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#1863530 - 03/17/12 07:29 AM Question on voicing of K5/6  
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minimalistic Offline
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minimalistic  Offline
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Hi all,

I got a Kawai K-5 delivered home yesterday, so I can try it out and decide whether to buy it or not. The piano itself is a wonderful machine except for one thing - the bass sounds very 'tinny' and unsatisfying - it has this metal flavor to it that I really don't like..

As I managed to negotiate a voicing in case I go for it and buy it, I was wondering if this can be fixed or not.. I'm personally a bit skeptical about this though and don't really think that much can be done. frown

Has anyone around tried both K5 and K6? I'm wondering how you'd compare the tone of the bass of those two. Unfortunately I don't have the possibility to try this myself (not a single K6 on stock in the country), so your opinions are highly appreciated smile

Thanks,
Alex

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#1863534 - 03/17/12 07:36 AM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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minimalistic Offline
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minimalistic  Offline
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or may be this bass problem gets better with time..?

#1863540 - 03/17/12 07:55 AM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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The tone on every single piano will be different as will the touch. They are very individual instruments.

Nobody can tell you, what tone they like is the right tone. For example, how your piano currently sounds, another buyer may like it just as it is. Each person has their own preference and taste as for tone.

As to your question, yes, it can be voiced differently. But, can THAT piano be voiced to YOUR liking? Impossible to tell without being there to hear it. Quite possibly, it can but, you may be better off finding a piano that is closer to your liking prior to trying it out in your home or buying it.

The larger the piano, the longer the wires and generally speaking then, you not only get better tone quality, but you will also get better quality over all, as well.



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

We love to play BF2.
#1863545 - 03/17/12 08:05 AM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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minimalistic Offline
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i'm not sure what i described is really a tone-related problem.. the bass is missing. it's not that it's muddy or too bright - it's just missing, or that's at least how it feels smirk


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#1863547 - 03/17/12 08:12 AM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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Sneakers Offline
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The K6 has longer strings than the K5, so is likely to have a better tone in the bass. Personally, I found them both to be acceptable. But they aren't concert grands - depends what you're comparing against.

#1863609 - 03/17/12 11:02 AM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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Rickster Offline
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Georgia, USA
What Jerry said... thumb

Don't buy it if you don't like the tone of it now... have if voiced first, and then make a decision.

Just my uneducated, unprofessional opinion.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1863614 - 03/17/12 11:12 AM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: Sneakers]  
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minimalistic Offline
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Originally Posted by Sneakers
The K6 has longer strings than the K5, so is likely to have a better tone in the bass. Personally, I found them both to be acceptable. But they aren't concert grands - depends what you're comparing against.


I definitely don't compare against a concert grand. Rather against a couple of baby grands I was considering (Kawai GE-20 and an old Hornung & Moeller) but gave up on due to space limitations..

Could it be that because of the acoustics of my room the bass is so buzzy? It's mostly empty walls, wooden floor without carpets and the piano itself is in a corner (the only available spot in my apartment). I tried damping it around with a blanket, but didn't seem to help smirk

#1863632 - 03/17/12 12:02 PM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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Rickster Offline
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Originally Posted by minimalistic
Could it be that because of the acoustics of my room the bass is so buzzy? It's mostly empty walls, wooden floor without carpets and the piano itself is in a corner (the only available spot in my apartment). I tried damping it around with a blanket, but didn't seem to help smirk

Was the piano tuned after it was delivered? If not, that might account for some of the buzzy, twangy bass tone as you describe.

The acoustics of the room may play some role as well, but not as much as the tuning (IMHO).

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1863652 - 03/17/12 12:45 PM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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minimalistic Offline
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Nope, no tuning.. If I buy it, they'll tune it in 6 months

#1863657 - 03/17/12 01:00 PM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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Rickster Offline
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Quote
Nope, no tuning.. If I buy it, they'll tune it in 6 months

I'd start with a good, fine tuning... you might be surprised how the twangy, buzzy bass overtones disappear.

As the pros say, a good voicing starts with a good tuning...

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1863680 - 03/17/12 01:39 PM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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terminaldegree Offline
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Agreed with Rick - If I waited 6 months to have the first tuning done on a new piano, I'd probably never play it past day 14 or so and have second thoughts about the purchase...

A good tuning goes a long way to better understanding what is really right and wrong about the piano from a voicing and regulation standpoint.


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#1863682 - 03/17/12 01:40 PM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
Now it's buzzy? Take all of the stuff off from the piano. See if that buzz goes away. Including a lamp if one is on it. Check the hinges. See if moving them makes that buzz go away.


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

We love to play BF2.
#1863728 - 03/17/12 03:05 PM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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Robert 45 Offline
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Robert 45  Offline
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Auckland New Zealand
Was the piano tuned before delivery? New pianos can take a year or two for the tuning to stabilise and moving a piano into a different environment can make the tuning worse.

An out of tune piano will sound "twangy" not just in the bass, but throughout the entire range of the instrument. I believe that the "metallic" sound which is described, is mainly because the piano is out of tune. Once I found a strange "buzzing" sound in the bass of a new Kawai grand was caused by a document which had fallen out of its envelope and was touching some bass strings.

Having to wait 6 months for the first in home tuning is unreasonable. I would insist on having the piano tuned immediately or return it to the dealer.

Good luck,
Robert.

Last edited by Robert 45; 03/17/12 03:16 PM.
#1863740 - 03/17/12 03:36 PM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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crispin Offline
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france
I bought a new piano... and the tuning was very unstable... so I complained to the maker - Bechstein - and eventually they sent an expert from a large dealer to look at it. He said that the tuning was fine ... and said it needed a little voicing. What a disaster this ended up ... after this voicing: the touch was completely uneven and it still did not stay in tune. Do not think that a bit of voicing is the answer to all your problems - it is not! Get it tuned by a professional independent tuner as soon as possible. If you still do not like the tone - send it back

p.s. Bechstein offered to replace the piano... and my problems have been solved

#1863758 - 03/17/12 04:19 PM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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minimalistic Offline
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Thanks for the support guys!

Yup the piano is brand new and according to the dealer it was tuned before being delivered.

I'll try to get a quote on a voicing + tuning, have it done and then make a decision.

I really like the sound the instrument produces. It has an amazing touch and if I manage to get the bass not so metallic + some more brightness in second octave (the sound there is a bit 'muddy' or 'blurred'), I'll be as happy as a pig in mud smile

Keep your fingers crossed smile

#1863935 - 03/17/12 11:36 PM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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DougMorgan Offline
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Kelowna BC, Canada
Have you tried moving the piano to a different location in the room? Also is the back of the piano too close to the wall? Bass response is very sensitive to the room acoustics.

Our new piano had a bit of a buzz in a few bass notes that cleared up with the first tuning.

Also though I am very far from an expert, I wonder how much of a difference voicing is going to make -- isn't it basically a light sanding of the hammer felt? From pestering our tuner with questions I got the idea it was used more to give a very subtle change to the tone quality.

Good luck!
Doug

#1863942 - 03/18/12 12:09 AM Re: Question on voicing of K5/6 [Re: minimalistic]  
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Rickster Offline
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Other things, besides tuning, can cause strange and annoying overtones… strings that are not level, hammer to string alignment, termination points, etc… sometimes a little poke to the hammer face with a voicing needle will clean up a buzz or a twang or a sizzle or a false beat.

But once you have that baby sounding good, it’s like heaven on earth when the Angels start to sing! smile

Rick

Last edited by Rickster; 03/18/12 12:10 AM.

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