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False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

  • 1.  False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 21 days ago
    Hi everyone,

    Has anyone experienced false beats on one of the string of a trichord in the F2,F#2,G2 area that is usually just one side of a wraparound string.
    I am trying to figure out if it is a twist in the string, burr in the agraffe, or something else that I am missing. I am entertaining the idea next time I go to:
    1) change the direction of the string from turning it around and see if it would go away. For example this one is a neighbor w/ F#2's 1st trichord.
    2) replacing the string
    3) file the inside of the agraffe

    This is to the first time this happened. I remember once when I resting a "B", same area and the string was making a similar false beat. I was a able to get away with it, being in a classroom and thought to address it, but never did.

    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Victor Belanger
    Belmont, MA


  • 2.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 21 days ago
    Victor.

    First question. What make and model piano?
    Second question. Are these wound strings or plain strings? I could tell by your description.

    Wim

    Sent from my iPhone




  • 3.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 20 days ago
    Hi Victor,
    At some point Steinway agraffes were drilled very unevenly: making leveling strings difficult. This is also an area where a Steinway B can benefit greatly from using Paulello wire (https://www.stephenpaulello.com/sites/default/files/paulello/intros-de-pages/stephenpaulellomusicwire.pdf). Read up on it if you aren't familiar. Will Truitt recently posted on this wire's use (although the topic was the top notes on an S&S S).

    ------------------------------
    Patrick Draine
    Billerica MA
    978-663-9690
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Posted 20 days ago
    Your raise an important question - can false beats be caused by putting on a wire string with a twist in the course of handling?

    Best wishes

    David P

    --
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    +44 1342 850594





  • 5.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 20 days ago
    A good way to remove a burr from an agraffe hole to let that string down to slack, grab it just inside the speaking length with a thin pair of needle nose pliers, and move the wire in a small circular motion. Yes, steel is tougher than brass. That should check out the suspicions with the agraffes.

    ------------------------------
    William Ballard RPT
    WBPS
    Saxtons River VT
    802-869-9107

    "Our lives contain a thousand springs
    and dies if one be gone
    Strange that a harp of a thousand strings
    should keep in tune so long."
    ...........Dr. Watts, "The Continental Harmony,1774
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 20 days ago
    Thanks everyone who chimed in.
    Wim, it is a Steinway B (from the subject) and it is plain wire.
    Thanks Patrick about Paulello wire.
    Yes David, I have been thinking about a wire being introduced with a twist.
    Thank you William and I will try that strategy. I have a small hunch about the wire being twisted.


    Appreciatively,

    Victor Belanger
    Belmont, MA




  • 7.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Member
    Posted 20 days ago
    Victor,

    Have you pressed a screwdriver against its front bridge pin?  This is the go to to see if it is a bridge pin problem. Pess the pin in the direction of the string, as if you are trying to clamp the string to the cap. If it works, try CA on that pin.



    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago


     

     

    http://bit.ly/Schedule_My_Piano

     

    "Good, better, best; never let it rest, 'til the good is better and better best!"


    "Providing quality service for the world's pianos"

     

    George W.R. "Bill" Davis, RPT

    The Piano Place GA

    2315 Rocky Mountain Rd NE

    Marietta GA 30066

    www.pianoplace.net

    bill@pianoplace.net


    Sent from my iPhone





  • 9.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    Thank you all again for all the good information.

    Jim, yes I have tried to screwdriver and still the same false beat on that one.

    Thank you David for good explanation of why that area is always problematic. Makes sense now.
    Sounds like the Paulello string is the way to go. Since I have not ordered some before, I need to find out where to purchase it.

    Thanks William T. for explaining what which string you use in that area and explaining the % of breakage point.

    Thank William B. For the twist explanation. I have tried some twisting experiment, and it has reduced it a bit but still annoying.

    Much appreciated all that has chimed in. 

    Victor Belanger
    Belmont, MA





  • 10.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    Victor went:
    "I have a small hunch about the wire being twisted."

    That's easy to check out. B2R and C5L both have eyes at the hitchpin. Unhook one and give it a twist (making sure the twist gets out of the back-length, and across the bridge to the Speaking
    Length), hook it back up; re-tune and listen.


