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Joined: Nov 2002
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Del, Manitou,
For what it's worth I too have noticed this in several different manufacturer's actions. As Manitou described though, it's only at the extreme ppp levels.


BDB:
I was surprised to read your post about repetition springs effecting touch-weight. Of course as Del mentioned, the spring doesn't compress until let-off anyway, which is way too late to effect the touch. As for the discrepency you mentioned between let-off and drop... again as Del mentioned, the two should be happening simultaneously (This is double escapement). Meaning of course the repetition lever should be contacting the bottom of the drop screw precisely when the jack tender is contacting the let-off button.

To Del,
We are currently working on reconditioning an action in a Steinway A rebuild we're doing, and are becoming very interested in the finer points of action geometry and design.
We have figured out 3 different ways to measure overall action geometry, but are trying to find a quick and accurate way to do it. Do you have any suggestions?
Simply measuring key travel and hammer travel doesn't seem to be the most accurate way to do it, and measuring each lever from key to hammer seems too time consuming. Do you in your experience have a relatively quick and accurate way to measure the overall ratio of key travel to hammer travel?
Thanks in advance for any input. smile

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Originally posted by KlavierBauer:

To Del,
We have figured out 3 different ways to measure overall action geometry, but are trying to find a quick and accurate way to do it. Do you have any suggestions?
Simply measuring key travel and hammer travel doesn't seem to be the most accurate way to do it, and measuring each lever from key to hammer seems too time consuming. Do you in your experience have a relatively quick and accurate way to measure the overall ratio of key travel to hammer travel?
Well, for a quick and dirty -- but fairly accurate -- measure I have a block made up that lays across the two keys adjacent to the key I’m measuring. This block has a plastic machine screw with a rounded end going down the middle. It is adjusted so that it extends out exactly 5 mm. I carefully level the hammers and then put the end of the machine screw directly over the key and 20 mm back from the end of the key (not the keytop overhang). I press the thing down until the block just touches the tops of the two adjacent keys. Then I measure the amount the middle hammer has risen above the two adjacent hammers. (It’s ok if the two adjacent keys are depressed just a bit — it’s the difference between the outside and the middle hammer we’re concerned with.) This distance divided by 5 is the overall action ratio. For example, if the difference between the hammers is 25 mm the overall action ratio will be 5:1.

I generally check C-4 and A-85. They are often different.

If I am going to be making any changes to the action geometry I measure all of the various levers involved. I have an Excel spreadsheet that then calculates all of the individual lever ratios along with the overall action ratio. It lets me vary each relationship and tells me what I will get if….

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
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ddfandrich@gmail.com
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Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
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I was surprised to read your post about repetition springs effecting touch-weight.
You should be. I didn't say it. I just said it was a factor in how heavy the action feels. Touch-weight is another factor, but how the action feels at let-off is at least as important. Probably more. Saying that touch-weight is how the action feels is like describing falling off a 10 story building and omitting the last story.

I also stick to my guns, that the repetition spring and let-off are independent events, and the fact that they are nearly simultaneous is mere coincidence. The example of setting the drop to 1/4" was just an exaggeration, but you can get a strange effect by setting it identical to the let-off. That makes the action seem pretty light. It feels strange, though.

It would be interesting to look at some other repetition actions, like Edwin Brown (Chickering) and Bluthner and see how their repetition mechanism affects the touch, but it's been a while since I've worked on any of those. However, they were pretty light actions. I can say that you can feel the lack of a repetition lever in those grands that don't have them. After all, the repetition spring more than doubles the resistance that comes just from raising the hammer.


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BDB, sorry if I misread your post. I wasn't trying to slam you in any way, I just thought it was an interesting idea, and I'm more trying to discuss it than seem like I'm arguing with you.
When I'm regulating a piano, I regulate drop to be simultaneous with the jack tender hitting the letoff button.
I think there are some performers who might be able to feel fine differences in touch at the bottom of the key stroke, but most I think attribute inertia to feel. What I mean is, I think for most people, whatever force it takes to move the key is how they interpret it's "feel" to be, rather than being critical of each "speed bump" throughout the course of the key's travel.
Anyway, I'm sorry if my post seemed adverserial, it certainly wasn't meant to be, you just got me thinking.

Del,
Thanks for the tips on the tool... I don't suppose you have a diagram laying around you could email me?
I'm very curious to see a tool like this, and play around with some measurements.

Thanks again,

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