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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 2:42 am 
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Location: Boston
Hi Chris, I am curious what European line you're using for the bass strings in your Gaveau?

I am wondering if I should restring my 1985 NY Steinway B?... A few bass notes could use some rejuvenation in their timbre, as they are becoming slightly flat. I already replaced the lowest F with Mapes (supplier to NY Steinways) last year. The improvement doesn't approach the rich bronze timbre of the neighboring strings which are still "original." There are certain notes such as low E-flat, F-sharp, G that have that "Killer Sound" - gutsy, deep, bronze timbre, harmonically rich, sustain. The piano is 25 years old and I am at the generational limit of the original strings. I am afraid that if I restring the entire bass section, I may lose that "killer sound" in the desirable areas for good... I am looking into Ari Isaac Profundo, HellerBass, Arledge, JD Grandt, and a few others as possible sources of bass strings.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 4:09 pm 
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Location: Netherlands
Hi George,
My bass strings will be hand-spun strings by Barth-Jan Kooij, a Dutch master string maker not unlike Ari Isaac I guess. This is what my technician uses by default, I did not really have a say in it (not have I tried to). As I've always loved the bass sound of my Gaveau I have a nagging fear that it may sound different. But I was assured the sound will only get better. I'll have to take his word for it. One has to trust these guys ! I am not going to agonize about my brand of strings :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 4:05 pm 
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Thanks, Chris. If the bridge is transferring the string vibration to the soundboard, etc. and you have decent number of plate resonances and modes of vibration as before, then yes, you should get MORE of the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 3:42 pm 
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Just received these photos of the ongoing revision. It's starting to look real spiffing with the new pins and strings. Amusingly, the pins would not come out with the hydraulic winch alone. They had to be pushed from the underside too.


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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 4:40 am 
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Wow, no wonder it costs so much to have a piano refurbished!

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 10:36 pm 
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Location: Germany
That really looks impressive, Chris. So, since also the pins are renewed, I think, you will not have any more problems with an instable tuning after a certain period of acclimatisation. I´m curious, how the new sound will be. I think, in summary the restauration can only be an improvement!

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 1:15 pm 
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Yes, I think that is what I should expect. I also hope that, as the adction will be serviced, it may play a bit lighter an easier, though in that respect it will never be like the Grotrian with its moderner, lighter action.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 7:54 pm 
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Thanks for sharing the pics... looks like things are coming along beautifully. I'm with Andreas - I can't wait to hear the finished product!

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 8:01 pm 
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I'm just peeved that they have used gray felt instead of the original red. Makes it look a bit boring.
Hopefully all the shiny new metal will make up for it :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 8:13 pm 
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Yeah, I'm with you on that. But that darker gray does look quite sharp. :wink: The upside to gray felt is that I would think that dust wouldn't show up so badly on it. I'm always after the dust that gets on my grand's bright red felt, going after it with the vacuum cleaner all the time. :roll:

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:56 pm 
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Today I tried out my revised Gaveau and decided I want it back again. It sounds much clearer and more defined than before, without losing its distinctive character (which was what I was afraid of). Doesn't play quite as smooth as the Grotrian, but that is to be expected. It felt a bit spongy to start with, but I quickly got used to that again. If he can make the action a bit lighter still, and refresh the woodwork a bit, I guess I can be happy with this for many years to come.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:36 pm 
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Got the Gaveau back today. The guys had a bit of trouble there... They let it slip in the van so it landed almost upside down. The youngest one had his shin grazed quite painfully. They were not happy bunnies, and neither was I. Luckily the damage seems to be limited, only one corner of the lid which I guess can be repaired without too much trouble. Could have been much worse. Always look on the bright side !

I'm glad to have it back though. It sure looks so much better in my room than that huge shiny black Grotrian. And it sounds much brighter than before.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Location: Boston
Hi Chris, sometimes one has to survive a little scare to enjoy the remainder of one's joy... I am glad that the big mystery of the sound has been solved. Congratulations, I hope you enjoy your "new" piano! I am curious as to what qualities of the sound are the same and what is different on the new piano in terms of tone, timbre, sustain, touch, dynamic control, etc. BTW, I didn't disappear, it's just that I getaway after work on weekends in the summer to the ocean.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:14 am 
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Congratulations on getting your instrument back! I look forward to hearing some new recordings on it. :wink: I am glad that the piano wasn't too hard-hit in the fall... I would not have been happy about the incident either.

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:56 pm 
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Location: U.S.A.
Hi Chris,

Wow, that accident with the Gaveau on the truck must have been upsetting to say the very least--some damage plus a minor injury too. Sorry to hear that. Sounds though that the piano is in good shape except for the needed minor repair to the lid. We're very lucky here in my city, as there is a small moving company that specializes only in moving pianos, so they have a knack for those jobs. There are regular moving companies here too, but with them things can become more "iffy" in handling heavy grands.

As the piano settles in with your playing and more tunings, the sound will ripen over the months ahead. There will probably be a few glitches, but your technician will undoubtedly iron those out to your full satisfaction. I'm not surprised that you ultimately chose the Gaveau over the Grotrian loaner. If you really love an instrument, and you can express your musical intentions very well with it, then why change? Best of luck with you "new" piano. You must be excited!

David

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