Piano Action Regulation

General discussion about piano makes, problems with pianos, or just seeking advice.

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Seqpro3
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Piano Action Regulation

Post by Seqpro3 »

I have an August forester model 190. It’s been tuned about 6 months ago. It still holds its tuning well.
My issue is the keyboard keybed. I have keys that don’t return once depressed. Not sure what is causing this,
Was wondering if anyone has had this problem and how
To fix this problem. Would a action regulation fix this?
I don’t know much in regards of what is done in an action regulation. I also have my pedals marking a clicking noise.
The sustain pedal works alright the soft piano pedal works
All right it seems that the middle pedal I guess that’s the uacorda pedal? Sorry if I spelt or called it wrong . I read some things about action regulation being is time consuming and costly. I don’t live in the UK I live in the
US. I joined this forum because August forester are more
Popular in Europe than the USA. Any information in regards to these problems and solutions would be greatly appreciated thanks.
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Barrie Heaton »

The most common problems with sluggish notes are:
Damp, foreign bodies and worn-out action. most can be solved by good service.

A service takes between two and eight hours, depending on whether it's a grand or a upright and how long ago it was last serviced.

In the United Kingdom at the moment, a lot of pianos are getting sluggish notes because we've had quite a humid summer, because of the cost of fuel, most people are not putting the heating on in sep oct which helps to dry out the piano.

Will contact your piano tuner and ask if they do regulate and service of your piano.


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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Seqpro3 »

Thanks for the reply. I know of a few that do action regulation. My tuner included. My august forester is 42 years old . I’ve never had any problems with the action until now. The temperament seems very good and stays in tune well. I have a hudifier I guess that’s what it’s called. Although it’s not running right now. I’m not sure exactly what is causing the unacorda pedal to click and it’s travel when depressed down doesn’t seem to travel evenly there seems to be some inconsistencies. I’ve read that it could take 8 hours for regulation.Not sure what is exactly causing the problems with the keyboards keybed. I remember that my AF has a renner action I believe that’s what action is in my model 190. Have you ever had an action regulation? Have you ever had your piano voiced? I would opt to have my action regulated before I would pay to have it voiced as I like the sound of the piano and it hasn’t been played very hard to change the felts on the hammers although I know after 42 years parts can change and not work or function they way they were intended. I remember that an action regulation can be expensive depending on what has to be done as well as time consuming. My tuner learned to tune and learned his technician skills from a man that is considered to be the best in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and services the Pittsburgh symphony pianos. Thanks
chrisw
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by chrisw »

I know very little about regulation but my understanding is that it refers to taking up lost motion in the key stroke due to felt compaction and adjustment of the hammer let off points. Your symptoms regarding the pedal movements strike me as caused by age related reduction of lubrication which your tuner/technician should be able to correct quite quickly.
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Barrie Heaton »

What you need is a full service if you've never had it done before; most manufacturers recommend at least 5 to 7 years on a reasonably played piano.

Depending on the state of the piano, it takes between two and eight hours.
Your hammers probably need refaceing, and if the hammers are refaced, the piano will need voicing.


On service:
  • Frame bolts tightened.
    hammers refaced.
    Hammer travel and spacing checked.
    the keys are taken out all the crap is cleaned out from underneath
    all friction points are done on the keys
    Friction points on the springs are done, and on the damper lift spoons
    Lost motion
    The keys are re-levelled depth of touch or dip
    Set off and check-in is redone.
    dampers checked over the total lift and individual lift.
    Pedals.
    Tuned and voiced, then a fine regulation.
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Seqpro3
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Seqpro3 »

That sounds quite involved, are you a piano technician or tuner? You seem to know a lot about it. What would you estimate that would cost understanding that certain aspects of the action regulation may or may not come into play just a educated guess my grand is a 6ft 4 inch if that
Information would be needed to be relative to making an estimate. Thanks I read somewhere it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500 dollars in the US. Seems very technical and highly specialized . Thanks appreciate your input
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Barrie Heaton »

Difficult to translate into $ as technicians in the United Kingdom what different rates and technicians in the US.

I did the Boston grand on Tuesday full-service took me 7 hours the cost was £400


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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Seqpro3 »

I played a Boston grand once. Thier very nice pianos. Aren’t they made by Steinway? I watched a utube video on tuning, action regulation and voicing. It’s so involved. The action that was shown was a renner action. Is that action used frequently in European pianos? I thought I read somewhere that renner manufactured a large majority of piano action parts. I’m probably going to get the full service action regulation. And the voicing but I thought I read that should be done as well with the action regulation. Very involved and extremely technical. It gives insight to how sophisticated the piano truly is. Every thing you mentioned in your post was mentioned in the video. I was told by my tuner that I had a good piano. I would hope the action regulation would make the pianos action play like when it was new. Have you ever worked on august foresters? Possibly the model 190? What is your opinion of them and the pianos they produced in the early 80s? Mine is from either 1980 or 1981 and from lobau Germany the DDR or I guess it’s called GDR now not sure. I found out thier were two factories. The pianos made in east Germany are considered higher quality. Thanks I’m just hoping that an action regulation will solve the problem. I’ve never thought the the sound of the 190 was unsatisfactory. It’s 8 inches shy of a semi concert grand. I’ve read that it’s supposed to have
A excellent bass response for a piano it’s size. Thanks value your input
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Barrie Heaton »

Boston's are designed by Steinway but made by Kawai, I also heard that production had moved from Japan to Indonesia, but I'm not 100% sure about that. However, the quality coming out of Kawai, Indonesia is very good the K 300 is both made in Indonesia and Japan, we get both of them in the UK, and it's difficult to tell which was made.

