Soundboard - replace or not

Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 02:33 PM

All,

Just want to get your opinions on Soundboard replacement, do it or not (as oppose to shimming - bleaching the existing)? Mine has 3 open cracks, one in the center along the grain, from one side to the other and it's split open where you can see the floor, another small one in the treble section and one final one in between the two. I got underneath the piano and it looks like the board still has crown as I'm able to fit my finger under the board in the middle of the piano but not on the sides, I can see the separation is greater in the middle so, for my restoration job, should I have the board replaced or shimmed? What are the results, change in tone? All over the internet I get both extremes so it's hard to form an opinion. Oh and this is for my Bosie 290 1967. LMK, thanks.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 02:44 PM

You need to have your piano evaluated by a rebuilder, in person. Replacing the sound board would be much more expensive, so if an appropriate repair can be made without replacement, that would probably be ideal. However, some would make the argument that a Bosie 290 is valuable enough of an instrument to warrant automatic replacement.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 03:06 PM

SORRY I did not express myself correctly, I'm trying to weigh in all my options as far as SHIMMING vs REPLACING the soundboard. Not whether I'm going to replace it or not, the issues will be taken care of one way or another but I'm really concerned with whether just shimming is good enough or if I change the board will the tone change dramatically, is it true that in Europe you're not legally allowed to put the manufacture's name on the piano if you replace the soundboard? Thanks.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 03:09 PM

True, but I should be able to form an educated opinion prior to shipping the piano to another state only to find out I'll need U$10k in addition to current quote so hence I'm trying to find out more info about it. I'll be posting pictures soon so everyone has a better idea.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 03:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
I'm really concerned with whether just shimming is good enough


It may or may not be. We'd need to see it and hear it.


Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
or if I change the board will the tone change dramatically


It depends.

Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
is it true that in Europe you're not legally allowed to put the manufacture's name on the piano if you replace the soundboard? Thanks.


No, people put non OEM parts in pianos all the time, same as with cars.... if I put a non OEM part on my Saab, it's still a Saab. That said, sound boards are replaced much less often in Europe.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 04:52 PM

Originally Posted By: beethoven986
It may or may not be. We'd need to see it and hear it.


Originally Posted By: beethoven986
It depends.


Can you offer some examples or scenarios, possibly instances that you ran into, I appreciate your input but I'm not sure that it helps me clarify my question, maybe after I post some pictures you'll be able to have a better idea.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 05:10 PM

Jorge, you will get more valuable input from this list if you give more of a context.
Where are you located? (I suspect Europe?)
How long have you had the piano?
When did the cracks appear?

On such an instrument such as a 290, you want to make sure that if the soundboard is replaced, it is done by someone with good experience replacing boards, preferably on Bösendorfers. If no such workshop is available (which could easily be the case depending on where you are located) then it is a moot question of replacement vs shimming. You may want to return it to Bösendorfer if you choose to have the board replaced.

Many technicians feel that shimming is simply an aesthetic course of action, as the damage has been done to the whole soundboard, and the cracks are evidence of this. I have never seen a situation where shimming clearly resulted in an improvement of tone. Many times, a new crack appears right next to the shim after a few years.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 05:16 PM

Jurgen,

He has written about this before. The piano is in Arizona.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 05:55 PM

I'm actually located in Nevada but might as well call it Arizona as the weather condition is very similar.

My first inquiry was on recommendation for restorers, this post is specific on replacing soundboard vs shimming, yes I'm going to have a professional restorer work on my piano but as an educated adult, I feel that I'll be able to make a better decision if I understand the process and the pros and cons better, I've spoken with numerous professionals across the country and each one seems to have the one area they value or concentrate the most, in certain instances they differ greatly so I'm left in the middle trying to determine what the best outcome would be, in the end, I'm the one investing anywhere from U$25k to U$35k for the job so I want to make sure I have all the proper information at hand.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 06:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Supply
Jorge, you will get more valuable input from this list if you give more of a context.
Where are you located? (I suspect Europe?)
How long have you had the piano?
When did the cracks appear?


I live in Las Vegas - NV, the piano was located in Atlanta - GA. It went from a 80% RH to a 20% RH, I've had it since May of 2012. When the piano came to me, the largest crack was only a ridge, or stress mark on the board (probably caused by the high RH level in GA), it split open during the summer and then the other 2 appeared. Since I posted and you guys alerted me that I needed a better RH, I went out and bought a room humidifier that I have set at 40% (that particular room's natural RH is 25%), my end goal is around 50% but I'm raising the humidity slowly. I've taken the fallboard and music desk out and I keep the piano lid open for now so it can 'soak up' the humidity. Thanks.
Posted by: David, Las Vegas

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 08:27 PM

Hi Jorge,
If it were my instrument and I knew the recent history (which I do) I would start with some cost effective measures. You said that your installing a full room humidifier. I would let the room acclimate to the higher humidity and, over 4 to 6 months, measure soundboard responses by measuring any effect on the crown, soundboard crack size, increased (or not) sustain etc. If findings are positive but minimal I would install the large Dampp Chaser system to enhance the local improvements. If no improvements are measured with humidity introduction than I would shim the soundboard. I have had mild but positive results improving crown in trouble areas by slightly wedging the s-board from the bottom which opens the crack slightly more, make the shim repair, let the glue dry and cure (2 days), remove the wedges and inspect for crown improvement. The Bosey has a thick panel so I'm not sure if results will be dramatic but worth a try. I normally would restring doing this procedure but moving the existing music wire out of the way is a budget option. At least with these methods 10's of thousands of dollars are kept in the bank until repair scenarios reveal their worth.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 08:45 PM

