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#1125464 - 07/30/04 04:11 AM Lack of crown?
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
How important is crown on a soundboard?. I have read Larry's book and he mentions that crown may be found lacking in even a high quality piano. I would appreciate feedback on this topic. I have been hearing stories of rebuilds without crown. Is it acceptable for me to check the crown on a piano I am interested in purchasing?.

Many thanks,
Steve Ries
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1125465 - 07/30/04 06:43 AM Re: Lack of crown?
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
I hear with all the bad publicity surrounding Prince Charles and Di there is talk about abolishing the crown completely.

I'm not sure how the lack of crown will affect England.

Only time will tell.

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#1125466 - 07/30/04 06:56 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
I'm with Larry. I wouldn't worry about crown as long as the tone is good. However it is quite valid I think to check that you have reasonable down bearing on an old or rebuilt piano.

Regards,

Rick Clark
_________________________
Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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#1125467 - 07/30/04 07:05 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Rick,

How would I do that?. Is this somehting I need a tech for?.

Thanks,
Steve
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#1125468 - 07/30/04 07:08 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9243
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
I agree with Rick, Steve.

There are guages made to measure crown, but a tech. will know how to use it.

Any particular piano you are considering?
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#1125469 - 07/30/04 07:19 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
Normally you would need a tech. But if you think you're going to be checking a lot of them it might be more economical to invest in a gauge and educate yourself such as with the Reblitz book.

Regards,

Rick Clark
_________________________
Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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#1125470 - 07/30/04 07:49 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Rick,

Many thanks for your kind help. I tracked down the Reblitz book and it looks like money well spent.

_____

Rich,

Nothing yet but I am getting tired of fighting my old spinet. Did you get your first new AA yet?.

Thanks to both of you,
Steve
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#1125471 - 07/30/04 08:01 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9243
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Steve,

No - but we are completing a rebuilt AA that is worth looking into. (You could also play the completed S&S D)
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#1125472 - 07/30/04 09:10 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5306
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by Stevester:
How important is crown on a soundboard?. I have read Larry's book and he mentions that crown may be found lacking in even a high quality piano. I would appreciate feedback on this topic. I have been hearing stories of rebuilds without crown. Is it acceptable for me to check the crown on a piano I am interested in purchasing?.

Many thanks,
Steve Ries [/b]
Briefly:
Soundboard crown is directly related to soundboard system stiffness. In general, more soundboard crown — along with the related string bearing against the bridges — will result in a stiffer soundboard system. Soundboard system stiffness is one of the two primary physical characteristics that controls sustain time. The other is the mass of the system. There are a lot of other design factors involved, but stiffness and mass are the two biggies. Incidentally, soundboard stiffness is not consistent across the compass of the piano. Nor is crown. Generally you will find less crown in the treble section but system stiffness is still important. In a typical older piano the bass and tenor may sound quite good while the region around the fifth and sixth octaves may drop dead. Or, though less common, the opposite may be true.

If you are looking at a piano that does not seem to have as much sustain as you think it should have and the soundboard has little or no discernable crown you may want to consider another piano. If you’re looking at a piano that sounds great across its full compass but has little or no crown — well, it’s a crapshoot. And it is probably time to call in an experienced technician, preferably one with some solid knowledge of rebuilding, including soundboard function. You might be looking at a piano that can still give years of acceptable service or you may be looking a an expensive problem just waiting to drain your bank account.

If you are getting ready to rebuild a piano in which the soundboard has little or no crown, it’s time to replace the soundboard.

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1125473 - 07/30/04 11:00 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
Suppose a quality rebuilder consistently produces rebuilds with little or no crown. Is this axiomatically bad, or can excellence in other areas make up for this?

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#1125474 - 07/30/04 11:09 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/26/01
Posts: 915
Loc: Boston
Steve,

I carried a string and almost never brought along the bearing gauge when I was shopping used. If you are diciplined about placing it underneath each piano you sample, no matter how bad it may be, you will quickly observe the kind of dead/dying tone that frequently comes from crownless boards. I found dental floss worked pretty well.

