Treble sustain

Thomas D. Seay, III
Sun, 16 Jun 1996 08:37:36 -0500

Scott Johnson writes;
> Bye the way I have a problem with a teachers Kawai grand that I have done
>estimate to do some voicing on. The first 3 or 4 notes above the tenor/treble
>plate strut have very bad sustain time when plucked or struck. She has not
>mentioned it as a problem but she will no doubt be listening more carefully
>after I do the voicing. Any suggestions for me on what I might check to help
>these notes sing like their neighbors?

Hi Scott,

Since you say that the sustain is poor when the strings are struck or
plucked, faulty string termination is most likely the culprit.

I would suggest that as a preliminary step to voicing hammers, you tighten
plate bolts/screws, seat the strings along their termination points at the
hitch pin, bridge pins (including across the top of the bridge), capo or
agraffee, and upper plate bearing points. In addition, I would further
suggest lifting the strings just in front of the capo or agraffes. This
will remove the slight downward curvature of the wire as it passes under or
through these bearing points. Don't overdo the preceeding step! Lastly, go
through and level and space strings. This will greatly improve the sustain
of most pianos. It only takes a few minutes to go through these steps, but
it will save you lots of time and grief later on when you tune and voice.

One thing that we have found on a few pianos at our School of Music is the
presence of foreign matter on the non-speaking side of the strings in the
capo section. This can be pencil eraser bits, dust, or other debris which
sometimes collects in that area.

Good luck.

Tom Seay
The University of Texas at Austin

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