Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#2305259 - 07/22/14 09:05 AM Adjusting Sound During Restringing
BillJZ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/14/14
Posts: 20
I am not a tech, but am looking at older pianos and considering restringing as part of the process. I often find pianos that I like the tone in one section, but find it to be inconsistent from bass to tenor to treble.

I play guitar, and I know adjusting the guage and type of string can have dramatic effects on the sound of an acoustic guitar. For example, if I put a larger diameter string, in general I will get a fuller, often warmer tone, more harmonics, and longer sustain, especially in the bass. It will also affect the action of the strings.....I will have to pluck harder to get a given volume, making the guiatar harder to play loud but easier to play softly.

Can the same thing be done with pianos? It seems that this would take some experience and skill, and perhaps even a computer to do computations. How can I be sure I chooose someone who knows how to alter sound to acheive a desired effect or just maintain the present sound of the piano?
_________________________
Looking for a piano

Top
(ad PTG 568) Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps
Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps
#2305271 - 07/22/14 09:46 AM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
WilliamTruitt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 99
Loc: New Hampshire
What you are talking about is being done everyday by a number of rebuilders. It's called rescaling. String diameters and speaking lengths, wrap diameters, waste lengths, etc. etc. are entered into scaling programs or spreadsheets. Things like inharmonicity, loudness, impedence, breaking percentage, and a multitude of other factors are calculated for the orginal scale. Then a new scale is created balancing all the factors, and blending the registers as best possible.

Be aware that the string scale is only one factor. Inconsistencies as you describe are also related to soundboard design and health. Hammers and voicing also influence the outcome. And how well these factors marry to one another are part of the picture.

If you are buying a used piano, you would be advised to engage the services of a piano technician before you purchase.

Will Truitt

Top
#2305272 - 07/22/14 09:56 AM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
A443 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1411
Inconsistency between registers is one of the many stupidities of over-stringing. Other than marketing (i.e., larger piano in a smaller case), I have yet to recognise any significant benefit of such a design. Mostly, it causes headaches and problems. Because of this change in bridge location in relation to the soundboard, you will always have a change in sound quality.

Pianos are already pretty much pushed to the max, in terms of tension and breaking points. If you wanted to explore the more colourful side and less projection, there are other options in terms of wire and overall scale tension used.

Just ask the rebuilder what they think they have the ability to control and what they think they can do. Usually, it is pretty common to take what is already there and refine it. If they have very specific objectives, however, you'll notice the difference.
_________________________
Klavierbaukuenstler des Erwachens
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

Top
#2305288 - 07/22/14 10:52 AM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
I know of three flat-strung grands made in the past century. All of them are rare, and I have only seen one in person. I do not think it is a panacea.

The problem that many pianos have in the bass to tenor transition is that the tenor strings are severely foreshortened, resulting in very low tension on those strings. Raising the gauge helps, but eventually the stiffness of the wire is a problem.

Modern designers, like Del, are scaling pianos with more overwound strings, which is the best way to handle it.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#2305313 - 07/22/14 11:27 AM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2187
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The break between the overstrung and long bridge is the usual area that wire changes can bring improvement to a piano scale. Also the break between wound bi-chords and single wound string notes can be improved. The recent developments of Pure Sound stainless wire and Paulello soft annealed high-carbon steel wire offer many tools to improve the break area.

Much of the poor tone quality that we notice in these areas are the result of longitudinal modes. These new wire types carry less L-mode at a somewhat lower frequency than fully modern high-carbon wire.

These new wires also offer the ability to have more tri-chord and bi-chord strung unisons lower in the compass which helps make the tone more dynamic, warm and colorful. Having multiple string unisons is very important to true piano tone because of the mutual coupling between unison strings.

