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#1815651 - 12/30/11 11:28 PM Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet?
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
So I have the Roland FP7F, with the wooden stand. I'm on the second floor, and the piano is on a light carpet.

From downstairs, I can't really hear the music, but a very audible "Thump" of the keys going up and down can be heard. It sounds like distant thunder, and is surprising how much noise those little keys actually make downstairs, even when played softly and not banging.

Now - what can be done to reduce this thumping noise? The Roland is pretty heavy, so I figure maybe it's really pushing down on that wooden stand and thus on the floor causing the vibrations to be more pronounced.

Would an extra carpet under the Roland help? Or what type of material would be most effective at reducing this thumping noise? It's not up against the wall, but close to it - but I am assuming that the thumping is traveling through the legs of the stand.

Any ideas?

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#1815657 - 12/30/11 11:33 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Open cell foam perhaps? I used some black foam that I got with a replacement hard drive in the mail under my new hard drive (open, not in a case) and it stopped the noise dead. If you can put some between your piano and the stand it might help. And another carpet under the stand (perhaps with foam under it) would help yet more. Basically the idea is to separate the movement of your piano from the stand and floor so it doesn't use them for a resonating board.

I use shelf liner under my piano, though I don't have much a problem because I have concrete under me.

One can also try and actually block the sound, but for low frequencies like thumps that stuff is typically massive and not always cheap. Is the noise being transmitted through the floor or is it going under the door and down the stairs?

Edit: oh you are using the attached stand. So everything needs to be between the stand and the floor.


Edited by gvfarns (12/30/11 11:41 PM)

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#1815675 - 12/31/11 12:12 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
It's going right through the floor - it seems to sound louder downstairs then when playing the piano!

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#1815683 - 12/31/11 12:18 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hmm. Foam, carpet, a folded up blanket, couch cushion. Try lots of stuff until you find the easiest thing that works. And definitely let us know what ends up being the solution.

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#1815688 - 12/31/11 12:32 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
I will - also I want to keep in mind the height of the keyboard, I want to keep it level with the bench, so if I get something that raises the keyboard, I'd like it under the bench too to stay at the same height. (Like a larger carpet.)

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#1815703 - 12/31/11 12:59 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
They sell vibration/noise dampening stuff for laying under wood floors. Laminate flooring underlay. That might be more resilient. You could get a small amount and fold it a couple of times. Something like that. It's kind of designed for that purpose, but most likely a single layer will be too thin for what you want.

The thing is, you really only need it under a very small area, so you could get something pretty exotic and effective if you want, so maybe floor underlay is not right.


Edited by gvfarns (12/31/11 01:01 AM)

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#1815747 - 12/31/11 04:25 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2322
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
This is structural noise and you need to isolate that. You need what some drummers use. I could describe it at length but there's loads of stuff out there on the web if you look for it. It will be an effort to make this thing but it will cure 95% of the problem...

You need a bid board (big and rigid enough to carry the piano and your stool when in the playing position - a big strong plywood sheet would do it). You need to cut holes into this board (quite a few holes - at least a dozen, maybe more) and the holes need to be big enough for tennis balls to locate into but not slip through. The idea is that the board on the tennis balls isolates the key thumping that generates the structural noise in your house. So you could then carpet this board so it looks ok and then you would step up onto this little platform to play the FP. You could make the board just big enough for the piano but then the piano would be a couple of inches higher than your seating position and that would probably cause issues with pedalling which is why the board ideally needs to be big enough to accommodate your bench too.

I know it's a pain to do this but all the other ideas about just using more carpet etc will not really cure this problem - you need balls to isolate that noise!

Good luck,

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1815793 - 12/31/11 08:27 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: EssBrace]
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
I use a slab of granite under the stand. You don't want anything "smushy" like foam because that will cause your piano to wobble. The granite is SOLID and extremely dense and did the trick perfectly. The downside is that it ain't cheap and it's heavy as heck so getting in the room wasn't a simple task.

You could use smaller squares of granite to and place one under each leg, or contact point, of your stand. But a single slab has significant density and eats up the thump.

Curt

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#1815806 - 12/31/11 09:10 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: EssBrace]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
you need balls to isolate that noise!



That provided my morning giggle . . . !
_________________________
Melodialworks Music
Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
Yamaha NU1 + Production Grand

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#1816266 - 01/01/12 02:01 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
lechuan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 180
I had the same problem. I wasted $400 on a dense, thick rug that didn't help at all. Neighbors kept banging on the ceiling with every little noise, got fed up, moved out of that 2nd floor apartment, and moved into a first floor apartment.

