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#2304025 - 07/19/14 01:45 PM Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making  
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gynnis Offline
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In 1927 Albert B. Vant published a short book on "Piano Scale Making". As an example piano he illustrates the design process with a 5' grand piano. He states that

" A 5 foot Grand of which we will make a scale has been made and pronounced good, so the figures given for dimensions are reliable"

Does anyone know if this piano was ever produced and by what company?


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#2304110 - 07/19/14 04:57 PM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: gynnis]  
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Del can probably answer this better than most of the rest of us. But if my memory serves-Vant either designed or inspired the Brambach. Pretty bad piano in my experience. Gives the Yamaha GH1 a bit of "competition".


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Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
#2304196 - 07/19/14 08:39 PM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: gynnis]  
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Del Offline
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Originally Posted by gynnis
In 1927 Albert B. Vant published a short book on "Piano Scale Making". As an example piano he illustrates the design process with a 5' grand piano. He states that

" A 5 foot Grand of which we will make a scale has been made and pronounced good, so the figures given for dimensions are reliable"

Does anyone know if this piano was ever produced and by what company?

In the preface to the book Vant states that a piano of this size has been built and "pronounced good." Whatever that means.

I've come across a couple of pianos that are very similar to this design but none that I would say are the same. It is a little difficult to tell just what Vant's design really was like. He furnishes a number of "sketches" throughout the text to illustrate various points. Unfortunately these sketches do not always resemble the numbers he is giving in the text.

I've been working on republishing the book with new typesetting but keeping the original text and sketches intact. Included in the new edition (along with the original sketches) will be drawings that more accurately reflect the actual numbers in the text. The differences in some cases are significant.

I don't know that I have ever seen a piano of this design although I've seen some that come really close. I suspect the design he presents in the book represent a very generic design of the era and not a specific piano. We are told only that a prototype had been built; nothing is said about it being in production.

As designs for short pianos go it's not all that bad. I've seen a lot worse.

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
#2304197 - 07/19/14 08:40 PM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]  
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Del Offline
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Del can probably answer this better than most of the rest of us. But if my memory serves-Vant either designed or inspired the Brambach. Pretty bad piano in my experience. Gives the Yamaha GH1 a bit of "competition".

The GH1 is one of those that is a whole lot worse....

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
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Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
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#2304288 - 07/20/14 06:33 AM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: gynnis]  
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That really seem to be challenging to design the smaller model(s)

Most parameters are at their limit, and then you need to have the most ideal scale and strike line.

Today with softer steel available some common defects can be lowered.

BTW can the soundboard be installed so there is no angle (strings parallel to the key bed?)


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#2304318 - 07/20/14 08:43 AM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: Olek]  
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Del Offline
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Originally Posted by Olek
That really seem to be challenging to design the smaller model(s)

Most parameters are at their limit, and then you need to have the most ideal scale and strike line.

Today with softer steel available some common defects can be lowered.

BTW can the soundboard be installed so there is no angle (strings parallel to the key bed?)

There is little margin for error in the design of small pianos.

As you say, there are softer steel wires available to avoid some common defects. But it is far preferable to avoid those design defects in the first place. While they are inherent to the traditional approach to the design of smaller pianos most of them can be completely avoided with entirely new design.

Yes, soundboard installation can be accomplished in a way that allows the string plane to be parallel to the keybed.

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
#2304327 - 07/20/14 09:08 AM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: gynnis]  
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Olek Offline
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Thanks Del. Does it mean the inner rim is artistic shaped, or bridges or both?

I wonder how accurate that can be done with traditional methods and Grey iron plate.

I understand Yamaha for instance have no problem with that, but a hand fitting?

BTW you do focus on stress factor much, or last?

Regards

Last edited by Olek; 07/20/14 09:11 AM.

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#2304331 - 07/20/14 10:04 AM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: Olek]  
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Del Offline
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Originally Posted by Olek
Thanks Del. Does it mean the inner rim is artistic shaped, or bridges or both?

I wonder how accurate that can be done with traditional methods and Grey iron plate. ...

BTW you do focus on stress factor much, or last?

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "the inner rim is artistic shaped." Certainly I consider aesthetic art to be a part of design but I doubt that is what you are asking.

Gray iron castings can be made fairly consistently. More to the point, in modern manufacturing the important points can be milled using precisely controlled CNC machining workstations.

