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Re: Duplex Scaling #1125128
07/29/04 08:46 AM
07/29/04 08:46 AM
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Quote
In general, this is true. However, on the rare occasions that one of these systems is set up "properly" (i.e., with the aliquot string length actually tuned to some specific harmonic of the fundamental) initial power — immediately after impact — will be very slightly greater. In all cases, whether the aliquot string segment is properly tuned or not, there will be a loss of sustain time as some string energy is absorbed into the plate and dissipated as heat.
I am curious about the statement in bold. How significant is this loss of sustain time, what are you comparing it to, and what method of termination is better?


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Re: Duplex Scaling #1125129
07/30/04 07:48 AM
07/30/04 07:48 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by BDB:
But is this really any worse than the typical front termination which is about the same, except that the string segment is not tuned and is usually damped by felt? How significant would you consider the difference in sound to be? I have to admit that I usually don't hear much of a difference between a front duplex that is undamped and one that is undamped, especially once the piano has been tuned properly.

I suppose Helmholz thought that the duplex scale would allow the high-frequency vibrations to see-saw past the v-bar and be reflected back, changing the impedence for those frequencies in order to keep them from being absorbed by the plate and the stiffness of the piano wire.
When the string geometry is properly established it is not necessary to have any damping felt at all between the V-bar and the counterbearing bar. Energy leakage past the V-bar will be nominal.

As I said, I have yet to see any evidence that Helmholtz was involved in any way with the development of this feature.

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
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Re: Duplex Scaling #1125130
07/30/04 08:15 AM
07/30/04 08:15 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by BDB:
Quote
In general, this is true. However, on the rare occasions that one of these systems is set up "properly" (i.e., with the aliquot string length actually tuned to some specific harmonic of the fundamental) initial power — immediately after impact — will be very slightly greater. [b] In all cases, whether the aliquot string segment is properly tuned or not, there will be a loss of sustain time as some string energy is absorbed into the plate and dissipated as heat.
I am curious about the statement in bold. How significant is this loss of sustain time, what are you comparing it to, and what method of termination is better? [/b]
It can be significant. The string geometry used by Steinway (and others) through the capo tastro bar sections has changed over the decades though the claims have not. Some versions have been “tunable” (at least crudely so) others have not. All of them have depended on rather loose plate cross-section profiles. Further, a critical examination of the geometry of some pianos now claiming to incorporate this feature will show that their string termination is actually quite good and any resemblance between the reality and the marketing claims is strictly visual. The differences in string deflection angles and duplex string segment length are not great — it’s easy to cheat.

What I am comparing sustain times to are actual examples in which piano owners have complained about obnoxious string noises and/or dissonant harmonics ringing loudly from the aliquot string segments between the V-bar and the counterbearing bar. By modifying the counterbearing bar to both shorten the length of the duplex string segment and increase the string deflection angle both the offensive noises and whistles are reduced (or eliminated) and sustain time is measurably improved.

“Better” is an interesting word. Better than what? Those using the so-called “tuned” duplex system, of course, will say that their system is better. They tend to dismiss any complaints related to the loose string termination by explaining how all this extra noise adds to the color and liveliness of the piano sound experience. I would be more impressed by this argument if ever there was a plate actually set up to properly incorporate what they claim to be after. Alas, I’m not sure this is actually possible in the real world — no tuned duplex system I have yet seen has been able to survive the first tuning. Others, myself included, prefer the longer sustain time and brilliant clarity of a more efficient string termination system.

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
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Re: Duplex Scaling #1125131
07/30/04 09:08 AM
07/30/04 09:08 AM
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I'm mostly interested in the statement that sustain time is measurably improved. If a piano has a sustain time of 15 seconds (whatever that means), can it be changed to have a sustain time of say, 20 seconds, measured the same way, for a 33% improvement?

If sustain time could be made variable, it would be an interesting use for a fourth pedal. There are lots of time when sustain is too long, but you wouldn't want the quick damping of releasing the key or damper pedal.


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Re: Duplex Scaling #1125132
07/30/04 09:17 AM
07/30/04 09:17 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by BDB:
I'm mostly interested in the statement that sustain time is measurably improved. If a piano has a sustain time of 15 seconds (whatever that means), can it be changed to have a sustain time of say, 20 seconds, measured the same way, for a 33% improvement?

If sustain time could be made variable, it would be an interesting use for a fourth pedal. There are lots of time when sustain is too long, but you wouldn't want the quick damping of releasing the key or damper pedal.
The difference can be significant. Though it would probably be more like an increase from 7 or 8 seconds to 9 or 10 seconds. More obvious is the rate of decay. The tone is slightly less percussive and it drops off less abruptly.

Your pedal idea is interesting, if impractical. Tuning would be a rather significant problem.

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
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Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Duplex Scaling #1125133
07/30/04 09:28 AM
07/30/04 09:28 AM
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I thought about perhaps damping the soundboard.


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Re: Duplex Scaling #1125134
07/30/04 09:32 AM
07/30/04 09:32 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by BDB:
I thought about perhaps damping the soundboard.
I vaguely recall looking through a patent describing just that. I’ve no idea whether or not the thing was ever built.

Del


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
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Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
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