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Yes lacquer would give the same smell. That is what I was thinking as well.

I would need more evidence than just hearsay to be convinced.


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Will there be lacquer on a brand new Yamaha SX hammer?

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There could be.


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I suggest you try your own test on some of these new pianos that don't respond to voicing, and it's definitely not lacquer.

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Just like with alcohol varnishes, there are a number of resins used with lacquers. But I do not have a lot of access to different hammers. In any case, it has been my experience that Yamahas respond well to voicing.


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Originally Posted by BDB
Just like with alcohol varnishes, there are a number of resins used with lacquers. But I do not have a lot of access to different hammers. In any case, it has been my experience that Yamahas respond well to voicing.

My experience too, until recently.

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Have you voiced a new Sx series, Steve?


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I agree that in general Yamaha hammers respond well to voicing...until they are coming around to 25-30 years old. They seem to be a bit less responsive (long term) than when they were younger (a bit like people).

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I've not had any problems voicing new Yamahas with traditional voicing techniques. I find their current hammers superior the their past hammers.


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Originally Posted by Bill McKaig,RPT
I've not had any problems voicing new Yamahas with traditional voicing techniques. I find their current hammers superior the their past hammers.

Were these Yamaha “SX” pianos?

The SX series are said to have different hammers than the CX and CF series.

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Good point!

I've voiced both CX and CF, but not SX though I'd be surprised I would have any problems.


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I would be surprised if Yamaha designed a hammer that was hard to voice. Wouldn't they have tested its voicing potential?

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I would be surprised if Yamaha designed a hammer that was hard to voice. Wouldn't they have tested its voicing potential?

Without exception, the most common complaint in the field for Yamaha is strident tone, which is easily corrected. The new hammers on certain models do not, so far, get so grating but do change over time and do not respond well.

Material science has the largest impact on pianos over the last 150 years. Synthetic fibre hammers have been around since the late 60's or possibly earlier. It's new materials which help manufacturers make higher quality lower cost pianos today and it's everywhere on a new instrument. You can't expect low cost instruments to have extremely expensive long fibre New Zealand hammer felt and this is a major material expense on a piano and an obvious place to reduce costs.

Another example: It's almost impossible to find a new piano with real buckskin. The synthetic buckskin is superior by most metrics and much better than the synthetics used 50 years ago. Why is expensive hammer felt so controversial? It would stand to reason with the lack of field experienced voicers and the time needed in the factory to prepare traditional hammers that this would be an obvious spot to develop less costly and less labour intensive alternatives.

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The Yamaha hammer development engineer says they use a blend of wools for the SX series.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
The Yamaha hammer development engineer says they use a blend of wools for the SX series.
Indeed, and I haven't seen it suggested anywhere else but here, from Mr Jackson, that synthetic fibres are used on the SX hammers. If this has not been substantiated, it's disappointing if this is just somebody's rumour-mongering because it affects Yamaha's reputation - regardless of whether the widespread use of synthetics in pianos is defended by the same person.

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson
The new hammers on certain models do not,

can you be more specific which models are these?

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson
Without exception, the most common complaint in the field for Yamaha is strident tone, which is easily corrected. The new hammers on certain models do not, so far, get so grating but do change over time and do not respond well.

Have you voiced an SX series piano?


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Originally Posted by adamp88
Originally Posted by Steve Jackson
Without exception, the most common complaint in the field for Yamaha is strident tone, which is easily corrected. The new hammers on certain models do not, so far, get so grating but do change over time and do not respond well.

Have you voiced an SX series piano?

No, CX3 and CX7

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I've spoken to a Yamaha service rep about this, which is as much fun as talking to a politician. Lots of words, nothing said, but I did get a little info such as yamaha targets pianos for different markets and have a range of parts materials suitable for each market. In other words, the Yamahas I see may not be that Yamahas you see. I inquired when someone brought a new Cx3 in Japan, that was sold to a 3rd party and shipped as a used piano. He was trying to get a bargain. Not a smart move. I was convinced it was a Chinese counterfeit but it was also suggested by the service rep it could have been a marketing piano that was rebuilt outside the Yamaha network, but it was an almost new piano.

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson
Originally Posted by adamp88
Have you voiced an SX series piano?

No, CX3 and CX7

So of these new Yamaha hammers, you've only had two models' worth of experience, and none with the SX series in question from the start of this thread and the other thread in the piano forum?


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
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