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#1451598 - 06/06/10 09:21 PM How to quiet loud piano?
ron1685 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 6
Loc: NY
My upright piano (1986 Fazer) is much too loud for my small room with wood floors. Is there a way to quiet the piano without drastically changing the tone, which I like a lot? My technician mentioned needling the hammers or using liquid hammer softener, but warned me that the piano would be a lot more mellow. How about putting foam against the soundboard?


Edited by ron1685 (06/06/10 09:21 PM)

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#1451662 - 06/06/10 11:47 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: ron1685]
piano_tech chris Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 72
Loc: South Central PA
proper voicing can reduce volume, without changing the color of tone.

you can also cover the back, which will also reduce air circulation around the soundboard. . .add window treatments, rugs, and other sound absorbing material to the room.

Or, you can use the soft pedal. . . : )
_________________________
Christopher P. Smith
Piano Technician/Tuner
www.smithspianocraft.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Smiths-Piano-Service/346926470248

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#1451667 - 06/07/10 12:05 AM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: piano_tech chris]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Use earplugs. Organists use it all the time when playing the brustwerk. smile

Kees

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#1451710 - 06/07/10 02:38 AM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: DoelKees]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
You don't see those Fazer uprts around much past the late 80's. Actually great little piano with that scan looking cabs.
You know they have a Renner action.

Sound is generated from both sides of the soundboard so...I would maybe just soundproof the backside with acoustical foam,carpet or ? and play it. You can tell in 10 secounds if it will be sufficient or not.
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#1459973 - 06/20/10 07:12 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: pianobroker]
CoolPianoStuff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 91
Yes, adding foam is probably one of the single most effective methods to reduce the sound, although using a combination of other mentioned procedures such as voicing and floor and window treatment can be even more so.

Special acoustic foam is available although it can be rather expensive. An alternative would be any other foam, just be aware the effect may not be quite as good - and the thicker the better. Also keep an eye on it as it will have a tendency to break down after a few years.

Don't use any kind of adhesive. Just measure each area between the back posts and cut the pieces slightly larger in each dimension. You can then simply stuff the foam into the cavity and it should hold itself in place.

A too loud piano is a complaint we hear often enough from customers upon receiving their new player pianos. We have used the foam technique for years with decent success.
_________________________
http://www.CoolPianoStuff.com/

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#1460495 - 06/21/10 07:25 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: CoolPianoStuff]
Mitchell Piano Svc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 41
Loc: SF Bay Area
Whenever a customer of mine complains of a too-loud piano, I recommend that they work from the "outside in". Starting with the room: would they consider adding thicker carpetting, more furniture, plants or heavier window coverings? How about hanging a tapestry behind the piano (assuming it's an upright)? Then I move on to using acoustic foam behind or under the soundboard.

Only after we've exhausted these options will I try voicing down a piano or perhaps regulating for less power.
_________________________
Rob Mitchell

Mitchell Piano Service
www.mitchellpianoservice.com

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#1460602 - 06/21/10 10:45 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: Mitchell Piano Svc]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Quote:
How to quiet loud piano?
Tell it to shut up? I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist... grin
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1461878 - 06/23/10 06:37 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6645
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
How to quiet loud piano? Play everything pianissimo?
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1463166 - 06/25/10 11:17 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: stores]
ron1685 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 6
Loc: NY
I solved the problem. I had a roll of thin Pergo underlay foam in my basement (the roll was about 4' by 12'). I folded the roll over a few times and stuffed it tightly behind the piano against the wall. The piano is about 50% quieter now. I'm glad we didn't resort to altering the hammers. In seconds, I can remove the foam and have the piano back the way it was.

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#1666087 - 04/25/11 01:06 AM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: ron1685]
pr3lude Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/09
Posts: 19
Loc: PA
I have the exact same issue. My fairly new Steinway upright has a great rich sound, but I have resorted to using ear muffs used for loud volume ear protection, too. And, I had to also use the soft pedal and change some of my playing techniques. Instead of pressing the sustaining pedal down simultaneously when hitting a larger chord, I hit the louder notes first, then sustain their sound. It was a method of using the felt contacts without touching any mechanisms.

I will definitely look into the Pergo underlay foam to temporarily place in back of the piano because right now, that piano is up against a repercussive plaster wall.

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#1666209 - 04/25/11 11:07 AM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: ron1685]
Edtek Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 235
Loc: El Paso
I used a quilt folded twice and stuffed it between the wall and my Hamilton upright. Folded twice the quilt is the same size as my piano. The sound level went from 92db down to 85db (on ff's) and also sounds more mellow and pleasing to my ear.

Ed
_________________________
Ed (Out in the West Texas town of El Paso)
Yamaha T118, Yamaha PSR-S710

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#1666384 - 04/25/11 03:52 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: ron1685]
KurtZ Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 774
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
Commercial Acoustic foam costs more because it's treated for fire resistance and is submitted for testing. Untreated foam (upholsterers foam) lights easily, burns hot and gives off the poisonous gas hydrogen cyanide. This is the same stuff that the nazis and US gas chambers use(d). It also comes out of cigarettes and exhaust pipes. Look up hydrogen cyanide for more scary info.

