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Hey gang! It's been a while since I've been out here, and doing some forum cruising, so thought I would thank ALL of you experts out here once again for the past help and advice you've given me! You not only saved my family a ton of money in potential misguided thinking on my part, but you have helped us narrow down exactly what we're looking for in our next piano. Can't thank you enough! May the blessing be 10 fold upon ya'll!

Now, let me get down to brass tacks on what I believe is a rather serious matter - To all of you wannabe, DIY, "think I can do this myself" people out there - STOP in your tracks before it's too late! There is a BIG, BIG reason why the professionals out here have the training they have. I am mechanically minded, and I understand the work they do, BUT there's a huge diff between understanding the tech side of things, and actually doing the work. I know how turbine engines work too, but that doesn't qualify me to work on an airplane wink Take it from me, I too almost made the mistake of going down the DIY road, but after many months of research I quickly became acutely aware that not only did I NOT know what I was getting myself into, the work can be VERY dangerous depending on the situation, AND I would run the GREAT RISK of completely ruining a piano forever rendering it nothing more than firewood, or worse! Trust me.... if you think for one minute that you "can do this work yourself" you BEST think again! Trust the guys out here in what they say... you CAN and MAY, and likely WILL ruin your piano, and worse case senario you could actually hurt yourself badly. And guess what else - you will likely end up calling these guys anyway because of the mess you've made, but the costs will be MUCH greater because they will have to undo the mess - IF it can be undone! Costs rack up VERY fast on a piano, so it's best to leave it in the hands of the experts and save yourself the trouble, money, and danger. You will thank yourself later... I did!

Piano techs - Thank you again! You guys are awesome and I cannot thank you enough for steering me away from what would likely have been a total disaster! thumb

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Situations vary.

I would not recommend any old DIY'er to undertake major rebuilding of his new Steinway D in the hope of making quality work and save money at the same time.

But that's not the same as an interested DIY'er learning more about pianos and tuning and regulation etc. by doing guided work on his own cheap piano.

I have spent a lot of time working on my own piano in the last year. I haven't done it to save money and not primarily to improve on the piano although it _has_ been improved. I have done it because I am interested, because I want to learn. It has put me in a better position to buy a better piano in the future.

I can't see the harm in a pianist having some knowledge and experience in tuning and servicing a piano. Quite the contrary.


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+1 for Pink.

I don't know what you were trying to do on your piano, but it sounds like you definitely bit off more than you could chew, and got some good advice.

As for saying all the techs here stear DIYers away from doing any work themselves on their own piano, from my take being in this forum since 2010, I think it's about 50/50 with many offering plenty of good advice.

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I echo the OP's sense of gratitude to all the piano technician on here who have helped me immensely and who continue to do so.

There is no piano tech where I live so this is where I get help, apart from the books I've bought.

Not all DIYer's make a botch of the job. One advantage of being a serious DIYer is that you live with your own piano day and night and can observe the changes that take place on it, e.g. what humidity variations can do to something like glide bolt adjustments, etc. Also, you can set up your piano to your own preferences like aftertouch, etc.

I do take notice of the sarcasm that some piano technicians extend to DIYer's in this forum. I have a strong feeling where this might be coming from and I suspect that this is not just due solely on a technicians misgivings on the ability of a DIYer, but it might have something to do with the feeling that it is unfair to be sharing information and help to a DIYer 'for free' when the tech spent years and years and money learning these things.

As a health provider, I actually do resent people who engage me for a 'sidewalk consultation' for free. And while the exchange might not be construed as legally binding since there was no professional fees involved, I still resent the time taken from me for free. People just don't realize that professional advice has a value and it's like buying something from a store. Sometimes people even consult for a patient whom they didn't bring along. It's like piano techs giving advice without really seeing the piano in person. Haha. So I understand all of these and therefore am very grateful to the piano technicians here in this forum. Heck, I wouldn't even mind if they charge a fee for the advice they gave. It's just fair.

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Originally Posted by electone2007
Heck, I wouldn't even mind if they charge a fee for the advice they gave. It's just fair.

I like that idea! I think Paul678 would have the largest outstanding account so far.


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Originally Posted by SMHaley
Originally Posted by electone2007
Heck, I wouldn't even mind if they charge a fee for the advice they gave. It's just fair.

I like that idea! I think Paul678 would have the largest outstanding account so far.


Hahaha. And Olek would have a lion's share of my money. And countless others who've helped me here.

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Originally Posted by electone2007
Originally Posted by SMHaley
Originally Posted by electone2007
Heck, I wouldn't even mind if they charge a fee for the advice they gave. It's just fair.

I like that idea! I think Paul678 would have the largest outstanding account so far.


Hahaha. And Olek would have a lion's share of my money. And countless others who've helped me here.


I don't think providing a multitude of responses, especially if off topic or undecipherable, could qualify. Persons of greater industry standing, such as Del F. For example, might be entitled to a higher percentage.


