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#1178631 - 04/11/09 05:33 PM grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound?
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Hi, I have a student who is moving a concert grand Steinway into her new home. It will be placed on a tile floor in a room with a 32 foot ceiling. I can't convince her to place a rug/carpet underneath the piano to absorb the sound. Any thoughts on what could be used? I was told that the standard "coasters" won't work.
Thank you!
Barb860
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Piano Teacher

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#1178633 - 04/11/09 05:34 PM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: Barb860]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Hi, I have a student who is moving a concert grand Steinway into her new home. It will be placed on a tile floor in a room with a 32 foot ceiling. I can't convince her to place a rug/carpet underneath the piano to absorb the sound. Any thoughts on what could be used? I was told that the standard "coasters" won't work.
Thank you!
Barb860
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1178650 - 04/11/09 05:56 PM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: Barb860]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21917
Loc: Oakland
Why is this a problem? What is more, why is this your business? Someone who can afford a concert grand and a room with a 32 foot ceiling to put it in can make her own decisions.
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Semipro Tech

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#1178656 - 04/11/09 05:59 PM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: BDB]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: BDB
Why is this a problem? What is more, why is this your business? Someone who can afford a concert grand and a room with a 32 foot ceiling to put it in can make her own decisions.


Agreed.

Dang, that's a huge room! Don't see why there would be any trouble unless the room is all hard surfaces. Then any piano is going to cause problems.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1178685 - 04/11/09 07:55 PM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: Horowitzian]
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
Boy BDB, you got up on the wrong side of the bed. That wall must have hurt. What business is it if yours who makes the decisions?

The concrete floor will kill the sound of the piano. It sucks the energy out of it. My mentor puts casters cups under the pianos in his shop for this reason.

You won't need any carpet if she doesn't use any casters cups. So don't tell her. Let her play it with out and then as a simple experiment and a couple of strong guys, put some cups under the wheels and hear the difference.
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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#1178777 - 04/11/09 11:27 PM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: Barb860]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Hey thanks everyone for your comments. Wow, BDB, I was "just trying to help" my student with a suggestion. Maybe you're right, it's not my business. I wanted to warn them of the harsh sounds they will get from this piano once it's moved in there. I don't want this student to quit lessons, tough times out here you know....trying to go that extra mile to help people.
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Piano Teacher

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#1178787 - 04/11/09 11:51 PM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: Barb860]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4441
Loc: San Jose, CA
Let her convince herself. Who knows, maybe she likes it that way.

One thing I see here all the time is that, no matter what people are told, they hear and do what they want.

Plenty available here via Search if she finds, after all, that the room is too reverberant or reflective. It is true that many people find that a carpet under the piano is helpful for that problem. But, some people are allergic to carpet, some people just hate the maintenance or don't like the look. I hate to think what acoustic panels to handle a room that size would cost... but, it sounds like she has a few bucks.
_________________________
Clef


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#1178847 - 04/12/09 02:47 AM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: Jeff Clef]
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
The tech who will be servicing the piano will have some suggestions. I am assuming there will be a competent tech taking care of the instrument. If not, there is no hope in anything you say to the owner.
That being said, if the piano was bought for the look, i.e. the lid up, there should be a string cover and you can make it a foam one. Bottom covers that are not highly visible can be used for sound damping or a lousy tech can kill a large piano and make it sound like a parlor grand with a flat board. Then again it is a Steinway......
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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#1178907 - 04/12/09 07:44 AM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: Keith Roberts]
David Jenson Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2199
Loc: Maine
That room may turn out to be spectacular for that piano with no messing about needed. It's just impossible to tell ahead of time what a room is going to sound like, but if it's long and wide as well as high, your student may be very pleased.

One word of caution involves ceiling fans. For a nice sound from the piano, turn them off.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#1179148 - 04/12/09 04:55 PM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: David Jenson]
pno Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1042
Loc: ♪oron♪o, on♪ario, canada...
Wow! A concert Steinway in a 32 foot ceiling room. Is she moving into a concert hall or a cathedral?

Anyways, I don't like the idea of putting a rug under the piano. It's not a proper way to solve sound problem. It's just a poor man's quick fix, and it looks ugly!

For her I would say get a specialized acoustic engineer to work with her interior designer to treat her "concert hall" properly AND elegantly!
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#1179168 - 04/12/09 05:24 PM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: pno]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
My student and her family are moving into a....get ready...
14,000 square foot home (not a typo). The house is not finished yet but they expect to move in, with the grand Steinway, in a couple of weeks. The front room has the 32 foot high ceiling and the floor is tile, no carpet at all in the house. My technician of 20 years will be taking care of this piano. He is out of town right now so he has not responded to my inquiry about this topic. Piano has not been tuned in over 13 years (gulp...no one has played it till now!)so my technician is going to have a challenge here perhaps.
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Piano Teacher

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#1179177 - 04/12/09 05:38 PM Re: grand piano on a tile floor...absorb sound? [Re: Barb860]
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
Sure, a challenge, but one we love.

Relax. Read Franz Mohrs book. He would not voice a piano any faster than he thought it should develop. It took Horowitz 4 years to break in a new piano and then it became his favorite.

Certainly you would want the piano to dictate what the needs are and that can't happen til the piano arrives.
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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