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#909427 - 10/27/05 12:35 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10422
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Ori,

All I have to say is that I'm glad you're not a physician. Your bedside manner could use some ....ah ... help. \:D

I don't know why you feel the need to use condescending sarcasm as a technique of argument. You and Del obviously disagree. Fine. You may think Del's statements do not represent as large a chunk of the profession as he thinks. Fine. State it that way and get on with life. I don't think the anecdotes about so-and-so and his new Bosendorfer actually support your position. In my reading of the thread, no one is claiming that pianos with tunable duplexes or aliquot stringing are pieces of junk. Is it possible that they may have a higher propensity toward problems that require extensive maintainance as they age? That is a testable proposition.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#909428 - 10/27/05 12:48 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3250
Loc: Midwest U.S.
I'll confess to being more curious than the average cat. Early yesterday morning I went and moved around some of my front and rear aliquots. What I found is that I could hear no difference, regardless of their position. Which led me to thinking that they may just very well serve as effective termination methods, as much as anything. Certainly the front duplex aliquots increase the angle of the string as it goes down toward the v-bar, probably providing a more effective termination than I would have without it. So I'm thinking that Del may be quite right about that point of them serving as termination devices in reality versus vocal string lengths in theory. I have in the past muted *all* of the duplexes, both front and rear, separately and together. Now when I did that, I *could* hear a difference, though it was not dramatic. Those earlier experiments, coupled with those yesterday leave me thinking that the duplex segments don't so much benefit an individual note, but I do think they add a fine (faint) layer to the *overall* tonal nature of the piano (that I personally do prefer). I haven't had any "howlers", but I did have one rear duplex aliquot that I moved about a year ago because I found that one particular unison difficult to get really tight up until I finally moved the aliquot. Since then, no issues at all with such things. So count me as having one foot in each camp. With the tuneable duplexes unmuted, there's a slight crispness to the sound of the piano. Not so much audible on the individual notes that have the duplexes, but certainly audible when the piano "blooms" with a big scalar run and open dampers or with large chords. There I do hear a difference. "Sizzle" was the word I found most appropriate for what I heard in those earlier muting experiments. It's a bit more "live" sound, giving "presence". But I've concluded its contribution is quite minor compared to any differences that can be made by tuning, regulation, voicing, hammers and the like. But both my front and rear duplexes remain unmuted. Even that little difference is appreciated by these ears.

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#909429 - 10/27/05 01:29 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Ori Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 1703
Loc: Stamford CT, New York City .
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
Well, it hardly matters whether different designers have different opinions on duplex systems. Fazioli and Mason & Hamlin have different opinions from Blüthner! After all, they still only have at most three strings per note. Given that disparity, there's no way they could all agree with yet another designer on the subject!

But as a practical question, Ori, can you tell me what the difference in sound is between the old Blüthner aliquot system with the bridge agraffes and half-length strings and the new system? Has the amount of sustain changed? How much? Are they richer in harmonics? If so, which ones? Or could you tell us the same differences between the sound of the new Imperial and the old one, or the Schimmel, or the Seiler?

Could you pass my test? If you went into another store, and came across two of the old kind and two of the new kind, could you, without looking, tell which was which just from the sound? Because the question is not whether having duplexes changes the sustain or harmonics. The question is whether the changes in the sound are significant. Because if they are not, they are just there for the hype. [/b]
BDB,
I think that yours is actually a good post.
With the conclusions of your first segment I completely agree and have stated so myself. Designers don't have to agree with each other, otherwise they'll be all making the same piano. Yet, the example you gave is somewhat inaccurate. Mason & Hamlin and Fazioli have a very similar design idea and are obviously in agreement in regards to the front duplex segment (the one that Del suggested may be howling yet accepted that it does change the tone and get it to "sizzle"). Fazioli and Masons approach to the back duplex segment (the one that some consider to be ineffective), is very similar to each other too, but is different indeed then the approach Bluthner took.

