Ibach upright

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pjuniper
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Ibach upright

Post by pjuniper » 02 Jun 2020, 15:09

I have a 1981 Ibach upright that is well past due needing to be tuned. I think it hasn't been tuned for several 10s of years, possibly not since it was bought. I downloaded an app to my phone and checked A. The app said it was about 430, and I know it should be 440 at concert pitch. I mentioned this to a couple of tuners and they winced. I have a few questions and wondered if anyone could help here:

1. Someone suggested that it might have hexacore bass strings, as Schimmel in particular was known to experiment with them in the 80s, as were other German piano makers, and these strings are prone to break. I was told it only affected German built pianos, not Asian built ones. From Ibach's history, https://www.ibach.de/geschichte-im-detail, it looks like they only worked with Daewoo in Asia from 1991, so I assume mine must be a German built piano. Just trying to work out whether this is a particular risk for my Ibach. Is there any way I can check the strings myself to see if they are hexacore? And would that only be the lowest single wound strings, or could it also be the double wound strings?

2. The action on my Ibach could do with a little improvement. I have noticed one or two keys feeling 'lumpy', ie they go heavy half way down. I am assuming this is most likely to do with the damper being raised. Most don't feel like this, and feel heavy only when pressed much further down, so I assume the few that do are raising the damper early. If this is the case, is this an easy fix that could be done at the time of tuning the piano and would it take long?

3. Also to do with the action/touch, and I probably need to try a few other pianos with a good action to see how much of an issue this is, but I have always felt that the action has been relatively heavy when playing fast. I have become quite interested in the claims of Precision Touch Design to improve the touch on grand pianos, and wondered how much of this can be applied to an upright, if any. Or do I just need a decent tuner to look at optimising the touch? How big/costly a job is this?

4. Finally, I have also found it hard to play pp, and I am wondering how much this is down to the action (as in q3 above), and how much is just down to my piano being fairly bright and loud. From what I have read so far, it looks like the hammers can be softened by an expert, but I don't want the tone completely changed. I'd just like a little more dynamic range. Having had the piano for 40 years, I am nervous about changing it so that it's no longer 'my' piano.

Not having had the piano tuned for so long, I am on the hunt for someone who can firstly tune it properly, which I know will instantly improve my playing experience, and then hopefully also look at the other issues, in particular the lumpiness, as that makes the touch uneven, which certainly makes playing pp difficult, and then possibly look at 3 and/or 4 if not too expensive, but it's difficult to know who would be able to help best.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Paul

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Barrie Heaton
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Re: Ibach upright

Post by Barrie Heaton » 02 Jun 2020, 19:18

The piano needs to be pulled up to pitch, then a few tuning a month later to make it stable again. As to the action, if it not been tuned, it will not have been serviced. I good tec should sort it out, and you may have a gem

what part of the world do you live in

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pjuniper
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Re: Ibach upright

Post by pjuniper » 02 Jun 2020, 20:10

I'm in Oxfordshire, easy access to Witney, Oxford

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Re: Ibach upright

Post by Barrie Heaton » 03 Jun 2020, 08:47

Have tryed Taylor Pianos Ltd

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pjuniper
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Re: Ibach upright

Post by pjuniper » 03 Jun 2020, 11:49

I've had a quick chat with Taylor Pianos, and their tuning services are not yet up and running post Covid-19. Are they good?

I've also had a quick chat with Jeff Shackell, having seen his web site and seeing that he is well regarded for restoring Steinways and he is local. Unfortunately he is not really doing upright tuning any more.

I also spoke to Paul Mildren who does tuning, but I don't know anything about him other than he has a shop in Witney and knows Jeff Shackell.

Would any of them be able to do what I am looking for and do it well?

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Re: Ibach upright

Post by Barrie Heaton » 03 Jun 2020, 13:01

Yes, all three can do what you want, at a price. Paul Mildren use to do a lot of work for Jef S. Jef is more interested in his traction engine theses days he's going a bit like Fred Dibnah minus the flat cap.

My self I am not tuning till July as I am happy but General public's confidence is not quite there for you coming into their homes unless you really have to (dishwasher has broken down)

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Re: Ibach upright

Post by pjuniper » 04 Jun 2020, 12:32

Has anyone come across the issue with hexacore bass strings?

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Re: Ibach upright

Post by Barrie Heaton » 04 Jun 2020, 13:06

Hexacore were and are used to make life easier for the string maker as the strings stay wound longer. However, they do introduce falseness into the string. Most tuners carry a set of Hexacore strings as you can remove the copper to the required length.

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pjuniper
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Re: Ibach upright

Post by pjuniper » 04 Jun 2020, 14:49

Thanks Barrie. That's good to know. What I had heard is that they are more prone to break. Not sure if that would be an issue for my Ibach, given how out of tune it is. I'm not even sure if it has hexacore bass strings. Is there any way to tell?

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Re: Ibach upright

Post by Barrie Heaton » 04 Jun 2020, 15:13

yes, look at the bass string steel core. if it's round then not Hex but if its hex then you have Hexacore.

but it's no big deal if you have it is all down to what the piano sounds like

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pjuniper
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Re: Ibach upright

Post by pjuniper » 04 Jun 2020, 16:52

Thanks. Good to know it's not a particular problem.

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