Video 2 of 2: refinements to Yamaha G2 1975 + testing your piano

This a follow up video to this video (part 1). 

Video transcription:

Assesment

This Yamaha G2 is 5’7″ long, and made in 1975. On the assessment video, we noticed several things that needed to be done to make the piano play properly.

Yamaha grand piano G2 model
Yamaha model G2 5’7″ long

Key weight

First of all, we want to look at the key weight, which is a major factor. On the assessment video we looked at the B which was a lot heavier than the C. We have now lubricated the hinges and it is now lighter.

Key weight measuring on a Yamaha G2 grand piano for sale
Key weight, measured with pounds and pence coins!

When you put the pedal down the key drops with 43.75 grams. And as we gently tap the bottom of the keybed it goes down. So that it is lighter than it would normally be. This piano has a lighter action. The hammers have been refaced and played a lot. So the action has gone lighter.

Funnily enough, we have a G2 which we have restored for a concert pianist that comes to Oxford every summer. He likes a light action on his piano in the USA. But when he comes here we actually put weighted hammers on to weight it to about 55grams to make it heavier than normal. He needs his fingers strengthened in order to prepare for his concerts. These are his own comments which we found very interesting.

Now this one here if we put it on C we find it goes down even with 43.7grams

Key weight measuring

In the other videos we see C was lighter [40grams], and we will look at why. C is 5grams lighter than the B. 5 grams variation is not a huge amount variation and we can work on this perfect it further.

On exploration other notes also vary in down weight. But most are the same. It is now [through wear and refacing] a lighter piano. If you are an occasional player you might prefer or if you want to play lighter passages you might prefer to have a lighter action. Of course actions were very light in the old days when they merged out of harpsichords. They were extremely light. Nowadays actions tend to be heavier. If you don’t want a heavier action, this is ideal. It has at least 30-40 years life in it.

We have been working on the case, and also have replaced the keytop that was cracked here. It is a pretty good match. It is a Yamaha keytop which is hard to spot.

Yamaha grand piano keys
See if you can spot the replaced keytop

Lightening with lubrication

On the previous video the B and C hinges varied in tightness. The B was too tight. We lubricated with Protek. A

Regarding using lubricant, do not use anything other than Protek. A very thin polymer lubricant. Manufacturers of actions advise technicians not to use too much Protek as the wood can swell.

Yamaha hammer center pin
This hinge is a regular resistance point

If you have to loosen an action and do not have any Protek. First of all I recommend waiting and buying Protek, which can be found on eBay or Amazon or from a piano parts provider if you have an account.

We strongly advise against using lubricants such as WD40 which gunk up the hinges. They will definitely damage it and in the long run cause it to cease up again.

If you haven’t got lubricant, take the whole thing off and work the action back and forward [and play a lot!]. If you work it with a little pressure, the hinge will free off. This is the long way to do the work. The lubricant used sparingly is important. [We also lubricate the center rail here with talc:]

Chalc on Yamaha grand piano
Action manufacturers lubricate here with talc

Talc is a good lubricant, non-damaging and can be used on rollers aswell.

Evening out the hammers

There are some marks on the hammer. Looking at the grooves it looks like the left string is hitting the string earlier. The left-hand grooves are darker which means the copy paper was pressed in further. e.g. these hammers hits the strings for a longer period of time and coloured more deeply. Therefore the hammer is not striking flat to the strings.

Yamaha grand piano hammer wear
The gradient on each hammer left to right shows uneven impact

By refacing the hammer you will sense a major difference in tone, making it much cleaner. If you do reface, it is well worth marking the hammers after to make sure it has been refaced accurately.. See the video at 5:50 for the difference in tone.

The refaced hammer sounds clearer. Left string on the uneven hammer sounds louder than the right out and is clearer. This is because it is striking unevenly.

Testing evens of hammer Yamaha G2 grand for sale
Testing how the hammer hits the strings

The solution

By refacing you can form the right shape and chisel away at unevenness.

Yamaha grand piano hammers refacing reshaping
Sanding down the hammer so it hits evenly. Final refacing is the impact surface.

Refacing towards the hit point. It takes quite a lot of thought to keep an eye on the shape whilst working the hammer, there is little going back! Taking the fluff off and smoothing the hammer out with a flat surface to compact the felt. [Holding 3 hammers makes it easier to stabilize the working hammer.]

The result is a much more harmonic sound. We can do this to all the dull sound in hammers or uneven ones. Being careful to select the worst ones first. In addition being careful to not make them too bright.

After re-facing the hammer the strings are hit evenly by the even hammer head.

Yamaha G2 grand piano hammer impact

The action is very light and easy to play but not too light. We will have to even out some of the uneven weighted keys, in some cases by repinning the friction point, which can change the touch weight.

Yamaha grand pianos for sale

We hope this helps give a general overview of some ways to change the touch and tone of your piano.

This Yamaha grand piano has been played for about 30 years or more. It has a good treble and bass. We will also turn the bass strings to get a good tone out of them.

It is not uncommon to have a light touch on a piano as some people may prefer this but we will be making a decision as to whether to make it heavier depending on the preference of our clients.

Thank you for watching! Please contact info@robertspianos.com for restoration enquiries or for sales.

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