As to the rest of your post...when I play pianos I form an opinion about their overall performance. As it was mentioned by Grotrian to pique, they felt that in their specific design a duplex segment wasn't needed due to the higher tension of the strings and their belief that it produces enough high harmonics. This shows that there are many aspects of the design that work with each other in order to create the tone that is considered ideal by the designer.

One would view "sizzle" as beautiful while the other would see it as objectionable.
Too many things can effect the sustain of the instrument then just the duplex system and one has to throw ALL in to the mix in order to evaluate a piano. My way of calculating all of these elements is to actually play the finished piano and see whether I like it or not, and consider how much control I have over changing the tone and voicing to fit my customers demands and the acoustics in the final destination of the piano.
Needles to say, as a tech I take the persumed longevity of the instrument and its ability to perform well in the future into a great account too while assessing an instrument.

So in regards to performance, there is more then a reasonable chance that I'd be able to detect the differences between these pianos when given a "blind test" but the difference can be due to many variables.
However, I may not be a good representation for everyone. As a tech, my ear is trained to listen to the character and sound of the piano, as well as to any objectionable tones. I also know to what to attribute the sound that I like (or don't like) and if the matter can be changed through voicing, regulation or even adjustment of the duplex aliquots.

Most other people comparing pianos don't have this luxury or the experience of playing and working on thousands of instruments as I have, and it may take them a bit longer to see the differences. Yet many can, especially when given a few instruments for a direct comparison to each other.

We have heard here from those who criticize the system. There are those that criticize the LACK of duplex segments too. They claim that pianos without this segment don't have enough color and tend to be "thin" or "dull" (again, this can sometimes be compensated by other elements as Grotrian suggested) in the treble and also do not project as well as those with duplex scale segment.

My opinion is that tunable duplex scale can add a lot to the tone of the piano and offers a tech that is experienced with it more control.
It is only an opinion, like any other opinion that was suggested in this thread.
The only substantial fact in regards to the complete final results and the performance of the instruments is that most high end pianos decided to incorporate tuned duplex scale segments into some or all of their pianos.
This IS a fact.

So one can try the Bluthner, Mason, Fazioli, C.Bechstein, Estonia, etc and form their own opinion about the sound quality.
_________________________
Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - New York City and Stamford CT showrooms.

Authorized dealer representing:

Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai.

Restored Steinway pianos.

www.allegropianos.com

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#909430 - 10/27/05 01:47 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Ori Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 1703
Loc: Stamford CT, New York City .
piano dad,
I'm probably guilty of being less then tactful at times. I am a very direct person and say what's on my mind. As I learned, sometimes I can rub certain people the wrong way even if it isn’t my intention, and although usually (as in this thread) I give my remarks with a good spirit and a smile.
_________________________
Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - New York City and Stamford CT showrooms.

Authorized dealer representing:

Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai.

Restored Steinway pianos.

www.allegropianos.com

Top
#909431 - 10/27/05 01:55 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21923
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
The only substantial fact in regards to the complete final results and the performance of the instruments is that most high end pianos decided to incorporate tuned duplex scale segments into some or all of their pianos.
Most low-end pianos, too.
 Quote:
So one can try the Bluthner, Mason, Fazioli, C.Bechstein, Estonia, etc and form their own opinion about the sound quality.
As one should do with any piano, rather than listening to hype about duplex scales or any other extraneous thing, including price and manufacturer's reputation.

As one should do evaluating rebuilt pianos, whether or not the soundboard has been replaced! \:D
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#909432 - 10/27/05 02:05 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
ori, i'm going to give you some specific examples of statements you made that got my dander up. then i am leaving it.

btw, my objections do not come so much from "coming to del's defense" as i'm sure he can look after himself. it is more about creating false impressions on the board for those who are not familiar with the players.

you wrote:

 Quote:
Now you say that it is the experience of hundreds and not just yours... Well, you may think for some reason that you can speak for hundreds but you really shouldn't, please just speak for yourself.
as i wrote, del is well qualified to speak of what hundreds of techs have found as he is talking to hundreds of techs on an ongoing basis. so there is no reason he shouldn't. i, for one, am very interested in what del has found hundreds of techs to say, and don't appreciate him being told to shut up.

ok, then there is the sarcasm:
 Quote:
"A problem for generations of owners" you say...ok then, lets make our own unscientific test with our forum members.
then you call on derick to comment, as if his one experience with a bosie imperial that is maintained by one of the finest techs in the world somehow disproves what is general knowledge among competent techs.

then more sarcasm and nasty tone:
 Quote:
What about the new C.bechstein pianos? Anyone tried these? Surly the first thought that came to anyone’s mind playing them was.."oh my, these horrific sounds, this piano is howling so bad it will likely be a huge problem as these duplexes will keep on jangling.