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Originally Posted by thetruthseeker
To all of you wannabe, DIY, "think I can do this myself" people out there - STOP in your tracks before it's too late!


I tune and regulate my piano since two years and am happy with the results. DIY is certainly possible with documentation, patience, meticulousness, self-criticism, etc.

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Too late, I'm doing it myself, and lovin' it! smile

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Originally Posted by SMHaley
Originally Posted by electone2007
Originally Posted by SMHaley
Originally Posted by electone2007
Heck, I wouldn't even mind if they charge a fee for the advice they gave. It's just fair.

I like that idea! I think Paul678 would have the largest outstanding account so far.


Hahaha. And Olek would have a lion's share of my money. And countless others who've helped me here.


I don't think providing a multitude of responses, especially if off topic or undecipherable, could qualify. Persons of greater industry standing, such as Del F. For example, might be entitled to a higher percentage.


They are undecipherable only if you choose not to decipher them. Why should English as a first language be a prerequisite for enlightening discussions. I can, with a very poor American education of one year in French, understand the English of people who are using English as a second language. It simply takes an interest in what the person is saying.

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Originally Posted by Bosendorff


I tune and regulate my piano since two years and am happy with the results. DIY is certainly possible with documentation, patience, meticulousness, self-criticism, etc.


+1000!

The OP maybe one of those people who are all thumbs, in
which case, the advice given to him would be good.

But other people are good with their hands, and mechanically
inclined, and many of them are professional engineers,
sometimes for 30+ years, as in my case, which makes piano
technology not as daunting.

Now I tune for money part-time, and am learning basic regulation
and repairs, and it's been a blast! PLUS, my used piano
evaluation skills have greatly improved.

I still have tons to learn, but by listening to all the helpful
people here (and ignoring a few negative ones!), and watching great
Youtube videos and awesome websites, I've really come a long way.

Piano World Rules!

grin

Last edited by Paul678; 10/17/14 08:41 PM.
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Originally Posted by Paul678
I've really come a long way.


Then perhaps we could meander across to your other thread on damper timing and, having 30+ years' experience as an engineer, you could explain to all of us what it's actually about?


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laugh Wrote a bigger text yesterday but didn't post it. This is a small part:

Olek is sometimes constructing quite complicated phrases, but I discovered that if I just use my brain for a minute, I get it. But I suppose it's only because I can speak four languages, and understand a few more, so I see where it comes from.

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Originally Posted by jinorden
laugh Wrote a bigger text yesterday but didn't post it. This is a small part:

Olek is sometimes constructing quite complicated phrases, but I discovered that if I just use my brain for a minute, I get it. But I suppose it's only because I can speak four languages, and understand a few more, so I see where it comes from.


Thank you Swebac (is it your name ?)

It is refreshing to read that.I know I go into quite complicated phrases often, it is mostly because I write what is going in my mind at the time, so of course digressions apply.

But I think I do so to give the reader more on the way I am thinking about the subject, ideas on it coming from different directions, hoping it can help to understand my writing better in the end.

Regards

Piano repair is not for anyone indeed, some may have some success I do not deny, others do not understand what is involved.
I very often offer the customer to come by and do some work on his piano in the workshop, that makes for them a pleasant experience, they also realize how many "small tasks" are involved for a quality result.

They also discover that any technical gesture need to be learned, understood for its physical bases, and that is not so simple.
I had to show how to use a simple hammer to the customer that helps actually. It took some time for him to agree he was not using the hammer correctly (anyone know how to hammer a nails is not it ?)

Being an engineer may certainly help to think more logically, but that will only work if basic concepts are good.

Alas, basic concepts on piano tuning and regulation are rarely available in books

What I call basic concepts is why we do things, not how .

due to the interactions in tuning and regulating/voicing, those jobs are prone to look simple to engineers, which is a mistake in my opinion.

Almost EVERYTIME a piano technician explain (with words) something to even another piano technician, what he say is only partially understood, sometime confused, sometime understood at reverse !

The best way to learn is still by imitation of technical gesture and technical gesture result (tone, touch)
Then it is time to think of the causes.

Doing the opposite only partially works.
I know a very good pianist that turned piano technician and restorer.
He is clearly at engineer level

He clearly cannot regulate letoff/drop by feel
He clearly cannot build tone while tuning

Not that he could not understand what is necessary or train to do it. But he was not showed and trained correctly, so he is obliged to use technical theoretical measures to verify his work (as it may happen with tuners that try to learn with an ETD, or regulate with a regulating bench and measured data.

Only at "real" speed most operations are efficient as tuning, letoff/drop regulation.

Yamaha developed their regulation principles (or copied on Steinway) where the tech is always actioning the keys and parts, which is how a sensible result is obtained.

(not to say a pre regulation on the bench is not useful, I am talking mostly of fine regulation in front of the piano, but, if you can do it with the action on your knees, you do not need a bench, in the end)

Many do not know how to glue hammers without a gig, and have a less good result in the end than if the hammers where always compared in motion with their neighbors, at gluing time.

to regulate, touch feedback, listening (action rubbing noises and piano tones), are used , with some sensitivity in the hands for the regulating tools, to obtain a professional result.

