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#2322798 - 09/01/14 06:44 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: freelife]
acortot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 485
Loc: Italy
It was something that was already invented in the early 1800's and used in some french pianos.

http://www.palacepianos.com/en/uploads/pianos/1288966680_jean-henri-pape-grand-4188-4.jpg is one example

I think the idea being that it would resist the down bearing of the strings better.

but it's ugly-looking
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

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#2322814 - 09/01/14 07:26 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: acortot]
ChickGrand Offline
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Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3251
Loc: Midwest U.S.
The concept of the set screw to adjust crown seems okay, but looking at the patent drawings, I wonder about the execution. I'd love to see the actual product.



It looks to me that turning the set screw (16) would necessarily cause the screw (13) that fixes the soundboard (10) to outer strip (12) to tilt away from the setscrew as the outer strip moves inwards to increase crown. Either the screw will bend or it will unseat at the head slightly in the inset (into cast iron!). I'm guessing bend. If the screw were flat-head, with washers, and that hole slotted slightly to allow the inward movement caused by that set screw, no problem. I realize the amount of movement would be very slight to yield the crown, but that movement has to be accommodated somewhere and an inset screw of that type would seem to only allow the movement to occur with bending of the screw or tilting it out of the inset on one side at the head.

Also, what about the stresses on glue joints where (10), (11), and (12) meet, and what about compression deformation of 11 where it meets the flange when the induced tilt (if it can't slide as in a slotted screw hole) of (10), since one would assume this flange-to-strip joint by necessity is initially tight and without a gap.

To me, it seems a good idea not so neatly executed (at least in the patent drawings). I'd be interested in seeing if the final product accommodated movement better than the drawings do.

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#2322819 - 09/01/14 07:53 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: freelife]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
I think you did not get the location of the pushing bolt, which force the soundboard up without much problems with the screws, even if they warped a little that is not much a concern, but they probably do not suffer.

But the soundboard is somehow floating, with that system, hence may be the double ribbing
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#2322855 - 09/01/14 09:00 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: Olek]
ChickGrand Offline
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Registered: 05/02/03
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Loc: Midwest U.S.
Originally Posted By: Olek
I think you did not get the location of the pushing bolt, which force the soundboard up without much problems with the screws, even if they warped a little that is not much a concern, but they probably do not suffer...


It would be rather hard to not get the location of the pushing bolt, since it's numbered and referenced in the patent.

It's that warp in the screws I'd prefer to avoid, even if, to you, it's not much a concern. My point is that slots and flathead bolts would prevent that warping. However minor, it's simply unnecessary.

Consider that an adjustment might be made that warps those screws (and compresses that wood strip). Then that just perhaps the additional crown turns out to have negative affect and the tech wants to back off the adjustment--will those warped screws prevent movement back to the original position? Will that compressed upper strip contacting the flange conform to that flange, after it's been compressed out of its original shape?

I simply think that with better execution of the same idea you gain an advantage without inducing problems from a poor execution. That's my only point. The basic idea seems quite good but if I were going to incorporate such a feature, I'd rather it be better-engineered.

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#2322883 - 09/01/14 10:43 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: ChickGrand]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: ChickGrand
The concept of the set screw to adjust crown seems okay, but looking at the patent drawings, I wonder about the execution. I'd love to see the actual product.



It looks to me that turning the set screw (16) would necessarily cause the screw (13) that fixes the soundboard (10) to outer strip (12) to tilt away from the setscrew as the outer strip moves inwards to increase crown. Either the screw will bend or it will unseat at the head slightly in the inset (into cast iron!). I'm guessing bend. If the screw were flat-head, with washers, and that hole slotted slightly to allow the inward movement caused by that set screw, no problem. I realize the amount of movement would be very slight to yield the crown, but that movement has to be accommodated somewhere and an inset screw of that type would seem to only allow the movement to occur with bending of the screw or tilting it out of the inset on one side at the head.

