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Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

  • 1.  Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-06-2021 03:47
    I got a call from a new customer that she had a Yamaha G1 grand that she wanted serviced. Besides tuning, her daughter thought the piano played too heavy although she didn't see a problem. I tuned the piano, bedded the key frame, lubricated  the keys and wire brushed the hammers. Now she is complaining that there are keys  that are "broken" (not returning full as per a picture she sent) bobbling and the piano has lost its resonance. The piano had no aftertouch when I left it and I explained that it needed more work before I left it the first time.

    The two issues that I see could be a problem are the key bedding is off, especially the hidden glides or the action didn't get set all the way down on the frame when it was reattached after working on the keys. I don't do a lot of work on Yamaha pianos, so if there is someone with more experience on this brand that can offer suggestions on what to look for, it would be appreciated.

    I am trying to get an appointment to see the piano Saturday and have an email to the locale Yamaha dealer for the name of the tech they use as backup if needed, but am open to suggestions of what to check from the wider community.

    Thank you.




    ------------------------------
    Rex Roseman
    Akron OH
    330-289-2948
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-06-2021 10:19
    As to the keys not returning, I expect you'll find something obvious when you go back.

    "Lost it's resonance" sounds like she didn't like the results of the wire brushing. If so, you can try supporting the hammers with a voicing block and judiciously pounding them with a small hammer or the butt end of a voicing tool. You could also just reassure her that wire brushing effects are fairly temporary. Or of course she may mean something totally different. Make sure she's there and try to understand her concern.

    Heavy action and no aftertouch? Is the hammer blow distance greater than 1 3/4"? You can measurably decrease touchweight and add aftertouch (which feels like you've decreased touchweight) by raising all the hammers a bit.

    .

    ------------------------------
    John Pope
    University of Kentucky School of Music
    Lexington, KY
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Posted 05-06-2021 11:03
    The bedding you did could have changed the key dip. Less key dip on an action that has too much blow distance will cause bobbling because the jack isn't getting out from under the knuckle.
    On a Yamaha dip should be 10mm. Start there. Raise the dip with the glide/bedding screws until the front rail tries to float. Otherwise you have to use punchings to raise dip.
    Set the blow distance to what Jon said.
    Then set the jack position. I find this needs to be done on almost every grand after it gets played for a year or 2 but you only do it once.
    Set let off and drop. Let off is 1mm and drop is 2mm from the string plane. So drop is just a wink and shouldn't feel mushy
    The other adjustments should come back if no one has messed with them.
    5 adjustments,, 1/2 hour each

    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-06-2021 11:17
    Bedding a Yamaha key frame is different than most pianos. The glide bolts should extend beyond the bottom of the keyframe by about 2 mm. This is a deliberate setting by Yamaha. If you brought them in flush then, yeah, keydip, letoff, aftertouch etc., are all going to be off and the customer is going to have problems.

    ------------------------------
    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-06-2021 11:27
    Geoff,

    Is there a reason that on Yamaha grand pianos the balance rail glide bolts need to protrude 2 mm? If one has the time to regain key dip, etc. after adjusting the bolts to within the range of 1 to 2 mm, is there a reason not to do that?

    Alan

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



  • 6.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-06-2021 12:04
    Alan --

    I seem to remember LaRoy Edwards touching on this during LRS, but both LaRoy and David Durbin were very specific on this during the Piano Service Seminar, the second of the three piano prep seminars that Yamaha does occasionally. During the Service seminar they even gave us all little gauges so we could get this right until we learned to simply do it by feel. (Good ol' LaRoy with his wonderful tools.) If I remember this correctly, (those classes were a while ago), the actions are bench regulated with the glide bolts extended. Once in the piano, with the piano now finely regulated and everything even, I think the idea was that should an overall change in performance, ie aftertouch, be required by a customer or performer it could simply be dialed in quickly using the glide bolts. In other words, you need that 2 mm extension in order for the action to perform as designed and set up in the factory. During those seminars, Yamaha stressed that while you can bring them back in flush, and reregulate the whole piano it really won't perform as well as if you left them extended in the first place.