David gives good advice. There are tons of inexpensive things that you can try that might make more difference than an expensive repair, and none of them would prevent you from doing the expensive repair if they do not work out.
Posted by: Monaco

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 08:54 PM

Steinway did an experiment where they created gaps in a soundboard and found that it did not affect the sound. Shimming the soundboard is therefore a cosmetic measure and has no effect on the performance of the piano.
David says he can slightly improve the crown, but your piano already has crown. I wouldn't worry about it until it's time to restring. In which case, shimming is not that big a deal. Just be sure to dry the board out thoroughly before shimming.
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 09:00 PM

I believe you are unhappy with how the tone has changed since the move to NV-if I remember your earlier post correctly.

Do not worry abou rapidly increasing the humidity to the 45% level. The piano will react in three days.

Has the tone improved with the increase in humidity?
Posted by: adak

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 09:07 PM

Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.

And don't they make pianos with carbon fiber soundboards nowadays?
Posted by: BoseEric

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 09:08 PM

If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.
Posted by: adak

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 09:15 PM

Originally Posted By: BoseEric
If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.


Just imagine trying to sell the piano later, about the soundboard: do you tell the truth or lie?
Posted by: Ed Foote

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 09:29 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.
Posted by: adak

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 09:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
Posted by: David, Las Vegas

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 10:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
I believe you are unhappy with how the tone has changed since the move to NV-if I remember your earlier post correctly.

Do not worry abou rapidly increasing the humidity to the 45% level. The piano will react in three days.

Has the tone improved with the increase in humidity?


I have a client that brought her Kawai console to Las Vegas from Hawaii. She went through several tech's complaining that the tone got worse with each tuner. From full and rich to weak and thin. I explained that the felt hammers are also affected by the arid environment. I did some light hammer filing, shallow voicing on the near crown and gently steamed the shoulders on the hammers. She was delighted with the results and I advised her that touch up hammer voicing might be needed yearly to maintain the tone to her liking. Perhaps Jorge's Bosey hammers would benefit from this if they haven't been over filed. Again, if it was mine and I was looking at $$$$ in repairs a refurbish of parts that would benefit from repair services and might give us pause for thought and make a better judgment when the time comes for factory repairs.
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 10:49 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
Hmmmm, What would a digital be called during a power failure? 'Funny looking table? Boat anchor?
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 11:03 PM

One subjective consideration would be the sound you have now. If the piano has punch, clarity, and sustain as it is now, it might not be so bad to keep the original sound board. It'll certainly be less expensive.
Posted by: adak

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 11:15 PM

Originally Posted By: David Jenson
Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
Hmmmm, What would a digital be called during a power failure? 'Funny looking table? Boat anchor?


If you are trying to be snarky I will let you know you can buy something called a UPS. They will run you about $50 and when the power goes out you can still play your piano all you want.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 11:16 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
Hmmmm, What would a digital be called during a power failure? 'Funny looking table? Boat anchor?


If you are trying to be snarky I will let you know you can buy something called a UPS. They will run you about $30 and when they power goes out you can still play your piano all you want.


You're the one who is suggesting that a digital piano can compete with a Boesendorfer Imperial..... confused
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 11:17 PM

Originally Posted By: BoseEric
If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.


You're joking, right?
Posted by: Supply

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/14/13 11:19 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
I think you are on the wrong forum.
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 09:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Supply
Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
I think you are on the wrong forum.
My thoughts exactly. Someone who's contemplating repairs of this magnitude will certainly not have any interest in switching to a digital approximation of a real piano.

This was a tread hijacking, and it wasn't nearly as sidesplittingly funny as my digressions are! laugh
Posted by: Larry Buck

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 09:59 AM

Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.


You're joking, right?


A Bosendorfer Sound Board is not the same as most of the others for several reasons.

Unless a rebuilder is specifically familiar with this installation, I might tend to agree with Eric.
Posted by: Emmery

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 11:28 AM

A digital piano is not the same as an acoustic for the person playing it and for the small nuances of control on tone. But sampled sounds on the better DP's are virtually exact "recordings" of acoustics, a single note or chord cannot be distinguished between the two on a blind test....period.

(David Jensen)..."Hmmmm, What would a digital be called during a power failure? 'Funny looking table? Boat anchor?"

Mine would be called a digital piano... it has batteries in it.

On the other hand, what would your 700 lb piano be called if you wanted to haul it out a couple hundred yards into the woods for a music foray with freinds? It would be called a hernia.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 12:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
I believe you are unhappy with how the tone has changed since the move to NV-if I remember your earlier post correctly.

Do not worry abou rapidly increasing the humidity to the 45% level. The piano will react in three days.

Has the tone improved with the increase in humidity?


You're correct Ed, the tone has changed dramatically since I first got the piano in May of last year. I placed a large humidifier a week ago in the piano room (large living room - 20 x 16 sq ft) and I've noticed the tone has improved a little bit, it sounds to me like the sustain has gotten better and the sound has gotten more polished, the differences are small but I can hear them, the touch is the same, except the keys are now a bit "claky", on my next service I'll have David regulate the action, it might have gotten off a bit.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 12:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Emmery
A digital piano is not the same as an acoustic for the person playing it and for the small nuances of control on tone. But sampled sounds on the better DP's are virtually exact "recordings" of acoustics, a single note or chord cannot be distinguished between the two on a blind test....period.

