Expand all | Collapse all

Hindesberg--very heavy action

  • 1.  Hindesberg--very heavy action

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-03-2021 11:07
      |   view attached
    I recently came across a very pretty, well-maintained 1925 Hindesberg. It had been purchased new by the owner's family and moved from Denmark to Oregon. It obviously had lots of work done to it, and the parts, including hammers, looked relatively new. It had a great sound, but the owner said she didn't play it. Instead, she preferred an electronic keyboard because the piano was hard to play.

    The piano did feel very heavy, so I measured downweight (without dampers): 75g. Upweight was about 25g. In the limited time I had left for the appointment, I checked a few things. The keys did not need easing. Hammers weren't sluggish. I lubricated a couple of sluggish jacks, so it's possible that the wippen flanges were seizing. But since the hammers flanges weren't too tight, I didn't find it likely the wippens were. What else is left that could cause such a heavy action? Hammer springs? When I have more time I'd like to return and figure this out. It's a shame such a nice old piano is practically unplayable. Anyone with experience with Hindesbergs?

    Scott Cole, RPT
    Talent, OR

  • 2.  RE: Hindesberg--very heavy action

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-03-2021 11:39
    New hammers could be heavier than original;
    'new' parts might be incorrect geometry;
    hammer springs could be too strong - try measuring with springs disengaged. note difference
    determine overall friction in system

    David Skolnik [RPT]
    Hastings-on-Hudson NY

  • 3.  RE: Hindesberg--very heavy action

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-03-2021 19:20
    Check damper springs as well.   Though maybe you already disengaged the dampers for your touch weight measurements.  Hammer weight should be a smaller factor than it would be in a grand.  If action ratio would benefit from adjustment, you could shim the balance rail with narrow strip of veneer, just behind the balance rail pins.  This would mean an increase in key dip and/or a reduction in hammer blow.  You would need to be sure that this would not simply be the creation of a new problem in place of the old.

    Floyd Gadd
    Regina SK

  • 4.  RE: Hindesberg--very heavy action

    Posted 05-04-2021 06:49
    Check that the jacks aren't getting buried too deeply into the hammer butts when they reset, as this might have been neglected in the work.

    Don Dalton
    Chester VT

  • 5.  RE: Hindesberg--very heavy action

    Posted 05-04-2021 07:26
    An often neglected aspect of a vertical's touch weight is damper timing. If they are lifting before half-blow, their spring's resistance causes more effort needed to depress the key. The key has not yet attained sufficient downwards momentum. If too late the feel is awkward.

    I had a call to attend to the touch weight on a 1098 last week. Their tuner suggested that it was probably the damper springs and/or hammer springs being too strong. It turned out to be the blow distance was ¼" too great and the dampers were lifting at ¼ or less blow distance. Once I corrected the blow distance and took up the lost motion, the dampers were almost instantaneous. After addressing an even pedal lift and individual timing the touch was acceptable. Adjusting Let Off was icing on the cake. Checking ended up acceptable. I received an e-mail from the owner yesterday stating what a joy the piano is to play now and that the Koval Mild Vic makes the music wonderful again.


    Jon Page