Upright - double repetition action

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NewAge
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Upright - double repetition action

Post by NewAge » 24 Jun 2013, 20:47

An interesting question was recently raised on another forum.
"Does the double-action repetition (on some uprights) come close to replicating the action on a grand? Perhaps the action is just as good when compared against some grands?"

My Sauter has an R2 action, and marketing brochures would appear to imply that the action does permit the responsiveness of a grand piano.
Imho, and within my pianistic technical limitations, the action appears as good as any grand I've ever tried, but clearly my repertoire doesn't extend to those performances where action repetition speed is crucial.
Are there any pro players here who may have tried Sauter or Seiler upright actions, or indeed technicians who may be able to provide comments to the original question?
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Re: Upright - double repetition action

Post by Barrie Heaton » 24 Jun 2013, 21:03

The test is to take a key all the way down and let it come up a few mm then keep plying fast you can do this on a well reulated grand not so good on the upright some can get it just The Sauter is one that can just

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Re: Upright - double repetition action

Post by Withindale » 25 Jun 2013, 09:57

Does the Sauter R2 have a similar aftertouch to a grand, the slight resistance before the key reaches the cushion?

How far do you have to raise the key from the cushion to repeat; e.g. 2 mm (a little), 5 mm (half way)?

How does it work? The Sauter model (link below) appears to have a spring resting on the "jack slap" rail. Does this flick the jack back under the hammer butt or is there more to it than that?

Sauter R2 action model: http://www.sauter-pianos.de/english/tec ... creen=true

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Re: Upright - double repetition action

Post by NewAge » 25 Jun 2013, 13:40

Withindale wrote:Does the Sauter R2 have a similar aftertouch to a grand, the slight resistance before the key reaches the cushion?
Yes.

How far do you have to raise the key from the cushion to repeat; e.g. 2 mm (a little), 5 mm (half way)?
A fraction over 2mm (say 2.5mm between friends) :wink:

How does it work? The Sauter model (link below) appears to have a spring resting on the "jack slap" rail. Does this flick the jack back under the hammer butt or is there more to it than that?
I'll let the specialists confirm this or otherwise.
Sauter R2 action model: http://www.sauter-pianos.de/english/tec ... creen=true

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Re: Upright - double repetition action

Post by Withindale » 25 Jun 2013, 18:20

Thank you, NewAge. I had a few minutes to kill so I looked at what people had to say about the Sauter R2 on "another forum".

The first comments are the advantages of grand actions in general:

1. Repetition: the action has extra parts, to allow you to repeat a note faster, and without releasing the key all the way as in an upright.

2. Touch: grand actions have a different feeling at the end of the keystroke, a small "thump" as the weight of the hammer is released. This is called "aftertouch", and is a signal to the pianist that allows pianissimo with control.


Some, including this piano teacher, think an upright can repeat fast enough:

Someone once told me an upright can deliver 8 reps per second and a grand more like 12. This is like comparing a car that does 150mph with one that does 200mph. It is irrelevant. I practice repetition exercises quite a bit and my upright exceeds my capabilities in this respect. I have never played (and wouldn't wish to) a piece which requires you to repeat a single note faster than a good upright can do.

One technician said:

Upright pianos have aftertouch, just like grands.

I wonder how many grand piano players would object if the aftertouch sensation was imperceptible.

Specifically on the Sauter R2, a European pianist wrote:

The Sauter R2 double-repetition is to me a bit of a tricky issue. In a few posts some forum members stated the R2 indeed allows faster repetition but there would also be a downside: it's a very lively action which does not suit everyone's taste because rather difficult to control when playing pp and requiring extra downforce as to compress the extra spring Sauter uses in the repeat mechanism.

... Just an observation: in reviews the smaller Sauter uprights (without R2) tend to get better marks for pp control than the one's with R2.


I haven't played an upright with extra springs or magnets but they must be good if they can beat the best conventional upright actions when they are well regulated.

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Re: Upright - double repetition action

Post by Withindale » 27 Jun 2013, 19:01

NewAge wrote:... "Does the double-action repetition (on some uprights) come close to replicating the action on a grand? Perhaps the action is just as good when compared against some grands?"
About 20 years ago the Fandrichs produced a upright piano with a similar (i.e. sprung loaded as the Sauter R2) repetition action. This YouTube movie shows how the action works at 2:26 and then Russell Kassmann, a well known San Francisco piano dealer, plays and compares it to a grand from 3:25.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d5fc6eKWqA

My own upright repeats with the key lifted about 2-3 mm or more from the cushion. It has a closely regulated conventional action with a bit less key dip and jack movement than normal. My aim is to make the action on my grand as smooth.

Even though I am merely a piano owner, rather than an accomplshed pianist or technician, I'd say the the limiting factor with (some) uprights is tone rather than touch. That is in comparison with larger grands from the same stables. Key length excepted.

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