These new scaling principles are called "Hybrid Wire Scales". Not everyone who has recent scaling experience is adept at them yet. The protocols are in the process of being learned by many who have an interest in this skill.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2305321 - 07/22/14 11:39 AM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
WilliamTruitt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 99
Loc: New Hampshire
Scaling the piano and the transitions with multiple types of wire gauged by breaking percentage furthers the rescaler's ability to "break the break", along with or instead of adding wound tenor strings. Stephen Paulello and Pure Sound make this kind of wire.

A well scaled piano can be designed or redesigned so as to make the transition between bass and tenor seamless on an overstrung piano. It takes skill,knowledge, and attention to detail to achieve this.

Most pianos are NOT pushed to the max in terms of tension and breaking points. Bad scaling can create problem areas where such conditions exist. Indeed, the low tenor section of most pianos would benefit tonally from wire at higher breaking percentages than is there originally. Using wire that has a lower breaking point will raise the breaking percentage (I hope that makes sense to you). You can change the wire type without the necessity of increasing the thickness of the wire. The tensions remain the same but the breaking percentage increases to a point that is more tonally palatable.

Some pianos will still require the use of wound strings in the tenor, nonetheless.

Will Truitt

Top
#2305343 - 07/22/14 12:31 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
A443 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1411
The OP is thinking in terms of their experience with guitar. With instruments like that, one can go up or down with string tension to get different results. That experience doesn't directly apply to the piano. In those terms, the string tension on piano is already pretty maxed out--it doesn't mean the the entire scale design is already at maximum tension, but increasing the overall string tension, more than what it already is, isn't going to have the similar effect as the guitar.

BDB, I've seen/played/worked on hundreds straight strung pianos; they are not as rare as your experiences [in your part of the world]. A panacea has nothing to do with the statements that I made. Pianos were once built that way for a reason and then later changed for other/marketing reasons--which have nothing to do with the quality of musical sound. Sure, you can get a long piano in a shorter case, but who cares: just build the case bigger to properly suit the scale design in question. The extra cost to build a slightly longer piano is almost nothing. Want to guess the difference in production cost between a 5' and a 9' piano?!? Maybe for a 5' piano it is cool--where space is apparently a concern--but for a concert instrument, what, exactly, is the benefit of over-stringing?
_________________________
Klavierbaukuenstler des Erwachens
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

Top
#2305398 - 07/22/14 01:48 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
WilliamTruitt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 99
Loc: New Hampshire
A443, what EXACTLY are you saying that "the string tension on a piano is already pretty maxed out". That is not clear. What is your frame of reference?

One thing needs to be made clear here. In traditional scaling with one wire type, tension and breaking percentage go hand in hand - you can have any color you want as long as it is black. With hybrid scaling you can have up to 5 different wire types. You can have a string of a given speaking length, gauge, and pitch, for which you can quantify the tension, breaking percentage, inharmonicity, and other things. For each of the 5 wire types there is a different breaking percentage, yet the other values remain the same, while the piano improves tonally.

I think that we hear breaking percentage far more than we hear tension - scaling with the Paulello wire types has shown that to be true to me.

You can change the sound of a piano by raising or lowering the tension. Whether that is a wise choice or results in a more musical result is another matter.

Will

Top
#2305421 - 07/22/14 02:18 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
BillJZ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/14/14
Posts: 20
WOW, lots of info here. Much over my head. I'm gathering that it's risky to try to get a lot change in sound due to a string change.

My reason for asking is I'm typically finding 20 to 50 year old pianos that I love the tone of most of the piano, but the last 8-12 treble strings sound really thin and metallic with little harmonics or the the last 8 or 12 strings sound dead with less volume and a weak fundamental tone compared to the rest of the piano. On a guitar we may use a slightly larger gauge string for the unwound strings to remedy a thin or metallic sound or use a different type of string. Can the same effect be achieved, that is making a minor adjustment in string choice, to help a piano sound more consistent?
_________________________
Looking for a piano

