Harpsichord

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one rank/choir Zuckermann

  • 1.  one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-24-2021 22:13
      |   view attached
    Hi,

    Is there any reason I shouldn't fix in place the upper guide/register of a one manual, one choir harpsichord. Is there any reason it should shift if there is only one? The instrument was original instrument was designed for two, but it will never have two.

    Also, there seems to be a big space all along the upper guide.  I was thinking of finding the best spot for it and then adding shims to keep it in place.  is there any reason I shouldn't do that?.

    Thanks,
    Barb Richmond

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    near Peoria, Illinois
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-25-2021 08:55
    Barb-
    If by "fix" you mean "glue permanently," don't.
    But a few shims could stabilize the register. Also maybe move the middle filler strip to hold the register closer to the edge of the soundboard.
    My experimental self thinks there's an opportunity to add a second row of jacks to pluck the 1 x 8" for a different timbre. In that case you'd want to keep the capacity to shift registers.

    ------------------------------
    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-25-2021 10:40
    By all means, adjust the capstans on the ends of the working register so they hold it in the on position. And also insert shims into the gap between the jack guide and the belly rail (or on the other side or both, if that seems best). 

    I would suggest not assuming it will never have two working sets of strings and jacks. Eventually, instruments pass along to a new owner. Might as well leave options open.
    Regards,
    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    http://fredsturm.net
    www.artoftuning.com
    "Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom." Leonardo








  • 4.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Posted 08-25-2021 16:37
    You should just call Zuckerman, they are in the web.

    I have not worked with that model, which I think is one of the "Z boxes".
    However, if you requill and revoice, it is highly advantageous to be able to
    move the register to the 'off' position (ghosting the strings) so you can determine the right
    position for the 'on' position, and the length of plectra.
    I can't think of how you would revoice without doing this....this. But call Zuckermann.

    Visit my website and YouTube channel:
    YouTube: ghmus7





  • 5.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-25-2021 10:51
    Thanks, Ed!

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    near Peoria, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-25-2021 10:59
    Thanks, Fred!

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    near Peoria, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-25-2021 15:52
    All great suggestions given and I will add one more. After getting the register stable and making sure the jacks are not sloppy in the register mortise, you could set the register to "half hitch" instead of off. It takes a bit of fussing with the voicing but you then have a loud and a soft stop.

    ------------------------------
    [Don] [McKechnie,] [RPT]
    [Piano Technician]
    [dmckech@ithaca.edu]
    [Home 607.277.7112]
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-26-2021 12:10
    Thanks, Don.  Hmm. Maybe I'll give that a try.


    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-25-2021 17:08
    If you have fixed the register in one place with the capstans, it will still be possible to do ghosting as needed. Just turn one of the capstans until you can get the register into the proper alignment.
    Regards,
    Fred Sturm
    "Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it." Brecht






  • 10.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-26-2021 20:18
    Great Barbara, If you give it a go, make sure you do a meticulous ghosting first. I would then try setting the half hitch and voice to even the tone. Then try the full hitch and tweak as necessary. I have set half hitch stops in the past and it works well if done properly. It takes some time and patience. Let us know if you try it.

    ------------------------------
    [Don] [McKechnie,] [RPT]
    [Piano Technician]
    [dmckech@ithaca.edu]
    [Home 607.277.7112]
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-26-2021 20:54
    To what Don said, I'll add that the lever needs to be fairly tightly held by its screw for this to work well. The shift of the lever will be tiny, and it needs to stay put in one position and the other. Tighten down, add a washer, experiment to get it right. 
    Regards,
    Fred Sturm
    "We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Casteneda






  • 12.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-27-2021 23:36
    Thank you, Don.  It's good to have a plan!

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-28-2021 07:16
    Barb-

    Your voicing will need to be very even for the half/full hitch to work.
    One thing that can help it to cut the dampers diagonally (not flat across the string) so that the damper pushes the jack back to the side of the slot in the register. The tiny wobble of the jack can change the voicing. (This is very helpful in instruments with worn parts.)

    A trick I use for trimming new plectra is to insert all plectra and set the register at the expected "whisper" position, then mark the plectra by tracing with a fine felt-tipped marker along the far sides of the strings, then clip the tips with a flush cutter, leaving just a sliver to be trimmed to a bevel tip with a scalpel.

    The Instrument Workshop <fortepiano.com> has a new owner, and I understand is back in business. They sell delrin plectra in multiple thicknesses, which may save you a lot of nervous scraping if they work for you and your instrument. I mention them without necessarily recommending them, as I have found they don't stay put in the mortises of the plastic jacks the Workshop sells! But they worked well in wooden jacks I made. They might work in the Zuckermann jacks which have a tighter mortise. I'll send you a few samples and you can try them. Play the test notes 200 times to make sure they stay.

