Piattino caster cups

Posted by: pianoloverus

Piattino caster cups - 12/27/06 07:58 AM

Has anyone here tried these caster cups? Any opinions on these vs Jansen caster cups?

http://www.pianofortesupply.com/piattino1.html

Before I knew about these cups, I saw a picture of a Boesendorfer on PW that may have used these cups and I thought the cups looked particularly beautiful with the black piano and brass casters.
Unfortunately, I do not remember on what thread I saw this photo of the Bosie. Does anyone remember which photo this might be or who the owner was?
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Piattino caster cups - 12/27/06 10:19 AM

Those sure are attractive, but they look pretty tall to me. I'd be worried about them raising the piano so much off the ground that the pedals wouldn't be at a comfortable height.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Piattino caster cups - 12/27/06 10:32 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica Kern:
Those sure are attractive, but they look pretty tall to me. I'd be worried about them raising the piano so much off the ground that the pedals wouldn't be at a comfortable height. [/b]
I think they are less tall than the Jansen cups (or at least only raise the piano three eighths of an inch off the floor).
Posted by: McLaughlin

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/06/07 01:26 AM

According to the site, only 3/8".

Has anyone used these yet?
Posted by: schwammerl

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/06/07 02:33 AM

If you look at their website (http://www.piattino.de/) - unfortunately only in German - these caster cups must be quite special. The company's website is entirely dedicated to that single product (Piattino Caster cups in a few sizes and finishes), design goal, research...all included.

At the same time, at least in Europe, they are not cheap; prices are from € 93,- to 138,- ($ 124,- to 184,-)/set of 3 and from € 124,- to 160,- ($165 to 213,-)/set of 4, depending in diameter and finish.

schwammerl.
Posted by: Starting Over

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/06/07 06:28 AM

FWIW, I bought the Jansen cups In ebony but used them only for a while. They raised the piano about the same amount as these I think (about 3/8" or so). Doesn't sound like much but I couldn't get used to it. The pedals were too high no matter how you sliced it. You might want to put some books or boards under your casters to raise the piano 3/8" as a test to see if you can adjust to the extra height before spending this much money.
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/07/07 06:19 AM

 Quote:
Before I knew about these cups, I saw a picture of a Boesendorfer on PW that may have used these cups and I thought the cups looked particularly beautiful with the black piano and brass casters.
Bosendorfer has their own brass caster cups available. They are not the same as any Piattino cup that I've seen. Of course, this doesn't mean that perhaps Piattino is their supplier.
Posted by: steveb40

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/07/07 10:37 AM

I'm curious as to how much these would actually reduce vibrations through the floor to an apartment below. Do they really work?
Posted by: Supply

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/07/07 10:43 PM

Hi, I just stumbled onto this thread. As the North American distributor of Piattino and a friend of the developer, I hope I can answer any questions out there.

There is no connection between Piattino and other brass caster cups on the market - they usually just have a thin rubber pad in the underside.

Piattino Acoustic Caster Cups are unique in a number of ways. They were designed to tackle the problem of sound transmission (conduction) from the instrument into the floor and from there into other parts of the building, especially the rooms below. In Europe, this is a common issue, where very many people living in appartments want to enjoy their piano as much as possible without disturbing their neighbors.

Piattino Caster Cups incorporate about 1.5" of acoustical insulation, yet only raise the piano 3/8" off the floor. This is important for pedal height, keyboard height, and finally, looks. I think most of the wooden or plastic caster cups for grands will jack the instrument up a lot higher.

Piattinos are effective for verticals and for grands. They concept is thought through very cleverly, and they have a few other neat features as well.
Posted by: McLaughlin

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/08/07 01:36 AM

Jurgen what was the testing here, because I'm skeptical about the decoupling claims. What material can hold 400 lbs and do much else under that kind of pressure?

Plus, the sound of a piano coming from the soundboard into the floor below is always going to be more powerful than any vibration down the legs.

With a loudspeaker, where we have a lot of low frequency power in a small surface area, spikes do reduce the vibration from coupling in to the floor, but even a piano floating in the air is going to be loud to the neighbors below. A loudspeaker floating in air throws it's sound across a room, not straight down.

