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#253265 - 07/07/08 04:44 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,348
Bear 1 Offline
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Bear 1  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,348
Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Hey Marty 2,

Thanks for the advice.
I guess during the last flame war,
I went wrong by trying to put out the flames
by dousing them with gasoline. laugh

Best,

Bear


Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)
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#253266 - 07/07/08 04:55 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 152
RoseMe Offline
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Posts: 152
CA
Dear Barry,

You always meant well, even when your opinions differed from others, so NOBODY should ever hold anything against you!

I must say though that the GS30 I tried sounds better than the 2 RX2 I tried recently. Is it because the RX2s were out of tune and scratched up on the surface? maybe, or maybe because the GS30 was simply magical due to its exceptionally good genes (and prep)? Who knows.

I however thank you for your suggestions as I agree with you 100% that Kawai as a company, makes wonderful instruments!

#253267 - 07/07/08 04:59 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,348
Bear 1 Offline
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Bear 1  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,348
Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Quote
Originally posted by RoseMe:
I wish Kawai would have put the hard finish on the music tables (on the sides of the stand) too. The RX2 I was considering is all scratched up on the tables from the students having recital on it.
RoseMe,

Excellent point. smile
Although I'm retired I'll suggest to Kawai to consider
doing just what you said.
Hard Finish on the entire music desk.

For the RX-2 that you are considering, the side tables
could be buffed out if they are just surface scratches.
If not, Kenny's solution would cover up the scratches.

All the best,

Bear


Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)
#253268 - 07/07/08 05:29 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,348
Bear 1 Offline
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Bear 1  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,348
Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Quote
Originally posted by RoseMe:
Dear Barry,

You always meant well, even when your opinions differed from others, so NOBODY should ever hold anything against you!

I must say though that the GS30 I tried sounds better than the 2 RX2 I tried recently. Is it because the RX2s were out of tune and scratched up on the surface? maybe, or maybe because the GS30 was simply magical due to its exceptionally good genes (and prep)? Who knows.

I however thank you for your suggestions as I agree with you 100% that Kawai as a company, makes wonderful instruments!
RoseMe,

Thank you very much for the kind words. smile

Hard for me to answer your questions regarding the 2 RX-2s vs the GS-30. Obviously tuning, extra good prep, size, acoustics, and many other things affect touch and tone with various pianos
even of the same brand and model.
In my opinion, you are shopping the right way by auditioning many different pianos until you find the one you like best, be it a Kawai or not.

Best of luck with your search RoseMe. smile

Sincerely,

Bear

P.S. Humongous apologies to Kenny for my post piracy! shocked


Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)
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#253269 - 07/07/08 06:15 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: May 2001
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kenny Offline
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kenny  Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Bear 1:

P.S. Humongous apologies to Kenny for my post piracy! shocked
Aye Swabbie, Off With Yer Head! laugh

[Linked Image]

#253270 - 07/08/08 02:12 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 152
RoseMe Offline
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RoseMe  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 152
CA
I like the wood dowels idea.
Do you have to have velcro on there? If I don't add velcro will that be a big issue?

#253271 - 07/08/08 11:04 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 261
Robert H Offline
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Robert H  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 261
Central Iowa
Hi RoseMe,...

You can get by without the velcro. It's just going to be a bit trickier to adjust the cover from side to side when you put it on since the dowel may shift and fall on the strings.

There are 2 ways to eliminate this hassle,... either use longer dowels or,... I'm thinking about redoing this with longer sleeve filled with 3 separate dowel segments so it can bend and sit nicely on the plate.

Instead of creating individual sleeves for the dowels,... I've also read about others successfully using fabric glue to attach another piece of felt right on the cover to create pockets for you to insert the dowel into,...

Regards,

Robert


Mason & Hamlin - A - 92514
Roland A-90 EX
"When you fall down,... pick up something!"
#253272 - 07/10/08 02:03 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
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Posts: 152
RoseMe Offline
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RoseMe  Offline
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CA
So I got the 100% wool woven fabric today. Will post picture of the fabric, please tell me if it is a safe one to use.... Thanks!

#253273 - 07/10/08 02:06 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
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RoseMe Offline
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RoseMe  Offline
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CA
question..... how do I attach pictures?

#253274 - 07/10/08 02:06 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
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RoseMe Offline
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RoseMe  Offline
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CA
question..... how do I attach pictures?

