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#2665235 - 07/31/17 01:57 PM How to position the piano in the room?  
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I have a new piano arriving tomorrow and I am trying to forsee in advance acoustic problems that I will have to solve.

It's a Kawai RX-5 and it has a very sweet and mellow tone,

Here's the room and the options to place the piano:

[Linked Image]

I already noticed a bathroom like reverberation around the area where the piano is going to be. The worst problem is next to that 180 cms wall,

After the piano is in place, it will be difficult to move furniture around so I am trying to figure out the best use I can make of 2 book cases that I can place around the piano.

One of them is very tall and the other is around 170 cms high.

I would rather get away with just one of them so that that area will not become too cluttered.

So, what would be:

- The best orientation for the piano, in terms of acoustic? At the moment I am inclined to the option B, both for aesthetic reasons (it seems that the piano is more faced towards the room and therefore is more a part of the room) and because I will not be facing a wall.

- The best place to put the book cases?

If I reduce the reverberation too much, won't the piano sound too dull, having such a mellow tone to start with?

The floor has tiles and the rest of the room has normal furniture and there are 2 big glass windows on the opposite corner of the piano.


Last edited by Ardeus; 07/31/17 02:16 PM.
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#2665249 - 07/31/17 02:39 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I'd say B, only tuck the tail of the piano even closer into the corner, closer to the 180 cm wall. That gives you more room to get in and out. The lid directs the sound away from the acoustically problematic wall. Once it's there, you can tell if you need any more acoustic treatment. You'll have a nice place for a bass trap in that corner to the left of the piano.


-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
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#2665274 - 07/31/17 04:23 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I can't comment on the acoustics aspect, but for aesthetic reasons I like option B. My piano is angled rather less - I would suggest something mid-way between your options A and B. That will still look very nice. It will still look, as you said, "more a part of the room".

#2665276 - 07/31/17 04:29 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Play before the movers leave to make sure it is at least tolerable. Congrats

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#2665282 - 07/31/17 04:52 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I may be the odd-ball here, but I like option C the best. It seems easier to get to and from the piano and the sound projection would not be bad. Option A would be my second choice.

But hey, it's your piano and your home, and congratulations!! thumb

Enjoy!!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2665284 - 07/31/17 04:57 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Thanks for the tips. I will go for option B.

It's a big piano enclosed in a small area and I am a bit worried.

I am normally most bothered by middle tones and those are the ones that I guess will be most affected by the bad acoustics of that area of the room.

I will try the piano without anything and I will add stuff as needed. If needed, I will get some bass traps.

How difficult is it to insert or remove a rug from underneath a piano? Is it something 2 people can do?

Are there any situations where the sound is better without a rug underneath the piano?

I have no experience in this, but my guess is that the near refections sound bad and the distant reflexions sound good, especially in middle and high frequencies.


.

#2665286 - 07/31/17 05:14 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Ardeus:

I agree with the Rickster on this one : C, for sure.

Karl Watson
Staten Island, NY
kw35@si.rr.com

#2665288 - 07/31/17 05:18 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Rick and Karl, in option C, the lid opens to a corner with really bad acoustics. Shouldn't the lid open up to the room?

You may remember I tried another piano in a room with terrible acoustics and after a few minutes I couldn't stand the sound of the piano.

I already made a few tests with my own voice, by placing a rug on the floor and on that 180 wall. There was a dramatic effect by placing the rug on the wall.

I guess these tests don't say much about what's going to happen with the bass. The books may both diffuse and absorb bass frequencies to some extent.

What about the wall behind me when I play the piano?

#2665310 - 07/31/17 07:54 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus

How difficult is it to insert or remove a rug from underneath a piano? Is it something 2 people can do?
.


Yes, we've done it with two people: The Leg Lifter and the Rug Wrangler. It takes some planning, rolling, and folding to do efficiently.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
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#2665319 - 07/31/17 08:54 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
Rick and Karl, in option C, the lid opens to a corner with really bad acoustics. Shouldn't the lid open up to the room?

