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why does my piano sound so bad #1450626
06/05/10 04:44 AM
06/05/10 04:44 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
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bye2u Offline OP
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bye2u  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2010
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OK. So my dad bought me a piano 4 years ago and it's brand is August Forster. It sounds terrible and the keys feel bad to press. I think we bought it for a thousand dollars. The piano is 50 years old I believe.
It is built with less keys than normal pianos and some of the keys used to not work when it was winter/cold. It doesn't happen anymore because we bought this thing you stick inside the piano.
I've played on other pianos and none of them feel as bad to press and sound as bad as this one. Even electric keyboards sound better.
The piano has 2 pedals, one of which does not work and the other just makes the sound clump together to produce ear bleeding music.
I think we got someone to tune the piano but it sounds the same. I think he was cheating us.
I have convinced my parents to buy me a new piano but is there a reason why this piano is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bad?? I'm at a point where I want to quit piano because of this junk I've been working with.
Is the piano just bad because it is old? I've done some research and many people say August Forster is good?
EDIT: It is an upright piano.

Last edited by bye2u; 06/05/10 04:47 AM.
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Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: bye2u] #1450627
06/05/10 04:46 AM
06/05/10 04:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
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bye2u Offline OP
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bye2u  Offline OP
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It might be worthy to note that the higher notes sound like sticks hitting cans of tin and the lower notes sound like my brother's snoring.

Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: bye2u] #1450631
06/05/10 05:14 AM
06/05/10 05:14 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,409
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Dave Horne  Offline
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Vught, The Netherlands
I've read that generous use of olive oil has been known to help with the infamous tin can sound. The county of origin for the olive oil is not so important as the precise application of said oil. Perhaps a piano technician could comment here. cool


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Dave Horne] #1450651
06/05/10 06:28 AM
06/05/10 06:28 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,044
♪oron♪o, on♪ario, canada...
pno Offline
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pno  Offline
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♪oron♪o, on♪ario, canada...
Other than using olive oil, you also need a good technician to massage your piano.


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YAMAHA C2M PE
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Dave Horne] #1450698
06/05/10 08:24 AM
06/05/10 08:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Albuquerque, NM
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
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Cy Shuster, RPT  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
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Albuquerque, NM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
I've read that generous use of olive oil has been known to help with the infamous tin can sound. The county of origin for the olive oil is not so important as the precise application of said oil. Perhaps a piano technician could comment here. cool


That might work if you put it in your ears. :-)

Steam is more generally used, along with reshaping the hammers and voicing with needles.

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Cy Shuster, RPT] #1450712
06/05/10 09:09 AM
06/05/10 09:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,313
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,313
Lexington, Kentucky
Welcome to the forum, bye2u. August Forster is indeed a respected piano brand. However, ANY piano is going to sound bad after 50 years if it has not received regular and sufficient maintenance, and I'm guessing that's what has happened with your piano. The tech you had to come out to tune it probably did tune it, but if your strings need replacing (which most strings do after 40 or so years), and ditto with your hammers, the tone may still be bad.

What you should probably do is have a piano technician (who does action regulation work, not just tuning) come out and inspect your piano and work up an estimate for what would be needed to get it back in good condition. Your family can at that point decide whether they want to invest the money into restoring your piano vs. buying a new one. Given that it's an upright, my hunch is that you would be better off buying a new piano.

Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Monica K.] #1450726
06/05/10 09:30 AM
06/05/10 09:30 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
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bye2u Offline OP
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bye2u  Offline OP
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Thanks for the responses guys but I think I'm just going to buy a new one. It's not just the sound problem, it's the touch of the keys. It makes it hard for me to play soft and loud dynamics.

Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Monica K.] #1450728
06/05/10 09:32 AM
06/05/10 09:32 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,409
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Dave Horne  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
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I responded the way I did because I doubted the sincerity of the original post. DH


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Dave Horne] #1450816
06/05/10 12:25 PM
06/05/10 12:25 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Quote
OK. So my dad bought me a piano 4 years ago and it's brand is August Forster. It sounds terrible and the keys feel bad to press. I think we bought it for a thousand dollars. The piano is 50 years old I believe.
How can it be a brand new piano and 50 years old at the same time?

Quote

It is built with less keys than normal pianos and some of the keys used to not work when it was winter/cold. It doesn't happen anymore because we bought this thing you stick inside the piano.
Huh? What thing? I know the correct answer but wonder if you can tell us?

Quote
I've played on other pianos and none of them feel as bad to press and sound as bad as this one. Even electric keyboards sound better.

The piano has 2 pedals, one of which does not work and the other just makes the sound clump together to produce ear bleeding music.


Sounds like a very sadly neglected piano.

Quote
I think we got someone to tune the piano but it sounds the same. I think he was cheating us.
You think (?) we got someone to tune the piano? You don't know?

