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#1519359 - 09/20/10 07:49 PM Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Hi All,

I am new to the forum, and to digital pianos.
I am a beginner and I got a Yamaha P85 last July. I never owned a piano, so I decided for both the brand and the model after a lot of search and reading a lot of opinions.

I have noticed a strange "background sound" when I play each single note. This is present both in the speakers, and in the earphones, with every sound, and completely independent from the level of the volume.

It is a sort of echo, or a hiss (hope to choose the right word in english) audible at the very end of the decay of the sound. It is of the same note I am playing, (so it changes with every note) and it is very similar to a string sound (like if there was a very far string repeating the sound of each single note, with a bit of sustain).

With the volume completely off (extreme left) both wearing the earphones or putting the ear over the speaker it emerges as a very low string sound but clearly audible.

I have tried to change reverb settings but putting it to off does not eliminate the sound.

Is this a defect? Of which part of the piano?
Is there any other attempt I could make to fix this?

I have also noticed that the start on of the piano is a bit slow, it takes say 3/4 seconds to give sound to the keys, and a certain kind of "white noise/air" comes out from the speaker. Is this normal or could it be related to the "hiss sound"?

As for the level of my playing I can actually live with it, and eventually go to Yamaha assistance before warranty expires, but for now I am mostly worried if I could get into troubles with MIDI connection (I would like to try Pianoteq e.g.) because of this "additional sound".

Thanks a lot in advance for any suggestion or opinion.

A.

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#1519385 - 09/20/10 08:34 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California

The P85 and many other digital pianos contain samples the have some finite length. Maybe only a second or two long, Then if you hold a key down longer than the length of the same the piano will loop over the lastr bit of the sample, playing it ever and over. Better pianos have longer samples so this dose not happen so sone Coult you be hearing this looping.

In English "hiss" is white noise, the sound of air escaping from a valve or the sound of a radio not tuned to a station. "Echo" is a reflection of sound from a surface. Which is it? Looping might be mistaken for an echo. And hiss is something all audio amplifiers do. Beter amps do less of it the source is random thermal noise in the components.

If you use MIDI, don't worry, no audio signal goes over a MIDI cable, only some digital message is sent when a key is pressed or raised.

I think if you want someone to tell you what you are hearing you will have to record it and post a WAV file. What you are describing might be normal for a P85 or not, sound is hard to describe, best to record it.

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#1519392 - 09/20/10 08:54 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: ChrisA]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Hi, ChrisA,

Originally Posted By: ChrisA

The P85 and many other digital pianos contain samples the have some finite length. Maybe only a second or two long, Then if you hold a key down longer than the length of the same the piano will loop over the lastr bit of the sample, playing it ever and over. Better pianos have longer samples so this dose not happen so sone Coult you be hearing this looping.


shouldn't be this looping of the same kind of the sound, instead of always "string-like"?
shouldn't it be null with the volume set off?

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
In English "hiss" is white noise, the sound of air escaping from a valve or the sound of a radio not tuned to a station. "Echo" is a reflection of sound from a surface. Which is it? Looping might be mistaken for an echo. And hiss is something all audio amplifiers do. Beter amps do less of it the source is random thermal noise in the components.


it actually seems to be an echo, but it sounds like an hiss/air sound (maybe for the string nature of it), by the way I don't think white noise would change with tone, so I would say it is more an echo, even if when the volume is off I can't see what is echoing...

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
If you use MIDI, don't worry, no audio signal goes over a MIDI cable, only some digital message is sent when a key is pressed or raised.

I think if you want someone to tell you what you are hearing you will have to record it and post a WAV file. What you are describing might be normal for a P85 or not, sound is hard to describe, best to record it.


ok, I will surely record a WAV file and post it,

thanks a lot

A.

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#1519618 - 09/21/10 07:11 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
two WAV files.

isolated notes (GP1 and EP)

http://web.mclink.it/MD3012/P85/echo_1dp.wav

single keys with volume set completely off (extreme left)
(be sure to put the volume very high to hear this)

http://web.mclink.it/MD3012/P85/echo_2dpvolumeoff.wav

A.


