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#3200419 03/11/22 12:46 PM
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Hello all. I have C Bechstein upright with a G1 string that sounds like it went bad. Just a dead thud when played. I have a technician coming out to take a look at it. If the string needs to be replaced does it have to be a Bechstein string? Do I need to request it? Will any descent replacement string do? Thanks for your advice.

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It does not have to be a Bechstein-made string. But see what the technician says - there may be some other odd reason why this one string sounds bad.

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Originally Posted by David Boyce
It does not have to be a Bechstein-made string. But see what the technician says - there may be some other odd reason why this one string sounds bad.
Thank you David. I'll see what he says.

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If it is in fact bad (i.e. unrepairable), even a replacement string straight from Bechstein will sound "different", as will a string from a different maker. Minor differences in winding length/diameter, etc will cause this. In time though it should blend in reasonably well.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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Originally Posted by P W Grey
If it is in fact bad (i.e. unrepairable), even a replacement string straight from Bechstein will sound "different", as will a string from a different maker. Minor differences in winding length/diameter, etc will cause this. In time though it should blend in reasonably well.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor
Thanks Peter. The piano is new. I don't have it a year yet. So hopefully I won't be able to tell. Thanks again for the advice.

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Is the damper lifting? A dead string on a piano of that quality is unusual.


Jean Poulin

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Originally Posted by accordeur
Is the damper lifting? A dead string on a piano of that quality is unusual.
Yes. The damper is lifting. I was surprised too. I heard about the quality of the strings that they use. I have a technician coming over the end of the month. I'm curious what he says.

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Do please let us know the outcome!

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Yes I would like to know as well!

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If it turns out to be the string, I would have Bechstein send a new string since it's less than a year old.


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This should be under warranty.
Don't let the technician install a "universal" string.


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An idle question while waiting for the technician. What are the common causes of death in year old bass strings? Does rigor mortis set in and stop them from vibrating? I can imagine the hammer might go on strike, or would it be "off strike". Also something at the hitch pin, but the string itself?


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Loose winding, I don't see any other possibility.

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Looking at the ends of the copper on the 40 odd strings in my upright, it's a wonder they've all survived for 95 years. If Bechstein make (say) a couple of thousand pianos or so a year they will wind about 100,000 strings. A failure rated 1 in 100,000 is not too bad, assuming Ray's G1 was the only one to fail in his piano's year.


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Is the hammer blocking against the string? Maybe letoff is too close.
Did some kind of chemical, like a cleaning agent or oil, get on the string?

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There is a possible explanation...

About a year ago I received two sets of bass strings from a highly reputable string maker. Soon I was notified that there had been a problem with a shipment of copper from Germany (where he gets his copper supplies). I don't know all the details but from what I gathered, a coating had been applied to the copper which was now for some reason causing bass strings to go bad. One of the symptoms was they go dead. This in fact happened to me.

This maker had to replace MANY bass string sets (once the issue was detected and corrected (entire batch sent back to Germany abd replaced with good stuff). Cost him a lot of money and aggravation, and of course I also had to replace two sets of strings.

So...if Bechstein happens to use the same supplier it is conceivable that they will have this same issue on some instruments (until they found out what was going on). If this is in fact the case, then you will need to have the entire set replaced under warranty. I will try to check to see if my maker knows whether this might be the case.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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Originally Posted by P W Grey
There is a possible explanation...

About a year ago I received two sets of bass strings from a highly reputable string maker. Soon I was notified that there had been a problem with a shipment of copper from Germany (where he gets his copper supplies). I don't know all the details but from what I gathered, a coating had been applied to the copper which was now for some reason causing bass strings to go bad. One of the symptoms was they go dead. This in fact happened to me.

This maker had to replace MANY bass string sets (once the issue was detected and corrected (entire batch sent back to Germany abd replaced with good stuff). Cost him a lot of money and aggravation, and of course I also had to replace two sets of strings.

So...if Bechstein happens to use the same supplier it is conceivable that they will have this same issue on some instruments (until they found out what was going on). If this is in fact the case, then you will need to have the entire set replaced under warranty. I will try to check to see if my maker knows whether this might be the case.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor
Thank you for the advice.

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Originally Posted by Scott Cole, RPT
Is the hammer blocking against the string? Maybe letoff is too close.
Did some kind of chemical, like a cleaning agent or oil, get on the string?
I don't think it's a cleaning agent. I have never done anything inside the piano. I have looked at how the hammer is hitting. I don't see anything different than the other hammer strikes.

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Originally Posted by Ed Sutton
This should be under warranty.
Don't let the technician install a "universal" string.
Ok Ed. If a new string is needed I'll have them get one from the manufacturer.

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I have a video of the string and sound. I don't know how to post it here.

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