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#2023116 - 01/28/13 10:13 PM Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment?
Ezra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 66
Loc: New York
Hi all. Awaiting my upright... meanwhile, since i live in an apartment building (solid concrete floors - some sound travels), I want to be mindful of people downstairs from me and put down some pads? Thick moving blankets? Egg crate foam? ... under the upright which is 60" wide x 25" deep.

Any *simple* solutions/ideas others have tried or recommend? I've googled the idea and there are a few websites, but I have some very nice, super thick woven-type moving blankets from a move a couple years ago. If I double up these (would yield approx 4" thickness before being weighed down by 400 lbs of piano) will that be OK for the sound to be limited? What if I did a sandwich of blanket-eggcratefoam-blanket? I have those supplies readily on hand... or would I need something more complex?

Thoughts? Thanks.

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#2023139 - 01/28/13 11:22 PM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Ezra]
Peter K. Mose Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1376
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Would your bench also be perched on this folded up moving blanket? Because if it's not, your pedals are suddenly going to be awfully high in relation to the bench. And the whole set-up will look goofy.

It would help if you tell us what materials are covering your floor in this room, atop the concrete. Carpeting? Underpad? Parquet? Laminate? Underlay? Etc.

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#2023144 - 01/28/13 11:36 PM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Ezra]
Steven Y. A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Toronto
Any form of soft underlayment under piano will help to absorb the impact sound on concrete floor. not the lower frequencies.
_________________________
PLEYEL P124

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#2023165 - 01/29/13 12:40 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Ezra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 66
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Would your bench also be perched on this folded up moving blanket? Because if it's not, your pedals are suddenly going to be awfully high in relation to the bench. And the whole set-up will look goofy.

It would help if you tell us what materials are covering your floor in this room, atop the concrete. Carpeting? Underpad? Parquet? Laminate? Underlay? Etc.



Good point about the setup - I hadnt thought of that. bah I was initially thinking only the piano would need to be on the pads due to sound going straight down soundboard into the floor.

The floor is typical hardwood flooring on top of concrete... (and then the ceiling plaster of the downstairs neighbor).

If I put the piano on pads, how can I raise up the bench? Would my adjustable seat height bench work? Though that would look goofy..... ACK. Help!?

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#2023170 - 01/29/13 01:03 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Ezra]
backto_study_piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Australia
Your piano projects more sound to the front and rear than downwards. I guess the metal wheels may transmit some sound to a solid substrate of concrete.

I'd be focussing more on the back and front. I've often seen an upright piano placed on a woollen carpet square about 1.5 metre x 1.5 metre or a bit bigger - which absorbs sound being projected forwards. I've also seen a carpet - though you could use your mover's blanket - suspended behind the piano - by various means, though I think there was an air gap between piano & pad, and between pad and wall on the last one I saw like that.
_________________________
Alan from Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert - she's 7'4" long and ebony) & 2 Allen Organs [long story - the first is for sale] - MDS312 and CF-15.

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#2023176 - 01/29/13 01:28 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Ezra]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
It could be extremely difficult to roll your upright onto four inches of layered padding -- and if it's a "furniture" style piano with unbraced legs, you could even snap a leg off the instrument. I also think that the padding could interfere with operation of the pedals, etc.

Facing a similar situation, I used a rubber mat designed for sound-deadening under a treadmill or other exercise machine. You can buy mats in sizes that are almost perfect for use with a vertical piano. Another, more attractive, option that I went to later was simply a decently thick rug. One with a strong backing so it would lie flat and not rumple when I rolled the piano on/off of it.

I think that these solutions may only affect sound transferring through the piano casters to the floor, while the sound of the piano is coming out the back (primarily). If it's against a wall, as verticals usually are, it might be more effective to hang a blanket on the wall behind the instrument to limit sound traveling up/down the wall. ???
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2023188 - 01/29/13 01:58 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: piano_deb]
backto_study_piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: piano_deb

Happiness is a shiny red piano.


Hi - (slightly off topic) - can you post your "shiny red piano"?
_________________________
Alan from Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert - she's 7'4" long and ebony) & 2 Allen Organs [long story - the first is for sale] - MDS312 and CF-15.

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#2023299 - 01/29/13 06:55 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: backto_study_piano]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Originally Posted By: backto_study_piano
Originally Posted By: piano_deb

Happiness is a shiny red piano.


Hi - (slightly off topic) - can you post your "shiny red piano"?



That's my baby ... in a previous apartment, on a rug I don't have any more. Picture hardwood floor in a darker room with a black leather Jansen artist bench. And a lot of music all over the stand, lol.
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2023304 - 01/29/13 07:30 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Ezra]
backto_study_piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Australia
Beautiful - colour timber looks so good on upright pianos in particular. And the carpet on the floor is about what I was describing for Ezra - a bit bigger than the piano.
_________________________
Alan from Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert - she's 7'4" long and ebony) & 2 Allen Organs [long story - the first is for sale] - MDS312 and CF-15.

