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Topic Options
#2033694 - 02/15/13 12:15 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Emmery]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: Emmery
A digital piano is not the same as an acoustic for the person playing it and for the small nuances of control on tone. But sampled sounds on the better DP's are virtually exact "recordings" of acoustics, a single note or chord cannot be distinguished between the two on a blind test....period.

(David Jensen)..."Hmmmm, What would a digital be called during a power failure? 'Funny looking table? Boat anchor?"

Mine would be called a digital piano... it has batteries in it.

On the other hand, what would your 700 lb piano be called if you wanted to haul it out a couple hundred yards into the woods for a music foray with freinds? It would be called a hernia.


You guys are too funny, but you got a point there. I personally own a Korg M3 and I like it, but in piano sound and feel it would never replace by Imperial, it's just how it is, I love it for the things it can do (and places it can go) but when it comes to true piano performance, I dare say no "imitation" will ever come close to the original (considering many aspects not only sound because I know you can use samples).


Edited by Jorge Andrade (02/15/13 12:24 PM)

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#2033698 - 02/15/13 12:22 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: David Jenson]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
One subjective consideration would be the sound you have now. If the piano has punch, clarity, and sustain as it is now, it might not be so bad to keep the original sound board. It'll certainly be less expensive.


I believe other than lose energy in the bass area the sound is pretty ok, what I really need to do is corner up another Imperial owner and do a 'test drive', I know not all pianos are created equal but Boseys should have some particular characteristics that would carry over from one piano to another, I've played a few Imperials years ago (like almost 10) so it's hard to form an opinion now by only considering my own piano.

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#2033699 - 02/15/13 12:28 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: David, Las Vegas]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: David, Las Vegas
Hi Jorge,
If it were my instrument and I knew the recent history (which I do) I would start with some cost effective measures. You said that your installing a full room humidifier. I would let the room acclimate to the higher humidity and, over 4 to 6 months, measure soundboard responses by measuring any effect on the crown, soundboard crack size, increased (or not) sustain etc. If findings are positive but minimal I would install the large Dampp Chaser system to enhance the local improvements. If no improvements are measured with humidity introduction than I would shim the soundboard. I have had mild but positive results improving crown in trouble areas by slightly wedging the s-board from the bottom which opens the crack slightly more, make the shim repair, let the glue dry and cure (2 days), remove the wedges and inspect for crown improvement. The Bosey has a thick panel so I'm not sure if results will be dramatic but worth a try. I normally would restring doing this procedure but moving the existing music wire out of the way is a budget option. At least with these methods 10's of thousands of dollars are kept in the bank until repair scenarios reveal their worth.


Well mister, there's some homework for you on my next service call then. smile

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#2033701 - 02/15/13 12:30 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Larry Buck]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3336
Originally Posted By: Larry Buck
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.


You're joking, right?


A Bosendorfer Sound Board is not the same as most of the others for several reasons.

Unless a rebuilder is specifically familiar with this installation, I might tend to agree with Eric.


I'd like to think that a qualified rebuilder, such as yourself, would be able to handle this.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2033703 - 02/15/13 12:34 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: adak]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.

And don't they make pianos with carbon fiber soundboards nowadays?


There's a company in England that does that, however, shipping my piano to England to have that kind of work done is out of my budget. Also, as it was expressed here before if I replace the soundboard then I guess it's not considered a Bosendorfer anymore, I mean, that right there is the root of my despair, that's exactly the reason why I started this thread. I honestly don't think that the soundboard alone is what makes a Bosendorfer - otherwise we could theoretically remove the soundboard from a Bosendorfer and put it into a lesser quality piano and it would become a Bosendorfer? What about the strings, can I call it a Bosey if I replace the strings? Gosh, I hate the grey areas!!!


Edited by Jorge Andrade (02/15/13 12:54 PM)

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#2033733 - 02/15/13 01:08 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
I'm trying to post 3 pictures of the soundboard cracks but all I get is the URL option, can't I just embed the pics here?

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#2033741 - 02/15/13 01:20 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1940
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
I believe other than lose energy in the bass area the sound is pretty ok, what I really need to do is corner up another Imperial owner and do a 'test drive', I know not all pianos are created equal but Boseys should have some particular characteristics that would carry over from one piano to another, I've played a few Imperials years ago (like almost 10) so it's hard to form an opinion now by only considering my own piano.


That makes sense.