Top
#2305444 - 07/22/14 03:02 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
A443 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1411
Originally Posted By: BillJZ
My reason for asking is I'm typically finding 20 to 50 year old pianos that I love the tone of most of the piano, but the last 8-12 treble strings sound really thin and metallic with little harmonics or the the last 8 or 12 strings sound dead with less volume and a weak fundamental tone compared to the rest of the piano. On a guitar we may use a slightly larger gauge string for the unwound strings to remedy a thin or metallic sound or use a different type of string. Can the same effect be achieved, that is making a minor adjustment in string choice, to help a piano sound more consistent?
WilliamTruitt, the quote from the OP is my frame of reference, as stated above. Raising the overall tension on the piano, unlike the guitar, will not achieve the same results. Hence my comment that the overall string tension on piano is already pretty much maxed out, [comparatively speaking].

BillJZ, piano wire that is 20-50 years needs to be replaced. After about 7 years, it is already about time to change things up if the musical standards are high. The older the string, the more falseness creeps into the overall sound.

There are other strings that piano rebuilders can use (e.g., the Paulello wire as stated above), but these are not used in the same way that a guitarist thinks about string differences--modern day plain wire is steel, with different physical properties that apply to scaling issues that WilliamTruitt has alluded to.

BillJZ, most of the issues you seem to describe, don't sound like scaling issues, per se, but instead: hammer/voicing issues.
_________________________
Klavierbaukuenstler des Erwachens
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

Top
#2305485 - 07/22/14 03:50 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: A443]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 757
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: A443
...piano wire that is 20-50 years needs to be replaced. After about 7 years, it is already about time to change things up if the musical standards are high. The older the string, the more falseness creeps into the overall sound.


Are you talking just the plain wire or are you also including wound strings?

Originally Posted By: A443

BillJZ, most of the issues you seem to describe, don't sound like scaling issues, per se, but instead: hammer/voicing issues.


I think you're right, now that additional information has been added.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Practitioner of piano technology
Church Music Professional
Curator of instruments - Chancel Arts
Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

Top
#2305488 - 07/22/14 03:52 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: A443]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: A443
BDB, I've seen/played/worked on hundreds straight strung pianos; they are not as rare as your experiences [in your part of the world]. A panacea has nothing to do with the statements that I made. Pianos were once built that way for a reason and then later changed for other/marketing reasons--which have nothing to do with the quality of musical sound. Sure, you can get a long piano in a shorter case, but who cares: just build the case bigger to properly suit the scale design in question. The extra cost to build a slightly longer piano is almost nothing. Want to guess the difference in production cost between a 5' and a 9' piano?!? Maybe for a 5' piano it is cool--where space is apparently a concern--but for a concert instrument, what, exactly, is the benefit of over-stringing?


I am sure that in your travels around the world by horse and buggy, you have seen lots of flat-strung pianos. I said that I knew of three manufacturers who made grand pianos that way in the past 100 years. (Actually, two companies, since one of them made one model in one factory and another, different one in a second with different names.) None of them are in business any longer. I think that puts the onus on you to prove that flat-strung pianos are superior to what every manufacturer in the world has put their money on.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#2305509 - 07/22/14 04:21 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BDB]
A443 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1411
Originally Posted By: BDB
I am sure that in your travels around the world by horse and buggy, you have seen lots of flat-strung pianos.
My generation uses airplanes to travel from city to city.

Originally Posted By: BDB
None of them are in business any longer. I think that puts the onus on you to prove that flat-strung pianos are superior to what every manufacturer in the world has put their money on.
You failed to take note of my previous statement's details: over-stringing is done for marketing reasons, hence the reason manufacturers would put their money there. Since you interjected with your statement that the way pianos were originally constructed is not a panacea, then the onus is now on you to detail why you think over-stringing is somehow acoustically beneficial! Why do you think that is so? Can you describe ANY significant acoustical benefits for over-stringing? Perhaps some experience with the historical pianos and how they developed over time would help you put this issue into perspective.

