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MMD > Archives > April 2012 > 2012.04.11 > 04Prev  Next

Cracked Plate in Aeolian Sting II Pianola
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  Yesterday I evaluated the condition of an Aeolian Sting II
that had been recently tuned by another individual.  I was told that
the individual was not a professional piano tuner, but rather a student
at a fine arts institution in New York City.

According to the customer, the piano sounded pretty good after he was
done.  However, about two days later all of the notes in the upper
register of the piano seemed to stop working.  Upon hearing the sound
of those notes over the phone, I concluded that something drastic had
happened.  I was also told that the 'tuner' suspected that the plate
had cracked.

Upon arriving, it became immediately clear that there was virtually no
tension on any of the strings in the treble register.  After removing
the piano action, the cracks in the plate were visible.  See: 

My reason for this posting is to solicit opinions regarding why this
plate cracked.

In the video, I also filmed the backside of the soundboard because
it seemed that there was a correlation between the damage I saw and
the location of the treble bridge.  Upon close examination of the
video, it's now clear that there are cracks in the soundboard that
are above and below at least 80% of the length of the treble bridge.

Another thing that's not so immediately visible in the video is the
rust on the bottom portion of all of the treble strings in the area
where the under-stringing felt is located.

At this point in time, I do not have any information about the pitch
of the piano prior to it being tuned.  However, in a paper written by
the tuner, he says that the pitch was raised to A-435.

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Wed 11 Apr 2012, 14:27:32 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Aeolian, Cracked, II, Pianola, Plate, Sting

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