Click noise after key release...normal?

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prometheusdt
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Click noise after key release...normal?

Post by prometheusdt » 28 Dec 2016, 21:36

https://youtu.be/xTmCVFEQkH0 (you'll need to turn up the volume)

I'm new to piano and bought my first used grand. In the video above, after I release the key, the damper falls and you can hear a clicking noise. Is this normal? I hear this at my piano teacher's place as well, but his was much quieter and barely noticeable. My sister's upright didn't make as much noise as mine either. Mine is loud enough that it's distracting. When I play very loudly, it's not as much a concern since the music drowns out the clicks. But when I play at moderate loudness, it's noticeable. Thank you in advance for your response.

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Re: Click noise after key release...normal?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 29 Dec 2016, 00:29

it could be lots of things too many to list, have you had it tuned yet
However, as it is on release is it on all of the notes or just a few
it could be some thing simple as a pencil on the keys behind the fall

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Re: Click noise after key release...normal?

Post by prometheusdt » 29 Dec 2016, 06:14

This occurs on all of the keys including the ones without a damper. Some people have suggested that it's the hammer rail. I pulled out the action (my very first time doing it). Good news: the piano didn't blow up. Bad news: it's still making the same sound. I tightened all of the screws for the hammer rail; it didn't need much tightening, only about 1/16 of a turn each. Still making the same clicking noise. Below is the new video of hammer with the action pulled out (make sure you turn your volume way up). What do you guys make of it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWiGi8kYRAg

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Re: Click noise after key release...normal?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 29 Dec 2016, 23:33

Could be one of the following:-
1. Damper or jack slap felt old & compact/ brittle (if previously damp then dried out)
2. Worn key slip rail felt / not adjusted at correct height / worn key bushings
3. Back check leather / damper spoon felt worn
4. Possible insect damage causing materials to be eaten away or worn
5. (As Barrie suggests) - foreign object / coin/ paper clip / fallen into the mechanism

Best to contact your piano tuner and remove mechanism to have a look.
Off-clicks can be a pain to detect, and often a trial & error process.

When certain materials such as felts, baizes, cloths, leathers reach a certain age, they may start to "thump" on their return - this could also be down to poor regulation. That type of noise is quite common on old grands, and usually a fault of the piano key inners.

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Re: Click noise after key release...normal?

Post by prometheusdt » 30 Dec 2016, 01:16

After doing a bunch of research, I found out that the problem is the felt for the jack regulating button is too hard. I fluffed it up using a couple of small screw drivers and it temporarily fixed the problem before returning to its normal state after 15 minutes. I found this youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIxfuVStaoE) of someone else having the exact problem, as well as this thread (http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthre ... 0clic.html) with another person having this issue.

The question now is if I should get the felt replaced, replace the whippens like the guy in that thread, or just live with it

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Re: Click noise after key release...normal?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 30 Dec 2016, 10:58

prometheusdt wrote:This occurs on all of the keys including the ones without a damper. Some people have suggested that it's the hammer rail. I pulled out the action (my very first time doing it). Good news: the piano didn't blow up. Bad news: it's still making the same sound. I tightened all of the screws for the hammer rail; it didn't need much tightening, only about 1/16 of a turn each. Still making the same clicking noise. Below is the new video of hammer with the action pulled out (make sure you turn your volume way up). What do you guys make of it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWiGi8kYRAg
When the hammers fall back to rest, are they touching or embedded into the hammer rest rail felt?
Is this a new piano? (exported?)

The following is just a suggestion only and a rough guide (through my own experiences), and may or may not be the direct cause of action noises - the forum here cannot completely diagnose problems from start to finish, just offer some advisory help. What ever is said here should always be followed up by contacting a qualified piano technician to look into the problem further.

If so, the action will need to be regulated, so the hammers do not rest on the felt. This strip of felt is the "staccato" rail for the hammers to rebound at speed, and the shanks should rest 3mm above the felt (so the hammers appear to be in mid air). The hammer does not rest here, it should rest on the roller + repetition lever only.

If the repetition springs are not set up at the correct tension, the rep lever will not be able to support the hammer, so they fall onto and fully rest on the staccato rail felt. If the rest rail is one long continuous rail, or split into sections, each rail can be adjusted independently. If each hammer rebounds on its own rest pad, (each pad fixed to the rear of each undercarriage), then because there is no rail, it cannot be adjusted, and the repetition springs may need adjusting. Remember, the hammer should rest and hover above the rest rail felt, not on it.


If the action/ piano is fairly new (or brand new?) - this will explain that many grand actions are shipped out with only minor factory regulation adjustments done for later set up. I suggest you contact your piano tuner.
The light thumping noises are normal, but of course exaggerated by the fact that the repetition levers/ springs are allowing the hammer to rebound and rest on the rest rail, giving more noise - the weight of each hammer also compresses the felt, which may be the case. Compare this with your teacher's piano, and you may see the hammers at rest about 3mm above the felt. Not a job you can do yourself, and will require a technician to reset the mechanism correctly. If the hammer rail is adjustable, and the hammer strike distance is correct, then the rail will need to be lowered by loosening the lower bolts, allowing the rail to drop, then tighten up the upper locking bolts. There must be a small gap between the underside of the hammer shank and hammer rest felt. Whoever has suggested its the rest rail is correct.

