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Thank you, twocats. Great way to start my day.

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Hello Twocats,

Thanks for posting your "final" performance. I think I need to offer another piece of recording advice.

Vimeo has a much better sound playback system. If you must use YouTube then you should post at a minimum resolution of 720p.

480p does not use high quality sound compression. I can hear lots of distortion which I know is not on your original file.

Ian

Last edited by Beemer; 06/16/16 02:49 PM.

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Originally Posted by Beemer
Vimeo has a much better sound playback system. If you must use YouTube then you should post at a minimum resolution of 720.

480 does not use high quality sound compression. I can hear lots of distortion which I know is not on your original file.

Hi Ian, I wonder if this is actually the compression from Windows Movie Maker. I had exported at "computer quality" but maybe I should have done "TV quality". I hope my final recording doesn't have distortion, but I didn't send you that one. I can try to re-export the video later and see. Thanks for your feedback smile


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reported elsewhere is the problem with windows movie maker. Sound codecs in the program are not optimised for high quality.

In Windows Movie Maker, try going to “Tools > Options > Compatibility” and unchecking all the filters ending in .ax. It is possible these .ax filters are causing low audio quality in the movie preview and saving. This solution is common if you have installed a bunch of new codecs and filters. Also, if audio quality was fine before and now is low, it may be due to installation of new filters.

Ian


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Lovely, twocats! Your dad will love it, I'm sure!


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I just sent the family slideshow video to my dad. Tried to upload the mp3 to Soundcloud for better sound quality to share here, but got an automated "copyright violation" e-mail. Um, I'm flattered, but the differences between me and Elisabeth Leonskaja's playing are pretty obvious! For one thing, she doesn't play any wrong notes :P


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Damper Timing Regulation

It took me a long time to get my tech out here (like, a 4 month wait!) to do the damper timing regulation, since he's so busy. I was actually out of town for a family emergency, but he said he didn't need me around so I came home to the work done. He had emailed me saying that the dampers were way out of spec and most of them were far too late, with a few that were far too early.

Bo plays like a completely different piano now! I actually wish that this had been done much earlier, as both my previous and current tech spent a lot of time (== money) on voicing harsh notes with me that resolved themselves with proper regulation. I know everyone says the regulation must be done first before voicing, but I think the techs all initially assumed (with good intentions) that they could do much less and make me happy. Ugh, expensive learnings but hopefully my current tech will be working on Bo for many years to come.

Anyway, the results: the touch feels much, much better, a bit firmer and a lot more controllable-- definitely more "buttery". When I was learning the Chopin Nocturne for my dad, I always felt like I had to spend so much effort to control it on this piano, and that feeling is gone. The tone is mellower and any harshness in the treble has disappeared. There had been a couple of notes that I had asked him to voice (he didn't feel comfortable doing that without me present) which used to stick out a ton, and now they only sound slightly different from the notes around them-- I really have to look for them and hear the difference only because I know they're there.

I am very happy with the changes and feel like I came home to a new piano! I think this is the last major work that my tech had planned to do before I invest in a new action and hammers in 5-10 years (and he'll do the solvent on the keysticks then), and I no longer feel like I'm "settling" for Bo's current state until then.

I guess this wraps up my piano saga, for now smile


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Oh yay! What a relief that is. I'm so happy your tech was able to make such a huge difference, and what a nice thing to come home to after your family emergency.


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Tuning at A442

I have an exciting update!! I asked my tech to tune Bo at A442 after reading this thread, and he did a pitch change followed by another tuning for stability. Then he spent a bunch of time voicing uneven notes that needed attention. I didn't hear that much of a difference when he was here, but I got a chance to play more this evening and WOW! The bass and middle registers are much sweeter and much more resonant. The top notes of the treble got more thin and shrill, but I hardly play up there anyway, so it doesn't bother me.

I kept playing, and suddenly realized that this is the sound of the 225 that I fell in love with! The piano belongs in this pitch! Next time my tech comes, I'm going to have him tune at A443, the Bosendorfer factory setting. We've been making gradual progress on improving the touch and sound, but today's change has been nothing short of magical. Plus, usually I find the touch a bit too firm when the piano is freshly tuned (as it gets out of tune, it gets louder and my perception is that the touch gets lighter) but right now with the new resonance, the firmness is just how I like it. The previous owner had told me that this is one of the few Bosendorfers that has a "swirl", where the sound swirls up and envelops you-- I had thought at that time that it was a load of crock but if a swirl is what I loved in the other 225, my piano now has the same wonderful sound that seems to hang in the air. I didn't experience this effect with any other Bosendorfers that I played, including two other 225s. Whatever it is, it's beautiful.

