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#2297552 - 07/02/14 01:04 AM sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning.
Learn'g Mus@40s Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 6
I need help. As you might note on my status, I'm relatively new to the forum. After research over four months and reading a lot of posting, I brought my first grand piano ( 80's Baldwin L). I hired a local RPT to inspect the piano before purchase. Everything check out and gave a thumb up. To make long story short, two days ago we have the tech come in and did its first tuning.
Since then, the piano had developed a noticeable sharp "tuning fork vibrating pitch" sound when I struck the higher end keys. Most noticeable at the B key, right next to the middle C. The tech came back and diagnosed it as sympathetic vibration. His explanation is that the original piano was badly out of tune so initially my ears were not as selective in detecting the vibrations. Final verdict? He has no treatment or recommendation, it is just as it is. He personally doesn't feel that the piano sounds bad, but to my un-trained ears it's very piercing to me. My wife and my son are more of a musician than me. I'm in my 40's and just started to learn. But I would hope that does not deter me to have such selective hearing/sound. I personally think that because I only have learned a few songs that it would help me to be more in tune to what I'm used to listening.

So my question is : what causes this vibration? Secondly, is there a solution to my problem? BTW, my piano is seating in a corner of the living room with no mirrors and a slight vaulted ceiling. Thank you in advance.
_________________________
Baldwin L

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#2297555 - 07/02/14 01:16 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2338
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Did the Tech try to identify the source of the buzz?
It doesn't take a very discriminating ear to hear a buzz as bothersome to musical expression.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2297557 - 07/02/14 01:26 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Learn'g Mus@40s Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 6
He tried but could not ID exactly where. He said if it continue to bother me, next time around for 2nd tune up he might try to reseating those "three strings" on B key. But he said that will usually mess up the tune and need more work.

Thanks for the reply. I'm lost. I tried to follow the guideline and suggestion from here, the forum and rely on reputable technician to select my piano. I hope it just me and I will get use to it.
_________________________
Baldwin L

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#2297674 - 07/02/14 10:43 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2338
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The first step is to identify the source. Not try this and that in the hope that it might randomly fix the problem. Get a cheap automotive stethoscope from Harbor Freight and use it yourself to try to find the source. Then post back for advice about repair.

I would think your tech would want to come back and find the problem. Are you trying not to pay for any more work?
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2297681 - 07/02/14 11:05 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1421
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Try selectively muting ALL the strings one by one, and octaves at a time. See if the ringing goes away if certain strings are muted. If it does, that proves sympathetic vibration. Even if it reduces a bit.

If it doesn't, get a second opinion, ESPECIALLY if the technician did not offer to fix the problem at your expense. That usually means he has no idea what to do and would rather not admit it, nor attempt to fix it and risk failure.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2297683 - 07/02/14 11:12 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Hello, welcome to the arena!

I do not know that model but could easily bet on a free length of string at the back of the long bridge, located in low mediums (there is something to damp this backstage usually, please to a certain note, and it could be too low yet.)

Use a long dowel, or a screwdriver with some tape on the blade not to Marr the finishes) on your ear and on the piano is cheaper than stethoscope.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2297700 - 07/02/14 12:28 PM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Learn'g Mus@40s Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 6
Many thanks for those replies.
I will try Olek suggestion, if I understanding correctly.

And to Ed,
I have never negotiate the pricing with the tech. Not on the day of inspection, the tuning ( mind you, he has been a regular tuner for my upright piano). And what's more, we are planning to invest in regulation once after the piano are in pitch.

I don't think it is the money issue. I wouldn't invest on an older piano without the understanding to preserve the heritage.

Mark, thanks again.
The tech seem to be genuine. He is listed on the certified technician website. I just feel that he is telling me it is me only and that I have certain listening ears tune to that key because now that I found it and always looking for it.
_________________________
Baldwin L

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#2297713 - 07/02/14 12:52 PM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
Please post a recording, it could be a loose screw that is vibrating sympathetically, an extremely common situation. Has the tech pulled the action to tighten all screws, including back action and damper underlever screws? Cabinet screws are also a common source.

