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Yes, the software is showing a grand piano. The upright was a reference to a strange upright action I came across made out wire. Wish I had a picture.
But you are correct, the software is designed for grands.

However, I used it when I designed my 7' tall VCG with a double escapement action, and was very pleased with the results. That I have a picture of.
[Linked Image]
Thank you.
Refreshing to talk to someone who knows their stuff!!

Last edited by chernobieff; 09/20/14 06:17 PM.
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Originally Posted by jim ialeggio


Nothing of what Ed or Del is saying is "new". Rather, as your well designed Chickering action is quantifying, Chickering, from the factory, designed and implemented an action, which relative to anything you can buy at a showroom today, is low inertia.


Interesting. What year was this Chickering? I just read "A Romance on Three Legs" a few weeks ago. According to its account, Glenn Gould had enormous difficulty finding a Steinway that could match the light touch of the beloved Chickering he grew up with.

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I know when I look at the picture of the action for the "Mammoth Upright" that it is unplayable because of inertia. It is certainly a tour-de-force of mechanical ingenuity on Mr. Chernobieffs part. I know Chris is an exceptional mechanic, capable of executing some very challenging tasks for a small shop, but his theoretical grasp of the physics involved seems to be weak.

We have spent some time on the phone over the years and when he was based in the Seattle area he moved some of my pianos and did some keyboard repair work that was fantastic. He has had a particular angle on his self-promotion efforts that does not sit well with me regarding professional peer respect-but I do wish him well.

The simplest way to approach making an action is to unify the production of the tone quality and dynamic range with the feel at the key. That is what pianists are after, they don't care what the numbers say. All the "systems" of action analysis that have ever been done do not include making the tone with making the touch. LightHammer Tone Regulation does that. That is why I named it so as to separate it as an intellectual entity from the more generic term, Tone Regulate. It is the feel of the unleaded action that will guide you to matching the hammer weight to the leverage. Sensing the rapidity with which you can move the hammer at a pianissimo level and feeling the key push your finger back when you relax are the things your fingers must learn to appreciate. And if the hammers are of a felt density common to the traditions of Steinway-great tone will be produced as well. As an added benefit, the stability and robustness of the playability over changing humidity and resistance to wear make it a great investment in piano enjoyment. The "Dogma" we have been taught regarding what down-weight is "Normal" does not survive close inspection. Static touch-weight can be markedly higher than "Normal" once the inertia is low enough. Some technicians struggle greatly with this concept-but my work has proved that the true connection of touch-weight to feel needs to be scaled with the inertia.

And to get back to the OT, LightHammer Tone Regulation makes actions more like they used to be made by companies like Steinway, Chickering, Bosendorfer, Mason&Hamlin and Bechstein and Baldwin.


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Thanks, Ed, for steering things back to the topic.


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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
The simplest way to approach making an action is to unify the production of the tone quality and dynamic range with the feel at the key. That is what pianists are after, they don't care what the numbers say.

It will come as no surprise to regular members that Ed and I tend to see, and understand, things from different viewpoints. That being said, I cannot agree with this more.

Thank you Ed.


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Your welcome, Marty! And thank you.


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Originally Posted by chernobieff

In the last post Roy says:
"high-inertia action requires so much force that the pianist has to struggle...
How much inertia were you complaining about, and what inertia did you change it to, to be happy?




The piano(s) I referred to were not ones that I owned, so, of course, I didn't change anything about them. The inertia I complained about was higher than most grands I've played, and higher than was comfortable for me to play--I could feel it via my fingers. Obviously, I also had no chance to measure the inertia or analyze the action. I appreciate your desire for numbers, but sometimes it's not possible to get them.

I might also comment on the Fandrich/Rhodes screen-shot you displayed. While it is no doubt a very valuable tool, it does not tell you everything about action ratio. I have found that action ratios are often not constant throughout the key/hammer travel. I originally ran into this issue when measuring action ratios using 2 different key movements. I had made 2 simple, but very accurate gages--one that moved the key by 4 mm and another that moved the key by 6 mm. I noticed that the ratio as measured with the 6 mm key movement was almost invariably higher, even after accounting for lost motion.

I ultimately ended up by making a simplified action model using SolidWorks,so I could actuate the key in model space. I could verify the change in action ratio vs. key movement, so I knew I had noticed something real. For example, an action that uses a curved wippen heel such as WN&G will have a lower action ratio than one that uses a flat wippen heel, even if all dimensions are the same. This may sound a bit nutty, but if you make a simple sketch showing the contact point between the wippen heel and capstan as the key is rotated you'll understand why.