Also, what about the stresses on glue joints where (10), (11), and (12) meet, and what about compression deformation of 11 where it meets the flange when the induced tilt (if it can't slide as in a slotted screw hole) of (10), since one would assume this flange-to-strip joint by necessity is initially tight and without a gap.

To me, it seems a good idea not so neatly executed (at least in the patent drawings). I'd be interested in seeing if the final product accommodated movement better than the drawings do.

If you were to remove the soundboard assembly—I did not—you would find that it behaves very much like a three-ply laminated (and rib-less) panel. The crown was forced into assembly in the press when the ribs were glued on. It is really quite a good idea, I think.

This could also be done with a three-ply wood veneer soundboard assembly but, to my knowledge, it has never been done. At least not commercially. I have tried to generate interest in the idea but, so far, without success.

In the 9’ JB that I had the inner rim was attached to the string frame much like it is shown in the patent drawing. The only difference I can see right off is that the underside of the string frame where the inner rim was seated was relatively narrow and appeared to be slightly curved. I did not remove the soundboard assembly so I don’t know this for sure but it wouldn’t be the first time an inventor left a few important details out of his application. I assumed this was to enable the top of the soundboard liner to rotate slightly when (if) the adjustment bolts were turned. In my piano I doubt they had been touched since the piano was originally built.

I played around with them some once I had the strings off of the string frame. They were adjusted to just contact the inner rim and, as far as I could tell, were doing nothing to add crown to the soundboard. When I backed the adjustment bolt—applying more force against the inner rim—out they did, indeed, force additional crown into the system. I didn’t go too far with this. I was only interested in finding out if they would do anything at all. Since there was already more than adequate crown in the system I ended up returning them to roughly the original settings.

(All of this is from memory. I sold the piano sometime in the mid-1980s so please forgive me if some details are a bit fuzzy.)
ddf
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#2322886 - 09/01/14 11:03 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: Del]
ChickGrand Offline
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Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3251
Loc: Midwest U.S.
Originally Posted By: Del
If you were to remove the soundboard assembly—I did not—you would find that it behaves very much like a three-ply laminated (and rib-less) panel. The crown was forced into assembly in the press when the ribs were glued on. It is really quite a good idea, I think....


I like the idea of such a panel and realize it'd act like a three-ply laminated panel, with crown glued in. Probably would work well enough to make all but unnecessary that crown adjustment mechanism that I think might have been engineered a little better. With that panel, I doubt the shortcomings of the crowning adjustment system ever became an issue.

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#2322894 - 09/01/14 11:48 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: ChickGrand]
Del Offline
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Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: ChickGrand
Originally Posted By: Del
If you were to remove the soundboard assembly—I did not—you would find that it behaves very much like a three-ply laminated (and rib-less) panel. The crown was forced into assembly in the press when the ribs were glued on. It is really quite a good idea, I think....


I like the idea of such a panel and realize it'd act like a three-ply laminated panel, with crown glued in. Probably would work well enough to make all but unnecessary that crown adjustment mechanism that I think might have been engineered a little better. With that panel, I doubt the shortcomings of the crowning adjustment system ever became an issue.

That was pretty much my thinking. The crown adjustment feature wouldn't work on a soundboard system that was less stiff and it wasn't necessary on a soundboard system that was this stiff.

ddf
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#2322935 - 09/02/14 03:19 AM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: ChickGrand]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: ChickGrand
Originally Posted By: Olek
I think you did not get the location of the pushing bolt, which force the soundboard up without much problems with the screws, even if they warped a little that is not much a concern, but they probably do not suffer...


It would be rather hard to not get the location of the pushing bolt, since it's numbered and referenced in the patent.

It's that warp in the screws I'd prefer to avoid, even if, to you, it's not much a concern. My point is that slots and flathead bolts would prevent that warping. However minor, it's simply unnecessary.

Consider that an adjustment might be made that warps those screws (and compresses that wood strip). Then that just perhaps the additional crown turns out to have negative affect and the tech wants to back off the adjustment--will those warped screws prevent movement back to the original position? Will that compressed upper strip contacting the flange conform to that flange, after it's been compressed out of its original shape?

