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I had my tech out today. He said he's had a few go out of tune the past few weeks, especially the European ones. Makes sense on yours too, IIRC you had those new hammers put in right after that super dry steak, then it got humid but still cool for a while, then hot and dry, etc.

I'm pulling the nuclear button and having him put a dampp chaser on mine.

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Originally Posted by BlakeOR
I had my tech out today. He said he's had a few go out of tune the past few weeks, especially the European ones. Makes sense on yours too, IIRC you had those new hammers put in right after that super dry steak, then it got humid but still cool for a while, then hot and dry, etc.

I'm pulling the nuclear button and having him put a dampp chaser on mine.

Yeah, it's been rough! I have a bunch of stuff on the way: dehumidifier, MERV 13 filters, another HEPA filter, industrial strength window fan... stuff to make us and and piano more comfortable for the next heat wave and to prep for wildfires which are sure to come. A bunch of our plants got roasted at the top, even with deep watering.


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My Petrof also seems to like the heat. Action felt even smoother during the Portland heatwave, albeit we have AC. Still, temperature in the house was around 80 and can get up to 85 when we're not home. In the winter, house can get down to the low 60s at night. No dampp chaser, but so far so good. Keeping fingers crossed.

Sorry to hear about your ongoing piano troubles twocats. I hope it will make it that much sweeter once everything is worked out. To celebrate, might I suggest a Portland PWers piano party at your place? wink

Once I'm done with the work I want to do on the Petrof, I hope to have one at my house.

Cheers!


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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
To celebrate, might I suggest a Portland PWers piano party at your place? wink

Once I'm done with the work I want to do on the Petrof, I hope to have one at my house.

I'm not into hosting parties but you're welcome to come visit at some point if you'd like smile It would be fun to come to your place though!

I think the dehumidifier will help. I had no idea that the humidity got so much higher every night, and we have the windows open!


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I’m sort of stunned this thread is still going onwards. To say nothing of how much money has been spent on Bo not even counting purchase which I can only imagine was out of my league! I was off PW for nearly two years due to health problems. And yet the Bo saga continues. I just honestly hope at some point Bo will be stable and you can just play and enjoy him. Surely that’s coming eventually. I sure hope so!

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Originally Posted by dynamobt
I’m sort of stunned this thread is still going onwards. To say nothing of how much money has been spent on Bo not even counting purchase which I can only imagine was out of my league! I was off PW for nearly two years due to health problems. And yet the Bo saga continues. I just honestly hope at some point Bo will be stable and you can just play and enjoy him. Surely that’s coming eventually. I sure hope so!

I did a bunch of work five years ago when I purchased Bo, but then revived the thread when I got a new action and hammers recently, since the old parts had been showing wear. The final regulation and voicing on the new parts has been taking longer than expected but once all these crazy heat waves are over, hopefully my tech can come over and finish the work!


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Today is the 6th anniversary of Bo's arrival!

I got the dehumidifier set up a few days ago and it's already pulled a bucket of water out of the air. I'm going to ask my tech to come back the last week of July since my mom will be here and sleeping in the living room, and I don't want the noisy dehumidifier running all night next to her head.

I've come to terms with the fact that the new hammers just aren't going to sound like the old ones did until they're broken in. It's been very consistent that if there are two identical model pianos at a dealer and one has been on the floor for a year or two, I always like that piano a lot more, so I'm going to have to put in a year of playing on the new hammers to get them to open up. The regulation is still only half done and the touch is obviously not quite right, so I'm reserving judgement until the final work is done. At least I can get the humidity more consistent until then, since the weather in Portland has been all over the place!

Last edited by twocats; 07/09/21 11:22 AM.

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I’ve been working on playing my hammers in, as well, and I’m really pleased with the sound. My tech did a little bit of voicing when he was here, but said to wait at least a year before we did any serious voicing. The way it’s sounding now, I really don’t think it’s going to need any. I’m about six months in since it got here. I didn’t realize what a difference it would be!

I’m sure you’ll be much happier with the sound as well! We pianists certainly need a lot of patience, don’t we? Not always easy, lol, but hopefully it pays off in spades! 😊👍


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Originally Posted by ebonyk
We pianists certainly need a lot of patience, don’t we? Not always easy, lol, but hopefully it pays off in spades! 😊👍

Pianos and home renovations, both of which are happening for us right now. It never ends! I keep thinking that it's finally getting wrapped up and then everything just gets extended again 😂


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Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by ebonyk
We pianists certainly need a lot of patience, don’t we? Not always easy, lol, but hopefully it pays off in spades! 😊👍

Pianos and home renovations, both of which are happening for us right now. It never ends! I keep thinking that it's finally getting wrapped up and then everything just gets extended again 😂
That seems to be the way it always goes!!


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I finally have an update, over a year after we started the process to get a new action and hammers!

