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#1967567 - 10/01/12 11:13 PM what causes slight string buzz?
dracaa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/12
Posts: 65
One string on my friend's piano has a sharp buzz to it. The adjacent strings are mellow with no buzz. It's near middle C where the key strikes 2 strings.

What are things I can look for & try to fix to make the strings sound consistent? I want to try to fix it without bringing a tech over since neither of us have much money at the moment and I want to learn how to troubleshoot issues like this.
_________________________
Kohler and Campbell skg-600s 5'9 grand (newly acquired)
I'm not a tech but ambitiously learning out of necessity
since I live in the middle of nowhere and getting a tech
to come out here for minor things (that I could and want
to learn to do myself) is prohibitively expensive.

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#1967588 - 10/02/12 12:15 AM Re: what causes slight string buzz? [Re: dracaa]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3296
It could be caused by a lot of things. In the long run, it will be more expensive to attempt the repair yourself. Call a tech.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1967602 - 10/02/12 01:34 AM Re: what causes slight string buzz? [Re: beethoven986]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 442
Loc: Oregon Coast
Way too little information on this, draaca.

We'd be guessing...a lot...without more to go on.

Two strings at Middle C? Really? Very few pianos are built with such scaling. I've got one Davis Miniature with such a thing, but it is a weird thing to see. Most pianos are running at 3-string unisons much above C3, an octave below Middle C.

Upright? Grand? Brand name? Age? Serial number for good luck?

Buzzes always? Buzzes with damper-pedal on? Buzzzes sometimes?

All I'll offer is to open the piano and run a light down the string and look for something touching it. Damper wire, piece of popsicle stick (...yeah, I've seen that, really), or anything like that. AND make sure it is in the piano; not the lamp on top, the music desk rattling, or a pencil or coin somewhere on the desk or shelf nearby. Buzzes are often piano related, but not the piano itself. OK?

More serious stuff IS best left to the technician. I ain't gonna try and coach someone through bending damper wires, seating strings on the bridge, or adding a twist to a wrapped wire to kill a 'maybe?'-buzz!

Yr. mileage may vary,
Unable to offer,
Much,
I am,
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff@aol.com

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#1967689 - 10/02/12 09:03 AM Re: what causes slight string buzz? [Re: dracaa]
dracaa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/12
Posts: 65
Thanks for your reply. Ok regarding middle C, I'm embarrased to admit I can't remember the actual note(s) that I wsa studying which buzzed, so I took a guess at around middle C but I do know the note in question had only 2 strings. It's a standard 5'8 baby grand by Kohler and Campbell.

It's more accurate than saying it was "buzzing" is just that it was a sharp note, compared to its neighboring keys, so the higher harmonics to me kinda reminded me of buzzing, but it could just be a characteristic about the brighter string(s) that gave it "buzzy" upper harmonics.

Also, the truth is there is more than one note wiht the high harmonic "buzzing"...it's more like there was an inconsistent timber going up the keyboard...most notes were mellow but some notes were much brighter, which piqued my curiosity.

I don't want to call a tech because I have a strong interest in learning about this phenomenon as I proceed to evaluate pianos. I want to understand why some strings are sharper than others when they look identical to the eye. I had a good view of the entire string length and I was tempted to run a cloth up the strings to remove dust. But I can testify that nothing was touching the strings other than the damper, and the hammers of the brighter & mellow notes appeared similar, although I didnt touch the hammers to check.

Thanks for any tips you can offer.


Edited by dracaa (10/02/12 09:10 AM)
_________________________
Kohler and Campbell skg-600s 5'9 grand (newly acquired)
I'm not a tech but ambitiously learning out of necessity
since I live in the middle of nowhere and getting a tech
to come out here for minor things (that I could and want
to learn to do myself) is prohibitively expensive.

Top
#1967708 - 10/02/12 09:49 AM Re: what causes slight string buzz? [Re: dracaa]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3331
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Maybe it's just out of tune?

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#1967738 - 10/02/12 11:45 AM Re: what causes slight string buzz? [Re: dracaa]
dracaa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/12
Posts: 65
The overly bright strings aren't out of tune.
_________________________
Kohler and Campbell skg-600s 5'9 grand (newly acquired)
I'm not a tech but ambitiously learning out of necessity
since I live in the middle of nowhere and getting a tech
to come out here for minor things (that I could and want
to learn to do myself) is prohibitively expensive.

Top
#1967747 - 10/02/12 12:07 PM Re: what causes slight string buzz? [Re: dracaa]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 442
Loc: Oregon Coast
Ah, thank-you!

It is starting to sound (....joke) like a voicing issue on the hammers. A 'brighter' or 'sharper' sound on just a few notes is often because the density of the hammers is uneven.

Notes that get played more can more compacted (...smashed) and the hammers get noticeably 'brighter' or 'harsher' in sound. More punch in volume, with more emphasis on the higher partials, and they can really stand-out in a chord or chromatic run through the area. Medium quality pianos often leave the factory and the dealer's showroom with hammers that are not properly prepared, voiced, and smooth in their sound.

So...hammers can be reshaped to restore their proper form, getting rid of the flat spot and compacted felt. Hammers can be voiced...which is needling the felt to break up the fibers and restore 'bounce' off the strings. Strings can be leveled...to insure that the hammer hits all two or 3 with the same energy.

None of this is something I'd suggest to an owner. Most good voicing tools will cost as much as having a tech come anyway! A single mistake with a sanding tool will remove felt that ...duh.. can't be put back on the hammer. Leveling strings and voicing require techniques that must learned and practiced to get reliable results.

Do a search on 'Voicing' and see what you get. That may help you understand what's going on in your friend's piano. OK?

Sipping 'Izzie's Blend',
I am,
the armchair technician,
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff@aol.com

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#1967756 - 10/02/12 12:38 PM Re: what causes slight string buzz? [Re: dracaa]
dracaa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/12
Posts: 65
Ahh, so this is most likely due to the hammer hardness if there is not something obviously visible about the bright string?

Thank you for your advice!
_________________________
Kohler and Campbell skg-600s 5'9 grand (newly acquired)
I'm not a tech but ambitiously learning out of necessity
since I live in the middle of nowhere and getting a tech
to come out here for minor things (that I could and want
to learn to do myself) is prohibitively expensive.

Top
#1967880 - 10/02/12 06:12 PM Re: what causes slight string buzz? [Re: dracaa]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3789
Parents don't have a baby, then decide there is no money to feed it.

Don't buy a piano if there is no money to tune it.

Your issue could be 1/2 dozen things, and the only thing you can reasonably check for as a consumer is something loose on or around the piano buzzing in sympathy with the note.

Without experience, you cannot voice the hammer, nor can you replace a buzzing string if it's bad.

You need to call a tuner.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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