You might consider making recordings and doing some spectral analysis. Your ear may be sufficient but recordings and numbers allow for objective review. As you may know, Richard Dain, who fitted the carbon fibre soundboard to a Bosendorfer, included some Bosendorfer spectrograms in this paper.

It might be worth asking about Bosendorfer soundboard repairs on the German forum (Clavio).
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2033752 - 02/15/13 01:52 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Monaco]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5287
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Monaco
Steinway did an experiment where they created gaps in a soundboard and found that it did not affect the sound. Shimming the soundboard is therefore a cosmetic measure and has no effect on the performance of the piano.

Do you have a reference for this?

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2033765 - 02/15/13 02:21 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Del]
Steve Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 660
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Monaco
Steinway did an experiment where they created gaps in a soundboard and found that it did not affect the sound. Shimming the soundboard is therefore a cosmetic measure and has no effect on the performance of the piano.

Do you have a reference for this?

ddf


Steinway quotes W B White on their website for this matter.
_________________________
Vintage Piano sales and restoration in Toronto
Exclusive Live Performance Player Systems Dealer

http://stevejacksonpianos.com

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#2033775 - 02/15/13 02:41 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Steve Jackson]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5287
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Steve Jackson
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Monaco
Steinway did an experiment where they created gaps in a soundboard and found that it did not affect the sound. Shimming the soundboard is therefore a cosmetic measure and has no effect on the performance of the piano.

Do you have a reference for this?

ddf


Steinway quotes W B White on their website for this matter.

I suspected this claim would be based on that paper; it has long been cited as a justification for soundboard cracks. But its basic premise has been discredited for decades—cracks are not the issue, loss of compression is the issue.

No actual experiments were ever conducted that I am aware of but, like other mainstays of piano mythology, this one seems to keep on growing. I didn't know it was still being used.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2033780 - 02/15/13 02:52 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Withindale]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
I believe other than lose energy in the bass area the sound is pretty ok, what I really need to do is corner up another Imperial owner and do a 'test drive', I know not all pianos are created equal but Boseys should have some particular characteristics that would carry over from one piano to another, I've played a few Imperials years ago (like almost 10) so it's hard to form an opinion now by only considering my own piano.


That makes sense.

You might consider making recordings and doing some spectral analysis. Your ear may be sufficient but recordings and numbers allow for objective review. As you may know, Richard Dain, who fitted the carbon fibre soundboard to a Bosendorfer, included some Bosendorfer spectrograms in this paper.

It might be worth asking about Bosendorfer soundboard repairs on the German forum (Clavio).


Thank you for the information, I'll check it out whenever I get a little more time (hey 3 day weekend coming up..)

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#2033784 - 02/15/13 03:00 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Del]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: Del
...cracks are not the issue, loss of compression is the issue.


Pardon my ignorance but the loss of compression you're referring to, is it related to the planks of spruce that were glued together to form the soundboard? As I understand, in the process of manufacturing the soundboard, the planks are fitted together and the crown is formed which adds 'energy' to the system (soundboard), this allows the board to amplify the sound and propagate the sound waves, once the crack appears some of this energy is released and basically lost, the ultimate draining would come from the board becoming flat, am I on the right track here?

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#2033788 - 02/15/13 03:18 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Larry Buck]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: Larry Buck
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.


You're joking, right?


A Bosendorfer Sound Board is not the same as most of the others for several reasons.

Unless a rebuilder is specifically familiar with this installation, I might tend to agree with Eric.


Larry,

I thought all soundboards parted from the same concept, planks of spruce wood glued together and crowned, tightly fit into the case in order to amplify and reflect the sound coming from the strings, what could possibly be so different about the Bosendorfer soundboards. I've checked your website and I know you've worked on many different makes of pianos, the Steinway S restoration (the fire piano) was a work of a true master so please shed some light into the differences you've encountered.


Edited by Jorge Andrade (02/15/13 03:19 PM)

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#2033791 - 02/15/13 03:21 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
If all pianos are the same inside then does that mean you paid thousands of dollars extra just for the company label on the outside. I find it difficult to swallow that any soundboard can replace a Bosendorfer soundboard, surely that can't be right.
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


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#2033798 - 02/15/13 03:31 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5287
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
Pardon my ignorance but the loss of compression you're referring to, is it related to the planks of spruce that were glued together to form the soundboard? As I understand, in the process of manufacturing the soundboard, the planks are fitted together and the crown is formed which adds 'energy' to the system (soundboard), this allows the board to amplify the sound and propagate the sound waves, once the crack appears some of this energy is released and basically lost, the ultimate draining would come from the board becoming flat, am I on the right track here?