Quote
I have convinced my parents to buy me a new piano but is there a reason why this piano is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bad?? I'm at a point where I want to quit piano because of this junk I've been working with.
Is the piano just bad because it is old? I've done some research and many people say August Forster is good?
EDIT: It is an upright piano.


I also question the sincerity of the post. To many questions in my mind after reading it. But, I could be wrong.

Any sadly neglected piano will sound and play like crap eventually. There is a huge difference of quality from tuner to tuner/technician.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1450830
06/05/10 12:59 PM
06/05/10 12:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 746
S
SeilerFan Offline
500 Post Club Member
SeilerFan  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 746
Foersters of that vintage (East German made) are not exactly up to the standards of the recent production.

Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: SeilerFan] #1450863
06/05/10 01:47 PM
06/05/10 01:47 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,022
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Carey  Offline
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Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,022
Phoenix, Arizona
Jery -

Bye2u never said it was a NEW piano - only that it is 50 years old and its BRAND is August Forster.

Lets give the kid a break. The piano probably is in pretty bad shape.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Carey] #1450869
06/05/10 02:05 PM
06/05/10 02:05 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Brandon_W_T  Offline
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Omaha, Nebraska
The pedal you speak of is the sustain, and on any piano, if you push it down and play will make everything blend together. You have to know how to use it right for it to work. Sounds like you need to get to know how a piano works better.

There is no such thing as a tuner "cheating you". He probably did the best he could. Tune it, not regulate the parts inside. The piano probably needs a full restoration which will cost many many thousands of dollars in work. It probably needs a new pin block, strings and hammers.


______
Home -
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Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Brandon_W_T] #1450878
06/05/10 02:16 PM
06/05/10 02:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,900
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
You should not blame the tuner when there may not have been one.


Semipro Tech
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: BDB] #1450913
06/05/10 03:11 PM
06/05/10 03:11 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Quote
Bye2u never said it was a NEW piano - only that it is 50 years old and its BRAND is August Forster.


My mistake for misreading what they wrote. Sorry and thanks for that correction.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1450982
06/05/10 06:05 PM
06/05/10 06:05 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,022
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Carey  Offline
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Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,022
Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
Quote
Bye2u never said it was a NEW piano - only that it is 50 years old and its BRAND is August Forster.


My mistake for misreading what they wrote. Sorry and thanks for that correction.


Jerry, I interpreted the statement the same way myself when I read it the first time !!! grin


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: SeilerFan] #1451039
06/05/10 08:27 PM
06/05/10 08:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 689
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asd123321 Offline
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The hammers can be voiced so they are more mellow. If it is a junker just squeeze them with vise grip pliers to soften them up.

Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1451562
06/06/10 07:12 PM
06/06/10 07:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
crogersrx Offline
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crogersrx  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 714
San Francisco, CA
Jerry, I think the OP is not a native english speaker (though he/she does a pretty great job nonetheless). The OP didn't say it was brand new, but said that the "brand" is Agust Forster, and that it is probably about 50 years old.

Original Poster: My guess is that the piano is an older upright, has been neglected most of it's last few decades, and now requires either a lot of rebuilding (very expensive), or somebody to administer last rites, then take it to a landfill for disposal. As Monica pointed out, since it is an upright, there is probably no econimic justification for investing lots of money in a rebuild. You can get a really decent used Yamaha or Kawai for about $4000 USD, althogh I'm guessing you're in Europe somewhere, so the prices will vary.

August Forster pianos have good reputations, but those of 50+ years ago that have not been well taken care of probably will not live up to the August Forster reputation. Uprights are seldom worth rebuilding. If you are serious about playing, have your parents start looking for a decent new or gently used piano.


Cary Rogers, PharmD
San Francisco, CA
1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: crogersrx] #1452815
06/08/10 04:02 PM
06/08/10 04:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,072
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wouter79 Offline
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If you post some sound samples and place some photos of the internals people here might help you further


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Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: bye2u] #1453140
06/09/10 03:24 AM
06/09/10 03:24 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Mark R. Offline
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Mark R.  Offline
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Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted by bye2u
OK. So my dad bought me a piano 4 years ago


Originally Posted by bye2u
I have convinced my parents to buy me a new piano


You seem to have very caring, generous and possibly rich parents. Or perhaps you're quite a demanding child, I don't know.

But seeing that you're getting a new one in any case, why bother asking about the old piece of junk, as you call it?

Being a parent myself, this thread sounds all kinds of warning bells, but that's just my opinion.


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
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1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
Re: why does my piano sound so bad [Re: wouter79] #1453150
06/09/10 04:10 AM
06/09/10 04:10 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,409
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Dave Horne  Offline
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Originally Posted by wouter79
If you post some sound samples and place some photos of the internals people here might help you further


+1


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
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