D.L. Bullock's comments about quieting a piano reminded me of a recent
job. The problem was that the piano was difficult to play quietly.
Initially, the problem seemed like it was mostly a matter of regulation,
in that the hammers were letting off about 1/4" from the strings.
After regulating the let off to within less than 1/8" (more like
1/16"), the action 'felt' better but it still didn't feel 'controllable'.
I fiddled with a few things but the problem felt more like a matter of
too much friction at the point just prior to let off. So, I changed
one of the knuckles.
The original knuckles were quite flat, even though they weren't badly
worn. I considered some of the "tricks" to get them round again, but
the difference in the 'feel' of the new knuckle was so dramatic that
I ended up changing all of the knuckles.
Well, the rest is history. The action was installed, the player
mechanism regulated, and the music began to play. What a joy!
Although I suppose many technicians hear this, I still get a great
degree of satisfaction from hearing the customer say, "Wow, I never
knew it could sound like that!"
John A. Tuttle