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#3142200 07/31/21 06:57 PM
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Hi Everyone,

Let me start off by saying that I'm relatively new to the whole tuner/tech thing. I've been tuning for awhile (learning by ear) and have gotten somewhat confident in it, but have recently started getting more into regulation.

A neighbor of mine gave me their Everett studio upright, 43", which I believe is from the late 70s judging by the serial number. Since I teach piano, too, I had the idea of fixing it up and having two pianos side by side - one for demonstration, one for the student to play. It feels (and sounds) rather unsatisfying to play. Even my young students notice that the dynamic range is terrible, it feels both loose and stiff at the same time, and is generally unresponsive.

I am equipped with The Piano Action Handbook and a Boston upright in very good playing condition of similar size for comparison.

I started going through the motions by measuring hammer blow distance: 2" on the dot. (Handbook recommends 1 3/4"). I shoved some business cards between the action brackets and hammer rail as a temporary fix before gluing anything in place.

Next, I regulated the capstans so that there is just the tiniest bit of lost motion. It feels a little better.

I measured the white key height: 1 5/8". (Handbook recommends 2 3/8" . . . . I'm assuming this is the total, from the key bed to the top of the sharps?) Sharp height measured from the bottom of the key bed is 2 1/8". The sharps are supposed to be 1/2" higher than the white keys, so they are proportional to each other, but 1/4" too low overall. I raised the keys by placing punchings underneath them at the balance rail.

The next step was to set the key dip. Currently, the key dip is 8mm (it was about 9mm before). The handbook says 10mm. I will have to add front rail punchings, because right now the keys are nowhere near touching them when I press them down. So how can I adjust the key dip?

Is this a normal amount to have to raise keys? Are these keys just meant to be abnormally low? I should mention that the original punchings don't look like they are in bad shape. Have I overlooked something, or done something incorrectly? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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Your measurement of the key height is so far off that you must be measuring it incorrectly. It is measured from the bottom of the key frame or top of the key bed to the top of the white keys. This is illustrated on page 10 of the Piano Action Handbook (1971). However, the important thing is that there is only a small gap under the nameboard. Sharps are generally 1/2" above the white keys.


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Wenhen90,

You will soon learn (hopefully) that regulating specs are simply a starting point AND assume new condition. But furthermore they are really only a relative starting point, in that one must take into consideration the specifics of any one instrument and adjust according to these.

"Correct" key height must:

1) Not interfere (leave a small gap) with the key stop rail or fallboard at any time

2) Be such that about 1/8" +- of the front rail pins are still up inside the keys at rest

3) Must not be able to see any front rail pins between the key slip and bottoms of keys

If you have all of the above you can say that your key height is good regardless of what the spec book says. Let-off is pretty consistent at 1/8", hammer blow starting point is 1 3/4" but may need adjustment relative to dip and aftertouch requirements (same basic thing with dip). Itvallvdepends on how much wear exists in the action, etc.

HTH a little,

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
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Originally Posted by wenhen90
===SNIP===
A neighbor of mine gave me their Everett studio upright, 43", which I believe is from the late 70s judging by the serial number. Since I teach piano, too, I had the idea of fixing it up and having two pianos side by side - one for demonstration, one for the student to play. It feels (and sounds) rather unsatisfying to play. Even my young students notice that the dynamic range is terrible, it feels both loose and stiff at the same time, and is generally unresponsive.===SNIP===
FWIW - your 43" Everett studio upright probably ALWAYS felt and sounded unsatisfactory to play. Even "brand new", they underwhelmed me. One of the first things I did after being hired at a university in Virginia in 1977 was to help put together a bid to replace our Everett uprights with 48" Kawai uprights. It took some doing to write a request for proposals that would get us better pianos, since we were a state school, had to take the lowest cost option... Bottom line: IMO you can regulate, voice and tune that Everett to perfection, and it will still disappoint.


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Probably true ☺

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I have thought that Everetts were better than average.


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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Wenhen90,

You will soon learn (hopefully) that regulating specs are simply a starting point AND assume new condition. But furthermore they are really only a relative starting point, in that one must take into consideration the specifics of any one instrument and adjust according to these.

"Correct" key height must:

1) Not interfere (leave a small gap) with the key stop rail or fallboard at any time

2) Be such that about 1/8" +- of the front rail pins are still up inside the keys at rest

3) Must not be able to see any front rail pins between the key slip and bottoms of keys

If you have all of the above you can say that your key height is good regardless of what the spec book says. Let-off is pretty consistent at 1/8", hammer blow starting point is 1 3/4" but may need adjustment relative to dip and aftertouch requirements (same basic thing with dip). Itvallvdepends on how much wear exists in the action, etc.

HTH a little,

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

This was IMMENSELY helpful. Thank you!! I don't have an exact measurement, but it looks like the rail pins are really far inside the keys with the current low key height. With the keys at the height that the handbook mentions, only about 1/8" of the rail pin goes into the key.

The key stop rail can be adjusted - it has a curious little donut screw thing that I have noticed blocks keys when it's screwed too tightly. But, I haven't yet checked if the higher keys will interfere with the fallboard. This project came to a grinding halt when my measurements didn't line up!

I guess the thing that is perplexing me the most is: is it normal to need to adjust the hammer blow distance by nearly 1/4" ? It messes everything else up - the soft pedal rod very nearly falls out when it isn't in use, for example. From a playing perspective, how does it feel if the hammer blow distance is too far/close?

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Originally Posted by BDB
Your measurement of the key height is so far off that you must be measuring it incorrectly. It is measured from the bottom of the key frame or top of the key bed to the top of the white keys. This is illustrated on page 10 of the Piano Action Handbook (1971). However, the important thing is that there is only a small gap under the nameboard. Sharps are generally 1/2" above the white keys.

I've taken two pictures which I hope will display properly:

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/SW7UnVZcf6cY3tPg8[/img]
[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/ziPPtNa2RDiPDadAA[/img]

The first one is measuring from the top of the key bed (like the handbook says, section 2.3 under regulating explanations?) You can see how low they are on the front rail pins.

The second picture is measuring from the bottom of the key bed, which seems to be much closer to the specifications. You can see the keys I tried to raise on the right, measuring from the top of the key bed.

Hammer blow is still extremely off, though.

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Originally Posted by Seeker
Originally Posted by wenhen90
===SNIP===
A neighbor of mine gave me their Everett studio upright, 43", which I believe is from the late 70s judging by the serial number. Since I teach piano, too, I had the idea of fixing it up and having two pianos side by side - one for demonstration, one for the student to play. It feels (and sounds) rather unsatisfying to play. Even my young students notice that the dynamic range is terrible, it feels both loose and stiff at the same time, and is generally unresponsive.===SNIP===
FWIW - your 43" Everett studio upright probably ALWAYS felt and sounded unsatisfactory to play. Even "brand new", they underwhelmed me. One of the first things I did after being hired at a university in Virginia in 1977 was to help put together a bid to replace our Everett uprights with 48" Kawai uprights. It took some doing to write a request for proposals that would get us better pianos, since we were a state school, had to take the lowest cost option... Bottom line: IMO you can regulate, voice and tune that Everett to perfection, and it will still disappoint.

grin

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Originally Posted by wenhen90
Originally Posted by BDB
Your measurement of the key height is so far off that you must be measuring it incorrectly. It is measured from the bottom of the key frame or top of the key bed to the top of the white keys. This is illustrated on page 10 of the Piano Action Handbook (1971). However, the important thing is that there is only a small gap under the nameboard. Sharps are generally 1/2" above the white keys.

I've taken two pictures which I hope will display properly:

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/SW7UnVZcf6cY3tPg8[/img]
[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/ziPPtNa2RDiPDadAA[/img]

The first one is measuring from the top of the key bed (like the handbook says, section 2.3 under regulating explanations?) You can see how low they are on the front rail pins.

No, that is to the top of the keyframe. The top of key bed is the bottom of the wood you are measuring from.

Quote
The second picture is measuring from the bottom of the key bed, which seems to be much closer to the specifications. You can see the keys I tried to raise on the right, measuring from the top of the key bed.

Hammer blow is still extremely off, though.

You should try one or two notes before making wholesale changes to your piano. Make sure that the case will go back together, and make sure those notes play properly.


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Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by wenhen90
Originally Posted by BDB
Your measurement of the key height is so far off that you must be measuring it incorrectly. It is measured from the bottom of the key frame or top of the key bed to the top of the white keys. This is illustrated on page 10 of the Piano Action Handbook (1971). However, the important thing is that there is only a small gap under the nameboard. Sharps are generally 1/2" above the white keys.

I've taken two pictures which I hope will display properly:

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/SW7UnVZcf6cY3tPg8[/img]
[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/ziPPtNa2RDiPDadAA[/img]

The first one is measuring from the top of the key bed (like the handbook says, section 2.3 under regulating explanations?) You can see how low they are on the front rail pins.

No, that is to the top of the keyframe. The top of key bed is the bottom of the wood you are measuring from.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Quote
The second picture is measuring from the bottom of the key bed, which seems to be much closer to the specifications. You can see the keys I tried to raise on the right, measuring from the top of the key bed.

Hammer blow is still extremely off, though.

You should try one or two notes before making wholesale changes to your piano. Make sure that the case will go back together, and make sure those notes play properly.

Yes, I made adjustments to just 3 keys and thought I must be doing something wrong confused

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1/4" is quite a bit. This could also seriously alter damper lever pickup. If I had the piano I'd be looking around for signs of something else going on. Exactly what, I don't know, but something is very odd.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8

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