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#2030887 - 02/11/13 01:11 AM Buzzing Notes
Philm35 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 44
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
I recently acquired a 60's vintage Howard/Kawai 550 5'9 grand. The piano is in great shape... other than a buzz/resonance that is noticeable in the notes around middle A. I had a piano technician come over and he found the source of the vibration... a loose button screw on the bottom of the piano. He tightened it up, along with a number of other loose screws, and the buzz was gone.

Two weeks later, the buzz has returned. Is there a way that this can be fixed more permanently? Aside from this issue, the piano is terrific shape, and sounds really good.


Rank Amateur Noodler
Howard/Kawai 550 "Tier 5"
Yamaha Motif XF-8

Hailun / Pearl River Pianos

Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#2030970 - 02/11/13 07:46 AM Re: Buzzing Notes [Re: Philm35]
Rickster Offline

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 9106
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Phil,

You'll likely get more responses on the Piano Technician's forum here at PW... also, I had an annoying buzz on my first grand piano and it turned out to be the fall-board lock mechanism buzzing. I stuffed a little cotton in the lock and no more buzz...

If the tech tightened the button screw, I doubt it came loose that fast, but it could have. Call the tech back out and both of you figure it out... (to every problem there is a solution smile )

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

#2031403 - 02/11/13 05:50 PM Re: Buzzing Notes [Re: Philm35]
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3458
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Was the screw in the center of a wooden washer about an inch around? If so, this is probably a soundboard button, where the screw attaches the bridge to the soundboard.

On a 50-year-old piano, there will probably be lots of loose parts. Are there visible cracks in the soundboard? This could be a symptom of a loose rib buzzing (the ribs are the roughly 1" x 1" sticks glued across the grain underneath).

Anything can be fixed permanently, given enough time and money. Let your technician know, and be prepared for an hour or two of investigation and gluing.

Cy Shuster, RPT
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute

#2031467 - 02/11/13 08:31 PM Re: Buzzing Notes [Re: Philm35]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3099
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I think this era Kawai's use plastic soundboard buttons. This being the very dry season the soundboard is thinner than in the humid season so this could leave the button loose. If this is the problem you would be wise to monitor humidity and try by all the usual varied means and combination's thereof to not let relative humidity, (RH) drop below 40% by much.

Also you could have your Tech acquire and bring some wood buttons, wood glue and appropriate size screws and switch out from the plastic.
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com

#2031556 - 02/11/13 11:54 PM Re: Buzzing Notes [Re: Philm35]
Philm35 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 44
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
I took a look at the bottom of the piano... The buttons are made of wood. The bad news is, I noticed a subtle crack running about an inch parallel to the row of buttons. It's about 15-18" long. Ouch. I would guess that it could be the cause of the buzz. Can a crack like that be repaired?
Rank Amateur Noodler
Howard/Kawai 550 "Tier 5"
Yamaha Motif XF-8


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