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Young Chang entire action clicking
#632091 11/05/06 03:51 PM
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Holden Offline OP
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Mid-90's Young Chang G-175cm Grand

On every key, when the hammer falls back down during key release there is a 'plastic' clicking noise an instant after the requisite 'thump' of the action returning to rest. It sounds like a quick plastic rattle coming from under the hammer... so I guess it could be any number of things, the damper included.

Anyone ever run into a similar situation?

------------

One other action related question...

As I'm sure you are all aware Steinway actions yield very soft dynamic ranges the YC can't touch (forgive the pun). :rolleyes:

Can I have another action installed that will yield comparable results to the Steinway action?

Taking into account the 'plastic click', the inability to play at very soft dynamic ranges and the fact that the piano is a bit too bright for my taste I am seriously thinking of replacing the entire action. (Btw, the hammers have already been softened via needle)

Any advice or comments are much appreciated.

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Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632092 11/05/06 04:23 PM
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Get a qualified tech experienced with YC - the action brackets of some models have defect that will cause many regulation problems.
The existing action is just fine for that piano. Changing it would be very expensive and may not give results any better.
Get yours properly regulated.
If after good voicing the tone is not satisfactory a new set of hammers is a much better bet than action replacement.
Voicing cannot happen unless the action is first regulated, strings leveled and mated to hammers, hammers shaped and piano tuned.
Also it helps to eliminate those string noises that can be eliminated.
If you want the Steinway sound you need to buy a Steinway.

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632093 11/05/06 04:35 PM
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The usual cause of a clicking in every note of a grand is a loose hammer rail, key stop rail, or damper stop rail. The last can be a bit tricky to fix sometimes, but the others are a matter of tightening a nut.


Semipro Tech
Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632094 11/05/06 04:35 PM
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Holden,
The click sound is likely caused by a loose hammer rest rail. The round nuts which hold the rail in position, often become loose and cause the click you described. If this is not the cause, the next most likely is the hammers are set too low causing the hammer shanks to hit the rep lever height screw. Hopefully the 1st one is the problem.

Regarding being able to play softly, with proper action regulation, your Young Chang can play ppp just as softly as any Steinway. Bad regulation is bad regulation, whether it's a Steinway or a Young Chang. The action design is essentially the same. Even a new action would have to be carefully regulated for your piano.

Regarding the bright tone, this is a matter of voicing. I have regulated and voiced many Young Chang's. The result is they feel like a dream, and sound pleasant. They will never have the thunder and depth of a fine Steinway, but they can sound very pleasant.


Jerry Cohen, RPT
Piano Craftsman offering, concert tuning, voicing, regulating, rebuilding.
Serving Northern New Jersey, New York area.
Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632095 11/05/06 05:08 PM
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Wow, thanks a ton everybody.

@Jerry Cohen, RPT - Wow, I'm excited and relieved by your reply. (Btw, it's definitely not the hammer shanks hitting the rep lever height screw).

Anyone know of a Piano Craftsman in Rochester, New York who could do the work Mr. Cohen suggested?

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632096 11/05/06 05:26 PM
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Another possibility is the round felt pads on the jack button gone hard. They are now clicking against the jack spoon.

Test it by depressing the jack tail manually, then letting go so it 'snaps' against the spoon. If you hear the same sound, there's your culprit. Try needling a couple from above and see if that quiets them down. If it does, replace the set.

Another possibility is knuckles going hard.

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632097 11/05/06 06:05 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Holden:

Anyone know of a Piano Craftsman in Rochester, New York who could do the work Mr. Cohen suggested?
PTG Find a Technician (www.ptg.org)

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org
Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632098 11/05/06 06:50 PM
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Rochester, New York -- hmmm -- don't they have a pretty good school of music there? Might be worth a call to see who they use --

More generally, word of mouth from respected musicians is often a good approach, especially combined with Cy's suggestion --


Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA
Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632099 11/05/06 07:04 PM
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my bet is with Jerry,loose hammer rest rail. let us know what it is. good luck.


Modesto, Calif.

..."pret' near, but not plum"
Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632100 11/21/06 02:28 PM
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I did end up hiring the piano tech from the Easman School of Music and it turns out the clicking seems to be the cumulative effect of hardened felts, despite the fact that the felts are not overly worn. The wippin spoon and the area just under the hammer knuckle seemed especially loud. The Eastman tech was quite taken aback by the loudness of the action.

He tested one key by voicing the felts in the wippen and the hammer knuckle and it made the 'click' less pronounced and plastic sounding but the action is still very loud.

It seems to me the felts are defective, meaning not a result of ordinary wear and tear.

Again, anyone else encounter this problem? The piano is still under warrantee... do you think thats the direction i should go?

Thanks in advance.

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632101 11/21/06 06:47 PM
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I have found that in many Asian pianos, the felts, cloth and buckskin used are on the firm side. After a short while of playing they become noisy. All these small clicks can add up to one heck of a lot of mechanical noise.

The main culprits seem to be the knuckles, jack regulating button punchings and the wippen heal cloth. Once these are replaced with high quality parts/ materials (my personal preference is German parts and felt), the piano will play and sound a lot better.

My advice: make your claim as long as the warranty is valid, and don't back off until the piano is functioning as designed. after all, it is not a sewing machine. :^)

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632102 11/23/06 03:36 AM
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Did I ever encounter the problem? Did you read my previous post?