I suppose I didn't try the bearing test as much because its safe to assume most all pianos are built with crown. If they haven't got it, then by design their bearing is gone/going, too. I also think there are more than a few rebuilds you are apt to come accross where the rebuilder tried to salvage a flat/flattening board by using taller bridge caps. While this may restore bearing, which can be shown using a gauge, it doesn't change the reality that the board should have been replaced.

Chris
_________________________
Amateur At Large

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#1125475 - 07/30/04 11:14 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Thanks Del,

I was hoping you would add your feedback to this thread.

Is it hard for rebuilders to build a soundboard with crown?. Or more importantly; is it hard for rebuilding shops to put together a soundboard system with suffficient stiffness?.

I would consider myself a late beginner and I want to buy a good solid piano that is going to give me many years of services but I do not yet possess the skill to be able to judge all of the important traits of a piano. Yes, I am familiar with sustain. Can you suggest certain notes or chords I can play to be able to judge the sustaining qualities of a piano?. What length of sustain do you think is sufficent?. Any input you can give is appreciated. At this point in time I am considering quility rebuilds but I am not sure I would not be better off with a lesser tier new piano. It is my understanding that even some of the best rebuilding shops are facing soundbaord issues. Maybe this is only rumor but it has me a little scared.

Many thanks,
Steve
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#1125476 - 07/30/04 11:16 AM Re: Lack of crown?
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
Del
How does crown affect brightness/warmth of the tone? You talked about(and I managed to understand and stay with you) how it affects sustain, but I was curious about actual tone? Is there something about the soundboards of Asian pianos that differs from European or CW's that makes them sound brighter. Hope this isn't too dumb a question?
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#1125477 - 07/30/04 11:17 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Chris W1,

Many thanks for the valuable input. I am really getting a lot out of this thread.

Steve
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#1125478 - 07/30/04 11:34 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Del gave excellent insight to this question.

To me it's the old "hops" and "malt" question also regarding beer.

It's not just "what" but very much "how" - "where" and especially to "which degree" and "which "proportion"

Basically it's the type of discussion of "how the rocket flies" but the most important thing is that is *flies* at all.

Always let your own taste buds give you the first hint.

Do you think we in this business have ever played any pianos with "lots of good crown" that didn't appeal to us?

Lots.

norbert \:\)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#1125479 - 07/30/04 12:06 PM Re: Lack of crown?
Steve Ramirez Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/01
Posts: 1097
Loc: El Cajon, California
 Quote:
Can you suggest certain notes or chords I can play to be able to judge the sustaining qualities of a piano?.
The complaint I most often hear about formerly great old pianos is that they sound wonderful in the bass and tenor and if only they were louder and more sustaining in the top two octaves they would be perfect.

Just figure out what kind of sound you want from the top end of the scale and don't settle for anything less. If it sounds wrong it could be the soundboard or the strike points or something else, but if it was something fixable it probably would have been fixed before you were allowed to play it.

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#1125480 - 07/30/04 01:20 PM Re: Lack of crown?
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5306
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by Stevester:
Thanks Del,

I was hoping you would add your feedback to this thread.

Is it hard for rebuilders to build a soundboard with crown?. Or more importantly; is it hard for rebuilding shops to put together a soundboard system with suffficient stiffness?.

I would consider myself a late beginner and I want to buy a good solid piano that is going to give me many years of services but I do not yet possess the skill to be able to judge all of the important traits of a piano. Yes, I am familiar with sustain. Can you suggest certain notes or chords I can play to be able to judge the sustaining qualities of a piano?. What length of sustain do you think is sufficent?. Any input you can give is appreciated. At this point in time I am considering quility rebuilds but I am not sure I would not be better off with a lesser tier new piano. It is my understanding that even some of the best rebuilding shops are facing soundbaord issues. Maybe this is only rumor but it has me a little scared.

Many thanks,
Steve [/b]
It is exacting work and needs to be done right but there are any number of good shops, both large and small, that do an excellent job of soundboard installation.

There are no benchmark tests that I can give you other than to encourage you to get lots of experience in listening. Don't just bang something out but listen critically to what you are playing. When you find a piano you like, stop and listen — try to discern why you like it. The same thing goes for a piano you don’t like — try to figure out why you don’t like it. As I said, most sustain problems show up first in the upper third of the piano’s compass.

