a hole and a pin or something)

May be also something (pencil) is in the instrument but I dont think so.
I advertize not to pull out the action yourself.

Should be a good way to have your piano tuned ! is it ? If you have a look you can explain by phone to the technician (he even can help you by phone if he is kind of technican that do so )


best regards.


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Damper pedal #628568
03/21/08 12:16 PM
03/21/08 12:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
Indianapolis
diinin Offline OP
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diinin  Offline OP
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I just had my piano tuned, so hopefully we don't need that just yet!

I forgot to mention that it is an upright, so I guess the lyre issue wouldn't apply. This all sounds more complicated than I can probably do myself. The pedal is really easy to push now, since it stopped working, so it seems that something may have come unhooked or even broken. I would like to take a look at it, though. I'd love to learn all this stuff, just for my own info.


Charles Walter Queen Anne 1520 (polished cherry)
Roland fp-4 (black)
Re: Damper pedal #628569
03/21/08 12:16 PM
03/21/08 12:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,524
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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You probably will not be able to fix it yourself. It is probably time to get the piano tuned anyway. Chances are it is not too serious.


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Re: Damper pedal #628570
03/21/08 12:18 PM
03/21/08 12:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,524
Oakland
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Our posts crossed. Since you just had it tuned, it might be something the tuner did.


Semipro Tech
Re: Damper pedal #628571
03/21/08 01:33 PM
03/21/08 01:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
Indianapolis
diinin Offline OP
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Does this have anything to do with tuning?


Charles Walter Queen Anne 1520 (polished cherry)
Roland fp-4 (black)
Re: Damper pedal #628572
03/21/08 01:52 PM
03/21/08 01:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,983
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Your tuner might have inadvertently knocked the top of the long wooden dowel, that connects the the pedal mechanism down below to the damper mechanism, out of the bracket it fits into. Open the lid on the top of the piano and look in at the extreme left side. There should be a longer and a shorter wooden rod/dowel connected to metal brackets. See if either dowel looks like it is disconnected. If it is, call your tuner/tech and let him know.


Piano Technician/Tuner
Re: Damper pedal #628573
03/21/08 02:28 PM
03/21/08 02:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
Indianapolis
diinin Offline OP
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diinin  Offline OP
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If he did this, wouldn't it have stopped working immediately? He tuned it about 2 weeks ago, and it's just now quit working.


Charles Walter Queen Anne 1520 (polished cherry)
Roland fp-4 (black)
Re: Damper pedal #628574
03/21/08 04:47 PM
03/21/08 04:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 446
Bastrop, Texas
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tds Offline
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On some Asian pianos, there are plastic pieces, pressed into both ends of the hollow pedal rods, which fit into the top of the trap lever and the hole in the damper rail flange. This is the physical connection between the pedal and the dampers.

Over time, these pieces become may brittle and will sometimes break. If this happens, the pedal rod won't stay in place.

It sounds to me as if this may have happened to your piano. If so, your technician should be able to get replacement parts. Whether or not it's covered under warranty is anyone's guess. confused


Stay tuned.

Tom Seay, Recovering Piano Technician
Bastrop, Texas
Re: Damper pedal #628575
03/21/08 05:50 PM
03/21/08 05:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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Sorry I thought of a classical problem on grands.

Please feel free to have a look at the peda mechanism under the keyboard. The panel (lid ?) is fairly easy to remove, most of the time, and not difficult to put back , it is a little heavy so be prepared not to leave it go down by its weigh and marr the finish.

May be simply your pedal is out of regulation , to the point the screw that serve to regulate its play went off (if it was progressive and the pedal was lower and lower it may be the case). If it is you should be able to screw it back in place. Some tuners never check the pedals, other forget to check, how long do your tuner stay when he comes ? ...
It is a fairly easy to understand system anyway I have an 68 years old lady customer that repaired by herself his sustain pedal.

may be as said the ABS part that hold pedal dowel broke.
Pedals and their mechanism is the lowest quality system in most verticals (out of the moderator which is also badly conceived most of the time)

Good luck


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Damper pedal #628576
03/21/08 11:20 PM
03/21/08 11:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
Indianapolis
diinin Offline OP
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It's a good ol' brand new American Charles Walter! This is likely just a part of the first year initiation that inevitably comes with a new piano.