I try to not "focus" on any one aspect of an overall design. Everything is a compromise and I'm after what I consider to be the best balance of those compromises.

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
#2304341 - 07/20/14 10:49 AM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: gynnis]  
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Del I mean, even if the outer shape of the board can be done flat (with only the front part curved), as a consistent bridge height will create different plane angles, I suppose the liner (inner rim) have to follow a precise shape if the goal is to obtain a string plane parallel to the key bed.

Actually I thought that the best idea would be to have a 1 degree slant +-, then it allows for a 90 degrés rake angle while leaving the small over centering that is said to help let off end and réengagement.

I know stress factor is just "important" but it can be lowered so much under limits it have to be taken in account seriously (hence softer wire)
It also show something of the string resiliency/impedance, so it seem to me as a good analysis tool.

Regards.


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#2304428 - 07/20/14 02:30 PM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: gynnis]  
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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For small piano design today, the possibilities that the Hybrid wire types offer to produce scales that have the clarity, warmth and power only found on larger scales is new. Being able to scale with tri-chord unisons lower in the compass both plain and wound is the way to go. Also going lower in the compass with the bi-chord wounds helps tremendously.

There is a definite need for developing a way to make lightly loaded strings more uniform and consistent from one to the other. Our ears are very good at not liking un-matched strings as you go higher in the compass. The typical wound string irregularities that are barely noticed below note 20 become very pronounced above note 25.


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
#2305155 - 07/22/14 12:44 AM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: Olek]  
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Del Offline
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Originally Posted by Olek
Del I mean, even if the outer shape of the board can be done flat (with only the front part curved), as a consistent bridge height will create different plane angles, I suppose the liner (inner rim) have to follow a precise shape if the goal is to obtain a string plane parallel to the key bed.

With new construction there are several possibilities. One common method is to simply cut the top of the inner rim and the bellyrail flat. The pre-crowned soundboard assembly is glued to this. The parameter of the soundboard assembly is pressed flat. The board is crowned up in the normal manner but with some bending stress around the inside of the inner rim. This decreases once string bearing is applied to the bridges.

Another method—primarily used by manufacturers that press the inner and outer rims as a single unit—is to leave the top of the inner rim flat and crown the bellyrail. Some manufacturers bevel the top edge of the inner rim in a rather useless attempt to “support crown.” I fail to see how crowning the bellyrail alone does much good and beveling the inner rim does little, if anything, to support crown. The panel (and the ribs) are too thin and too flexible.

A third method is to crown the top of the inner rim and the bellyrail to match the crown of the soundboard assembly. Or, more preferably, the crown of the soundboard assembly after string bearing is applied to the bridges and the assembly is in a somewhat depressed state.

If anything is to be done the third method has the best possibility of contributing something to the performance of the piano. Although, having worked with all three methods, I’m skeptical that any one of them is clearly superior.

Bridges in most modern piano construction are planned to a height matching the string frame. Or they are made to a standardized height that works within the allowed tolerances of the string frame casting. So theoretically you could achieve any string plane angle you wanted just by manipulating the height of the bridges—as long as the bridge height is neither too high nor too low—and the elevations of the string frame cross sections.

We like to talk in absolutes about each of the different design and construction parameters of the piano when, in fact, everything is interactive.

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
#2305209 - 07/22/14 05:33 AM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: gynnis]  
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Thank you Del, the shaping of the front support seem to make sense to avoid inutile stress while the high spot of the soundboard is not far from the edge.
I have some trouble to see the difference in terms of compression and useful/vs detracting stress with the installed pzanel. bluethner prefer the cylindrical shape for those reasons, and indeed their panels accept tons of dynamics without saturation.

Lenticular shape add stress in all dimensions.

I was said that using hide glue for ribbing and SB installation provide slightly better results, (compared side to side) may be only because of the more hard glue, also more impregnated in the wood while closing all micro holes better than Titebond.

I suggest that he light slant of the inner rim helps gluing more than crown.
regards, thanks again.

Last edited by Olek; 07/22/14 05:35 AM.

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#2305325 - 07/22/14 11:52 AM Re: Albert Vant's Piano Scale Making [Re: gynnis]  
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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What I have often noticed is that the best woodworking decisions in piano construction will often result in the best acoustic reasons.

Last edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT; 07/22/14 11:53 AM. Reason: correct grammer

In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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