SANTA BARBARA CHAPTER
July Meeting: (2nd Monday)
Date: Monday, July 11, 2016
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Jim Connolly’s Shop
430 Rose Ave., Santa Barbara 93101
The Santa Barbara chapter met on July 11th at Jim Connolly's shop for a rich, extended technical session.
Jim had encountered a Steinway D with offset casters that changed the keyframe bedding and raised the pitch slightly if the front casters were in certain alignments (such as both facing outward from center). Through experimentation, he determined that for the casters to be turned both toward the front or the back would maintain a solid keyframe, and he instructed the stage hands he was working with about this.
Michael had worked on an older Steinway upright with such slender bridge pins that they had actually bent away from the string pressure.
Jim had tested various lubricants on a set of sluggish flanges: Balistol, Protek, WD-40, and Purple Extreme. Although there was some slight initial improvement, after sitting for a couple months ALL of the flanges were sluggish again.
Based on Gary's recent experience with a restoration company and an insurance company, we discussed the pitfalls of working directly with insurance companies and discovered a pretty universal experience that it is stressful and rife with potential fraud.
We had some discussion about ways to elicit feedback from pianists, particularly regarding regulation work, and ways of interpreting their feedback into terminologies that are meaningful to us. It seems true to us that pianists prefer consistency in an action over "correct" technical regulation; that even if an aspect of regulation is not optimal, as long as it's consistently out of spec across the action, the pianist will adjust and be able to get predictable results. We also touched on positive, diplomatic ways to talk to customers about their pianos.
For our program, we poked and prodded an adjustable action model, discussing how it is meant to be used, its potential, and the merits and justifications for its use.
As a treat, Dennis shared the Differential Resonator, a frequency-listening device invented in 1912, that a customer gave him. It can be used to aurally set a temperament and is incredibly accurate, as checked against our most modern machinery.
The annual chapter picnic on July 30 will take the place of our August meeting, so our next meeting is scheduled for September 12th.