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#2034177 - 02/16/13 09:35 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
of course, anybody and everybody does that. After all it's not rocket science.
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RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#2034199 - 02/16/13 10:22 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BoseEric]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1941
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
of course, anybody and everybody does that.

I wonder why some piano makers take care to place bridge pins precisely at the edge of the notch when, like Bosendorfer, anybody and everybody does not?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2034222 - 02/16/13 11:18 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
This is the wonderful part of high end piano building. Not everybody thinks the same way. To get the subtle differences of tone and touch between makers, one must have a series of subtle touches and tweaks, built up over years, decades. To think that anybody can replicate these subtle details misses a lot of the fun and importance.

I think you'll see on more recent Bosendorfers that the pins are more centered in the notch. August Forster, however, stays with the "slightly out of the notch" method.
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#2034265 - 02/16/13 01:12 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BoseEric]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3339
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
To think that anybody can replicate these subtle details misses a lot of the fun and importance.


To be sure, I didn't say that "anybody" could do this level of work, but to say that Boesendorfer is the only company that can do it, or replace a soundboard "otherwise it's not a Boesendorfer", sounds just as stupid and arrogant as when the folks at Steinway make the same claim.
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2034267 - 02/16/13 01:22 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2339
Loc: Lowell MA
Bosendorfer is an interesting piano.

I have a 12 year old Strauss Edition, B200 scale here in shop for a couple of things.

We have spent some time regulating, tuning and voicing the piano.

It is different than a Steinway certainly. One of the most noticeable differences is the character of the bass.

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#2034381 - 02/16/13 05:38 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
Beethoven, whoever you are, I'm glad that with your one visit to the factory and your new associate status you are such an expert. I was an expert once too, but the more experienced I got I realized the less I knew. You should have heard how stupid and arrogant I was back then!


Edited by BoseEric (02/16/13 05:40 PM)
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#2034394 - 02/16/13 05:53 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BoseEric]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2116
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I remember being stupid with you back in the day; Eric!

I do think that if Jorge needs a new board the factory option may be the only one. I would have to make new fixtures to do an expanded compass piano. I don't want to work that hard now. David Rubinstein in LA built an expanded compass piano but I don't think he is doing soundboards anymore. He's is the only possibility I can think of.

I would recommend that if a new soundboard is installed or the existing one repaired that the agraffes be changed to the ones without the hard metal insert string termination point. That way when you play the piano loudly the tone will be warmer since Jorge is unhappy with the tone.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2034399 - 02/16/13 06:00 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BoseEric]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1941
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
... it's not rocket science.

Eric,

Funnily enough, much more seems to go on at the bridge pin than most of us realise. That's why, as you say, these differences are interesting. Why does a Bosendorfer sound like a Bosendorfer, with or without cracks?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2034404 - 02/16/13 06:07 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Withindale]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Ed, you were never, ever as stupid as me...and you still aren't!
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#2034406 - 02/16/13 06:13 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
The great unanswered question Ian, and the one that makes the piano world so fun and humbling. And it can be asked about Steingraeber and Forster and Sauter and Fazioli and all the others. It's the sum total of individual, minute decisions over a long period of time.

Actually the more experience I get the more convinced I am that it IS rocket science.

ps...you know the comment you quoted was facetious, right?
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#2034438 - 02/16/13 07:20 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2339
Loc: Lowell MA
It is true that some of the Techs replacing sound boards, certainly can to justice to the Bosendorfer style.

Bosendorfer is a style and unique as such. It is nice that it is recognized as that.

BTW, I believe it is still possible to engage Mr. Rubinstein to do a board.
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
facebook.com/E. J. Buck & Sons Performances

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#2034477 - 02/16/13 08:39 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BoseEric]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3339
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
Beethoven, whoever you are, I'm glad that with your one visit to the factory and your new associate status you are such an expert.


Yes, I joined the Guild as an associate last year, but I have been working on pianos for a handful of years before then, a lot of which was in a university setting, while also completing a M.Mus. degree in... piano performance. I was also fortunate enough to travel a lot during my university days, and visited several other factories, high-end workshops, and historical collections. I am more than qualified to have an opinion on this matter.

As I see it, there are two things at issue, here, and I'm not sure if one is more important to you or not, so I'll cover both. One is whether or not Boesendorfer factory workers are the only people with the skills necessary to replace a Boesendorfer's soundboard. And the other is, irrespective of the rebuilder's skill, whether or not replacing the soundboard changes the instrument enough for it to no longer be considered a true Boesendorfer.

