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My old piano has a twang/buzz even after tuned #623474
02/10/09 01:21 PM
02/10/09 01:21 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 4
Ottawa, Canada
C
canadianjazz Offline OP
Junior Member
canadianjazz  Offline OP
Junior Member
C

Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 4
Ottawa, Canada
My upright piano is around 100 years old and has a twang/buzz even after tuned by a competent technician. It only happens in some of the notes where there is more than one wire, for example, the C one octave below the middle C.

This twang/buzz I mention, sound like the piano is out of tune. I called the tunner about a month after he had tuned it and showed him the problem. He re-tuned it. It sounded the same after. I thought the tuner was not competent enough. Six months later I called another tuner. This time a more expensive one, the same guy that tunes my friend's grand piano. It sounds the same. The twag/buzz is still there.

I know my piano is old, I know it will never sound like a brand new Steinway and I'm planning to replace it by a Yamaha U1 or Kawai K3 in a few years. Is there something inexpensive I can do myself to make this twang/buzz stop, just while I get the money to buy a new one? I just don't wanna sink a lot of money on it, knowing we will replace it soon. I just want it to sound not-too-bad in the meantime.

Thanks!

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Re: My old piano has a twang/buzz even after tuned #623475
02/10/09 03:17 PM
02/10/09 03:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Silverwood Pianos  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
I have some older Heintzman & Co. uprights that do this sometimes after shaping the hammer set. Usually this can be remedied by voicing the hammer set and doing what is called crown stitching or cross stitching.

The poor tones can be taken out during the tuning process. Really the hammer set should be shaped first and then the peaks taken out. What I mean by the peaks are the un-even tones produced. If, after shaping and voicing the twang/buzz is still there, the tuner might want to check the bridge pins of that particular piece of wire. Most likely this problem is the hammer set. It is the time of year when a lot of buzzing and twanging shows up………………

I would think long and hard before switching to a Yamaha/Kawai product. If you are used to the older Canadian uprights, the tonal qualities of the mass-produced instruments might not be to your liking.

Interesting to read that you decided to change horses and still ended up with the same result. It is a good example of how technical people often shoulder the responsibility of the instruments failure to produce good tones.

Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: My old piano has a twang/buzz even after tuned #623476
02/10/09 04:07 PM
02/10/09 04:07 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 4
Ottawa, Canada
C
canadianjazz Offline OP
Junior Member
canadianjazz  Offline OP
Junior Member
C

Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 4
Ottawa, Canada
Thanks for your tips. Do you believe bulk of the the voicing and shaping could be accomplished by me, only by following instructions? Are there books or literature that will teach what to do?

I wish I could call my tuner and have him fix it but if spend any more money on this, the wife will throw the piano and I on the street :-)

The piano I have is an old Willys from Montreal, made in 1911. It was given to me for free. One lady was going to throw it away. Someone painted it with white paint from Home Depot and a $1.00 brush. After lots of web search, I found a site (www.stevespianoservices.com) that has instructions on piano restauration. Following those I fixed the action, replaced the entire set of white keys, did minor voicing on the hammers and refinished the entire cabinet using tung oil. I buffed some 300 screws by hand. It took me two years, altogether. Then, the tuner came and adjusted the action. The results of my work received compliments from both tuners that came to my house.

I agree the Yamahas and Kawais (even the ones made in Japan) do not sound as nice as mine but the quote I got to fix my piano is just a little lower than buying a new one. So, if there is a better option, I'd love to hear it.

Re: My old piano has a twang/buzz even after tuned #623477
02/10/09 07:33 PM
02/10/09 07:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Silverwood Pianos  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
“Thanks for your tips. Do you believe bulk of the voicing and shaping could be accomplished by me, only by following instructions? Are there books or literature that will teach what to do?”
------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------
Voicing and shaping is not something I would encourage anyone to try without instruction.

I am sure this is touched upon in the readily available books about pianos, I would do a search on the internet for instructional piano repair books, and the Arthur Reblitz release is one that comes immediately to mind.

As far as instructional literature specific to voicing, I know of something that is coming, but I have been asked to not reveal what it is until such time as the project is ready for release. You will have to stay tuned on that one; the announcement will be shortly, in the next few months.

As far as other choices go, remember that the old uprights were built with higher quality materials then the contemporary mass- produced instruments of today. If the older tall uprights were built today, they would out-price the Yamaha/Kawai market by a long shot.

I have no idea what repairs you were quoted for, so I could not make a comment on that part. You will have to decide whether you would like to repair the piano that you have, with a tone that you like, as compared to another purchase of an instrument you might not like.

Well you never know, maybe you and the piano would do well on the street……….

Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
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Re: My old piano has a twang/buzz even after tuned [Re: canadianjazz] #1858829
03/09/12 06:57 AM
03/09/12 06:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1
Sydney, Australia
J
Jacques Offline
Junior Member
Jacques  Offline
Junior Member
J

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1
Sydney, Australia
I have just joined Piano World and noticed your post about the twang - 3 years ago!

I have a Richard Lipp and Sohn burr walnut upright which was made in Stuttgart in 1901 and bought by my grandmother in 1914. It also had a twang in some notes so I recently had it tuned and 'voiced' which involved softening of the hammers with needles. The tuner also adjusted some of the dampers and tweaked some of the strings and it now sounds wonderful and very powerful! He believes it probably now sounds close to what it was meant to - a classic Lipp tone.

I have also thought of buying a Yamaha but the tuner recommended against it as he believes my old Lipp is a much finer instrument and sure, it will never be a Steinway and old pianos do not improve, but it gives me a lot of pleasure and power and has strong sentimental attachments.

I hope you have kept your old Canadian piano and enjoy it for what it is - considering all the work you have put into it and the obvious pleasure it gives you.


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