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#2069196 - 04/23/13 07:24 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
Originally Posted by beethoven986

FWIW, I'm using high-end head phones.

This may be a variable that I hadn't considered. If anyone is listening to this through standard computer speakers then it may not be possible to detect the differences and make a reliable statement.

I have some good headphones but I agree with what Ryan Sowers said after listening on his not so great computer speakers; about #2 in particular.

Originally Posted by rysowers
... The difference is obvious.
The first has a more open although somewhat "gong like" sound to my ear. It has more of what I think of as the Steinway "growl".

The second seems to have more fundamental but also sounds a little more closed off.



Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
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#2069238 - 04/23/13 09:00 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Keith,

I'm listening to this through small speakers on my monitor, but will listen later on small but OK-ish headphones and edit this post if needs be.

I can clearly hear
... the beating (longitudinal mode?) on the low bass of piano 1 - albeit not at all equally on all notes!
... the cleaner, beatless partial envelopes of most notes on piano 2.

That being said, I find the timbre of the low bass on piano 1 much nicer. It's clearer and brighter. That of piano 2 seems closed-up, somewhat muffled, perhaps a bit "wooden" (sorry, I'm not a pro with all the right vocab at my fingertips).

As far as I can hear, there are some notes on piano 1 that don't have a false beat. As examples, I submit A#0, D1, F1, G#1. These sound really good to me - in fact, much nicer than piano 2, because they have such a clear, bright and rich timbre. That's the tone I would wish for, not that of piano 2.

So, if it's about elimination of false beats (at the expense of clarity and brightness?), I prefer piano 2. If it's about timbre (paying the price of false beats?), I prefer piano 1. But can one not have the best of both worlds, i.e. bright, rich clarity without false beats?

(BTW, I think octave 1 on piano 2 is not entirely free of false beats either. I seem to hear one e.g. on G#1.)


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#2069272 - 04/23/13 10:13 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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#1 Definitely different
#2 Favor #2 but don't particularly like it. More below
#3. Huge difference

As Ryan said, #2 sounds sort of 'closed off'. My description would be, tonally limited. My conclusions without seeing the piano would be that at the least the core wire is about .051" instead of the normal.063" and that something akin to a German loop is used at the hitch. Likely a very soft, cold pressed new set of hammers.

You (purposely?) haven't given us much info on what has been done to the older #2 piano so we're all guessing at this point.

My guess is that adding a little bit of lacquer to the shoulders of those hammers on #2 would give a bit fuller harmonic range to the bass string response. This might help with that "closed off" sound and it still wouldn't have to sound like the trashy indistinct noisy clanging coming off the originally poor scaling choices of #1

Listening on really cheap speakers.


Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
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#2069303 - 04/23/13 11:00 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: Dale Fox]  
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I'm really appreciating the various responses. It's really educational to learn what people are listening to and listening for and how that can vary amongst a group that all (presumably) have trained ears.

Keep the comments coming, folk.


Keith Akins, RPT
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USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
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#2069966 - 04/24/13 11:39 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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The difference between 1 and 2 is like night and day. After listening with high-quality headphones, I would say that #1 is terrible. It's a bass note with no depth or roundness. It sounds like it had virtually no energy in at least the fundamental and 2nd harmonic, and perhaps not even the 3rd harmonic. I would also describe it as not having a distinct frequency--it was more like a buzz than a musical tone. I suppose it's the result of a hard hammer, a string with a heavy core with a single wrap, and a cantilevered bass bridge. Could it sound better with a different hammer skillfully voiced? Yes, I think so. #2 was considerably improved, but like others on this thread, I think there is something lacking in its tone. Its sound was described as closed, which is about as good a description as I can muster.

#2070055 - 04/24/13 03:10 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Ed A. Hall Online content
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Glad it's not only my piano because my Steinway M from the mid 50's sounds very similar.
https://www.box.com/s/bzk57n5rud7jcm06j42p


#2070113 - 04/24/13 04:31 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: Ed A. Hall]  
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Originally Posted by Ed A. Hall
Glad it's not only my piano because my Steinway M from the mid 50's sounds very similar.
https://www.box.com/s/bzk57n5rud7jcm06j42p


Yup. I thought it was pretty much general knowledge that this is the typical S&S "M" low bass sound.


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
#2070321 - 04/24/13 10:20 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Gee Keith, isn't that the wonderfully complex tone and completely unidentifiable pitch that only a scale with telephone pole thickness core wire and a virtually nonexistent back scale, coupled to a cantilever that ensures that no possibility of good tone should escape, comes from? Could be worse. Could be a model "S".

At least we have a consistent reference available from which to measure progress!


Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
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#2070327 - 04/24/13 10:26 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: Dale Fox]  
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Originally Posted by Dale Fox
Gee Keith, isn't that the wonderfully complex tone and completely unidentifiable pitch that only a scale with telephone pole thickness core wire and a virtually nonexistent back scale, coupled to a cantilever that ensures that no possibility of good tone should escape, comes from? Could be worse. Could be a model "S".

At least we have a consistent reference available from which to measure progress!


Hey Dale, you're getting ahead of me here.
smirk


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
#2070370 - 04/24/13 11:57 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Make no mistake, I'm a newbie here, but it sounds like Piano 1, especially in the earlier part of the recording is having the keys pounded more harshly. With piano 2, the keys are being pressed more gently. Loudness also depends on mic position.

I get a sweeter fundamental sound when I press the low bass keys (C1 = 32.7 Hz, for example) on my '33 M gently and optimally to get a good tone, and cranky harmonics when I pound the keys.

I'll have to listen on various speakers to conclude on which I like better. Interesting exercise.



phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Toccata (G minor) BWV 915
(and trying not to forget the other stuff I know)
#2070385 - 04/25/13 12:15 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: phacke]  
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Originally Posted by phacke
Make no mistake, I'm a newbie here, but it sounds like Piano 1, especially in the earlier part of the recording is having the keys pounded more harshly. With piano 2, the keys are being pressed more gently. Loudness also depends on mic position.


This issue has already been covered. As I said earlier, the amplitude of the waveforms are approximately equal and there was equal placement of the mics for each track pair. (Although not every track pair is mic'ed from the same location).


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
#2070389 - 04/25/13 12:21 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
Originally Posted by phacke
Make no mistake, I'm a newbie here, but it sounds like Piano 1, especially in the earlier part of the recording is having the keys pounded more harshly. With piano 2, the keys are being pressed more gently. Loudness also depends on mic position.


This issue has already been covered. As I said earlier, the amplitude of the waveforms are approximately equal and there was equal placement of the mics for each track pair. (Although not every track pair is mic'ed from the same location).


When do we get to the part where you tell us what you did? I wanna know! wink

#2070400 - 04/25/13 01:03 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Yes, I see now that you covered that, but my ears nevertheless tell me a softer hit for whatever reason on the string on piano 2 in the early part of the recording.


phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Toccata (G minor) BWV 915
(and trying not to forget the other stuff I know)
#2070412 - 04/25/13 02:03 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Dale Fox Offline
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
Originally Posted by Dale Fox
Gee Keith, isn't that the wonderfully complex tone and completely unidentifiable pitch that only a scale with telephone pole thickness core wire and a virtually nonexistent back scale, coupled to a cantilever that ensures that no possibility of good tone should escape, comes from? Could be worse. Could be a model "S".

At least we have a consistent reference available from which to measure progress!


Hey Dale, you're getting ahead of me here.
smirk


Yeah, sorry about the run on sentence...............


Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding
#2070537 - 04/25/13 09:08 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: phacke]  
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Originally Posted by phacke
Yes, I see now that you covered that, but my ears nevertheless tell me a softer hit for whatever reason on the string on piano 2 in the early part of the recording.


It may be the same phenomenon as when hearing something over the radio. Bandwidth is limited but we can tell when a voice or music piece is louder by the harmonic content. Same thing may be happening here where the first piano emphasizes higher harmonics (because the lower ones don't even exist as one poster noted).


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
#2070613 - 04/25/13 11:06 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Wonderful improvement!


David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan
#2071745 - 04/26/13 05:15 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Ok, folks. Keep those cards and letters coming! Er... that is ... your evaluations of the sound file.

We are getting good responses but I'd like a few more. On Monday, all will be revealed. Thanks for the responses so far.


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
#2071828 - 04/26/13 09:17 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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I can now sleep tonight knowing that all will be revealed in time. We await with baited breath, Keith.



Dale Fox
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#2071838 - 04/26/13 09:35 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
On Monday, all will be revealed.


Just don't tell us that piano #1 is "actually" a Whitney spinet. But, if it IS, then it sounds great! whome


Eric Gloo
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#2071877 - 04/26/13 11:11 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: Dale Fox]  
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Originally Posted by Dale Fox
I can now sleep tonight knowing that all will be revealed in time. We await with baited breath, Keith.


Yes. I understand curious minds want to know.
laugh


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
#2071880 - 04/26/13 11:13 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: Eric Gloo]  
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Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Originally Posted by kpembrook
On Monday, all will be revealed.


Just don't tell us that piano #1 is "actually" a Whitney spinet. But, if it IS, then it sounds great! whome


This is a great idea . . . I need to track down a Whitney and record it. I don't think I have one in my clientele base anymore.