I didn't see the tuner do anything with the pedals, but if it's something that can be checked quickly, I might have just missed it.

My dealer is going to come out on Monday and fix it (they wanted to come tomorrow!). I'm going to pay attention this time and maybe actually learn something!

Okay, one more question. After the tuning, the tone of the piano seemed a little muffled in the midsection. Is that possible? If so, what would cause it?


Charles Walter Queen Anne 1520 (polished cherry)
Roland fp-4 (black)
Re: Damper pedal #628577
03/22/08 06:56 AM
03/22/08 06:56 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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Mufled tone :

May be a bristle brush was passed on the heads because the tuner find the tone a tad too agressive for his ears.

Is the muffler felt Ok ? (is not it too low; brushing the top of the hammers)

May be you are used to the tone of the mistuned piano, which is brillant and very greasy, and the tuning provide a more smooth tone.

The unisons between the 3 strings can be tuned "open" or "close" depending of the way the tuner play the notes when he tunes, the result may differ a tad , if he play very strong he will have a less brillant tone in the end) .
But it is most probably a fast vocing that have been done, may be with needles as well (crown needlin meand needling directly the surface of the head with 1 mm long needles, it soften the tone a lot (too much in fact, as a one jab 2 mm deep in the middle of the strings marks loosen some tension in the external layer of hammer it is sometime necessary to needle there but finally I believe that deeper and not on the he marks is safer) .

How long does it takes for your tuner ? the brushing of the heads is temporary (even crown needling is somewhat temporary)

If the notes are playing the same than before this is a voicing issue. It is very important to ask the customer when doing anything with the voicing, but a lightenirng of a too harsh tone may be done as an usual maintenance without asking, as it is not definitive.

Good voicing means using some power to obtain more definitive results and compensate the outer needling with underlayers unpacking (preserve the good shape of the hammer). Usual voicing mean unpacking the hard spots that instal underneath the strings imprint, this is usefully done as long as the hammer have some sustain and a good power, if not one have to add a little liveness (tone lenght and power) in the head before processing (meaning low needling, using a hot iron, massaging the felt with a little hammer...)
If the crown of the hammer is not well sustained by the shoulders, the pianissimo nuances have no power, and the forte is agressive with too much attack noise.
If the sides of the head have been too much needled they cant support the crown (they absorb the impact too much and the hammer deform , damping the partials) , impregnation then is sometime used to densify and bring some continuity in the fiber layers. Unfortunately this (last resort method) generally bring a lot of power to the hammer , this being present till the pianissimmo nuances, the dynamic then get poor, as the tone keep the same kind of spectra despite the force of the play. (the non linear behavior of the hammer get poorer)

On many asian instruments, and some east germany verticals as well, a drop of laquer have been used dyrectly beneath and on the strike point. A fast method to obtain more brillance and high partial with new hammers that have a so so felt quality. This virtually makes the ahmmer indestructible, but with some time harshness is present in the tone, when one play a little stronger the noise is the one of broken glass. This acidity have to be cut with needling, eventually lighetnig the laquer with aceton, but voicing is not easy when theose solutions have been employed.
I understand that the US taste appreciate a piano that provide maximum power with minimum force, and that is why these solutions of laquering are often employed. To give my point I should say : a well prepared laquered hammer provide a "ready to use" tone with less nuances ability, but it can be vpleasing if the job have been very well done and if the products employed are good.

High class German brands employed those methods as well, but always as a last resort, or to guarantee that the instrument is fully tropicalized (no sensitivity to moisture).

They hate to admit it, but it is part of the bag of tricks, and sometime it is just necessary because the hammer have been too much needled without the expected result (the fiber gets too much disrupted). Usually the hammer set is then replaced, but ...)
In the high treble hammer density is often too small and impregnation is even used from the start by some hammer maker to provide the good hardness.

Well, you just asked why the tone was mufled ... !

Best regards.