And what about Fazioli? This shameless Italian piano dared using those tunable duplex segments and now it's howling and buzzing all over. What was the designer thinking??? He should have checked the writings here for advice before presenting the world with this whistling problem.
are you out in the field, ori, dealing with these pianos long after they have left the showroom? or are you simply speaking from what you experience with brand new pianos in a showroom setting? you didn't answer my other questions about the breadth of your experience.

then while bs-ing your way about how much you respect del, you post what is a snide personal attack:

 Quote:
You have made remarks in the past about other subjects that although may be "universally" true, were completely wrong when used in context to the piano discussed as it was implementing an entirely different process which obviously you had no idea about.

You may not except that there are other ways of doing things then yours, but I believe that there are.
If you were absolutely right all the time and there were no other ways, then everyone would prefer the pianos designed by you and recognize their superiority to any other instrument.
But since many seem to prefer pianos other then the CW of your design, you should at least consider the possibility that this isn't a black and white issue and that other knowledgeable designers truly feel differently then you.

When people listen to the finish product, all the theoretical explanations fly out the window anyway as it is the performance that counts in this regard.

So when Mason & Hamlin, Fazioli or Bluthner will ask you to design their next instrument, I'm sure you'll design it without duplexes.
Until this happens though, please respect the designers of these pianos and the possibility that they have different opinions then yours.
I won't underestimate the knowledge of these designers even if they don't post in detail on this forum regarding the way they solved the (unsolvable by you?) theoretical problems you presented.
aside from the fact that you come across as haughty and sanctimonious, and aside from your attempts to discredit a member of this community, your insistence that people who buy the pianos that you just happen to sell will not have to face these problems does a disservice to this community.

dealers want consumers to believe that what they buy in the showroom is what they will always have. but the truth is quite different. this is why people who buy high end pianos really do need high end technicians who understand these problems and know how to cope with them. the piano has not been perfected, not even by any of the manufacturers whose pianos you sell.

this community greatly benefits by someone with del's knowledge and experience explaining why this is to us. it does not benefit from you trying to silence him and disparage his knowledge.

you are free to disagree with any of us and make your case for why. what i take exception to is the disparagement of another professional's knowledge and experience in a very personal way and in a very public place.

btw, the charles walter is a very fine piano and i came very close to buying one. you couldn't pay me to take a mason, a fazioli, a bechstein, or a bluthner. just saying that so that other piano shoppers know there are no absolutes on these things.

i doubt del would bother to defend himself against you, and anyway, that isn't the point. the point is defending the forums from disinformation. consumers need to know that even high end pianos have design flaws and imperfections, and can experience problems down the line.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#909433 - 10/27/05 02:18 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Ori Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 1703
Loc: Stamford CT, New York City .
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
[Most low-end pianos, too.
Not true as far as I know.
I don't know of any low-end pianos that incorporate tunable duplex segments in their instruments. Even some of the brand names known best for their mid level pianos don't ( or didn't until lately) incorporate even fixed tuned duplexes into their lower level pianos.

If you know of any low end pianos that have tunable duplex segments please inform us all.
It’s easy to back claims like this up by providing the names of the currently made pianos so please do.
I'm truly interested.
_________________________
Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - New York City and Stamford CT showrooms.

Authorized dealer representing:

Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai.