I simply think that with better execution of the same idea you gain an advantage without inducing problems from a poor execution. That's my only point. The basic idea seems quite good but if I were going to incorporate such a feature, I'd rather it be better-engineered.



The distance the bolt need to make to gain crown in the panel is incredibly small.
It was computed on this forum a few years ago. Showing how stiff the belt and plate assembly must be to avoid loosing crown. And why the glue may not give any deformation, in ribs and around the perimeter.

It work both sides.
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#2322936 - 09/02/14 03:20 AM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: freelife]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Why would not work with a lighter soundboard, Del? You mean it would only deform on its edges?
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#2322937 - 09/02/14 03:24 AM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: acortot]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: acortot
It was something that was already invented in the early 1800's and used in some french pianos.

http://www.palacepianos.com/en/uploads/pianos/1288966680_jean-henri-pape-grand-4188-4.jpg is one example

I think the idea being that it would resist the down bearing of the strings better.

but it's ugly-looking


Panels where almost as guitars on those pianos. Hence ribbing in all directions. I think 4 - 5 mm thickness on the 1840 pianino
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#2323025 - 09/02/14 08:30 AM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: Olek]
ChickGrand Offline
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Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3251
Loc: Midwest U.S.
[quote=Olek]The distance the bolt need to make to gain crown in the panel is incredibly small...[/quote]

I am aware of that. It's precisely this reason I think such a system, if it's going to work properly as intended, ought allow for *precision* movement, and precise locking and unlocking of the position, and not anything that introduces potential slop as with bent screws or screws unseated from their recess. Precision would be easy enough to incorporate in the design.

I'm also interested in why Del said it would not work as well with other boards. I think the basic idea is good and think good provisioning for some stiffness in the edges of the board and careful placement of pressure-receiving points would allow it work on other more lightly-ribbed board, since the required movement *is* so small.

Del, is it that you think a lighter board would simply compress under the additional downbearing as additional crown is induced?

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#2323026 - 09/02/14 08:33 AM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: ChickGrand]
ChickGrand Offline
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Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3251
Loc: Midwest U.S.
I would fix that quote format issue above, except the system says "maximum time to edit has expired". (Two minutes??!!)

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#2323394 - 09/02/14 10:26 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: Olek]
Del Offline
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Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Olek
Why would not work with a lighter soundboard, Del? You mean it would only deform on its edges?

I didn't say "lighter" I said "less stiff". As in, more flexible. The adjustment feature depends on the parameter of the soundboard assembly being stiff enough to support crown in the middle -- along the bridge line. A more flexible system would simply bend.

It would be possible, of course, to build a soundboard assembly with equal stiffness and less mass.

ddf
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#2323398 - 09/02/14 10:35 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: ChickGrand]
Del Offline
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Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: ChickGrand
I'm also interested in why Del said it would not work as well with other boards. I think the basic idea is good and think good provisioning for some stiffness in the edges of the board and careful placement of pressure-receiving points would allow it work on other more lightly-ribbed board, since the required movement *is* so small.

Del, is it that you think a lighter board would simply compress under the additional downbearing as additional crown is induced?

I didn't say "lighter", I said "less stiff". There is a difference.

A conventional soundboard system is relatively flexible around its parameter. A mechanism such as this would simply bend the assembly and accomplish nothing.

The same problem exists with the notion of beveling the inner rim and belly rail to "form crown" or "support crown." The parameter of the assembly is so flexible that all that is accomplished is to introduce a warp in the assembly at the edge of the board just in from the inner rim.

ddf


Edited by Del (09/02/14 10:36 PM)
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#2323485 - 09/03/14 03:20 AM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: Del]
ChickGrand Offline
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Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3251
Loc: Midwest U.S.
Originally Posted By: Del

I didn't say "lighter", I said "less stiff". There is a difference.


I realized you'd said "less stiff" rather than "lighter" right after I hit "submit". (That's when I discovered the edit function wasn't working this morning.)

Originally Posted By: Del
A conventional soundboard system is relatively flexible around its parameter. A mechanism such as this would simply bend the assembly and accomplish nothing.