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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
The "Dogma" we have been taught regarding what down-weight is "Normal" does not survive close inspection. Static touch-weight can be markedly higher than "Normal" once the inertia is low enough. Some technicians struggle greatly with this concept-but my work has proved that the true connection of touch-weight to feel needs to be scaled with the inertia.


My experiments have convinced that this statement of Ed's is true. Low-inertia action need higher than normal down weight for good playability.

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How low of an inertia level, and how do you measure it?

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I don't measure action inertia, I sense it the same way a pianist plays the piano. With my fingers.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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I guess I have a hard time imagining how that conversation would go between tech and pianist.
Each could have a different sense of perception of the relative values of light and heavy, loud or soft, bright or mellow to each other and never come to an agreement.

I also could imagine that if you specifically tailored a piano to a specific pianist,that it leads me to ask "What if it was in a concert hall situation?" And the other pianists didn't like what the one did?

What happens if a Steinway expert examines that piano and sees all of the weights gone? Or that the hammers aren't to spec? Couldn't they use that to say this piano needs work?

On the humorous side: Do your long arms and fingers have a different leverage and feel than a pianist with short arms and fingers?
LOL



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To be successful serving pianists, technicians must learn what pianists feel when they play.

I don't find a tremendous divergence in what pianists like. They like pianos that perform well and which make them feel comfortable playing. Some adjust faster than others to a particular piano.

What makes someone a "Steinway Expert". If I had been asked to service Horowitz's piano after Franz Mohr had added jiffy leads to the backs of the keys-I would have said this is not what the traditions of Steinway tone regulation have ever done-and it would be better to remove front leads to increase touch resistance. I certainly would have said H's piano needed work in this case at that point of time.

The way to judge a piano is by how it performs-not by some particular specification.

If you haven't noticed before-concert artists come in all sizes and shapes so physical size seem to be far less significant than mental and muscle control.


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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I don't find a tremendous divergence in what pianists like. They like pianos that perform well and which make them feel comfortable playing. Some adjust faster than others to a particular piano.
thumb I've found exactly the same thing to be true in my experience!

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You're right Ed - whether a pianist is 6 feet 5 and 19 stone (266 pounds) or half that size, it doesn't make much difference other than perhaps the amount of weight they can transfer from the shoulder. There's only so much weight that's useful though and it's the speed at which one can move the key downwards that has most effect on tone.

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Originally Posted by joe80
There's only so much weight that's useful though and it's the speed at which one can move the key downwards that has most effect on tone.


I agree but don't want to discount the advantage that weight gives to forte playing. Dense passages at FFF played allegro or better, require a lot of foundation. Think 100 notes on 50 gram keys in 10 seconds. That is 11 lbs of force expended,( I think), and it seems that larger pianists usually can maintain that level of output for longer. A trill is a good place to have some weight behind the wrist for stability, too.

Over the years, it seems that I have observed that, the smaller the pianist, the brighter the tone they preferred. Some of the bigger customers, that like to really lean on the piano, prefer a softer hammer, as they can, as one said, "dial it up" when they want to. I remember seeing Rubenstein in Boston in 1976. He was old but still putting out a big sound, and when he went for the big bass note, you could see him putting his shoulder into it.
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Originally Posted by joe80
everyone's skull is hollow.... it's the brain inside that isn't....



If there is one inside. Hollow seems to imply there isn't.
But as long as the acoustics are right ...


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You can definitely fly on the old Chickering actions. My 145 in it's still-t-be-rebuilt state is way lighter than the Renner action in my Seiler.

If you want a heavy action, try a three manual tracker action organ with all the manuals coupled. It's at least 100 grams of down weight. You are not going to play fast either without breaking a serious sweat and maybe a finger or two.

Last edited by gynnis; 12/11/14 08:47 AM.

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Darrell Fandrich and John Rhodes seemed to have analyzed an old Chickering action which they found to be "light". There was a thread earlier that talked about light actions from the past. If you want to find an old Chickering pre 1930, I think you'll find these light actions. Certainly after I play my Chickering for a while, the Renner action in my Seiler feels pretty heavy.


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A lot of the problem with older pianos is poor regulation. If the action isn't totally worn out, reregulation helps a lot. However, old age is a real problem with actions. I finally got rid of my 1896 Hallet and Davis because it kept breaking action parts, which of course were non standard. Since the rest of the piano wasn't worth a rebuilt, it was time to go.

My Chickering will get an action rebuild, probably in stages. Once the felts are done, the keyboard leveled, and the regulation is finished, I'll play it in and see what else needs to be done. Undoubtedly, some work on the wippens will be required. Since this action is a bit non standard, it's pretty tough to do anything but rebuild it.


Seiler 206, Chickering 145, Estey 2 manual reed organ, Fudge clavichord, Zuckerman single harpsichord, Technics P-30, Roland RD-100.
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