Author Topic: "Soft" dampers in mid range of 1977 suitcase?  (Read 1071 times)

Offline Dan Brandesky

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"Soft" dampers in mid range of 1977 suitcase?
« on: December 16, 2013, 12:12:53 PM »
I have a 1977 suitcase, which I assume has the dampers which were assembled in "modules" that cover one octave each. The problem I have is that the damper group that goes from the E above middle C up to the next D# are just impossible to get adjusted correctly. If I bend them up a bit because they don't dampen enough, they choke out the note. If I bend them back a little bit, I'm back to the same soft dampening issue. There just doesn't seem to be an in between! These are the only ones that give me any trouble, the rest of the keyboard is fine. I've also noticed that their behavior is not always consistent; even with the same attack (hard, soft, or medium) repeated over and over, you'll get a different result almost every time.

I'm considering just replacing this damper group, but I was wondering what you all thought or if there was anything else I should try. Also, does anyone sell these grouped dampers anymore, or do I have to retrofit the individual note dampers somehow?

Thanks!

Offline goldphinga

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Re: "Soft" dampers in mid range of 1977 suitcase?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 12:51:39 PM »
It could be that those particular dampers are underperforming for several reasons.

1. They've been damaged through over bending/stressing in the wrong places
2. The felts are shot
3. Escapement is off in that area
4. Warped Keybed/action rail
5. Baggy bridle straps
6. Warped damper rail pressing down on damper arms

That's off the top of my head. Might be worth swapping over another mid range damper module to see if that helps. They come up on eBay and VV and speakeasy do have them in I think- VV have used ones but not new and speakeasy have new octave strips.

Could you post some pics and or video. Also- do you notice anything different about the dampers in this particular section compared to the others visually.

And one thing to try-

Remove the harp and damper bar. Remove the bridle straps gently and unscrew and remove the module. Place the module on a hard flat surface. Flatten out the arms using gentle finger pressure rubbing along each damper arm. Put them back in the piano and see if tension is better then re bend from where the bridle strap is attached as required.  If this doesn't work it's likely a new module that's needed IMHO.


Offline Dan Brandesky

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Re: "Soft" dampers in mid range of 1977 suitcase?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 04:07:41 PM »
Hadn't occurred to me to try rehabbing them outside of the piano, I may try that out! They don't really look different than the other dampers, felt looks good, bridle straps don't appear to be too off from what I remember. It will be a while before I get to working on this but I'll definitely post results. Just looking for possible causes at the moment!

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: "Soft" dampers in mid range of 1977 suitcase?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 07:06:12 PM »
All good suggestions from goldphinga.

Do you notice a lot of bridle strap slack?  Do the dampers only get engaged when you're more than halfway through a key stroke?  They simply might not be getting pulled down far enough out of the way, which makes adjustment very difficult because you're working with a much smaller range of motion.
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