(David Jensen)..."Hmmmm, What would a digital be called during a power failure? 'Funny looking table? Boat anchor?"

Mine would be called a digital piano... it has batteries in it.

On the other hand, what would your 700 lb piano be called if you wanted to haul it out a couple hundred yards into the woods for a music foray with freinds? It would be called a hernia.


You guys are too funny, but you got a point there. I personally own a Korg M3 and I like it, but in piano sound and feel it would never replace by Imperial, it's just how it is, I love it for the things it can do (and places it can go) but when it comes to true piano performance, I dare say no "imitation" will ever come close to the original (considering many aspects not only sound because I know you can use samples).
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 12:22 PM

Originally Posted By: David Jenson
One subjective consideration would be the sound you have now. If the piano has punch, clarity, and sustain as it is now, it might not be so bad to keep the original sound board. It'll certainly be less expensive.


I believe other than lose energy in the bass area the sound is pretty ok, what I really need to do is corner up another Imperial owner and do a 'test drive', I know not all pianos are created equal but Boseys should have some particular characteristics that would carry over from one piano to another, I've played a few Imperials years ago (like almost 10) so it's hard to form an opinion now by only considering my own piano.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 12:28 PM

Originally Posted By: David, Las Vegas
Hi Jorge,
If it were my instrument and I knew the recent history (which I do) I would start with some cost effective measures. You said that your installing a full room humidifier. I would let the room acclimate to the higher humidity and, over 4 to 6 months, measure soundboard responses by measuring any effect on the crown, soundboard crack size, increased (or not) sustain etc. If findings are positive but minimal I would install the large Dampp Chaser system to enhance the local improvements. If no improvements are measured with humidity introduction than I would shim the soundboard. I have had mild but positive results improving crown in trouble areas by slightly wedging the s-board from the bottom which opens the crack slightly more, make the shim repair, let the glue dry and cure (2 days), remove the wedges and inspect for crown improvement. The Bosey has a thick panel so I'm not sure if results will be dramatic but worth a try. I normally would restring doing this procedure but moving the existing music wire out of the way is a budget option. At least with these methods 10's of thousands of dollars are kept in the bank until repair scenarios reveal their worth.


Well mister, there's some homework for you on my next service call then. smile
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 12:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Larry Buck
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.


You're joking, right?


A Bosendorfer Sound Board is not the same as most of the others for several reasons.

Unless a rebuilder is specifically familiar with this installation, I might tend to agree with Eric.


I'd like to think that a qualified rebuilder, such as yourself, would be able to handle this.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.

And don't they make pianos with carbon fiber soundboards nowadays?


There's a company in England that does that, however, shipping my piano to England to have that kind of work done is out of my budget. Also, as it was expressed here before if I replace the soundboard then I guess it's not considered a Bosendorfer anymore, I mean, that right there is the root of my despair, that's exactly the reason why I started this thread. I honestly don't think that the soundboard alone is what makes a Bosendorfer - otherwise we could theoretically remove the soundboard from a Bosendorfer and put it into a lesser quality piano and it would become a Bosendorfer? What about the strings, can I call it a Bosey if I replace the strings? Gosh, I hate the grey areas!!!
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 01:08 PM

I'm trying to post 3 pictures of the soundboard cracks but all I get is the URL option, can't I just embed the pics here?
Posted by: Withindale

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 01:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
I believe other than lose energy in the bass area the sound is pretty ok, what I really need to do is corner up another Imperial owner and do a 'test drive', I know not all pianos are created equal but Boseys should have some particular characteristics that would carry over from one piano to another, I've played a few Imperials years ago (like almost 10) so it's hard to form an opinion now by only considering my own piano.


That makes sense.

You might consider making recordings and doing some spectral analysis. Your ear may be sufficient but recordings and numbers allow for objective review. As you may know, Richard Dain, who fitted the carbon fibre soundboard to a Bosendorfer, included some Bosendorfer spectrograms in this paper.

It might be worth asking about Bosendorfer soundboard repairs on the German forum (Clavio).
Posted by: Del

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 01:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Monaco
Steinway did an experiment where they created gaps in a soundboard and found that it did not affect the sound. Shimming the soundboard is therefore a cosmetic measure and has no effect on the performance of the piano.

Do you have a reference for this?

ddf
Posted by: Steve Jackson

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 02:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Monaco
Steinway did an experiment where they created gaps in a soundboard and found that it did not affect the sound. Shimming the soundboard is therefore a cosmetic measure and has no effect on the performance of the piano.

Do you have a reference for this?

ddf


Steinway quotes W B White on their website for this matter.
Posted by: Del

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 02:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Jackson
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Monaco
Steinway did an experiment where they created gaps in a soundboard and found that it did not affect the sound. Shimming the soundboard is therefore a cosmetic measure and has no effect on the performance of the piano.

Do you have a reference for this?

ddf


Steinway quotes W B White on their website for this matter.

I suspected this claim would be based on that paper; it has long been cited as a justification for soundboard cracks. But its basic premise has been discredited for decades—cracks are not the issue, loss of compression is the issue.