    ------------------------------
    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Posted 05-06-2021 17:19
    The first classes I took from Yamaha/ LaRoy,, it was stressed not to use the glide bolts to adjust key height, that it should be done with punchings.
    Yamaha changed that philosophy a few years back to say you can use the glide bolt as long as it's not excessive.

    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-06-2021 20:33
    Thank you to everyone that replied. The bedding screws look like the major culprit. Interestingly, the copy of the Little Red Schoolhouse that I have tells you to raise all the bedding screws in step 2 to adjust the front rail and then to bed them in step 3. No mention of 2mm anywhere.

    Can someone post a picture of the gauge? I have an idea how to make one, but LeRoy's is going to probably be better then I can come up with on the first try.

    Thank you for the other suggestions. I will let you know how it went after Saturday.

    ------------------------------
    Rex Roseman
    Akron OH
    330-289-2948
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-06-2021 20:54
    Rex --

    As I have been thinking about this today, I recall that LRS was more or less a generic seminar. Yes, we were using Yamaha pianos but I remember that the method for bedding, for example, was to use a strip of newspaper, or something. Bring the glide bolts all the way in and then using the piece of paper as a gauge, slowly drop them back down again until they just grab the piece of paper as you slide it around. It wasn't until I attended the Performance seminar that the methods being taught were Yamaha specific. That's where the 2 mm height was brought in.

    Little Red Schoolhouse, now 37 Steps, was designed to apply to almost all grand pianos so very little of it was Yamaha specific. That's why it now works so well as a PTG training seminar. Not cheap, but worth every cent.

    The gauge wasn't anything exciting. It was just an approximately 2 mm thin piece of wood about 1/2" wide and maybe 1" or 2" long. You set the glide bolts with the action out of the piano and just felt across the gauge and the bolt until they felt even. After two or three bolts you knew what it felt like and you no longer needed the gauge.

    ------------------------------
    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-06-2021 21:01
    Does the 2mm extension of the glide bolts apply to all models of Yamaha Grands. I attended the LRSH and have to look through the manuals and notes. I dont recall doing this during the class just making sure the keyframe was bedded so there was no knocking. I would like to see something in print that says this is a spec and also a picture of the gauge. I have used automobile feeler gauges in the past to get accurate readings on heights or projection of parts.

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



  • 11.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-06-2021 22:14
    I was in a Yamaha seminar with Laroy and Yoshi Suziki.  I was also in the PPSS with Laroy and Ace Ugai.  Their take was that the glide bolts should be adjusted to produce the factory setting of 10mm of key dip.  The keybed moves and changes the key height and dip.  The bedding screws are used to compensate for the movement of the keybed.  2mm of movement of the bedding screws creates 4mm of extra dip.  That is a lot of extra aftertouch.  The point is that the bedding screws can be used to micro adjust the key height, dip and aftertouch.

    Laroy said that increasing the aftertouch by using the bedding screws was more efficient than raising the hammer line which reduces power.

    ------------------------------
    Carl Lieberman
    RPT
    Venice CA
    310-392-2771
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-06-2021 22:26
    No after touch: hammer blow too great, key dip too shallow.

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

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



  • 13.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Posted 05-07-2021 11:15
    It would seem in the 37 steps, the 2 mm adjustment of the bedding bolt is a preliminary adjustment because key height and dip is set in later steps.
    10mm key dip is what you use  set them at in a Yamaha.
    I have used the paper method to find when the bedding bolt contacts the keybed. However you need a slightly more positive connection so changes in climate and pedal shift don't move it out of range.
    So after you find the  minimum, you extend the bolts until you get the front rail to knock. Having counted the turns, I set the bots in the middle of that range and adjust from there to get proper dip or dip that works.






  • 14.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Posted 05-07-2021 11:20
    Back to the playing heavy. I think that would be jack placement or damper timing.
    Let us know





  • 15.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-07-2021 12:16
      |   view attached
    Speaking of the Little Red Schoolhouse, since I have the privilege of managing the Journal Indexing project, I have pdfs of every Journal since 1979, and I was able to extract all 37 Grand Regulation steps from the Journal ads. Here they are, in searchable pdf format. Enjoy. (Nothing about 2mm though)

    ------------------------------
    | || ||| || ||| || ||| || ||| || ||| || ||| || |||
    Jason Kanter
    Lynnwood WA
    425-830-1561
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)

    pdf
    37-Steps.pdf   22.22 MB 1 version


  • 16.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Posted 05-07-2021 15:34
    I joined the Fresno chapter when the chapter I was in closed.
    LaRoy and his daughters are in that chapter.
    In the discussion about the 37 steps, LaRoy was concerned that they would get used as a step by step guide. They were intended to be an outline to be used by a teacher. Each step has much more info than just the heading.
    Also he said there were at least 3 more steps.







