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MMD > Archives > January 2010 > 2010.01.25 > 06Prev  Next

Securing Your Player Piano Adjustments
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  I almost can't believe there is any adjustment in a piano or
player action (except the valves) that only requires attention once
every 40 years.  If this sounds offensive, I apologize, but such a
statement is absurd.

Every piano manufacturer recommends that the piano action be regulated
once every five years.  Why?  Because things like felt and buckskin wear
when they are being struck thousands of times with a piece of metal.
Also, felt and buckskin will compress as time passes.  Further, the
amount of usage, and consequent wear, varies depending on how the owner
uses their instrument.

I might warn a customer about the ramifications of being 'hard' on
the instrument, but I would never expect my warning to limit their
enjoyment.  Some people just love loud player piano music.  So be it.
I'll tell them that the regulation should be checked every three years
(minimum) instead of every five.

Concerning the use of any product that secures an adjustable component
into place, I say "beware".  The rebuilder should know if the adjustments
are loose and attend to that problem during the rebuilding process.
Naturally, there might be exceptions if the technician is 'on-the-job'
and they encounter a loose capstan or adjustable button, but securing
something that is suppose to be readily adjustable sounds to me like a
problem in the making.

In closing, I've worked on over 8000 player pianos and never run into
one that had any kind of a product that even mildly restricted the
movement of an adjustable component.  I've also never encountered an
instrument that went out of adjustment because the adjustable component
moved do to usage.  Maybe the environment is really brutal, maybe
securing the adjustments is really necessary, but if that's the case
why didn't I hear about it in my past 38 years in business?

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA (where the weather can get pretty brutal)

(Message sent Mon 25 Jan 2010, 06:47:40 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Adjustments, Piano, Player, Securing, Your

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