With respect to the first, I don't think there's a strong argument. There are several very talented individuals who install soundboards, and some probably do an even better job than some factories. There are also a select few who accurately reproduce fortepianos and harpsichords from scratch. With that in mind, I don't think it unreasonable to assume that some talented craftsman could install a new soundboard in a Boesendorfer.

The second issue is, perhaps, more of a grey area that will never be agreed upon. My thought is that a Boesendorfer, like it or not, is still a production instrument. They don't make their own action or hammers, and if memory serves, they don't make their cast-iron frames; it has also been over 150 years since someone with the maker's name has built a piano. So, it's not like we're talking about one-of-a-kind instruments, here. Even if we were, there is precedent for large-scale restoration to be undertaken while ultimately recognizing the final product as that of the original builder. In perhaps one of the most extreme cases, the 1720 Cristofori instrument underwent major restoration in 1938, including a new soundboard and pinblock; if the fine folks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art can still catalog this as a Cristofori instrument, a Boesendorfer with a non-OEM soundboard is a non-issue, IMO, especially if the new sound board was a faithful reproduction of the original. Indeed, I don't think even the most acute pianists would be able to tell the difference.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2034576 - 02/17/13 03:05 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: lluiscl]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: lluiscl

I am more impressed as Bosendorfer fixed the bridge pins... clearly out of the notched...¡!


Sorry I don't understand, did you see something else wrong from the pictures??? I know the bridge pins are the 'metal pegs' (don't you all cringe! Lol) that circumvent the strings, but what do you mean "out of the notched"

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#2034583 - 02/17/13 03:57 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3339
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
Originally Posted By: lluiscl

I am more impressed as Bosendorfer fixed the bridge pins... clearly out of the notched...¡!


Sorry I don't understand, did you see something else wrong from the pictures??? I know the bridge pins are the 'metal pegs' (don't you all cringe! Lol) that circumvent the strings, but what do you mean "out of the notched"


What he is talking about is the pin location respective of where the notch begins. Some manufacturers center the pins in the notch cut so that the bridge top and pin terminate the string at the same time; using this method, the string has a tendency to crush the top of the wood bridge, as the piano ages, which could force the string to terminate before the bridge pin, resulting in tonal problems. By locating the pins in front of where the notch begins during manufacture (as indicated in your pictures), the risk of this happening is minimized. In other words, there is nothing wrong with the bridges. But hey, what do I know?... I'm just an associate PTG member wink
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2034615 - 02/17/13 07:26 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
Hi Jorge,

Sorry you are experiencing this anxiety about your piano. One way or another I'm sure you can fix it.

I'm curious about a few things: Did you move with the piano from Atlanta to Las Vegas or did you simply buy the piano from a seller in Atlanta?

Are all the parts original from 1967, including strings, hammers/shanks/flanges/knuckles, and key bushings? How often do you play it and what kind of music do you play?

It's somewhat surprising that you have not yet installed a double tank Dampp-Chaser humidity control system. Is there a particular reason why you have avoided doing that?
_________________________
Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/

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#2034949 - 02/17/13 07:42 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1941
Loc: Suffolk, England
Jorge

Are you sure about your diagnosis?

I recently acquired a 1905 Ibach grand piano, restored about 5 years ago, without having an opportunity to play it first. Even though I was prepared for some problems, I was more than disappointed with its terrible touch, the power of the bass, and sheer lack of sustain across the board. Then I noticed some cracks in the soundboard.

The action needed its screws tightening and regulation. Then I discovered the nut holding down the centre of the frame had almost no thread. Fortunately there was just one rusty old nut in the box that fitted. I gave it about 1/8th turn with a spanner and the bass roared into life. One note, with a duff damper that I hadn't noticed before, sustained seemingly for ever.

Maybe, as some of the experts here say, the soundboard is your problem but just maybe, as some of those experts suggest, it isn't.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2035000 - 02/17/13 09:35 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: beethoven986]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Beethoven986, It makes sense now, thank you for your explanation and I appreciate your input, regardless of your title. wink


Edited by Jorge Andrade (02/17/13 09:43 PM)

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#2035003 - 02/17/13 09:41 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: James Carney]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: James Carney
Hi Jorge,

Sorry you are experiencing this anxiety about your piano. One way or another I'm sure you can fix it.

