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#623613 - 03/31/02 07:53 PM Newcomer with a buzz
ALBERT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/02
Posts: 3
Loc: São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Greetings from a 79er (nearly) piano lover. After dedicating almost 15 years of piano study (started at 5) and some another 10 of what could be called public appearances, life put halt to my playing. Now, after 50 years of silence, I decided to get hold of a well maintained 15-year old Essenfelder, german/brazilian made vertical. Good, round, full sound. Have it now for 3 months and it is great playing. Except... middle C gives out a slight "buzz" (or is it an on-key "zzzzz") when you hold down the key. Very slight indeed; some listeners even do not notice it until called to attention. The piano was correctly tuned prior to delivery. Before going into voicing the instrument, could some of our expert members suggest where to look for this moskito?

Thank you all. I love reading you (when not at the piano). - Al.

PS: By the way, my doctor says the buzz is not in my aging ears!

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#623614 - 03/31/02 09:16 PM Re: Newcomer with a buzz
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
Welcome Albert,

Allow me to be the first to welcome you and commend you on your return to the piano after so many years. There are a lot of technical experts on this board who can probably take a good run at diagnosing your problem with, possibly, just a little additional information. I can tell you from my experience that on-key buzzes or other sounds can be enormously frustrating and very often difficult to find. Sometimes what it takes is having someone play the key while you move around to different parts of the piano listening for where it is coming from and applying pressure to suspected locations to see if you can make it stop. Sometimes a particular note will find some piece of the piano that will buzz sympathetically with the vibration of the string. Sometimes it can be found in the string attachments, bridge, or just in the way the the hammer is striking the strings. Beyond that is outside of my area of expertise and I defer to more experienced members of this board. Once again, welcome and good luck in your reestablishing of your long relationship with the piano. \:\)
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

#623615 - 04/01/02 10:17 AM Re: Newcomer with a buzz
ALBERT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/02
Posts: 3
Loc: São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Well, thank you dear JBryan for the nice welcome words and for the suggestions. Yes, buzzing sounds can have a gamut of origins, as you so well mention. In my case it probably has something to do with the string complement itself. It's not all too bad, though. I'll find it, eventually. I read a number of your posts on this forum; all in a spirit of good fellowship. This is what we all need. My best regards and wishes.

#623616 - 04/01/02 10:35 PM Re: Newcomer with a buzz
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
Welcome Albert, and congratulations. JBryan doesnt give himself anough credit. The only thing I would add to his answer is to also look for the offending noise elsewhere in the room (a picture frame, any glass, ANYTHING that might react to the piano sound.) I recently got a panic call from a client who was about to show a very expensive Feurich grand to a prospective buyer. There was a rattle that was very noticeable. It turned out to be coming from the china cabinet glass door.....Have fun, Sam
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.


#623617 - 04/02/02 01:06 AM Re: Newcomer with a buzz
giez Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Sacramento, CA
In addition to the excellent replies above, you might consider these:
1. Sometimes some foreign matter will slip down behind the string and be resting against the string where it crosses the bridge.
2. Sometimes the damper felt will "grow" some corrosion and that will cause a buzz as you release the note and the damper goes back against the string.
3. Check the top of the pedal rods where they go through the guide holes to see if there is a rubber or felt washer to keep the metal pin from rattling against the metal guide hole. But usually this would affect more than just one note.
If you are near Sacramento, CA, with a piano problem, email Tom Giezentanner at: giez@gvn.net
Complete restoration and rebuilding for pianos and pump organs.

#623618 - 04/02/02 12:36 PM Re: Newcomer with a buzz
Brian Lawson, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 647
Loc: South Africa
There can be as many answers to your "buzz" as there are parts on your piano \:\)

I had one today, the first bass string on an upright had a ring to it, on inspection the bottom of the third damper in the treble touched the bass string when played loud (vibration of the string rubbing against the damper head)

Anyhow, here is the address of some one down your way, who maybe able to help:

Rogerio Cunha
Rio de Janeiro - Brasil
IC Member of the Piano Technicians Guild

Brian Lawson, RPT
South Africa


#623619 - 04/06/02 02:53 PM Re: Newcomer with a buzz
ALBERT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/02
Posts: 3
Loc: São Paulo, SP, Brazil
My attention was suddenly drawn to urgent matter, preventing me to look after my piano problem. Nevertheless, I do not desire to delay any further my expression of sincere gratitude to all of you expert and helpful piano lovers, for the valuable advice given me. As Brian Lawson put it so pertainingly, "there can be as many answers to 'buzz' (or ring) as there are parts on the piano". And I venture to add that it is of course even more difficult to suggest a remedy at a distance. Even so, you did so well. - To J.Bryan, Sam Lewis, Giez and Lawson my thanks and assurance that your guidance will be followed soonest and carefully. Best wishes and music to all. - Albert (6 Apr, 02)


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