If I'm interpreting the layout of the room correctly, the lid opens to project the sound toward the north-west corner of the big room. It doesn't look like the short wall would interfere with sound projection.

But like the others said, before the movers leave, position the piano in each scenario and see what you think. And, even after the movers are long-gone, if you want to reposition, get a couple of friends/family with a good healthy back and gather around the piano and lift up on the weight of the piano a bit and move it slightly on its casters.

Either way, congratulations on your new grand piano!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2665322 - 07/31/17 09:08 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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My room is similar and I have mine set up like option B. I like this arrangement. It sounds good and I very much would dislike facing the wall. Just make sure you have enough room to scoot the bench out however much you need.


Oongawa

'63 Mason & Hamlin Model A

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#2665324 - 07/31/17 09:22 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I'd rather put it smack-dab in the center of the large, rectangular part of the room!

I know very few people who have their pianos still placed as first delivered. You kinda have to live with them for a while, then move them around.

The piano biz needs more feng shui consultants.


WhoDwaldi
Howard 550 (by Kawai) 5' 10"
#2665327 - 07/31/17 09:45 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Ardeus:

I apologise. I didn't realise that your room is a performance venue. I use my piano for work and so my concern is that it's almost always too loud, especially in the room itself. It seems to be a losing battle for me to get ANY of my pianos soft enough.

Karl

#2665331 - 07/31/17 10:10 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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What I would consider is if there is enough room to remove the action for service, and whether you will be playing with others. Acoustics can be dealt with. Too little room or bad sightlines are more difficult.

Of course, my first rule of piano placement is that the legs go down!


Semipro Tech
#2665360 - 08/01/17 01:53 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus

How difficult is it to insert or remove a rug from underneath a piano? Is it something 2 people can do?
.


This may depend somewhat on how large of a rug. I needed to put a 12' x 15' rug under my GX-5, and the movers who were helping me decided that it would be easiest to take the piano down half way, move it out of the way on the dolly, then set it back up after positioning the rug. With a large rug, there becomes a logistical issue of where to lift from while not on top of the rug.

#2665366 - 08/01/17 03:29 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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You are overthinking this. Pianos are on wheels. It is not that difficult to move them around in a room. You will not know what is best until you've played around with it a bit. It is not just sound, it is what looks good with the lid up, and what is most convenient for the pianist to get access. If you are anything like me you will need somewhere close at hand to keep scores that you can reach without getting up, and somewhere for your coffee!

Enjoy the new arrival. Plan to move it around a few times in the next few weeks.


Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action. Working on Bach, Beethoven, Grieg mainly.
#2665438 - 08/01/17 12:33 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I say C without a doubt, I could never stand being backed into a corner for acoustic reasons. Your perception will likely be extremely bass heavy in the corner unless you give it significant acoustic treatment, meaning a bass trap in the corner, which would leave no room to sit. I would tuck the tail into the left corner of C, and still add a bass trap (a super wedge) in the right corner. The wall behind you will then be angled away from you, so you shouldn't need anything there, unless you want it. I would probably play with the angle a little bit, maybe somewhere between A and C.

Edit: I would also consider acoustic panels on the 180 and 350 cm walls if necessary.

Last edited by Oasismfg; 08/01/17 12:43 PM.
#2665457 - 08/01/17 01:51 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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[Linked Image]

There it is smile

You guys were right, I think I will be moving it around a lot over the next days.

I am starting to think that each piano may require very different approaches.

This one has a very mellow tone and in fact I think I prefer not to have a rug underneath it. The rug seems to affect mostly the treble.

When the lid opens more in the direction of the wall, the sound gets muddier. I definitely prefer the lid a little bit open because it brightens the sound, especially in the higher registers.

Tomorrow I will try the C option as you guys suggested and see what happens. Thanks a lot for the explanations.

#2665474 - 08/01/17 03:03 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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The door behind it is for a quick escape in case of tomatoes and old shoes, I assume. smile

Seriously, that's a nice looking setup.


