How critical is it that the agraffs be at an angle perpendicular to the string travel? The reason I ask is that mine are definitely off, but by only a few degrees or so. I would think that this would make the lengths of the strings in a tri-chord different lengths. Would that be enough to cause tuning problems?
Posted By: BDB
Re: Agraff vs. string angle - 02/20/14 05:48 AM
No. Steinway Ds of a certain period had much greater variations in string length, but they can still be tuned well.
On the other hand, if you want to change the angle, just sand a bit off the bottom of the agraffe.
Posted By: Supply
Re: Agraff vs. string angle - 02/20/14 06:41 AM
Just curious - what is the model, make and year?
Posted By: BDB
Re: Agraff vs. string angle - 02/20/14 08:11 AM
Jurgen reminds me that this is not someone restringing a piano who would have the option of changing the seating of the agraffes. Do not try to straighten them on a piano that is already strung!
Posted By: Mark Cerisano
Re: Agraff vs. string angle - 02/20/14 11:58 AM
Personally, in my opinion as an engineer and piano tuner who has done some rebuilding, it doesn't matter at all. But I could be corrected.
An offset agraffe may even reduce false beats caused by rounded agraffe hole edges.
There will be slightly more friction, but I don't imagine it would be that much for a few degrees.
I do know many people refer to getting the agraffes straight. It could be for esthetic reasons.
Posted By: Olek
Re: Agraff vs. string angle - 02/20/14 01:04 PM
It is relatively common to have slightly different lengths. Try to measure strings IN the capo section where it is most often the case. When done in the agrafe section it is for tonal reasons.
Common on Bechtein, for instance, for a more "juicy" tone.
The tuner need to know how to tune the beginning of the tone to take advantage of that.
Agraffes too far off square axis with the string are much more prone to buzz. I like square agraffes and you can turn some of them after the piano is strung-but you must use a gentle feel to sense if they will turn or not. Plus your tool must fit well.
The Steinways and Baldwins with deliberately unequal unisons have "fuzzier" unisons. I don't like the weak sound.
Posted By: Chloe J. Scott
Re: Agraff vs. string angle - 02/23/14 05:00 AM
Thanks for your input. It's a 5' Cable grand, 1920's. I wasn't thinking that I'd do anything about it, I was just wondering because I was looking closely and noticed that they weren't a angled as they could be. They're all the same offset so it's not like they are different or sloppy. Besides, they're all painted over so I don't think that I'd be able to do anything about it even if I was inclined. They've probably been that way since the 20's so they're probably pretty set in their ways.
But if I was to at some point, and provided that I took all precautions to ensure that the height, number of turns, etc., were all duplicated, do you think that changing the angle to be more precisely perpendicular would have a positive effect on it? Hypothetically speaking of course.
Posted By: BDB
Re: Agraff vs. string angle - 02/23/14 07:47 AM
I do not think the difference would be noticeable.