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1125481 - 07/30/04 05:11 PM Re: Lack of crown?
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Thanks Del and everyone else for the most valuable input. I just have to take a few short pieces I know well and use them for my tests.

Finding a piano I like is a certainly a challenge but with the help of the many friends I am making here on PW the search is great fun.

Sincerely,
Steve
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#1125482 - 07/30/04 06:15 PM Re: Lack of crown?
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
Del,

Just as an object lesson, I serviced a piano with sustain problems like this just today. A 1920's model that had been "restored" but nothing really major done other than restringing and refinishing.

By plucking the strings in the treble it was clear that the lack of sustain was built-in, it was not a hammer issue.

Del you have written on these issues before and I take your writings seriously. At the same time it is thought there can be other explanations for sustain problems such as a plate that is not tightly screwed down or possibly problems with the Capo bar surfaces. It was clear from the poor quality of the restringing that whoever did the work was not knowledgable or detail oriented (this piano was a M&H restored in NYC, BTW) so I had to be open to several potential causes.

However after examining things as best I could given the limits of the service call, I think the best explanation is the soundboard as you describe, with the classic "low impedance" sound in the treble.

I don't know if strictly speaking this is 'merely' crown loss, because some reading I have done on this issue points to wood ageing changes at the cellular level, which is a slightly different thing than simply loss of crown with otherwise "young" wood. I really don't know what proportion of blame goes to which specific cause, but it's an interesting subject to be sure, and one worthwhile to continue learning about.

A related subject is the restoration of the Capo bearing surfaces, which is in this same treble region of lost sustain. Though it is generally accepted that when restringing one needs to dress and shape the bearing surface, I remember reading an article long ago (in a Journal subsequently lost in Hurricane Andrew) that it may also be considered wise for the restringer to heat-temper the bearing surface. I believe the writer stated that in the old factories, heat tempering the Capo was normal practice, therefore when redressing the surface it should be done again. If not, a loss of tone can occur (sustain I wonder?).

I don't think many rebuilders heat temper the bearings but I have always wondered if it's something they *should* be addressing, and if some sustain problems in the treble might reverse themselves if the surfaces were heat tempered.

I am also interested to learn the exact technique of heat tempering. I know it has to do with torch heating the metal until a certain color is achieved.

I would be interested in anythng further you would add pertaining to the above thoughts.

Regards,

Rick Clark
_________________________
Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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#1125483 - 07/30/04 07:56 PM Re: Lack of crown?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21569
Loc: Oakland
Tempering means making the metal softer. The normal way to treat steel is to harden it, and then temper it to the desired softness. Hardening is accomplished by heating the metal very hot, and then cooling it suddenly. Tempering is heating the metal to a controlled temperature, and then letting it cool slowly. The traditional method of tempering involves polishing the metal, heating it until the color of the oxidation reaches a certain color, depending on how hard you want the metal to end up, and then letting it cool slowly.

My own two cents worth of wisdom: No matter how good a piano is in other ways, there is always a way of doing jobs like restringing that will result in a lousy job. This one truism is the largest single factor in how good an old piano will sound.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1125484 - 07/30/04 08:48 PM Re: Lack of crown?
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
BDB,

Thanks for your reply. If I recall correctly the idea is not so much to "make it softer" but rather to not heat it so much it reaches the point of brittleness. That is, bring it to the right hardness as opposed to maximum hardness. But if you are saying the goal is to make the bearing surface softer than the metal underneath the surface I would wonder what the point would be of that.

I wish I could recall the technique that specifically applies to pianos. It's only the surface of the bearing that one would be concerned with, not the bulk of the metal mass.

Also if I recall correctly, you do not think that old soundboards that otherwise look good need replacing. Correct me if I'm wrong in quoting you.

I would assume then that you do encounter old rebuilt pianos with these sustain problems. I know I have seen many (though granted I can't say I've known any specifically that have always lived on the West Coast). I am curious as to what you find can be done to correct this problem, if it's not the board. (Apart from the obvious like loose bridge pins, loose plate bolts, etc.)