I do like the look, however!
Posted by: Supply

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/08/07 01:48 AM

The material is a special type of PUR. If you want to hear how much sound is moving around your piano case, looking for a bridge to be transmitted into the floor below, simply press your ear against a piano leg while someone plays. While no claims are made that Piattino completely isolates one room from the space below, it is the best product on the market.

Incidently, most of my calls for Piattino come from New York City, where serious players have a Steinway M, L or A in their appartment. At a loss for where to turn, they call Steinway, who refer them to me. I feel fairly comfortable with that kind of a recommendation.
Posted by: steveb40

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/08/07 10:13 AM

I'm one of those NYC players with an M and I'm considering purchasing these things. I've considerably reduced the volume of my piano and don't have any problems with the neighbors, but if this will help a bit more I'd feel better psychologically.

I have to think about this one...Thanks for the info.
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/08/07 03:10 PM

Hi Jurgen, I have a question....since these Piattino casters de-couple the piano from the floor, is there any disadvantage in doing that as far as having a more full, robust tone from the piano? I ask this because I like the look of the casters, but I don't need the de-coupling effect as I have a home, and I was concerned that they might somehow "dull" the full effect of the piano. In my situation, the belly of the piano has the Ampico player mechanism, plus a vinyl cover that covers everything, such as you see in this picture, so the sound is already muted to some degree:



Thanks!
Posted by: McLaughlin

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/08/07 04:09 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Supply:
Incidently, most of my calls for Piattino come from New York City, where serious players have a Steinway M, L or A in their appartment. At a loss for where to turn, they call Steinway, who refer them to me. I feel fairly comfortable with that kind of a recommendation. [/b]
Sounds promising. I'd like to try it myself to be sure. Hopefully someone who has done a careful A/B will post.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/09/07 02:36 AM

Grandpianoman, Piattino doesn't really have an affect on the tone of the piano in the room for home use. The sound radiating from the soundboard is not affected. De-coupling from the floor can, technicaly speaking, make a difference in the piano sound, but I think that could be noticeable only in extreme situations, such as in a concert situation, where the hardwood stage can actually contribute to tone projection. That is one of the reasons that so many pianists prefer proper brass casters under their concert instruments over the trucks or spider dollies, which are essentially leaf springs on large rubber wheels. Apart from the unflattering visuals and de-coupling of these contraptions, there is also the spongy, springy feel of the instrument, which contrasts sharply to the solid grounding that heavy brass caster provide.
see: http://www.pianofortesupply.com/NEW%20PARTS.html
Posted by: M&HAAdriver

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/09/07 12:12 PM

Brian,
Working as I do in the airline maintenance business, I can tell you that a relatively thin layer of a soft rubber like PUR can be very effective with massive objects. In our case, rubber isolation of jet engine vibrations is important - for that matter, rubber isolators are used in most automobile engine installations.

Regarding changing the piano's sound, the leg contact with the floor would be a part of the equation, as would, for instance, carpeting.
Posted by: McLaughlin

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/10/07 01:00 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by M&HAAdriver:
Brian,
Working as I do in the airline maintenance business, I can tell you that a relatively thin layer of a soft rubber like PUR can be very effective with massive objects. In our case, rubber isolation of jet engine vibrations is important - for that matter, rubber isolators are used in most automobile engine installations.

Regarding changing the piano's sound, the leg contact with the floor would be a part of the equation, as would, for instance, carpeting. [/b]
Yes ... makes sense. Hi tech rubber.
Posted by: skyblanche

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/11/07 05:57 PM

This is a very interesting post.

I was recently given antique glass castor cups from Germany for my Steinway B...that are supposed to enhance the sound.

Presumably, IMO to insulate the piano from the energy loss to the floor. Is the professional sound word...fade or something like that.?

Whether they enhance or detract...those 100 year old hexagonal solid glass cups sure look nice under the piano,. and they don't interfere height wise with the pedals.

They knew what they were doing when they built those.

Skyblanche
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/11/07 06:00 PM

I would love to see a closeup of these skyblanche

RE: I was recently given antique glass castor cups from Germany for my Steinway B...that are supposed to enhance the sound.