The Baldwin L can be a great piano, congratulations!
_________________________
Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/

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#2297719 - 07/02/14 01:11 PM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
If it is really a tone, once you have checked the damping by putting a. cloth on sections of bass strings (as as you can do at once, no need to push contact is enough, a pull over can be OK or a rolled towel or simply put a glove and use your hand) if you hear your tone disappear while damping (more efficiently) a section of strings, chance is that some damper is not optimal,

or the Back section of one string is activated by other notes.(while it is usually separated from the sounding length and may ring alone)

On a Steinway B I find a strong A3 ring. The damping ribbon was not installed high enough. Created by one of low/med tenor notes and some basses.
Those portions can be damped for tests with anything not agressive (no burr edges a Chinese stick for food, a piece of cardboard, anything that can attain the back scale passing thru the plain wire strtings. Even if you stop only one of the 3strings you may hear something.

I would use the "mécanicien stethoscope" on the plate near that place to see if the sound comes from there.

You need someone to play, obviously, while you look for your tone.
If it is a parasitic noise, bang anywhere to see if you can hear it.
Move the pedals, put your hand on any not firm part, listen. .. Good luck


Edited by Olek (07/02/14 04:05 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2297934 - 07/02/14 10:26 PM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1974
Loc: Philadelphia area
Is there another tech you can call?

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#2298043 - 07/03/14 01:10 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Olek]
Learn'g Mus@40s Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 6
Originally Posted By: Olek

I would use the "mécanicien stethoscope" on the plate near that place to see if the sound comes from there.

You need someone to play, obviously, while you look for your tone.
If it is a parasitic noise, bang anywhere to see if you can hear it.
Move the pedals, put your hand on any not firm part, listen. .. Good luck


I'm not what do you mean parasitic noise?
I try to cover the adjacent keys with no luck. I did use a cotton q tip to each of the three strings on key B. Not a lot of difference but I do believe pressing or suppressing the middle strings help a little bit.

Now of course if I just place my finger and cover all three strings in front of the damper, then the vibration is gone but so is the normal tone of the key B.

I don't know anymore, almost frustrating.


Btw, how do I record the sound and how to post it on the forum. Can I use my smart phone to record, will the quality be enough to hear?
Thanks again
_________________________
Baldwin L

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#2298086 - 07/03/14 04:22 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Yes you can send a link to where your sound is located on the net. I am unsure it is possible elsewhere.
If the sound is a "buzz" it may be a bass string defect.

I did not say the tone is coming from the back the B string it can be any other back length that is sounding. The back length do not produce the same sound the sounding length.
If they are not dampened they can ring too much. Others may know those pianos better than me.

Best
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2298087 - 07/03/14 04:27 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Learn'g Mus@40s
He tried but could not ID exactly where. He said if it continue to bother me, next time around for 2nd tune up he might try to reseating those "three strings" on B key. But he said that will usually mess up the tune and need more work.

Thanks for the reply. I'm lost. I tried to follow the guideline and suggestion from here, the forum and rely on reputable technician to select my piano. I hope it just me and I will get use to it.


"seating " 3 strings does not mean the tuning will be gone it is may be he was tire or had enough. But it will probably not do much unless the defect Com from those strings.

You may try to mute the back of the strings with a piece of adhesive tape. If it help
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2298495 - 07/04/14 05:10 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Goof Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 359
Loc: UK
Shurely if , as you say, you stop off all he strings of B and the ring stops then it can only mean that B's damper is not seating?

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#2298504 - 07/04/14 07:06 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1421
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I agree with Goof. Your B damper is not seating properly, most likely.

Grand dampers are an excellent design over the upright; they always kill the sound immediately on release IF they are operating well.

