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Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127527
05/15/08 01:10 AM
05/15/08 01:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28
San Francisco, CA
viv2 Offline OP
Full Member
viv2  Offline OP
Full Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28
San Francisco, CA
Hello,

I'm wondering if this is a by-design feature or something is wrong with my piano (20-year old 5'10" Schimmel).

When the pedal is suppressed, if I hit a key, it will cause other strings to vibrate as well. With the sustain pedal on, I've tried to manually damping the string of that key while I'm hitting it , it makes noise on the other strings (not just nearby strings). This is really annoying! Is it because my hammer is misaligned? I'm hoping this is something a technician could fix with reasonable cost.

Thanks!

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Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127528
05/15/08 11:49 AM
05/15/08 11:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 314
Iowa
PianoPro Offline
Full Member
PianoPro  Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 314
Iowa
You need to call the tech. my best guess is that if it indeed is the other strings, proper string tension (i.e. tuning) will take care of it.

Most likely you have damper wires vibrating against the strings. This can also be handled by a competent tuner, but most likely will be an aditional cost.


Dennis C.
Piano Store Operator,
Former District Manager,
20 Year Industry Experience

"Tell the truth, honor God, and make money!"
Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127529
05/15/08 12:17 PM
05/15/08 12:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,858
Massachusetts
R
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Roy123  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,858
Massachusetts
Other strings will always vibrate sympathetically when the sustain pedal is down. I don't know, from your description, whether that's what you're hearing, if you there is something else going on.

Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127530
05/15/08 12:39 PM
05/15/08 12:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,044
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,044
Georgia, USA
Hi vi2vi3,

If I understand your post correctly, I really don’t see where there is a problem with your piano pre-se; the sustain pedal lifts all the dampers form the strings at the same time; if you strike any note or combination of notes with the sustain pedal depressed, you are going to get various vibrations for the other strings to some degree. This seems normal to me.

Also, when a hammer is out of alignment it does not strike all the strings on that particular note. If your hammer alignment is so far off that it strikes a neighboring string (which I doubt is the case), it not just out of alignment, it is out of orbit laugh .

On the other hand, if you are getting odd or unusual dissonant tones or noises like rattles, buzzes, twangs or others, when the sustain pedal is depressed, there might be a problem.

Only a trained and experienced piano technician can tell you for sure if you have a problem with your piano or not.

Best regards,

Rickster


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
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Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127531
05/15/08 01:36 PM
05/15/08 01:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,285
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,285
Lexington, Kentucky
vi2vi3, Cy Shuster wrote an absolutely wonderful explanation of the sympathetic vibrations you get on the piano when the sustain pedal is down. You need to go down about half a page of this thread to find it:

Thread on how a piano works

If this is the kind of thing you're talking about with your piano, it's perfectly normal (and desirable, as that's what makes the tone of the piano so rich and full). But if you're talking about harsh twangy noises, it's something else going on and you want to bring a tech in.


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127532
05/15/08 04:28 PM
05/15/08 04:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 314
Iowa
PianoPro Offline
Full Member
PianoPro  Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 314
Iowa
Quote
Originally posted by Rickster:
Hi vi2vi3,

the sustain pedal lifts all the dampers form the strings at the same time; if you strike any note or combination of notes with the sustain pedal depressed, you are going to get various vibrations for the other strings to some degree. This seems normal to me.

This is called sympathetic harmonics or sympathetic vibrations. They are virtually undetectable for most professional people and not at all for the novice. The sound described as "annoying" could hardly be that. confused

Call a tech. My money is on damper wires!
:p
Good luck! thumb


Dennis C.
Piano Store Operator,
Former District Manager,
20 Year Industry Experience

"Tell the truth, honor God, and make money!"
Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127533
05/15/08 05:27 PM
05/15/08 05:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28
San Francisco, CA
viv2 Offline OP
Full Member
viv2  Offline OP
Full Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28
San Francisco, CA
Hi all,

Thanks for all the response.

I don't believe what I'm hearing is sympathetic vibration - which I thought is overtones of the same key, except octave or two higher.

In fact, holding the suppressed pedal (all dampers off the string except the key I'm going to hit) and hitting the highest A (or watever key), I could hear string vibration on the lower bass strings. It always has the same vibration noise no mater what upper key notes I pressed. I don't know the mechanics of the piano much, but it's hard for me to imagine this is a pedal problem since the pedal isn't moving the entire time during this test. What could cause other strings to vibrate if it's not hit? I'll go back and figure out tonight if the vibration "noise" is coming only from certain strings.

Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127534
05/15/08 08:06 PM
05/15/08 08:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Minnesota
Marty in Minnesota Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Marty in Minnesota  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Minnesota
vi2vi3,

With the sustain pedal down, all the strings will sound in resonance, to a greater or lesser degree. If you have the pedal down, and only have damped one key, the "thunk" will still be enough to set the other strings in vibration.

Here is an example you can try. Put the pedal down and strike a loud chord. The the whole piano will resonate. Listen to the sound.

Next, strike the same chord and then put the pedal down. There will be much less resonance throughout the piano.

It is the initial attack of the note, or notes, which will have the greatest effect on the other strings.

I am wondering about something. You mentioned that the piano is 20 years old, but you didn't mention if you had it for all that time.

If you are hearing sounds that do not sound like a piano, ie. buzzes or jarring metalic sounds, then you need a tech to fix it. If that is not the case, then it seems that the sustain pedal is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.


Marty in Minnesota
Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127535
05/15/08 08:27 PM
05/15/08 08:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28
San Francisco, CA
viv2 Offline OP
Full Member
viv2  Offline OP
Full Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28
San Francisco, CA
Marty,

Thanks for the response.

It does indeed seems to me that the hammer was strong that it could sets off other strings to resonate! Yes, in fact, if I press the key slower, the "noise" is not there. It's there if only i hit it mid to strong. Is there any way to make this resonance of other strings less? I don't think other piano does this that much (at least I don't remembering noticing this on a new piano). Then of course, I'm not to be trusted since I have been playing this piano for 6 months and only now that I noticed when I tried to roll a loud chord that I can't reach. Sigh!

To answer your question - I've recently bought this piano. I did spoke with the technician who serviced the piano before buying it and he said there isn't any problem with the piano in general.

Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127536
05/15/08 09:00 PM
05/15/08 09:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Minnesota
Marty in Minnesota Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Marty in Minnesota  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Minnesota
vi2vi3,

I thought you might be a beginner. At this point, I would not recommend "tinkering" with the piano.

Learning to properly use the sustain pedal is almost as difficult as learning to play the notes. It is an art in itself.

If you don't already have a teacher, I would strongly recommend one. They will set you on the right course and your learning would be faster. There are many who have lots of experience with teaching adults. They will also teach you when, and how, to use your right foot!

Keep us informed.


Marty in Minnesota
Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127537
05/15/08 09:08 PM
05/15/08 09:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28
San Francisco, CA
viv2 Offline OP
Full Member
viv2  Offline OP
Full Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28
San Francisco, CA
Marty,

Yup. I played for 10 years, stopped for a long time and has recently returned. Yes, "tinkering" is worthless. One might as well not play.

Then again, I really cannot believe this noise is on any other piano but mine! It's not on my piano teachers' (2 of them) piano. Basically, when rolling that big chord (say 3-note chord) on a Beethoven piece, first, I hold 2 notes down, pressed and hold the sustain pedal, hit the 3rd note that I can't reach. As I hit the 3rd note, this annoying buzzing noise appears. Argh! I couldn't but stop practicing at this point. Thankfully, it's also the end of the movement.

Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127538
05/15/08 09:32 PM
05/15/08 09:32 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Minnesota
Marty in Minnesota Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Marty in Minnesota  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Minnesota
Sorry - when I said "tinkering", I meant it to be in reference to making mechanical adjustments to the piano. Not that you were just tinkering around with your playing.

Please accept my apologies.

Have you tried the exact same thing on your teacher's piano? You also might ask your teacher if he/she would be kind enought to listen to yours.


Marty in Minnesota
Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127539
05/15/08 09:40 PM
05/15/08 09:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28
San Francisco, CA
viv2 Offline OP
Full Member
viv2  Offline OP
Full Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28
San Francisco, CA
Marty,

Ah yes, sorry, I misunderstood! No, for the piano, I rely on professionals. I was just putting my hopes up that this is something that can be fixed instead of by design. :-p

Until a technician is here, I'll have to keep hoping.

Re: Strings Vibration Noise when sustain pedal is on #127540
05/15/08 09:57 PM
05/15/08 09:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Minnesota
Marty in Minnesota Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Marty in Minnesota  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Minnesota
There is no way to tell. Unless we were able to
hear play your piano, we cannot tell exactly what you are hearing.

Did you notice this when you played the piano for the first time?

When your tech arrives, please make sure that you actually demonstrate, at the keyboard, and explain what you are hearing. Don't just let him check it over. Take an active roll. The more information you can give the tech, the better off the results will be.


Marty in Minnesota

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