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440 - 376 - 6664   |   Matthew Logan - Piano Technician   |   Email: pianoshoppellc@gmail.com

 
 

 

Hammer Voicing

Hammer voicing, also called tone regulating, refers to the process of working with the hammers in order to achieve the best quality of tone and overall evenness throughout the entire range of the keyboard. This is usually accomplished by either making the hammer harder or softer, using various methods for each. This ensures that certain notes or sections of notes are not too powerful or too weak compared with the rest of the piano, as well as ensuring that the tone quality is as 'colorful' as possible within all the dynamic ranges from soft to loud. Most modern piano hammers are made from compressed felt (wool) glued onto a wooden mold. Different densities and qualities of felt, the size and shape of the hammer, and the overall construction and engineering of the piano all contribute to the ultimate sound quality of a piano. Even similar models of pianos may sound quite different due to variations in the quality of materials and manufacturing processes. As the piano is played, the impact of the hammer to the strings gradually starts to wear into the felt, causing the hammer to lose its original shape and also compact the felt making it harder. Over time this will have an effect on the piano's tonal qualities. Worn hammers with deep grooves from the strings can be filed (sanded) to restore their smooth surface and original shape, however, it does make the hammer a bit smaller. Most sets of hammers can be filed several times before it becomes necessary to replace them. Since some pianists prefer a louder or brighter sound, while others may prefer a softer, more mellow sound, it is important that the pianist and technician work together to produce the best possible results for their individual needs and for what their particular piano is capable of delivering.

 
 

440 - 376 - 6664   |   Matthew Logan - Piano Technician   |   Email: pianoshoppellc@gmail.com

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