    We all do this on bass strings, and I've never noticed that a twist on the core creates false beats.

    ------------------------------
    William Ballard RPT
    WBPS
    Saxtons River VT
    802-869-9107

    "Our lives contain a thousand springs
    and dies if one be gone
    Strange that a harp of a thousand strings
    should keep in tune so long."
    ...........Dr. Watts, "The Continental Harmony,1774
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    Twists can be sort of nebulous. I have witnessed a restrung S&S with a very visible kink in a treble wire just above the bass/tenor break: impossible to tune a clean unison with the other two strings of the unison.

    ------------------------------
    Patrick Draine
    Billerica MA
    978-663-9690
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    It is a problem area on a Steinway B because the tensions drop so precipitously there.  F2 is often around 120lbs dropping from about 165 lbs higher up.  That's where the Paulello wire might help as it raises the break point percentage.  The low tension makes it much more subject to weird phasing, not to mention a tonal bump between the low tension low tenor and a relatively high tension E2.  Before I did anything, though, I'd make sure you have the strings leveled and the hammers precisely mated to the strings there.  It's possible it's some termination problem or even a twist in the string but twists don't usually cause false beats (bass string are routinely twisted without that problem).

    ------------------------------
    David Love RPT
    www.davidlovepianos.com
    davidlovepianos@comcast.net
    415 407 8320
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    What is more important is the breaking percentages drop, calculated as the PBL% (practical breaking load percentage) in the Paulello universe.  Substituting Paulello Type 1 wire of the same gauge (slight differences between the American Mapes and the metric Paulello wire), will raise the PBL% from too low 29 PBL% to a very respectable goldilocks zone value of 47%.  It is an audible improvement in tone, and much better matches the E2 wound string below it.  I use the Type 1 wire for the bottom 4 notes in the tenor before switching to the Type O up to about 40 or even 52.  You get a better blended and better sounding low tenor as a result.

    ------------------------------
    William Truitt
    Bridgewater NH
    603-744-2277
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Member
    Posted 19 days ago
    Contact Paullelo  by email to purchase wire.

    contact@stephenpaulello.com    This usually goes to Claire, who will email you a "proforma invoice".

    Download a simple excel sheet from the website https://www.stephenpaulello.com/en/typogramme  to determine what type wire, and gauge would work on you particular note(s). Delivery from france is amazingly fast usually. Payment by paypal.

    I have noticed when re-stringing, that before the wire is brought up to tension there are always "apparently" many false beats everywhere. Once the wire is brought to tension, most of the beating ceases, with the exception of a few problem children. So that speaks to the under-tensioned possibility. Although, to tell the truth, I often like the sound of the wire, in general, when it is about a semitone flat, and thus slightly undertensiohed when chipping...but it is noisy as well in the under-tensioned state.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    Thank you Jim.
    Much appreciated.

    Victor Belanger
    Belmont, MA

    ------------------------------
    Victor Belanger
    Belmont, MA
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    I am highly skeptical about the idea of a twist in the wire being the "cause" of a false beat. I have heard this so many times that I decided to perform an "experiment" while restringing. My normal procedure induces at least a quarter turn twist in virtually every wire. I pull it off the reel and just string like in the factory.

    I decided I would string two notes (adjacent of course) paying strict attention to making sure they laid precisely the same as to curl, pre-bent the hitch to ensure this, pre-cut the length, wound the coils very carefully so they were identical and as parallel to the the plate as possible...etc etc. I did everything to ensure there was no twist and all was "the same".

    What do you think was the result on those two notes compared to ALL the notes around them?  Yes, they actually sounded WORSE than all the notes around them. More false beats in those two notes than in virtually all the other notes in an otherwise very clean treble.

    Was it a fluke? I don't think so. I have also in the past taken a wire off the pin, twisted it 360° and put it back on...no change whatsoever.  Even putting a splice in the speaking length (now THAT'S a twist) produces no false beat!