No actual experiments were ever conducted that I am aware of but, like other mainstays of piano mythology, this one seems to keep on growing. I didn't know it was still being used.

ddf
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 02:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
I believe other than lose energy in the bass area the sound is pretty ok, what I really need to do is corner up another Imperial owner and do a 'test drive', I know not all pianos are created equal but Boseys should have some particular characteristics that would carry over from one piano to another, I've played a few Imperials years ago (like almost 10) so it's hard to form an opinion now by only considering my own piano.


That makes sense.

You might consider making recordings and doing some spectral analysis. Your ear may be sufficient but recordings and numbers allow for objective review. As you may know, Richard Dain, who fitted the carbon fibre soundboard to a Bosendorfer, included some Bosendorfer spectrograms in this paper.

It might be worth asking about Bosendorfer soundboard repairs on the German forum (Clavio).


Thank you for the information, I'll check it out whenever I get a little more time (hey 3 day weekend coming up..)
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 03:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Del
...cracks are not the issue, loss of compression is the issue.


Pardon my ignorance but the loss of compression you're referring to, is it related to the planks of spruce that were glued together to form the soundboard? As I understand, in the process of manufacturing the soundboard, the planks are fitted together and the crown is formed which adds 'energy' to the system (soundboard), this allows the board to amplify the sound and propagate the sound waves, once the crack appears some of this energy is released and basically lost, the ultimate draining would come from the board becoming flat, am I on the right track here?
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 03:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Larry Buck
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.


You're joking, right?


A Bosendorfer Sound Board is not the same as most of the others for several reasons.

Unless a rebuilder is specifically familiar with this installation, I might tend to agree with Eric.


Larry,

I thought all soundboards parted from the same concept, planks of spruce wood glued together and crowned, tightly fit into the case in order to amplify and reflect the sound coming from the strings, what could possibly be so different about the Bosendorfer soundboards. I've checked your website and I know you've worked on many different makes of pianos, the Steinway S restoration (the fire piano) was a work of a true master so please shed some light into the differences you've encountered.
Posted by: adak

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 03:21 PM

If all pianos are the same inside then does that mean you paid thousands of dollars extra just for the company label on the outside. I find it difficult to swallow that any soundboard can replace a Bosendorfer soundboard, surely that can't be right.
Posted by: Del

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 03:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
Pardon my ignorance but the loss of compression you're referring to, is it related to the planks of spruce that were glued together to form the soundboard? As I understand, in the process of manufacturing the soundboard, the planks are fitted together and the crown is formed which adds 'energy' to the system (soundboard), this allows the board to amplify the sound and propagate the sound waves, once the crack appears some of this energy is released and basically lost, the ultimate draining would come from the board becoming flat, am I on the right track here?

No. There are two basic methods used to establish crown in a piano soundboard system. (And many variations blending the two.)

1) Wood—usually spruce—boards are glued together to form a panel. This panel is thicknessed as desired and then dried to a very low moisture content (typically 4.0% summer/3.8% winter). When it’s dried it physically shrinks (mostly in the perpendicular-to-grain direction). Ribs are glued to this panel in a perpendicular-to-grain direction. After the assembly is returned to a normal environment (where there is more moisture in the air) the panel swells and creates a stress interface between the ribs and the soundboard panel. This forces a curve into the assembly; i.e., it warps but this time the warp is deliberate.

2) A crown is machined into one surface of the ribs and this curved surface is glued to the soundboard panel. The moisture content of the panel is somewhat higher when the ribs are glued on (typically somewhere between 6% and 7%) so there is never as much compression in these soundboard panels.

At no point is energy “added” to either system. Sound is not “amplified” by the soundboard assembly. And no “energy” is “lost” when a crack appears in a soundboard panel.

The piano soundboard system is basically a mechanical transducer. The bridges transfer vibrating energy from the strings to the soundboard assembly where it is converted, or transduced, into sound energy. How efficiently this transduction takes place is a function of the mass and stiffness of the soundboard assembly. And soundboard stiffness is affected by panel compression.

When the tone quality of a piano changes because of variations in climate the two primary causes for the change are due to increased or (in your case) decreased amounts of internal compression in the soundboard panel and to the changes that take place in the wool felt hammers.

Listen to David when he looks at your piano. He understands this stuff.

ddf
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 03:40 PM

Originally Posted By: adak
If all pianos are the same inside then does that mean you paid thousands of dollars extra just for the company label on the outside. I find it difficult to swallow that any soundboard can replace a Bosendorfer soundboard, surely that can't be right.


I'm not claiming all pianos are the same inside, you very well know there are other parts beside the soundboard inside of a piano, I'm only referring the soundboard because that's what everyone seems to be particular about.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 03:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
Pardon my ignorance but the loss of compression you're referring to, is it related to the planks of spruce that were glued together to form the soundboard? As I understand, in the process of manufacturing the soundboard, the planks are fitted together and the crown is formed which adds 'energy' to the system (soundboard), this allows the board to amplify the sound and propagate the sound waves, once the crack appears some of this energy is released and basically lost, the ultimate draining would come from the board becoming flat, am I on the right track here?

No. There are two basic methods used to establish crown in a piano soundboard system. (And many variations blending the two.)

1) Wood—usually spruce—boards are glued together to form a panel. This panel is thicknessed as desired and then dried to a very low moisture content (typically 4.0% summer/3.8% winter). When it’s dried it physically shrinks (mostly in the perpendicular-to-grain direction). Ribs are glued to this panel in a perpendicular-to-grain direction. After the assembly is returned to a normal environment (where there is more moisture in the air) the panel swells and creates a stress interface between the ribs and the soundboard panel. This forces a curve into the assembly; i.e., it warps but this time the warp is deliberate.