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#2023328 - 01/29/13 08:47 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Ezra]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Originally Posted By: Ezra
Hi all. Awaiting my upright... meanwhile, since i live in an apartment building (solid concrete floors - some sound travels), I want to be mindful of people downstairs from me and put down some pads? Thick moving blankets? Egg crate foam? ... under the upright which is 60" wide x 25" deep.
=====SNIP=====

OK - start with something to isolate the instrument from the floor http://www.pianofortesupply.com/accessories/caster-cups/piattino/piattino-acoustic-caster-cups-2/

Then - if absolutely necessary, something behind the piano against the wall. Try a blanket to start. If that's not enough, you could go to 2" thick fiberglass panels from a place like this.. http://www.atsacoustics.com/cat--DIY-Acoustic-Materials--102.html
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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#2023345 - 01/29/13 09:20 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Ezra]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
The Piattino caster cups work very well in blocking direct coupled sound transmission from the piano to the sub-floor. The resultant elevation of the instrument is minimal and has very little effect on the 'playability' from the pianist's viewpoint. That would be step one.

For ambient sound from the piano, one of the easiest solutions is an area rug, as indicated in Deb's photo. This accommodates both the piano and the bench placement. It is even more effective with a standard pad under the carpet.

Unless the building was constructed to be 'super soundproof,' there will always be sound transmission from unit to unit. Certainly, loud TVs, stereos, and arguments are just a part of apartment living.

Ezra, you have lead the readers here on a long and convoluted journey. We would like to know if you chose the mahogany or the ebony? Enquiring minds want to know.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2023349 - 01/29/13 09:27 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Ezra]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
As Seeker wrote, trying to isolate the piano from the floor will help. It's really only the low frequencies that are difficult to dampen since they travel so well through walls. Low frequencies are big and travel well and while they can be damped it will be difficult to block them out completely. (Rich fat people can also travel well but that's another issue.)

When your neighbor has their stereo cranked, you probably can't make out the higher frequencies so well but you'll hear the low boom, boom, boom of the horrible music they so much seem to enjoy. smile

In situations like this even hybrids have their problems since the noise of the action itself can travel through the wall and might be heard as a thumping sound. Everything's a trade off; dampen the piano too much and it's not enjoyable to you.

I'd have a talk with my neighbor and at least agree to times that you both can agree to. If that doesn't work there are always solutions ... you can make it look like an accident. smile
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#2023388 - 01/29/13 11:01 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Ezra]
KurtZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 966
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
If you want to try a sandwich platform look into products called mass loaded vinvl or dynamat neither are thick but both are specialty soundproofing products.

It wouldn't hurt to get advice from an expert. I know Auralex is very free about giving advice. Most of what people are suggesting here won't do jack to stop sound from traveling between spaces. Starting with decoupling is a good idea. Foam on the wall behind the piano will do nothing. Two moving blankets on the wall extending well beyond the piano might do a little but still seriously, almost anything that would be effective at stopping lower frequencies would cost more than Casio's newest but least feature rich digital if you take my meaning.

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

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#2023398 - 01/29/13 11:34 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Ezra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 66
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
The Piattino caster cups work very well in blocking direct coupled sound transmission from the piano to the sub-floor. The resultant elevation of the instrument is minimal and has very little effect on the 'playability' from the pianist's viewpoint. That would be step one.

Ezra, you have lead the readers here on a long and convoluted journey. We would like to know if you chose the mahogany or the ebony? Enquiring minds want to know.


1) I'm going to try the Piattino casters and/or a rug.

2) Ebony - I didnt know this was such intrigue! 3hearts I am planning on photos and perhaps a link to a video of my son playing it once it is setup. smile


Edited by Ezra (01/29/13 11:35 AM)
Edit Reason: typo

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#2023798 - 01/30/13 02:46 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: piano_deb]
Peter K. Mose Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1376
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: piano_deb
Facing a similar situation, I used a rubber mat designed for sound-deadening under a treadmill or other exercise machine. You can buy mats in sizes that are almost perfect for use with a vertical piano. Another, more attractive, option that I went to later was simply a decently thick rug. One with a strong backing so it would lie flat and not rumple when I rolled the piano on/off of it.



Ezra, Deb's advice echoes mine. I would combine her rubber mat suggestion with her thick area rug suggestion. Or less expensive than the sound-deadening rubber mat would simply be a high-quality rubber carpet underpad, underneath the area rug.

You could also try to speak to a building superintendent, or condo board member, or other piano owner in your building, to learn more about your particular dwelling's sound properties. There's a chance you're too worried.


Edited by Peter K. Mose (01/30/13 02:49 AM)

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#2023805 - 01/30/13 03:24 AM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1567
Loc: Reseda, California
Indeed, with a concrete floor you're way better off than in a wood frame building.
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2024241 - 01/30/13 07:33 PM Re: Simple idea for deadening piano sound to floor in apartment? [Re: Ezra]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2745
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Soft or low density materials tend to diffuse sound - this is common sense. However, to reduce sound penetration, you need some high density layers mixed with low density layers. Concrete has good deadening properties even though it isn't super dense mostly because it isn't very homogenous. It's the different transitions that stop sound penetration more than any one homogeneous material.

So if it is a problem for your neighbors, I like the idea of a mid-weight rug over perhaps a very thin but very dense rubber mat.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
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