Edited by ashat (09/21/10 07:17 AM)

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#1519620 - 09/21/10 07:27 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I heard the noise you're talking about on that first mp3 link.

I hear a similar trailing noise when I turn my computer speaker too high. A Windows 'sound' will exhibit that same trailing noise but only when I have my add on speakers turned up too high.
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#1519621 - 09/21/10 07:30 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2204
Loc: Sydney, Australia
That sounds like it could be quantisation noise to me - either in the samples themselves, the effects processing, or both. I'm not familiar with the P85 so I don't know whether it's normal or not, but I will not be at all surprised if it's NOT a defect with your unit.

Greg.

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#1519670 - 09/21/10 09:50 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: sullivang]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: sullivang
That sounds like it could be quantisation noise to me - either in the samples themselves, the effects processing, or both. I'm not familiar with the P85 so I don't know whether it's normal or not, but I will not be at all surprised if it's NOT a defect with your unit.

Greg.


Hi Greg,
thanks a lot for your hint.
It would be nice if anybody here owning a P85 could check if it has a similar noise.

Do you know if there is a place on the net where I may hear samples of this "quantisation noise" for a comparison? I tried googling around but found nothing.

thanks again,
A.

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#1519693 - 09/21/10 10:39 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4340
Loc: Northern NJ
It sounds to me like bleed-through from the digital logic into the analog electronics, which is why you can hear it with the volume all the way down.

It could be a component issue (missing/wrong value cap) or a design issue (if all of them do this). Go to the store and try another one, if you hear it there return yours and buy a different DP.
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#1519706 - 09/21/10 10:59 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
I can hear a backgrond hiss in the first file. It sounds like the kind of recordings you get if you use a microphone with a low-end preamp that has high self noise. I don't know if this is a defect or if all P85 pianos have amps with background hiss

I would not worry about the second example, why care about what it sounds like with the volume at zero and your ear to the speaker? It's not the normal why you'd use a piano.

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#1519717 - 09/21/10 11:20 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
MacMacMac Offline
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Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3801
Loc: North Carolina
In the echo_1dp.wav file, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th notes sound like a different piano sound. They're like one of the synthetic electric pianos that have the characteristic "twang" in them.

Were these notes recorded using the normal piano voice, and with NO added effects?

Are you using the same voice for notes 4,5,6 as for notes 1,2,3. They sound very different.

The background hiss is pretty bad, too.

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#1519722 - 09/21/10 11:26 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: MacMacMac]
ChrisA Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
..Are you using the same voice for notes 4,5,6 as for notes 1,2,3. They sound very different.


He wrote: "... (GP1 and EP)" I assume this means Grand Piano and Electric Piano


Edited by ChrisA (09/21/10 06:53 PM)

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#1519725 - 09/21/10 11:31 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: MacMacMac]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
In the echo_1dp.wav file, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th notes sound like a different piano sound. They're like one of the synthetic electric pianos that have the characteristic "twang" in them.

Were these notes recorded using the normal piano voice, and with NO added effects?

Are you using the same voice for notes 4,5,6 as for notes 1,2,3. They sound very different.

The background hiss is pretty bad, too.


Notes 1,2,3 are from GrandPiano1. Notes 4, 5, 6 are from an Eletric Piano, (I don't remember if EP1 or EP2 really). No added effects, piano just powered on. It was to give an example of the fact the hiss sound is "string-like" whatever voice I select on the keyboard.

I agree that the background hiss is pretty bad.

A.



Edited by ashat (09/21/10 11:31 AM)

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#1519726 - 09/21/10 11:34 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: ChrisA]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I can hear a backgrond hiss in the first file. It sounds like the kind of recordings you get if you use a microphone with a low-end preamp that has high self noise. I don't know if this is a defect or if all P85 pianos have amps with background hiss

I would not worry about the second example, why care about what it sounds like with the volume at zero and your ear to the speaker? It's not the normal why you'd use a piano.



