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Originally Posted by BlakeOR
Even if it's not done, the major work like mating the hammers to the strings, etc should be done, and the hammers should be new, so you should be able to get a feel for the potential of it right? Ah, that good old feeling of anticipation smile

Yes, definitely! I'm kind-of excited but nervous. But since sound affects perception of touch, I don't know if I'll really get to feel more precision yet or if it'll just be a bit weird and not sounding right.

Originally Posted by dhull100
I’m excited to see how this turns out. I’m so happy you have a qualified tech who is making progress.

Thank you!


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My tech is here and has been playing some chromatic scales as he makes adjustments and the sound is horrible 😂 I'm not sure if he's done any voicing to the hammers yet, but the tone is very flat and ugly. Now I'm curious to see what state it'll be in when he allows me to play again!


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Just talked to my tech. Apparently he was voicing all yesterday but only today the sound is starting to bloom!

This is the first time he had Bösendorfer hang hammers and he's not sure if he'd do it again. He had to do more work on them and said we'll have to see the total cost at the end but he's not sure I came out ahead.

But he was practically glowing when he talked about the hammers, he said he's very happy with them and they're like a fine wine, just wonderful. And then he did a chef's kiss 😘 He said for the other parts, he could always spend more time on them if they're not perfect but you just don't know if you got good hammers until everything is installed. He said he'd go with Ronsen hammers if a customer was on a budget but that for my piano these are the absolute best ♥️


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My tech said that he'd release the piano to me by the end of today! He said that hammers actually expand when first voiced because they're under a huge amount of pressure, which means that the initial regulation gets shot.

He said to play it like I normally do, don't do anything special. It'll sound okay to start but then will sound progressively worse. Then when it's unbearably obnoxious, call him and he'll come back and do another few days of work: another regulation and "final" voicing that he'll also involve me in.


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So, you’ll be up all night playing your new piano?😸. Not sure I could resist


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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I am so glad that your emblematic Bosendorfer project is turning out so well. My grandfather used to tell me that the best things in life are either (A) immediate and free, or (B) will take twice the time and twice the money you'd planned.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
So, you’ll be up all night playing your new piano?😸. Not sure I could resist

My tech had me come play before he left. My first impression was that it was super loud and the keys felt more shallow than before, when I had asked for a deeper key dip! He said that the regulation is all out of whack and that I can't evaluate anything right now, the goal is just to play in the hammers (he said the pounding machine at the factory does it 20,000-30,000 times!). Thankfully the volume became reasonable once he put the fallboard back on. I always forget that the fallboard makes such a difference! And because the piano was more quiet, the touch felt heavier. Still doesn't feel like any key dip change though. I asked him if we should deepen it more before the regulation but he said let's see what I think first, it's going to be more controlled and "meaty" after the regulation so might feel deeper.

I keep having to tell myself that I'm not evaluating the piano right now and there is still a lot of work to be done. It still has the same general sound profile as before but I don't like it as much, but at least the harsh treble is gone! Currently it seems to have been voiced in three distinct sections. The midrange treble is louder and more brash, transitioning to a pretty muffled high treble. The bass is very satisfying at fff, but weird and muffled at p. There's also a couple of notes that are making clicking noises. But the piano is fine for just practicing notes and not trying to be very musical.

The good news is that putting hyde glue in the key holes seems to have solved the clunking key return in the middle of the piano! It used to have a pretty loud thunk and then the keys would bounce when they returned to position. Now there's still a sound but it's normal-sounding and there is very little bounce. Yay!!

So my piano is currently less enjoyable to play compared to before, but I've been told to break in those hammers so I'm going to do my job! 😹

Originally Posted by Vikendios
I am so glad that your emblematic Bosendorfer project is turning out so well. My grandfather used to tell me that the best things in life are either (A) immediate and free, or (B) will take twice the time and twice the money you'd planned.

