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#74819 - 05/09/02 07:50 AM Whats the purpose
Jay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 470
Loc: AUD
Hi,

Can someone explain what is the purpose and advantage(s) of having the "Tone Collector". What about pianos that do not have these features will there be any tone disadvantages, if any?

Many thanks.
Regards...

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#74820 - 05/09/02 08:34 AM Re: Whats the purpose
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
There are two ways to fit the beams under a piano to the belly rail. One is to notch them and fit them, the other is to make a metal hanger and simply hang the ends of the beams into the metal hanger. Using the metal hanger is cheaper, easier, and requires no real effort to fit the parts together accurately. It reduces the number of cuts to just one for that end of the beam.

In other words, it's a manufacturing shortcut.

Once the engineering department comes ups with a cost cutting, corner cutting way of assembly like this, the marketing department must come in and find a way to explain its existence to the consumer who will see it and wonder what it is. They have two choices - tell you the truth, that it's a way to cut costs by cutting corners, and that it serves no other purpose other than reducing the labor involved, or turn it into a sales pitch by giving it a cute sounding name and coming up with a long winded story that makes it sound like a plus. In other words, they are making lemonade out of their lemons.

It sounds far more impressive to say "our piano has a tone collector and no one else does" than it does to say "most companies take the time to notch and fit their back beams into the belly rail, but we came up with a metal hanger so we don't have to do all that work".

The fact of the matter is, a "tone collector" doesn't "collect tone", you should be glad that it doesn't, it isn't some super special technique that improves the sound of a piano, and in fact is nothing more than a way to attach the beams to the belly rail as quickly and cheaply as possible.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#74821 - 05/09/02 11:43 AM Re: Whats the purpose
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10346
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
The "tone collector" is more than a "hanger" for the beams. In most cases it is cast with a projection that bears with high tension to a "keel" cast into the plate. It unifies the plate with the beams and rim.

Manufacturers claim that this unification increses sustain and helps with overall stability. While this may be true in those pianos with the feature, good sustain and excellent stability is evident on many quality brands without collector systems.

I believe that pianos with the system are better off with it, but I would not use the feature as a "decision-making" factor.
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Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#74822 - 05/09/02 12:00 PM Re: Whats the purpose
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
Can Larry and Steve and others name some brands with and without it?

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#74823 - 05/09/02 04:08 PM Re: Whats the purpose
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
I know that Yamaha uses it. I think it was originally a Steinway idea. And Samick uses it. Other than that I don't know, since it is such a meaningless thing that I don't keep up with who's doing it and who isn't.

As for it having any merit, the "tone collector" was in fact a topic of discussion not too long ago on the PTG messageboard, and some pretty credible "heavyweight" techs such as Del Fandrich tossed it around for a while - though not long, since they were all in agreement with my assessment of it, that it is just a cost saver and has nothing to do with "collecting tone". All you have to do is look at the bracket and you can see exactly how it saves money, and why it has nothing to do with "collecting tone".
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#74824 - 05/09/02 09:57 PM Re: Whats the purpose
Jay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 470
Loc: AUD
Thanks Larry and Stev,

Larry, you mentioned "... fit the beams under the piano belly rail" what is beam(s) and what is piano belly rail.?

And, is Tone Moderator similar to Tone Collector?.

Thanks.

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#74825 - 05/09/02 11:03 PM Re: Whats the purpose
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
If you crawl under a grand, you'll see 2, 3, or 4 heavy wooden beams that run from the back toward the front, terminating at a large beam that runs left to right across the piano just behind the keybed. The keybed is the flat panel of wood that the action sits on. The beam running left to right behind at the back end of the keybed underneath the piano is the belly rail. The large posts that brace the piano rim underneath are called the beams. These beams all terminate at the belly rail.

And I'd say a "tone moderator" is just another way of saying "tone collector". It isn't collecting, and it isn't moderating. It's just a metal bracket for attaching the beams to the bellyrail.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#74826 - 05/09/02 11:15 PM Re: Whats the purpose
Jay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 470
Loc: AUD
What about on the upright pianos, they have some sort of speaker at top edge of the soundboard? Is that effective?

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