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
Currently playing both kinds of music: Country and Western!
Casio Celviano AP-650
#2665475 - 08/01/17 03:07 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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It looks fantastic, and I'm sure it sounds even better. I hope you have many happy years together!

#2665476 - 08/01/17 03:11 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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That looks like a very nice arrangement. Is there enough room in the piano's current position, to pull the action when action work is needed?

You might want also to put a small rug under the pedals and anchored by the chair to prevent your heel marking the floor, unless you always play barefoot or in socks?

Am I wrong, or is the front of the lid not folded back? If so, that's a no-no, as it puts too much stress on the lid's hinges! It should look like this when the lid is open, whether on full- or short-stick.

[Linked Image]

Regards,


BruceD
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#2665486 - 08/01/17 04:06 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Frank: I won't need an escape because there's no one to throw anything. Seriously, if a cat passes by the door, it's the event of the day. Sometimes days pass by and I don't see no one.

I already suspected this, but now I'm sure: I don't know how to play piano. I played synth all my life and adjusting to the action of a piano will take a long time, specially to this heavy action.

John, it sounds good, but it can sound better. It needs to be tuned and I need to learn to better control the piano. But the unusual magical tone is there.

Bruce, thanks a lot for the tips. I will have the piano tuned in 3 or 4 weeks and I think there's not enough room to pull the action out. Tomorrow I will try other positions for the piano.

#2665710 - 08/02/17 03:54 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
I have a new piano arriving tomorrow...At the moment I am inclined to the option B, both for aesthetic reasons and...


I went through this process myself last year - grand piano in a smallish area. I too
tried three different positions. I prioritized aesthetics over accoustics, but both were
important to me. Here are my conclusions.

1. I tried two different positions where the hinged side of the piano was parallel to the walls.
I thought the square aspect of the piano squared to the walls would be attractive. Wrong.
Since a grand piano is inherently asymmetrical, it was more pleasing to my eye having
the piano asymmetrical to the room.

2. I tried a position where the pianist has his back to a wall - your position A rotated 90
degrees clockwise. I eventually decided I didn't like this: first, you could no longer
see the pianist* playing the keys, which is something guests to your home enjoy
seeing; and second, I felt unduly "enclosed" with the wall at my back.

*I also have PianoDisc installed, and it's fun to see the keys move on their own.

3. I ended up doing your position C, with the tail of the piano being in the corner of
the room (I don't have your bookcase wall, of course). I also hung some curtains
in that corner to dampen out any funny accoustics you might get from sound
bouncing around in a corner.

--

Congrats on your new piano, it looks great!

John


Last edited by jcgee88; 08/02/17 03:57 PM.

1922 Steinway Model O
#2665756 - 08/02/17 07:21 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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How do you like the "zoned" AC unit over the door?


WhoDwaldi
Howard 550 (by Kawai) 5' 10"
#2665830 - 08/03/17 05:16 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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John, I agree with you on everything: it looks better, if feels better and it sounds better.

[Linked Image]

In this position I hear more piano and less room. Not much, but it's noticeable.

It looks better because the front of the piano is viewable.

It feels much better not to be trapped against the corner and not having the piano blocking the view.

I think this is it.

I am not sure about getting a bench though. I kind of like the chair, I just wished it was just a little taller.

Howard, I never use the AC, even when it's 45 degrees outside, inside is at least 10 degrees cooler.

I must find an hygrometer to monitor the humidity level, because there's a fish tank in the room and it evaporates 3 liters of water everyday. I am guessing it does more good than bad.

#2665928 - 08/03/17 01:26 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Those split air conditioner units vary a lot in the noise that they make. I have two, one in my living room and one in my theatre projection room. The Fujitsu in my living room is so quiet you can hardly hear it running. The Quietside brand in my projection room is really noisy. (So much for the Quiet in Quietside.) I don't care since it's just the projection room but I wouldn't want one in my living quarters.


