now what?, (hammer choices)
Sat, 6 Sep 2003 18:59:13 EDT

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In a message dated 9/5/2003 4:21:46 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 

> Subj: now what?, (hammer choices) 
>  Date: 9/5/2003 4:21:46 PM Pacific Daylight Time
>  From: <A HREF=""></A>
>  Reply-to: <A HREF=""></A>
>  To: <A HREF=""></A>
>  Sent from the Internet 
> Greetings, 
>  So, my C-3 customer that is getting new hammers sez he certainly doesn't 
> want them to sound like new STeinway hammers, which to him are too soft and 
> round sounding,  and he doesn't want the glassy sound that comes from the 
> studio 
> C-7's with use and lacquer all over them them.   His knuckles and shank 
> pinning 
> are too good to throw away, so the stock Yamaha hammers are not the ticket.  
>   I am trying to make a decision between Piano-tek's Imadagawa,(which I have 
> used quite a bit of in the past), and their Abel "Standard" series.  He 
> records this piano in his business, and he wants it to be brilliant without 
> being 
> harsh from the get-go.  I know I can needle the Imadagawa's  to virtually 
> anywhere I need them, but am intrigued by the Abel.  The only sets I have 
> heard 
> that I liked had been played a lot.  Do they start out needing a fair amount 
> of 
> use to develop?   
>   Anybody wanna make a suggestion between these two? 
> Thanks, 
> Ed Foote RPT 
>        Ed
     OK.  I guess I'll be the contrairian and say that I have more people 
requesting the removal of the Abels in favor of the sound you say your client 
wants. The complaint is too loud too harsh.  Often it's true the voicing hasn't 
been worked on enough but also the Abels I've worked with take sooo much 
needling (pulverizing) what could possibly be left of the reselience we say is 
important. Dunno
 Though I'm keenly aware of anti -lacquering sentiments among many The Isaac 
hammer and Ronsen hammers at times even though they might require light 
solutions produce a sound that is voicing stable and neeling is accomplished easily. 
Any tech following a properly treated set of these hammers should not have 
trouble needling as needed and nor shoulf  the lacquer be detected unless it was 
of course over done. I personally find clients attracted to this kind of a 
sound which is clear  and strong but not glassy or too round. If you guys  are 
getting this kind of sound with some version of Abels I don't know about please 
enlighten me.!!
     In spite of that comment I've worked on sets that even after the 
pulverizing sounded very good (Mason & Hamlin A) ,however that set required 
substantial & relatively deep needling across the top of the hammer thru out the tenor &
 treble but not as much in the bass. 
   As Del & others have intimated previuosly, the stiffness of hammer 
required to produce a specific kind of sound in any  piano really depends on the 
soundboard stiffness and other factors.
     I currently have a 6 ft 6 inch grand in house that has Abels that have 
been needled nicely  and  great deal by a previous tech.but the client is 
unhappy with the brightness  & is considering changing them. Another extenuating 
factor is that the hammers were made very light (on purpose-geometry)(note 52 is 
5.3 grams) resulting in the problem of not enough mass to push the string in 
a piano this large with a sound board this stiff. They sound fairly good 
(especially in the bass) but the client has a bright room and these particular 
hammers have more than one problem (toostiff too light)creating an unpleasant 
sound in the treble. The other piano in shop is a Conover 77 & has either a set is 
of Abels or Imdagawa. The hammers are relatively new and incredibly difficult 
to get needles in the high tenor & treble. The sound is strident. I can't 
detect any lacquer/plastic solutions. Again the client is displeased with the 
sound after the new hammers were installed. I will try to needle them but with 
felt that stiff its often not productive nor fun.
   Hey Ed I'm sure you probably don't need my advice but this is my two cents 
worth. Let us know how what you decide on in  the C-3 and how it comes out.

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