What is your perspective on how they enhance the tone? Do you have any recordings with and without? I think that would be interesting to note, if you have the time and inclination to do the experiment.

LL
Posted by: skyblanche

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/11/07 06:05 PM

Hi Lilylady,

I have never been successful at loading a photo AND posting a message at the same time. One or the other programs dumps on me.

So here it is...Part II

The Cups!\

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v386/skyblanche01/Steinway1004.jpg

skyblanche
Posted by: skyblanche

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/11/07 06:08 PM

Little diamonds under the piano!!!

If only.

I am not of German extraction, so I don't know how valuable or collectable these castors are. But the person who gave them to me is VERY connected to the antique business in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany...and wanted to give me a very special present. So I adore them and value them highly.

skyblanche
Posted by: skyblanche

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/11/07 06:09 PM

I can't believe that three glass cups can support 900 plus pounds without breaking.

skyblanche
Posted by: skyblanche

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/11/07 06:19 PM

Lilylady,

I am at that point in life where everything is 30 years old and needs replacing...not withstanding all the technological advances. I'm not sure anything I would record for you would advance the theory...if you know what I mean.

The gift was incredibly generous, as I am told these castors are difficult to get even in Europe and a bit pricey.

I'm sorry my photo was at such a distance,..but it does clearly show that they don't detract from the piano...which is good.

Nobody wants to look at the castors underneath a Steinway.,...or what have you.

The pianos sit on top of a solid maple floor on top of a fir subfloor...so it is already quite a firm base for the sound.

Skyblanche
Posted by: skyblanche

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/11/07 06:22 PM

Hi Lilylady, ..again. (sorry)

I have downloaded (hopefully)the physical surroundings for the pianos in my home in hopes that you can extapolate what effect the castors might or might not have in this environment.

Thanks for the reply. I really am interested in this thread.

Skyblanche

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v386/skyblanche01/P6022169-1.jpg[/IMG]
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/11/07 06:43 PM

Skyblanche,

I am an antique's person. Someone who appreciates the past quality items. Also its quirks, one of a kinds; and the delving into past histories. Which is why I am interested in the glass castors.

Sorry for our hyjacking the thread, but I guess it does kinda continues the interest in the Piatinno's.

I really do wonder if they were made in glass for a musical reason, or for prettiness.

I wonder who else out there has even seen something like this?

Are they special? In my mind...YOU BET! I think you ave a prize there, Skyblanche!

LL
Posted by: M&HAAdriver

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/11/07 11:59 PM

In thinking further on this thread, the following occurs to me:

First, compared to the sound projected from the soundboard (which we all know can rattle everything that's loose in the room!) the sound transmission through the castors has got to be small within the piano room[/b]. But the high-force contact with the floor could theoretically transmit certain sounds quite a distance depending on the type of construction of the building.

Neither Larry Fine's writings nor any advertisements I've seen appear make any claims of goodness by that avenue. The main structure of the piano seems to be all about holding things together, not sound, EXCEPT rim construction that sometimes claims to help project sound back to the soundboard, e.g. M&H, or become an extension of the soundboard (Fine's observation of Bosendorfers).

Too, when carpeting is considered, I've not read any concerns about the castors being insulated from the hard floor so much as the possible dampening of sound being projected downward from the soundboad to a soft/absorbant versus hard/reflective surface.

While there seemed to be some concern above that dampening the piano's tone transmission into the floor through the legs could be somehow detrimental, it could in fact be quite beneficial. Unless the structure of the building is expertly designed to evenly transmit all frequencies (highly unlikely!) the effect might be undesireable. It might, for instance, unpleasantly transmit bass tones in the muffled sort of way of a neighbor's stereo blaring rock music - and all you hear is the thumping bass. Thus Piattino isolators could be a real plus.
Posted by: steveb40

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/12/07 12:16 AM

I'm giving them a try. For those of us NYC dwellers anything can help. I'll report back after going downstairs to my neighbors' place and checking on the difference in sound reduction with the Piattinos.