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
Currently playing both kinds of music: Country and Western!
Casio Celviano AP-650
#2665931 - 08/03/17 01:37 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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There's something far more noisy than the AC in the room, but I am so used to it that I don't notice it anymore. It's mostly running water, so it's kind of nice.

[Linked Image]

#2665956 - 08/03/17 04:21 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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If you had a bird he could sing along with your piano playing!

My bird is a rock 'n roller. He sings and dances when I play and if I make a mistake that sound discordant he squawks at me and tells me to do it right. If I'm playing something with a heavy beat he will be-bop right along; if I'm playing something quiet he flicks his tail in time.


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
Currently playing both kinds of music: Country and Western!
Casio Celviano AP-650
#2665958 - 08/03/17 04:31 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: FrankCox]  
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Originally Posted by FrankCox
If you had a bird he could sing along with your piano playing!

My bird is a rock 'n roller. He sings and dances when I play and if I make a mistake that sound discordant he squawks at me and tells me to do it right. If I'm playing something with a heavy beat he will be-bop right along; if I'm playing something quiet he flicks his tail in time.


That is adorable! You should take video and share it with us.


Yamaha C2X
#2665973 - 08/03/17 05:32 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I would love to see that too. What's the species?

Last edited by Ardeus; 08/03/17 05:34 PM.
#2665981 - 08/03/17 06:11 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I love how the blue duck photobombed the piano pic LOL The room setup looks really nice now!


🎼 Learning piano since May 2017
#2665984 - 08/03/17 06:40 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: PerAspera]  
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Originally Posted by PerAspera
I love how the blue duck photobombed the piano pic LOL The room setup looks really nice now!


AFLAC!!


BruceD
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#2665987 - 08/03/17 06:51 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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There's a couple of them and it really did photobomb the piano pic, i was moving back and it appeared at the bottom of the frame.

I am keeping the lid open all the time to try to speed the adjustment time before getting the piano tuned and regulated. As time passes it seems to me that the piano sounds more out of tune.

The funny thing is, most of the times, when I finish playing, for a second I think "Where's the power button?"

#2665988 - 08/03/17 06:53 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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[[Linked Image]

Unfortunately, he's not a recording artist. Anything different in his environment is scary. I changed his cuttlebone yesterday and that was an extremely traumatic experience, even though the new one looked exactly like the old one.

A while back I thought it would be fun to play Happy Birthday for someone and record him singing along with it. So I set up a microphone and played Happy Birthday. Nothing out of him at all, he just looked at me. I played a few loud things that always get him revved up, like Battle Hymn of the Republic and whatnot. Still nothing.

Took the microphone away, played Happy Birthday again and he starts to sing.

So much for that.


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
Currently playing both kinds of music: Country and Western!
Casio Celviano AP-650
#2666004 - 08/03/17 07:51 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Nice picture Frank! smile

I've always heard that a bird in hand was worth more than two in the bush.

Thanks for sharing!! wink

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2666050 - 08/04/17 12:46 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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He's my official piano coach.

And he works for chicken feed! smile


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
Currently playing both kinds of music: Country and Western!
Casio Celviano AP-650
#2666051 - 08/04/17 01:00 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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It is good that pianos are on wheels... When the tuner came to tune my baby grand I asked him to help me move it about 40 cm to make more room for the player. After he left I thought something went wrong because the tone I loved had changed for the worse.After a while I moved the piano back to where it was and the sound I love when playing was back! Of course I do not know which is better for someone sitting and listening, but I don't care really smile

#2666060 - 08/04/17 02:29 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
There's a couple of them and it really did photobomb the piano pic, i was moving back and it appeared at the bottom of the frame.

I am keeping the lid open all the time to try to speed the adjustment time before getting the piano tuned and regulated. As time passes it seems to me that the piano sounds more out of tune.

The funny thing is, most of the times, when I finish playing, for a second I think "Where's the power button?"