2) A crown is machined into one surface of the ribs and this curved surface is glued to the soundboard panel. The moisture content of the panel is somewhat higher when the ribs are glued on (typically somewhere between 6% and 7%) so there is never as much compression in these soundboard panels.

At no point is energy “added” to either system. Sound is not “amplified” by the soundboard assembly. And no “energy” is “lost” when a crack appears in a soundboard panel.

The piano soundboard system is basically a mechanical transducer. The bridges transfer vibrating energy from the strings to the soundboard assembly where it is converted, or transduced, into sound energy. How efficiently this transduction takes place is a function of the mass and stiffness of the soundboard assembly. And soundboard stiffness is affected by panel compression.

When the tone quality of a piano changes because of variations in climate the two primary causes for the change are due to increased or (in your case) decreased amounts of internal compression in the soundboard panel and to the changes that take place in the wool felt hammers.

Listen to David when he looks at your piano. He understands this stuff.

ddf


Thanks for the information, aside from the 'amplification' and 'energy' suggestions I think I was on the right track then. What I'm going to take from this is that overall, as a complete 'system' the soundboard panels, ribs and bridges form a system to transfer the energy from the strings into vibrations that we hear as sound. I wonder which process the Bosendorfer factory utilize to create their soundboards, I guess one could see that during a factory visit???
Posted by: Monaco

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 05:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Emmery
But sampled sounds on the better DP's are virtually exact "recordings" of acoustics, a single note or chord cannot be distinguished between the two on a blind test....period.


Hogwash.
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 06:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Emmery

... On the other hand, what would your 700 lb piano be called if you wanted to haul it out a couple hundred yards into the woods for a music foray with freinds? It would be called a hernia.
Ah ha! so THAT'S what I'm doing wrong. I knew hauling that Young Chang was hard on my knees, but I never thought of the hernia danger. (I'm a guitar player anyway, so what would I know?)
Posted by: BoseEric

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 07:47 PM

Originally Posted By: beethoven986


You're joking, right?


No, not at all. A Bosendorfer is not a set of legos that anybody can put together.
Posted by: BoseEric

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 07:53 PM

In the hands of a skilled rebuilder, it will be a fine piano. But I, PERSONALLY, wouldn't consider it a Bosendorfer anymore.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 08:14 PM

Originally Posted By: BoseEric
Originally Posted By: beethoven986


You're joking, right?


No, not at all. A Bosendorfer is not a set of legos that anybody can put together.


Neither is a Steinway, or a Baldwin, or whatever, yet many rebuilders seem to replace soundboards just fine. PS I've been to the Boesendorfer factory... it's not rocket science.
Posted by: BoseEric

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 08:55 PM

whatever you say
Posted by: adak

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/15/13 11:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
I'm trying to post 3 pictures of the soundboard cracks but all I get is the URL option, can't I just embed the pics here?


host the pictures here http://imageshack.us/ and post the links, lets have a look at the piano.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 12:10 AM

Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
I'm trying to post 3 pictures of the soundboard cracks but all I get is the URL option, can't I just embed the pics here?


host the pictures here http://imageshack.us/ and post the links, lets have a look at the piano.


Great, thanks for the info and here's the link, I hope it works:
Soundboard cracks

Note the largest one that basically goes from one side of the soundboard to another is actually deeper and wider than it shows in the picture, in some places I can see the floor but the picture made it look like a hairline.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 01:09 AM

It is hard to see from the photos, but it looks like the edges of those cracks are dirty, which indicates they have been there for a while.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 02:36 AM

Originally Posted By: BDB
It is hard to see from the photos, but it looks like the edges of those cracks are dirty, which indicates they have been there for a while.


Yes I agree, these pictures are not the best, I took them before I left to work with my droid phone, the camera features on the droids really stink, I'm going to charge up my real camera tomorrow and take better ones. As far as the cracks, I can guarantee you the piano only had the one in the middle of the board, and it wasn't a crack but a ridge line, there was no separation, the 2 in the treble area showed up about 2 months ago when the weather really changed. David Chadwick has been my service technician since I bought the piano and he can attest.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 02:52 AM

There is a crack in the soundboard of my wife's Steinway, one that I did not bother to do anything with, as I am of the school that cracks generally make no difference in the way the piano sounds. Most of the rest of the time, it is invisible. It may get wide enough to see when it gets really dry, I think. It is possible that you did not see the other cracks. I really doubt that you noticed them when they first appeared.

I mentioned Grand Obsession, a book about an experience that parallels your own. I am of the opinion that what you do not like about the piano now is not due to the piano itself, but the change of circumstance it has gone through.
Posted by: lluiscl

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 04:15 AM

Sincerely, in my limited opinion, I'd not be worried about these cracks... and less I'd think in replace the SB.
I am more impressed as Bosendorfer fixed the bridge pins... clearly out of the notched...¡!
Posted by: Withindale

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 04:58 AM

Originally Posted By: lluiscl
I am more impressed as Bosendorfer fixed the bridge pins... clearly out of the notched...¡!

Well spotted. Perhaps Bosendorfer know something about the movement of strings at bridge pins that others have not realised.
Posted by: BoseEric

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 09:35 AM

of course, anybody and everybody does that. After all it's not rocket science.
Posted by: Withindale

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 10:22 AM

Originally Posted By: BoseEric
of course, anybody and everybody does that.