No. There are two basic methods used to establish crown in a piano soundboard system. (And many variations blending the two.)

1) Wood—usually spruce—boards are glued together to form a panel. This panel is thicknessed as desired and then dried to a very low moisture content (typically 4.0% summer/3.8% winter). When it’s dried it physically shrinks (mostly in the perpendicular-to-grain direction). Ribs are glued to this panel in a perpendicular-to-grain direction. After the assembly is returned to a normal environment (where there is more moisture in the air) the panel swells and creates a stress interface between the ribs and the soundboard panel. This forces a curve into the assembly; i.e., it warps but this time the warp is deliberate.

2) A crown is machined into one surface of the ribs and this curved surface is glued to the soundboard panel. The moisture content of the panel is somewhat higher when the ribs are glued on (typically somewhere between 6% and 7%) so there is never as much compression in these soundboard panels.

At no point is energy “added” to either system. Sound is not “amplified” by the soundboard assembly. And no “energy” is “lost” when a crack appears in a soundboard panel.

The piano soundboard system is basically a mechanical transducer. The bridges transfer vibrating energy from the strings to the soundboard assembly where it is converted, or transduced, into sound energy. How efficiently this transduction takes place is a function of the mass and stiffness of the soundboard assembly. And soundboard stiffness is affected by panel compression.

When the tone quality of a piano changes because of variations in climate the two primary causes for the change are due to increased or (in your case) decreased amounts of internal compression in the soundboard panel and to the changes that take place in the wool felt hammers.

Listen to David when he looks at your piano. He understands this stuff.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2033802 - 02/15/13 03:40 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: adak]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: adak
If all pianos are the same inside then does that mean you paid thousands of dollars extra just for the company label on the outside. I find it difficult to swallow that any soundboard can replace a Bosendorfer soundboard, surely that can't be right.


I'm not claiming all pianos are the same inside, you very well know there are other parts beside the soundboard inside of a piano, I'm only referring the soundboard because that's what everyone seems to be particular about.

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#2033806 - 02/15/13 03:50 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Del]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
Pardon my ignorance but the loss of compression you're referring to, is it related to the planks of spruce that were glued together to form the soundboard? As I understand, in the process of manufacturing the soundboard, the planks are fitted together and the crown is formed which adds 'energy' to the system (soundboard), this allows the board to amplify the sound and propagate the sound waves, once the crack appears some of this energy is released and basically lost, the ultimate draining would come from the board becoming flat, am I on the right track here?

No. There are two basic methods used to establish crown in a piano soundboard system. (And many variations blending the two.)

1) Wood—usually spruce—boards are glued together to form a panel. This panel is thicknessed as desired and then dried to a very low moisture content (typically 4.0% summer/3.8% winter). When it’s dried it physically shrinks (mostly in the perpendicular-to-grain direction). Ribs are glued to this panel in a perpendicular-to-grain direction. After the assembly is returned to a normal environment (where there is more moisture in the air) the panel swells and creates a stress interface between the ribs and the soundboard panel. This forces a curve into the assembly; i.e., it warps but this time the warp is deliberate.

2) A crown is machined into one surface of the ribs and this curved surface is glued to the soundboard panel. The moisture content of the panel is somewhat higher when the ribs are glued on (typically somewhere between 6% and 7%) so there is never as much compression in these soundboard panels.

At no point is energy “added” to either system. Sound is not “amplified” by the soundboard assembly. And no “energy” is “lost” when a crack appears in a soundboard panel.

The piano soundboard system is basically a mechanical transducer. The bridges transfer vibrating energy from the strings to the soundboard assembly where it is converted, or transduced, into sound energy. How efficiently this transduction takes place is a function of the mass and stiffness of the soundboard assembly. And soundboard stiffness is affected by panel compression.

When the tone quality of a piano changes because of variations in climate the two primary causes for the change are due to increased or (in your case) decreased amounts of internal compression in the soundboard panel and to the changes that take place in the wool felt hammers.

Listen to David when he looks at your piano. He understands this stuff.

ddf


Thanks for the information, aside from the 'amplification' and 'energy' suggestions I think I was on the right track then. What I'm going to take from this is that overall, as a complete 'system' the soundboard panels, ribs and bridges form a system to transfer the energy from the strings into vibrations that we hear as sound. I wonder which process the Bosendorfer factory utilize to create their soundboards, I guess one could see that during a factory visit???