When you personally restring pianos, do you find that none fail in the treble sustain department? If so, what do you think you are doing that other restringers may be failing at?

Regards,

Rick Clark
_________________________
Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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#1125485 - 07/30/04 11:03 PM Re: Lack of crown?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21569
Loc: Oakland
I think you are referring to case hardening. That is a method of hardening the surface of low-grade steel and cast iron. I don't remember the exact process, but I think it involves heating the area while it is covered with a carbon compound, so that the carbon enters the metal and hardens the surface. It would probably be about as easy to machine a groove in the v-bar and put a length of thick music wire in it.

As for sustain problems in old pianos, I think that most of them stem from old strings, plain and simple. The composition and crystal structure of alloys changes over time, and markedly affects their sound. While bass strings get tubby, treble strings get crystaline and tinkly. They become thin, harsh and less flexible, which gives them less sustain.

I think you can accellerate the aging process of strings by the usual processes of stretching, something I am firmly against. I never like to take a piano string much above pitch, or to press on the strings.

I also think sloppy worksmanship of any sort is more detrimental than people realize. Also, old hammer have a detrimental effect on sustain. But in short, there are many more ways to do a job wrong than to do it right.

But the question of sustain is tricky. It's hard to measure. One would have to measure it by some regular method, surer than just listening with a stopwatch. So many things change just with hammers and strings that we can't rely on just our senses. To do a real comparison of the difference in the sustain between a new soundboard and an old one, you would need to restring a piano and measure it, then tear it apart, replace the soundboard to the standards of the original, and restring it again to the same standards, and then measure it again. That's an expensive process. Do you know anyone who has done it?

A loose end: I've mentioned that alloys change over time. Wood does too, but not as much, since wood is mostly empty air space. I'm not certain that wood is not better for soundboards when it gets older, rather than worse.

I'm not even certain how important such things as crown and downbearing are. I think an absolutely flat soundboard is bad, but it may not take much to make it less than flat. Downbearing is very small compared to sidebearing, provided by the offset of the bridge pins, and additional downbearing is added by the combination of the sidebearing and the slant of the bridge pins, which in combination, tends to wedge the string against the bridge.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1125486 - 07/31/04 12:05 AM Re: Lack of crown?
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
BDB,

Thanks again for your thoughts.

For the pianos I am referring to with a lack of sustain in the upper octves, you can take old strings out of the formula. Of course old strings can have a really negative impact on tone, I wouldn't base my judgements on those. The piano I mentioned previously in this thread has practically new strings.

I am referring to restrung/restored pianos with relatively new strings. And since the lack of sustain is evident even when plucking the strings, it's not the hammers.

And while there is no agreed upon standard for measuring sustain, what I am talking about is plain to hear. Any tuner/tech would know that something is "wrong" when plucking the strings in the top 2 octaves.

If there were to be a standard, I would advocate a DT60 standard- or the amount of time it takes for the volume to decay 60 dB (discounting the first few ms/initial attack volume spike).

Regards,

Rick Clark
_________________________
Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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#1125487 - 07/31/04 12:26 PM Re: Lack of crown?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21569
Loc: Oakland
As I said over the tech area, there isn't much sustain in the top two octaves, even on a new piano. That's why there are no dampers there. Also, there is less volume there to begin with, so it may be difficult to measure in this society of high ambient noise.

It is very easy to screw up that area of a piano. Some of it is done in the design phase, in fact. Old habits die hard, and while it is common practice to change gauges pretty often in the high treble, and less often in the midrange and lower tenor, for most pianos, exactly the opposite would provide a smoother range of tensions. Oddly enough, it would be cheaper, too, since you would use more of the cheaper (by length) small gauges, and less of the more expensive large gauges.

