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sostenuto bar problems

Discussion in 'The Piano' started by StuKautsch, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    I just had a successful conclusion to a problem that has plagued my piano for 2 months and, for the most part, kept me off the keyboard for that length of time (by far the longest layoff I've had in 55 years of playing).

    On my Petroff, there is one key (F# about 2-1/2 octaves above middle C) whose mechanism is situated above the sostenuto bar but has no damper (it's the first key without a damper). In July, probably due to humidity, this key's mechanism hit the sostenuto bar when it was released. I let it go for a couple of weeks and then tried to investigate. When I had re-assembled the piano, 2 more keys were doing it. I couldn't risk playing, but could not set aside time for the technician due to schedule conflicts.

    He showed me that if the action was put in, but not quite all the way, the clicking stopped. But, of course, this is not a good long-term solution, so he filed down a few parts (whose name I don't know) and the collision stopped.

    We did not have a particularly hot summer, so I did not run the AC much. Unfortunately, that's the only dehumidifier I have.

    Before this happened, I had no idea that the sostenuto goes that high. I've never used it for anything other than bass pedal tones. Am I alone in this??

    Anyways, I'm mucho rusty but I will now try to resume practicing, etc.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    You have a grand piano, don't you Stu? I've never noticed a sostenuto bar inside my piano. I can see the dampers being raised and held up, but I don't see any kind of bar in there. Maybe I'm not looking in the right spot. Anyway, I also have had some strange things pop up with my piano. The most recent thing was that my una corda pedal caused the keyboard to move over too much and one hammer was striking two keys. And right now, I have this weird squeaky, ticky sound coming from underneath the keys around two octaves below middle C. We are still having the most strangest weather ever, so I know it's related to the temperature shifts and fluctuating humidity.

    Glad your piano is back in good working condition!
     
  3. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    I did not know what the sostenuto bar was until last spring. (I'm astonishingly ignorant of the hardware. I've read books about it, but have never really "got it".) The problem I had then was a shimmering left over from the dampers not going all the way in, and the cause was the bar being out of alignment.

    Perhaps the una corda problem is the action being put in the piano just a hair too far to the left or right? Those blocks on the sides of the keyboard will probably prevent that, though. More likely a problem with the una corda mechanism.

    I'd have that click sound looked at; it's what I first noticed when the sostenuto got out of whack the second time. It could be damaging key mechanisms.
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ohhh...I had that same problem with shimmering sound. My technician did something to fix it, but I can't remember what.

    The clicky sound coming from under my keys can sometimes be remedied when I tighten or loosen those two big screws at the ends of the keyboard under the piano arms. I really hate the noise, but I've learned that my recorder does not pick up that sound. Luckily!!
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have that problem with clicking keys also, and need to be extremely careful about how far I push the action back in when it's been out. My sostenuto goes only up to just below the middle C and is very useful for holding pedal notes (since playing the organ I really appreciate and use that function, whereas previously I did not). Some modern grands have sostenuto extending over all the keys with dampers but I'm not sure I'd want that, I found it really irritating when I once tried one such. I assume that using una corda may subtly alter the position of the action (and not just in the left-right direction) which is why I don't like using that.
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    So far today, no clicking keys! :D The weather is much less humid though, so maybe that's why. Plus, I did loosen the screws underneath.
     

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