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#2054477 - 03/26/13 10:04 AM Adding weight to a base bridge  
Joined: May 2012
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Goof Offline
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Goof  Offline
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Can somebody supply advice on how to add a weight to the base bridge of an upright piano? I have read, "here and there " in the forum, that this ia way to improve the "tone" of the first few strings on this bridge.
I have renewed the problematic 1956 strings, 6 bichords, and this has made a big difference.

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#2054488 - 03/26/13 10:39 AM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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I assume by the "top" of the bass bridge you mean the highest pitched strings on the overstrung section. They often sound thin, nasal, can have a pulsing chime sound and/or twangy sound. Adding weight here would probably not help since the bass bridge is significantly heavier than the treble.

Adding weight is usually done to the bottom of the long bridge to help reduce the jumpiness of the end of the bridge. Techs call this the end of bridge effect. I have had some success with this.

If the top bass problem is a pulsing chiming sound it is probably due to the bridge rocking back and forth too much. This augments longitudinal modes. Devising the simplest, cleanest, most workman like way to stiffen the top end of the bridge against rocking motion is what I do.

The wound string specs can influence this as well. It is seldom a single thing acting here. Many small scales sound small because the bi-chord stringing has to be carried far too high in the scale-this reduces the normal trichord unison sound that we have come to expect from the piano.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
#2054504 - 03/26/13 11:03 AM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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GOOF; would you please edit the title of your post to correct the spelling of "BASE" bridge. It just kind of bugs me. I make typos too-but let's fix the title.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
#2054532 - 03/26/13 12:05 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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Gene Nelson Offline
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If you are curious about weighting the bridge you should experiment.
About 50g to 200g is typical.
Finding the best location will take a bit of trial and error.
You can try a spring clamp or similar device on the bridge just to get a start with weight location and listening - weigh the clamp.
Once you have found the best location and optimal weight you will need to attach a permanent weight to the bridge from the back side in the same location.
Possibly there is a soundboard button that can be removed and your weight can be attached in place of it? This would be ideal.
You will find that upright support posts are great obsticles.


RPT
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#2054563 - 03/26/13 01:50 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]  
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Goof Offline
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Bass vs Base.
Fascinating: one lives and learns.
I always thought that BASS was reserved for fish; a certain of wood; and some sort of sewing.
Strange that the obvious BASE as in the the "lowest" is not used for the lowest bridge.
So there you go Ed and thank you. I have yet to find how the usage in music of the BASS comes about- I'll return to Wiki and see what it has to offer.

#2054564 - 03/26/13 01:53 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Gene Nelson]  
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Thanks - will do and report back !

#2054579 - 03/26/13 02:28 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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jim ialeggio Offline
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I think you'll find adding weight to the high bass will muffle and deaden things more...but always worth a try, just to see what happens. I agree with Ed, that these weight additions work better at the end of the long bridge.

Ed, I have several short piano bass bridges that are darn near perpendicular to the strings. Do you by chance have any pics of how you achieved your "stabilizing"? I though about doing it on a recent belly job, but was afraind my structural solution would add too much mass to the bass bridge, which really wnats to be as light as practicable...at least in my experience.

Jim Ialeggio


Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA
#2054584 - 03/26/13 02:55 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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Supply Offline
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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
The problem with things like bass vs base is that once they are allowed to stand, other readers begin to think that is the correct terminology and spelling.
Supermarket signs drive me crazy: "Banana's $0.49 per lb"

#2054589 - 03/26/13 03:06 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Supply]  
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Zeno Wood Offline
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That's not bad at all. Banana's are selling for more than that around hear.


Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College
#2054663 - 03/26/13 05:07 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Zeno Wood]  
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Del Offline
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Originally Posted by Zeno Wood
That's not bad at all. Banana's are selling for more than that around hear.

Of course banana's are more expensive -- apostrophe's are expensive!

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
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(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
#2054678 - 03/26/13 05:25 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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Del Offline
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Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted by Goof
Can somebody supply advice on how to add a weight to the base bridge of an upright piano? I have read, "here and there" in the forum, that this ia way to improve the "tone" of the first few strings on this bridge.