  • 17.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-07-2021 18:04
    A simple way to get the glide studs on a Yamaha grand in the ballpark of where they should be is to use a nickel like a touch block. A nickel is very close to 2mm thick and also functions as a handy government issued decision maker.

    ------------------------------
    Karl Roeder
    Pompano Beach FL
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-07-2021 20:20
    Time to start hoarding nickels before cash is banned. Enough of this coin and cash shortage. I have been to a number of stores that stated you needed exact change to make a purchase. Like I am really going to know what the final bill is after I get the frequent user club/loyalty discount. I wonder what would happen if the total was $40.99 and I only had two twenty dollar bills. Would they eat the .99 cents ?

    Does your tip work with wooden nickels ????

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



  • 19.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-07-2021 20:51
    A nickel, with that 2 mm thickness, is also a handy way to judge black key dip above the white keys, and...
    A nickel also weighs exactly 5 grams. Which can be handy during certain transactions. Sometimes.

    ------------------------------
    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-08-2021 06:27
    If a client says the piano is playing heavily, there are numerous places to look. Bedding isn't generally one of them. Lack of aftertouch, badly worn hammer knuckles, keys or action parts in need of lubrication or repinning, damper timing, etc. After asking the client about specific keys or the specific problem, I play the piano so that I understand what the client is referring to.

    It's good practice when trying to figure out what's wrong with regulation to work on just one or two notes and figure it out from there.

    I took the 37 steps class. A wonderful class. I never follow the 37 steps in regulation, but I use a particular "step" to analyze a particular problem. I never bother with bedding unless there's an obvious problem; with the pianos I see there are generally many other obvious problems.

    If it were me with this piano, I'd first quickly get bedding to where it should be and then ensure that aftertouch is present, and in this case I'd do one key and lessen the hammer blow distance and see how much it needs to go to get aftertouch right. Then I'd look at letoff and drop and make sure these were happening and close to where they should be. If the key plays freely, I know the direction I need to go, and this isn't necessarily by changing blow distance but, as has been said, possibly by increasing key dip instead, or a little of both. If the key still doesn't play as it should, then I'd look more carefully at other regulation issues. But the point is to look around and examine what's happening with one key to solve the problem the client is complaining of.

    My two cents.

    ------------------------------
    Don Dalton
    Chester VT
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-08-2021 07:50
    A nickel dropped in between the key frame and key slip will eliminate keys hanging up against the fronts and the key slip. I call it the nickel fix for Steinway grands.

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

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



  • 22.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-08-2021 09:41
    Wouldn’t a thick cardboard front rail punching be a better choice than a hard metal nickel?

    Sent from my iPad




  • 23.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-08-2021 10:07
    Depends upon what you're likely to come up with when you reach into your pocket.
    Other thing is that it's not always so easy to pull back the keyslip and properly direct the 'nickel' to the proper place.
    Gluing the 'nickel' onto the front of the keyframe can work except it can obstruct or otherwise be dislodged when reinstalling the keyslip.
    Better would be an appropriately thicknessed piece of bushing cloth or leather that could be glued to keyframe with a 'lip' extending and glued to the top surface of the frame, so as to guide the keyslip into place.
    But then you have to be able to find some leather and glue in your pocket as well.
    The solution: more pockets.

    ------------------------------
    David Skolnik [RPT]
    Hastings-on-Hudson NY
    917-589-2625
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-08-2021 10:44
    This is off topic for the thread subject on Yamaha regulation but I had a problem key slip on a Kawai upright recently where the keyslip was pressing in several keys in octave 5. I fabricated two small clips made out of soft aluminum hobby stock. A one inch strip folder over was inserted carefully at each end of the key slip. It created enough force to bow the key slip away from the keys. My first attempt was to put a single thickness of the aluminum in the gap but it disappeared The clip is not going to move and I pressed it into the gap with a plastic chisel/pry bar I bought at Advance Auto.

