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Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
#2497751 01/06/16 03:40 PM
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Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2497768 01/06/16 04:49 PM
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I just watched the video and I am impressed! It's about time piano makers tried something truly new. I hope they perfect the 100% Carbon Fiber piano.

Last edited by Thrill Science; 01/06/16 04:49 PM.

Robert Swirsky
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Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
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This is very good news for the piano industry. The example in the video isn't quite in tune, and isn't quite voiced to what I would say is my personal taste, and I only point that out because others might say they don't like the sound of it before realising that it sounds to me like there's still a little prep could be done, but this piano seems to have a very good sound. It seems to have long sustain, and a well-rounded voice. It's hard to tell from the video, and I'd have to see it in person, and of course play it, but anything which can make a small piano sound more musical, reduce the weight (making it easier to move and house), and increase the tuning stability and longevity whilst still sounding like a beautiful musical instrument is something that we should be welcoming with open arms.

Thanks for this information. I think I saw a video of one on a previous post but I hadn't taken much time to listen to it properly.


Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2497828 01/06/16 09:11 PM
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It looks very cool! Sounds very nice too. Very exciting - probably well out of the price range of the average consumer, but maybe this technology will filter down to cheaper pianos eventually.

Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2497972 01/07/16 09:06 AM
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Amazing that Richard Dain can invest so much time and money into a project, produce his first recording of the piano, and can't bother to have it tuned beforehand. Or is this an indication of something deeper with the piano? I welcome a better recording to see just how good the piano can sound.


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Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Steve Peterson #2497984 01/07/16 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Peterson
Amazing that Richard Dain can invest so much time and money into a project, produce his first recording of the piano, and can't bother to have it tuned beforehand. Or is this an indication of something deeper with the piano? I welcome a better recording to see just how good the piano can sound.


This surprised me too - but is surprisingly common in videos of pianos for sale. Makes no sense to me to go to the effort to have a pro pianist and then not make sure the tuning is perfect.

Paul.

Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2497995 01/07/16 10:21 AM
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I'm hearing a bit of a "glaze" on the unisons, but I think I am hearing something more. There seems to be a bit of an echoey (is that a word?) afterhang that lasts longer than the damping before it dies out, which smears into the next set of notes, muddying the sound of the piano. It's almost like the damping of a spinet piano with poorly placed bass dampers and too strong damper springs. The nodes are getting too excited!

Either the soundboard is overlively and doesn't want to stop vibrating, not enough dampers in the treble, or some damping issues; I honestly don't know where the problem lies.

Whatever it is, it's compromising the performance of the piano.

Will Truitt


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2498016 01/07/16 11:21 AM
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I think people are hearing the acoustics of a lively room.


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Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
WilliamTruitt #2498026 01/07/16 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by WilliamTruitt
There seems to be a bit of an echoey (is that a word?) afterhang that lasts longer than the damping before it dies out, which smears into the next set of notes, muddying the sound of the piano.
That's reverb, and I agree it is overly strong to get a clear depiction.

It could be the room as BDB points out, or it could have been added in post production editing, a common technique to simulate a larger hall and a traditional classical recording.


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Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
PianoWorksATL #2498035 01/07/16 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL

It could be the room as BDB points out, or it could have been added in post production editing, a common technique to simulate a larger hall and a traditional classical recording.


I agree, this is definitely post-production reverb. I recognise that sound. It's not a real concert hall he's playing in. And there's a curtain around the playing space. I would prefer they don't add the reverb - it clouds the issue when trying to decide how good this piano is.

Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
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It may be a concrete floor underneath, which does wonders for piano tone. The curtains seem a bit of an add-on, if so, they were very likely aware of how unfriendly the space is. But the curtains would serve to mask the echo chamber effect.

It may be reverb, but I am very curious as to why they would do that, because it makes the piano sound like... [censored]. It is difficult to imagine that anyone associated with the making and voicing of this piano would feel that the reverb improved the tone, it is so obviously the opposite.

It's hard to believer that the piano is as bad as it sounds. But I don't have a clear idea of what it is yet.

Will Truitt


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2498056 01/07/16 01:18 PM
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I think you are right about the reverb - a bit more obvious in this recording.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5j9EtoydM0

Will Truitt


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2498139 01/07/16 05:15 PM
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You will be able to hear it in person in Frankfurt in 12 weeks time

Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2498186 01/07/16 08:54 PM
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To me those curtains look so light in weight as to be almost invisible to all but the highest sounds. It sounds like added reverb to me as well.

Kurt


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Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
KurtZ #2498190 01/07/16 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by KurtZ
To me those curtains look so light in weight as to be almost invisible to all but the highest sounds. It sounds like added reverb to me as well.

Kurt


I pointed out the curtains not so much to say that they are sound deadening curtains, but because it was most likely a workshop which was considered unsightly for a video, and not likely to have great acoustics. I'd say the piano was fairly close miked (minimal room contribution) and concert hall reverb added in post production.

Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2498200 01/07/16 09:51 PM
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Despite the sound of the recording, there is enough of the piano sound that some idea of how it sounds can be made. To me, it sounds like a early 19th Century piano, with very low tension, although in this case, it may be the lightness of the plate, rather than the tension. It is not to my taste. I suppose there are others who would like it, though.


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Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2498233 01/08/16 12:46 AM
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Yeah I'm not feeling this recording. Maybe the piano will sound better in a studio but I'm super not impressed.


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Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Withindale #2498278 01/08/16 08:41 AM
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Talk about diversity of opinion! Anton Lyakhovsky is playing the heck out of that piano. The piano itself is responding to Anton, whether or not any of of think it's the perfect instrument. It's hardly an unresponsive instrument and it definitely is an instrument with it's own unique sound signature. Which is very much like every other brand of piano.

Whether or not any of us like that signature is a different story and of course it's not a piano for everyone. Neither is any other piano. Which is why I mentioned "diversity of opinion" the first sentence above.

Personally, I find the sound of it to be intriguing and I like how it's responding to Anton. I'd like to have the opportunity to spend a day with it to hear what it can do. And to feel at the keyboard what's coming out of the piano in the way of sound - to feel how touch connects to sound. Because that's ultimately the only to know what's what with a piano. Especially since post-production, as some have noted, can make it difficult to "hear" the instrument. Whether that's true or of post-production in this example I can't say. But everyone has an opinion and it's the sum and interaction of and among opinions and not any one voice that make things really interesting.

To be sure: the Carbiano in the video and on the website is STILL a prototype version–that's stated on the website. Which is to say it's STILL under development and more work is going into it. Although as also said on the website, it's at a point where orders for it can be placed.

If the instrument in the video is still a prototype, and really, even if it wasn't, it's definitely an interesting addition to the greater family of pianos out there in the world. Because here we have the most "complete" carbon fibre instrument yet seen or heard, despite claims every now and then from other piano makers and a few would-be piano makers.

To be fair, I'm hardly an unbiased observer or commenter. I acquired my Steingraeber Phoenix from Hurstwood Farm Pianos. I wrote up my search for my piano in a 5-part series on my blog. Here's the 5th part: http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/12/on-picking-piano-part-5.html. It links back to the other 4 posts. None of them have anything to do with the Carbiano but they show, at least, what I was thinking about and what I learned as I evaluated pianos across a period of time. Since then I've played quite a bit since then on another piano fitted with a Phoenix system. So, again, I'm not an unbiased observer or commenter.

Actually, when I acquired the piano I now have (w/a spruce and not a carbon-fibre soundboard) I played on a prototype version of the Carbiano as it existed then. Although I didn't spend a lot of time with it I would say it was an interesting instrument–for sure. I'm definitely glad that that prototype wasn't included then in my piano search. Because it, the Carbiano, was then, a few years ago, was THAT interesting.

As Joe80 points out, prep, has a lot to do with how we hear a piano. Richard Dain's philosophy, as far as I know, is to do final prep and adjusting in situ in the room where the piano's going to be played. So, to point out the obvious, what we've got here is a demo prototype that would respond to further voicing and it's an in-progress project with more work still to come. Things are only going to get more interesting as Carbiano development continues. It'll be interesting in the long term to see how and if carbon-fibre (ever) becomes more mainstream. Maybe it won't. Maybe it will.

I don't know anything about display of the instrument in Frankfurt as one poster noted. I am fairly sure the Carbiano in the video is on the floor at Hurtwood Farms and it's there waiting to be played. I congratulate Richard Dain on his vision and tenacity and expertise in bringing it to where it is now and I'm looking forward to seeing what the future of piano manufacturing brings. Because it's going to be an interesting future and it'll include a final production version of the Carbiano.

Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Mark Polishook #2498282 01/08/16 09:05 AM
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I am not certain what brought that rant on. Nobody said the piano is not responsive. That cannot be determined from a recording, anyway.

There are those of us who are waiting to hear a piano with a carbon fiber soundboard that sounds as good as a piano with a wood soundboard. Neither of the examples given here lately have managed to do that, even when they are based on designs that would be very expensive in wood.

I would not be surprised if some of the major manufacturers have experimented with new materials and methods for soundboards, but we have not heard about them because they have not considered them successful.


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Re: Phoenix Carbiano due in 2016
Mark Polishook #2498283 01/08/16 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
Talk about diversity of opinion! Anton Lyakhovsky is playing the heck out of that piano. The piano itself is responding to Anton, whether or not any of of think it's the perfect instrument. It's hardly an unresponsive instrument and it definitely is an instrument with it's own unique sound signature. Which is very much like every other brand of piano.

Mark,

I was going to ask but you got in first. As a proud Phoenix afficiando who can compare a recording with an actual instrument I thought you might like to comments on Anton Lyakhovsky's two recordings of Scarlatti K. 98 on:

Phoenix A170

Carbiano

I was going to say ... but better not be accused of biasing your opinion (not that it would!)


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
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