Unless the piano is really well tuned, you will probably notice it more and more. Initially there's a novelty, but after a while you start hearing things more critically -at least that's my experience. Now when you have it tuned you will really appreciate it.

#2666073 - 08/04/17 04:47 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Birds are very underrated.

When I was a kid I saw a bird do one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen.

A neighbour had a canary in a small cage, a very aggresive bird.

Sometimes he would set it lose in the living room with the door closed.The bird would fly from place to place for a while.

My neighbour would have to chase him into a corner to catch him and return him to his cage.

When the bird saw it had no escape he would clench his own throat with his foot, getting the claws under the feathers and squeezing tighter and tighter as the white lids started to cover his eyes.

My neighbour would remove the claws from his throat and put him back in the cage. The bird would the throw an aggressive fit throwing himself against the grid of the cage.

Ok, back to the piano. I think it's getting more out of tune, especially in the bass. The sound is much harsher than when it arrived.

#2666108 - 08/04/17 08:32 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
Ok, back to the piano. I think it's getting more out of tune, especially in the bass. The sound is much harsher than when it arrived.

This is the "Achilles Heel" of the acoustic piano. They need tuning, voicing, adjusting, regulating, and critiquing frequently. Once an acoustic piano reaches some level of tuning stability, only then can they go weeks or months without needing tuning. Even if a piano is quite stable, hard playing can render it harsh again in a short period of time.

In fact, this is why concert venues and recording studios keep a piano technician on site to tune daily, or even between performances/recordings the same day.

I don't want to make anyone mad or upset with me for saying this, and many will disagree, but one of the best things an acoustic piano owner can do is learn to tune and service their own piano. The next best thing is to be able to afford to hire a piano tech once a month, or once every few months, at least, to tame the beast.

Pianos can be as finicky as pet birds... smile

Enjoy your piano!!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2666113 - 08/04/17 09:06 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
There's something far more noisy than the AC in the room, but I am so used to it that I don't notice it anymore. It's mostly running water, so it's kind of nice.

[Linked Image]


Ardeus: I believe BruceD already pointed this out to you. It is NOT a good idea to prop the lid up without first folding the front lid back onto the main lid. The weight of the front lid will exert a high force on the tiny screws and the long hinge that connects the front lid to the main lid. The last thing you want is for the tiny screws to get ripped out and the front lid to fall off the piano!

#2666144 - 08/04/17 11:00 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I am trying to remember that and not do that anymore.

The lid is fully open 24/7 to speed up the adjusting of the piano to its new environment.

I thought about tuning it myself but I want to learn more about it, find more about the pros and cons and then decide if it's something I can do properly. I will also need to see a tech do it at least a couple of times.

Last edited by Ardeus; 08/04/17 11:01 AM.
#2666156 - 08/04/17 12:15 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Rickster]  
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Originally Posted by Rickster


I don't want to make anyone mad or upset with me for saying this, and many will disagree, but one of the best things an acoustic piano owner can do is learn to tune and service their own piano. The next best thing is to be able to afford to hire a piano tech once a month, or once every few months, at least, to tame the beast.

Rick

Another good option is to live someplace with relatively stable humidity. The tuning woes I experienced in St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. all resolved when I moved to Utah, where the seasons vary between dry and very dry. My piano can go two years between tunings here and sound vastly better than it would four months after a tuning in the Midwest or East Coast.

#2666182 - 08/04/17 02:02 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
[...]
The lid is fully open 24/7 to speed up the adjusting of the piano to its new environment.

It's not as if the piano is hermetically sealed if the lid is closed and the front top is fold back. Ambient air will find its way into the piano without the lid being opened fully.

Originally Posted by Ardeus
I thought about tuning it myself but I want to learn more about it, find more about the pros and cons and then decide if it's something I can do properly. I will also need to see a tech do it at least a couple of times.


