Need String Cover Recommendation

Posted by: ilikemozart

Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/22/12 09:35 PM

For those of you who have a String Cover on your grand pianos, can you give me your opinion of how it changed the sound? Also, any fabrics and company recommendations would be appreciated.
Posted by: Guapo Gabacho

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/22/12 09:45 PM

None, felt cut to size, WalMart. Cost $6, but the dealers say it can't be done.
Posted by: gnuboi

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/22/12 09:51 PM

I got the sound reduction kit / string cover. Its purpose is to bring the volume down from painful to ahhhhh.... In addition the sound is less "bright" due to a bit more dampening on the high frequencies than low. Edwards String Covers. Acoustic foam inside wool felt. Comes in a few colors to choose.

Edit to add that if you are concerned about tone changes, don't. Thin pieces of materials can't hold back a grand. Besides, there is plenty of sound coming out the bottom side of the soundboard.
Posted by: Jonathan Alford

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/22/12 11:44 PM

Can someone post a few pictures of this?
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/23/12 12:53 AM

My string cover is from this company.

http://edwardsstringcovers.com/

They are on the expensive side, but well worth it. It does dampen the high frequencies a bit.
Posted by: allthumbs

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/23/12 01:12 AM

I just made my own for my piano that is coming soon. Norbert had the same model I ordered in his store that was waiting to be delivered to the new owner. I made a paper template and bought double thick 100% wool melton fabric. Cost was less than $100CAD.
Posted by: Lakeside

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/23/12 01:41 AM

I dust, commissioned by a friend to buy it back from the United States. Theoretically should affect the sound, but, really, I do not feel there is any significant impact.
Posted by: ilikemozart

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/23/12 12:13 PM

Originally Posted By: gnuboi
I got the sound reduction kit / string cover. Its purpose is to bring the volume down from painful to ahhhhh.... In addition the sound is less "bright" due to a bit more dampening on the high frequencies than low. Edwards String Covers. Acoustic foam inside wool felt. Comes in a few colors to choose.

Edit to add that if you are concerned about tone changes, don't. Thin pieces of materials can't hold back a grand. Besides, there is plenty of sound coming out the bottom side of the soundboard.


gnuboi, You said its purpose is to bring the volume down. Did it with your piano? What model piano do you have?
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/23/12 04:35 PM

I made my own also with pool table felt. Very inexpensive, I got it on sale at JoAnne's and it cost about $15 at the most. It looks a lot like the purple one except mine is brown to match the color of my piano.
Posted by: Dave B

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/23/12 10:37 PM

A String Cover is the best way to protect your investment. The strings will look like new 15yrs from now. Keep dust out and also provide a humidity barrier much the same way the key covering felt strips do.

I strongly feel manufactures should install string covers on every grand piano before the piano is crated.
Posted by: Jonathan Alford

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/24/12 12:11 AM

I have never used one, but it seems the sound would be muffled?
Posted by: ventil

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/24/12 01:56 AM

I made my own from some felt I bought from my tech. It is very fine, lightweight felt he imported from Scotland, I think it was, for that purpose. I simply cut it to shape and laid it in on top of the plate, similar to the picture Lakeside included.

It did not "muffle" the sound, as in making it darker or 'woolly' sounding (pardon the pun). However, I did become aware after a time, that It was dampening the bass strings. They did not have as much sustain as they did without the cover - some notes by a substantial amount. But the tone color was largely unchanged.

I think the solution would be to make some wooden supports so the felt is supported above the frame instead of slightly sagging. I think that is the way the commercial ones are made. But I haven't gotten around to that yet. Currently, I am not using the string cover. I'm just keeping the lid closed all the time, including the fly lid.
Posted by: nhpianos

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/24/12 08:00 AM

I get my string covers from Clark Dawson at Dawson String Covers

Quality work at a reasonable price with a fast turn around, and very pleasant to deal with, too. Not affiliated, just a very satisfied customer.
Posted by: Thrill Science

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/24/12 10:31 AM

Inspired by this thread, I just ordered a string cover from Edwards!

I get a lot of cat hair in my piano, and I want to just take down the sound level a few percent.