Textured acoustic foam (T.A.F.) is not soundproofing; it's acoustic treatment. It's not the right product if you're trying to cut decibels but is the right product if you're trying to cut boominess and excessive reverb. T.A.F on the wall behind the piano will change the character of the sound but won't lessen the energy going out into the room except maybe by the slightest insignificant bit. Let me put it this way: A gallon of water dashed across a flat rock SEEMS like more water than a gallon poured in a stream down a drain. The muffled piano SEEMS quieter but it's an acoustic trick. The poster who measured a reasonable drop in SPL is using a comforter stuffed behind the piano. A comforter that isn't folded up, already has more mass than any T.A.F. and the folds created by stuffing force the sound through multiple layers of the cloth and whatever fill is used in the comforter. If it's REALLY stuffed in there, it's also impeding the sound board so a measurable reduction in sound is not surprising. You're actually doing something to convert roughly half the sound coming out of the piano into heat instead of vibrations in the air.


Kurt
_________________________
I just wanted to be just "a" guy. That's enough of a life.

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#1762538 - 09/30/11 07:53 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: KurtZ]
pr3lude Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/09
Posts: 19
Loc: PA
Kurt, would it be practical to place the T.A.F on the wall behind a piano, rather than actually adhering to the piano? My concern is buildup of moisture behind the piano. One review I saw indicated this type of foam is designed for studio walls. I also read that it can have a strong odor, but maybe that's just a specific brand. Would you recommend adhering this to a piano or the wall behind it? My wall is made of plaster. It sounds like you recommend it on a wall behind a piano. I thought of acquiring a large board the size of the piano's backside and adhering the foam to that board so that it can be removed if I move the piano. My living room only has one internal wall available for the piano right now. The other internal wall now has a desk against it.
Originally Posted By: KurtZ
Commercial Acoustic foam costs more because it's treated for fire resistance and is submitted for testing. Untreated foam (upholsterers foam) lights easily, burns hot and gives off the poisonous gas hydrogen cyanide. This is the same stuff that the nazis and US gas chambers use(d). It also comes out of cigarettes and exhaust pipes. Look up hydrogen cyanide for more scary info.

Textured acoustic foam (T.A.F.) is not soundproofing; it's acoustic treatment. It's not the right product if you're trying to cut decibels but is the right product if you're trying to cut boominess and excessive reverb. T.A.F on the wall behind the piano will change the character of the sound but won't lessen the energy going out into the room except maybe by the slightest insignificant bit. Let me put it this way: A gallon of water dashed across a flat rock SEEMS like more water than a gallon poured in a stream down a drain. The muffled piano SEEMS quieter but it's an acoustic trick. The poster who measured a reasonable drop in SPL is using a comforter stuffed behind the piano. A comforter that isn't folded up, already has more mass than any T.A.F. and the folds created by stuffing force the sound through multiple layers of the cloth and whatever fill is used in the comforter. If it's REALLY stuffed in there, it's also impeding the sound board so a measurable reduction in sound is not surprising. You're actually doing something to convert roughly half the sound coming out of the piano into heat instead of vibrations in the air.


Kurt







Edited by pr3lude (09/30/11 07:56 PM)

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#1762544 - 09/30/11 08:05 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: stores]
pr3lude Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/09
Posts: 19
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: stores
How to quiet loud piano? Play everything pianissimo?

My piano only knows MF and every level of forte. It's like one of the 'louds' on Saturday Night Live. Just needs a little muffle or something.

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#1762564 - 09/30/11 08:44 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: piano_tech chris]
rysowers Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2340
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: piano_tech chris
proper voicing can reduce volume, without changing the color of tone.

I have practiced many voicing techniques over the years and they all effect tone color. I'd have to see/hear it to believe it.

In regards to using material behind the piano to reduce volume...

I have used just plain old pink insulation from a left over project with good results. It's very dense and can be cut to fit between the beams in back of the piano. It's a little yucky to work with but is very effective and cheap.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1762769 - 10/01/11 09:32 AM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: ron1685]
Emmery Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2330
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
There is a product called Roxul Safe'n Sound that is used for sound deadening that works much better then pink insulation. It has a higher density so its not used for insulation purposes and it does not shed loose strands like fiberglass. Its made from spun rock/mineral wool, its fireproof, not as itchy as fiberglass and slightly more dense so it stays put. Mice and insects hate the stuff for some reason too and won't burrow or nest through it. Only costs a bit more then fiberglass batt but its still very cheap.

The older style paper egg cartons work good too if stapled to heavy carboard and fitted in between the posts facing inwards. One client of mine in a wood floored apartment has a board of egg cartons laying on the ground under his grand (not very pretty) but claims that it cuts reverberance in the room and much of the sound going down to the apartment below.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1762806 - 10/01/11 10:40 AM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: ron1685]
rysowers Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2340
Loc: Olympia, WA
Good tips, Emmery!
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1762904 - 10/01/11 02:20 PM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: ron1685]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I don't think pink fiberglass insulation should be used in any exposed (non-enclosed) application anywhere in a home or institutional setting. The small fibers that become airborne are a real health hazard.

"Then why do mice and rats seem to do OK in it?" Because they and cockroaches are genetically pre-determined to take over the planet after we humans have made it unlivable for us. help
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1823777 - 01/13/12 01:42 AM Re: How to quiet loud piano? [Re: Supply]
pr3lude Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/09
Posts: 19
Loc: PA
Has anybody used a felt piece going across the strings? One website is:
http://www.pppkeys.com/index.html

Just curious.

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