It's so nice to be able to play without having to constantly worry if your neighbor's are going to get upset.

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#1816356 - 01/01/12 09:30 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
I just opened up my MP10 and discovered that the thump comes not from the key "bottoming out" but from the hammer striking the padded bar at the top of the mechanism. It only touched the bottom pad when I pressed down quite firmly on the key - way more force than is applied during normal playing.

Now the padding on this bar is quite soft and its purpose is to simulate the "strings" in an acoustic piano, giving a similar feel to when the hammer strikes the strings. But the pad strip is adhered to a thin metal (aluminum) plate that is quite resonant itself! Just tapping the metal with my finger generated a very loud thump similar to what is heard when playing!

I think to better aide in thump reduction, the "strings" foam strip should be adhered to a much more dense material. I would suggest using a granite or marble beam, realizing that this could add a few pounds to an already heavy unit that is intended to be portable.

I'm curious though... given that the MP10 is a stage piano where thumping is a total non-issue, I wonder if the other KAWAI pianos (the "home" units) have the same hardware assembly as the MP10? I know that they share the RM3 but does that mean the same aluminum bracing and pad placement?

Curt


Edited by curt88 (01/01/12 09:43 PM)

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#1816630 - 01/01/12 07:10 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8376
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Yes, the keyboard action is the same.

James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1816644 - 01/01/12 07:29 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
So I assume that they thump as loudly as the MP10 does?

Curt

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#1816653 - 01/01/12 07:41 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8376
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I don't believe the 'RM3 Grand' action thumps, nor is it loud.

James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1816693 - 01/01/12 09:03 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Kawai's action is quiet by comparison with some other actions, though I can understand discussing it as a "thump." When the hammers hit the foam it makes a fairly low frequency noise. It's not loud in my opinion, but low frequency stuff is hard to damp.

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#1816714 - 01/01/12 09:38 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: Kawai James]
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I don't believe the 'RM3 Grand' action thumps, nor is it loud.

James
x


Well I have three people in my house that would respectfully disagree with you! Four, if you count me. It may not be as loud as the Roland actions, but it still makes a LOT of noise and especially through the floor to the room downstairs.

Curt

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#1816716 - 01/01/12 09:41 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: gvfarns]
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
It's not loud in my opinion, but low frequency stuff is hard to damp.


That's where something of significant mass, like granite, works perfectly! But I still am curious if applying the mass to the plate where the hammers strike would absorb the thump - stop it internally by design. It makes physical sense to me.

Curt

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#1816718 - 01/01/12 09:42 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Well, I actually enjoy problems like this. Most likely the right solution will be cheap (like old blankets or something) and fun to try and figure out. I kind of wish I had a problem like that to fix with my system rather than the ponderous dilemma of finding speakers that do my DP justice.

My advice is to have some fun with it. Try a bunch of stuff and combinations of stuff until you figure it out and show your family that you are the hard-core DP master of the house!

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#1816724 - 01/01/12 09:48 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: gvfarns]
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
Well, as I said, the granite slab beneath the stand did the trick AND it still looks cool - like gloss ebony! But to me, it's a band-aid. I'm like Dyson or Jobs in this respect; things should just be right by design and not require shoe horns or wedges or duct tape to get it to do what it should do. smile

I may just look into adding the mass to the plate inside though. I wish I had the project drive that sigasa has!!

Curt

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#1816727 - 01/01/12 09:57 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Yeah probably something massive like that granite slab. Maybe with something thin and soft on top of and/or under it. When they sound proof rooms they use massive materials like lead (or used to) and then layers of soft stuff that absorbs some of the shock. The mass is necessary because of the low notes (at least in room soundproofing).

To give you an example, the cheap, DIY way to soundproof a room is to add a layer of drywall on top of your existing one with a layer of caulk in between the two layers of drywall. The mass of the drywall stops the vibration and the soft stuff keeps it from getting transmitted. There are better materials than regular dryall (like super heavy drywall), of course, but that's the principle.

A heavy solid mass under the piano with something soft beneath it operates on basically the same idea.


Edited by gvfarns (01/01/12 09:58 PM)

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#1816731 - 01/01/12 10:02 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: gvfarns]
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
Well, let me clarify. The slab solves the problem of the thump traveling through the floor to the room downstairs but it does nothing to remedy the thump that others in the room hear while you're playing in headphones.

