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#1398071 - 03/17/10 06:21 PM Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2  
Joined: Aug 2008
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pppat Offline
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pppat  Offline
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Jakobstad, Finland
Hi all,

I just got the piano from my parent's house delivered to my home. They swapped it for a short Yamaha upright, and I couldn't be happier...

except for one thing. It has a nasty crack in the soundboard, close to the left end (bass end). It has been there for 15 years or so, and in my opinion it doesn't really affect the overall sound (if I compare this piano to the G2:s at my place of work).

But the low bass buzzes (the last octave or so), the lower frequencies are causing troubles. The crack is about 1 ft 4 inches long, perpendicular to the ribs (spanning three of them).

The outer part of the soundboard (the smaller part) is raising higher by 1/8 of an inch or so, and thus it is slightly separated from the ribs just at the crack.

Here is a picture of it:

[Linked Image]


Any suggestions on what could (or should) be done are most welcome.


Patrick Wingren, RPT
Wingren Pianistik
https://facebook.com/wingrenpianistik
Concert Tuner at Schauman Hall, Jakobstad, Finland
Musician, arranger, composer

- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.
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#1398091 - 03/17/10 06:51 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: pppat]  
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BDB Offline
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First of all, do not assume that is what is causing the buzzing in the bass.

However, if it is, you can glue it back together, using a screw in the rib to hold it down. If necessary, you can wedge open the crack from below and glue a shim or two in between the ribs.


Semipro Tech
#1398098 - 03/17/10 07:04 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: BDB]  
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Jakobstad, Finland
Thanks, BDB!

I haven't found the source of the buzz yet, so you might have a good point there. I've tried to push the ribs upward, but because the smaller part is raised that would of course not help much. I need to investigate it once more.

I have, however, removed the action and tightened screws, checked dampers etc. If it's not the crack that causes the buzzing, what would you first think of?

I could try to make a sound sample of me hitting the bass keys, if that would make the buzzing characteristics clearer!


Patrick Wingren, RPT
Wingren Pianistik
https://facebook.com/wingrenpianistik
Concert Tuner at Schauman Hall, Jakobstad, Finland
Musician, arranger, composer

- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.
#1398120 - 03/17/10 07:34 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: pppat]  
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Tracking down buzzes is difficult. It could be the strings, the hammers, something on the soundboard, something in the room, etc.

If I could not find a mechanical problem, i.e., something else buzzing, I would start by tuning, regulating and voicing. If that changes it, chances are it that is the problem. Then I would try pressure on the area of the crack to see if that changes it.

My method of searching for problems like this is to look for the problems with the simplest solutions first, followed by those that can be alleviated by work that ought to be done anyway, and only then considering those that are difficult and expensive to repair.


Semipro Tech
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#1398792 - 03/18/10 04:23 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: BDB]  
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Jakobstad, Finland
Thanks for your help, BDB,

the room is out, because it was there at my parents' house, too, before the move here.

I was so into the soundboard crack as being the root of the problem, that I didn't really listen carefully enough myself. When I tried them today, there is a clear metallic buzz. Might it be the wounded strings themself?

It's only there from mf and louder.

Here is a recording of that dreadful sound:

bass buzz | Yamaha G2

Not that the G2 has any deep bass in itself, but I could certainly do without the extra effect smile



Patrick Wingren, RPT
Wingren Pianistik
https://facebook.com/wingrenpianistik
Concert Tuner at Schauman Hall, Jakobstad, Finland
Musician, arranger, composer

- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.
#1398885 - 03/18/10 06:47 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: pppat]  
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It is very possible that what you are hearing is just in the bass strings, brought out by the hammers having hardened. Try sanding the hammers a bit. If that helps, it is probably voicing.


Semipro Tech
#1398888 - 03/18/10 06:53 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: BDB]  
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Jakobstad, Finland
Ok, I will try just that! Thank you again, you've been of much help (just as many times before). I'm very grateful for your concern.