I'm curious about a few things: Did you move with the piano from Atlanta to Las Vegas or did you simply buy the piano from a seller in Atlanta?

Are all the parts original from 1967, including strings, hammers/shanks/flanges/knuckles, and key bushings? How often do you play it and what kind of music do you play?

It's somewhat surprising that you have not yet installed a double tank Dampp-Chaser humidity control system. Is there a particular reason why you have avoided doing that?


I've always lived in Las Vegas, I bought the piano which was located in Atlanta and had it shipped here.
As far as I know (and what was told to me and what David Chadwick inspected) I believe at this point everything is original. I mostly play it for a few hours over the weekend, I used to play more but I had to get a second job to pay for it so I don't really have time anymore, I play tons of classic but recently have started getting into jazz and blues.

David has been on my case about installing the Dampp-Chaser, I was already going to listen to him but I had a great confirmation after installing the room humidifier. The only resason why I was resistant is because I read online that the system only benefits the soundboard but nothing else, and the pin block is another component I want to make sure gets preserved.

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#2035019 - 02/17/13 10:28 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
David, Las Vegas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 211
Loc: Las Vegas, Nevada
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
[quote=James Carney]Hi Jorge,


David has been on my case about installing the Dampp-Chaser, I was already going to listen to him but I had a great confirmation after installing the room humidifier. The only resason why I was resistant is because I read online that the system only benefits the soundboard but nothing else, and the pin block is another component I want to make sure gets preserved.


The whole room humidification is not a bad idea but care must be taken to always maintain the desired RH levels. It's a better system because if there is fluctuations the environment won't change as aggressively because the fixtures in the room and the walls themselves are living in that same situation and will lessen any immediate change. The DC system is localized to benefit the target component. As the system performs over time ( I have found) the other wood and cloth components will benefit from the DC system such as the pin block, damper guide bushings and key frame but the system must be monitored and respect the low water warnings. Either way the wood and cloth will reap the benefits. I believe the stress' seen in the soundboard will lessen and desired hammer tone will improve with proper humidity levels. If the piano is thirsty.. give it a drink.
_________________________
David Chadwick RPT
Las Vegas, Nevada
1923 Steinway "M"
1931 Mason Hamlin AA

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#2035024 - 02/17/13 10:43 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
David, Las Vegas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 211
Loc: Las Vegas, Nevada
I have several clients who use summer swamp coolers in their homes. It is a evaporator cooler that removes latent heat from where evaporation takes place. It kinda fools the body into thinking it's cooler yet doesn't change the temperature very much. (much like having a kettle slowly steaming on the stove during the winter makes one feel warmer). Once the outside temperature goes over 80 to 90 degrees all it does is create more humidity. I do summer service calls in the desert at both extremes. There is a marked difference however with the summer swamp cooled pianos having better a voice and sustain but tight pinning. sticking dampers and sluggish key bushings are troublesome. I love my job.
_________________________
David Chadwick RPT
Las Vegas, Nevada
1923 Steinway "M"
1931 Mason Hamlin AA

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#2035063 - 02/18/13 12:48 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: adak
host the pictures here http://imageshack.us/ and post the links, lets have a look at the piano.
So, what is your expert opinion? wink


Is this the original board? The angle of the SB grain seems odd, maybe someone can clarify for me?
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2035093 - 02/18/13 02:43 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Supply]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1941
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Supply
Is this the original board? The angle of the SB grain seems odd, maybe someone can clarify for me?

I wondered about that. Compare with this (it magnifies)?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2035122 - 02/18/13 05:50 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
Originally Posted By: James Carney
Hi Jorge,

Sorry you are experiencing this anxiety about your piano. One way or another I'm sure you can fix it.

I'm curious about a few things: Did you move with the piano from Atlanta to Las Vegas or did you simply buy the piano from a seller in Atlanta?

Are all the parts original from 1967, including strings, hammers/shanks/flanges/knuckles, and key bushings? How often do you play it and what kind of music do you play?

It's somewhat surprising that you have not yet installed a double tank Dampp-Chaser humidity control system. Is there a particular reason why you have avoided doing that?


I've always lived in Las Vegas, I bought the piano which was located in Atlanta and had it shipped here.
As far as I know (and what was told to me and what David Chadwick inspected) I believe at this point everything is original. I mostly play it for a few hours over the weekend, I used to play more but I had to get a second job to pay for it so I don't really have time anymore, I play tons of classic but recently have started getting into jazz and blues.

