Yamaha C3 sustain pedal "regulation" - any ideas

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Model V
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Yamaha C3 sustain pedal "regulation" - any ideas

Post by Model V » 14 Apr 2012, 16:53

One of our C3s is exhibiting an odd problem:

This happens to a few notes near middle C. If the note is played and released without the pedal it damps immediately. If it's played with the pedal (or the pedal is engaged whilst the note is held) and then the pedal is released slowly, the note sometimes sounds quietly after the pedal is completely released.

Is it a simple fix I could do or is it more complicated?

Thanks,

MV.

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Yamaha C3 sustain pedal "regulation" - any ideas

Post by Colin Nicholson » 14 Apr 2012, 17:13

Check that all the dampers are lifting off at same time (pedal only) - by pressing pedal a fraction - so dampers just 'wink' .
If a few lifting early, adjust capstan or damper wire (action removed).

Also, the sustain pedal brass rod on the lyre may need to be adjusted down slightly - where locking nut is. May be caused by wood/ leather swelling. When you press the pedal, there should be a small amount of play between top of rod and leather pad on pedal rocker/lever.

Finally, just check that nothing has fallen inside.

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Re: Yamaha C3 sustain pedal "regulation" - any ideas

Post by Model V » 14 Apr 2012, 17:40

Colin,

Thanks so much for that. I'm sure it's the first of those - i.e. a couple of the dampers are rising early. I'll have a look at adjusting.

Cheers,

MV

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Re: Yamaha C3 sustain pedal "regulation" - any ideas

Post by Model V » 14 Apr 2012, 18:27

All done. Quite easy to do in the end. As an aside, I've just had a glimpse into what must be the sometimes frustrating world of the piano technician. The reason I say that is when I put the action back the offending notes were working perfectly, but I noticed that a couple of others were doing the same thing ever so slightly. Therein could lie the road to madness; when does one know when to stop? :?

Once again I take my hat off to fine piano technicians everywhere for their infinite patience and perfectionism - and for knowing when to leave well alone.

Thanks again, Colin. I learned something today.

MV.

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Re: Yamaha C3 sustain pedal "regulation" - any ideas

Post by Colin Nicholson » 14 Apr 2012, 19:46

No problem.... yeh, damper regulation can be back-breaking work!
If the problem ever comes back (capstan adjustments are usually very small) - you may need to have the damper block (bit of wood the damper wire goes into with a grub screw) and the damper lever (lead weighted part) re-pinned. Sounds daft this, but normally, depending on the pedal lift, when the leather pad starts to compress, the lift is often less.... so imagine dropping a tennis ball from about 1ft in the air - wont have much impact on the ground; however, when you lift the damper by just pressing the key - it relies on the damper spoon - and if regulated correctly, the damper usually lifts a bit higher from the string. So, dropping a tennis ball from say 3ft will have more impact - and the grooves in the felt will drop onto the strings more efficiently & better gravity.
Quick test: Press sustain pedal + Middle C together.... hold both down.
Let go of middle C (keep pedal down) .... does the damper drop slightly?

If so, pedal rod needs adjusting up slightly (but some times, all the dampers then need to be adjusted!!)

Also check that the damper lifts HALF way through the hammer's journey to the string (look through the strings) - if the hammer & damper move together as the hammer sets off, or damper moves fractionally after hammer, the damper spoon will need to be adjusted & very slightly bent upwards (looks like a tiny teaspoon on the end of the damper lever) ...... make sure the hammer is about 20mm away from its rest position before the damper lifts (do it in slow motion)

It'll drive you round the bend!!....
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Re: Yamaha C3 sustain pedal "regulation" - any ideas

Post by vernon » 14 Apr 2012, 22:38

Dampers are really a technician's job.They must be adjusted minutely and lift exactly-all together-"like a row of soldiers" my old unversed -in-military nomenclature foreman,Stan Job used to say.A very skilled time consuming job. Cock it up at your peril.
Attention must be paid to the spoons, often at the same time,otherwise when you come to adjust those(later on) you find you have disrupted the damper lift and have to go back and start again, then back to the spoons.Regulation is a trade on it's own.
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Re: Yamaha C3 sustain pedal "regulation" - any ideas

Post by Model V » 15 Apr 2012, 08:58

Absolutely, and not something I am going to get into in a hurry. However, Colin's advice allowed for a 10 minute fix which enables the piano to be used properly without the expense of an extra visit from our technician. Fear not, his position is not in jeopardy, nor am I about to become an amateur piano bodger!

When he next visits I'll ask him to assess the lift of all the dampers and advise on whether full regulation is required. This particular C3 was fully regulated 3 years ago but has been in heavy use by teachers and students since then, and moved, so I guess it's not unreasonable for couple to have slipped slightly.

MV.

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Re: Yamaha C3 sustain pedal "regulation" - any ideas

Post by vernon » 15 Apr 2012, 12:27

Dampers are never so well adjusted as when they leave the factory regulator's hand.
He regulates them before the damper felts are installed and before the hammers are fitted and before the keys are fitteda. Hence , he has a completely clear run at it .
The dampers could be regulated with no other parts of the action present
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