Thank you! Your grandfather is wise. We've been doing a renovation for over two years and it has certainly been true to his saying! Now I still have to wait for my piano to be finished, but maybe it'll be a month. My impatient nature has been well trained by life 😂


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Originally Posted by twocats
Currently it seems to have been voiced in three distinct sections. The midrange treble is louder and more brash, transitioning to a pretty muffled high treble. The bass is very satisfying at fff, but weird and muffled at p. There's also a couple of notes that are making clicking noises. But the piano is fine for just practicing notes and not trying to be very musical.

Whoa, my piano is already sounding better after some vigorous practice! The muffled treble is gone, except for the top 5 notes, which I'm trying to play in. The top note has zero musical quality and sounds like a plinking piece of wood, so I'm just glad I've never needed it 😂

Now that the voicing is more consistent, I think I like the general volume except from middle C for an octave and a half, it's much louder. The rest is at a comfortable volume and I wouldn't want it voiced down. Will just keep observing so that I can tell my tech what needs attention when he comes.

Now that the piano is sounding better, it's just a matter of time before it gets worse and time to do the second voicing, so I'll just keep at it!


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I’m sure it’s going to improve a LOT before it’s all done, I wouldn’t fret at all at this stage of the game. Those pounders do some crazy work, the first I heard about them was from Rich G. when my piano was getting prepped. I had to laugh at that visual! 😂😂😂

Have some wine and take a good rest, Bösie Pounder! 🏆🏅🎹


Lisa
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Originally Posted by ebonyk
I’m sure it’s going to improve a LOT before it’s all done, I wouldn’t fret at all at this stage of the game. Those pounders do some crazy work, the first I heard about them was from Rich G. when my piano was getting prepped. I had to laugh at that visual!

Now I'm pretty curious about those pounders, will start a new thread to ask about them!

Thanks for your reassurance!! I have to keep reminding myself to stop comparing the piano to what it was before, and that there's still a lot of work to be done! I never thought bass was that important to me but it used to be a roaring bass (so satisfying after the first tech voiced it down too much and my current tech put on "hot sauce" to bring it back). Now I keep pounding on those low notes expecting that huge, enveloping sound and it's not the same! But maybe I just need to play in the hammers, and they need more voicing. Haha, kinda like that time my friend let me do donuts in a parking lot in his sporty car. I was like "okay, I get the appeal of fun cars now" 😂


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Yay, Bo is back!! Random question - do you usually play with the case closed, at mini- half- or full-stick?

I find the sound is remarkably different between them on mine, at least from the bench. Half-stick in particular seems much more piercing than the others, which makes me think there's some kind of acoustical funny business afoot.

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Originally Posted by aidans
Random question - do you usually play with the case closed, at mini- half- or full-stick?

I find the sound is remarkably different between them on mine, at least from the bench. Half-stick in particular seems much more piercing than the others, which makes me think there's some kind of acoustical funny business afoot.

Full stick if it's just me, but half stick when I'm playing chamber music or I'll blow everyone's ears off 😉

I get so much more resonance with full stick. Half stick still sounds sweet, but think it neuters the full potential of the instrument. The previous owner called it "the swirl" and it's a little like the sound hangs in the air!

I do think there's some weird acoustical thing going on with your space. Is your piano in a small room? It was hard to tell from your photos!


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Hah, yeah, the photos are all close to the piano, facing the near wall. The room is roughly 15ft x 23ft, with a hallway and stairs off one side, so it should be large enough, I think? But we have the piano parallel to the wall, not angled, and I think that's probably making things weird. It's only really a problem at half-stick, though, and I typically practice with the lid down (just folded back for the music desk), or at full-stick if I'm feeling bold, but as you say, for chamber music, half-stick is often the better choice.

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My room is probably a similar size, although there is a pretty wide opening to the dining room so it's effectively a larger space. Maybe you could put stuff in the room to break up the sound reflections? Cushy furniture or maybe fabric hangings on the walls, especially in the corners? I see half-stick as having more "directed" sound, so you could target the angle where the sound is going.


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aidans-- is your bench the most comfortable one you've ever sat on? The longer I have mine the more I appreciate it! It's firm but with just enough softness that I can play for 6 hours in a day without discomfort (I have very inconsistent, probably terrible practice habits-- sometimes I go weeks without touching my piano but then I spend 4-6 hours at a time). I don't know how Jansen benches compare but I never want to let go of this one!