I manage to keep all the cats out of the piano by keeping it closed when I'm not playing, but there's still cat hair EVERYWHERE. The piano is only open 2-3 hours a day when I'm practicing.

I keep the top covered so they can sit on top of it when I'm not playing, but I'm thinking to switching to one of those "pad style" covers that just sits on the top so I can leave it on most of the time.
Posted by: Amy B

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/24/12 12:18 PM

I plan to get some felt at the fabric store, and sew something myself. Shouldn't be too difficult. I also want to cut some felt to cover the music stand/ledge, so that doesn't get all scratched up.

I have a dog, and am really trying to keep her out of the piano room. She sheds a lot, especially this time of year. I've waited too long for a piano like this, to have it full of dog hair!!
Posted by: gnuboi

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/24/12 12:46 PM

Originally Posted By: ilikemozart
Originally Posted By: gnuboi
I got the sound reduction kit / string cover. Its purpose is to bring the volume down from painful to ahhhhh.... In addition the sound is less "bright" due to a bit more dampening on the high frequencies than low. Edwards String Covers. Acoustic foam inside wool felt. Comes in a few colors to choose.

Edit to add that if you are concerned about tone changes, don't. Thin pieces of materials can't hold back a grand. Besides, there is plenty of sound coming out the bottom side of the soundboard.


gnuboi, You said its purpose is to bring the volume down. Did it with your piano? What model piano do you have?


I have a Kawai RX-3. It's a "powerful" piano to begin with and the hard surfaces in the room doesn't help either. I had to get the sound down to a point that playing for an hour or two wouldn't give me loudness fatigue.
Posted by: ilikemozart

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/24/12 12:48 PM

I am not concerned about dust, since my piano is open only when I am going to play it.

I wanted to know whether having one of these sound reduction kits really work? My piano projects loud and yes, it is in a carpeted room.
Posted by: Amy B

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/24/12 12:51 PM

I'm also interested to hear if string covers/noise reduction kits work. I am trying to "quiet" the room, but I do have hardwood, and it's a powerful piano. After about an hour of playing, my ears do get a little tired. Would love to hear what's worked for others.
Posted by: Thrill Science

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/24/12 01:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Amy B
I plan to get some felt at the fabric store, and sew something myself. Shouldn't be too difficult. I also want to cut some felt to cover the music stand/ledge, so that doesn't get all scratched up.

I have a dog, and am really trying to keep her out of the piano room. She sheds a lot, especially this time of year. I've waited too long for a piano like this, to have it full of dog hair!!


Don't be mean to your dog! She probably wants to sit near you when you practice. You'll frustrate her.

I have a piece of felt cut to the size of my music desk that I keep there in an attempt to keep it free of major scratches. Of course, after I've had this piano a few years, I'll probably declare it a lost cause and stop using the felt. (My last piano's music desk got scratched up.)
Posted by: gnuboi

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/24/12 01:55 PM

The Edwards sound reduction kit works really well.

I bought the bottom baffles first before committing to the full kit. With just the bottom baffles, the family no longer cries out in pain. Although I still preferred to close the flylid at that time and moved the music desk out of the piano to place on top of the flylid (Kawai grands have felt pads under the music desk).

A few months later I got the string cover + top pad and was able to open the flylid to put the music desk to where it belongs... AND it's quieter than ever before. It's a lot like turning down the volume on a set of speakers... you might not hear certain things anymore but the piano more or less has the same character.

The best part about all this is that I didn't have to go floor rug shopping or worry about rug care!

And you can DIY too. Get some 2" acoustic foam and cut to fit between your bottom braces. Get some large peices (or a single large piece) to go over the pins and strings on top. For better looks, place a pretty material over the top foam pad. Edwards's approach is a nice wool felt "pillow case" for the single-piece top foam pad. They also stiched it tight in certain spots for a custom fit over the plate ridges. Everything was hand made (well, besides factories making foam and weaving felt, and Ms. Edwards using a sewing machine) based on a pattern for my specific piano.
Posted by: backto_study_piano

Re: Need String Cover Recommendation - 10/25/12 06:29 AM

Everyone is talking felt. I understand felt would be preferable if volume reduction is desired.

If it's only dust that's a concern, would satin or similar do a better job and not damp strings.