I wonder why some piano makers take care to place bridge pins precisely at the edge of the notch when, like Bosendorfer, anybody and everybody does not?
Posted by: BoseEric

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 11:18 AM

This is the wonderful part of high end piano building. Not everybody thinks the same way. To get the subtle differences of tone and touch between makers, one must have a series of subtle touches and tweaks, built up over years, decades. To think that anybody can replicate these subtle details misses a lot of the fun and importance.

I think you'll see on more recent Bosendorfers that the pins are more centered in the notch. August Forster, however, stays with the "slightly out of the notch" method.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: BoseEric
To think that anybody can replicate these subtle details misses a lot of the fun and importance.


To be sure, I didn't say that "anybody" could do this level of work, but to say that Boesendorfer is the only company that can do it, or replace a soundboard "otherwise it's not a Boesendorfer", sounds just as stupid and arrogant as when the folks at Steinway make the same claim.
Posted by: Larry Buck

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 01:22 PM

Bosendorfer is an interesting piano.

I have a 12 year old Strauss Edition, B200 scale here in shop for a couple of things.

We have spent some time regulating, tuning and voicing the piano.

It is different than a Steinway certainly. One of the most noticeable differences is the character of the bass.

Posted by: BoseEric

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 05:38 PM

Beethoven, whoever you are, I'm glad that with your one visit to the factory and your new associate status you are such an expert. I was an expert once too, but the more experienced I got I realized the less I knew. You should have heard how stupid and arrogant I was back then!
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 05:53 PM

I remember being stupid with you back in the day; Eric!

I do think that if Jorge needs a new board the factory option may be the only one. I would have to make new fixtures to do an expanded compass piano. I don't want to work that hard now. David Rubinstein in LA built an expanded compass piano but I don't think he is doing soundboards anymore. He's is the only possibility I can think of.

I would recommend that if a new soundboard is installed or the existing one repaired that the agraffes be changed to the ones without the hard metal insert string termination point. That way when you play the piano loudly the tone will be warmer since Jorge is unhappy with the tone.
Posted by: Withindale

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 06:00 PM

Originally Posted By: BoseEric
... it's not rocket science.

Eric,

Funnily enough, much more seems to go on at the bridge pin than most of us realise. That's why, as you say, these differences are interesting. Why does a Bosendorfer sound like a Bosendorfer, with or without cracks?
Posted by: BoseEric

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 06:07 PM

Ed, you were never, ever as stupid as me...and you still aren't!
Posted by: BoseEric

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 06:13 PM

The great unanswered question Ian, and the one that makes the piano world so fun and humbling. And it can be asked about Steingraeber and Forster and Sauter and Fazioli and all the others. It's the sum total of individual, minute decisions over a long period of time.

Actually the more experience I get the more convinced I am that it IS rocket science.

ps...you know the comment you quoted was facetious, right?
Posted by: Larry Buck

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 07:20 PM

It is true that some of the Techs replacing sound boards, certainly can to justice to the Bosendorfer style.

Bosendorfer is a style and unique as such. It is nice that it is recognized as that.

BTW, I believe it is still possible to engage Mr. Rubinstein to do a board.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/16/13 08:39 PM

Originally Posted By: BoseEric
Beethoven, whoever you are, I'm glad that with your one visit to the factory and your new associate status you are such an expert.


Yes, I joined the Guild as an associate last year, but I have been working on pianos for a handful of years before then, a lot of which was in a university setting, while also completing a M.Mus. degree in... piano performance. I was also fortunate enough to travel a lot during my university days, and visited several other factories, high-end workshops, and historical collections. I am more than qualified to have an opinion on this matter.

As I see it, there are two things at issue, here, and I'm not sure if one is more important to you or not, so I'll cover both. One is whether or not Boesendorfer factory workers are the only people with the skills necessary to replace a Boesendorfer's soundboard. And the other is, irrespective of the rebuilder's skill, whether or not replacing the soundboard changes the instrument enough for it to no longer be considered a true Boesendorfer.

With respect to the first, I don't think there's a strong argument. There are several very talented individuals who install soundboards, and some probably do an even better job than some factories. There are also a select few who accurately reproduce fortepianos and harpsichords from scratch. With that in mind, I don't think it unreasonable to assume that some talented craftsman could install a new soundboard in a Boesendorfer.

The second issue is, perhaps, more of a grey area that will never be agreed upon. My thought is that a Boesendorfer, like it or not, is still a production instrument. They don't make their own action or hammers, and if memory serves, they don't make their cast-iron frames; it has also been over 150 years since someone with the maker's name has built a piano. So, it's not like we're talking about one-of-a-kind instruments, here. Even if we were, there is precedent for large-scale restoration to be undertaken while ultimately recognizing the final product as that of the original builder. In perhaps one of the most extreme cases, the 1720 Cristofori instrument underwent major restoration in 1938, including a new soundboard and pinblock; if the fine folks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art can still catalog this as a Cristofori instrument, a Boesendorfer with a non-OEM soundboard is a non-issue, IMO, especially if the new sound board was a faithful reproduction of the original. Indeed, I don't think even the most acute pianists would be able to tell the difference.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/17/13 03:05 AM

Originally Posted By: lluiscl

I am more impressed as Bosendorfer fixed the bridge pins... clearly out of the notched...¡!