The same problem exists with the notion of beveling the inner rim and belly rail to "form crown" or "support crown." The parameter of the assembly is so flexible that all that is accomplished is to introduce a warp in the assembly at the edge of the board just in from the inner rim.

ddf


So you think it's essentially the same result discussed around and around at PTG's forum of what happens to a board with "compression crown"? I suppose my own mind wants to imagine that if a board were *just* stiff enough, Bauer's idea might work, but that just goes to the point you made earlier about if a board *is* stiff enough (and properly crowned by ribbing [or even lamination] in the first place, it's not going to need "adjustment".

What about if the board were made of something other than spruce, like carbon fiber, that might not compress and might not be as susceptible to uncontrolled warp?

I suppose what I'm interested in here is the concept of such a fine adjustment of crown as Bauer might have intended. It'd be interesting to be able to hear, in a single piano, the effect on tone, with an ability to change that one variable while all others remain the same.

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#2323491 - 09/03/14 03:46 AM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: ChickGrand]
SMHaley Offline
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Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 862
Loc: Seattle
While I know others are sort of playing around with the concept, I find the idea of carbon fiber boards most fascinating. I wonder if it can go further in to plate design and being used as a "string frame" as Del usually refers to it. A concert grand that doesn't weigh a half ton might be extremely feasible.
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#2323677 - 09/03/14 12:54 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: SMHaley]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: SMHaley
While I know others are sort of playing around with the concept, I find the idea of carbon fiber boards most fascinating. I wonder if it can go further in to plate design and being used as a "string frame" as Del usually refers to it. A concert grand that doesn't weigh a half ton might be extremely feasible.

Richard Dain (Hurstwood Farm, England) has done just that. Google "Richard Dain." for all kinds of interesting places to go.

ddf
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#2324513 - 09/05/14 05:25 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: freelife]
chernobieff Offline
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Registered: 09/05/14
Posts: 264
Loc: Banned
William Bauer was a very innovative piano thinker. His patents are available for reading online, which he makes his claims.
Also, I have some pics of the inside of the factory on my website that I got from a descedent of the finisher.
http://antiquepianoemporium.com/bauer-julius/
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#2324514 - 09/05/14 05:30 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: freelife]
A454.7 Offline
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Loc: Manywheres
Oh...[snap]...that was interesting: even the upright was an innovative and creative design! This guy was good, IMHO...he was really good.
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#2324519 - 09/05/14 05:41 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: freelife]
A454.7 Offline
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Loc: Manywheres
...so, I guess that is a double decker bridge?!? I'm really curious as to how that sounds!!! That looks like it might be functioning somewhat like a sound post in a violin...that is interesting, no? I don't really have a mental reference as to how to predict that kind of sound. Any ideas? If that indeed does work, then a double layered soundboard, using those kinds of wooden connections in holes through the top level of the soundboard, could be a possibility. Producing a high and a low functioning soundboard separately is much easier (i.e., what is good for the bass, is not for the treble).
_________________________
Masters degree in piano technology, +factory(s) training, etc., blah, blah, yada, yada, yada...[uncensored break-out in song]..."it don't mean a thing, if you aint got that swing."
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#2324544 - 09/05/14 07:49 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: A454.7]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: A443
...so, I guess that is a double decker bridge?!? I'm really curious as to how that sounds!!! That looks like it might be functioning somewhat like a sound post in a violin...that is interesting, no? I don't really have a mental reference as to how to predict that kind of sound. Any ideas? If that indeed does work, then a double layered soundboard, using those kinds of wooden connections in holes through the top level of the soundboard, could be a possibility. Producing a high and a low functioning soundboard separately is much easier (i.e., what is good for the bass, is not for the treble).

Not everything was perfect in this design. That soundboard assembly is rather heavy and stiff as is the bridge assembly.

I don't have the scaling from my 9' JB in my computer (or, if it is, I can't find it) but as I recall the tensions were high even for a 9' piano. I lowered the tensions some to free up the system at the expense (probably) of some "power" but it improved the tone quality and the dynamic range. Since the piano was going into a private home the power loss -- if, indeed, there was one -- was of no consequence. The piano was still adequately loud for any mortal ears.

