New member, first post. It was recommended I cross-post this to the technicians forum.
This is a hopefully helpful posting to all those that have a early 2000's Samick piano with the same issues. Maybe this will save you some time and effort researching a fix. I am not a piano technician, just a guy who owns a Samick Stencil.
Mine in particular is an Otto Altenburg OAIG-52 / Samick Stencil of a SG-155 grand piano that had chronic issues with freezing up action. Overall, it is a nice budget friendly piano though, which I do enjoy playing.
If anyone can look up the S/N IJHG00077 for exact information, I would appreciate it out of curiosity.
For a number of years now I utilized Protek CLP as a temporary fix, and re-pinning, over and over again with good quality pins (Not from China but reputable piano parts suppliers). But, for whatever reason the factory Whippens chronically kept getting frozen up again eventually with time. Other center pins throughout the piano suffer the same issues, but not quite as bad as the whippens though. A few knowledgeable experienced piano technicians also worked on it doing the same fixes for years. I have read that the center pins on some Samicks can be problematic due to the felt material to to behaving well with the pin martial, which that explanation would make sense. But that is just conjecture on my part. Hopefully they have changed things since then.
Finally I had enough of the frustration and sought a proper permanent remedy. Doing the same thing over and over again with the same result wasn't going to get things fixed.
I evaluated a number of different Whippen samples from different piano suppliers (generic, Samick Direct replacement, etc). I installed a sample of each one in the piano to evaluate the differences.
Luckily, I found a good deal on a set of New old stock Renner USA Baldwin Artist Grand Piano Whippens. Although, certainly not made for this action originally, they do work just fine. You will need to raise the capstan and make some fine adjustments. The foot height is a bit different and very slight geometry difference, but function better than the originals.
What a difference in quality between the Samick and Renner! Wow!
So if anyone is having the same frustrations with their Samick Baby Grand, these particular Renner Whippens work great.
I still have the original Samick Hammers on there. They are just fine and in good shape still. After swapping out to Renner parts, the quality difference is vast. It leaves me wondering if anyone has ever swapped hammers out on these to a higher quality Renner/ other, and what difference, if any, did it have.
After regulating this action, which took me days to get each note correct with blow distance, drop, letoff, back check, spring tensions, jack alignments, etc). I have an all new appreciation for piano technicians and their craft.
Here are some top picks of helpful videos that mostly guided me through the process:https://www.howardpianoindustries.com/informational-video-pages/
It leaves me curious though, what have others done to these Samick pianos to have them reach their potential?
The piano has its limitations though and fully understood (its not full duplex, soundboard likely laminated, not a high end rim, etc). Compromises have to be made to obtain a lower market price point and shall never be a Steinway.
I hope this thread is useful to another Samick or Samick stencil owner out there.