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Hailun Stability

  • 1.  Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-24-2020 11:16
    I have a relatively new Hailun 178 with stability issues.  It is several years old, and is past it's settling-in period.  The last time I tuned it on February 6, 2020, it had dropped almost 10% after only six months.    Both the customer and myself have ruled out the technician's ineptitude.  So, what else could it be?  The customer reports that "within two weeks (after the last tuning), it became buzzy, tinny, unisons off, and tuning has changed a lot."  Has anyone else experienced issues with stability in the new Hailun line or have any suggestions about how to proceed?

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    Ron Bergeron, RPT
    Austin, Texas
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  • 2.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Member
    Posted 03-24-2020 11:21
    Pictures of the front segments, please.  Poor rendering due to front segment design is endemic in Chinese and other Asian pianos.  Especially the report that the tuning went south very quickly, lends itself to this MO. As part of the MO, as a new piano, what is the pin torque.

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



  • 3.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-24-2020 12:59
    My experience with Hailun pianos is that with the exception of string rendering due to excessive elevation height/angle  the issues are no different than any other piano.  There is no doubt that the tuner must be on his/her game with settling the string.   But normal DamppChaser humidity control management locks these pianos in year-round.  I don't see any connection between a 10 cent change and front termination string rendering unless the tuner is not doing anything (sometimes heroically with suppressed expletives) to settle the string.   Probably this is caused by the usual humidity changes.
    Also, the same model may see differences in pitch stability.  For example, the Yamaha C3 is a fine piano.   Put two side by side and over time you may see dramatic differences in pitch pattern in response to humidity change.   I've seen plenty of this in university work.
    Of course string rendering problems caused by too much string angle/elevation is a big issue.  I remember a presentation by John Patton a few years ago on how much work it was to change the front string elevations on the Boston 178.   Changing elevations on an an existing design is not easy.  As big a challenge as it was, that change reflected a commitment to significantly improve the quality of that model.   I have asked Hailun to improve their elevations for years and after assurances that the fix was coming, I was recently told that there isn't a problem.  Personally I love the Hailun HG178, as a musical instrument, but I hope that the company does improve their front string elevation problem.
    Bill

    Bill Shull, RPT,  M.Mus.
    Sent from my iPhone





  • 4.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 14:12
    I'm of the opinion that string rendering is the most likely culprit.  Do any of you have any particular techniques you would employ on a Hailun like this?





  • 5.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 19:45
    CDL

    Gary Bruce
    Registered Piano Technician





  • 6.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 20:04
    Gary,

    CDL? What is that?

    Or did you intend to type CBL (as in Jon page's excellent Counter Bearing Lube)?

    Alan

    ------------------------------
    Alan Eder, RPT
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    California Institute of the Arts
    Valencia, CA
    661.904.6483
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 22:44
    Oops. Ha. Yes. CBL. 

    Gary Bruce
    Registered Piano Technician





  • 8.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-24-2020 12:23
    Hi Ron:
    In my experience, most often these problems are due to changes in the environment around the piano. A stairway to an upper level near the piano can cause air movement and affect the piano, even if there is no window or door nearby. We used to sell a Chinese XXXXmann piano that I couldn't keep in tune on the sales floor for even a day or two. Sometimes they are just very sensitive to changes in the microclimate around the piano. You might want to get a data logger so you could measure the humidity and temperature changes. Sometimes I've seen that there is a very steep angle from the tuning pin to the agraffe which makes rendering very difficult, and hard to tune. It almost seems as if the agraffes have more friction than non Chinese pianos. I have no way to measure. Couple that with very tight pins and you have a piano that is very difficult to tune. I worked for a store that sold a certain brand that ends with "diska", where it sometimes took me 3 hours to tune, mostly around the tenor/treble strut. Raising the pitch using my usual techniques would also not respond as I would expect, and I'd end up pitch-lowering, endlessly chasing my tail and wasting time. I've since learned to simply tune without overpull on these pianos, or add a very small amount.
    Good luck.
    Paul McCloud
    San Diego




  • 9.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-24-2020 12:29
    Have you prepped the strings?  Set at the hitch pins, good bends at the bridge pins and capo bar or agraffe, coils tight? 

    Gary Bruce
    Registered Piano Technician





  • 10.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Member
    Posted 03-24-2020 13:48
    If it was six months ago it was likely August of 2019. Check the weather for that time to see what it was doing. I believe Texas has some real humidity issues in summer and the piano may have been reacting to them. Placement of the piano in the home as well as hvac can be an issue because often people play with the thermostat, open windows or even shut ac off. A data logger is an excellent idea to see what goes on 24 x 7. Of course by now the piano has been through summer, winter and is close to spring. You mentioned 10% drop - what was the exact flatness reading ?  The tuning pin torque may also be an issue with too tight pins given the false impression the pin and string are settled when in fact only part of the pin moved. As Bill points out the string rendering/elevations could be a major factor.
    Unfortunately I have yet to come across a Hailun . Maybe you could snap a few pictures so folks can comment. Most of us are homebound and are glued to the computer....

