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#2506023 01/31/16 11:04 PM
Joined: May 2003
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Inre a thread about which new hammers for an older Steinway, we digressed onto action parts, i.e.
Originally Posted by Keith Roberts
ED may be talking a lighter version for a 13mm knuckle placement,, eh?
The following is a digression of a digression, but there is so much emphasis placed on keeping a brand all genuine that the impropriety of the modern parts is often overlooked.

Greetings,
A 1912 Steinway B. The original knuckles were 15.5 mm from the pin. The bottom key has two leads in it. The leading is erratic, but minimal. The DW,( with SW's following the boundary of Stanwood's chart 'tween light and medium) progressed from 51 in the lowest octave, losing about a gram per octave as I went up. I didn't compute BW's, as a full WNG is going in. The piano has had a professional life, and is destined to continue as such.

What I have arrived at is the 16 mm knuckle placement. The Ronsen Weikert hammers can be made light enough to allow this geometry, and, in fact, it was a better fit in the piano's architecture. That fit encompassed custom boring the hammers for squareness to string and shank at contact, which often requires shorter boring in the top octaves, and longer boring through the middle. 1 7/8" blow leaves the lowest shanks 2 mm off the rests, and .390" dip allows .035" aftertouch without jamming the jacks.

The WNG aspects of Steinway action replacement allow things others cannot. This piano had the heavy capstans. 7.5 grams each. Replacing with the low-friction aluminum parts takes 3 grams off the key while effectively removing friction from "magic line" considerations, (another tangent which I will leave alone, for now). This is a "free" 3 grams off the DW, which costs neither geometry or lead. If I want, that change allows another ,6 grams to be left on the hammer. In this case, it meant that I could forego the 16.5 knuckle that would otherwise be needed to keep the lead down. I wanted to keep the ratio high, like the original, but took a small compromise. The WNG system lets me set the knuckle exactly where I want it, and they are all the same to within thousandths. Can't find that consistently anywhere else.

I think there is a difference in physical response between various actions of identical DW but differing hammer weight/action ratio, or differing hammer weight/FW. The original action in this piano, in order to provide a medium touch, would need ultra-light hammers. I have changed that by .5 mm at the knuckle and 6 grams reduction in capstan weight, leaving me with room to hang hammers from light to med-light.
I have seen pianists respond well to a high ratio, low SW action. The shorter knuckle distance makes a lot of velocity available, and with the Ronsen hammers, I can still get a lot of fundamental in the tone without a lot of weight Factory replacements would require a 17 mm knuckle and over .400" dip. I am seeking a different feel, and one that I think is closer to the instrument's original than what new stock parts would provide.
Regards,

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Somewhat beyond me Mr Foote, but I do ADMIRE the way you swing effortlessly between metric and imperial units laugh

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Thank you Ed for the review of knuckle placement distances.
I admire your attention to detail.
Absolutely the dynamics the pianist has to work with are completely different with a high action ratio,, light hammer.
F=mv[2]
The digression on the digression,,, specifically the extra 3 grams of DW without geometry change. Is that the 8 degree capstan tip that gives you the same distance ratio yet lowers the weight ratio?


Keith Roberts
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Sorry I re read and see where that 4 grams is about


Keith Roberts
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3 grams,,, let's see 2 more posts and I hit 2000,, Still can't type well,,,


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
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I have been doing low inertia/high leverage actions in Steinways and other makes since the early 1980's. (By high leverage I mean more arc degree motion in the hammer for a given key arc travel.) I even wrote a book about it for piano technicians.

So I give this to establish the strongest concurrence for Ed Foote's topic.

No pianos are now being made with actions that can perform, endure, remain in regulation and have the widest dynamic response that this design architecture has proven to provide.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
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Greetings,
This topic began with hammers, and the geometry is part of that because the Ronsen hammers make it possible to produce a full range of tone without a lot of weight. This allows a higher ratio action with the same FW. It is surprising that such a small change in the elasticity of felt allows such a large change in the mechanics. The lower weight allows lower mass throughout, which is good for longevity of hammers,pinning, fingers and wrists. I also think it creates a more "authentic" piano response.

The demands of friction, and the finesse of escapement become more important with lower SW, in that the lower mass of the hammer has less "flywheel" effect to carry it to the string. A heavier hammer, once in motion, will do more to overcome friction at escapement, since the kinetic energy is higher but the friction stays the same. To test this, pin a light mid-treble hammer to 2 grams and try to control it at the softest play. Then add a couple of clips to the shank so the only change is mass and try again.

Careful attention to escapement considerations, (settting, in order: pinning, friction surfaces, spring, jack radius), coupled with the low friction WNG pinning allows great control. I do think the repetition pinning need not be quite so tight,(7 gr). I think 4-5 is sufficient for the spring strength necessary for dependable and fast operation. Everything is so consistent that much smaller margins are needed for error.
Regards,

Last edited by Ed Foote; 02/01/16 08:51 AM.
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I have found that when producing a low-inertia/high-leverage action that the "flywheel" effect at soft playing is best controlled by having the static touch-weight high enough to provide rapid feedback to the finger about hammer velocity. I find that higher friction is possible in hammer centers and key-bushings before control and repetition issues arise in these actions which makes their performance more robust across humidity changes.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: toneman1@me.com

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