AS to the August Foresters, yes, I have the full range on my rounds the pre-GDR, the GDR and the modern version all uprights.

The ones made after the 90s are very very good or the price

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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Seqpro3 »

I read about a grand piano action restoration. How much might that cost? My pianotuner/tech offers that as well. What are the pros and cons of that? And when would that be needed ? Thanks . My piano hasn’t had heavy use. It is 42 years old though. Was wondering if such a service would restore the piano to the way it was when I first purchased it Thanks
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Barrie Heaton »

Only a technician can tell you that one, whether it needs doing or not.
Probably after 40 years, it may need some parts replaced. But without inspecting the piano very difficult to say I've been to Pianos which are over 100 years old and they're in immaculate condition, and I've been to Pianos which are 20 years old, and they need to rebuild
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Seqpro3 »

An action restoration costs $1000 dollars. I’m getting the action regulation done for $300 dollars. My tuner/technician said my piano was an 8 or 9 if he rated it. I just want to try to get my piano to play like when it was new. Was wondering in your experience if an action restoration restores the pianos action like when it was new. Thanks value your input Hope my question wasn’t redundent
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Barrie Heaton »

Only a rebuild will guarantee that, and that is:
A full set of new hammers, shanks, rollers and flanges,
A full set of new bottom sections
All keys rebushed
Balance pins and front touch pins polished and re-felted, the back felt done.
Balance pinholes resized.

A brand-new action, the hammers would have to then be heavily voiced to suit the piano. Prices $7K upwards.
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Seqpro3 »

I see that is very expensive. Makes an action restoration seem affordable . I’m waiting to see how the piano plays after the action regulation. The price of a action rebuild you quoted is half the price of what the august forester cost when I purchased it new many years ago. My tuner told me that my piano was pretty good. Hopefully the fact it wasn’t played so hard has been a benefit to its integrity. Thanks take care appreciate your insight. My tuner suggested not to get the action restoration , he thought the piano was alright the way it was. I hope I can tell a difference with an action regulation. The real question is whether or not an action restoration would make the piano perform a noticeable amount equal to price verses performance ratio
Is there such a thing as a partial rebuild? Is that something that would get you closer to the piano performing like it was new. I would assume it would depend on what you actually replace and what is actually needed to replace. I saw where some very expensive pianos have rebuilds as a way to restore the piano . It was mostly for concert grands since the piano was so expensive to begin with verses getting a new piano altogether. I would think there would be a point to where the performance might not equal the cost. I don’t see myself ever getting another piano. Hopefully mine can be noticeably improved. Thanks
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Barrie Heaton »

Replacing items that need replacing is a recondition action A rebuild is completely different. Most pianos don't warrant the cost of a rebuild it's better to buy a new piano.

If your tuner believes the piano is in good condition, then regulation should make a difference.

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Re: Piano Action Regulatio

Post by Seqpro3 »

I see, it is very technical. I just wish I knew whether it would be worth it to get a grand action
Reconditioning. I wonder if spending a $1000 dollars would be in vain. Rebuild is out of the question as is a completely new piano or even buying a used piano. I used to sale pianos and back then the piano market was in decline as I would think it would be now. I believe less grands are produced even now. Grand pianos are such a niche market and I would think that the target market is getting smaller. When I sold pianos the Steinway dealer pulled thier inventory from thier store in Pittsburgh which was a competitor. The store I worked for was losing money . The man that sold Steinways reopened his store years later . I remember those pearl river pianos but they were poor quality. The place I sold pianos sold Kawai. I always remember having to compete with people looking for Yamahas. My first piano was a Kawai
Upright. Traded it in for the august forester model 190. I’ve played the Yamaha avantgrand it was nice. I guess those are considered hybrids. Thier expensive as well. As much as my august forester cost new back in the day. Too bad the piano market has diminished the way it has. I don’t know what is like in the UK but in the US it has diminished. Thanks for you insight
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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Barrie Heaton »

I will go for the service/regulation and see how much that improves it, if you're not happy, then save up and go for the reconditioning.

Depending on who you talk to in the UK, some shops are doing quite well selling new Pianos. For me, this year new Kawais are the top ones asked to do after-care visits for, the K200, K400 also K300 hybrid; I've done more brand-new Feurich grand this year than new Yamahas.

The secondhand market Yamaha U1 and U3 are still the top sellers.

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Re: Piano Action Regulation

Post by Seqpro3 »

That seems to make sense my tech/tuner is coming next week. I wish I knew how to tune my piano, I don’t like out of tune pianos and it is costly to tune.
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