Patrick Wingren, RPT
Wingren Pianistik
https://facebook.com/wingrenpianistik
Concert Tuner at Schauman Hall, Jakobstad, Finland
Musician, arranger, composer

- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.
#1398915 - 03/18/10 07:26 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: pppat]  
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Are the strings buzzing against the damper wire?


Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College
#1398921 - 03/18/10 07:36 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: Zeno Wood]  
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Southeastern Ky
You might try twisting each string 1/2 turn also. Or untwisting if they are already twisted. The attack of the hammer didn't seem like a soundboard buzz. More of a string issue or the hammers need voiced.


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Yamaha CP300
#1399509 - 03/19/10 06:43 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: Zeno Wood]  
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Jakobstad, Finland
Originally Posted by Zeno Wood
Are the strings buzzing against the damper wire?


Zeno,

thanks for the suggestion - I actually rushed to the piano in hope of finding that problem (would have been an easy fix), but no, the strings stay clear of the dampers.

I'll try to sand the hammers, and see what happens. And if that doesn't help, I'll twist the strings. Thank you all for your help!


Patrick Wingren, RPT
Wingren Pianistik
https://facebook.com/wingrenpianistik
Concert Tuner at Schauman Hall, Jakobstad, Finland
Musician, arranger, composer

- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.
#1399513 - 03/19/10 06:46 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: pppat]  
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Jakobstad, Finland
PS what would vinegar do to the hammers? I found some red spots over the lower end hammers that I strongly suspect has something to do with a glass of red wine, 'misplaced'... wink


Patrick Wingren, RPT
Wingren Pianistik
https://facebook.com/wingrenpianistik
Concert Tuner at Schauman Hall, Jakobstad, Finland
Musician, arranger, composer

- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.
#1399544 - 03/19/10 07:06 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: pppat]  
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Zeno Wood Offline
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Oh well. I later listened to the clip on a computer with real speakers and realized that what I heard was my laptop rattling.

Sounds like twisting the bass strings might be the way to go. I think someone else already suggested that.


Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College
#1399575 - 03/19/10 08:06 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: Zeno Wood]  
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Terry Benge Offline
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Terry Benge  Offline
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Southeastern Ky
If those red spots are of a dried liquid, you can feel to see if they are crusty or firm. That could be the source. I have experienced that before as well as broken needles from prior voicing.


PTG Associate
Steinway Studio
Yamaha CP300
#1402229 - 03/23/10 05:08 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: Terry Benge]  
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pppat Offline
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Jakobstad, Finland
Thank you all,

I twisted the single chord wound strings, and that seems to make a huge difference. While I'm at it, I'll continue through the bi-chords too!


Patrick Wingren, RPT
Wingren Pianistik
https://facebook.com/wingrenpianistik
Concert Tuner at Schauman Hall, Jakobstad, Finland
Musician, arranger, composer

- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.
#1403208 - 03/25/10 12:25 AM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: pppat]  
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i dont know much about soundboards but will a crack that size have any real affect the sound or playability of the instrument??

#1403209 - 03/25/10 12:26 AM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: hardlrrp]  
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Probably not.


Semipro Tech
#1403597 - 03/25/10 02:10 PM Re: Cracked soundboard in a Yamaha G2 [Re: BDB]  
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Jakobstad, Finland
BDB, I agree, i can't hear any difference compared to a bunch of other G2:s that I tune.

There are quite a lot of cracked soundboards in grands here where I live, due to the extremely cold and dry winters.

This winter was the worst one that I can remember - humidity below 20% in many buildings. A tuner friend of mine who tunes three grands at a congregation center tried for years to get a dampp-chaser installed on the 3rd, older grand (the other two had DC:s already). They didn't think it was worth the investment, and this winter the soundboard cracked in three different places within a week.


Patrick Wingren, RPT
Wingren Pianistik
https://facebook.com/wingrenpianistik
Concert Tuner at Schauman Hall, Jakobstad, Finland
Musician, arranger, composer

- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.

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