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Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues #1172372
04/01/09 01:00 AM
04/01/09 01:00 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
J
JWS Offline OP
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JWS  Offline OP
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J

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
I need some advice regarding a new Kawai GM-10K that I purchased in January.

The piano was delivered to my house in late January, and I waited until late March to have it tuned on-site for the first time. After tuning, the piano took on a very metallic and thin sounding tone. This is especially pronounced in the range between E4 and C5. Bb4, B4, and C5 are extremely "tinny" -- the sound almost dissipates into a whine and these notes stick out oddly in any chord that incorporates them.

This is a tone quality that was definitely not there prior to tuning. I contacted the tech, and he mentioned that the piano needs to be voiced. I understand that that's probably the case, but I'm concerned about whether this makes any sense, given the fact that the piano is brand new, and had a much mellower and sonorous sound before the tuning. Respondents to this thread may chastise my naivete, but I really do need some direction here.

Most of what I've read about voicing indicates work that is done to restore a piano to its original sound. I'm wondering whether something else occurred during the tuning which might have caused such a pronounced change to the tone.

Thoughts? Advice? Questions?

Last edited by JWS; 04/01/09 01:26 AM.
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Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: JWS] #1172424
04/01/09 04:34 AM
04/01/09 04:34 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 383
Melbourne, Australia
eightyeight_keys Offline
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eightyeight_keys  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 383
Melbourne, Australia
Hello there,

I hope I can be of help. I too have had problems with piano buying. Truth is I have so far had THREE pianos delivered. I am now considering a FOURTH!

I know what you are going though and I sympathise with you. Now I do know all the Kawai grands very well, having played them all. Now, my first advice to you is to stick with Kawai! They are the BEST pianos for the price.

Now is there any chance your dealer will take you GM10 back and exchange it for another model? I hope this can happen as I would not recommend this GM10 at all. It is a small, lowest of the range piano. Of course you WILL have problems with it. I know this piano well and I don't like it. Please go to your dealer and I highly recommend that you try the GE30. This piano is WORTH the extra few thousand!!! Hands down. The GE30 has millenium 3 action, slow fall keyboard, neotex key tops and A LOVELY TONE! I had one. The only reason I exchanged it was because I am a professional pianist with a desire for a BIG grand.

But I really loved the GE30 - and let me tell you I am very, very FUSSY about pianos and I know what is good and what is not.

Go to your dealer and ask for an exchange. Try the GE30, you will see and hear and feel the difference straight away. It is a loveley baby grand piano and not too expensive.

You must change over the GM10 for a GE30, or RX2...or even RX1 is nice, but more $. Don't waste your time with the GM10 it is not worth it.

Best wishes and please let me know how you go. I really care and hope you can exchange the piano. You will be much happier.





Kawai RX6G Grand
Bernstien/Hailun Europa BH - 1EP Upright
Roland HP-335 Digital Piano
Yamaha W7 Synthesizer
Roland E09W Interactive Arranger
Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: eightyeight_keys] #1172428
04/01/09 04:55 AM
04/01/09 04:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 791
The Netherlands
Konzert Patrick Offline
500 Post Club Member
Konzert Patrick  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 791
The Netherlands
Piano mike,

I think the solution to JWS his problem is simply to voice the few standing out notes, maybe first a tuning by a different tuner, sounds to me like some over streched notes.
No need for an exchange, JWS was happy prior to the tuning.

Not everybody wants a bigger piano, you should not hype people to upgrade, this is not healthy. If you have the need to blow your money, please do, do not advise this to others on this forum.

JWS, contact your store and explain what happened, have another tuning done before any voicing. Voicing can be done in a later stage, I think your tuner over streched a bit in his tuning because you have new piano stings, these tend ot loosen up quickly after the tuning and need to be tuned more often in the first year.

Your store will happily adres this problem, I assume this was the free tuning done by the store?

The piano was fine before so don't worry, it all will be fixed easily.

Good luck and enjoy your GM10


Schimmel Konzert 189 Tradition
Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: Konzert Patrick] #1172432
04/01/09 05:24 AM
04/01/09 05:24 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,860
USA
B
Bob Offline
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Bob  Offline
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B

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,860
USA
Being brand new, you can expect a break in period for your piano. The strings are stretching, the hammer felt is breaking in, and you are adjusting to the instrument. Notes that are sticking out can be voiced, but choose a qualified tech to do that. It's not unusual for customers like you, with a good ear, to need more than the "normal" service.




Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: Bob] #1172470
04/01/09 08:00 AM
04/01/09 08:00 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 656
Radio.Octave Offline
500 Post Club Member
Radio.Octave  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 656
I had the same issues with a GM12 (metallic sounding and annoying ringing sound on a few notes). Unfortunately, after buying it, I learned that this is a common characteristic of small grands. Voicing did not help. Luckily, I was able to trade it in for a larger piano (lost some money though). If you can't move up to a grand, maybe consider a big upright. I actually preferred the sound of the Kawai K6 over that of the GM12. Just make sure you can live with an upright's action. Best of luck!


Kawai RX-6 BLAK
Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: Radio.Octave] #1172508
04/01/09 09:12 AM
04/01/09 09:12 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,348
Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Bear 1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Bear 1  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,348
Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Greetings JWS,

Call your dealer and ask him to send out his very best tech/tuner/voicer to re-do your piano. Explain why you aren't happy with the first tuner's work. Hopefully you have a good dealer that will be happy to try to satisfy his customer,

Best of luck,

Bear


Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)
Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: Bear 1] #1172523
04/01/09 09:53 AM
04/01/09 09:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 213
Busy Bee Offline
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Busy Bee  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 213
Here we go again???

What to do now? Upgrade, try to fix it only for it to come back, live with it and all the while stressing over the situation because you spent a ton of money only to realize you'll be spending more...