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
#2071901 - 04/27/13 12:16 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Originally Posted by kpembrook
On Monday, all will be revealed.


Just don't tell us that piano #1 is "actually" a Whitney spinet. But, if it IS, then it sounds great! whome


This is a great idea . . . I need to track down a Whitney and record it. I don't think I have one in my clientele base anymore.


One of my churches has one. It's never tuned.... gonna get thrown out this summer! smile

#2071906 - 04/27/13 12:24 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Kpembrook,

Quick question. What hammer was used in the 2nd piano? I'm assuming the first was Steinway hammers.

#2071911 - 04/27/13 12:35 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: apianostudent]  
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Originally Posted by apianostudent
Kpembrook,

Quick question. What hammer was used in the 2nd piano? I'm assuming the first was Steinway hammers.


As I said . . . All will be revealed on Monday.


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
#2071984 - 04/27/13 07:12 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: beethoven986]  
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Dale Fox Offline
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Originally Posted by beethoven986
Originally Posted by kpembrook
Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Originally Posted by kpembrook
On Monday, all will be revealed.


Just don't tell us that piano #1 is "actually" a Whitney spinet. But, if it IS, then it sounds great! whome


This is a great idea . . . I need to track down a Whitney and record it. I don't think I have one in my clientele base anymore.


One of my churches has one. It's never tuned.... gonna get thrown out this summer! smile


What's the hold up?


Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding
#2072005 - 04/27/13 08:09 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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sound as the second piano have basses wound on softer wire may be also used on plain wire near the break.

probably due to my equipment but none of those 2 pianos seem voiced to me (nor tuned) the tone is compact and does not develop well.
May be just due to the tuning but I doubt of it.



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#2072025 - 04/27/13 08:52 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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I think the first piano would see an improvement immediately if you would close the screen door.


#2072082 - 04/27/13 11:04 AM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: beethoven986]  
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Quote
One of my churches has one. It's never tuned.... gonna get thrown out this summer!


But does it need tuning??
laugh


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
#2072164 - 04/27/13 01:37 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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phacke Offline

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Mr. Akins,

Again, I am a newbie here, but am paying close attention to this thread because the piano technician that last regulated my piano recommended that the next thing I do is to replace the original bass strings because of some oxidation and anticipation of better and stronger sound.

I had in fact previously asked the tech about some of this buzzing, he said it was characteristic of Steinway and Yamaha. So maybe this is part of the characteristic sound. I seem to hear some of that gritty buzzing sound in the bass notes pounded out here on what they say is a Yamaha CFIIIS, at 3:07, and it is an acceptable part of the character of the sound, I think.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhUn9BEN3Mk

From the posts so far, it is pretty clear that C1 on piano #1 has more buzz than #2, and I agree. My '33 M sounds somewhere in between your #1 and #2. I am satisfied with it.

I also consider the comments of Valentina Lisitsa for her choice of Bösendorfer Imperial (even though we all know she chose a Hamburg D for her most important recording). She said somewhere that she doesn't much use those 0 octave keys, it is the sympathetic resonance and soundboard real estate that those notes provide that she says she likes. So, I am wondering if the design of these lower notes have other requirements to meet other than integrity of fundamental tone when hammered. While a nice fundamental C1 is nice to have, I more value a stronger, deeper bass tones in the mid to upper part of octave 1 and octave 2.

I agree with some of the previous comments that the baritone of piano 2 seemed undeveloped in some places -- that result needs to be explained. I also agree with a previous post that it is best to record the same piano before and after making the intentional modification to limit the number of variables. (I am not taking anything away from the effort you have made so far, it is appreciated)

Most importantly, when you discus the modifications, please indicate any potential trade-offs. Yes, the C1 screen door effect in #2 is reduced which you sought to focus, and you have convincingly shown, but how is sustain and power affected in the lower octaves of the piano based on the intended modification, in theory and in the actual results? After all, people won't be acting based on optimizing the sound of C1 and such low notes alone.

Thank you.



Last edited by phacke; 04/27/13 11:15 PM.

phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Toccata (G minor) BWV 915
(and trying not to forget the other stuff I know)
#2072178 - 04/27/13 01:49 PM Re: S&S "M" low bass improvement: You decide. [Re: kpembrook]  
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Originally Posted by kpembrook
On Monday, all will be revealed.


Just don't tell us that piano #1 is "actually" a Whitney spinet. But, if it IS, then it sounds great! whome


This is a great idea . . . I need to track down a Whitney and record it. I don't think I have one in my clientele base anymore.


Better yet, track down a Whitney and make the bass sound better!


Semipro Tech
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