    ------------------------------
    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Member
    Posted 03-24-2020 14:01
    Try lubricating the counter bearing surfaces to reduce excessive friction/drag.  I do it all the time and tuning is a breeze and stable even on high-angle counter bearing applications.

    ------------------------------
    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Member
    Posted 03-24-2020 15:06
    I gave a chapter technical of an experiment I did on a Chinese Hallet and Davis which was hell to tune...so bad I refused to tune it after trying for about 2 years...ended up at the chiropractor every time I tried to tune it.  45 deg termination angles throughout, two  wide radiused brass counterbearings in some places and dense felt after all the counterbearing(s). This was an ideal candidate for co-polymer counterbearings, and modified angles. It worked. Also restrung to get rid of the stuff they cynically referred to as steel wire. Profiled all agraffes and capo terminations and ca'd the bridge pins, and diaphramed the bass of the board in a very simple manor.

    Taking the beast apart, also gave me the opportunity to see how baldy they missed or didn't miss in the fabrication. It turns out, they were actually pretty close to making a nice instrument. The heavy industrial stuff and board was quite good. The problems were ones of knowledge (or giving a shit...not sure which one). The action as well was configured to fit some other piano. All of these were rectified, shanks & hammers tossed and replaced with WNG & Bacons, and the piano became an excellent instrument...sold for 1.5X than it was sold for new in the US, to the first pianist who sat down to play it.  So...they have possibilities...it really sounded quite good with custom work done to it.


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



  • 13.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Member
    Posted 03-24-2020 15:26
    Bill, If you are a Hailun dealer, trying to get them to change the angles I would think would be a hopeless task.  Substituting co-polymer would be effective, and they would not need to change their castings, if they either experimented with it, or had someone tell them how to do it.

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



  • 14.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Member
    Posted 03-27-2020 20:36
    Re technique for a poorly rending beast, the best I can suggest are:

    -only tune on moves up, because downward moves or flexing simply will not give you a reliable reading of where the tension in the front segment is.  If you move down, string pitch will drop within a half hour, randomly at first on a couple, and then more after a few days.
    -develop a lever technique, that lets you feel with ultra precision, how much you move the pin foot. This way, as you move the pin to raise the pitch, when the pitch inevitably doesn't move, you say "BS" to the string. IE, If I know I moved the foot a tiny amount, but there is no indication I raised pitch/tension, I don't keep turning the pin foot (the part in the block). Rather, I flex the pin gently (or not so gently) until there is some indication of upward movement. Over shooting is a pain, because you can't nudge down, but have to start all over again.  The trick is to learn to feel tiny tiny increments of pin movement. When you can feel tiny tiny pin movements, you have at least this feed back. Then, when the pitch does not follow your tiny movement, you know you have to convince the string over friction bearings. The goal is to find a way to deduce string segment tensions, without the normal feedback we depend on.

    Problem with this is its very difficult to finesse unisons. Sometimes you can finesse, and other times, you'll just drive yourself nuts.

    The other big thing, is to use the above suggestions, in concert with a fine resolution ETD. I use Only Pure. Since there is no aural feedback to be had, regarding tensions of the string segments, read the display for tiny movements of pitch, or compare the tiny movements you convinced the pin to make, with changes in the visual reading. When the pitch does not follow your tiny pin movements, you can be very precise on how much to flex the pin to move the pitch an amount that "should" match your pin foot movement.

    On really bad notes or pianos, I will tune each string of the unison to the display. Then, after you are pretty sure you got the tensions in the segments petty close, physically flex the pin to fine tune for that little finessing unison tweak....It takes time...be nice to yourself, as the cards are stacked against you.


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



  • 15.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Member
    Posted 03-27-2020 22:59
    If you minimize the excessive friction at the counter bearing surfaces, you can better finesse setting the string and pin.

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-28-2020 01:41
    This is pure conjecture but I'm wondering if it's possible to actually solve the problem.
    Two possibilities come to mind.

    Unhooking the strings and turning the pins out 3 or 4 turns and screwing them back in, maybe doing that twice, or turning the pins down first then up then back down. I've certainly seen pins in pianos that were okay made loose by technicians that turned the pins out 3 turns and then put the coils on new strings by winding them down on the tuning pins.