I can recommend a few keyboard museums that you could travel to, but alas a horse and buggy will not get you there--you will have to leave the country and travel with airplanes. help The upside: you'll know better next time around.
_________________________
Klavierbaukuenstler des Erwachens
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

Top
#2305511 - 07/22/14 04:27 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
WilliamTruitt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 99
Loc: New Hampshire
It seems to me that the discussion of flat strung pianos is essentially an academic discussion for others that distracts from the task at hand - BillJZ is looking for a used piano. The likelihood of him coming upon a flat strung piano that is less than 130 years old is slim to none. Don't get me wrong - I find them fascinating and would like to see the design revisited through modern eyes and knowledge, but the manufacturers are not biting.

BillJZ, the last octave, and especially the last half octave, is the most challenging part of any piano. It is a rare bird from any manufacturer to have much olume up there, much less any kind of sustain. I think most any piano out there new or used will disappoint you by way of comparison to your guitar.

It can be scaling issues most definitely. Strike point issues, voicing issues, regulation, hammer weight, etc......

Will

Top
#2305570 - 07/22/14 07:16 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1948
Loc: Suffolk, England
BillJZ, have you looked at newer pianos as benchmarks for comparison?

As an aside Stephen Paulello is marketing straight strung pianos.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2305578 - 07/22/14 07:30 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
A443 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1411
If by academic, you mean to say that straight-strung pianos are only of theoretical interest, then perhaps you've entirely missed the point: by 'design,' an over-strung piano will always have an acoustic difference at the break.

While many of us can greatly improve the negative aspects of many manufacturer's scale designs and the transitions near the break, we can not overcome the design limitations of that system--we have to deal with it! If the break is off-putting to the OP, then that is worthy of noting now (i.e., it will get better, but a break will always be there by design)!!! smokin cursing

Whether or not manufacturers are biting is irrelevant. If no one talks about the issue, then there won't be any reason for companies to enact change. Competing salespeople would point to the change as a smaller piano in a bigger case; sales and marketing are not my concern: my objectives are increasing the overall quality and playability of the piano. Over-strung pianos don't serve that purpose. tired yawn

In fact, there would be many advancements/improvements if we simply went straight back (e.g., there is no reason for the bass bridge to be that tall/massive/stiff, regulation and hammer alignment would be much easier and more precise, better tonal consistency between registers, etc.). There are many issues that could be discussed; limiting discussion is not a viable way to move forward through the muck.
_________________________
Klavierbaukuenstler des Erwachens
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

Top
#2305581 - 07/22/14 07:31 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: Withindale]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: Withindale
As an aside Stephen Paulello is marketing straight strung pianos.


Maybe. There was a date that has past, but no indication of whether they are available or not.

In any case, back to the original post, there are a variety of reasons why a piano would not be consistent from one part of the range to another. Some of them are due to the design. Some of them are part of the setup. Some of them are due to the condition of the piano. Some of them are due to the age of the strings, at least in older pianos. Unless you have enough experience to determine what is causing it, you cannot assume that one solution will be the correct one.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#2305591 - 07/22/14 07:53 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BDB]
A443 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1411
Originally Posted By: BDB
Maybe. There was a date that has past, but no indication of whether they are available or not.
Perhaps, BDB, you should contact Stephen Paulello to find out what the advantages straight-strung piano designs might be--if there are any benefits to over-stringing, at all, that might be a good place for you to look for further information/experience/guidance. thumb cursing
_________________________
Klavierbaukuenstler des Erwachens
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

Top
#2305607 - 07/22/14 08:14 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
I read what he said, which apparently you did not. Nor did you get the implication of his desire to make models both ways. I knew exactly what he was talking about. Do you?
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#2305620 - 07/22/14 09:03 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
WilliamTruitt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 99
Loc: New Hampshire
Withandale, I've been aware for some time that Stephen Paulello is building a straight strung concert grand. I'm not aware that he has completed his prototype. I would love to see and hear it when it is done. Has he made it available yet?