Just keep in mind that tuning a piano is a very complex skill and a fine art as well. Some techs have told me it takes up to seven years to become good and proficient at tuning. Learning the skills by watching a tech do it a couple of times is like a beginning piano player saying s/he is going to watch a professional perform the Beethoven Emperor Concerto a couple of times before s/he plays it!

If you intend to practice your piano-tuning skills, find an old "clunker" that no one wants; don't try to do it on your own piano. Fair warning!

Regards,


BruceD
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#2666195 - 08/04/17 02:29 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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As BruceD says, the piano is open to the atmosphere whether the lid is up or down. The only difference is the amount air movement within the micro-climate of the closed piano. Keeping the lid down reduces the stress and eventual warping of the lid, reduces the amount of dust collecting beneath the strings on the soundboard, and helps preserve the micro-climate of the piano interior when a Dampp Chaser is installed, which, in turn, helps stabilize the piano and reduce the frequency of tuning and risk of damage to the soundboard and pinblock.

#2666201 - 08/04/17 02:46 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
If you intend to practice your piano-tuning skills, find an old "clunker" that no one wants;...,


+1. Tuning the traditional way is a difficult skill to learn. On your own, try the TuneLab software for $300.

Also, for every string you tune, always start by taking it lower. There are two reasons:

1. If you take it lower, places where it may be stuck break loose with less danger of breaking the string.

2. If you take it lower, and you're on the wrong pin, you find that out with less danger of breaking the string. If you move the pin and the sound doesn't change, you're on the wrong one.

There are about 230 strings in the average piano. Have fun!


-- J.S.

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#2666206 - 08/04/17 03:09 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Just keep in mind that tuning a piano is a very complex skill and a fine art as well. Some techs have told me it takes up to seven years to become good and proficient at tuning. Learning the skills by watching a tech do it a couple of times is like a beginning piano player saying s/he is going to watch a professional perform the Beethoven Emperor Concerto a couple of times before s/he plays it!

If you intend to practice your piano-tuning skills, find an old "clunker" that no one wants; don't try to do it on your own piano. Fair warning!

Regards,

Humm... 7 years to learn to tune a piano at a good level of proficiency. Let's see, if you already have a 4 year college degree with some math and science courses, 4 more years of medical school and 3 years of residency, you can be a medical doctor; 4 years of undergraduate college and 2 years of graduate school, you can be an aerospace engineer. Okay, so in 6 years you can be an aerospace engineer; in 7 years, with an undergraduate degree, you can be a medical doctor. Why would anyone want to spend 7 years to learn to be a piano tuner?

In no way am I belittling or berating highly skilled piano technicians, who have a life-time of learning and experience; they are worth their weight in gold to those who love their pianos and want to keep them tuned and in good condition. But to say it takes 7 years to learn to tune a piano with some degree of proficiency is a stretch, at least in my book. smile

And, from my prospective, the better quality pianos are easier to tune than the old clunkers. grin

No offence, Bruce; your point is well taken. I'm just engaging in a little healthy debate. Oh yea, some folks learn faster than others. wink

It is nice, however, to be able to tune your own piano and keep those wayward unisons in check. Like John said, the tuning software programs are a great tool to have and can speed up the learning curve.

By-the-way, I have enjoyed learning to tune my pianos as much as I've enjoyed learning to play them.

Just my .02.

Rick


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#2666220 - 08/04/17 04:15 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I will definitely leave tuning up to a "good" tuner. Just think of how many bad ones to not that great ones out there that actually have the experience. Imagine trying to learn that craft on your own cherished piano! Any extra time I have will be spent behind the keys not over them. smile




#2666221 - 08/04/17 04:23 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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It may take a long time to become a proficient professional tuner - someone whose income depends on efficient use of time. This not the case for the amateur.

It took me about three years of tuning my new M&H BB (the only piano I have ever tuned) to achieve the stability and nuance of tone in the unisons I desire. It still takes me about 1&1/2 hours to do a full 'touch-up' tuning and about three hours when I want to tweak the temperament. As an amateur, I can invest my time without loss of income. Listen to any recording I have posted here in the technicians forum or on the pianist's corner recordings forum to hear the results. My piano is played 4-8 hours every day (I practice for performance and my wife teaches.)