People need to be educated when purchasing pianos. Dealers LOVE, I MEAN LOVE ignorant uninformed buyers. They can sell them anything. Then when the customer has a problem, the dealer acts as if, they don't know what the customer is talking about, and the dealer makes sure the customer knows he's being put out by the customer's complaint. The customer becomes anxious, and is then at the mercy of the dealer and or tuner because NO ONE tells the customer that the piano they just purchased is going to have those types of problems probably for the rest of the the pianos life. Some problems can be lived with, some not. If you choose not, but want to continue playing the piano, then buy a different piano, BUT, remember it's a piano, a living organism that changes ALL the time.

Wouldn't it be so nice for the dealer to educate the customer about pianos so that we can know what to expect? No, not for the dealer cause he'll lose a few clients, but it would be better for the customer. JMHO

Last edited by Busy Bee; 04/01/09 12:10 PM.
Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: Busy Bee] #1172548
04/01/09 10:53 AM
04/01/09 10:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 656
Radio.Octave Offline
500 Post Club Member
Radio.Octave  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 656
Having a another tech come out might help a bit, but I doubt if they can make you satisfied. Back when I had the GM12, I went through the same thing. The dealer kept saying, "let me just send out one more tech. He/she is the best one around". After visits from 3 different techs, and A LOT of wasted time, the piano was traded in.

I'll admit, after some TLC from the techs, it did sound nicer, but still not what I expected for my money. In the end, it's going to sound only so good—it's a 5' piano. IMO, it was nicer to look at than to listen to. Maybe yours will turn out better, but if I could do it all over again, I would have never bought that particular model. crazy


Kawai RX-6 BLAK
Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: JWS] #1303425
11/11/09 05:39 PM
11/11/09 05:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 16
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
E
Ennis Offline
Junior Member
Ennis  Offline
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E

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 16
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
The Kawai GM-10K is a fine instrument, whatever anyone else says. (I think the hecklers imaginations are carrying them away.)

Not all piano techs are created equal however; especially when it comes to tuning.

I prefer one that tunes by ear for the best temperament. (My ex-theory teacher had a fit after the classroom piano was tuned by a new tech with a "box.")

Other than that I agree with the other comments on "breaking in." Keep the faith!

Mine (brand new) is wonderful ... but I also had a good tech for the initial tuning who caught a problem with the middle B string and fixed it straight away. No problems since. The piano is still in tune too! (Over six months later.) Amazing. I'd knock any other piano out of tune in days.)



Last edited by Ken Knapp; 11/11/09 10:52 PM. Reason: prohibited advertising
Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: Ennis] #1303838
11/12/09 07:45 AM
11/12/09 07:45 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 80
france
C
crispin Offline
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crispin  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 80
france
I had a piano where some notes started to sound unpleasant - rather tinny and thin... and this was caused by the unisons dropping out of tune - however an expert came and revoiced several notes - and this was a DISASTER ... voicing should be done as the last resort and by a real expert. In our case the voicing changed the 'touch' of certain notes on the piano - and it never regained this touch again. In your case - I suspect that the tuner has not tuned the unisons correctly... get another tuner to visit - do not let them revoice several notes - if it was sounding good before the tuning ... it should also sound good after the tuning.

Alternatively - maybe before the tuning - the unisons had dropped out of tune and you were used to this sound ... and now the tuner has done a good tuning you do not like the changed sound?

Either way I think you need a different tech to visit (not all techs/tuners are equal is an understatement)... but do not go down the voicing route just yet.. if several notes get 'over-voiced' it is very hard to go back.

Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: crispin] #1304133
11/12/09 04:27 PM
11/12/09 04:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,424
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Rickster  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,424
Georgia, USA
I see that this is an older thread, but still interesting.

As an amateur player and tuner/tech (on my own instruments) I have found that the temperament and stretch can cause a piano to sound brighter or mellower almost as much as voicing. It’s amazing how that works; just goes to show that there is a lot more to tuning a piano than meets the ear!

I have done some voicing on my own instruments (with good success), but I’d have to make sure someone was indeed an expert before I’d let them do any voicing on my pianos. Voicing is what separates the tuner from the tech.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Help please! - New Kawai GM-10K, tone issues [Re: Rickster] #1304225
11/12/09 06:51 PM
11/12/09 06:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 736
San Mateo, CA
Kurtmen Offline
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Kurtmen  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 736
San Mateo, CA
This is a great forum but ocassionally the missinformation and careless advice given to people creates problems for dealers, makes the brand look bad and piano owners feel helpless.

It is not easy to make a dignosis online but this is the most possible scenario:

Most of the time Kawai tune pianos sharp at the factory expecting that the pitch will drop after shipping.

Sometimes they stay sharp sometimes they don't. Or some registers or keys will drop and others stay sharp. It is very likely that this GM-10K did not drop evenly and perhaps just barely in some sections of the piano.

When the piano is flat it's very noticeable but when some notes are at the right pitch and the piano is sharp is hard to tell for the inexpirience player.

What happened now is that the technician or piano tuner performed a realtive tuning sharp instead of setting the pitch to standard; this will cause the tonal problems discribed on this GM-10.

The next thing that needs to be done is to make sure all dampers are working properly and look for small leaks.
It is not a bad idea sometimes to strap some felt to the string wire between the capo-bar and tuninig pins at the bass registers where in occassions that sector can pick up sympathetic resonance.

Voicing is not the solution; what is going to happen is what I call "tone dislocation" (made-up term) what I mean is a muffle attack with a decay with high partials.

Best Regards,

Last edited by Kurtmen; 11/12/09 07:27 PM.

San Mateo Piano
Kawai Piano Dealer San Francisco Bay Area
www.sanmateopiano.com

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