Arno Patin is building a straight strung concert grand in his workshop in Livonia, Michigan. I know the plate has been cast, the rim has been bent. Not sure where he is at from there. He's the domestic source for Paulello wire. Arno's take on a modern straight strung grand is quite interesting, I have seen some of the drawings.

Del Fandrich has expressed the desire to build a smaller straight strung concert grand amongst his many projects.

A443, you should read more carefully before you start shooting from the hip. Nowhere did I say that straight strung pianos were only of theoretical or academic interest. I was trying to make the point that, since the likelihood that BillJZ would find a straight strung instrument youthful enough to consider for purchase was vanishingly small, in that context the discussion was academic.

My interest in straight strung pianos is there, and I would love to see them made. As for as large scale manufacture of these instruments, perhaps someone like Del can upset the applecart enough to shake things up. But I think even that is unlikely. You are tilting at windmills, A443. And I think you are overstating the problems at the bass tenor break. They are solvable and the break can be made invisible.

Will

Top
#2305638 - 07/22/14 09:29 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: WilliamTruitt]
A443 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1411
Originally Posted By: WilliamTruitt
And I think you are overstating the problems at the bass tenor break. They are solvable and the break can be made invisible.
cry ha That is absolutely preposterous! There is a tonal shift that is due to the bridge's location on the soundboard in relation to the rim. <----that, you will never make invisible through string scaling. You might be able to distort the tonal break by throwing in some wound string in your tenor scale design, but you are simply putting lipstick on that pig!!!

It is not so dissimilar from a manufacturer recommending to voice the hammers down in the capo section (i.e., and rob the piano of power in the most important section of the piano), when the real problem is the shape of the capo itself. sleep
_________________________
Klavierbaukuenstler des Erwachens
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

Top
#2305644 - 07/22/14 09:41 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: WilliamTruitt]
A443 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1411
Originally Posted By: WilliamTruitt
A443, you should read more carefully before you start shooting from the hip. Nowhere did I say that straight strung pianos were only of theoretical or academic interest. I was trying to make the point that, since the likelihood that BillJZ would find a straight strung instrument youthful enough to consider for purchase was vanishingly small, in that context the discussion was academic.
I will always hear the sound of a overstrung bass bridge because of its dramatically different location on the board. <-----that makes the issue not "academic/theoretical" in nature. It actually has an implication on what the OP could potentially be hearing as a difference--I hear it clearly, and no: it is not something that will be fixed through a restringing of the piano! No matter how cleaver the stringer thinks they might be.

It may not apply specifically to this situation/OP, but it is certainly something that someone with questions like that might want to consider in terms on understanding what can an cannot be fix/changed easily. cool yippie


Edited by A443 (07/22/14 09:47 PM)
_________________________
Klavierbaukuenstler des Erwachens
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com

Top
#2305647 - 07/22/14 09:50 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
This is a topic on which I've written quite a lot over the years. As with everything about piano design there are no easy and absolute answers here. Everything is a compromise. Everything.

But it does stray rather far afield of the original post.

Perhaps a new topic is in order.

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

Top
#2305650 - 07/22/14 09:59 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: Withindale]
BillJZ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/14/14
Posts: 20
Originally Posted By: Withindale
BillJZ, have you looked at newer pianos as benchmarks for comparison?

As an aside Stephen Paulello is marketing straight strung pianos.



Yes I have. I am not experienced at all with pianos but have been playing music all my life. My kids are showing and interest in piano. We have a budget of 8K max and are looking for an upright.

Since I will probably play the piano myself and will have to listen to my kids play, I want something I find pleasing to listen to. While I have found the new Pacific Rim pianos to be very consistent in tone and touch across the piano in most cases, they all sound really bright to me. The dealers tell me they just need to be voiced, but I don't know.