I do get a chance to compare from time to time. This week it was two Bechsteins, an E and a C, about 60 years apart. They sounded remarkably similar, despite the intervening design changes. There are a couple of Bösendorfers, same model, 40 years apart that I've seen very close to each other. I think the older one is a bit richer sounding. All original soundboards. The strings on the Bechsteins are probably about the same dates, the older Bösendorfer's strings are about a decade newer.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1125488 - 08/03/04 02:25 PM Re: Lack of crown?
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5306
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by teachum:
Del
How does crown affect brightness/warmth of the tone? You talked about(and I managed to understand and stay with you) how it affects sustain, but I was curious about actual tone? Is there something about the soundboards of Asian pianos that differs from European or CW's that makes them sound brighter. Hope this isn't too dumb a question? [/b]
Anything that affects either the stiffness or the mass of the soundboard system will affect the brightness and/or warmth of tone to some extent. Crown (and the subsequent loading of the strings bearing against the bridges) has a significant affect on the stiffness of the soundboard assembly. The loss of crown will reduce the design stiffness of the soundboard system causing it to accept energy more readily. Hence the tone will become somewhat more percussive in nature and will have a corresponding reduction in tone sustain.

In general, however, the overall balance of tone color is more dependent on a number of design elements including the overall string tension scheme, the design stiffness and mass of the soundboard assembly, the mobility of the bridge as determined by the backscale, etc. Some of these interactions have been discussed in this forum in the fairly recent past.

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1125489 - 08/03/04 03:12 PM Re: Lack of crown?
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5306
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rick Clark:
BDB,


. . . I am referring to restrung/restored pianos with relatively new strings. And since the lack of sustain is evident even when plucking the strings, it's not the hammers.

And while there is no agreed upon standard for measuring sustain, what I am talking about is plain to hear. Any tuner/tech would know that something is "wrong" when plucking the strings in the top 2 octaves.

If there were to be a standard, I would advocate a DT60 standard- or the amount of time it takes for the volume to decay 60 dB (discounting the first few ms/initial attack volume spike).

Regards,

Rick Clark [/b]
You can find the same phenomena in brand new pianos. A year or so back I looked at three new seven-foot pianos of the same make and model still on the showroom floor. Each had significantly different sustain qualities. While the differences were most notable in the fifth and sixth octaves, they could be easily detected throughout the compass of the three pianos. Comparing the “best” of the three with the “worst” of the three yielded a sustain time (compared on a note-to-note basis) of about 2:1 through the middle of the so-called “killer-octave” region.

Since these were all new pianos I think we can safely rule out significant differences in the string scales (including the age and quality of the strings), the plate metallurgy, etc. We can also rule out the hammers since the differences were clearly apparent with plucking. The remaining significant variable being the soundboard assemblies.

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1125490 - 08/03/04 03:29 PM Re: Lack of crown?
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
Thank you, Del.
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#1125491 - 08/03/04 03:37 PM Re: Lack of crown?
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Del - I always enjoy your posts.

Many thanks,
Steve Ries
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#1125492 - 08/03/04 04:08 PM Re: Lack of crown?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21569
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
Since these were all new pianos I think we can safely rule out significant differences in the string scales (including the age and quality of the strings), the plate metallurgy, etc. We can also rule out the hammers since the differences were clearly apparent with plucking. The remaining significant variable being the soundboard assemblies.
Other variables that might have a bearing would be the metallurgy and heat treatment of the strings, the method of stringing, and the chipping and first tunings.

If there is such a difference even in the same make and model of piano, then that means that the variability is beyond the those which could be attributed to design and construction of the soundboard. After all, they all would have had the same design and construction.

Perhaps the most important thing that comparisons like this show is that most people don't care enough about the sustain of the tone, at least not enough to demand that it be consistent.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1125493 - 08/03/04 06:26 PM Re: Lack of crown?
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
Del & All,

I have seen some new Chinese pianos that arrived from the factory 25-35 cents sharp. (However from the same factory others arrived flat, or approx on-pitch.)

A tech will of course realize that it must have been set quite a bit sharper than that before it fell down to +30.

I was really quite concerned if this overtensioning practice was going to have the effect of killing string tone/elasticity or perhaps other deadening effects. Unfortunately circumstances were not such that I could follow the future progress of the pianos.

Del I am curious if the new pianos you are mentioning were Chinese product that may have been overtensioned as described above.

Regards,

Rick Clark
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Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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