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Ticking agraffes

  • 1.  Ticking agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 29 days ago
    What causes agraffes to tick when changing string tension? I used to see it mostly with agraffes that were bronzed or highly lacquered, but recently have encountered it in a few fairly young Yamahas. As far as I can tell, Yamaha agraffes have no lacquer, and are certainly not bronzed.

    Joe Wiencek


  • 2.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 29 days ago
    Joe

    My experience with ticking at the agraff is that the string has a notch or nick in it.  What you want to do is get the notch away from the agraff. I do this by releasing the tension of one side of the string by turning the pin at least half turn. Then take up the slack on the other side of the string.

    Obviously if there is a lot of rust on the string, especially at the hitch pin, this will not work without the risk of breaking the string. Then the only option is to replace the string.

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    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789
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  • 3.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 29 days ago
    It is a common misconception that the ticking is at the agraffe. It is 99.9% in the wire sticking to the counterbearing cloth. Lubricate that with CBL and your troubles will be over.

    Edit: Clarification...the tremendous pressure of the string into the cloth (over time) causes the cloth to take on a mirror image of the not-so-perfect underside of the wire. It wants to stay put until you apply enough force to break it free (in one direction or the other)..."tick". Lubrication provides enough slip to stop this pattern. Under some circumstances more than one application may be necessary.  Lube the agraffe too.


    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 4.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Member
    Posted 29 days ago
    I don't buy it...evidence please

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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
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  • 5.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Member
    Posted 29 days ago
    I have proven that the cloth is the culprit by installing Counter Bearing Aliquots (CBA).  I had been thinking about them for a while and when I started to tune an incorrigible S&S S, I stopped the exercise in futility.  I went home and made a bunch of CBA's and went back and installed them. Ultra severe ratcheting was gone.  It went from being the most difficult piano to tune and requiring restringing to the most pleasant piano to tune.

    Whenever I have ratcheting on tenor c/b felt and CBL does not alleviate it, CBA to the rescue!  I've proved it time and time again. You can see in the photo that the wire no longer is being pressed into the felt (incredible amount of friction).

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@comcast.net
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
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  • 6.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Member
    Posted 29 days ago
    By installing a CBA, the NSL is longer due to the increased height at the end of the c/b felt; thus pulling the speaking length into the agraffe and getting 'new' wire. To install the bearings, lower the tension on two notes (3 loops) a half tone. This makes installation easier and the added height brings it back to relative pitch.

    But even with placing a thin brass piece at the top end of the felt and not increasing the height much, the ticking goes away.

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

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



  • 7.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Member
    Posted 28 days ago
    I don't agree that this proves it.  The reason being, that simply letting down the tension to add the aliquots fixes, at least temporarily, the problem. I've done it multiple times in the shop testing this, letting down the tension completely, then bringing it up with no change to the system. Rendering is improved significantly by this simple tension release.

    The problem is that it is impossible to make a change to the system, changing only one aspect, without screwing with the system enough to make the results ambiguous.

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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
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  • 8.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 28 days ago
    I agree with Jim.  Most of the time there is something in the string/agraff juncture that cause the clicks/ticks.  Changing the position of the string/agraff relation, even less than 1 mm,  will solve the issue.

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    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789
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  • 9.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 28 days ago
    You can think what you want. Proof is in doing it. Anytime I have this "ticking" I lube with CBL (used to use Protek) and it goes away. Been doing this for over 30 years. Simple fix.

    Essential on a Bechstein.

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 10.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Posted 28 days ago
    hmmmm.... and all these years I thought Steinway's patented ticking agraffes were key to their special piano sound....

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    Jurgen Goering
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  • 11.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Member
    Posted 27 days ago


  • 12.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 27 days ago


  • 13.  RE: Ticking agraffes

    Posted 27 days ago
    Karl - the sentiment you express is exactly why the PTG is, as far as the UK is concerned with no remaining piano manufacturers, the most important source of English speaking expertise.

    There are many instruments refurbished in England, but I would have much more confidence sending an instrument for technical work to be done to an American technician who had actual experience of _making_ instruments.

    It's for that reason that your efforts to keep American piano building alive have been and are absolutely vital to the future of the instrument.

    Best wishes

    David P

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