Sometimes adding weight to the bottom of a bass bridge will “improve the tone.” Other times you’ll not notice much of any change or improvement at all. What effect it will have on your particular piano depends on many variables. And on what you are trying to accomplish.

Adding mass to a bridge will increase its mechanical impedance. Adding mass makes it less willing to accept vibrating energy from the strings; particularly high-frequency energy or the energy in the higher partials. If this is what you are trying to accomplish—though I rarely find pianos in which this would be an improvement—that adding weight is the way to go.

More often at the upper end of the bass bridge we’re more concerned with controlling the rate of energy transfer at the fundamental pitch and lower partials. For this it is more effective to add a bit of stiffness to the system. This also alters the mechanical impedance of the system but its affect is more noticeable at lower frequencies. You might consider a short, auxiliary rib placed immediately under the end of the bridge body—or as close to the end as you can reasonably get. Some experimentation may be necessary to come up with the best balance between height, width and length.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
#2054725 - 03/26/13 06:29 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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Grandpianoman Offline
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I have read and tried 'loading the bridge' by using small vice grips...the smallest they make. You attach one to the bridge pin. Make sure you do not touch the string, otherwise you have buzzing. It does change the sound, depending on where you place the vice grip/s.

#2054781 - 03/26/13 07:55 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: jim ialeggio]  
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Jim, I make quarter-sawn spruce plywood with nearly 1/16" plies. Ala Wurlitzer spinet low tenor bridge, if you know what I mean.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
#2054802 - 03/26/13 08:40 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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Grandpianoman Offline
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I might add that you can also use these vice grips in the other sections of the bridge. I have tried that, it does change the souund.

#2054954 - 03/27/13 05:08 AM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Gene Nelson]  
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Goof Offline
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YES!! There is a button at the start of the BASS (as in fish and not as in base ball,) bridge, so some big washers there will be the place to start.
Then I'll buy some 30X30X3mm ALUMINIUM angle and fix that to the back of the bridge so that I can experiment with various weights and positions without moving screws in and out of the bridge.
Many thanks.

#2055325 - 03/27/13 08:35 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Del]  
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kpembrook Offline
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Michigan
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by Zeno Wood
That's not bad at all. Banana's are selling for more than that around hear.

Of course banana's are more expensive -- apostrophe's are expensive!

ddf


And then, in one customer's yard by a pile of scrap wood was the sign:
Would 4 Sail


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
#2055350 - 03/27/13 09:31 PM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Grandpianoman]  
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kpembrook Offline
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Michigan
Originally Posted by Grandpianoman
I have read and tried 'loading the bridge' by using small vice grips...the smallest they make. You attach one to the bridge pin. Make sure you do not touch the string, otherwise you have buzzing. It does change the sound, depending on where you place the vice grip/s.


Yup, that's how I do it.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
#2058197 - 04/02/13 08:47 AM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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Goof Offline
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UK
Originally Posted by Goof
Can somebody supply advice on how to add a weight to the base bridge of an upright piano? I have read, "here and there " in the forum, that this ia way to improve the "tone" of the first few strings on this bridge.
I have renewed the problematic 1956 strings, 6 bichords, and this has made a big difference.

2nd April.
Well! Now on my BASS bridge I have added two sets of 32X2mm dia washers. There are three screws which secure the bridge to the soundboard and I have added about 90gm to the lowest screw, and 120gm to the middle screw.
Adding to the highest screw (i.e. near my problematic D3 to A2 bichords)made NO difference.
Overall I would say there is a purer tone to all the notes more especially the lower.
Those notes on the long bridge have always had a great deal more power.
I'm still trying to post photographs - difficult process!

#2058504 - 04/03/13 01:09 AM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
I am thankful that writers have not resorted to the ever popular " text speak" language. Too many abbreviations and W's So reading Base as Bass while a writing faux paw isn't too bad.


J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
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East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
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#2058574 - 04/03/13 07:39 AM Re: Adding weight to a base bridge [Re: Goof]  
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MacMacMac Offline
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We've fixed bass ... and now we've broken faux pas.


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