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#1668041 - 04/28/11 12:44 PM Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound?
Theodore Slutz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/10
Posts: 329
Loc: California
I have heard people say caster cup material affects the sound or resonance of a piano, ie... plastic versus wood caster cups.

Opinions or experiences anyone?

Thanks for the input.
_________________________
Charles Walter Model W (190)


“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” J.S. Bach


"I just want to know, if we came from monkeys and apes, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE MONKEYS AND APES?" George Carlin

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#1668052 - 04/28/11 01:23 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: Theodore Slutz]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1543
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: Theodore Slutz
I have heard people say caster cup material affects the sound or resonance of a piano, ie... plastic versus wood caster cups.

Opinions or experiences anyone?

Thanks for the input.


Hmmm...what color plastic you talking?

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#1668057 - 04/28/11 01:34 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: Theodore Slutz]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
I think not...

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#1668085 - 04/28/11 02:52 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: Theodore Slutz]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2359
Loc: NYC
I think not, when it comes to wood vs. plastic. But there is a specific model of caster cup out there that is designed to reduce sound transmission through the floor...Piattino. Maybe that's what you heard about.
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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#1668152 - 04/28/11 05:18 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: Theodore Slutz]
KurtZ Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 999
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
EVERYTHING affects sound. Whether or not it is perceivable or measurable enough to bother about is another question but over at gearslutz there's a thread going on that over whether or not plastic from the 50-60's is warmer sounding that new plastic.

Seriously, the state of your sinuses on any given day is bigger variable in how your piano sounds than what kind of caster cups you use.

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

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#1668156 - 04/28/11 05:28 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: KurtZ]
Legal Beagle Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 776
Originally Posted By: KurtZ
...over at gearslutz there's a thread going on that ...


Coincidence that the OP is "Theodore Slutz?" Not likely. I'd say just about as likely as plastic vs. wood caster cups making a noticeable difference in the sound of your piano. Just sayin'.
_________________________
"Wide awake, I can make my most fantastic dreams come true..."
- Lorenz Hart

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#1668173 - 04/28/11 06:11 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: Legal Beagle]
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
This subject reminds me on discussion/publication on audio forums/websites where audible differnces are claimed of various spikes for loudspeaker cabinets.

Sometimes the spikes are as expensive as the loudspeakers cabinets themselves! shocked

schwammerl.

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#1668197 - 04/28/11 06:50 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: Furtwangler]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Furtwangler
Originally Posted By: Theodore Slutz
I have heard people say caster cup material affects the sound or resonance of a piano, ie... plastic versus wood caster cups.

Opinions or experiences anyone?

Thanks for the input.


Hmmm...what color plastic you talking?


That made my day!
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#1668198 - 04/28/11 06:51 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: schwammerl]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2772
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: schwammerl
This subject reminds me on discussion/publication on audio forums/websites where audible differnces are claimed of various spikes for loudspeaker cabinets.
Agreed. However, relative to the sound body, the 3 legs are serving as the spikes, and its no accident that most casters are brass. The cups are really serving as the floor which is why the effect is so minimal. It would be just as valid to discuss what layers of flooring are below the cups and argue the merits of that.

If in any room there were only 100 variables that affected the acoustics of a piano (if only!), then I would guess that caster cups would rank in the mid-90's with low importance.

If it weren't for the pedals (and the rocking it would cause) I would assume that someone would develop cradles to suspend the piano on wires just like a high-end microphone.
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Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bsendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
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#1668201 - 04/28/11 07:01 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: Theodore Slutz]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
I have concrete floors in my shop area of my premises.
If I have a grand piano without the strings installed and tap the soundboard it sounds way different with wood caster cups underneath vs no caster cups.

With caster cups the resonance of the sound board increases in volume and booms.

So I believe there must be a difference.
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#1668223 - 04/28/11 07:59 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: PianoWorksATL]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2359
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: schwammerl
If it weren't for the pedals (and the rocking it would cause) I would assume that someone would develop cradles to suspend the piano on wires just like a high-end microphone.

Sounds like a plan. Just do the engineering, develop a business plan and find the right investor! grin
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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#1668230 - 04/28/11 08:38 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
TeriLyn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/07
Posts: 120
Loc: Utah
Interesting, I noticed a slight difference when I placed wood caster cups under my grand piano---it seemed to make it slightly louder.

(I thought it was just my ears! But I did notice a little difference.)
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Estonia 168 Bubinga Polish, Yamaha CP300 Stage Piano, Kawai Console

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#1668254 - 04/28/11 09:41 PM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: Theodore Slutz]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2772
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I guess I'll add to my earlier post. If your piano caster was previously in contact with an absorbing material like carpet or concrete (or even the softer, slightly flexible plastic cups) then instead is placed in a hardwood or harder lucite caster cup, then that makes sense to hear some effect. To the OP, in comparison of a hard plastic vs. hardwood caster cup, I could not determine any appreciable difference.

Absorbing material dampens the leg vibrations making the piano more "suspended" and less connected to the resistance of the bigger vibrating body (the floor). Less connection = less reflection of energy back into the sounding body of the piano. If a hardwood caster cup give you a better connection to the ground (by virtue of its material properties or its shape) you'll get more reflection. Sometimes that is good and sometimes not. If, instead, the piano was attached to the floor, it would vibrate like a spring.

Actually, Bosendorfer offers a special designated "Yacht" model that has optional longer legs with mounting floor pins (for more obvious reasons of being on a moving boat) and there is this curious side effect. Not sure if I would call it a benefit or not.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bsendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1668454 - 04/29/11 10:05 AM Re: Who here feels caster cup material affects the sound? [Re: Theodore Slutz]
Theodore Slutz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/10
Posts: 329
Loc: California
good points... thanks for the input everyone
_________________________
Charles Walter Model W (190)


“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” J.S. Bach


"I just want to know, if we came from monkeys and apes, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE MONKEYS AND APES?" George Carlin

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