Today my tech said for the first time that I have a really great piano and that he really likes it now, after all the work we've put into it. We didn't make a connection to the pitch change as he didn't think it would make much difference, but he wasn't a fan of my piano when he started out. And today I'm also fully convinced that when I eventually get new hammers and have the action rebuilt, I'll have the piano of my dreams. There's a lot of life left until we get there, but I'm still very happy with Bo's current state smile The missing piece for the sound was simply the tuning! (I feel like I'm living Grand Obsession, again.)

P.S. It was two years ago this coming Sunday that I reached out to Bo's owner for the first time. What a journey it's been!


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Fabulous! I have been following your journey all the way and am so happy for you. Many happy hours with Bo.

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I'm glad to hear you're happier with your piano, but I suspect the "bunch of time" he spent voicing has a lot more to do with your satisfaction with the piano's sound (and just being freshly tuned) than whether the piano was set at A442 or A440. It would make an interesting test without these variables, anyway.


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Originally Posted by twocats
Tuning at A442

I have an exciting update!! I asked my tech to tune Bo at A442 after reading
this thread, and he did a pitch change followed by another tuning for stability. Then he spent a bunch of time voicing uneven notes that needed attention. I didn't hear that much of a difference when he was here, but I got a chance to play more this evening and WOW! The bass and middle registers are much sweeter and much more resonant. The top notes of the treble got more thin and shrill, but I hardly play up there anyway, so it doesn't bother me.

I kept playing, and suddenly realized that this is the sound of the 225 that I fell in love with! The piano belongs in this pitch! Next time my tech comes, I'm going to have him tune at A443, the Bosendorfer factory setting. We've been making gradual progress on improving the touch and sound, but today's change has been nothing short of magical. Plus, usually I find the touch a bit too firm when the piano is freshly tuned (as it gets out of tune, it gets louder and my perception is that the touch gets lighter) but right now with the new resonance, the firmness is just how I like it. The previous owner had told me that this is one of the few Bosendorfers that has a "swirl", where the sound swirls up and envelops you-- I had thought at that time that it was a load of crock but if a swirl is what I loved in the other 225, my piano now has the same wonderful sound that seems to hang in the air. I didn't experience this effect with any other Bosendorfers that I played, including two other 225s. Whatever it is, it's beautiful.

Today my tech said for the first time that I have a really great piano and that he really likes it now, after all the work we've put into it. We didn't make a connection to the pitch change as he didn't think it would make much difference, but he wasn't a fan of my piano when he started out. And today I'm also fully convinced that when I eventually get new hammers and have the action rebuilt, I'll have the piano of my dreams. There's a lot of life left until we get there, but I'm still very happy with Bo's current state smile The missing piece for the sound was simply the tuning! (I feel like I'm living Grand Obsession, again.)

P.S. It was two years ago this coming Sunday that I reached out to Bo's owner for the first time. What a journey it's been!

Hi TwoCats,

I'm out of hospital after my spine operation so building up my time back on my Blüthner and of course here on this great forum. I read your post about taking Bo back to it's 443 roots 😊. You might find this thread interesting.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1404143/Bosendorfer%20tuning%20above%20440.html

Ian

Last edited by Beemer; 04/12/17 12:20 PM.

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Thank you, nancyde and Ian! Ian, hope you have a quick recovery and can get back to enjoying your piano!

terminaldegree, it's definitely not the voicing that caused this change. He didn't voice the whole piano, just fewer than ten notes that were either sticking out (since I'm working on such limited repertoire, I put a lot more use on a few notes-- my tech says that I play "aggressively" and he sees that in the hammer wear) and trying to smooth out some persistent harsh notes. The harsh notes got better but there's almost a whole octave about three octaves from the top that didn't sound good when I first got the piano, and don't seem to be able to be permanently voiced nicer. I think it will eventually just need new hammers. Also, I have *never* felt that my piano has resembled that of the dream 225, before or after tuning, and now it does.

I actually also saw the link that Beemer posted last night and sent it to my tech. I'm not the only one who's experienced this! A few fascinating quotes:

Originally Posted by Silverwood Pianos
The recommendation from the company is all Bosendorfer models are to be tuned at 443. This changes the plane line of the strings and changes the tone slightly.

Originally Posted by Marty Flinn
Several months ago our top tuner spent weeks at the Bosendorfer factory learning the ins and outs of the beast. Upon his return he brought our floor models up to 443 and they leaped to life. He explained that all the prep work at the factory in final voicing is done at 443. The difference was startling.

Last edited by twocats; 04/12/17 02:50 PM.

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I'm so happy that Bo is finally getting close to being your true dream piano. It sounds like the change in pitch has had a profound effect, and I'm sure once you do get new hammers, Bo will be absolutely stunning. I can't wait to hear it again!


