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Hi All

I'm the very proud new owner of a 1891 Bluthner upright which overall plays beautifully. One of the knacks however is that one or two keys seem to stick when using the sustain pedal and are pressed repeatedly rather quickly (for example if playing a faster tempo piece).

The keys seem to sink fully as normal but the key won't return to it's full idle position, rather only travel about half way. If i release the sustain pedal and give it a few seconds, it seems to eventually fix itself. Again, this only seems to happen when the sustain pedal is being used.

Any ideas as to what i should be looking to repair? It's difficult to get a piano repairman during covid lockdown so i'm hopeful it might be something i can repair myself relatively easily.

Thanks

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Apologies everyone, though i had done an original research for previous posts on similar topics, i seem to have found some now which answer my questions. Don't think i can delete the thread altogether so please ignore.

Thanks

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100,

What do you THINK it is?

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Yes, I am curious, too, as my piano does the same thing, except my keys only stick halfway down (not fully), but also only when playing really quickly and using the pedal, and only the same three in the upper-most range. It's done this from day 1. My tech had made some adjustments (I don't know what), but it still happens, though not as much.

ETA: And mine only happens when I flutter pedal or half-pedal, not long full pedals.

Last edited by SonatainfSharp; 01/11/21 11:15 AM.

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it sounds rather like the touch weight is right at the point of balancing on a few keys (ie. not enough weight in the action to reset the key) unless the damper is there to help (which is why things work OK when not using the sustain pedal). Failing that, there could be a stiff key bushing or centre which would have a similar effect. Hope you get it sorted out! smile

Where abouts are you by the way?


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Mine was doing this on E4 just yesterday. I slid the action out, ruled out key friction and noticed when I lifted the hammer up by hand it wouldn't fall back. I put some Protek CLP where the hammer shank joined the flange and it fixed the issue. Hopefully the fix will last - I'm a DIYer not a tech.

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sorry to be clear, i haven't found the issue but found enough post suggestion that this absolutely be checked and fixed by a technician hence i won't risk damaging anything. Based on previous posts though it doesn't sound like it would be anything serious.

@Adypiano - i'm based in Edinburgh

Last edited by boeing100; 01/11/21 12:08 PM.
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Is it one of the overdamper Bluthners?

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This would be from some force which is normally overcome by the damper lever springs. Broken bridle straps or butt springs or loops are likely causes.


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Most Bluthner uprights of that era have overdamper actions, so no damper springs or butt springs and loops. The weight of the damper wire on the end of the wippen is a substantial added factor in assisting hammer return (assuming bridle tape intact). I think Protek CLP to hammer flange centers (and possibly wippen flanges) may correct the problem.

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Here's an 1890s Bluthner upright with overdamper action. I am certain a Piano Player (mechanical device separate from the piano to play piano rolls) is being used here.

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thanks all, I appreciate all the suggestions. I did previously notice one or two bridle straps being very worn out/about to break. I'll open up the piano to see if that corresponds to the keys that seem a bit sticky.

Originally Posted by David Boyce
Here's an 1890s Bluthner upright with overdamper action. I am certain a Piano Player (mechanical device separate from the piano to play piano rolls) is being used here.
Yes, that is exactly what the action looks like in mine. The serial number is in the 32k range so should definitely have been manufactured in the 1890s.

Last edited by boeing100; 01/11/21 05:09 PM.
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Almost all Bluthner and Bechstein pianos you will encounter in Scotland are pre world war one. Most of the Bluthners are overdamper action. I think the problem will mostly be sluggish action centres, in our damp Scottish climate (I am directly across the country from you, where it is even more damp!). I bet Protek CLP to action centres would fix it.

Last edited by David Boyce; 01/11/21 07:32 PM.
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thanks David. I'm in the process of organizing a technician to come over so will mention that to him once he's over (if we ever come out of lockdown!)

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Those old Bluthner uprights were magnificent beasts, solidly made. BUT, you should bear in mind that it is twice the 'working age' of most pianos. After about sixty years, things get pretty worn in a piano that's been regularly played. So the likelihood is that quite a few things will need addressing, if you want the piano to be really good.

German overdamper pianos (mainly Ibach and Bluthner, are the makes we see) are a different kettle of fish from English overdamper pianos. The latter were made for the cheaper end of the market. But the fact remains that things change and wear out, even in the finest pianos.

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considering I was lucky enough to get this piano for free, i'm more than happy to invest in replacing the parts it needs to give it the best possible sound. I can tell a few minor things have already been replaced/fixed in the early 00s. To be honest it already sounds pretty great so i'm hopeful whatever work needs done won't be major. In any case, she's certainly a beauty!

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Well done on getting it for free! Those big old Bluthners still command a good price in dealers' showrooms. Looks like yours has had the case re-finished at some point. 85 notes rather than 88 was fairly standard at that time.


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