Restored Steinway pianos.

www.allegropianos.com

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#909434 - 10/27/05 03:00 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
Ori, you have'nt worked on many Baldwin SF and SD grands. Their treble termination pieces(patented), have been known to present many problematic string noises, ranging from howls to zings. More often than not, string leveling/mating, and voicing does not cure the problem. There are two types of termination pieces used in these grands. An type A, and B. Both have different radiuses, lengths. This is the nature of this front duplex, and although many feel it provides excellent front string termination, many wish that it be changed to something less problematic.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#909435 - 10/27/05 03:04 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Derick II Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/05
Posts: 1426
Loc: New York
I really think that Ori does not believe he sounds condecending. I also think that the only person who should be upset about Ori's tone, if he should feel annoyed, is Del.

That said, I do hear a little extra "sizzle" in my piano when the front duplex is not muted. Operative word being "little". I don't hear any whistles or howles, but it may develop them over time. I won't be a happy camper if it does.

All the pianos I have had in the past had front and rear duplexes. One of my pianos did have some "weirdness" going on in the high treble. I thought it was due to tuning or voicing, nothing helped. Obviously none of the techs I had working on it had a clue either. Perhaps it was due to duplexing.

The last piano I owned, I had for 15 years. That piano never had, or developed, odd sounds in the treble.

I can't draw any conclusions from my experience, but I'm very interested in hearing the rest of the debate on this issue.

Derick
_________________________
"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."[/b] - Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)


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#909436 - 10/27/05 03:38 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
del wrote:

 Quote:
And it is when they end up slightly out of tune that the dissonant string howls set in that some poor tuner then has to figure out how to deal with.
so how does a tuner deal with this phenomenon? is it a matter of distributing the tension more evenly along the string? or something else?
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#909437 - 10/27/05 03:46 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Ori Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 1703
Loc: Stamford CT, New York City .
Pique,
Lighten up will you?
I won't relate to all of your post as you keep on trying to derail a discussion for no good reason, but I will comment on some points that seem to bother you.

You said:
 Quote:
As I wrote, del is well qualified to speak of what hundreds of techs have found as he is talking to hundreds of techs on an ongoing basis. so there is no reason he shouldn't. i, for one, am very interested in what del has found hundreds of techs to say, and don't appreciate him being told to shut up.

[/b]
Del has talked to many techs in his life but so did I and so did the designers that hold an opinion other then his.
I never told anyone, especially Del to shut up and even before Del got into this thread I made sure that my posts include that there are those that don't like it and criticize the system...hence, the "other" side.
Del can speak for himself and the other techs can speak for themselves if indeed their knowledge comes from experience.
Somehow reading many of Del's posts I can see that "regular" field techs may be somewhat intimidated to contradict or even talk to him just because of his vast technical knowledge and would mostly listen. It doesn't mean that he is always right though, and it doesn't mean that there is an absolute right.
No one elected Del (or anyone else) as far as I know to speak on their behalf and there are plenty of technicians on this board that can chime in whenever they want to.

Then you quoted me and said:
 Quote:
"you post what is a snide personal attack"[/b]
I don't know why you call it an attack. This is how I feel and I would say it to Del directly if we were to meet...actually wait, we did meet and I did say this to him directly while he was on the sofa sitting to my right.
I think that different designers have different ideas about the way a piano should sound and this is part of the beauty of the business. There are different tastes and flavors.
As I mentioned before, one may want this extra “sizzle” or “color” in their pianos while others would find it objectionable.
Who’s right…no one in my opinion… it is only a matter of taste.

Then you said also using different font:
 Quote:
"just happen to sell"...[/b]
Well, you already said before more subtly that I may have an "agenda". Also you implied that there might be "agendas" in general although you didn't direct it toward me directly as you said just now.
I didn't react then and won't really react now to this but simply say that first: "agendas" can be attributed to those that like the use of the system and those that don't use it just as easily.
And second: not all pianos that I SELL have tunable or tuned duplex scales, and in fact, some of the instruments other dealers carry in my area and which could be defined as competitors have this system incorporated.
The more important issue is however, that remarks were made about most high end pianos (that are using this system) are going through the additional expense just because of “marketing”. These aren’t companies who sell to Mr. Jones who wants to by a Piano Shaped Object for the living room, but to some of the most discerning pianists. People that are well qualified to judge the piano by it’s own performance.