#2666238 - 08/04/17 07:17 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by prout
It may take a long time to become a proficient professional tuner - someone whose income depends on efficient use of time. This not the case for the amateur.

It took me about three years of tuning my new M&H BB (the only piano I have ever tuned) to achieve the stability and nuance of tone in the unisons I desire. It still takes me about 1&1/2 hours to do a full 'touch-up' tuning and about three hours when I want to tweak the temperament. As an amateur, I can invest my time without loss of income. Listen to any recording I have posted here in the technicians forum or on the pianist's corner recordings forum to hear the results. My piano is played 4-8 hours every day (I practice for performance and my wife teaches.)

Prout, your comments here state much more eloquently what I was trying to say regarding the piano owner learning to tune their own piano. I've listened to your recordings and heard your piano. It sounds absolutely fabulous, both your playing and the tuning of your piano.

Although I experienced a serious hearing injury a few years ago, my ears are still keen to a well tuned piano. I hear so many recordings, here and else ware, where the piano playing is good but the out-of-tune piano takes away from the quality of the recording.

I've said this before, a well tuned piano will make a mediocre player sound good and a poorly tuned piano will make a good player sound bad.

You are right, the amateur tuner is not spending their time tuning to earn a living; that is for the professional tuners. And, an amateur tuner, or someone who tunes their own piano, can take their time, all day if necessary, to get things right. A pro would be in trouble if it took them 4 hours to do a basic tuning. I've spent 8 to 10 hours tuning my piano, back when I was in the early stages of the learning curve. Now, I can do a sufficient tuning, with the Tune-Lab Pro software on my lap-top computer in a couple of hours. I can clean up the twangy unisons in less than an hour. I keep a tuning hammer and a couple of rubber mutes in the storage bench of my pianos. I tune when I feel like it, or I'm in the mood. That can be weeks between tunings, or months. That is the benefit of tuning your own piano. You can tune it whenever you think it needs it, or tune it just for fun. smile

When you tune your own piano(s) for expedience and enjoyment, it can be as rewarding as playing. When you play a well tuned piano, the experience can be very pleasant. Also, when you are used to playing a well tuned piano, it is not difficult to recognize a piano that is out of tune.

I have read where some concert pianist actually carry a tuning hammer in their back pocket, just in case. smile

I have tuned a few pianos for others, for free. I don't do that anymore. It is tedious and time-consuming work, and I just don't have the time anymore. And, a good piano tuner earns their money, every time! smile

Rick


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#2666359 - 08/05/17 09:15 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Rick,

Like you, I keep a hammer and mute at the piano at all times. I have an A1 wound pair that have hugely different iHs, so I actually tune the unisons differently depending on the music I am playing during a particular practice session.

The only disadvantage of learning to tune, as you mention, is the increased sensitivity to out of tune pianos.

Like we said in flying, "If you have time to spare, go by air." You could tune your own piano, but it is not for the faint hearted. Pro's earn their money.

#2666844 - 08/07/17 04:39 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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The piano sound is terrible now, especially in the mid and lower sections. The lower section is beginning to sound like an harpsichord.

Oddly enough, I tried checking if the piano is out of tune with an electronic orchestral tuner and it's in tune!

The weather here has pretty extreme daily variations:

- temperature goes from 20 degrees C at night to 40 degrees in the afternoon.

- relative humidity goes from 90% at night to 15% in the afternoon.

I close the house around noon because of the heat. It's weΔΊl insulated and by doing this I get the house to be 10 or more degrees cooler. I open the house again around 8pm and close it 1 or 2 hours later.

On the opposite corner of the room to the piano, there's a fish tank that has a daily evaporation of 2.5 liters.

I ordered an hydrometer monitor but it will take a few weeks to arrive, so I will try to get a simpler one tomorrow.

