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Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
#2109795 06/28/13 04:45 PM
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Hi. Does anybody have experience with having an acoustic piano in a studio apartment? The place I'm looking at would have one neighbor above, and one on a side of me. The ceilings are high - I feel like I could jam some foam between the rafters to dampen the sound... maybe.

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Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2109809 06/28/13 05:00 PM
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First, find out what the local ordinances are on noise, hours, decibel levels, etc.


PianoPerfection
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Westchester County, NY
Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2109811 06/28/13 05:03 PM
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Hi Adam,

The first thing to do is to check with the management about their regulations concerning pianos. Unless the complex is brand new, they probably have some experience.

People put pianos in apartments all the time. NYC would cease to exist if that were not the case. It all boils down to being considerate of your neighbors, and the type of construction used in the building.

Give us more information, and we can give more specific advice.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2109818 06/28/13 05:12 PM
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Agreed with both posts above, and would suggest talking to your neighbors now to see what their schedules are like (are your typical practice hours during times the're home?) and to try and spread a little good will about your plans.

For occasional late-night or more repetitive playing, a good upright piano practice mute comes in handy, as well as a quick text message to the neighbors ("sorry, I've got a concert in 3 days- let me know if this is too loud"), etc. In 7 years of acoustic piano ownership while renting an apartment, I've never had a complaint.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2109852 06/28/13 06:25 PM
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Are you on the ground floor? That seems to make the difference. I have a baby grand in my ground floor condo. When I asked the neighbor upstairs if he heard the piano he said, "What piano?"

People walking by outside can hear it, though.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2109876 06/28/13 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Malone
Hi. Does anybody have experience with having an acoustic piano in a studio apartment?

Oh yes.
Since last year, I own a Yamaha C2 SG, and I live in a flat in a house with 7 floors, and I live right in the middle. The piano can be heard in the whole house.

There are regulations about quiet time. From 12-15 o'clock and from 22-7 o'clock. And there are some court rulings about how much piano the neighbors have to endure. I believe it's 90 minutes per day in Germany; if you earn money with your piano (e.g. if you are a piano teacher), then it can be more.

But with only two neighbors, and you not playing during the nighttime (unless your piano has a silent system), there shouldn't be too many problems.

Last edited by patH; 07/02/13 06:45 PM.

My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2110065 06/29/13 05:29 AM
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What's going on at 12pm to 3pm? Naptime? And if I started playing piano at 7am I'm sure someone would angrily bang on my door, lol.

I tend to do repetitive work on my digital piano and play my acoustic when I have something that's passably good. Most of the time I keep the lid completely closed which reduces the volume a lot. I haven't heard any complaints yet...


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
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Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2110066 06/29/13 05:38 AM
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I was miserable until I got a house. Now the only time they hear me is if they are right outside the window. I don't think the sound carries to across the street.

If I had an apartment I'd get either a keyboard or a piano with the silent feature.

Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2110145 06/29/13 11:24 AM
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You can buy either the silent, or some advanced hybrod like AvantGrand. It's kinda artificial, but solves the sound problem.

However I would go into silent system - for example Bechstein is offering them to each piano.

Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2110333 06/29/13 08:33 PM
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You could also check with your neighbors beforehand... see if they'd even mind hearing wonderful, live piano music. smile

Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2110376 06/29/13 10:50 PM
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Allen, also check the language in your lease, specifically any clauses that refer to "quiet enjoyment".

I ran into a problem with a downstairs neighbor in California 12 years ago who didn't want me to play at all, ever. The lease had a "quiet enjoyment" clause in it, and management initially sided with the neighbor. I then pointed out to them that I had made a complete disclosure to the agent of my piano activities before signing the lease, which included about 20 students a week. I started threatening to counter sue them for misrepresentation, breach and nonperformance, since verbal agreements are binding in CA. They backed off a bit, but it was awful for about 2 years after that until the neighbor finally moved.

If you're on the ground floor, it should be much less of a problem if the building was built properly.

Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2110418 06/30/13 01:02 AM
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Management had no problem with me getting an acoustic piano. I still haven't met my neighbors yet (recently moved) but luckily no complaints yet smile

I think it's a lot more annoying for neighbors if you're a teacher. I wouldn't be too happy with it even if I play piano myself. I only play a few hours a day at most and I try to keep it quiet when I'm learning something new.

However I've noticed I do have some issues playing really loud, mostly in keeping my fingers close to the keys before hitting them. My teacher points this out to me all the time. I'll just have to practice that on my digital -- I don't want to bug my neighbors too much. The apartment complex I'm in is relatively old and I can hear my upstairs neighbors talking, so they can probably hear my playing pretty clearly.


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price
Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Adam Malone #2110447 06/30/13 04:42 AM
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I have an acoustic in a duplex and was worried about all of these issues since we share a wall. Surprisingly, everything has been fine! My neighbor even compliments me on my playing and tells me how much he enjoys hearing it when we occasionally run into each other. I play an hour or two each day and never after 10 pm.


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Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Allan W. #2111745 07/02/13 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Allan W.

However I've noticed I do have some issues playing really loud, mostly in keeping my fingers close to the keys before hitting them. My teacher points this out to me all the time. I'll just have to practice that on my digital -- I don't want to bug my neighbors too much. The apartment complex I'm in is relatively old and I can hear my upstairs neighbors talking, so they can probably hear my playing pretty clearly.


Going back and forth from your digital may be the problem with playing loud on your acoustic. I had the same issue from when I first got my acoustic because I was used to playing my DP and not realistic volumes. What really helped me keep fingers close and play softly was practicing at night on my acoustic and worrying about disturbing my family. Kinda makes you extra careful to play softly.




Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
Allan W. #2111767 07/02/13 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Allan W.
What's going on at 12pm to 3pm? Naptime?
Yes, naptime. And I found out because a neighbor complained about it; I thought it was from 13-15 o'clock.


My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Re: Grand Piano in Studio Apartment
laguna_greg #2112143 07/03/13 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Allen, also check the language in your lease, specifically any clauses that refer to "quiet enjoyment".


From Black's Law Dictionary:
Quote
The term quiet here does not mean that there is no noise. Here it means that there is no outside interference with an activity. An activity is enjoyed without the interference of another or superior party.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach

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