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#3113778 05/05/21 01:43 AM
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I am trying to figure out what is causing some annoying clicks on a Steinway grand. I know there can be a million reasons but I have uploaded a sample here which I hope might give a clue. The clicks only occur on certain notes and - in this sample on the G just below middle C. The clicks usually occur just before the note strikes although on the first note the click is almost coincident. The occurrence of these clicks are somewhat dependent on how hard you hit the key. The G is not the only note affected but it's the only one you can hear that has this problem in this sample. The clicks are very hard to hear while listening to the piano acoustically but the microphone picks them up quite easily. Any thought or suggestions? I did ask a piano tech to investigate and he reduced the problem somewhat but it's not eliminated. One difficulty is because it's very hard to hear these clicks while playing it's difficult to know whether you have solved the problem.

Last edited by julianz; 05/05/21 01:48 AM.
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julianz #3113794 05/05/21 02:28 AM
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Teflon bushings, loose hammers, loose screws, parts coming unglued...


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julianz #3113798 05/05/21 02:52 AM
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Clicks just before the note sounds; all of the things BDB mentions, and I’d add the possibility of glue on the setoff buttons (jack taps when it makes contact), glue on the key tail (tail taps as it contacts the damper lifter. You can test this by pressing the damper pedal which would take the damper lifter out of the equation), and loose leads in the keys or damper lifter.

Let us know how you get on!


Started work at the Blüthner piano re-building workshop in Perivale, UK, in 1989. Self employed since 2000. Learning something new about pianos every day... smile

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julianz #3113801 05/05/21 03:11 AM
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Great thank you for the suggestions! I am pretty sure the hammers are not loose and the screws are all tight. The tech checked over these things. I think he may have lubricated the teflon bushings too. But will look at the other points you mentioned.

julianz #3113842 05/05/21 07:02 AM
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Julian,

So, for a fact this piano has teflon bushings? What year is this instrument? 60's and early 70's teflon is generally more problematic than later years. Also, it may be in the damper action (the clicks).

There is a little secret to dealing with teflon. But you have to isolate the problem first of course.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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julianz #3113933 05/05/21 10:59 AM
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Lubrication is not the issue with Teflon.


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julianz #3113934 05/05/21 11:12 AM
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Probably not relevant, but I hear a very faint click when the note is played and then the key released slowly on my Yamaha C7. I do not hear it at all when playing normally; but when a note is played very slowly, or the key depressed, held, and then released very slowly, I can hear the faint click.

I don't worry about it because it is not a problem while playing normally. And, for what it's worth, I've heard the same/similar click on many other grand pianos when releasing the key slowly. I'm not sure if they all do it, or some do it more than others, or if it shouldn't be making that noise at any level.

Just looking to learn something.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
julianz #3114004 05/05/21 02:40 PM
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Rick,

That sounds like a strongly sprung rep lever hitting the knuckle or drop screw. It can also be hard whippen cloth hitting the capstan (or a combination). Or something else...😁!

And as BDB says, these bushings do not get "lubricated".

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 05/05/21 02:41 PM.

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Rickster #3114012 05/05/21 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Probably not relevant, but I hear a very faint click when the note is played and then the key released slowly on my Yamaha C7. I do not hear it at all when playing normally; but when a note is played very slowly, or the key depressed, held, and then released very slowly, I can hear the faint click.

I don't worry about it because it is not a problem while playing normally. And, for what it's worth, I've heard the same/similar click on many other grand pianos when releasing the key slowly. I'm not sure if they all do it, or some do it more than others, or if it shouldn't be making that noise at any level.

Just looking to learn something.

Rick

That sound is the jack regulating button felt hitting the wippen spoon. You can needle them from the side to mitigate.


Jean Poulin

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accordeur #3114017 05/05/21 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by accordeur
Originally Posted by Rickster
Probably not relevant, but I hear a very faint click when the note is played and then the key released slowly on my Yamaha C7. I do not hear it at all when playing normally; but when a note is played very slowly, or the key depressed, held, and then released very slowly, I can hear the faint click.

I don't worry about it because it is not a problem while playing normally. And, for what it's worth, I've heard the same/similar click on many other grand pianos when releasing the key slowly. I'm not sure if they all do it, or some do it more than others, or if it shouldn't be making that noise at any level.

Just looking to learn something.

Rick

That sound is the jack regulating button felt hitting the wippen spoon. You can needle them from the side to mitigate.

Thanks, Jean, and Peter.

I will keep that in mind. The action on the C7 does have some wear, no doubt, but it sure does play well, despite the wear, to me at least. At some point, I hope to give the action a thorough and complete regulation, or have a highly skilled tech do it for me; it is not way off now, but I play it a good bit. I replaced the key bushings a couple of years ago, and that project turned out really well, thanks to some advice from Peter. And, I could tell it made a difference when playing.

As for the Op's issue with clicks pre-battery note repetition, I hope they can figure it out and solve the problem, or at least make an improvement. Wish I could be of more help.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
julianz #3114144 05/05/21 09:14 PM
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I think the Steinway is about 1988. I thought teflon powder was used to lubricate the knuckles? I may be wrong about this having been done though.

julianz #3114151 05/05/21 09:52 PM
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What is the serial number?


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julianz #3114155 05/05/21 10:23 PM
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By 1988 the only teflon left in the action would be at the loop of the repetition spring. But the serial number will tell.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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julianz #3114165 05/05/21 10:44 PM
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Well, not exactly. Steinway used teflon powder on center pin felt, and probably still does. That would be the Permafree 2 bushings.


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julianz #3114264 05/06/21 07:29 AM
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Well technically yes. I was of course referring to the hard teflon.

And just as a historical note, SS did ultimately "perfect" the hard Teflon bushing by encasing it in metal. Only a few instruments were made with it (I have a hammershank/flange from one D). But the decision to abandon it had been made and that was that. I think that was around 1982-3 or so.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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julianz #3114316 05/06/21 10:05 AM
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The other place Steinway uses Teflon is for pedal bushings. They are superior to the felt cloth bushings.


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julianz #3114372 05/06/21 01:53 PM
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Which part of the serial number do you need? I see a six digit number after B - is that what you need? Is this like publishing a driver's license number if I give the full number? It's not my piano so need to respect confidentiality.

julianz #3114373 05/06/21 02:03 PM
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First three numbers


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
julianz #3114382 05/06/21 02:32 PM
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515 ...

julianz #3114384 05/06/21 02:38 PM
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Just checked on the Steinway website using the serial #, the year is 1990 +/- 1 year.

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