I'll relate to this last thing too as I think that this is probably the only question you raised that deserve an answer in regards to the issue at hand. You asked:

 Quote:
are you out in the field, ori, dealing with these pianos long after they have left the showroom? or are you simply speaking from what you experience with brand new pianos in a showroom setting?

[/b]
I service the higher end pianos that we sell in our area myself. There are some new era Mason & Hamlin pianos that I service for 8 years since we took on the line. The Estonias we took on about 5 years ago, which was just after their major redesign.
That's in addition to the many Steinway pianos we sold and I service.
Since my time is divided between showroom work and maintenance, I service at this time only a select few hundreds of customers (much less then I did three or four years ago), almost all with higher end pianos, yet I worked on thousands of different pianos in the field. Also, I have sent (and sending) other technicians to take care of our pianos all the time as I can't take care of everyone. If there is a problem, they tell me about it. None of these instruments in the field show any "howling" qualities due to the aliquots, and once I set up the aliquots at the time the instrument is prepped they don't move.

Maybe it happens to other brands of instrument I'm not accustomed to work with, but this is why I said before that in a PROPERLY designed system none of this should happen.


Now I dignified your comments with answers. I’d appreciate if you’d stop from trying to derail this thread to a personal level. If you call my remarks bs again as you did, insinuate that I say what I say because of an agenda, and keep on in this demanding manner I may simply choose to ignore your posts. Remember that I don’t “owe” you anything.
_________________________
Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - New York City and Stamford CT showrooms.

Authorized dealer representing:

Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai.

Restored Steinway pianos.

www.allegropianos.com

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#909438 - 10/27/05 03:57 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Ori Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 1703
Loc: Stamford CT, New York City .
Curry,
You are correct that I'm not very familiar with these Bladwin models.
NYC is Steinway country, and there were times Iwould work on almost twenty Steinway pianos a week and the occasional Mason & Hamlin.
Not many Baldwins though.
If they may be having all sorts of problems to may be due to certain problems that weren’t solved or what I'd call a system that isn't properly designed.

If one has much experience with certain instruments that exhibit duplex related problems, I can see how they would form a negative opinion about it.
_________________________
Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - New York City and Stamford CT showrooms.

Authorized dealer representing:

Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai.

Restored Steinway pianos.

www.allegropianos.com

Top
#909439 - 10/27/05 04:07 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
ori, i think derick hit it on the head. you don't realize how you come across. i posted examples to try to illustrate for you what the problem is. if you don't see it, i can't make you see it.

everyone here has an agenda, not just you. my own is that i am protective of fellow piano purchasers. i want them to know what is true and what is not about buying a piano. i've had my own hard knocks going through this experience as have many others here, and we need independent information. that is the value i am defending, not del the person.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#909440 - 10/27/05 04:12 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21923
Loc: Oakland
These aren't kotos. You can't tune a piano by whacking on parts of it. You tune by careful placement, by careful determination of the distance from the capo bar or rear bridge notch to the aliquot, and it's still not tuned very well, not by a long shot, no matter whether you whack on a bar, or if you are careful notching your bridge..

Incidentally, the two M & H grands (1923 and 1926) I have now have individual aliquots in the front, rather than the long aliquot bars that new ones have. So they are more tune-able than new ones. Here's another example of a manufacturer you use as an example going a step backwards in the matter of duplex scaling. Of course, it doesn't make any difference. There's no audible difference between one system and the other.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#909441 - 10/27/05 04:14 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
bdb, what are kotos?
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#909442 - 10/27/05 05:15 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21923
Loc: Oakland
A Japanese stringed instrument, similar to a zither. It has fixed tension strings and is tuned by movable bridges, sometimes as it is being played.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#909443 - 10/27/05 07:54 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Ori Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 1703
Loc: Stamford CT, New York City .
 Quote:
Originally posted by piqué:
ori, i think derick hit it on the head. you don't realize how you come across. i posted examples to try to illustrate for you what the problem is. if you don't see it, i can't make you see it.