#253275 - 02/02/09 02:39 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: Nov 2008
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bitta Offline
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bitta  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3
San Diego CA
My thanks to all who contributed to this sting cover thread. I priced pre-made string covers on the internet and was appalled at the $390 price tag. So I search Piano Forums, found your thread and concluded this was not something I couldn't do myself. I bought excellent grade 100% felt (just under $90 for a 6'4" piano), 4 wood dowels and some tailor's chalk. I laid the felt on the closed cover on my piano and chalked the outline of the inside rim (happens to be a raised point on the piano lid), cut the felt along the chalk line, laid the dowels at strategic angles to hold the felt off the strings and - viola - piano string cover. I had enough felt left over to make a cover for my music stand.

Thank you again!

#253276 - 02/03/09 07:44 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: May 2001
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kenny Offline
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Glad you found it helpful Bitta.

#253277 - 02/04/09 12:34 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
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Roxane Offline
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Just wanted to add my thanks, kenny!

I used to be worried about getting dust inside that I used to play with the lid down completely. But after getting my Steinway B, the sound is too beautiful to keep trapped, so I experimented with really cheap felt first and made a half-decent cover. I followed this by buying some good quality felt, and now, I am just waiting to get some time to do a proper job.

#253278 - 02/05/09 12:26 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: Sep 2004
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Roy123 Offline
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Roy123  Offline
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Massachusetts
Quote
Originally posted by kenny:
Quote
Originally posted by RoseMe:
[b] Wonderful info, thanks so much ! yippie
So is it likely that 75% wool and 25% cotton will not block moisture out as well as 100% wool?

BTW I think your private inbox is full!
Well frankly I have no science to support wool being better for string covers.
I am just guilty of repeating what I've heard.

I know that wool fibers do have a shape and texture that still allow warm air to be trapped even when wet.
That is a good quality for clothing for humans and sheep to stay warm even when wet.

But the goal of a piano's string cover is not to trap heat given off by the piano in the rain.
I have been told wool IS better for pianos by piano techs I have a lot of respect for.

I'd welcome anyone to post and explain exactly why it is better.

That said, $85 is chump change compared to the price of my piano.
Even if there is a slight chance wool is better I don't mind spending the $85.
YMMV.

IMHO without a humidity-altering thing like a dammpchaser the RH on both sides of a wool or synthetic cover will be the same. I think it will just equalize out.
Still, I like the natural real wool.

I have had a wool string cover since 2000 and have not seen any moth damage yet here in Southern California.
Not sure about your region. [/b]
No fabric is going to change the humidity around the piano except as it is able to block airflow and/or act as thermal insulation, i.e., if a Dampp Chaser warms the air to make its relative humidity lower, and a cover can keep more of this warmth around, then humidity will be lower.

I believe the use of wool is just a red herring. Pianos use wool in other places, it's a "natural" product, so people think it's good. I think any type of fiber would provide essentially the same benefit and be much cheaper. Although people say wool is better, I bet no one has any data showing it to be true.

#253279 - 02/06/09 05:43 AM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: Sep 2008
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Deon van aswegen Offline
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Deon van aswegen  Offline
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Posts: 142
South Africa
Roy123 - what I do know is that wool repels dirt. Or at least keeps it on the surface, given the density is correct.

What I also know is that wool keeps in the heat - and the miosture out. Given the correct density. That is why we wear it, and why sheep keeps warm and dry when it rains.

Synthetic material actually causes sweating (try a nylon, satin or silk sweater), and cotton is just not dense enough, or given it being to dense, does not breathe. Wool breathes, and in string cover form, in the correct weight, is light enough not to dampen the sound

So even though other fibers may work - I do not think that they possess the correct properties per se.

Just my thoughts. Kenny, wonderfull thread. Goin to cover my RX 6's "hard finish" as well. It DOES scratch!!!

Apologies Bear!!! laugh

#253280 - 02/06/09 07:06 AM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: May 2001
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kenny Offline
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kenny  Offline
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I have no scientific proof that real wool felt is better than synthetic felt for a string cover.
I was told just real wool is preferred by a tech I trust and respect.
The cost difference of less than a hundred bucks and the chance it is better makes it worth the money to me. YMMV.

I do know if you put wool under a microscope each fiber does have zillions of irregular surface features which helps trap air.
Down is another material good at trapping air.