The two biggest problems with the overall design were cost and weight. This had to be one of the most expensive pianos in the world to build. And it weighed approximately twice as much as a more conventional grand of the same size.

ddf
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#2324918 - 09/07/14 01:25 AM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: Del]
Dale Fox Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1082
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Originally Posted By: Del


The two biggest problems with the overall design were cost and weight. This had to be one of the most expensive pianos in the world to build. And it weighed approximately twice as much as a more conventional grand of the same size.

ddf


I still have bad memories from putting that piano on its side in preparation for being picked up by the Baldwin truck. How did you talk me into that?
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#2324944 - 09/07/14 05:24 AM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: freelife]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Estonia where building very stiff grand concert pianos too.
Everything seemed to be enlarged , up to hammer shanks at 136mm length

Forget string plane height ! the action had to be surelevated on wooden blocks in order to use 60 mm bore on meium hammers !

Lot of sustain, assurely, but the treble sloped own progressively to a somewhat non manipulable tone with very limited ynamics and more foundamental than partials

One of those 80's grands where owned by a Gallish pianist I know ,and put at work by the Buethner restoration workshop in ENgland, he told me they suppressed one rib on 2 +- (they probably made a new soundboard, an correcte the 250 mm string height)


Edited by Olek (09/07/14 05:30 AM)
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#2324997 - 09/07/14 10:22 AM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: Dale Fox]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Dale Fox
Originally Posted By: Del


The two biggest problems with the overall design were cost and weight. This had to be one of the most expensive pianos in the world to build. And it weighed approximately twice as much as a more conventional grand of the same size.

ddf


I still have bad memories from putting that piano on its side in preparation for being picked up by the Baldwin truck. How did you talk me into that?

You got even. During transit the piano tipped over and landed on top of my bicycle. Never saw a flatter bike....

ddf
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#2325016 - 09/07/14 12:05 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: freelife]
Dale Fox Offline
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Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Ouch!
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#2325065 - 09/07/14 02:48 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: freelife]
A454.7 Offline
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Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 1577
Loc: Manywheres
I thought a bit more about the pictures of the double-decker upright bridge. It is intriguing: it probably gives the piano more acoustical ambience (i.e., the opposite of a clear focused percussive attack sound). For a home piano, this could have been a step in the right tonal direction.

However, I am guessing that if bridge-tilt is a real thing, then this probably one of the worst examples of something like that. No?

BTW, I haven't observed bridge tilts in pianos, but I've also never gone looking for it either. Has anyone actually measured this? Is there a method?

I'm still trying to figure out what I think the ideal side bearings at the bridge should be (i.e., the angles and length between). Not enough, at it can create falseness, too much...maybe bridge tilting gets worst?!? Bridge-tilt happens predictably with the string instruments--it makes sense it would/could happen with the piano as well.
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#2325076 - 09/07/14 03:41 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: freelife]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Simply use a small thin metal ruler and you will see the most evident occurrences, where the slant on bridge surface is not enough anymore, and most down bearing is on the back.

It may be visible by eye, sometime, but also when measuring A49, less than 438 mm can only be due to tilt.
P
The main reason to keep pianos at pitch is there.

When pitch raising pianos that where low for years, the tone degrades clearly generally.

(as it get better when tuning from 444 to 442 for instance.
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#2325077 - 09/07/14 03:42 PM Re: Grand Pianos w/Ribs on Top of Soundboard, instead of back [Re: A454.7]
Del Offline
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Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: A443
However, I am guessing that if bridge-tilt is a real thing, then this probably one of the worst examples of something like that. No?

BTW, I haven't observed bridge tilts in pianos, but I've also never gone looking for it either. Has anyone actually measured this? Is there a method?

That's what I thought, as well. But in my 9' JB there was little, if any, bridge tilt.

I tend to think most of what we call "bridge tilt" is the result of soundboard deformation related to changes in EMC.

ddf
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