David has been on my case about installing the Dampp-Chaser, I was already going to listen to him but I had a great confirmation after installing the room humidifier. The only resason why I was resistant is because I read online that the system only benefits the soundboard but nothing else, and the pin block is another component I want to make sure gets preserved.


Sounds to me like David is giving you excellent advice.

Maybe the board suffered some damage since the move, but maybe you "played out" what was left in the hammers, or the regulation has changed over time in the new environment. It's certainly possible that the dry climate loosened a bunch of action screws which could easily result in loss of bass power. And, if the pinning in the hammer flanges became too loose or too tight (strange as it seems, either condition can occur in low humidity) since the move, that could also wreak havoc with the tone.

I think the room humidifier is also a good idea, but the double tank DC will likely help to prevent further damage, and it might even help to improve the tone. If you are consistent about closing up your piano and using a thick cover when not in use you are essentially creating a micro-environment that could also benefit other components inside the piano. Most people aren't willing to remove and replace a cover daily (except for studios and venues) but it can make a big difference long-term. Even if you don't get a cover, close up the whole thing when not in use.

I also read the other thread and Del gave you great advice there: Focus on the action and keyset. Have David rebush the keys (if needed, which it likely does) hang new shanks and hammers, and regulate the piano. Most pianists underestimate or are unaware of the effect that regulation can have on tone. I always say "Regulation IS voicing." smile

Good luck!
_________________________
Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/

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#2035217 - 02/18/13 11:13 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21574
Loc: Oakland
Of the various factors that could affect a piano's tone after a cross-country move, the room acoustics, technician, and moisture content of the hammer felt are more likely to cause changes than cracks that may or may not be new.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2035528 - 02/18/13 10:14 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: James Carney]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: James Carney
Sounds to me like David is giving you excellent advice.


Ok everyone, just so we're clear, I am well aware of David's capacity, I've been working with him for over a year and he came to me highly recommended by several different sources and so far has greatly exceeded my expectations; I'm not posting questions here because I don't think he can help me but because I'm trying to get different opinions and suggestions from a broader 'population' and in the process I'm learning tons of information, I am well-pleased with the responses everyone is offering so please keep them coming!!

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#2035529 - 02/18/13 10:16 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: Supply
Is this the original board? The angle of the SB grain seems odd, maybe someone can clarify for me?

I wondered about that. Compare with this (it magnifies)?


The grain on my board seems to be in the same direction as the picture you posted, although this looks more like a CG than an actual piano.

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#2035618 - 02/19/13 01:32 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1941
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
The grain on my board seems to be in the same direction as the picture you posted, although this looks more like a CG than an actual piano.

My reason for looking at that image was to see how many screws and bolts are holding the plate in place.

Have you and David checked that the ones on your piano are all tight? If any are even slightly loose the plate may gobble up energy that should be in the soundboard.

James suggested some of the screws in the action may have become loose. Have they all been checked and tightened?

Has the keyframe been affected?

What steps were taken to eliminate other possible causes of reduced bass power before focusing on the soundboard?


Edited by Withindale (02/19/13 07:23 AM)
Edit Reason: Keyframe
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2035633 - 02/19/13 02:11 AM 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
The grain on my board seems to be in the same direction as the picture you posted, although this looks more like a CG than an actual piano.

My reason for looking at that image was to see how many screws and bolts are holding the plate in place.

Have you and David checked that the ones on your piano are all tight? If any are even slightly loose the plate may gobble up energy that should be going into the soundboard.

James suggested some of the screws in the action may have become loose. Have they all been checked and tightened?

Has the keybed been affected?

What steps were taken to eliminate other possible causes of reduced bass power before focusing on the soundboard?


I'll let David answer those questions, I know he went through the whole piano but I don't know the particulars, thanks for bringing these points up though, it seems like this is a good starting point for someone like me that's just recently became involved with 'the other side' of the piano.
As crazy as it may sound, I think the more I understand about the 'mechanics' of the instrument the better I get at playing it, I'm an electrical engineer so mechanic is not my forte but I can relate to the many concepts in creating a piano, and now I'm off topic on my own thread...


Edited by Jorge Andrade (02/19/13 02:13 AM)

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09/30/14 11:49 AM
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