David <utterly ineffectual, unto tone killing
I meant, that literally the time spent achieved zero improvement towards the tone I am looking for. Pretty straight forward. I will engage my OCD only for practical result, as, at 67, I have no patience for spinning my wheels at the behest of the aforementioned Emperor.
What is the treble tone I personally am looking for?
Instantaneous development of organized pitch at the fundamental level...that is, a crisp non- abrasive attack, followed by the actual fundamental being present and sustaining at least a couple of seconds, hopefully more. Just a couple of seconds though can really be a big plus for treble tone. Most of the time, challenged treble tone (first capo) has almost no fundamental presence at all, and what fundamental appears, lasts a fraction of a second...that is, the fundamental lasts not much past the piercing, explosive attack phase of the tone.
So, with leveling, as one of the mating processes, in theory, I am talking about trying to maximize treble tone, as described above. Utterly ineffectual, means the theory did not match the reality. Leveling achieved no change that I could discern. When theory and reality don't agree, I question why. When I leveled strings, there was no significant increase in fundamental sustain, or there was so little improvement, that one could not tell if one was fooling one's self, or whether some tiny, tiny, tiny improvement happened. In any case, come back the next day and listen to it, and there will still be an unsatisfactory tone.
My complaint is one of degree.
When folks talk about improving treble tone, and when I listen to these processes demonstrated in a class or in person, performed by someone else, I may hear tiny incremental, improvements. However, when treble tone is challenged with explosive attack and lack of fundamental , which is a major flaw in my aesthetic, I'm not looking for incremental . I'm looking for major improvement, as in order of magnitude improvement, not tiny incremental improvement. I simply never get a major, order of magnitude improvement from leveling. I get it from remedial board work, mass loading, from mating sometimes, and from hammer work. In fact, the older I get, and the better the pianos sound, hammer work and the hammers themselves continue to reveal how important they are.
< what about the poor schlubs that do use heavier, denser hammers?
I don't know. I made my decision to target the hammer densities and weights I use based on my own practical results and data sets, and tonal aesthetic. It could be these folks are targeting a tone different from the tone I am targeting. As such they need to develop their own data set. The trick there is, if using a denser/heavier hammer/lower AR system , to question all conventional wisdom regarding what those hammers are or are not actually providing in reality, as opposed what conventional wisdom says they will provide. My data comes from reasonably light (but still modern weights, in the normal/ light end of hammer weight spectrum). Maybe folks who claim leveling works wonders need it to tame the high partial heavy effects of heavy dense hammers, which seems to be an aesthetic that many techs chase...I do not know, so I made the qualification. My data is based only on my personal experience, and on achieving what I consider my ideal tone, as described above.