Ever wonder why some pianos say “play me” and others, well, you can’t imagine why anybody would ever want to play them?
Even if a piano action is regulated to an absolute perfection there can still be unevenness from one note to another. Regulation refers to the correct mechanical settings for various functions to occur, but it does not take into account one very important criteria to a smooth and even touch. The weight of various components has a profound impact on the touch of a piano. If you were to weigh each hammer and chart the results you would have a picture closely resembling the movement of the stock market!
How could the touch be even when one hammer weighs 1 gram more than its neighbor? You might think that one gram is not that big of deal, in fact you are right. A gram is equivalent to 2 ½ medium paper clips. Yet when that small amount of weight is acted upon by the leverages found in a piano action it becomes at least 5 grams at the end of the key.
With the typical down weight (the weight needed to depress the key with the damper pedal depressed) about 50 grams, a 5 gram difference represents a 10% variation! That is noticeable.
Difference in hammer weight also has a profound effect on the tone a hammer generates. All things being equal, a heavier hammer produces a darker, mellower tone and lighter hammers will give you a brighter tone.
All weight variations are evened out when a Custom Action Balancing is performed. In addition to hammer weight variations, key weights are also evened out and all leverage problems and inconsistencies are corrected. If you would like your piano to say “Play me” give me a call at 630-852-5058.
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