Is it "defective"? Well, if they used better stuff, it wouldn't do that. But there are always quality issues that are sacrificed in cheaper pianos. It's probably not defective in a sense they would admit to. But try if you want to.

Lots of these Young Changs have that problem.

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632103 11/24/06 02:41 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Holden:
[b]Mid-90's Young Chang G-175cm Grand...snip
As I'm sure you are all aware Steinway actions yield very soft dynamic ranges the YC can't touch (forgive the pun).
Can I have another action installed that will yield comparable results to the Steinway action?

Taking into account the 'plastic click', the inability to play at very soft dynamic ranges and the fact that the piano is a bit too bright for my taste I am seriously thinking of replacing the entire action. [/b]
Your piano should be able to play softly. If it can't there are regulation issues that need to be adressed, as well as possibly friction issues such as tight center pins. If the hammer centers are too tight, it is almost impossible to play softly in a controled way.

It sounds like your instrument needs a "10-year servicing" as I like to call it. That would be the time to upgrade the felts/cloth/buckskin components that are causing the mechanical noise. Pianos need continual maintenance and servicing to perform at a high level. When is the last time you spent $800 on your car? (tires, brakes etc) What about your piano?

Treat it well, give it what it needs, and it will perform for you.

And by the way, installing a new action is not the solution to your woes. Before you go that route, start shopping for a different piano. Actions aren't swapped like car transmissions, at least not on 10 year old pianos.

So - solutions:

Brightness - voicing or hammer replacement
Inability to play softly - regulation and/or repairs (repinning)
Action noise - new felts as described above in previous post

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632104 11/24/06 12:10 PM
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Yes, what Jurgen said. Unless something has screwed up the action geometry, like the famous expanding action brackets.

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632105 11/28/06 04:03 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Brick:
Did I ever encounter the problem? Did you read my previous post?
Yep, but I had no idea what that meant at the time... but I'm getting there. laugh

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632106 01/08/07 10:25 PM
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Well, for anyone whose been following along... here are the final results.

A PT tried comparing two notes side by side - one - replaced round felt that contacts the jack button pad and two, a replaced whippen. (replacing the whippen was my idea, thank you very much. :rolleyes: ) There was no contest. Although replacing the felt was dramatically better, replacing the whippen eliminated the problem all together. Expensive... sure but wow, the result was just as quiet as any piano I have ever played.

The original 'touch' issue seems to be a regulation and hammer pin issue - despite the fact the hammer pins were all replaced 4/2006 and the action was bench regulated at that time.

One important factor in this scenario, my 1990's YC was one that had the aluminum hammer rest rail - as opposed to having the hammer rest felt be part of the whippen. My PT told me the aluminum rail was part of the problem in that it helped to amplify and transmit (hammer return) noise.

-----
And now, to really wrap this story up we ended up buying another piano anyways, a remanufactured Steinway B, but the Young Chang has found a new home in my recording studio where (once the whippens have all been replaced) it will be put to good use.

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632107 01/09/07 12:34 AM
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Interesting outcome, thanks for posting back to us.

I don't think you really need new wippens when the culprits are the (lousy) felts they originally came with. After all, the wips are only ten years old. You may want to get a quote on replacing the wippen heel felts and the jack regulating button punchings. Those are the ones causing the noise (and I expect the knuckles are involved as well).

I have also come across aluminum rails that are noisy. Perhaps they can eaily be replaced with a wooden rail, either maple or even spruce/fir. That wouldbe an improvement, I am sure.

If your hammers were re-pinned in April 2006 and 6 months later they are too tight, it sounds like a warranty issue to me. If the instrument is not subjected to abnormal humidity, and is played off and on, center pins should last for quite a few years. Unless the bushings were inproperly reamed and burnished.

You may want to get a second opinion on how to get your piano back up to speed for minimal cost, now that you have a new primary piano.

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632108 01/09/07 02:48 PM
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Thanks for the reply, Jurgen.

Initially, I suggested we try replacing the aluminum rail but my PT assured me the 'part' was not available and would have to be custom manufactured.

I appreciate your sage (and frugal!) advice about the felts but the sad truth is I'd rather just pay the big $ and have the noise issue sorted. The new whippens (with their own hammer felts) will allow me to get rid of the hammer rest rail and (the new whippens) perform so quietly that the piano will be suitable for recording.

Thanks again for the expert advice, much appreciated.

Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632109 01/09/07 02:53 PM
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A grand hammer rest rail is a strip of wood with some holes in it. A cabinet shop could make it from a piece of scrap. $25 worth of materials and labor.


Semipro Tech
Re: Young Chang entire action clicking
#632110 01/09/07 07:09 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by BDB:
A grand hammer rest rail is a strip of wood with some holes in it. A cabinet shop could make it from a piece of scrap. $25 worth of materials and labor.
I can't say I am surprised by your statement - I have received some wildly differing advice from different PT's (although you forgot the cost of felt, so maybe we're talking $35 all told). My PT said the hammer rest rail would be so expensive to build I might as well buy a new piano - and mind you, this guy is no slouch, he's a fantastic PT IMHO.

In another instance I had an PTG member tell me to "run, don't walk away" from a rebuilt 1895 Steinway. He said "at that age the Rim will most certainly be cracked" while another PTG basically said that was completely untrue.

In yet another instance I've had one PTG member suggest the stiffness of my YC G-175 action is purely a matter of regulation while another insists the geometry of the action will always feel stiff.

Of course, all of this advice is given with the best intentions... but it certainly brings home the importance of seeking as many opinions as possible. wink

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