On several occasions, I've noticed how different pianos, some same brand/model, some not, can sound muddy when chords are played. My question isn't meant to get at why Steinways aren't as discreet sounding in the bass as, say the finer european brands. It is why technically does the impression vary more within examples of a given model. My theory, I guess, is that it could be a bad choice of damper felt, a poor mate of the felt to the strings, or something else. Am I on the right track? Are there pitfalls which can lead to an undamped sound? Could it actually be the minor amount of damping present in modestly worn hammers that is missing with fresh ones? Could it be a soundboard?

I hate to reject pianos on the basis of regulation.

TIA,
Chris W
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Amateur At Large