    Or something along the lines of Francis Mahafee's Zapper. Briefly heating the pins up (with electricity) so they expand, perhaps putting one pole on the top of the pin and the other on bottom under the block. A quick zap might not weaken the string wire or maybe they should be removed first.

    Maybe someone can do tests on a pin block outside of a piano. As they are, these pianos are close to non functional, I don't run into too many but what a pain. I tune one Samick that took 20 years to settle down to normal and it was by no means the worst I've encountered.

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 17.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Member
    Posted 03-28-2020 08:40

    I relieved an overly tight  grand by first backing each pin off by a half turn. Then wrenched each pin tighter and loose a half turn 30 times, bass twenty times. This used the pin as a reamer and I eventully arrived at a tolerable torque. It is a tuneable and stable piano now.

    Counter Bearing Lube reduces the excessive friction at the bearing surfaces and makes tuning easier. If also shows flaws in your pin setting because you may have unknowingly relied on that excessive friction (a false sense of security).
    Graphite is hygroscopic, I'm pretty sure, so attracting moisture is not optimal.
    Counter Bearing Lube (CBL) is a synthetic lube and does not creep.
    It contains one or more metal preservatives. Years of flawless use has proved this.


    ------------------------------
    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-28-2020 09:13
    Jon

    Have you run into wire fatigue at the TP with this technique ?

    How aggressive / fast do you cycle the rotation?

     

     

    http://bit.ly/Schedule_My_Piano

     

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


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    George W.R. "Bill" Davis, RPT, SERVP

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    Marietta GA 30066

    www.pianoplace.net

    bill@pianoplace.net


    Sent from my iPhone





  • 19.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Member
    Posted 03-28-2020 09:43
    No fatigue at the pin, only in the arms and shoulders :-).
    Let me correct the procedure. I first lowered the tension a half turn across the piano.
    Then first lowered (again) and raised the tension a half turn as fast as I could, switching hands ergonomically. Back and forth: repeat...
    I needed a break every 12 minutes or so. Whew...

    This piano was a "rebuild" and was an absolute mess. Not to mention how hard it was to play!
    I needed to reposition the top action towards the bass about 4-6 mm to align the reps over the capstans.
    How it left the dealership in such deplorable condition is a mystery. Let alone the tooner who recommended it.

    ------------------------------
    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
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  • 20.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-28-2020 09:48
    George,

    I have used Jon's technique on a screwed-up rebuild with the tightest tuning pins BY FAR that I have ever encountered.

    It works!

    Alan

    ------------------------------
    Alan Eder, RPT
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    California Institute of the Arts
    Valencia, CA
    661.904.6483
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-28-2020 02:47
    Since some of the suggestions were to improve rendering: Has anyone tried or experimented with graphite at the bearing surfaces?  An application of a fairly thin DAG or graphite solution applied with a tiny brush at the contact points (I would suggest just on the speaking length side of the capo bar and agraffe) would not be to obvious and might improve rendering.

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    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
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  • 22.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Member
    Posted 03-28-2020 08:30
    Blaine...I have tried this on the Chinese Hallet & Davis I mentioned previously in this thread.  I tried a bunch of experiments before I removed the strings for good to re-configure. However the test was inconclusive for this reason...On the graphite test note, in the really bad 45 deg tenor section, I let down the note, got the strings out of the way, and applied Dag, I think it was. Then put the coil back on the pin and brought it back up to pitch. As a control, in the adjacent note, I also let down the string, removed the coil, did nothing to the bearing point, re-installed the coil, and brought it back up to pitch.

    The graphite unison did indeed bear better over the friction point. However, so did the one without the graphite. Many folks have reported that letting down a string and bringing it back up improves really bad rendering...why?  I think it may have to do with scraping away corrosion at the contact surfaces, or perhaps work hardening the contact surfaces. However, that change makes it hard, in the short term, to prove the graphite is a good solution, at least for the long term.

    The Co-polymer which I used, in a reduced termination angle configuration, did solve the problem in the long term, as did changing out the 20 year old wire. Often, just changing the wire will improve matters, but once the corrosion or maybe even just minor oxidation re-occurs, you would be right back where you started.

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



  • 23.  RE: Hailun Stability

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 04-22-2020 16:10
    The conclusion of the matter:  I returned to the piano and, using Jim Laleggio's excellent instructions on pulling the string UP to pitch only, I was able to render a very passable tuning for the customer.  I also took some time voicing some of the harsher notes, and even added some badly needed sustain to the upper registers.  The customer was very pleased.  I am also adding to my shopping list some CBL for the next encounter with a piano like this.  Thanks to all, especially Jim!

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    Ron Bergeron, RPT
    Austin, Texas
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