(A visual impaired friend can make a concert level regulation, touch wise, because he use his ears plus his hands to know what happen in the piano- this is exceptionally rare - he level keys, also !)

Gluing hammers one need a bench parallel to the walls of the place, so physically the sense of verticality is enhanced.

ABout repairs, I have seen vertical pianos where a good few thousands hours have been spend to repair correctly most of the parts. (by a professional place, without much cut corners)

BUT, the butt jack rest cushion was 0.5 mm thin, and whatever hammer travel distance used the touch was bad, (hence the tone...).

Sort of mistake that cannot be done when one knows the importance, comportement and the role of each part in the action function.

I think that at some point any technician must try to understand action parts placement and geometry in the deep.

WIth basic rules it is possible, but documentation is rare.

Most analysis use an action that is 100% stiff, while the action in play is a mechanism that accumulate then release energy, including some compression of parts, some flex, etc

When I begun to learn the rules where yet to use standard dimensions (for a brand/model) , those are of course useful but they mostly serve to "read" the functioning of a given action (the only really useful data is key height/attack angle)

The sense of achievement I read in Mr Paul writing make me suspect that there is some method of Dr Coue there, plus some of the bad habit of engineers to look at the world from a high standpoint, which is the opposed of the necessary state of mind in piano technology learning .


As said the OP, thinking it is simple is a mistake.

Thinking it is very complicated is one also.

Mostly, at some point, if the pianist in technician soul can take the advantage on the technician, the result can be good, but assuming rules have been followed first.

from basic rules, sometime a step aside allow a musically convenient effect, as somewhat smooth aftertouch and slightly damped tone providing "deepness sensation" with clearly too much aftertouch., or light letoff and faster acceleration when the jack is winked at the limit (a pianist told me "as if the tone gain a 3d dimension".)

BAck to OT, I have nothing about DIY, but they often do not cooperate with technicians because of some proud attitude of "I did it myself" or by fear.

I think they would gain in efficiency and obtain a mer rewarding result with a little help.

Then if in the end they take my job, I understand why it is not so easy to find the adequate tech that will spend some time helping.

But I assure you it exist, there is even a DIY shop near Paris, I dont know how is the job, but the iea is good, particularly with instruments that can be interesting but have low value.

The involvement of the tech is automatically large, however, so the thing is better done in the tech's place than in yours I think, for the most fundamental work anyway.

Last edited by Olek; 10/18/14 11:50 AM.

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No, it's just a username. I like reading what you have to say on different subjects. Once I reread something you wrote that I initially didn't understand. Two years later, after learning a lot more, everything was very clear.

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Originally Posted by jinorden
No, it's just a username. I like reading what you have to say on different subjects. Once I reread something you wrote that I initially didn't understand. Two years later, after learning a lot more, everything was very clear.


Great ! thank you. SO it was not lost, this is rewarding.

As I said, even between techs, descriptions rarely work 100%

Remind me of a friend who needled his hammers horizontally all along

He was very happy of the result, actually he was lucky, as it was on an old Steinway and having the most effective crown was all that could be done (dynamics obtained only with the upper regions of the hammer)

Not at all what I lengthy described to him ! (I said parallel, not horizontal !)


Last edited by Olek; 10/18/14 02:13 PM.

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Originally Posted by Olek
As said the OP, thinking it is simple is a mistake.

Thinking it is very complicated is one also.


I agree. By remaining modest and meticulous helps one to get an adequate self-critical feedback. At the same time, piano tuning and regulation is not rocket science. For example, at first, I wasn't sure if I could succeed regulating the dampers on my grand, then figured out it's not that complicated. If I could improve the damper timing on my piano, certainly other DIYers can too.

I'll also add a special thanks to Isaac for his help to many here on PW. Merci pour tes commentaires toujours honnĂȘtes et enthousiastes et continue ton excellent travail et tes contributions !

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and if you do decide to open an account for all the free advice, i'll be more than happy to be the financial manager of that account. I even promise to leave Europe and migrate closer to PTG, somewheres like...Costa Rica.

BTW Olek, been reading your work and have indeed learnt alot. Please keep on contributing.


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Hi, is it full moon or what ? my road is paved with flowers !

I received in fact twice some money on paypal as thanks for helping.
It was unexpected, an highly appreciated, made my day !

(less the big headache the next day, but send more money, I will drink more wink

just joking I am sage , stopped drinking vigorously long time ago !!

Last edited by Olek; 10/18/14 02:00 PM.

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Originally Posted by Olek
Hi, is it full moon or what ? my road is paved with flowers !

I received in fact twice some money on paypal as thanks for helping.
It was unexpected, an highly appreciated, made my day !

(less the big headache the next day, but send more money, I will drink more wink

just joking I am sage , stopped drinking vigorously long time ago !!



Great! You can use that money for English lessons!

grin thumb

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