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Re: Weber Duo-Art grand

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  • jazzpianist
    The player action directly behind the fallboard means that the piano action has to be pushed at least three to four inches further back than it would usually
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 7, 2013
      The player action directly behind the fallboard means that the piano action has to be pushed at least three to four inches further back than it would usually be. The action carriage was the same for both standard and D/A pianos. This means that even with clever wrangling the keys had to be longer by the same amount. This changes the location of the balance rail which can change the pivot point and leverage of the piano, resulting in a different level of key dip.

      In order to compensate for this, the keytops were more of what was a European than American length at that time (now they are mostly standard). This meant shortening from 5 7/8" on average down to 5 1/2" in most cases. The extra 3/8", when simply looked at on a ruler, should seem more than insignificant, given that the key fronts alone were 1 3/4" on a D/A and 2" on a standard action, meaning less clear white key bandwidth, and retain a little bit of "digging in" space for the back of the action. That loss of space results in ring marks on the fallboard during ambitious passages.

      Also, I have noted that in order to keep the key dip within scope that the balance rail for a D/A is actually a little bit forward of the same analog point on a standard action, meaning that while key dip is more or less maintained, the weight ratio throughout each keystroke changes just a bit. This requires just a little bit more control during softer passages, and a little more restraint during louder ones.

      In short [not really], you can't put something 6" deep over a space not intended for something that bit without making some adjustments. Full length key tops would have added too much in front of the balance rail.

      There are other compensations as well, including that the strings are around 6" shorter for the bass and 5" shorter for the tenor than an equivalent length piano, and the tuning pins for the bass, which are usually just 2" or so behind the fallboard, are now 7" or more behind it. This requires adjustments to the scale, meaning the top half of the piano is just slightly out of scale with the bottom half in order to make the pin array line up properly and keep the 1/7 string length striking area to avoid unwanted harmonics. There were definitely compromises made for Steinways, Webers, and other Duo-Art pianos that require some clever tweaking. In other words, a 9' Steinway Duo-Art will not have quite the same sound or feel as a Steinway D, so is almost but not quite comparing apples with almost apples.

      Hope that explains the situation a little better.

      PBE


      --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "johnk570" <johnk570@...> wrote:
      >
      > Why would the keytops need to be shorter? I can see how the keys themselves would need to be longer since the Duo-Arts put the player box behind the keyboard (which would require a longer piano) instead of in a drawer like the Ampicos (which would require you to sit really low like Glen Gould or build a taller piano), but the short-keytop thing kinda confuses me. Wouldn't that just make it really awkward to play unless you're a little kid?
      >
      > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "jazzpianist" <perfbill@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Follow-up
      > >
      > > I should point out that mine remains functional as a piano since I keep it maintained, and other than the normal balance issues due to longer keys with shorter key tops, plays very well. If there are issues such as loose tuning pins, the need to replace some of the ebonies or ivories (most had true ivory like mine), loose balance rail pins, any rusted strings or dirty beyond saving wound strings, this will lower the value somewhat since the piano part has to function well before the player is effective.
      > >
      > > Bill E.
      > >
      >
    • johnk570
      The best solution I ever saw for keeping the fingerprints/scuff marks off the fallboard was putting a clear sheet of plastic on the fallboard (I think it was
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 7, 2013
        The best solution I ever saw for keeping the fingerprints/scuff marks off the fallboard was putting a clear sheet of plastic on the fallboard (I think it was on one of the school pianos, and I've seen a battered Steinway B with it too). It doesn't work too well with modern-style uprights with fallboards that close flush with the case, though.

        --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "jazzpianist" <perfbill@...> wrote:
        > In order to compensate for this, the keytops were more of what was a European than American length at that time (now they are mostly standard). This meant shortening from 5 7/8" on average down to 5 1/2" in most cases. The extra 3/8", when simply looked at on a ruler, should seem more than insignificant, given that the key fronts alone were 1 3/4" on a D/A and 2" on a standard action, meaning less clear white key bandwidth, and retain a little bit of "digging in" space for the back of the action. That loss of space results in ring marks on the fallboard during ambitious passages.
        >
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