Here's what happened:
Nov 2020 - tech took sample hammers and shipped them to Bösendorfer
Early April - parts came back from Bösendorfer
Mid-April - tech did prep on the action and hammers
End of April - tech came and took my action, installed the new parts, and returned it the following week
June - 6 days of voicing/regulation
July - I acquired a dehumifier for the living room!
Early August - 2 days of voicing/regulation
- was supposed to have more time in August, but it was the weekend of a heat wave and we cancelled because it's not good to work on the piano in extreme weather conditions
September - 2 more days of voicing/regulation
- supposed to have him back in October, but floor guy was doing the poly finish and the house was filled with fumes, so we rescheduled
- finally my tech is back since yesterday and said he'll finish the regulation tomorrow, and come back at the end of Nov for a day of voicing

It's been a very long journey. After the new action was installed (and after my tech's apprentice had used solvent to clean the keyholes of all the Protek grease smeared everywhere by Bo's original tech), the middle section of the keyboard didn't have a thunk with the key return anymore. After initial regulation things seemed smoother but the action felt extremely heavy. Even after more regulation, the inertia seemed extreme. I couldn't control my pianissimos and kept playing ghost notes, and felt that I was playing a mushy keyboard. Ever since the new action has been installed, I feel like I've been fighting the piano. My tech said he wasn't fully done with regulation and I shouldn't judge until it's all done, but it was hard not to. He said the new hammers are heavier than the old ones (which had felt removed over time). I spent the last 6 months with sticky notes all over the piano to indicate places to voice during every visit. Bo has not been enjoyable to play and I kept wondering whether I made a mistake in having this expensive work done.

Yesterday when he came back (the seasons have changed, the heat is on and the room is dry) he said the piano was way out of regulation and out of tune. After he tuned and did some regulation, things were feeling more even but still very heavy. I was filled with regret and thought that I can't deal with fighting the piano over the long term! I talked to him today about lightening the hammers and he said if I can't live with the touch, that's an option, but effectively I have a new piano and it takes time to break in the action and for the parts to settle, and we don't want to do anything now that would compromise the performance later. He said the touchweight of my piano is actually very light.

He did more regulation today, including applying Protek (the Teflon liquid, not the grease!) to the action, and when I sat down afterward it actually felt good, like what you'd expect from a new Bösendorfer!

Tomorrow he'll finish off the regulation and he had said before that the final step with doing something to the knuckles makes a huge difference in the feel of the piano. I've been waiting for many months for him to do this since he first mentioned it to me! There are still some harsh notes in the treble and places here and there that have to be voiced, but every time he works on the voicing it iteratively gets a little better. I had him juice up the bass pretty early on and then had to get him to mellow it a bit because it was too much of a contrast from the rest of the piano, but the bass is thunderous and so utterly satisfying. Before today it was difficult to do a pianissimo in the bass, though, and I wondered if we shouldn't have juiced it. Turns out it just needed more regulation-- the heaviness was making it difficult to play quickly and softly down there.

I'm very excited to see the results of tomorrow's regulation. It's been such a long process and finally, finally we're getting to the end of it! (Well, not really the end as he'll have to regulate again after the piano has settled more, and the voicing is ongoing... but finally Bo will be in a good state to play for the next while!)


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Thanks for the update. I’m glad things are improving.


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Fascinating journey! Hope it all winds up fantastic.

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Retsacnal and An Old Square, thank you!

The regulation was greatly improved today. My tech told me that because the lost motion is reduced, it increased the volume. He said my piano would be at home in a concert hall in its current state!! I thought he was exaggerating, but no, it blew me away, even at half and quarter stick! I had to close the lid. The keys currently have what I term a "loose" feel that is similar to what I've experienced in premium pianos at a local dealer that has a cement floor in that room. I think the loud reflections don't allow you to properly experience the piano. So I'm going to wait until he comes in about a week to "reduce the envelope" and take away some of the power; he promised he wouldn't take away too much though. I want that glorious response when I'm playing fortissimo! With the regulation I think the overall tone improved, but I miss the sweetness of the old hammers (except for the harsh couple of octaves in the treble). He'll work on the voicing over the next while.

There's still some inertia and he said that my piano has really heavy hammers, heavier than the set he put on another client's 225 a few years back. He said could be that the wood is denser, or that even the hairs on different sheep can vary. In any case, it is what it is. I don't like the inertia but I can definitely live with it right now and give the action a year or two to break in. If it's still an issue (my tech also said I may just need to get used to the changed touch), then I can have him take some weight off the hammers before the next big regulation. Overall the touch has definitely improved compared to the old action and there's no extraneous thunking key return sounds, so I'm very relieved.

He said he expects that everything will change over the next while as things settle and I play more, and I'll want him back regularly to touch things up. I think the piano will feel very different once he can reduce the power a little!


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My tech is back today. I still feel like I'm fighting the piano when playing p/pp due to the inertia and he said he could definitely feel it too. He was going to work on repinning the flanges (?) but then decided to check the touch weight (he said the whole point of getting parts from Bösendorfer was so that they would be consistent and the right fit for my piano; the parts he got for another client who had a similar age 225 had no issues, and he said he hasn't had to do a touch weight analysis for a decade). He had previously checked sample keys on my piano for downweight and they were right on spec. But today he also checked the upweight and said there was up to 10g of variation between adjacent notes!! shocked

The good news is that a touch weight analysis and rebalance should fix the inertia, so I'm so relieved that he identified the issue. The bad news is that it's more time and money and additional wait. But one of his clients decided not to replace the hammers on her piano and I can take the time that he had reserved for her in February. Just a few more months!

Last edited by twocats; Yesterday at 04:44 PM.

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