The adjusting/ locking screw washers for each section of the rest rail should only be tightened up just a fraction more than hand tight (using the slot for a screw driver), and are purposefully not very tight to allow for wood movement. If the washers are too tight, this may warp the rail and cause certain sections to rise nearer the hammers - so I would recommend you undo them and just nip them tight a fraction.

Here is a diagram showing the basic set up/ default factory settings for hammer rest on a grand action. Grand actions vary from piano to piano, and even model to model of the same make, so if you tell us the name of your piano/ model no etc.... I may be able to help.

Hope that helps.
grandaction_Hammeratrest.jpg
Grand action hammer at rest
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Re: Click noise after key release...normal?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 30 Dec 2016, 14:08

prometheusdt wrote:After doing a bunch of research, I found out that the problem is the felt for the jack regulating button is too hard. I fluffed it up using a couple of small screw drivers and it temporarily fixed the problem before returning to its normal state after 15 minutes. I found this youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIxfuVStaoE) of someone else having the exact problem, as well as this thread (http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthre ... 0clic.html) with another person having this issue.

The question now is if I should get the felt replaced, replace the whippens like the guy in that thread, or just live with it
"REASSEMBLE YOUR SOUNDBOARD" ??
Listening to these words it is clear that this is a home amateur video, and the person hasn't got a clue.
I can't see the jack regulating button felts being the main cause of the problem, but it could exaggerate the sound if other felts are worn & compact - as I listed in item 1 above.
Why would you replace the whippens?? .... nothing wrong with them.
You would be best replacing the cushion felts (5mm or 6mm) - and have them hand-made using a cutting wad punch kit. All the regulating buttons will then need to be readjusted for the jack alignment.
Combined with this, the jack slap felts on the rep lever windows may also need replacing.
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Re: Click noise after key release...normal?

Post by prometheusdt » 30 Dec 2016, 17:07

Colin Nicholson wrote:
prometheusdt wrote:After doing a bunch of research, I found out that the problem is the felt for the jack regulating button is too hard. I fluffed it up using a couple of small screw drivers and it temporarily fixed the problem before returning to its normal state after 15 minutes. I found this youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIxfuVStaoE) of someone else having the exact problem, as well as this thread (http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthre ... 0clic.html) with another person having this issue.

The question now is if I should get the felt replaced, replace the whippens like the guy in that thread, or just live with it
"REASSEMBLE YOUR SOUNDBOARD" ??
Listening to these words it is clear that this is a home amateur video, and the person hasn't got a clue.
I can't see the jack regulating button felts being the main cause of the problem, but it could exaggerate the sound if other felts are worn & compact - as I listed in item 1 above.
Why would you replace the whippens?? .... nothing wrong with them.
You would be best replacing the cushion felts (5mm or 6mm) - and have them hand-made using a cutting wad punch kit. All the regulating buttons will then need to be readjusted for the jack alignment.
Combined with this, the jack slap felts on the rep lever windows may also need replacing.
Colin, thank you very much for your in depth response. The blow distance is 46 mm, which I assume is the correct distance. I lowered the hammer rest rail so that it is 2-3 mm below the hammer at rest. That didn't have any effect on the click noise. I then took a couple small screw drivers and "fluffed" up the felt on the jack regulating button. The youtube video below is the result of a fluffed vs unfluffed felt. As always, please turn your volume way up (the volume in the video doesn't do it justice..I wish I had a better microphone on my phone for you guys). In person, there's a stark difference between the two.

The problem with the fluffing is that after about 15 minutes, the old clicking noise returns. Some people have recommended needling the felt, but I'm worried that it's only a temporary solution for a few months. At the moment, I'm considering replacing the felt with brand new high quality felt so this problem wouldn't come back for years. I spoke to a piano technician that my teacher uses and he seems reluctant on doing this since it's a lot of work, as well as being skeptical about the cause of the noise like you are. I sent him the video below but he has not responded yet.

If my assessment of all of this is wrong and you still think it has nothing to do with the jack regulating button, please be completely honest...my feelings won't get hurt. Besides the clicking noise, the piano sounds great, and if the problem/solution doesn't require the technician to remove the hammer and re-index it later, then I'm all for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrpUb2pU988

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Re: Click noise after key release...normal?

Post by vernon » 30 Dec 2016, 17:53

If you have any sort of click then a competent technician should be able to pinpoint it on the spot.
If the click is there with the action out then it's most likely not regulation.
There is no definitive list of sources of clicks-- only experience!. If you can remove the click for 15 minutes by fluffing up the felt then seems as tho' you have found the cause. Replace the felts with the proper felt
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Re: Click noise after key release...normal?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 31 Dec 2016, 00:51

Fully agree with Vernon -
I think it's best now you contact a good tech to sort it out.
Let us know how you get on

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