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decrease, unless we extended it a full

inch to get the bottom of the felt in-

to the next safe area.
As we have seen, the vertical
position of the felt on the strings

can be a major factor both in dam-
ping efficiency (stopping the fun-
damental) and in preventing the
partials from sounding after the
key is released. If the bottom of
the felt is defining a nodal point,
the string segment from there to
the bridge may continue to vibrate
at a partial. This condition is
worsened by weak damper springs
or by bichord wedges off to one
side, which put more pressure on
one string than on the other.
If the dampers worked fine
before the action was removed but
have a harmonic after-ring when
the action was re installed, it is
likely that the action is not seated
in the same position as before. The
slight difference in the height of
the action is the problem, not
because the damper is too high or
too low on the strings in this case,
but because the strings in the
tenor and bass are angled. If the
action is not seated precisely every
time, the dampers will exert more
force on one string than the other.
Our readers may wish to experi-
ment by lightly touching the
string at various points with a ‘ww,
rubber mute while plucking the
string from below.
It is also possible to have a har-
monic after-ring that is the result
of sympathetic vibration rather
than the condition described
above. That is, instead of the
strings of note Cl6 subdividing
and producing a harmonic
themselves, note G47 (the sixth
partial of C16) is ringing on at its
fundamental because its damper is
not properly adjusted. One could FIGURE 1 &
spend hours bending and re-
bending the wire on Cl6 without
effecting the slightest improve- stops, indicating the faulty spoon and the lift rods, should be
ment. The problem is elsewhere, damper. inspected and replaced if
even though it is only apparent It is important that replacement necessary. Generally speaking, the
when the lower note is struck. damper felt be close to the same felt should be replaced if abnormal
lb diagnose, play the offending thickness as the original felt, compression or wear is apparent,
note and mute its strings with because the range of adjustment is or if the felt is transferring to the
your thumb immediately after limited. If radically thicker or thin- spoons. The latter condition in-
releasing the key. If the harmonic ner felt is used, a major re-bending dicates that either too much glue
stops, that particular damper is at will be necessary. Even then, it was used originally, and it is
fault. If it doesn’t, continue play- may not work for reasons we shall softening and wicking through the
ing a staccato pattern on the bad discuss presently. felt somehow, or that an acid/base
note while alternately muting Damper lever felt, the usually- imbalance in the felt itself is caus-
other strings until the harmonic green material that touches the ing the spoons to corrode. Simply