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Re: CRESCENDO punchings #635657
02/18/08 01:39 AM
02/18/08 01:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
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RoyP Offline
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Joined: Dec 2003
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Cincinnati, Ohio
I used a set of Crescendo punchings, both rails, on my last action job. I liked them fine. As Keith says, having denser balance rail punchings makes sense, so that the key level won't change.

Some of this discussion baffles me. First, does Keith have a flag by his phone number, as Jerry mentioned? If so, it doesn't show up on my computer. I feel cheated.

Second, someone said that that punchings get spongier over time. I have never found this to be true. I thought that we replaced the front rail punchings on older pianos because they got hard and dense.

Third, if we replace them because they get old and hard (apparently some of you don't), why put on dense punchings. Other than just feeling like we need to replace the old one's with new.

Maybe I'm just being dense. Or punchy. It's late.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
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Re: CRESCENDO punchings #635658
02/18/08 04:11 PM
02/18/08 04:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
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RachFan Offline
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Joined: Feb 2003
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Maine, U.S.
Hi Roy,

I'm a pianist, not a technician, but I can say that when the original white felt key punchings came out of my 24-year old Baldwin L, there were three observable differences that I noticed as compared to the new Crescendo conical wurzen felt punchings.

First, the Crescendo punchings have greater diameter, of course, thereby underlying the entire width of a natural key. It looks as though the original white felt was 3/4" diameter versus 7/8" for the Crescendo.

Secondly, the original punchings were definitely softer (even after 24 years of use) than the new and firmer Crescendos, even though the depth of both punchings appears to be the same or very similar. If you place both on a flat surface and depress each with your finger, you can visually see the original style punching compress downward. The Crescendo does so, much much less perceptibly. From that simple test I conclude that the original felt, 24 years old as it is with plenty of use, is in fact more spongy.

Finally, when I looked at the original punching edge-on, interestingly there was an unmistakable weave pattern along its edge, just as obvious as the ribbed rim of a quarter. The Crescendo edge is totally smooth. So the process for interlocking the felt fibers must be very different.

In the Baldwin spec I have here from 24 years ago, there is no mention of the punchings in the key section. But I'm sure that when Baldwin used that original felt style in the 1980s, the product was probably of very fine quality for its time. But I believe the new Crescendo punchings are yet another improvement.

Re: CRESCENDO punchings #635659
02/19/08 12:48 AM
02/19/08 12:48 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
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RoyP Offline
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Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 788
Cincinnati, Ohio
RachFan:
I'm glad you like them. I liked the set I used. I was just raising questions more than anything.

When I talk about old hard punchings, I mean the ones we pull off of older pianos (from the 20's for instance). My understanding of felt is that it compresses over time. Maybe I'm wrong. If so, someone educate me. In any case, I would normally replace punchings just because it's old and nasty looking. My question is whether there is an actual performance difference.

If you have a piano from the 80's, it may be that the felt is now only a little denser than it was originally. I don't take the comparison as a sign that the originals have gotten spongier. How would we know where they started?

I do know that I have taken punchings off of many old pianos which seem like they are on the hard or stiff side.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: CRESCENDO punchings #635660
02/19/08 01:32 AM
02/19/08 01:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
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RachFan Offline
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Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
Hi Roy,

Here's a simple test I did, although I don't know if it's really proof positive. I put both the original and the Crescendo punchings on a table. Then I depressed each in turn with seemingly the same amount of pressure with my finger. I could easily see the original sink and and compress downward. When I'd do likewise with the Crescendo, I could see a subtle, barely perceptible, compression only. To the touch, the 24 year-old punching which had seen a lot of service felt softer or more "spongy". Like you say, though, that could conceivably be a function of less dense felt in the older style. Yet it was probably top of the line or close to it in its day.

So I can't rule out that if I had one of the originals now in brand new condition, yes, maybe my "compression" test would come out just the same due to less dense felt. My technician produced out of his toolbox one of those old, thin green felt punchings, saying that he sees a lot of those in his travels, especially on uprights. You probably do as well. Looks to me like that style would provide barely any buffering at all!

With the Crescendos being of firmer felt, I did notice a bit more noise between the keys and the punchings, especially up in the treble. But I also found I got used it to quickly, so it's not really a distraction. I think the other advantages make the Crescendo the best choice, at least from my user perspective.

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Re: CRESCENDO punchings #635661
02/19/08 01:44 AM
02/19/08 01:44 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,107
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
Since I like a softer touch, I have adopted double-felting, after seeing it done on Bl├╝thners and a Neupert harpsichord. I get nameboard felt punchings from Schaff (they were formerly from APSCO) which are the same size diameters as standard front rail punchings. They add 1/16" thickness to the standard front rail punchings. This gives a nice soft touch, and keeps the standard punching from wearing out.


Semipro Tech
Re: CRESCENDO punchings #635662
02/19/08 09:36 AM
02/19/08 09:36 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,877
Massachusetts
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Roy123 Offline
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Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,877
Massachusetts
In general, felt does get harder with use. The phenomenon is called compression set. I wonder about the use of firmer felt in the front rail. The harder landing may lead to some kind of repetitive-use syndrome. Only time will tell.

Re: CRESCENDO punchings #635663
02/19/08 02:55 PM
02/19/08 02:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Supply Offline
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Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Yes, time will tell. We must also understand that to keep a piano in optimal playing condition, certtain parts that are subject to wear and compression need to be replaced every once in a while....
Front rail punchings should ideally not be left in the piano until the moths have gobbled them up 82 years down the road...

Re: CRESCENDO punchings #635664
02/19/08 11:45 PM
02/19/08 11:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
I think Keith took it away cause, I don't see it anymore. confused Although, one person here, who shall remain nameless, wink accused me of one to many tips of the bottle??? :p


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

We love to play BF2.
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