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#2208023 - 01/04/14 12:12 PM Bright/Nasal Sounding Uprights
sanfranpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 15
Hi,

Is there anything that can be done to old upright/spinet pianos like Kimballs which have a very bright/nasal sounding tone?

I have tried voicing some of these down but the hammer felt was so hard it broke my needles.

Are replacing the hammers the only way to lessen the harshness? In that case, it may be better to advice the client to just get a new piano.

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#2208046 - 01/04/14 12:36 PM Re: Bright/Nasal Sounding Uprights [Re: sanfranpiano]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21529
Loc: Oakland
Like all questions about voicing, the answer is, "It depends." Sometimes it can be done with a lot of work.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2208049 - 01/04/14 12:38 PM Re: Bright/Nasal Sounding Uprights [Re: sanfranpiano]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1264
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
May I suggest needling at slightly less than 90 degrees instead of directly into the felt.

This serves to raise the felt slightly over a larger area and can reduce brightness.

Also, steam voicing and hammer softener are options.

Warning, with steam, the brightness will come back after the effect wears off, but with hammer softener, go slow because it is not easily reversed.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2208097 - 01/04/14 01:17 PM Re: Bright/Nasal Sounding Uprights [Re: sanfranpiano]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2074
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The permanent nasal tone of many Kimball uprights is due to three factors.

Two of these involve the influence of the string termination configuration. The round mild steel rod Kimball often used near the tuning pin end of the string does not allow the string to pivot well when vibrating and the hardness of the metal reflects more of the very high frequency longitudinal modes, (L-modes) that the strings carry. Even though the frequency of the L-modes is above the hearing range they can beat against each-other and couple to the more "normal" transverse waves.

The combination of reduced pivot termination of the string and low L-mode damping of the termination material creates a nasal sound.

Also in small pianos there are far more many notes with two string unisons and these have less unison coupling which shifts the tone more nasal as well.

Tone regulation techniques can be employed to reduce the volume of these sounds but the overall nasal tone will remain.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2208103 - 01/04/14 01:25 PM Re: Bright/Nasal Sounding Uprights [Re: sanfranpiano]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Dumb question here: Did you try resurfacing the hammers first?

In my experience, that's been the single most successful fix for the tone of small verticals. That being said, it's only an incremental fix.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2208587 - 01/05/14 11:40 AM Re: Bright/Nasal Sounding Uprights [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
sanfranpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 15
Thanks Ed,

So when the pianos were first manufactured they sounded that bad? I have talked to some customers and they seemed to think that the piano recently started sounding that bright, but then again they didn't fully understand the difference between tone and intonation.

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#2208589 - 01/05/14 11:42 AM Re: Bright/Nasal Sounding Uprights [Re: OperaTenor]
sanfranpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 15
Hi Opera, What exactly do you mean by resurfacing?

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#2208594 - 01/05/14 12:02 PM Re: Bright/Nasal Sounding Uprights [Re: sanfranpiano]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4190
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Read through this topic in the from the FAQ. Please note the date this information was offered.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1125663

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Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2208605 - 01/05/14 12:20 PM Re: Bright/Nasal Sounding Uprights [Re: sanfranpiano]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: sanfranpiano
Hi Opera, What exactly do you mean by resurfacing?


Over time, the strings wear grooves into the face of the hammers, which muddies the striking point. IMO, the result is usually a loss of quality in the fundamental pitch, while there is an increase in sound from overtones, which translates into the brightness/nasal quality you describe.

If they're grooved, the hammer faces need to be reshaped; filed with a sandpaper file to remove the grooves, while maintaining the proper contour of the hammer profile.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2208685 - 01/05/14 02:25 PM Re: Bright/Nasal Sounding Uprights [Re: sanfranpiano]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2074
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
They sound worse over time with added brightness. It is good to point out to the customer what you can and can not change when voicing. That way no unrealistic expectations are left.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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