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



  • 25.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-08-2021 13:16
    James -
    If you started talking about some Kawai you had seen that has 5 wheels and needs refinishing, THAT would be Off Topic.

    After thoroughly grasping your method (I think), a question comes to mind:
    What tool or tools from Advance Auto will you or the next technician need to remove the key slip, should that prove necessary?
    Maybe buy it/them and leave it/them in the bottom of the piano, just in case.

    ------------------------------
    David Skolnik [RPT]
    Hastings-on-Hudson NY
    917-589-2625
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-09-2021 07:02
    I've been using the large SS thumbtacks that come with the PLS undercover kits, with a cardboard punching behind it if necessary (it usually isn't). The smooth rounded surface of the tack doesn't add much friction to shift operation.

    ------------------------------
    Mark Dierauf
    Concord NH
    603-225-4652
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-09-2021 11:35
    ...and I hope you charge at least a nickel for that fix, Jon!

    We do all of this wonderful work to all of these wonderful pianos, and yet we stick stuff between the key slip and front edge of the front rail where, ideally there would be nothing (since it adds friction, can get misplaced upon action r&r, or even fall out unnoticed).

    It is reassuring to know that the piano continues to evolve, in ways both large and small. The attached photo shows an innovation on a recent vintage Fazioli 212 that I had never encountered before, adjustable key slip indexing pins. Thank you Paolo for this elegant solution to an age-old problem!

    Alan

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



  • 28.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-09-2021 11:40
    Regarding the aforementioned attachment... apparently, HL is not in the mood this morning. (Taking Mother's Day off?)

    Alan

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



  • 29.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-09-2021 18:21
    will you try again at some point?  I'd like to see it.

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



  • 30.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-09-2021 19:09
      |   view attached
    Jim,

    Thanks for your interest in this. Motivated me to find a workaround for the previously un-attachable attachment.

    Alan

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



  • 31.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-09-2021 18:44
    The last one was a phone diagnosis. Key front were rubbing on the key slip. I told her to pull the key slip forwards and drop a nickel in. Worked like a charm. Customer marveled at my ingenuity and know-how.  Just another feather in the ol' cap.

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

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



  • 32.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Member
    Posted 05-08-2021 15:09
    Thank you to all that responded. I went back today and was successful in fixing the piano and making the pianists happy.

    When I got there I first checked to be sure the keyslip wasn't binding on the white keys, ok. Checked the key dip and it was too shallow. Next checked to be sure the action stack was seated on the keyframe properly, ok. Checked the glide bolts and they were too high. Reset them to 2mm and everything came back into regulation.

    The second problem of a heavy action was solved because the jacks were way too far back. The jacks were adjusted and the knuckles brushed and lubed.

    While doing the jacks, I realized that there were a number of hammer flanges that were not returning. I believe that was the reason for the keys not returning. Fixed all of them that I found.

    The daughter was there with some of her friends and they were all very good players. They each tested the piano and were very happy. They like the feel and the sound.

    Thank you again for your help. I never would have figured it out on my own.

    ------------------------------
    Rex Roseman
    Akron OH
    330-289-2948
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Posted 05-08-2021 18:11
    Awesome,, the jacks add a different "heavy" feel than dampers.

    Brushing them??? Wouldn't that rough up the leather unevenly?
    I forget who,, Maybe Mr Foote,, one of the amazing techs out there, I now use sand paper maybe a 350 emery to clean and finer grits to polish.
    It also important to clean or even burnish the tops of the jacks and rep lever. The dag that's on there and some fresh graphite makes one slick surface. I use a 400/600 grit wet dry paper to clean those.

    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: Yamaha regulation/voicing problems

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-09-2021 11:24
    If memory serves, this issue of brushings knuckles vs. sanding them has come up somewhere before. I gave up brushing in favor of sanding in the interest of the stability of the critical relationship between the jack and the knuckle. A key-pounding machine can help mitigate what happens as the brushed knuckles initially compress, but I don't want to have to set repetition lever height twice, and I believe that the already compressed/sanded knuckle leather is more stable, and let-off more crisp.

    Alan

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