everyone here has an agenda, not just you. my own is that i am protective of fellow piano purchasers. i want them to know what is true and what is not about buying a piano. i've had my own hard knocks going through this experience as have many others here, and we need independent information. that is the value i am defending, not del the person. [/b]
Remarkably, I’m also interested in educated consumers. This is the reason I provided here, from my first post a balanced picture detailing my beliefs, what they are based on, and acknowledged that there is another side to the matter.
If you hold the opinion that Fazioli, mason & Hamlin, C. Bechstein, Bluthner, Estonia, Steuinway, Seiler, Schimmel, Bosendorfer and a few other manufacturers are all involved in a plot to deceive customers, incorporating something that in order to perform right will be costly and time consuming and are willing to provide the consumer with BAD INFORMATION then there is little to argue about.

I'll be on the side of these manufacturers based on my knowledge and experience and you'll be on the side of...pique, the self appointed consumer advocate with little experience, knowledge or ability to asses information and tell if it's good or bad.

I’m sure you’ll still give your advice though, whether its right or wrong.
_________________________
Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - New York City and Stamford CT showrooms.

Authorized dealer representing:

Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai.

Restored Steinway pianos.

www.allegropianos.com

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#909444 - 10/27/05 11:16 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5327
Loc: Olympia, Washington
When these discussions get personal and antagonistic it is time, I think, to let them die. I’ll try to briefly summarize what I’ve been trying to say over these past few posts at least some of which, I fear, has become either misplaced or lost in a sea of opinion. Before leaving the topic behind, however, I’d like to make a couple of personal points and then I’ll try to summarize the information I’ve tried to present about tuned duplex stringing scales.

First, I do not claim to speak for any other technicians besides than myself. When I say numerous technicians have had problems with tuned duplex systems my statement is based on real-life conversations I have had with technicians over the past 40+ years, technical classes and seminars I have both attended and taught over the past 30+ years and e-mails I continue to receive on a more-or-less regular basis. These are first-person experiences that have been shared with me and I have chosen to neither ignore them nor dismiss them as the simple ravings of ill-informed and inexperienced incompetents. The evidence is there to find for anyone who is interested.

Second, let’s please leave Bluthner out of this discussion. Obviously, Bluthner uses an entirely different aliquot system and is in a class all its own—and a rather nice class it is, I might add. That a forth aliquot string does not fall into the class of tuned duplex systems should be apparent from the various descriptions of the tuned duplex scales that have been discussed.

Finally, yes, I have heard objectionably harsh-sounding treble sections in several of the pianos listed above. Including miscellaneous string noises that were traceable to the tuned aliquot systems in use. As to whether these pianos could have been toned down and/or the string noises cleaned up, I don’t know. I didn’t work on them, I just listened to them. I’m willing to concede the possibility, but how long will it be before these noises come back? I don’t know and no one else does either—it is simply impossible to predict the future of these things.

This topic would be easier both to explain and understand if tuned duplex systems were either all on or all off. As I’ve tried to explain earlier on, they are not. String termination efficiency across a capo tastro/V-bar system is a function of two primary factors: the string termination angle and the duplex string length. Secondary factors include the string diameter/tension ratio, frequency (of the speaking fundamental), shape of the termination piece (usually a V-bar), etc. To allow appreciable energy to bleed across the V-bar termination (i.e., to be classified as an inefficient string termination system) there must be some combination of those two principle factors: either the string termination angle must be relatively low or the duplex string length must be relatively lone. Usually it is some combination of the two.

For example, a duplex string segment with a string deflection angle of 13° and a duplex segment length of 35 mm is going to fall somewhere in the middle of the normally acceptable range of string termination efficiency. It is going to somewhat inefficient and enough energy is going to bleed across the V-bar to nicely excite the duplex string segment. If the V-bar is slightly rough or grooved it will undoubtedly buzz. If a gray iron plate is used some portion of the energy transferred across the V-bar will be lost to heat. This will, however, be a more efficient string termination than a system having the same deflection and a duplex segment length of 40 mm. And less efficient than one having the same string deflection angle and a duplex segment length of 30 mm.