Sorry I don't understand, did you see something else wrong from the pictures??? I know the bridge pins are the 'metal pegs' (don't you all cringe! Lol) that circumvent the strings, but what do you mean "out of the notched"
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/17/13 03:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
Originally Posted By: lluiscl

I am more impressed as Bosendorfer fixed the bridge pins... clearly out of the notched...¡!


Sorry I don't understand, did you see something else wrong from the pictures??? I know the bridge pins are the 'metal pegs' (don't you all cringe! Lol) that circumvent the strings, but what do you mean "out of the notched"


What he is talking about is the pin location respective of where the notch begins. Some manufacturers center the pins in the notch cut so that the bridge top and pin terminate the string at the same time; using this method, the string has a tendency to crush the top of the wood bridge, as the piano ages, which could force the string to terminate before the bridge pin, resulting in tonal problems. By locating the pins in front of where the notch begins during manufacture (as indicated in your pictures), the risk of this happening is minimized. In other words, there is nothing wrong with the bridges. But hey, what do I know?... I'm just an associate PTG member wink
Posted by: James Carney

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/17/13 07:26 AM

Hi Jorge,

Sorry you are experiencing this anxiety about your piano. One way or another I'm sure you can fix it.

I'm curious about a few things: Did you move with the piano from Atlanta to Las Vegas or did you simply buy the piano from a seller in Atlanta?

Are all the parts original from 1967, including strings, hammers/shanks/flanges/knuckles, and key bushings? How often do you play it and what kind of music do you play?

It's somewhat surprising that you have not yet installed a double tank Dampp-Chaser humidity control system. Is there a particular reason why you have avoided doing that?
Posted by: Withindale

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/17/13 07:42 PM

Jorge

Are you sure about your diagnosis?

I recently acquired a 1905 Ibach grand piano, restored about 5 years ago, without having an opportunity to play it first. Even though I was prepared for some problems, I was more than disappointed with its terrible touch, the power of the bass, and sheer lack of sustain across the board. Then I noticed some cracks in the soundboard.

The action needed its screws tightening and regulation. Then I discovered the nut holding down the centre of the frame had almost no thread. Fortunately there was just one rusty old nut in the box that fitted. I gave it about 1/8th turn with a spanner and the bass roared into life. One note, with a duff damper that I hadn't noticed before, sustained seemingly for ever.

Maybe, as some of the experts here say, the soundboard is your problem but just maybe, as some of those experts suggest, it isn't.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/17/13 09:35 PM

Beethoven986, It makes sense now, thank you for your explanation and I appreciate your input, regardless of your title. wink
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/17/13 09:41 PM

Originally Posted By: James Carney
Hi Jorge,

Sorry you are experiencing this anxiety about your piano. One way or another I'm sure you can fix it.

I'm curious about a few things: Did you move with the piano from Atlanta to Las Vegas or did you simply buy the piano from a seller in Atlanta?

Are all the parts original from 1967, including strings, hammers/shanks/flanges/knuckles, and key bushings? How often do you play it and what kind of music do you play?

It's somewhat surprising that you have not yet installed a double tank Dampp-Chaser humidity control system. Is there a particular reason why you have avoided doing that?


I've always lived in Las Vegas, I bought the piano which was located in Atlanta and had it shipped here.
As far as I know (and what was told to me and what David Chadwick inspected) I believe at this point everything is original. I mostly play it for a few hours over the weekend, I used to play more but I had to get a second job to pay for it so I don't really have time anymore, I play tons of classic but recently have started getting into jazz and blues.

David has been on my case about installing the Dampp-Chaser, I was already going to listen to him but I had a great confirmation after installing the room humidifier. The only resason why I was resistant is because I read online that the system only benefits the soundboard but nothing else, and the pin block is another component I want to make sure gets preserved.
Posted by: David, Las Vegas

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/17/13 10:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
[quote=James Carney]Hi Jorge,


David has been on my case about installing the Dampp-Chaser, I was already going to listen to him but I had a great confirmation after installing the room humidifier. The only resason why I was resistant is because I read online that the system only benefits the soundboard but nothing else, and the pin block is another component I want to make sure gets preserved.


The whole room humidification is not a bad idea but care must be taken to always maintain the desired RH levels. It's a better system because if there is fluctuations the environment won't change as aggressively because the fixtures in the room and the walls themselves are living in that same situation and will lessen any immediate change. The DC system is localized to benefit the target component. As the system performs over time ( I have found) the other wood and cloth components will benefit from the DC system such as the pin block, damper guide bushings and key frame but the system must be monitored and respect the low water warnings. Either way the wood and cloth will reap the benefits. I believe the stress' seen in the soundboard will lessen and desired hammer tone will improve with proper humidity levels. If the piano is thirsty.. give it a drink.
Posted by: David, Las Vegas

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/17/13 10:43 PM

I have several clients who use summer swamp coolers in their homes. It is a evaporator cooler that removes latent heat from where evaporation takes place. It kinda fools the body into thinking it's cooler yet doesn't change the temperature very much. (much like having a kettle slowly steaming on the stove during the winter makes one feel warmer). Once the outside temperature goes over 80 to 90 degrees all it does is create more humidity. I do summer service calls in the desert at both extremes. There is a marked difference however with the summer swamp cooled pianos having better a voice and sustain but tight pinning. sticking dampers and sluggish key bushings are troublesome. I love my job.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/18/13 12:48 AM

Originally Posted By: adak
host the pictures here http://imageshack.us/ and post the links, lets have a look at the piano.
So, what is your expert opinion? wink


Is this the original board? The angle of the SB grain seems odd, maybe someone can clarify for me?
Posted by: Withindale

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/18/13 02:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Supply
Is this the original board? The angle of the SB grain seems odd, maybe someone can clarify for me?