    The one experiment I have done that actually did improve things was to tune a piano to a much higher pitch level. 444hz cleaned up MANY weird and false sounds on a SS M. The piano sounded surprisingly cleaner and better. I thought that was rather interesting. When I brought it back down all the sounds that were there before came back as before. That piano has since been restrung and does not exhibit the falseness it used to have. (Incidentally, the old wire that came off that piano was exceedingly STRAIGHT showing virtually no coil effect...also interesting).

    So anyway, I do not believe that a slight twist in a wire will CAUSE a false beat. The source is elsewhere. Unless of course some one can PROVE otherwise. I will accept that a wire that has been pulled past it's elastic limit and deformed COULD produce a false beat (and one cannot tell by looking), however I have no proof to back that up. Nor am I terribly interested in experimenting to prove or disprove it.

    My .02

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
    Thanks Peter for taking the time to do this experiment.
    I had been on the fence about the twisting theory thought as well, but had no explanation for it. Since all strings comes from a coil, why that particular area would be prone to false beats and not other regions.
    When you brought it high in pitch, would that  sort of bring the breakage point higher? Meaning that it would assimilate bringing it at a higher tension?
    The reason I had written in the subject a Steinway "B" is that I had experienced this more on "B's" than other models. And only in that area.

    Interesting observation about the piano sounding cleaner and better. Sort of like string players (violin, viola and cello)  preferring to have their pianos tuned at higher pitch, because their instrument sounds better at a higher pitch. It is pretty much a given that they want their pianos at 441 or 442.

    Victor Belanger
    Belmont, MA

    I am highly skeptical about the idea of a twist in the wire being the "cause" of a false beat. I have heard this so many times that I decided to perform an "experiment" while restringing. My normal procedure induces at least a quarter turn twist in virtually every wire. I pull it off the reel and just string like in the factory.

    I decided I would string two notes (adjacent of course) paying strict attention to making sure they laid precisely the same as to curl, pre-bent the hitch to ensure this, pre-cut the length, wound the coils very carefully so they were identical and as parallel to the the plate as possible...etc etc. I did everything to ensure there was no twist and all was "the same".

    What do you think was the result on those two notes compared to ALL the notes around them?  Yes, they actually sounded WORSE than all the notes around them. More false beats in those two notes than in virtually all the other notes in an otherwise very clean treble.  

    Was it a fluke? I don't think so. I have also in the past taken a wire off the pin, twisted it 360° and put it back on...no change whatsoever.  Even putting a splice in the speaking length (now THAT'S a twist) produces no false beat!

    The one experiment I have done that actually did improve things was to tune a piano to a much higher pitch level. 444hz cleaned up MANY weird and false sounds on a SS M. The piano sounded surprisingly cleaner and better. I thought that was rather interesting. When I brought it back down all the sounds that were there before came back as before. That piano has since been restrung and does not exhibit the falseness it used to have. (Incidentally, the old wire that came off that piano was exceedingly STRAIGHT showing virtually no coil effect...also interesting).

    So anyway, I do not believe that a slight twist in a wire will CAUSE a false beat. The source is elsewhere. Unless of course some one can PROVE otherwise. I will accept that a wire that has been pulled past it's elastic limit and deformed COULD produce a false beat (and one cannot tell by looking), however I have no proof to back that up. Nor am I terribly interested in experimenting to prove or disprove it. 

    My .02

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com





  • 18.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
    Peter Grey,

    My congratulations on actually performing a real and objective experiment!

    I wish more would do this.

    ------------------------------
    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: False beats with F2 area Steinway "B"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 14 days ago
    Victor,

    Yes, my "unexpected conjectural conclusion" on the matter was in fact that I had brought the bp% up higher and therefore things were "working" better.

    I have been "rescaling" tenor sections now for almost 20 years, starting with PS stainless wire, and now Paulello.  Sometimes I increase the gauge slightly down there, and sometimes I simply switch the grade of wire. Quite typically I will go with Type 0 at least up to the middle of the large #17 range and then switch over to Mapes IG. After things have settled in you can't detect the switch point. I also take into consideration the difference in metric vs non-metric gauge sizes.

    Pwg​

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------