My wife wants it to be a nice piece of furniture. Not black, but a nice real walnut or mahogany veneer. The Pacific Rim pianos have a Wal-mart feel and look about them. The furniture styling of even the furniture styled pianos says "grandma" to me when I look at them. Even the nicer furniture style ones can't hold a candle as furniture to a USA made Baldwin, Everett, or Sohmer of yesteryear. I realize tastes are different and others may feel differently.

So this has me looking at 1940s to 1990s studios and small uprights as these are well within my budget, have the tone I like, and the styling my wife likes. I have found many pianos that have the sound I want in the tenor section but have problems in the bass and/or treble sections, or have action problems, and sometimes both. Sometimes they sound like three different pianos. I am considering a partial rebuild (refinishing, restringing, new hammers, and action refurbishment could all potentially be in my budget). I'm just trying to find the most judicious way to proceed.
_________________________
Looking for a piano

Top
#2305657 - 07/22/14 10:22 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
WilliamTruitt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/14
Posts: 99
Loc: New Hampshire
A443, I see no value in continuing a conversation that has no possibility of going anywhere meaningful.

Will

Top
#2305664 - 07/22/14 10:40 PM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: BillJZ]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2187
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Billjz,
Most low bass portions of vertical pianos can be greatly improved by using some of the hybrid wire types for core wire and by loading them to a high enough break point. The art is in choosing core type and sizes.

The highest notes can greatly benefit from reducing the mass of the hammers by some 20% or more without reducing the thickness of the felt where it strikes.

I have done some high performance vertical pianos over the years. It costs much more than you can sell the piano for-but there are many possibilities for improvement if one begins with a well made design.

The action can be made very responsive by using a tapered carbon fiber hammer shank and very narrow hammers combined with a small counterweigh applied to the catcher on the hammer butt. This dramatically improves the center of gravity of the hammer assembly so there is a decent amount of gravity return acting upon the hammer. Grands have great gravity return and this is why the play so well.

What you are asking about can be done by a few technicians-but be prepared to pay for it.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2305773 - 07/23/14 07:08 AM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: WilliamTruitt]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7873
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: WilliamTruitt
What you are talking about is being done everyday by a number of rebuilders. It's called rescaling. String diameters and speaking lengths, wrap diameters, waste lengths, etc. etc. are entered into scaling programs or spreadsheets. Things like inharmonicity, loudness, impedence, breaking percentage, and a multitude of other factors are calculated for the orginal scale. Then a new scale is created balancing all the factors, and blending the registers as best possible.

Be aware that the string scale is only one factor. Inconsistencies as you describe are also related to soundboard design and health. Hammers and voicing also influence the outcome. And how well these factors marry to one another are part of the picture.

If you are buying a used piano, you would be advised to engage the services of a piano technician before you purchase.

Will Truitt

.
May be I do not understand the term correctly, but I would say a piano restorer, or rebuilder.

I am really not sure the "piano technician" can be seen as a generalist, capable of making a valuable assessment on a piano condition with enough finesse, then propose to sen it to the good rebuilding or restoring shop.

Certainly the piano technician(s) from those shops are more prone to do an expertise, assuming the rebuilders will not systematically advocate for a new soundboard and the restorer for a museum type work wink

I do not trust very high the tuners to know how to evaluate an old piano, from what I could see up to know.

Ears help of course, but if the tuner is not using them so much, he is not of great interest for that neither.

About actions, without being able to make complete repairs with a "factory quality", I do not see the tuners evaluating correctly the job.

Regards




Edited by Olek (07/23/14 07:08 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


Top
#2305789 - 07/23/14 07:59 AM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: Olek]
gynnis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/14
Posts: 133
Loc: Florida, Connecticut
In a sense, every piano is really three pianos. The wound strings on the bass bridge make piano one, the tenor strings upto the capo bar make piano two, and the strings under the capo bar make piano three. They all sound different. The trick is to make them sound harmonious together and reasonably consistent. Every manufacturer has a certain "color" to the sound.