A duplex string segment with a string deflection angle of 17° and a duplex segment length of 35 mm is going to provide a somewhat more efficient string termination than will the example given above. Some small amount of energy will still be lost to heat at the V-bar itself, but very little will bleed across to the duplex string segment whether it gives the appearance of being tuned or not is irrelevant. Even if the V-bar surface is fairly rough it is unlikely that there will be much in the way of objectionable string noises. Again, this will be more efficient than a system with the same deflection angle and a duplex segment length of 40 mm and less efficient than a system with a duplex segment length of 30 mm.

In discussing the characteristics of these systems it does no good to speak in generalities without some reference to the specific characteristics of the system involved. For example, reference has been made to a certain Bösendorfer 290 grand. But no details of the system are given. As I look at the pictures provided earlier it appears that this system has both a relative large string deflection and a relatively short duplex segment length. It is difficult to tell exactly what these parameters are from the picture alone and I don’t happen to have one in the shop just now so I’ll refrain from going too far out on this limb until I can check the specifics for myself. But, assuming the pictures are a true reflection of the actual design, then it really doesn’t matter what the system looks like; the speaking lengths of the strings are going to fairly efficiently terminated and there will be very little energy bleeding across the V-bar. I would not expect there to be much energy lost in this system, nor would I expect to find much in the way of extraneous string noises in this design.

It is the design characteristics of the system that are important here, not what it is called. So, let’s assume for the moment, that the pictures are not deceiving us. Is this, then, truly a tuned-duplex or aliquot system? I would say it is not, despite its having every appearance of being designed that way. Tuned duplex, or aliquot, systems by their nature must exhibit something less than perfect string termination efficiency. A relatively large amount of energy must be allowed to bleed across the V-bar and excite the duplex string segment. It matters little if the duplex string segment appears to be tuned; if the vibrating energy from the speaking string is efficiently blocked—not allowed across the V-bar—there is not going to be much vibrating going on in the duplex string segment. Which is not to say there will be none at all—there just won’t be much. Not enough to appreciably affect the overall performance of the piano either way. And not enough to generate unwanted string noises.

So, nothing is simple about the piano. Rarely is anything all one way or the other. And with that—since I’m not one who goes out of his way to encounter verbal abuse—I leave this topic behind.

Del
_________________________
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

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#909445 - 10/28/05 12:15 AM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Ori Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 1703
Loc: Stamford CT, New York City .
 Quote:
Originally posted by Del:
When these discussions get personal and antagonistic it is time, I think, to let them die. I’ll try to briefly summarize what I’ve been trying to say over these past few posts at least some of which, I fear, has become either misplaced or lost in a sea of opinion. Before leaving the topic behind, however, I’d like to make a couple of personal points and then I’ll try to summarize the information I’ve tried to present about tuned duplex stringing scales.

First, I do not claim to speak for any other technicians besides than myself. When I say numerous technicians have had problems with tuned duplex systems my statement is based on real-life conversations I have had with technicians over the past 40+ years, technical classes and seminars I have both attended and taught over the past 30+ years and e-mails I continue to receive on a more-or-less regular basis. These are first-person experiences that have been shared with me and I have chosen to neither ignore them nor dismiss them as the simple ravings of ill-informed and inexperienced incompetents. The evidence is there to find for anyone who is interested.

Second, let’s please leave Bluthner out of this discussion. Obviously, Bluthner uses an entirely different aliquot system and is in a class all its own—and a rather nice class it is, I might add. That a forth aliquot string does not fall into the class of tuned duplex systems should be apparent from the various descriptions of the tuned duplex scales that have been discussed.

Finally, yes, I have heard objectionably harsh-sounding treble sections in several of the pianos listed above. Including miscellaneous string noises that were traceable to the tuned aliquot systems in use. As to whether these pianos could have been toned down and/or the string noises cleaned up, I don’t know. I didn’t work on them, I just listened to them. I’m willing to concede the possibility, but how long will it be before these noises come back? I don’t know and no one else does either—it is simply impossible to predict the future of these things.

[/b]
Del,
I hope that pique won't take it as a verbal abuse if I were to tell you that I think that this is a very well thought of post, and convey your position in an excellent manner.