I wondered about that. Compare with this (it magnifies)?
Posted by: James Carney

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/18/13 05:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
Originally Posted By: James Carney
Hi Jorge,

Sorry you are experiencing this anxiety about your piano. One way or another I'm sure you can fix it.

I'm curious about a few things: Did you move with the piano from Atlanta to Las Vegas or did you simply buy the piano from a seller in Atlanta?

Are all the parts original from 1967, including strings, hammers/shanks/flanges/knuckles, and key bushings? How often do you play it and what kind of music do you play?

It's somewhat surprising that you have not yet installed a double tank Dampp-Chaser humidity control system. Is there a particular reason why you have avoided doing that?


I've always lived in Las Vegas, I bought the piano which was located in Atlanta and had it shipped here.
As far as I know (and what was told to me and what David Chadwick inspected) I believe at this point everything is original. I mostly play it for a few hours over the weekend, I used to play more but I had to get a second job to pay for it so I don't really have time anymore, I play tons of classic but recently have started getting into jazz and blues.

David has been on my case about installing the Dampp-Chaser, I was already going to listen to him but I had a great confirmation after installing the room humidifier. The only resason why I was resistant is because I read online that the system only benefits the soundboard but nothing else, and the pin block is another component I want to make sure gets preserved.


Sounds to me like David is giving you excellent advice.

Maybe the board suffered some damage since the move, but maybe you "played out" what was left in the hammers, or the regulation has changed over time in the new environment. It's certainly possible that the dry climate loosened a bunch of action screws which could easily result in loss of bass power. And, if the pinning in the hammer flanges became too loose or too tight (strange as it seems, either condition can occur in low humidity) since the move, that could also wreak havoc with the tone.

I think the room humidifier is also a good idea, but the double tank DC will likely help to prevent further damage, and it might even help to improve the tone. If you are consistent about closing up your piano and using a thick cover when not in use you are essentially creating a micro-environment that could also benefit other components inside the piano. Most people aren't willing to remove and replace a cover daily (except for studios and venues) but it can make a big difference long-term. Even if you don't get a cover, close up the whole thing when not in use.

I also read the other thread and Del gave you great advice there: Focus on the action and keyset. Have David rebush the keys (if needed, which it likely does) hang new shanks and hammers, and regulate the piano. Most pianists underestimate or are unaware of the effect that regulation can have on tone. I always say "Regulation IS voicing." smile

Good luck!
Posted by: BDB

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/18/13 11:13 AM

Of the various factors that could affect a piano's tone after a cross-country move, the room acoustics, technician, and moisture content of the hammer felt are more likely to cause changes than cracks that may or may not be new.
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/18/13 10:14 PM

Originally Posted By: James Carney
Sounds to me like David is giving you excellent advice.


Ok everyone, just so we're clear, I am well aware of David's capacity, I've been working with him for over a year and he came to me highly recommended by several different sources and so far has greatly exceeded my expectations; I'm not posting questions here because I don't think he can help me but because I'm trying to get different opinions and suggestions from a broader 'population' and in the process I'm learning tons of information, I am well-pleased with the responses everyone is offering so please keep them coming!!
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/18/13 10:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: Supply
Is this the original board? The angle of the SB grain seems odd, maybe someone can clarify for me?

I wondered about that. Compare with this (it magnifies)?


The grain on my board seems to be in the same direction as the picture you posted, although this looks more like a CG than an actual piano.
Posted by: Withindale

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/19/13 01:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
The grain on my board seems to be in the same direction as the picture you posted, although this looks more like a CG than an actual piano.

My reason for looking at that image was to see how many screws and bolts are holding the plate in place.

Have you and David checked that the ones on your piano are all tight? If any are even slightly loose the plate may gobble up energy that should be in the soundboard.

James suggested some of the screws in the action may have become loose. Have they all been checked and tightened?

Has the keyframe been affected?

What steps were taken to eliminate other possible causes of reduced bass power before focusing on the soundboard?
Posted by: Jorge Andrade

Re: Soundboard - replace or not - 02/19/13 02:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: Jorge Andrade
The grain on my board seems to be in the same direction as the picture you posted, although this looks more like a CG than an actual piano.

My reason for looking at that image was to see how many screws and bolts are holding the plate in place.

Have you and David checked that the ones on your piano are all tight? If any are even slightly loose the plate may gobble up energy that should be going into the soundboard.

James suggested some of the screws in the action may have become loose. Have they all been checked and tightened?

Has the keybed been affected?

What steps were taken to eliminate other possible causes of reduced bass power before focusing on the soundboard?


I'll let David answer those questions, I know he went through the whole piano but I don't know the particulars, thanks for bringing these points up though, it seems like this is a good starting point for someone like me that's just recently became involved with 'the other side' of the piano.
As crazy as it may sound, I think the more I understand about the 'mechanics' of the instrument the better I get at playing it, I'm an electrical engineer so mechanic is not my forte but I can relate to the many concepts in creating a piano, and now I'm off topic on my own thread...