    Ed

    ------------------------------
    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-27-2021 23:37
    Thanks, Fred.  It's getting exciting now!  :-)

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-28-2021 11:36
    The various thickness of delrin can be very problematic if you aren't careful, as Ed suggests. The thickness needs to match the mortise in the tongue fairly precisely. I was enthusiastic about the possibilities when various thicknesses became available maybe 25 years ago, but found that the thin plectra would be sitting diagonally in the rectangular mortise, and it was very difficult to get them to stay put. In addition, they would be slanted a bit, which made it challenging to voice them. The voicing process would tend to shift their length.

    IOW, be aware of that when selecting plectrum thickness: try one in the mortise and see whether it seems likely to hold. Similar to a too large becket hole in a tuning pin when striniging with the smaller gauges. 

    Wooden tongues are far better in this regard, as they are malleable: the wood will give to match the taper of the plectrum, while the plastic mortises remain hard and straight. Hence, you need more of a matching in the up/down direction to provide enough friction to retain the plectrum. 
    Regards,
    Fred Sturm
    "Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it." Brecht






  • 16.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-28-2021 12:28
    Thanks, Ed.  That's a nice approach.  I went to the class at the convention where the different thicknesses of plectra was talked about.  I was considering those.  And thanks for the samples.  That is so kind of you.

    Barb

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-28-2021 12:31
    You all are so helpful.  Thanks so much.

    Barb

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago



    This could be longest harpsichord project on record...I'm finally getting to it.  For now, I just replaced the strings that were missing.  All went well, except for note 59 (.008").  I've replaced it a number of times...ahem.  It's broken all different places, so I just thought it was a problem with the wire, and then I saw the little indentation in the nut--and that's where it broke on this last try with a new source of wire.  I'm assuming I can sand/file that a little bit.  On the longest-lasting string, I didn't have the wire go as far down the tuning pin.  That's when I though I had solved the problem.  Oh well.  Is there anything else that could be the problem?

    One thing I was waiting for before I started restringing in earnest was this fly fishing jig that I attach the string to and it spins while I tie the tail.  Maybe no one else gets spooked about the wire twisting when using the hook and spin way of making the tail.  I have done the other way of making tails, but my old eyes now prefer the hook and spin method--or however you refer to it.  I'll attach pictures.  

    As always ways, thanks for your help.



    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    What type of wire are you using? I believe Zuckermann used the tinned iron for the kits but I have seen steel on these instruments as well. One possibility for breakage is that the builder made a mistake in the placing of the nut and bridge just enough that the scale length is not proper. Unfortunately I do not have any data on string lengths for this instrument.

    It cannot hurt to try sanding/filing the indentation lightly. It would be great if that did the trick!

    I have a homemade hook and spin tail maker and I like using it in the shop. It is too big to take to a job though as it needs a large vise to hold the jig. Can you take a video some time to show how you use your device? I'm always interested in new tools!

    ------------------------------
    [Don] [McKechnie,] [RPT]
    [Piano Technician]
    [dmckech@ithaca.edu]
    [Home 607.277.7112]
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago

    Hi Don,

    The smaller coil of wire came from Zuckermann. I also have one a small spool that I think came from The Imstrument Workshop. Lots of wire to practice on, for sure. LOL, I've used my phone camera on zoom to inspect the tails I tied, because I sure can't see them without it!

    The vise I use came from my dad, who liked to put models together. I'll see if I can find it on the Internet. Anyway, I carry it in one of my repair kits. It's pretty handy.  There's also an attachment, I think, that has a magnifying glass. That is in my spare tool container in my shop. Guess I should look at that!

    Barb



    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
      |   view attached
    Here's the jig.

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    Thanks Barb,

    I have a similar small vise. It looks like the spinner is readily available online so I might give it a try.

    Don

    ------------------------------
    [Don] [McKechnie,] [RPT]
    [Piano Technician]
    [dmckech@ithaca.edu]
    [Home 607.277.7112]
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Posted 16 days ago
    Hello Barb - What type of hitch-loop are you putting on? A simple wrap-around or a double Helix?
    Looking at my copy of: "A Handbook of Historical Stringing Practice for Keyboard Instruments" by
    Malcolm Rose and David Law, Page 195: 
    Zuckerman supplied Iron* Density kg/m3 7847 
                                      Brass 70/30      "     8404
                              Red Brass 90/10       "     8564

    (* Zuckerman iron wire is almost pure Fe (0.1% Carbon) plus a "molecular layer" of tin left after
    the finished wire is passed through a bath of molten tin (323 deg. C) and then wiped. This is said
    to inhibit rusting.)
    My book is from the 3rd impression of 2005. Available from Malcolm in his Workshop, English Passage, Lewes, East Sussex UK 
    Malcolm draws strings and is very much online - so you can get a copy if you're interested. 
    It's 215pp long and absolutely crammed with information . . .   Michael  G.
                                     





