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#2046673 - 03/11/13 08:49 PM For those with string covers  
Joined: Aug 2008
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Radio.Octave Offline
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Radio.Octave  Offline
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Did you notice a big change in the piano's sound?

I just got a very nice cover, and after playing a bit tonight, there is a noticeable change. I think the best way to describe it is, it sounds like it does right after I've had it voiced down.

Aside from keeping the piano clean, I was hoping it would make it sound a little mellower (it's a big piano in a small room) so I guess I got what I wanted. I think maybe my ears just need some time to adjust to the new-ish sound.


Kawai RX-6 BLAK
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#2046707 - 03/11/13 10:09 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
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Guapo Gabacho Offline
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Guapo Gabacho  Offline
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Rio Grande Valley of Texas
I use a home-made $6 felt cover from the WalMart fabric department. It does not sag and touch the strings as those that sell the high priced covers that say it will. I am quite happy and have no sound degradation whatsoever.

#2046710 - 03/11/13 10:18 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
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Bosendorff Offline
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Bosendorff  Offline
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I bought acoustic foam similar to what's inside certain padded covers/sound reduction kits. Those products help make a piano less loud but they also make the tone darker since they mainly absorb mid and high frequencies.

When I need my piano a little less loud I actually prefer filling the spaces between the beams under the piano with acoustic foam. This way high frequencies stay stronger under the lid - even though the piano loses some resonance even with the foam not touching the soundboard. I think this is due to the fact that it prevents the piano to "breathe" from under.

So in short, string cover or foam is good to quiet a piano a bit when needed, but the instrument ends up darker and/or with less resonance.

#2046732 - 03/11/13 10:55 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
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Radio.Octave Offline
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Radio.Octave  Offline
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Thanks. I wouldn't say there's any degradation in sound, but I'd agree it's a bit darker. The cover does seem to reduce the high frequency overtones a little, which is a good thing IMO...sometimes I find them annoying. I was just curious what others have experienced when using a string cover. I've seen posts where people say there is not a difference. However, from the short time that I played tonight, I think it's definitely noticeable.


Kawai RX-6 BLAK
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#2046735 - 03/11/13 10:59 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
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Mark VC Offline
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Mark VC  Offline
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Same experience here. I'm using some red felt attached to the stanchions, if that's the word, with little velcro strips. I think it does voice it down slightly, but with my Yamaha that's a plus.

#2046813 - 03/12/13 04:02 AM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
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backto_study_piano Offline
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Queensland, Australia
I've just some "material" - more a flannel or tracksuit material - and a couple of light bamboo cross-braces to keep it off the strings. Occasionally, it drops on the string, but it's a matter of minor adjustment - one day I'll trim it up properly and put in a perimeter frame.

Yes, it makes a slight difference to the sound - but only minimal. Hopefully, it'll keep it clean inside. If I have visitors who want to listen to or play the piano, I just whip it out while they're here. The material with 2 distinct sides ensures I put it back the right way. When the technician came last time, I put it through a rinse before returning it.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-15)).
#2047164 - 03/12/13 06:12 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
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Radio.Octave Offline
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Well I played some more today, and I'm sort of regretting getting this cover. I don't know how some people say there no difference in sound, but I think it has a negative impact. I normally play on full stick, so maybe I'm used to hearing all the partials and nuances, but the cover really seems to suck some of the color and life out of the sound (especially the treble). It sounds dull and I think there's less sustain. frown


Kawai RX-6 BLAK
#2047251 - 03/12/13 09:16 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
Joined: May 2001
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Eric Gloo Offline
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Eric Gloo  Offline
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Richfield Springs, New York
Can't you remove the cover when you play the piano?


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York
#2047342 - 03/12/13 11:08 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
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Bosendorff Offline
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Bosendorff  Offline
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Originally Posted by Radio.Octave
Well I played some more today, and I'm sort of regretting getting this cover. I don't know how some people say there no difference in sound, but I think it has a negative impact. I normally play on full stick, so maybe I'm used to hearing all the partials and nuances, but the cover really seems to suck some of the color and life out of the sound (especially the treble). It sounds dull and I think there's less sustain. frown


Again, all those products (made just of cloth/wool or filled with acoustic foam) create an obstruction to sound. Your cover could also be touching the piano strings, which will reduce the sustain even more.

