Hohner Pianet T Repair: Squeaky Keys and Quiet Sound

Started by kyleoshaun, August 31, 2022, 02:39:41 PM

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I recently picked up a Hohner Pianet T and I'm looking for tips on DIY repairs. Any tips on the below issues?

I seem to have the original sticky pads still. I've attached some photos.

1. Squeaky Keys

There's some resistance (rubbery friction feeling) and a squeaky sound coming from the key levers (not from the sticky pads / tines).
Can I use something to lubricate this? I have electronics contact cleaner, isopropyl alcohol and WD40.

2. Quiet sound

My Pianet is significantly quieter than others I've tried in the past. Any tips on troubleshooting this?

I watched the pianet repair video from Vintage Vibes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgYcZq1RKvs
and they recommended a few things:

- Lightly bending the sticky pad pluckers towards the tines to make sure they make good contact
- Experimentally adjusting the positioning of the sticky pads on the tines to improve tone/volume
- Lightly bending the pickups towards the tines to increase volume
- Cleaning the sticky pads in light soapy water

3. Rust

There is some light rust on most of the metal components. This is mostly cosmetic, but is there anything I could do that would be worthwhile/safe?

Appreciate any help!


1. Check to make sure the keys aren't rubbing against their neighbors
2. Have you tried any of the recommendations from the VV video? Those are all valid suggestions. I would add that you should play the Pianet unplugged and try to get an even sound from all the notes through a combination of pad cleaning, pad positioning, and keyshaft adjustment, BEFORE making any adjustments to the pickups.
3. I've left the rust on the keys/keyshafts alone. It's not worth the trouble of removing. If there is rust on the reeds themselves, this can have an effect on the tone/tuning and could be part of the reason why your instrument seems quiet. The rust can be cleaned with a fiberglass scratch pen brush. Clavinet.com sells this as the "euro tool", I'm sure you can find it elsewhere.

Generally speaking, I've found that the Pianet T does not have a very strong output, and needs help from pedals and/or preamps in order to really come to life. Plugging it straight into an amp or board can be incredibly underwhelming.


Thanks for the reply @theseacowexists

1. It's possible that the squeaky noise / friction is coming from the keys rubbing against their neighbors although it's hard to tell. If thats the case, what can I do to solve this?

2. I wanted to check with the forum before trying out any of the recommendations from the VV video.

I played around a bit with the positioning of the sticky pads today and tried lightly bending some of the key shafts. This made some minor improvements in some cases but the change was generally minor.

I did find that a couple of the pickups were actually angled too far IN (towards the reeds/tines). I bent these slightly out and this revived some notes that had very little sustain.

Is it worth trying cleaning the sticky pads as the VV video recommended? Could this actually improve the tone much, and does this risk damaging them at all?

3. There IS rust on the reeds themselves. I've attached another photo showing some of the reeds which have the worst rust on them.

I'm reading mixed reviews on the risks and benefits of trying to remove the rust. Can you or anyone else share any more insight on if this is worthwhile/safe to do? And also on the best way to do this: is there something special about the clavinet.com "euro tool" or would some light steel wool work for this? And lastly should this be used with any liquid/solution?

I know a lot of people say the Pianet T tends to not be very powerful (as you suggested), but I'm comparing mine side by side to another I have access to and it is substantially quieter. Especially when unplugged, it is virtually inaudible.

Appreciate any other tips, thanks for your help!


There's nothing special about the clavinet.com Euro tool, any old fiberglass scratch pen should do. I am not sure about steel wool. The fiberglass pen seems to be the accepted tool for this job. It's worked well for removing the rust on my reeds, they were in a similar state as yours. Wipe up all the dist when you're finished and wipe them down with a bit of iso alcohol. No need for any other solutions. Wait for them to dry, replace the sticky pad. With the rust removed, there will be a fresh, smooth surface for the pad to correctly adhere to.

You cannot damage the pads by cleaning them with mild soap and water. In fact, the original owners manual recommends this. (http://hohner-pianet.com/hohner_pianet/pianet_T.html) Just allow the pads to dry completely before replacing them.

If the keys are rubbing against each other, I don't know what you could do to remedy that. If the squeaking is coming from the pivot mechanism, perhaps a tiny drop of oil in the offending spot would do the trick. A 3-in-1 or sewing machine oil might do the trick. The best would be Protek piano lubricant, if you can get a hold of a bottle.