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#2033863 - 02/15/13 05:44 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Emmery]
Monaco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 387
Loc: GA
Originally Posted By: Emmery
But sampled sounds on the better DP's are virtually exact "recordings" of acoustics, a single note or chord cannot be distinguished between the two on a blind test....period.


Hogwash.
_________________________
Ben Ereddia
Piano Teacher
Beginning Tech

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#2033880 - 02/15/13 06:03 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2097
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Emmery

... On the other hand, what would your 700 lb piano be called if you wanted to haul it out a couple hundred yards into the woods for a music foray with freinds? It would be called a hernia.
Ah ha! so THAT'S what I'm doing wrong. I knew hauling that Young Chang was hard on my knees, but I never thought of the hernia danger. (I'm a guitar player anyway, so what would I know?)
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2033925 - 02/15/13 07:47 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: beethoven986]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Originally Posted By: beethoven986


You're joking, right?


No, not at all. A Bosendorfer is not a set of legos that anybody can put together.
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#2033929 - 02/15/13 07:53 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
In the hands of a skilled rebuilder, it will be a fine piano. But I, PERSONALLY, wouldn't consider it a Bosendorfer anymore.
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#2033939 - 02/15/13 08:14 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BoseEric]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3336
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
Originally Posted By: beethoven986


You're joking, right?


No, not at all. A Bosendorfer is not a set of legos that anybody can put together.


Neither is a Steinway, or a Baldwin, or whatever, yet many rebuilders seem to replace soundboards just fine. PS I've been to the Boesendorfer factory... it's not rocket science.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2033954 - 02/15/13 08:55 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
whatever you say
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#2033999 - 02/15/13 11:01 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
I'm trying to post 3 pictures of the soundboard cracks but all I get is the URL option, can't I just embed the pics here?


host the pictures here http://imageshack.us/ and post the links, lets have a look at the piano.
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


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#2034034 - 02/16/13 12:10 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: adak]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
I'm trying to post 3 pictures of the soundboard cracks but all I get is the URL option, can't I just embed the pics here?


host the pictures here http://imageshack.us/ and post the links, lets have a look at the piano.


Great, thanks for the info and here's the link, I hope it works:
Soundboard cracks

Note the largest one that basically goes from one side of the soundboard to another is actually deeper and wider than it shows in the picture, in some places I can see the floor but the picture made it look like a hairline.

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#2034049 - 02/16/13 01:09 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21513
Loc: Oakland
It is hard to see from the photos, but it looks like the edges of those cracks are dirty, which indicates they have been there for a while.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2034078 - 02/16/13 02:36 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BDB]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: BDB
It is hard to see from the photos, but it looks like the edges of those cracks are dirty, which indicates they have been there for a while.


Yes I agree, these pictures are not the best, I took them before I left to work with my droid phone, the camera features on the droids really stink, I'm going to charge up my real camera tomorrow and take better ones. As far as the cracks, I can guarantee you the piano only had the one in the middle of the board, and it wasn't a crack but a ridge line, there was no separation, the 2 in the treble area showed up about 2 months ago when the weather really changed. David Chadwick has been my service technician since I bought the piano and he can attest.

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#2034080 - 02/16/13 02:52 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21513
Loc: Oakland
There is a crack in the soundboard of my wife's Steinway, one that I did not bother to do anything with, as I am of the school that cracks generally make no difference in the way the piano sounds. Most of the rest of the time, it is invisible. It may get wide enough to see when it gets really dry, I think. It is possible that you did not see the other cracks. I really doubt that you noticed them when they first appeared.

I mentioned Grand Obsession, a book about an experience that parallels your own. I am of the opinion that what you do not like about the piano now is not due to the piano itself, but the change of circumstance it has gone through.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2034100 - 02/16/13 04:15 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BDB]
lluiscl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/06
Posts: 146
Sincerely, in my limited opinion, I'd not be worried about these cracks... and less I'd think in replace the SB.
I am more impressed as Bosendorfer fixed the bridge pins... clearly out of the notched...¡!

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#2034110 - 02/16/13 04:58 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: lluiscl]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1940
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: lluiscl
I am more impressed as Bosendorfer fixed the bridge pins... clearly out of the notched...¡!

Well spotted. Perhaps Bosendorfer know something about the movement of strings at bridge pins that others have not realised.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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Pianoteq vs Digital Piano vs Acoustic Piano
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