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Damper pedal #628578
03/22/08 12:54 PM
03/22/08 12:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
Indianapolis
diinin Offline OP
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Indianapolis
Wow, Kamin, everything you outlined above is exactly why I am so afraid to get my hammers voiced. I'm sure the tuner didn't do that. He raised the pitch and then tuned, may have checked the pedals briefly, but I know he didn't voice it. I almost had it done when I bought the piano, but wanted to wait until the felt was packed down a little more. The treble has always been a little bright for me.

There is one guy locally who is very well respected, and supposedly can voice really well. He's incredibly busy, so I don't know if he will even be able to do it.

I'll clear all the music books and the lamp off the top and check the felt. That could be it too, altho I'd think it would affect all the notes and not just the midsection. The upper register is pretty bright.

Your post, and The Grand Obsession book, have made it pretty clear just how complicated all this is!


Charles Walter Queen Anne 1520 (polished cherry)
Roland fp-4 (black)
Re: Damper pedal #628579
03/22/08 02:36 PM
03/22/08 02:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 386
Mexico
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Quote
Originally posted by Kamin:
Mufled tone :
The unisons between the 3 strings can be tuned "open" or "close" depending of the way the tuner play the notes when he tunes, the result may differ a tad
Could you please elaborate on this?

Re: Damper pedal #628580
03/22/08 04:27 PM
03/22/08 04:27 PM
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Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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Thanks diinin !

in fact, a fast stroke with a brush is soùmetime useful (even with a nylon hard brush) if the tone is really too bright and the ears are tired ;
As it will not last more than a few weeks there is no danger, but this can be the sign that the piano is in need of its final voicing.

Some tuners communicate, other less, many I've find avoid to talk about voicng and even regulation because you will always something to ask if they do, and tyhey prefer not to "loose" time and go to the next customer in the normal time window (particularely the one who are hired by a shop and are self employed, are generally not well paid by the shop)

I talk of the situation here, it may be very differnt where you are, but I have a friend which is actually obliged to work as subcontractor for a large shop in Paris, they give him 30 euros for a tuning. Even as he don't want to leave an less than percfect job, he really cant take the time to make the job.

If you tuner had to bring back the piano to pitch prior to tuning you where probably late on that one. Don't forget that new pianos are in need of mors maintenance and tuning for twoo years, and that is at this moment that the long term stability and quality of the instrument is installed.

Really I don't found that the customer which have his 15 years old instrument tunned after 2 years is doing a big mistake, but the one that tunes once the year a new instrument does.
SItuation can be corrected of course, but details as perfect hammer positionning on strings, perfect key dip and regulation without excessive plmay, good holding of the action screws, allows for a pleasing instrument that begin its life in the best condiutions possible. These allow for the tuning stabilisation, and the good voicing evening or finishing that is generally necessary (sometimes only because the room accoustic ask for it)

I am easily hungry against my colleagues ( I should not !) because they rarely consider the instrument in its future, but mainly like a once a year customer's thing.

I always try to have the customer putting a hand in the action, regulating the pedals, the mufler, sometime the capstan play. Then he may be a little convinced that the piano is not just that big magical thing with a keyboard !

Voicing is an art but it may not be too expensive, as the basis of the job have generally been done.
Before using the needles there are often others things to do like optimizing the relation between the key dip and the tone production moment. This in itself is yet kind of voicing, it changes your touch hence the tone, mating the hammers to the string is also more important than the little needling that is generally done faster than one think.

But all depends of the initial factory and dealer's preparation of course.

I cant speak for your Walter, don't know that brand but I heard of it as being an old well known brand.

I wish you the best, seeing you on that kind of forum I believe you will do what is necessary to keep your beloved instrument long and in good condition. Interest for new things is what make the difference between peple !

Best regards


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Damper pedal #628581
03/23/08 07:51 AM
03/23/08 07:51 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
UprightTooner Offline
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Diinin: My Walter is from the 80's and I understand that the scaling has been changed. So the "nasal" tone I hear in the lower tenor of my Walter may or may not be what you experience as "muffled" in yours. Does the tone change abruptly across the break between the E and F below middle C? Other things that I'm going to mention to Kamin may or may not be the case for your newer Walter. Hope you don’t feel that I’m high jacking your thread. Any advice on my Walter may also help yours.

Kamin: Thanks so much for your postings on voicing. It does seem difficult for authors to explain. I have gotten more understanding from what you wrote. I like how you deal with power and tone and dynamics separately.

