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Cost of Hammers? #6816
07/25/02 05:53 PM
07/25/02 05:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 325
St. Louis, Missouri
M
MikeC65 Offline OP
Full Member
MikeC65  Offline OP
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M

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 325
St. Louis, Missouri
Over in the "Explanation" thread, Derick said with regard to the cost of new hammers: "I had two techs give me quotes. Both wanted to install Abel hammers and both said $2000 to $2500."

My tech quoted me $850 for Abel hammers (the Wally Brooks version), or $1,250 for Steinway hammers, including installation and voicing. He explained that, while the Steinway hammers cost a bit more than the Abels, most of the $400 difference was for an additional bunch of hours voicing work--the Steinways take more time to voice properly because they have to be laquered up three times to get them hard enough, while the Abels require much less voicing time.

My question is: why the dramatic price difference between my tech and the prices Derick was quoted? Any ideas? Derick has a grand (Falcone) and I have a vertical (Steinway K). Does that account for the difference, and if so, why?


Mike Cohan
St. Louis, MO
1910 Steinway Model K
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
Re: Cost of Hammers? #6817
07/25/02 06:36 PM
07/25/02 06:36 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 148
SAN FRANCISCO
R
RICKMANINOF Offline
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RICKMANINOF  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
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SAN FRANCISCO
I am not sure but may be your technician, don't have the experience of Derick's tech, it called my attention that he said he needs to laquered up three times the Steinway hammers, that will be one of the last resources, although Derick's tech, quoted high.Check with other technicians.

Re: Cost of Hammers? #6818
07/25/02 07:27 PM
07/25/02 07:27 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 513
Pasadena, CA
N
Niles Duncan Offline
500 Post Club Member
Niles Duncan  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 513
Pasadena, CA
Derrick has a grand. To replace hammers, shanks, and flanges and regulate and voice on a grand piano is typically about a $2000 job. An upright is different. Your tech will probably remove the old hammers and mount new hammers on the existing shanks. The price he is quoting you is about right.

I'd also agree on the hammers. The Steinway hammers will take a lot more labor than the Abels to get them where you want them. They have to be lacquered to get them stiffened up before voicing them down. We use Wally Brooks Abel hammers on a lot of the pianos we rebuild and we like them. They are an excellent hammer.

Niles Duncan
Piano rebuilder, Pasadena, CA
www.pianosource.com

Re: Cost of Hammers? #6819
07/25/02 09:44 PM
07/25/02 09:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 3
North eastern Ohio
J
Joshua Offline
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Joshua  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 3
North eastern Ohio
Im guessing that getting new hammers for a grand would cost more because you have to take the strings off to get at the hammers, replace the hammers and then re-string and tune the piano.

Where as all you have to do is take the action out of a vertical (a matter of screws) replace the hammers and put the action back in.

hope this helps

Re: Cost of Hammers? #6820
07/25/02 09:50 PM
07/25/02 09:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,787
USA
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Bob Offline
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Bob  Offline
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USA
To Joshua, a grand action slides out of the piano just like a drawer. Strings do not have to be removed. The answer posted by Niles is correct.




Re: Cost of Hammers? #6821
07/26/02 06:11 PM
07/26/02 06:11 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 148
SAN FRANCISCO
R
RICKMANINOF Offline
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RICKMANINOF  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 148
SAN FRANCISCO
I still insist that is a matter of experience, if the tech, have done this job plenty of times he will stiffened the hammers just enough to make the voicing easier, if the hammers are lacquered in excess it take longer and is more difficult to voice them. I believe that Niles Duncan got the most accurate answer but take this in consideration. good luck

Re: Cost of Hammers? #6822
07/26/02 06:36 PM
07/26/02 06:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 325
St. Louis, Missouri
M
MikeC65 Offline OP
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MikeC65  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 325
St. Louis, Missouri
Thanks for the info, Niles. I did not realize that changing the hammers in a grand was so much more involved. Oh well... live and learn.


Mike Cohan
St. Louis, MO
1910 Steinway Model K
Re: Cost of Hammers? #6823
07/26/02 08:21 PM
07/26/02 08:21 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 513
Pasadena, CA
N
Niles Duncan Offline
500 Post Club Member
Niles Duncan  Offline
500 Post Club Member
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 513
Pasadena, CA
It is if you do the whole job - shanks and flanges as well as hammers. You can also just put the new hammers on the old shanks on a grand piano and get off for around $800. That's often done when the customer can't or doesn't want to pay for the full job or the dealer just wants to do the minimum to make the piano saleable.

The problem is that by the time the hammers are beat up to the replacement level the knuckles and the pinning on the shanks are usually worn out too. It's annoying to have a grand piano with nice new hammers that doesn't feel smooth and won't regulate well because it still has the old shanks where the knuckles instead of being round are worn flat.

Niles Duncan
Piano rebuilder, Pasadena, CA
www.pianosource.com


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