Curt

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#1816806 - 01/02/12 12:52 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
I really wanted to keep the keyboard at the same level as my bench, I have the Roland stand for it and I like the height - any different and I'll get back aches.

I wonder if a really thin piece of plywood or similar could also do the trick. I tried some towels but they didn't do anything.

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#1816809 - 01/02/12 12:57 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: curt88]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3329
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: curt88
Well, let me clarify. The slab solves the problem of the thump traveling through the floor to the room downstairs but it does nothing to remedy the thump that others in the room hear while you're playing in headphones.

Curt


You will never eliminate the knocking sound within the room, so I think you have correctly identified the one thing you can have an impact on: the flimsiness of the rail the hammers hit. If you have to add extra mass there, you will have to accept the extra weight. I think if you tried them all, you'd find that all DPs make more noise than you would like in this regard. The easiest solution is to accept that and become more tolerant to it (the people who are bothered by it, that is). You'll never eliminate it entirely. Maybe you can reduce it by 30-40% with the ideas you have discussed: and that might be just enough for you. It might make it a bit heavier though, which is not great if you want to take it out gigging. Only you can judge where that tipping point is. For what it's worth, I doubt that making the flimsy rail more solid will affect the feel of the action. I doubt that rail being able to vibrate was a conscious decision in terms of piano realism. I think it's probably more a case of that was good enough to get the job done, whilst keeping the weight down for a gigging keyboard.

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#1816813 - 01/02/12 01:06 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Though I believe the issue is that the sound is being transmitted down through the floor to people downstairs. This can probably be almost completely fixed using a granite slab etc., I would think. Might need to do a little soundproofing on the room (towel under the door) as well because those sounds can sneak all around.

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#1816857 - 01/02/12 02:39 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: gvfarns]
moleskincrusher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 169
Have use seen the Auralex åcoustics website? They specialize in sound isolation. I use one of their platforms (wood + foam) for my subwoofer and it does the trick. They're in Indianapolis, so I don't know if they have international distribution.

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#1816910 - 01/02/12 08:12 AM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
Originally Posted By: CrashTest
I really wanted to keep the keyboard at the same level as my bench, I have the Roland stand for it and I like the height - any different and I'll get back aches.

You could get an adjustable bench and raise it up an inch to accommodate the extra height of the slab. It's what I use. Just a suggestion.

Originally Posted By: CrashTest
I wonder if a really thin piece of plywood or similar could also do the trick. I tried some towels but they didn't do anything.

No, you need something with mass to absorb the frequencies. Maybe you could find someplace to cut a half-inch granite slab for you?

Curt

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#1820951 - 01/08/12 02:58 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
I bought some 3/8 inch granite tiles from Home Depot - and placed them under both legs. Unfortunately this was not enough to create any difference, the thump was still heard as before. The pieces were both 12x12 inches, one under each leg.

Is that too thin? Do I need some thicker granite for it to have any effect?

Any ideas, curt88? What did you use?

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#1820977 - 01/08/12 03:29 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3667
Loc: North Carolina
Granite tiles?
You need something soft to absorb shock, not something hard.

Carpet might help, or foam padding.
Unfortunately, things that help absorb the shock will also contribute to shakiness and instability of the piano stand. frown
Still, ya gotta do whatcha gotta do ... to keep the neighbors happy.

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#1820981 - 01/08/12 03:33 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2232
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: CrashTest
I bought some 3/8 inch granite tiles from Home Depot - and placed them under both legs. Unfortunately this was not enough to create any difference, the thump was still heard as before. The pieces were both 12x12 inches, one under each leg.

Is that too thin? Do I need some thicker granite for it to have any effect?

Any ideas, curt88? What did you use?

It sounds like you need more mass, a complete slab under the whole DP and maybe the bench too. Pieces under the legs, even quite thick, won't help.

You could also try the floating wood or MDF platform - it floats on tennis balls that fit underneath into holes 2/3 the diameter of a ball. This has been reported on here as successful too.

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#1820998 - 01/08/12 04:07 PM Re: Key "Thump" heard downstairs - advice on how to quiet? [Re: CrashTest]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Yeah, as I think I might have mentioned, a layer of soft stuff under a layer of hard/heavy stuff, with another layer of soft stuff between your DP and the hard thing seems like it would be a likely candidate.

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