I also want to thank you for the detailed technical explanation in the second part of your post. You can obviously have a talent to explain things in a simple and eloquent way.
You wrote this in regards to the front duplex segment:

 Quote:
For example, a duplex string segment with a string deflection angle of 13° and a duplex segment length of 35 mm is going to fall somewhere in the middle of the normally acceptable range of string termination efficiency. It is going to somewhat inefficient and enough energy is going to bleed across the V-bar to nicely excite the duplex string segment. If the V-bar is slightly rough or grooved it will undoubtedly buzz. If a gray iron plate is used some portion of the energy transferred across the V-bar will be lost to heat. This will, however, be a more efficient string termination than a system having the same deflection and a duplex segment length of 40 mm. And less efficient than one having the same string deflection angle and a duplex segment length of 30 mm.

A duplex string segment with a string deflection angle of 17° and a duplex segment length of 35 mm is going to provide a somewhat more efficient string termination than will the example given above. Some small amount of energy will still be lost to heat at the V-bar itself, but very little will bleed across to the duplex string segment whether it gives the appearance of being tuned or not is irrelevant. Even if the V-bar surface is fairly rough it is unlikely that there will be much in the way of objectionable string noises. Again, this will be more efficient than a system with the same deflection angle and a duplex segment length of 40 mm and less efficient than a system with a duplex segment length of 30 mm.

[/b]
As some of the new instruments that I work with, come with duplex segment of about 30mm in length (yet can be moved back and fourth a few mm), and since the deflection angle can be determined by using different size of aliquots, it is easy to see why the tunable design of the front duplexes may offer a certain amount of control. By shortening the distance or increasing the angle, the string termination will be more efficient and the duplex segment will be less "sizzling".

By increasing the duplex length or by using smaller aliquot bars, the tech can decrease the efficiency of the string termination and increase the amount of "sizzle" from the duplex segment.

At least some manufacturers are making efforts to allow lower angles and a less efficient termination of the strings by keeping the V bar in very good shape. they are trying to reinforce it (not necessarily with steel to avoid string breakage) and keep it smooth.
This allows for more energy to "bleed" into the duplex segment and excite it while still not buzz.

I also agree with you that we shouldn't generalize the system, as there are simply too many variables.
This isn't a black and white issue.
Thank you,
Ori
_________________________
Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - New York City and Stamford CT showrooms.

Authorized dealer representing:

Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai.

Restored Steinway pianos.

www.allegropianos.com

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#909446 - 10/28/05 07:50 AM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1725
Loc: Massachusetts
I don't know if Del is still monitoring this thread, but, if so, I'd like to ask him a technical question. He mentioned energy loss through the v-bar caused by the highly damped nature of cast iron.

I haven't thought this through, but it would seem that the energy loss would be related to the relative impedances of the string and v-bar at the point at which they touch. For example, if the v-bar were infinitely stiff, then its damping wouldn't be an issue because it would not move and therefore wouldn't absorb energy.

Given that the v-bar doesn't change as the string angle and distance between the v-bar and string termination point is changed, then one must conclude (I think), that the impedance of the string as it crosses the v-bar must be a function of these two variables.

If I have time this weekend I'll peruse a few physics texts and see if I can turn something up.

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#909447 - 10/28/05 10:12 AM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
i can't get too upset about being insulted by the same person who insults del fandrich. that puts me in pretty good company. i think i'll follow del's example and leave this topic behind now.

fyi, in future i won't waste my time trying to raise anybody's consciousness about what constitutes antagonistic behavior. i'll just hit the "report post" button.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#909448 - 10/28/05 03:49 PM Re: Duplex-like thingies on Bösendorfer, Grotrian, Petrof, Samick, and Nordiska
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by piqué:
i can't get too upset about being insulted by the same person who insults del fandrich. that puts me in pretty good company. i think i'll follow del's example and leave this topic behind now.

fyi, in future i won't waste my time trying to raise anybody's consciousness about what constitutes antagonistic behavior. i'll just hit the "report post" button. [/b]
Same ol' pique..... ;\)
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