Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Art Facts Video

I was hoping to post a video of the new piano shortly after it arrived. But man, there's a lot of hardware and software that just doesn't work well. I'm not going to rant about all of it here, but I would like to single out YouTube for not being able to maintain the audio/video sync in .wmv files. Amazing. If I figure out a workaround, I'll post a replacement video.

Anyway. The quality is kind of crappy and the piano is ready for its acclimation tuning. And there's a clam at the end and a minor train wreck in the middle. But it's time to post the darn thing.

Update (July 28, 2008): I've managed to improve the audio/video sync somewhat by kludge. This is the newer version.

Update (September 12, 2008): YouTube fixed their audio problems, so here's another version with better audio (but the sync problems are back... sigh)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lyre Bottom Followup

Well, I was wrong about the lyre bottom being the least important part of the piano. It turns out the pedals and pedal hinge blocks are attached to the lyre bottom, not the lyre box. Makes sense. So Steinway Dude showed up with a lyre bottom including new pedals. It only took a few minutes to remove the lyre, unscrew the lyre bottom and install the new one. (Man, a piano looks stupid without a lyre).

As luck would have it, the new pedals run a little smoother than the old ones. They're the exact same model, but they're aligned a little better and don't rub at all. It was on my list to have the old ones adjusted the next time the tech comes out, but now I don't have to wait. I made one small tweak to the damper lyre rod nut to shorten the damper pedal dead zone and now the piano plays better than ever.

Props to Steinway Piano Gallery and Steinway Dude for being so responsive. They replied to my email within an hour of my sending it and were at my house replacing the part just a few days later. I highly recommend them for all your Steinway piano buying needs.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What Shall We Do with a Broken Lyre?

O misery.

I noticed the other day that the wood of my lyre bottom is chipped in the front corner on the una corda side.

"What's a lyre bottom?", you ask? Luckily, it's probably the most unimportant part of the piano. It's a rectangle of unfinished wood screwed to the bottom of the lyre (the pedal contraption thing). See the schematic:


I emailed Steinway Dude about it. He emailed me right back suggesting he could send someone out to look at it or I could send him a photo. So I got a couple of pix and it looks like it'll be pretty easy to replace. At first he said he'd need to take the lyre for two days. Man, my heart dropped. The thought of going without pedals for two days was totally depressing. I half considered calling off the repair so that I wouldn't have to part with the lyre. But the exposed screw scares me a bit from a structural point of view:

Luckily, S. Dude discovered he has a spare lyre bottom and he can replace it on site in about a half an hour. So he'll come and fix it Friday morning. I'll let you know how it goes.