It was just to show that the hiss sound is independent from the volume level, and from the voices. Like an independent noise made by the simple key press.

I read somewhere that sounds independent from volume levels may depend from a defective (?) preamplifier?

A.

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#1519729 - 09/21/10 11:42 AM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: dewster]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: dewster
It sounds to me like bleed-through from the digital logic into the analog electronics, which is why you can hear it with the volume all the way down.

It could be a component issue (missing/wrong value cap) or a design issue (if all of them do this). Go to the store and try another one, if you hear it there return yours and buy a different DP.


Hi Dewster,

I actually thought to go to the store to try another one P85. But it is no more available in the shop where I bought the mine (they sell just the P95 successor now). Additionally here in Italy it is not possible to give back an item to a shop after more than 7 days. Longer period are permitted only for on-line sales.

On the positive side, here in Rome, there is a very good Yamaha service. I phoned to them (very kind people), they told me they would fix any problem for free until the piano is under warranty (two years) and they may change entirely the interior of a piano if this is the only way to fix a problem.

A.

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#1519749 - 09/21/10 12:08 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1191
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
I have a new P85, bought in July just like yours. When I turn it on it makes the same noise in the beginning as yours. Actually it makes two sounds, first like you were turning on a light switch, then a sound like that which could come from an old radio or a vinyl record that has a scratch, but only one such sound.

After it is turned on I can also hear a low hiss, but only when I put my ear next to each of the speakers. I don't notice it when I'm in playing position. But isn't this normal for any electrical equipment, just because of the hardware parts that are running? My computer makes such a sound even higher and I'm not taking about the ventilator.

I have not noticed any abnormal sounds when I hit the notes. When I hold down a note it takes a long time to fade out (isn't that a good thing?) and I don't hear any extra sounds after it does. The P85 sounds a bit metallic but isn't that to be expected from most DPs?

Hope that helps.


Edited by Pianotehead (09/21/10 12:10 PM)
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#1519765 - 09/21/10 12:19 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: TheodorN]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: Pianotehead
I have a new P85, bought in July just like yours. When I turn it on it makes the same noise in the beginning as yours. Actually it makes two sounds, first like you were turning on a light switch, then a sound like that which could come from an old radio or a vinyl record that has a scratch, but only one such sound.

After it is turned on I can also hear a low hiss, but only when I put my ear next to each of the speakers. I don't notice it when I'm in playing position. But isn't this normal for any electrical equipment, just because of the hardware parts that are running? My computer makes such a sound even higher and I'm not taking about the ventilator.

I have not noticed any abnormal sounds when I hit the notes. When I hold down a note it takes a long time to fade out (isn't that a good thing?) and I don't hear any extra sounds after it does. The P85 sounds a bit metallic but isn't that to be expected from most DPs?

Hope that helps.


Hi Pianotehead,

thanks a lot for your reply.

yes, the description of the noises at power up exactly agrees with what I hear.

as for the fade out: if you have 5 minutes, could you try to put the volume at zero with earphones and see if you can hear any notes (that very far hiss-string-like sound) by pressing any keys? try with high notes, the hiss-string noise is more easy to hear on them.

thanks in advance,

A.

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#1519772 - 09/21/10 12:33 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1191
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Ashat, you're welcome. I have five minutes but I don't have earphones and I don't know if I'll get them after reading about your experience!
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#1519776 - 09/21/10 12:40 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: TheodorN]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: Pianotehead
Ashat, you're welcome. I have five minutes but I don't have earphones and I don't know if I'll get them after reading about your experience!


You could put your ear exactly over one of the speaker instead...
But if you prefer not to check I understand, don't worry. smile

A.

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#1519780 - 09/21/10 12:44 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2204
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: ashat


Do you know if there is a place on the net where I may hear samples of this "quantisation noise" for a comparison? I tried googling around but found nothing.