One common condition that can cause imcomplete damper seating is a tight damper flange pin. Ask your tech about it.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2298532 - 07/04/14 10:07 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
xxx




Edited by Olek (07/04/14 10:32 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2298543 - 07/04/14 10:31 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21818
Loc: Oakland
To isolate a leaky damper, I strum the strings with a plectrum while the dampers are down. If I cannot find it that way, it is coming from outside the piano.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2298553 - 07/04/14 10:53 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Learn'g Mus@40s Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 6
Thank you once again for all you time and inputs.
I am confused or perhaps have confused you all.
The sound goes away when I let go the key. Thus, to me, the damper works in killing the sound. I was merely saying the pitching sound that I can hear is accompany with the sound while I was playing letter B key. This pitching sound comes at the middle part of the note playing and the most noticeable at the finishing ( while I'm still depressed the key)

Perhaps, can someone direct me the link on how to upload a sound so can share with you all. Note: I only have a phone to record, hope that will be ok. Oh wait how about a video recording? If that will work, can someone share with me how to upload a video? I don't have an account with youtube or anything like that.

Much appreciate
_________________________
Baldwin L

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#2298554 - 07/04/14 11:00 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Learn'g Mus@40s Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 6
Btw, I tried to block out all the upscale strings and downscale with a styrofoam firmly seat on the strings. Its didn't hamper the sound I'm trying to describe.

Olek, I really appreciate your inputs and time you have share. But why you delete your long explanation? I'm was going to read some more. :-(
_________________________
Baldwin L

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#2298561 - 07/04/14 11:50 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
SOrry; it was unrelated, as I di not notice your defetc is in full mediums an it is a noise, not a remanent tone, it should be a amper seating problem,

Do the test by plucking, with and without damper up.
If it is something with the string you will notice it
If it is the damper you also will hear it.
If it is a buzz it is more difficult.
Tuner pianos sen more focused energy so it can be something vibrating somewhere.

The backscale only produce ringing tones eventually.

Send a recording if you can.

Regards

PS the W wedged dampers can be damaged, their point twisted or torn, have a near look at the damper . it should lift about 5 mm from the string so no edge can touch , also.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2298562 - 07/04/14 11:51 AM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Learn'g Mus@40s
Thank you once again for all you time and inputs.
I am confused or perhaps have confused you all.
The sound goes away when I let go the key. Thus, to me, the damper works in killing the sound. I was merely saying the pitching sound that I can hear is accompany with the sound while I was playing letter B key. This pitching sound comes at the middle part of the note playing and the most noticeable at the finishing ( while I'm still depressed the key)

Perhaps, can someone direct me the link on how to upload a sound so can share with you all. Note: I only have a phone to record, hope that will be ok. Oh wait how about a video recording? If that will work, can someone share with me how to upload a video? I don't have an account with youtube or anything like that.

Much appreciate


Could be the damper that lightly touch a string, sending a partial or a noise before damping the tone.


Edited by Olek (07/04/14 12:16 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2300270 - 07/09/14 01:45 PM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Olek]
Goof Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 359
Loc: UK
I have the first two trichords on my 52" upright fitted with pieces of plastic between the strings on the section between the tuning pins and the cappo bar - I do not have agaffs.
For the lower (D sharp 3), it was because with the strings too close together there was a ring from the speaking lengths.
For the next it was because there was a ring from the non-speaking lengths.

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#2300285 - 07/09/14 02:28 PM Re: sympathetic vibration on "B" key after turning. [Re: Learn'g Mus@40s]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
a small piece of rubber is used generally (or a small piece of hard felt, but erasers are easy to find)

The NSL that create rings sometime is on the opposite side, generally damped all along on uprights, not on grands when there are aliquot/duplexes back scales. then all the bottom of the long bridge is damped , sometime not high enough in the scale then ones that are too audible have to be damped later (rings can appear after some time).
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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