Modern pianos seem to strive for a consistent sound across the whole piano. Older pianos seemed to exploit the color difference in the three sections. My Chickering seems to exploit the color difference (double reed bass, string tenor,string-of-pearls treble). I seem to remember older Petrof's also have a more extreme coloration.

At some level, it is a matter of taste. What do you like?
_________________________
Seiler 206, Chickering 145, Estey 2 manual reed organ, Fudge clavichord, Zuckerman single harpsichord, Technics P-30, Roland RD-100.

Top
#2305807 - 07/23/14 08:53 AM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: gynnis]
BillJZ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/14/14
Posts: 20
Originally Posted By: gynnis
In a sense, every piano is really three pianos. The wound strings on the bass bridge make piano one, the tenor strings upto the capo bar make piano two, and the strings under the capo bar make piano three. They all sound different. The trick is to make them sound harmonious together and reasonably consistent. Every manufacturer has a certain "color" to the sound.

Modern pianos seem to strive for a consistent sound across the whole piano. Older pianos seemed to exploit the color difference in the three sections. My Chickering seems to exploit the color difference (double reed bass, string tenor,string-of-pearls treble). I seem to remember older Petrof's also have a more extreme coloration.

At some level, it is a matter of taste. What do you like?



You know, this is a very good point. I just prefer the colder more colored sound. I have been lead to believe that an inconsistent tone is an "imperfection", perhaps it is not.

As far as the cabinetry is concerned, I just want to say that I'm just looking for a piano that will match the other wood in my house.....so I'm looking for real walnut, not just a walnut stain over whatever wood was the cheapest and a solid frame and cabinet made of real wood.......what you might find on a older Yamaha M series, a Baldwin Hamilton, or a Sohmer or Everett Studio will do. I do not feel I have found this level of cabinetry yet in a sub-7K new piano. However, it doesn't need to be an artcase piano or even a Steinway Sheraton 4510.

From what I have seen, this is an area which has seen a dramatic "corner cutting" to reduce costover even the past 5-10 years in the "home piano" market. I had a dealer tell me I was unusual and that everyone wants black pianos these days. I agreed that poor quality wood looks better painted black and that if I was forced to choose from his new pianos, I would choose a black piano also. I think the new piano manufacturers are missing out on a lot of potential new customers who view a piano as nice piece of furniture taht can turn a house into a home.
_________________________
Looking for a piano

Top
#2305810 - 07/23/14 08:58 AM Re: Adjusting Sound During Restringing [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
BillJZ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/14/14
Posts: 20
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Billjz,
Most low bass portions of vertical pianos can be greatly improved by using some of the hybrid wire types for core wire and by loading them to a high enough break point. The art is in choosing core type and sizes.

The highest notes can greatly benefit from reducing the mass of the hammers by some 20% or more without reducing the thickness of the felt where it strikes.

I have done some high performance vertical pianos over the years. It costs much more than you can sell the piano for-but there are many possibilities for improvement if one begins with a well made design.



This is exactly what I am trying to get done and if a piano needs to be restrung anyway, why not do it? It seems it would cost a bit more in materials and time for planning....does it involve a lot of trail and error testing?

What questions should I ask a restorer to find out if they have experience doing this?
_________________________
Looking for a piano

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
8 Live Ragtime Piano Players on the Cape!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Original method for harmonic hearing development
by Nahum
10/21/14 03:19 AM
First Digital Piano - Advice needed
by chicobalay
10/21/14 02:37 AM
How to Regulate a Studio Upright for Greatest Sensitivity?
by Paul678
10/20/14 11:05 PM
How do I tackle my goal.
by imustlearn
10/20/14 10:29 PM
Advice? First digital piano for family--already own a GP
by SCD
10/20/14 07:58 PM
Who's Online
75 registered (Allard, anotherscott, angga888, ando, alfredo capurso, 16 invisible), 1042 Guests and 10 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76599 Members
42 Forums
158394 Topics
2325933 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission