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The first thing to answer is what problem do you expect the new hammers to solve?


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Who is to say that the original configuration was the best? Because it came from a factory?

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The main problems that I expect new hammers to solve is that the topmost hammers have worn down to the wood or glue, or that some of them have broken, come unglued, or gotten lost. Most pianos are never going to get new hammers, so I have to deal with them as I come across them.

As for deciding what is best, we do not really have good definitions of what is better or worse. But for the customer, it is often better economically to replace the piano, rather than the hammers. Economics is a thing!


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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
The first thing to answer is what problem do you expect the new hammers to solve?

In my case, my Yamaha G7 had hammers which had been reshaped to death and I felt that new hammers were in order. But having read on here that replacement hammers must match the belly for good results (good sustain, non distorted tone, etc), I decided to solicit ideas from you.

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Current Yamaha hammers would probably be a significant upgrade. Why not go with them?

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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Current Yamaha hammers would probably be a significant upgrade. Why not go with them?

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

I am leaning towards getting WNG shanks and flanges and it would be convenient to order WNG hammers along with them and have the hammers hung by them

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Originally Posted by electone2007
I am leaning towards getting WNG shanks and flanges and it would be convenient to order WNG hammers along with them and have the hammers hung by them

Their hammers (Abel) are excellent and their hammer hanging is very good (the times I’ve used them at least). The only reason I considered them though is that I have an older M&H and wanted to use what came on newer M&H’s. They turned out better than I expected so I used them for some Steinway’s too. Otherwise I probably would have used Ronsen Wurzen or Weickert hammers.

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My experience, replacing only a dozen or so sets, was as described above. The original hammers were flat topped or reshaped to death. Mostly down to wood on the top octaves.

So using the originals for anything more that bore angles was futile. I learned that the Yamahas were extremely sensitive to strike point. I would only trust pre hung sets from Yamaha in those cases and personally hung otherwise. Position and angle to the strings, along with regulation and tail shape/back checking had more importance than any other factor.

Voicing could usually take care of tonality. In each case my customers were happy and their pianos were vastly improved over prior condition.

None of these were concert pianos or belonged to master performers. So my experience was limited to advanced home players.


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How does one order hammers from Yamaha? Is there a website?

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You can call them on the phone. 800-854-1569 in California, USA

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So what problems with how the piano plays and sounds do you want to solve?


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Originally Posted by P W Grey
You can call them on the phone. 800-854-1569 in California, USA

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Thank you!

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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
So what problems with how the piano plays and sounds do you want to solve?

Honestly, I wouldn't know. So, what problems should one anticipate?

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Then why are you considering working on the piano? If there are no problems there should be no work done.


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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Then why are you considering working on the piano? If there are no problems there should be no work done.

As I said earlier, the hammers have been sanded to death. So the touch is very light and there's no felt to work with to voice it.

When I said I didn't know what problems to anticipate, it's in, er, anticipation. Problems that would arise if I chose the wrong kind or weight of hammers 'in relation' to the piano belly. How would I know which weight hammers to chose so that the sound would have nice sustain and not be distorted etc etc.

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It is what is done to the hammers after they are installed that makes the most difference.


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Therefore it is safer to err on the side of heavier hammers and lighten them rather then getting too light hammers to begin with?

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Originally Posted by electone2007
Therefore it is safer to err on the side of heavier hammers and lighten them rather then getting too light hammers to begin with?

It is relatively easy to add weight to the existing set-up in order to know what your final balance weight, or down weight will be. Solder wrapped around a hammer shank and a digital scale will tell you what SW yields given DWwith the existing ratio. Then, a reputable hammer maker like Ronsen can send you a set of hammers that will match your findings. If you want to order a hammer that is 10% heavier to compensate for some filing, you can do that. Stanwood's SW tables are a fairly reliable guide to tell me what SW I am going to accept for a given size piano.

I will take 88 FW readings on an action before I start any of this, so that I will not be using a mock-up on an outlier FW when I begin making decisions on SW and/or ratio. There are also some FW limits I have come to trust, ie anytime A0 FW is over 40 grams, I know there are places to improve. I don't like to see a FW over 25 grams at C40, either.
Regards

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Thank you so much for this! I will try with mini binder clips.

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One memorable experience I had was trying to un-modify a concert grand that had been modified with paper clips for one of the greatest pianists in the world who correctly felt it was not feeling right to him. I was afraid to remove the clips, because that might adversely affect the spring tension, so I just moved the clips closer to the knuckles. It took quite a while, but the artist was pleased. It stayed like that for some time before the clips got moved back, so for most pianists, it must have been unnoticeable.

Somewhere around here, I think I have a box of Jiffy Weights that I took off a piano. Going back to the original weighting improved that piano a lot.

Reweighing keys is not something I would do lightly. Given your lack of experience and knowledge, I would recommend that you just see if you can get new hammers and shanks from Yamaha. Believe it or not, their engineers actually know what they are doing when they designed the piano and action. There should not be that much difference between C3 and C3X hammers.

I have had good luck with reshaping, regulating, and aggressively voicing C3 hammers in recent years. The owners have been happy with them, for a lot less money that replacing the hammers, or the piano, as some of them were thinking of doing. One had the hammers replaced before, not very well, but it was sufficient to correct even those.


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