I've created a demo that has severe quantisation noise:
http://www.box.net/shared/yfz12nf2m0

This is a 16-bit recording (i.e CD quality) of a software piano playing a soft note, but then converted to 8-bit resolution. I wanted to use a more realistic quantisation of 12-bits, but my software doesn't support that resolution.

IMHO there is SOME similarity between your recordings and mine.

Greg.

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#1519824 - 09/21/10 01:48 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Quote:
It was just to show that the hiss sound is independent from the volume level, and from the voices. Like an independent noise made by the simple key press.

I read somewhere that sounds independent from volume levels may depend from a defective (?) preamplifier?


If independent of the volume control then the defect is located between the volume control and the speaker. Without looking at a schematic it would be hard to know if the volume control is before or after a preamp. Likely the P85 in more integrated and you don't see separate units you could point at and call "amp" or "preamp". But logically the Hiss must be after the volume control if the volume control has not effect on it.

All amplifiers do this to some extent. the better ones however are good and the sound is undetectable. If this is a defect or just the way all P85s are depends on how noticable it is.


Edited by ChrisA (09/21/10 06:50 PM)

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#1519829 - 09/21/10 01:56 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1191
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Originally Posted By: ashat


You could put your ear exactly over one of the speaker instead...
But if you prefer not to check I understand, don't worry. smile

A.


I did, as I said in my first post and I heard the hiss. But this is not the only reason for not getting earphones. They make me feel cut off from the surrounding world and I don't like that!

Also I don't play that loud that I disturb my next neighbor. Fortunately the walls are very well isolated here.

But it would be interesting to loan earphones from somewhere and plug them in the piano. I assume the noise should be heard because earphones always sit tight up to one's ears.
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#1519857 - 09/21/10 02:45 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: TheodorN]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: Pianotehead
Originally Posted By: ashat


You could put your ear exactly over one of the speaker instead...
But if you prefer not to check I understand, don't worry. smile

A.


I did, as I said in my first post and I heard the hiss.


Sorry Pianotehead,

until anybody else with a P85 shows up you are my only reference smile

do you hear the continuous diffuse hiss of the "power on" without hitting any keys, or do you hear that specific hiss changing tone by hitting different keys with the volume set off?

A.

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#1519863 - 09/21/10 02:50 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: sullivang]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: sullivang
Originally Posted By: ashat


Do you know if there is a place on the net where I may hear samples of this "quantisation noise" for a comparison? I tried googling around but found nothing.


I've created a demo that has severe quantisation noise:
http://www.box.net/shared/yfz12nf2m0

This is a 16-bit recording (i.e CD quality) of a software piano playing a soft note, but then converted to 8-bit resolution. I wanted to use a more realistic quantisation of 12-bits, but my software doesn't support that resolution.

IMHO there is SOME similarity between your recordings and mine.

Greg.


Greg,

thanks a lot for this audio file!
Actually it sounds very similar to my hiss, an amplified severe version of what I hear.

Your guess is probably the right one, now I have to discover if it affects all the P85 or I just pick the bad one..

A.

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#1519872 - 09/21/10 02:55 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Here it comes another related curiosity.

If I connect the piano to a pc with Pianoteq (I still have to learn all the MIDI-related stuff and basics) with a MIDI-USB cable, then the sound will come from the software, right?

But then it will come back to the piano speakers-earphones, or I can get it directly from the pc speakers /earphones so to "jump" the hiss-annoying-string-like-quantisation-noise? smile

A.

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#1519892 - 09/21/10 03:18 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: ashat
Here it comes another related curiosity.

If I connect the piano to a pc with Pianoteq (I still have to learn all the MIDI-related stuff and basics) with a MIDI-USB cable, then the sound will come from the software, right?

But then it will come back to the piano speakers-earphones, or I can get it directly from the pc speakers /earphones so to "jump" the hiss-annoying-string-like-quantisation-noise? smile

A.