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Hi everyone, it's been a while since I've been around here! Things have changed quite a bit in my life. For a while I had vision blind spot flare-ups and thought I was going to lose my ability to read music as well as have impairments to doing normal life stuff, but my vision finally seems to be stable thanks to the wonders of modern medicine (which has its own issues, but better than vision loss). My username is also incorrect now, since we have three cats! We lost our sweet girl earlier this year, but then ended up getting two kittens (one kitten, and then the second one to be a friend to the first when a single kitten was too much for our old man kitty). We were a bit nervous about having three cats but it has actually been amazing-- so much life in our home! These days I also have more time to practice piano and am finally resuming (masked) chamber music with a trusted friend, and can't wait until it's safe to play with more people!


Reborn Like A Phoenix!

A couple of months ago, I decided that it was time to do the major work on Bo (yes, still a ridiculous name but it's sticking from the original owner). Bo has sounded wonderful ever since we changed the tuning to A443, but there's some areas of harsh notes in the upper registers that my tech said can't be voiced any more (any more needling and he's going to reach the wood) and the action already had wear when I bought the piano and the touch could definitely be improved. I'm getting new hammers, shanks, flanges, and whippens, and my tech also going to use solvent in the keystick holes to remove the lubricant that Bo's original tech had put on the balance rail pins so that he can tighten up the movement in the holes.

A couple of months ago, my tech came and took out the hammers/shanks/flanges on the ends of each section within the piano, replacing them with ones from a previous customer's piano, and then shipped off mine to the Bösendorfer factory along with one sample whippen. He said their parts are very expensive, but it's what he'd recommend for my piano. Shipping was a crazy amount as well, but he wanted the safest tracked and insured method.

[Linked Image]

They arrived in Austria in mid-December and the factory is going to send back a full set customized to the existing parts from my piano. This is the first time my tech is getting factory-hung parts from Bösendorfer. He said it should save me money on his labor (and I can't remember if it also reduces the amount of time with my piano out of commission) but he said we were taking a risk in sending my parts over, as they were irreplaceable if they got lost. Now they've arrived, according to the tracking, so that hurdle is crossed.

So now it's just a matter of waiting for the parts to come back! It could be one month, it could be three months, it could be longer... for another 225 that my tech finished this year, it took many months just to get hammers from the factory. I was supposed to go play that piano to see what kind of difference a new action could make, but then the pandemic happened. I figured better if we get the process started now in case it ends up taking a very long time. Also, there is stuff behind the scenes that I don't want to go into publicly, but I'll just say that Yamaha is not making it easy for my tech.

It's been over five years since Bo arrived in my home and my hope is that with the new parts that it'll be a rebirth of sorts-- using a phoenix metaphor as I think Bo looks a bit like one with all that gorgeous flame mahogany! I have the utmost faith in my tech, so it's just a matter of having a lot of patience smile


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Well that was a pleasant surprise hearing from you again. Sorry to hear about your medical problem. You were sympathetic about my spine operation and I'm pleased to say that I have recovered well apart from being four years older! I look forward to hearing about BO's progress.
Ian


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Hi Ian, good to hear from you too! I'm really glad your spinal surgery (sounds very scary) went so well. Will post more piano updates when I have them! Am hopeful about what the work will achieve but am trying not to have any specific expectations except that it will be better than it is now, which my tech assures me that it will be. Yesterday I noticed that when the keys return, they bounce at the top! I always knew they thunked a little. Presumably that will go away smile


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Originally Posted by twocats
It's been over five years since Bo arrived in my home and my hope is that with the new parts that it'll be a rebirth of sorts-- using a phoenix metaphor as I think Bo looks a bit like one with all that gorgeous flame mahogany! I have the utmost faith in my tech, so it's just a matter of having a lot of patience smile

It must be hard to have the patience for the upgrade to be finished! I am very curious to know how the upgrade went and how it sounds after it. Looking forward to hearing that!

Osho


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TwoCats,

Wow is all I can say about your piano. That is the most gorgeous mahogany I have ever seen. Your Bo is quite the enchanting conversation piece.

Can't get over the deep red tone and elegant details. Love the wood grain on the inside of the fallboard. The matching bench looks very nice as well.

Super happy for you. That Bo's a real keeper.

Excellent choice.


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Thank you, Erik! I still marvel at the beauty of my piano every time I take off the cover. And I didn't fully appreciate the bench until later, when I realized that it's the most comfortable bench I've ever sat on! I just never even have to think about it smile

I'm really looking forward to the new action and hammers (still to be shipped from the factory) which will hopefully be installed by the end of April. Today I'm going to look at a digital to tide me over during those weeks when my piano is out of commission, and then it'll allow me to practice when my husband is in phone meetings as well!


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