Pianotech

Expand all | Collapse all

Hammer felt recommendations -Bush and Lane parlor grand

  • 1.  Hammer felt recommendations -Bush and Lane parlor grand

    Posted 05-06-2019 22:44
    I am looking for recommendation on the type of hammer that would be a good match for a rather nice Rosewood Bush and Lane parlor grand. (early 1900's) built in Holland, Michigan
    Hammers have flat spots and string cuts and because the piano sat for a few years with no regular maintenance or attention do not sound all that great. Shanks and flanges as well as knuckles are not all that great. Whippens are in good condition and would benefit from some new felts on the rep lever button and the jack felt. Because this design has an extra lever on the whippen it will be hard to find new replacements. The middle pedal engages a full sostenuto however the left pedal is not an una chorda shift lever. Shanks rest on a rest rail and when left pedal is down all the hammers are raised closer to the strings just as in an upright. I have gotten many hammers from Brooks in the past and most have been Abels but with this particular piano maybe Ronsen felt / Bacon felt or something in the Abel line other than naturals is a better match. Damper felt and heads are quite good since the piano was rebuilt in West Virginia at some point. It was a two owner piano not abused just neglected

    ------------------------------
    James Kelly
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Hammer felt recommendations -Bush and Lane parlor grand

    Posted 05-07-2019 04:00
    There's no way anyone can answer that question for you here.

    When you select (or voice) a hammer what you are doing is impedance matching: you are determining the energy delivery requirements for that system. The energy delivery determinants are primarily mass and stiffness of the hammer (hammer acceleration is important too but we assume that range is a constant for most situations). While the interaction is complicated, since different parts of the scale react differently to the combination of those two factors, your choice will ultimately be an aesthetic one.

    Some will argue that it doesn't matter, that you always have to voice the hammer anyway so it's just an issue of where you like to start.  But I disagree with that. The initial properties of the hammer matter and dictate, to a great degree, the characteristics of the final product.  In brief, a hammer that is absorbing too much energy remedied by lacquering produces a very different timbre than one that starts out not absorbing enough energy and being needled. The same is true for hammers whose mass varies. This has to do with hammer dynamics, spring coefficients, dwell time etc.

    The only real way to get a sense is by sampling or cumulative experience. Sampling is cheaper and faster. As a general rule, older and lower impedance assemblies are served better by hammers that are somewhat less stiff and somewhat lighter at the outset, and newer and higher impedance assemblies are served better by hammers that are somewhat stiffer and somewhat heavier. But within that framework there can be other factors, not the least of which is your own personal taste.

    The best thing you can do is start developing that by being willing to acquire a selection, even a limited one, of samples that encompasses that range, hang a few and start critically listening and comparing. The most important sections to sample are midrange and low treble; around C4 and A5.

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



  • 3.  RE: Hammer felt recommendations -Bush and Lane parlor grand

    Posted 05-07-2019 11:11
    Everything David said is correct. But since originally, the hammers were probably softer and lighter to begin with than a lot of what is available today, you could hardly go wrong with a set of Ronsen hammers made with Bacon felt (though I personally prefer Weickert as a rule). Then you can build up from there (lacquer or whatever) if you feel the need, or just by filing.

    Try to match the dimensions of the hammers as much as possible. Ray will make them the way you want them.

    Pwg

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



  • 4.  RE: Hammer felt recommendations -Bush and Lane parlor grand

    Posted 05-08-2019 00:39
    That tends to be my choice though if it needs lacquer, except in the high treble, I use a stiffer felt. I don't advocate the use of hardeners at all (any type) if they can be avoided.

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