I've already stuffed sound absorbing insulation in between the braces underneath the soundboard (a tip I learned from a concert pianist here in NY) and it has greatly reduced the volume without taking away from what I hear too much. Keep in mind that my goal is to be able to practice 5 - 6 hours or more each day without feeling guilty about the neighbors and I fully accept the fact that there will be a compromise.
Posted by: MnMsMom9902

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/12/07 12:33 AM

A few months back, I had actually purchased 4 Piattino caster cups from Jurgen (such a nice guy, by the way!) of Piano Forte. These caster cups are very sturdy and nice looking too.

One of the reason that I got these caster was because our house has hardwood floor that is, unfortunately, uneven in spots. The rubber inside the caster cup provided enough give to even out our piano so that we no longer experience that slight wobbleness with our piano.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Piattino caster cups - 05/12/07 02:23 PM

Thanks for the feedback, MnMsMom.

Yes, one more advantage of Piattinos is to help level vertical pianos on uneven floors. Sometimes, on less than perfect floors, one caster will be slightly up in th eair, or at least will carry less of a bearing load. As a result, there can be a buzzing or rattling noise, or in an extreme case, the instument can actually wobble. Piattinos have just enough give to even out these differences.

Of course, this is almost never a problem with grands, standing on three legs. I say "almost" because there are grands with double legs, i.e. with six casters. I have one at home (Rönisch) and a few more in my clientele (Bechsteins).
Posted by: andrew f

Re: Piattino caster cups - 12/11/09 09:13 AM

Hi all, I know this is an old thread, but I thought I'd chime in as someone who has had Piattinos under his Schimmel concert series upright (K122) for the past two years.

Sorry to say, but don't expect much in the way of reducing sound to your downstairs neighbors.

I may have a nut-case downstairs, and no attention may have been paid to noise reduction between apartments during construction, but I'm very near having to get rid of my beloved Schimmel because I can't take the situation any longer. Piattinos, thick carpet under the piano, having the piano voiced down, not playing during the hours that the neighbor requested as quiet time (noon to 3pm and 6 to 8pm, I kid you not!) ; all to no avail. As soon as I start playing he puts his stereo on so loud that my windows shake. Nice guy - I guess his downstairs and adjacent neighbors don't mind him acting out.

As for the Piattinos: they look really classy, just don't expect them to solve noise control problems. (Did I just call it noise?
Posted by: Supply

Re: Piattino caster cups - 01/14/10 07:45 PM

Hello Andrew,
Sorry to hear of the woes you are having with your downstairs neighbor. It’s a shame that every so often, there are “nut-cases” as you call them, who make life unpleasant and difficult for those around them.

Obviously, with all the steps you took to mitigate the effects of simply playing piano, this person cannot be satisfied. No doubt that if he hated cats, he would be able to hear your cat sneak across your carpet upstairs.

You are probably correct, Piattinos will not cure the neuroses of one’s neighbors.

There is little question, however, of their efficacy in inserting an acoustic break between the piano and the building structure and thereby reducing the sound transmitted into adjoining rooms, especially the ones below.

One client a while back was relocating her piano teaching school into a building which had a Yoga studio directly below, of all things. She wanted six sets of Piattinos for all the pianos in the studios. I myself was sceptical whether or not Piattinos would be up to this task. We decided she would try out one set first. Several days later she called and ordered sets for the remaining pianos.

A high percentage of my Piattino clients live in New York City. They live in older apartment buildings and are serious players, typically they have a Steinway M, L, or O grand piano. Some find me on the web, others, not knowing who to turn to, call the Steinway factory. Steinway refers them to me. Not too shabby of an endorsement….

I hope, one way or another, that you get a new neighbor soon.

Regards,
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: Piattino caster cups - 01/15/10 01:42 AM

Auralex has a product called GRAMMA. It is specifically made to decouple the soundsource that rests on it from the floor. Each GRAMMA is a square with a hard plywood top and three channels of every dense foam on the bottom. According to their customer service line each GRAMMA can handle 300 pounds. If you spread that three hundred pounds across the three legs of your piano, that means it should handle a grand piano of up to 900 pounds. Most grands are much less than that. I think you would have to take off the casters to use these as they are rather tall at slightly under 3 inches. They aren't particularly elegent looking, but they only cost about $50. They can be seen at any of several internet musical instrument retailers. Here is sweetwater's link: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GRAMMA/