Also, my violinist friend and I recently noticed a really nice detail. I've never used the lock on the piano but instead of having a hole for the lock in the bottom part, there's a piece of metal flush with everything else that gets pushed down and recessed if you use the lock. So cool, it has a very clean look!


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Originally Posted by twocats
I don't know how Jansen benches compare but I never want to let go of this one!
I have a Jansen bench, but the one that came with my Cunningham is infinitely more comfortable! I wish they sold these on the side, I’d sell my Jansen and buy another one from Cunningham. It’s the most comfortable piano bench I’ve ever owned. 😍😍😍


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Originally Posted by ebonyk
Originally Posted by twocats
I don't know how Jansen benches compare but I never want to let go of this one!
I have a Jansen bench, but the one that came with my Cunningham is infinitely more comfortable! I wish they sold these on the side, I’d sell my Jansen and buy another one from Cunningham. It’s the most comfortable piano bench I’ve ever owned. 😍😍😍

Is your Jansen one of the high end Artist models? I bet Rich would hook you up with another bench smile

The one that came with my piano is made by Balz. They seem to be difficult to buy on their own!


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Bo is back!! (Part 1)

I wanted to reserve judgement until this morning when I went to play with fresh ears, but I broke in the hammers yesterday and Bo is sounding and feeling great! The bass is mostly back and I got rid of the muffled notes in the treble, though I had to manually pound in the top and bottom 5-6 notes to get some clarity. After the whole voicing fiasco from when I first got the piano, I have faith that pounding aggressively helps for muffled voicing as long as it didn't go too deep (first tech voiced it too much and everything was muffled; people here advised me to pound the heck out of it to get the tone back, and it mostly worked except my current tech had to add "hot sauce" on the bass to get the growl back).

There's still a faint clicking on a bunch of notes, and my tech said that the repetition is really bad right now and he's surprised that I can do the things that I am doing, but overall I would say the touch has improved from before! I think it's more even with the new action. It was getting sluggish and slightly mushy feeling, so the slow repetition doesn't bother me as it's not worse than before.

I had given up on learning Chopin Ballade No 1 about five years ago, after working on it for a year and a half. It was actually because I was learning this piece that I started looking for a grand piano! So it's come full circle, I'm now relearning it and it's definitely easier the second time around wink Also, for the past year I've been working on Brahms Piano Quartet in g minor, which has similar octave jumps in the first movement as the Presto in the Ballade, so working on those has helped too. Anyway, it is a VERY good piece for breaking in hammers-- in fact, it's probably a piece that ruins voicing (trying to go easy on the loud standalone octaves). Hopefully I'll make a lot of progress in this "breaking in the hammers" period!

My tech said to keep playing until the hammers sound so horrible that I can't stand it anymore, and then he'll come back for a few days for the final regulation and voicing. He also sent me the balance so far... omg the total amount I've spent on Bo is now getting very close to what the new one (the one that got away, that was offered to me for a very good price) would have cost shocked


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Originally Posted by twocats
Is your Jansen one of the high end Artist models? I bet Rich would hook you up with another bench smile

The one that came with my piano is made by Balz. They seem to be difficult to buy on their own!
Yes, it’s the Jansen Artist Bench that usually costs about $800. Granted, it’s the best bench I’ve had before getting the Cunningham, LOL, so I certainly don’t fault it. But the grand’s bench is amazing, it’s more cushiony and soft, but still very sturdy. I could sit on it all day. 😍


Lisa
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Twocats, thanks for the wonderful update!! Your technician sounds like an amazing guy, and I have every belief that this piano is going to be spectacular! You’re really almost there, it’s not very far away now! It’s so exciting to see this transformation, I know it’s been a very long road for you. All my very best wishes go with you! ❤️❤️❤️

I think we’ve probably all spent so much money on pianos over time, that your situation is more the norm, LOL. 😂😂😂


Lisa
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Cunningham Studio Grand & Yamaha CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
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