Tech Talk - Back-Check

April 30, 2021

Tech Talk - Back-Check

Now that we have addressed let off, drop, and repetition lever spring adjustment in our previous discussions, rounding out the four primary adjustments is the back-check.


The back check itself is a small wooden block covered with a small piece of felt, over which, a strip of leather is stretched. It is mounted to the back end of the key with a wire that provides easy adjustment.


Its purpose is to catch the hammer after striking the string, in a position of approximately 5/8 of an inch from the string. When the hammer is called upon to repeat in rapid succession, the hammer does not have to begin from its initial resting position, but instead can begin its abbreviated journey back to the string, in essence, taking a shortcut.


Therefore, grand pianos can repeat notes faster than uprights. For it to function properly, both the surface and condition of the leather and hammer tail must be correct.


Too smooth a tail and a repetition lever spring that is too tight, the hammer will get sent back to strike the string again. A “bobble”, a very undesirable and noticeable condition.


Working together, the hammer checking, correct repetition spring adjustment, along with a few other variables, work together to create a very responsive action. One that is a joy to play.




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in The Piano Place Blog

Petrof History
Petrof History

January 27, 2023

Petrof is a Czech piano manufacturer founded in 1864. It is the leading European piano manufacturer, exporting to more than 60 countries.

Continue Reading

Ukrainian family in Troy gets special gift
Ukrainian family in Troy gets special gift

January 19, 2023

A family in Troy got a surprise gift this Christmas after a long journey filled with war and hardships.

Elvira Rohovets, her husband, Nickolay, and their children, Lev, age 5, and Maia, age 3, recently immigrated to the United States, fleeing the war in their homeland of Ukraine. Settling in Troy, they were shocked to learn that friends and neighbors had arranged for their family to receive a new piano courtesy of The Piano Place, a Troy-based music business.

Continue Reading

Fazioli Pianoforti
Fazioli Pianoforti

January 12, 2023

Fazioli Pianos has been producing grand and concert grand pianos since 1981, when the company was founded by the engineer and pianist Paolo Fazioli. Passion for music, great artisanship, continuous technological research, and strict material selection: these are the elements required for building a Fazioli piano.

Continue Reading