I disliked the way my acoustic foam reduced the sustain as well, so I'm not using it anymore for now. But my piano has a dark sound, so the overtones are never excessive.

#2047549 - 03/13/13 09:32 AM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Bosendorff]  
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Radio.Octave Offline
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Radio.Octave  Offline
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Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Can't you remove the cover when you play the piano?


Yep, that's what I did. It just sucks because the nice thing about the string covers is that they're designed to be left in place while playing. If I'm going to go through the hassle of putting it on and off all the time, I might as well just close the lid.

Originally Posted by Bosendorff
Originally Posted by Radio.Octave
Well I played some more today, and I'm sort of regretting getting this cover. I don't know how some people say there no difference in sound, but I think it has a negative impact. I normally play on full stick, so maybe I'm used to hearing all the partials and nuances, but the cover really seems to suck some of the color and life out of the sound (especially the treble). It sounds dull and I think there's less sustain. frown


Again, all those products (made just of cloth/wool or filled with acoustic foam) create an obstruction to sound. Your cover could also be touching the piano strings, which will reduce the sustain even more.

I disliked the way my acoustic foam reduced the sustain as well, so I'm not using it anymore for now. But my piano has a dark sound, so the overtones are never excessive.


There's not foam in mine, just thick wool. I guess I'm probably being too picky, but it seems to "neuter" the piano's sound a bit.

Oh well...I guess I now have a fancy wool blanket for when I get cold smile

Last edited by Radio.Octave; 03/13/13 09:32 AM.

Kawai RX-6 BLAK
#2047581 - 03/13/13 10:46 AM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
Joined: Oct 2011
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shaolin95 Offline
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shaolin95  Offline
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After reading this, I will stick to my plan of using my electric blower to clean dust and a vaccum to suck it I guess. It is a small unit I use for computer cleaning so it is great for the piano as well. I am picky about anything changing sound..heck, I dont even put grills on my speakers laugh


*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)
#2047598 - 03/13/13 11:21 AM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
Joined: Sep 2011
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Thrill Science Offline
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Thrill Science  Offline
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California
I have a string cover on a 7'4" piano (a Bösendorfer 225) in a small-ish living room. It's made of wool felt.

It definitely changes the sound, but not in a bad way. The piano sounds more mellow (and it's a "mellow" sounding piano to start with.)

It's hard to describe in words, but subjectively, it makes it about 10% quieter, and takes the "edge" off of it, probably by muting the high end (and overtones) more than the low end.

It makes it easier for me to practice for hours at a time without my ears getting tired.

I rarely practice with the top up--to keep the cats out of the piano.

Last edited by Thrill Science; 03/13/13 11:23 AM.

Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.
#2047629 - 03/13/13 12:19 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Thrill Science]  
Joined: Oct 2012
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Mark VC Offline
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Mark VC  Offline
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It's not just dust, by the way, in fact the 'blanket' was very strongly urged on me as soon as the dealer (and also the tuner) found out where I lived, namely about a block from the Pacific Ocean. If you're anywhere maritime, the salt air is going to rust your strings out in a couple months, so I'm told. Maybe an exaggeration, but I got myself some wool felt right away.

#2047681 - 03/13/13 01:44 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 477
shaolin95 Offline
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shaolin95  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 477
That makes sense. If I were in Puerto Rico I would do it too, but not here in super dry Utah smile


*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)
#2047692 - 03/13/13 02:14 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
Joined: Aug 2008
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Radio.Octave Offline
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Radio.Octave  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 565
Shaolin, I would not bother with the cover if you are very picky about sound. Your best bet is to just close the lid when you're not playing. It'll keep the inside clean, and it's free cool


Kawai RX-6 BLAK
#2047697 - 03/13/13 02:23 PM Re: For those with string covers [Re: Radio.Octave]  
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shaolin95 Offline
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shaolin95  Offline
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Posts: 477
Yep, I decided to do that. I do not mind dusting ..I actually enjoy using that little gadget to clean everything I can now laugh And saving money helps..specially after just getting the piano and the side purchases that I am doing for it too lol


*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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