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#2224923 - 02/03/14 12:29 AM Can you fix a piano that sounds "wooly"?  
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
kgreer Offline
Junior Member
kgreer  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
Hi all,
Joined the Forum so I could ask a quick question...we have several older pianos at church (studio upright styles) that, although they've been tuned, still have that terrible wooly sound, almost like you're hearing them through cotton wool or underwater. Is this something that is fixable or does it basically mean the piano has been ruined? If it is fixable, is it something that can be done at a reasonable cost?
Thanks!!

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#2224941 - 02/03/14 01:44 AM Re: Can you fix a piano that sounds "wooly"? [Re: kgreer]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,060
BDB Offline
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BDB  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,060
Oakland
You cannot do it, so you need to talk to your technician about it. There are methods, but not every technician knows every method, so you might need to talk to several.


Semipro Tech
#2225033 - 02/03/14 09:09 AM Re: Can you fix a piano that sounds "wooly"? [Re: kgreer]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Minnesota Marty  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Hi kgreer - Welcome to Piano World!

First of all, there is a big difference between a tuner and a piano technician. Not all tuners are skilled with 'helping' the tone/sound of a piano. But there are so many different things that can be done to restore the sound of a piano. But, there's the problem.

It is impossible to make any recommendations about 'what' or 'how' to fix the piano without actually inspecting it. Do some research to find a piano technician in your area who has a good reputation for 'voicing' a piano. With an inspection, the tech will be able to assess what could be done to improve the piano.

The cure could be relatively inexpensive (couple hundred), or detailed work might be needed (thousands). Without the inspection, there is just no way to guess.

Since there are several pianos, and it is for a church, a tuner/tech might be able to work up an attractive financial package to do all of the work.

Good Luck!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2225038 - 02/03/14 09:13 AM Re: Can you fix a piano that sounds "wooly"? [Re: kgreer]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,586
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,586
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Great response Marty.

I will add that there are many causes for a "wooly" sound and someone who plays at only mezzopiano might think of a piano as sounding "wooly" only because they never actually ask the piano to give what is there. We don't have enough information to make any judgement.

So, Marty's recommendation of having a professional piano tech. examine your instruments is a valid one. If you need help in choosing one give us your location. We will know someone... or know someone who knows someone. smile


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
http://www.cunninghampiano.com/how-its-made/
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#2225046 - 02/03/14 09:29 AM Re: Can you fix a piano that sounds "wooly"? [Re: kgreer]  
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
kgreer Offline
Junior Member
kgreer  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
Thanks all! We are in Leavenworth, Kansas. The pianos sound the same no matter how you play them...fairly in tune, but awful anyway. smile It's the kind of thing where you have to play really hard to get any kind of volume out of them as well, if that helps. They're both on the older side, I would imagine, and were donated to the church.

#2225050 - 02/03/14 09:34 AM Re: Can you fix a piano that sounds "wooly"? [Re: kgreer]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,586
Rich Galassini Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rich Galassini  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,586
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Leavenworth?? That is right outside Kansas City where the National office of the Piano Technicians Guild is located.

Call them or search the site www.ptg.org and they can direct you to great piano techs. In fact, it is possible that the person you speak with might just come out and help personally. smile


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
http://www.cunninghampiano.com/how-its-made/
#2225092 - 02/03/14 10:34 AM Re: Can you fix a piano that sounds "wooly"? [Re: kgreer]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,042
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,042
Conway, AR USA
All very good advice.

You may have already tried this. Many churches (and schools) find - with upright pianos - that facing the soundboard toward the listeners/class/choir, instead of the wall, helps tremendously. Best wishes.


Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2225143 - 02/03/14 11:56 AM Re: Can you fix a piano that sounds "wooly"? [Re: kgreer]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 409
Goof Offline
Full Member
Goof  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 409
UK
Has anybody ever looked at the hammers?
They could be worn to their limit?


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