  • 24.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
      |   view attached
    I just do a simple loop to hold the string on the hook and then get to the business of winding the tail. Even if I never work on another harpsichord, it will have been worth buying this jig just for this job.  Plus, if I would ever take up fly-fishing, I'll have one of the tools!  😀

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    Barb-
    I'm curious to know what is the note and how long is the speaking length?
    A=440 or A=415?
    Ed

    ------------------------------
    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago

    Hi Ed,

    In piano tuning terms, it's F6 (top note for this model), note 59.  I'm tuning to A-440. The speaking length is 15.1 cm. The scale schedule calls for .008" wire. 

    BTW, I really like doing the side-scraping voicing that I learned about in the convention class by Paul Irvin and Ken Eschete in Arizona.  This instrument will be at a church, and the music minister was hoping for a fairly strong voice. It's coming right along!
    I've liked working on harpsichords, I just hardly ever do it, so when I do work on one, it takes me a while to get in the swing of it…

    Barb



    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
    So, after filing the nut, I put on another .008" wire. It broke-also at the nut. Then I decided to measure the existing wire on the next note below, which according to the scale, should be .008".  It was .009".  Put on a .009" wire and all is good…so far.  :-)

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
    Hi Michael,

    I'm doing the double helix and have practiced a lot to make them evenly wound!  Yes, it would be the tinned wire. It looks to be in very good shape-no evident corrosion.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

    Barb

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
      |   view attached
    Here is a video-I just laid my phone on the counter- I've placed the loop on the jig and then get in the right position to wind the tail.

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
    I take it all back. I was working down the scale, and while I was tuning another note, the top note broke…
    The other new strings using the same wire have not broken.

    I think I’ll go hang my new curtains…

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
    Is the wire you are using steel or tinned iron at .008? If it is iron, just for the heck of it, try steel. There will be a difference in tonal quality but if it holds........ Also just for the heck of it, if you have .007 tinned iron give that a try.

    ------------------------------
    [Don] [McKechnie,] [RPT]
    [Piano Technician]
    [dmckech@ithaca.edu]
    [Home 607.277.7112]
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
    I have the tinned iron. I don't have any steel, but I'll get some and give it a try. It would be nice to have <something> there.
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Posted 16 days ago
    Iron and brass are best and are historical steel sounds poor. If you call Zuckerman they can send you the correct string.

    Visit my website
    YouTube: ghmus7






  • 34.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago

    Thanks. All of the wire I have came from Zuckermann, except for a couple small spools that I got at the Instrument Workshop some years ago. When I started this project, I talked with Richard, sent him pictures, he made suggestions, and he sent me what he thought I needed. 



    ------------------------------
    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
    ------------------------------



  • 35.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Posted 16 days ago
    Good to hear. Hope it goes well! If you still continue having breakages you can always go down one guage thinner it shouldn't make any difference.

    Visit my website
    YouTube: ghmus7






  • 36.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hi Barbara,

    I’m sorry to hear this string has been such a toad for you. 15.1cm is a very long speaking length for f’’’ (piano F6). I just dropped those scaling numbers into my handy dandy spreadsheet and the tension is at around 120% of what I customarily allow for iron. The pattern of breakage at different points along the string is also characteristic if over tensioning.

    This is not uncommon for the top few notes of some harpsichords, and fwiw, extremely common for the very top of the 4’, where the gap doesn’t allow the bridge to come close enough, even in some classical designs. My suggestion would be to put music wire on that note, and possibly the next few down when they break. The tonal difference will be fairly small at the top.

    As another point of reference. Both the iron sold by Zuckermann, and that sold by the Instrument Workshop are drawn by Little Falls Alloys, so they are, as far as I know, identical. You can get teeny tiny music wire from Schaff without any problem. If you just want the one string, send me your address off list and I’ll drop one in the mail for you.

    All best,
    Beth




  • 37.  RE: one rank/choir Zuckermann

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
      |   view attached
    Barb-
    Looking at a reference chart for Flemish 8' register by Dan and Claire Hammett-Moore, Imperial College, London
    Iron wire.
    A=415Hz
    d#6 = 15.6 cm [d6 at A440]
    f6 = 13.9 cm [e6 at A440]
    I believe Elizabeth Harris is offering the best solution short of moving the bridge or nut.
    I wonder what the future holds re breaking strings.
    You might consider Mapes "dulcimer wire."
    I'll attach my reference chart. [Remember it's scaled at A415]

    ------------------------------
    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)