MIDI does not transport audio signals. If audio is to go from the computer back to the piano it is because you connected an audio cable from the computer's audio interface back some input on the piano. It don't think the p85 even has an audio input so you can't send the audio back, even if you wanted to.

Will the sound from the computer be high quality? That depends entirely on the audio system connected to the computer.

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#1519930 - 09/21/10 04:05 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: ChrisA]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: ashat
Here it comes another related curiosity.

If I connect the piano to a pc with Pianoteq (I still have to learn all the MIDI-related stuff and basics) with a MIDI-USB cable, then the sound will come from the software, right?

But then it will come back to the piano speakers-earphones, or I can get it directly from the pc speakers /earphones so to "jump" the hiss-annoying-string-like-quantisation-noise? smile

A.


MIDI does not transport audio signals. If audio is to go from the computer back to the piano it is because you connected an audio cable from the computer's audio interface back some input on the piano. It don't think the p85 even has an audio input so you can't send the audio back, even if you wanted to.


the P85 does have a MIDI OUT and MIDI IN, does not mean the sound may come back to the piano and eventually heard throughout the speakers/earphones if one wants to do so?

A.

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#1519955 - 09/21/10 04:35 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1191
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
First I only tried this without hitting keys, had the volume off and put my ear close to the speakers, not hitting any notes. I could just hardly hear the sound, but I assumed it was a normal result of an electronic device powered on.

Just now I tried the same thing but hit the notes one by one, most of them not all. I didn't notice any change in the lowest bass section, but when I approached the middle I started to hear a sound resembling an air raid signal or a fire bell far away. It got gradually worse as I went higher up, but the last two octaves it was hardly audible. In addition I can't hear any abnormal sounds when I'm in playing position, whether I hit the notes or not, with the volume off.
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#1519994 - 09/21/10 05:22 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: TheodorN]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: Pianotehead
First I only tried this without hitting keys, had the volume off and put my ear close to the speakers, not hitting any notes. I could just hardly hear the sound, but I assumed it was a normal result of an electronic device powered on.

Just now I tried the same thing but hit the notes one by one, most of them not all. I didn't notice any change in the lowest bass section, but when I approached the middle I started to hear a sound resembling an air raid signal or a fire bell far away. It got gradually worse as I went higher up, but the last two octaves it was hardly audible. In addition I can't hear any abnormal sounds when I'm in playing position, whether I hit the notes or not, with the volume off.


Pianotehead,

thanks a lot!
It actually seems the two units exhibit the same behaviour.

The signal it is actually less audible on the very low and very high notes even on my piano, nevertheless with the earphones I can clearly hear it even there. I agree that it is almost impossible to hear it from a normal playing distance, and with a normal continuous playing of the notes.

It remains to establish if the July 2010 units are defective, (despite the distance between Iceland and Rome :)) or all the P85 have this air-raid-fire-bell signal on the backgroud...

Thanks a lot again for your assistance and comparison.

A.

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#1520049 - 09/21/10 06:42 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: achat]
faasf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/02/10
Posts: 21
Loc: Athens, Greece
Ashat i have a p85 too and i confirm that it behaves the same as yours, so i think all the p85's have this signal on the background.I bought it last november.To tell you the truth i hadn't notice this signal until now. The sound is more audible from the 4th re(D) and above.


Edited by skatoules (09/21/10 06:43 PM)
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#1520061 - 09/21/10 07:06 PM Re: Strange background sound on Yamaha P 85 [Re: faasf]
achat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 536
Loc: Rome, Italy
Originally Posted By: skatoules
Ashat i have a p85 too and i confirm that it behaves the same as yours, so i think all the p85's have this signal on the background.I bought it last november.To tell you the truth i hadn't notice this signal until now. The sound is more audible from the 4th re(D) and above.


Hi Skatoules,

thanks for your additional confirmation.

I am a bit less worried now. Hope I am not getting into troubles too many P85's owners all around the world with this odd discovery smile

A.

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