The Walter I have is older than Diinin’s but I am sure any differences are real improvements and not just marketing strategies. They did a great job with putting a scale with a 48” A0 speaking length in a 43” console piano. They have a lot of power. The bass is very clear, and the treble is brilliant and powerful all the way up. The treble has continuous aliquots for each section made from round steel bars. The bars thickness is tapered, I assume, to give the proper downbearing. The treble bridge is notched only to the depth of what would be the cap at the treble break. The hammers were lacquered on the upper shoulders (top of hammers only). This gives some nice brilliance when you want to bring out a line in music. It also has more dynamics than I am able to use. I can’t play louder than it can. They are a newer piano company. I hope you get to see one sometime. There is an older Walters piano company from New York that is no longer in business.

I am hoping you can give some advice on voicing some of the nasal sound out of the low tenor, though. I think it is due to scaling because it progresses more and more in the bottom one and a half octaves and stops abruptly at the break. Hopefully some voicing can help counteract it. Any suggestions on what to try?


Part-time tuner
Re: Damper pedal #628582
03/28/08 11:51 AM
03/28/08 11:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
Indianapolis
diinin Offline OP
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Indianapolis
Quote
Originally posted by Kamin:
If you tuner had to bring back the piano to pitch prior to tuning you where probably late on that one. Don't forget that new pianos are in need of mors maintenance and tuning for twoo years, and that is at this moment that the long term stability and quality of the instrument is installed.
I don't think I was late on the tuning, Kamin, because it was tuned right before I brought it home on Jan 10th, and then it was done again on Feb 28th. That's only about 6 weeks later. But it was pretty dry in the house this winter, as we had a very cold spell. That's why I was looking into the Dampp-Chaser.

I do plan to have it tuned every three months for a couple years.

The good thing is, it went all out of tune uniformly, so I couldn't even tell. It was in tune with respect to itself.

I'm going to print out everything you wrote and try and get a handle on this before I get it voiced.


Charles Walter Queen Anne 1520 (polished cherry)
Roland fp-4 (black)
Re: Damper pedal #628583
03/28/08 12:01 PM
03/28/08 12:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
Indianapolis
diinin Offline OP
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Indianapolis
Quote
Originally posted by UprightTooner:
Diinin: Does the tone change abruptly across the break between the E and F below middle C?
UprightTooner--the tone on my Walter doesn't change at all at the break you mentioned (between E and F below middle C). It's very even and uniform at that point.

Where I notice it changes and becomes too bright for me is the G *ABOVE* middle C. It doesn't sound bad or anything, and it's only noticeable because I much prefer a mellower, rounder tone. I can't tolerate any loud noise, including a loud piano, especially in the upper registers.

The tuner said this piano had the clearest treble he'd heard on an upright. It has a very nice, singing tone. With a little "toning down," it'll be even better!

By the way, I don't mind at all your asking questions within my post, but I don't think Kamin saw it.


Charles Walter Queen Anne 1520 (polished cherry)
Roland fp-4 (black)
Re: Damper pedal #628584
03/28/08 01:06 PM
03/28/08 01:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Don't be so quick to blame the tuner.. Just because the piano was recently tuned doesn't mean that it is automatically the tuners fault when something goes awry you guys..

It could many things, one of these being that the clients foot accidentally slipped off from the side of the pedal rather quickly or something else along that order where they pedal dowel jumped out of place or fell out if there was to much lost motion in the pedal.

Or, it could be the pin in the dowel wasn't placed in all the way in the factory and fell out causing the pedal to stop working. Who knows from here? To many different possibilities to just place blame on the technician.

Charles Walter is a very nice piano. I'm sure that it is likely something simple.


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

We love to play BF2.
Re: Damper pedal #628585
03/28/08 06:55 PM
03/28/08 06:55 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
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Olek Offline
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Sorry, I missed a few questions there .

