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MMD > Archives > December 1996 > 1996.12.15 > 10Prev  Next


Re: Replacing the Piano Hammers
By John A. Tuttle

Damon, I think I can safely assume that the hammers will be made by Schaff Piano Co. In my opinion, they have an excellent hammer division. But only _four_ hammers? I always send the first and last hammer in _each section_ of the action. For most grand pianos that's 8 hammers, and in most uprights it's 6 hammers. However, almost all upright hammers change angle around the middle of the scale, in the tenor section, which would necessitate sending two more hammers, or 8 in total.

Did the technician mention anything about shaping and tone-regulating the new hammers after they've been installed in the action? This is imperative. All new hammers need to be shaped due to the fact that cutting the hammer set contorts the face (crown) slightly, giving it a concave shape (see Pg. 315, #8 "The first filing", in "Let's Tune Up" by John W. Travis).

Further, shaping helps insure that the strings, for every single note, will be struck at exactly the same moment, putting them vibrating "in cinch". Also, it is usually necessary to harden or "dope" the hammers in the extreme treble section (the last octave or so) since they are typically too soft and will not produce good tone. Tone-regulating is an art and is 100% necessary if the beauty of a new hammer set is to be fully realized.

John Tuttle


(Message sent Sun 15 Dec 1996, 11:41:38 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Hammers, Piano, Replacing

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