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#1991896 - 11/28/12 10:42 AM New piano damper whoosh. Warranty?
Mark VC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 110
As some may remember I got a new Yamaha C6 a few weeks ago from Keyboard Concepts in Tustin CA. It has damper whoosh, and one of our premier techs here in LA, namely Ed Whitten, has indicated that it is a rather pronounced whoosh. I asked whether it could be covered under warranty, and here's the response I got from my salesman:

I sent a copy of your email to the owner of Keyboard Concepts and to Dave Durben at Yamaha. Dennis Hagerty (owner) responded that all grands whoosh on the Tri-chords which they do, but Ed mentioned to me that your's were louder than typical and I passed that on as well.
Dave's initial reaction @ Yamaha was, that even though they know that there are things that can be done to improve aspects of their product, they come to a point where how much is enough: some people custom voice their piano, some custom regulate their piano to make it heavier or lighter, and these things are not covered under warranty. The 'whoosh' can be made better by a technician of Ed's caliber, but Dave can't justify covering something like this under warranty. He is going to review this with his superior's and make recommendations which may take a few days.


It sounds like Yamaha might decline to do this several hundred dollar repair on a piano that lists for 50,000. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is it unreasonable of me to expect the work to be done under warranty?

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#1991908 - 11/28/12 11:18 AM Re: New piano damper whoosh. Warranty? [Re: Mark VC]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 22158
Loc: New York City
I claim no expertise here but it seems like a grey area. You called it a "repair" but someone else might call it a customization not covered under warranty as it's not a "defect". One person's pronounced whoosh might go unnoticed by someone else. If the repair is only $200 or less it does seem a shame if the dealer won't cover the cost. Maybe ask them to split it?

Can you hear the whoosh when playing or only when testing the dampers without playing any notes?

Edited by pianoloverus (11/28/12 11:33 AM)

#1991913 - 11/28/12 11:34 AM Re: New piano damper whoosh. Warranty? [Re: Mark VC]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
This is a very interesting question. How does one judge the extent of whooshness? Is it just something that will "settle in" as the piano is played and the damper felts shape and compact to mate the strings? That would be similar to the "playing in" of new hammers.

At the least, your concern has been noted and the problem has not been discounted or dismissed. It may take some further evaluation to come to a satisfactory resolution.
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

#1991925 - 11/28/12 11:58 AM Re: New piano damper whoosh. Warranty? [Re: pianoloverus]
PianoWorksATL Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 3323
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Can you hear the whoosh when playing or only when testing the dampers without playing any notes?
We've had customers with this question - it about getting used to a better piano, either by improving technique or by understanding that a piano is a machine with some mechanical noise.

Dave is right. The degree of lifting damper noise not about manufacturing defect (warranty) or normal preparation (dealer). To be othewise would require dampers not seated properly (twisting) or lifting unevenly (timing). The "whoosh" did not change from the dealer's floor to your home. The acoustics did and likely the variety of play you've put in it since allowed you to hear it for the first time.

Yamaha dampers are excellent, but in the realm of personal preference, quite a number of people feel their dampers are too efficient without a soft enough edge to the damped sound. They come down hard and fast, and that tight fit may contribute to the "whoosh" that you hear. To adjust it otherwise does fall into the realm of custom prep. Spending $200 may lessen it by a degree, but the sound never goes away.

I mean no offense to you Mark VC, but I'm sure in the cutthroat SCal market, that $50k list price was mere fiction compared to what you actually paid. You absolutely spent good money but I don't cater to $50k worth of indignation (it's a common debate tactic) after speaking with highly credible people like Dave and Dennis. They advised you fairly.
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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#1991954 - 11/28/12 01:12 PM Re: New piano damper whoosh. Warranty? [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Mark VC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 110
It's loud enough that, in a quiet piece with a lot of pedal work, it's about as loud as the softest notes. So it's pretty distracting, and I didn't really notice it in the store as the store had different acoustic conditions.

#1991992 - 11/28/12 02:55 PM Re: New piano damper whoosh. Warranty? [Re: Mark VC]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I can't really speak to warranty, but it does appear that the instrument is functioning as designed and built as it stands. Perhaps this PW publicity can help you with your efforts and Yamaha will oblige.

Do you mean Ed Whitting? He is certainly a very experienced tech and can help you with your problem and for further customizing your piano. I think it would be worth it to get the work done as it apparently is quite bothersome to you.

Best of luck and enjoy your piano.
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

#1992002 - 11/28/12 03:12 PM Re: New piano damper whoosh. Warranty? [Re: Supply]
Mark VC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 110
Yes, I did mean to say Ed Whitting, not Whitten. I agree, he's a good guy, and most folks in the piano biz seem to know of him. He's got great stories, too!

He was the one that suggested to me that this particular case of whoosh was more than usual, and that I should get with the dealer about having it done under warranty. Since this was the opinion of such an experienced and well-respected guy, I did so. And Yamaha may well elect to do the right thing, they're still thinking about it - may just need a higher-up to give the OK. One day, I might want to upgrade to the C7X, and the call they make here would certainly influence that decision.


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