When worn by a person (we generate heat) the air-trapping quality helps wool trap more warm air around our bodies.
Also, when wet, other fabrics compress and lose their ability to trap air but wool retains its more of its ability to trap air.
This has given real wool a reputation, a mystique even.

Naturally a piano is not a heat or a humidity generating thing.
It stands to reason to me that (lacking a dammpchaser) a piano will have the same humidity on both sides of the string cover, wool or not.

But I do believe that felt, being pressed fibers, is more effective at blocking out dust and vapors from cooking oil than a woven cloth.

#253281 - 02/06/09 12:14 PM Re: Make your own string cover  
Joined: Sep 2004
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Roy123 Offline
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Roy123  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,824
Massachusetts
Quote
Originally posted by Deon van aswegen:
Roy123 - what I do know is that wool repels dirt. Or at least keeps it on the surface, given the density is correct.

What I also know is that wool keeps in the heat - and the miosture out. Given the correct density. That is why we wear it, and why sheep keeps warm and dry when it rains.

Synthetic material actually causes sweating (try a nylon, satin or silk sweater), and cotton is just not dense enough, or given it being to dense, does not breathe. Wool breathes, and in string cover form, in the correct weight, is light enough not to dampen the sound

So even though other fibers may work - I do not think that they possess the correct properties per se.

Any fabric will keep dust from going through if the weave is correct, not just wool.

Wool does not keep moisture out, if by moisture you mean water in its gaseous state. Only solid, impermeable materials can do that.

Sheep may keep dry when it rains, but if so, it has very much to do with the substantial amount of oil that is in their wool. That oil is removed when the wool is processed. Humans call it lanolin. Besides, a string cover is not designed to keep rain off the strings.

If synthetic fabrics cause sweating it is because the moisture that our bodies release goes through them more slowly. Pianos don't release moisture. To the extent that Dampp Chasers release moisture, keeping it from dissipating into the room too quickly seems like a real advantage.

Cotton does breathe as do all conventional woven or felted fabrics. Air moves quite readily through all of them. Slowing down the air movement may be an advantage of string covers in addition to them keeping dust out. The slower the air moves, the more that the heat and humidity generated by a Dampp Chaser would stay where it can do some good as opposed to just drifting around the room.

I am also unimpressed that a respected tech recommends wool. The tech in question may be an expert in piano maintenance and repair, but may know little about fabrics, their insulation properties, and how air and gaseous water move through them. There's always more misinformation floating around than real information.

If anyone wants to use wool, there's no reason not to, but I think that the so-called reasons for its superiority are just not backed up by solid reasoning.

#1896696 - 05/14/12 10:55 AM Re: Make your own string cover [Re: kenny]  
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fool4jesus Offline
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fool4jesus  Offline
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Leesburg, VA
I know this is an old thread, but it comes up high in google search. Somebody mentioned making a frame - what would one of these frames look like? I want to make a string cover to protect my new baby's strings. :-)

Also, I am tending to agree with Roy123. I have read a number of decidedly unscientific explanations for why wool is better. Some seem beside the point, while some even seem totally backward: for example, wool keeps you from sweating and stinking because it is hygroscopic (absorbs water) and allows that moisture to pass through the fabric. Whether or not a piano gives off moisture, if anything I would think this argues AGAINST using wool: all the more so if you are using a Dampp-Chaser. If my humidifier is working hard to increase/decrease the humidity inside the piano, wouldn't I want to help it to maintain the humidity that it's trying to set? The more I think about this, the more I am believing synthetic fabric is, at the least, no worse than wool. Wool was best a hundred years ago because there was no other game in town.

Regarding piano technician's advice, I would seriously wonder whether they had really seen both wool and synthetic string covers, of identical thickness and quality, in identical humidity conditions, and compared the results. I would think a technician would be happy that their customers use ANY kind of string cover.

Last edited by fool4jesus; 05/14/12 02:07 PM. Reason: thought about it some more
#2540394 - 05/16/16 03:29 PM Re: Make your own string cover [Re: kenny]  
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Raamo Offline
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Raamo  Offline
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MN
I bought felt from the felt people - my tuner said it was overkill for Minnesota, but said it wasn't going to harm anything. He also didn't think I needed to support it with rods or string. It's been covering the strings for over a month now and it doesn't interfere with playing the piano.

Thus I'd quest the need for any frame. As long as the felt is got some structure to it it'll stay up.

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