Yes 6 months on anexw piano during winter can be a tad too much - every 3 months why not , may be it is not necessary particularely if the piano seem to stay in tune with itself. But having a technician coming is certainly a good thing (some tuners are not really technicians, while generally technicians are also tuners)

Talking about nasal tone near the break, yest this is mostly a string scale question, the general answer is to get rid of the acidity with voicing down, keeping the power but lessening the high partials , the best hammer mating, but also a very good travel so the energy of the hammer goes on the straightest way to the strings, are also important)
Needling very near the crown or sometime even the sides of the hammer (the flat side, under the crown can help to cut the nasal tone in the attack.)
A very efficient way is also to needle from the bottom toward the crown (on the above side)
From 9:30 the needles pointing toward the side of the underside of crown. (difficult to explain)

Does not hurt the hammer, it un pack the hardness under the crown tension loss is little.

Thanks to say you appreciate what I wrote, it makes me feel useful, great !

Best regards.

Isaac

PS yes the upper side of the head is more the spectra side, the power is more coming from the bottom, I believe may be because the shank is flexing the bottom is more concerned.

Needling underside will cut more in the attack and the power than above, I believe it is not always necessary to needle the same on the 2 sides, but don't forget that if you needle only above, the tones open , brighten.
Some density may be added on the underside while doing so as well (as long as tension remain in the hammer, because the tension lessened on one side goes on the other a little.
SO one may not needle only one side or the hammer will change shape.


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Damper pedal #628586
03/28/08 07:43 PM
03/28/08 07:43 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 402
Southern Ontario,Canada
Piano Guy Offline
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Way to pipe up Jerry. It is troublesome how many people blame the tuner for every thing that goes wrong on a piano. And yes, I check all pedals all the time, make adjustment. I even check the key covers, just to make sure its back properly. Normally I tweek pianos, and look for problesm each time I visit. I dont charge, and dont tell. People dont even seem to notice. Except 8 months later. "YOU TUNED MY PIANO AND NOW BLEEP----BLEEP ISNT WORKING.... eek


Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON
Re: Damper pedal #628587
03/29/08 04:01 AM
03/29/08 04:01 AM
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France
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I hope I diod not offend anyone, I can only talk of what I can see in the field.

But this is not new story, of course the tuner is not always to blame, but for instance yesterday I came to an appraisal of a very nice looking Pleyel grand, regularely tuned each year since 1946. The piano was in tune but did not work well, it needed complete restauration + the soundoard had an enormous crack with ribs unglued.

Never the tuner state a word about repair or maintenance. he keeped the piano minimally functionnal, the owner did not even realize the piano did not work at its best.

this is fairly common here.

Thats all I said, I respect the tuners that do their job I even know a visual impaired tuner that glue back hammers very nicely. But this is less common than one believes , mostly for economic reaons, as the time not taken for that job allows for another tuning at the end of the day.

All I had to say, sorry if it is not the case for you gentelemen (I'll tend to believe that tuners on forums are of another kind indeed !)

Best regards.


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Damper pedal #628588
03/29/08 06:07 AM
03/29/08 06:07 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member
UprightTooner  Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 839
North-East US
Isaac: Thanks for the voicing tips.

Diinin: Glad your Walter's tone generally suits you. They are quite a piano. Its a relief to play mine after working on a challeging piano. It reminds me that you can make a piano better, but it has to be a good piano to begin with for great results.


Part-time tuner
Re: Damper pedal #628589
03/29/08 10:14 AM
03/29/08 10:14 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Tuners are that way all over Kamin. Some are good, some are not. It's that way in any business but, I tend to think this business is more plagued with the crummy ones more than any other business is. So many tuners get into it part time or, don't want to get real serious about learning it or only to "only fix their own piano," it's pathetic. I think that's one reason why we as a whole, are not highly looked upon. They dress lousy, some of them look and act screwy etc. The techs know exactly what I'm talking about here.


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

We love to play BF2.
Re: Damper pedal #628590
03/29/08 10:40 AM
03/29/08 10:40 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,292
North Carolina
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Ron Alexander  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,292
North Carolina
My guess is the problem with the damper pedal has something to do with the dowel rod from the lifter rod to the pedal. Without seeing it, it's impossible to tell. But a simple fix if that's it. Regardless, pedal problems are usually fairly simple to fix. Interesting discussion about blaming the tech. Wish I had more time today for posting. Jack leg techs do give all a bad name, so maybe some of the blaming is justified. But it is frustrating to follow these so call techs.


-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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