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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Originally Posted by David Boyce
. But why do you want to keep this old cheap instrument going - is it wonderful in some way?
There is a famous quote of Chopin:
Quote
One observer remembered the composer saying that if he was not feeling on top form, he preferred to play on an Erard, for its bright and ready-made tone. ‘But if I feel alert, ready to make my fingers work without fatigue, then I prefer a Pleyel… My fingers feel in more immediate contact with the hammers, which then translate precisely and faithfully the feeling I want to produce, the effect I want to obtain.’
I understand exactly what he is saying here. Can you understand what it's like to feel what Chopin felt? The sound is not given to you on a plate, you've got to carve it out. I've played a Fasioli - wonderful sound but it's not me creating it and so it bores after a while. I'll be nipping up to pianoauctions in April to see if they've got anything better as I must admit getting it tuned every few months is a bore! Still, I'm very grateful for my tuner whose happy to take it on. Sitting next to it is my Geyer. It has a Renner action and only needs tuning once a year but it doesn't melt my heart (or float my boat if you prefer!).

Thanks for all the advice, I really apreciate it.

Oh, the tuner made it a two-string unison last time but I lose so much sound it's unacceptable. In fact, moving the bridge pins up is something I've considered. Do I drill first or hammer them in? Any suitably shapped nail do?

I do understand, and sympathise with what you mean. I have a vivid memory of playing a little 1880s birdcage piano after tuning it, belonging to a family locally, and finding it incredibly satisfying to play. It was very 'tinkly-pinkly' in sound, but the action was not too terribly worn, and although light, it was extremely EVEN across the compass, which gave a pleasant feeling of control and predictability.

Here's a nice really old birdcage piano (albeit overstrung), repaired by Chris Chernobieff. I you you don't mind me sharing the YouTube video here, Chris!

Last edited by David Boyce; 03/06/21 09:48 AM.
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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
...

Oh, the tuner made it a two-string unison last time but I lose so much sound it's unacceptable. In fact, moving the bridge pins up is something I've considered. Do I drill first or hammer them in? Any suitably shapped nail do?


I would mark, center punch and drill the holes to the correct size, use a very sharp chisel to slowly and carefully reshape the upper bearing by hand (not with a mallet), then install new bridge pins, but I suppose the original ones could be reused. Your piano tuner would probably do something very similar. wink


Jeff Deutschle
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He's coming Wednesday but I'm not sure he wants to get involved. I suppose I should broach the subject. I'll send him an email.

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The right and middle pins pulled out easy enough with plyers. Next I'm going to coat them in epoxy and push back in. I'll get as much epoxy in the holes first.

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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
The right and middle pins pulled out easy enough with plyers. Next I'm going to coat them in epoxy and push back in. I'll get as much epoxy in the holes first.

How did it turn out?


Jeff Deutschle
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Thanks for asking. Poorly at first as the pin work made only some difference. Another look found the actual bridge pins for those two strings loose. They pulled out, I rebuilt with epoxy and next day about 80% there. The buckskin on the hammer butt was worn to the wood! Did that and now it's about 95% of it's neighbours. Maybe adjusting the letoff would get me the last few %? It's quite the success story though. Thanks folks.

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