What is making me worried is the fact that according to the tuner, the piano is tuned, yet the sound is horrible in the mid and especially the lower section.

#2666857 - 08/07/17 06:09 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
What is making me worried is the fact that according to the tuner, the piano is tuned, yet the sound is horrible in the mid and especially the lower section.

Hello Ardeus. In my opinion, your piano is not in tune. A piano that is in tune doesn't sound horrible. If the tuner said it was in tune, and it sounds horrible, you need another tuner.

Your piano is experiencing environmental acclimation. The wood is expanding and contracting trying to find an equilibrium. Also, if the humidity level is fluctuating between 90%RH and 10%RH, that is a big problem. You may need to move the fish aquarium out of the room where the piano is located. When you say your are opening the house, are you referring to opening doors and windows to the outside? That too could be a problem.

You have a very nice piano and a very nice home. You can find a balance where the piano will retain it's nice sound; but you may need more environmental stability in the room where the piano is located. And, you may need another tuner...

Good luck!

Rick


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#2666864 - 08/07/17 06:31 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Ardeus, can you record what it sounds like and post examples? Also with the una corda pedal down....


-- J.S.

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#2666865 - 08/07/17 06:32 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Thks Rick,

I use the tuner to tune a cither and it's been reliable, at least to my ears.

The piano doesn't sound out of tune, it sounds like a muffled harpsichord in the lower section. The higher section sounds as good as in the day it arrived.

I was thinking that maybe the hammers absorbed too much humidity?

I can cover the aquarium and that will reduce the evaporation by at least 75%. I can also get a dehumidifier. During winter the humidity variation is much smaller.

I called the local dealer for the piano life saver systems and he told me the last one he installed was over 2 years ago.

But first thing, I need to get precise data on the relative humidity around the piano. The 10-90% variation is from weather sites. Hopefully I can find an hygrometer tomorrow.

John, it's past midnight here, but I will do that in the morning. Thanks.

Last edited by Ardeus; 08/07/17 06:34 PM.
#2666991 - 08/08/17 11:31 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Here's the test_



I got a cheap hygrometer today and I will have to test is for a few days to find out if it's reliable or not.


It's been stable for 5 hours at 26% relative humidity.

#2667003 - 08/08/17 12:27 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Andeus, I'm no pro, but the piano in the video recording sounds pretty good to me. I do hear some slight fine-tuning issues, and some false-beats in the lower register. Maybe that is what your are referring to as harsh. I do not think it sounds like a harpsichord by any stretch of the imagination.

A really good piano tech could address the fine-tuning issues, and perhaps the false-beats. Sometimes false-beats/inharmonisity are difficult to fix completely. In all honesty, the piano sound pretty good to me. If I were you, I'd still give it some time to acclimate and then have it tuned again by a highly competent tuner. The piano sounds very nice.

And, for the record, 26% RH is pretty low for an acoustic piano.

Also, I think you and I have a similar problem... we are both perfectionist. Nothing wrong with being a perfectionist, however, in an imperfect world, it can cause you a lot of grief... smile

All the best,

Rick


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#2667011 - 08/08/17 01:35 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Hi Rick,

I was misreading the humidity: it's been consistently around 42-45 (having baths and opening doors cause these variations).

I am not perfectionist in many things in life, quite the opposite, but when it comes to piano sound, I really want to love what I hear. I am not happy at all with the sound of the middle and lower registers, it's not as it was when it arrived.

I will follow your advice and wait a couple more weeks before having it tuned and regulated.

#2667051 - 08/08/17 05:10 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Humidity at 42 to 45 is about as close to perfect as it ever gets. Do give it some playing for the next couple weeks to help it settle in, and let us know what your tuner/tech achieves then.


-- J.S.

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#2667111 - 08/09/17 03:16 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Thanks, will do.

#2667126 - 08/09/17 06:38 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
#2667139 - 08/09/17 08:23 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Last edited by Karl Watson; 08/09/17 01:11 PM.
#2667141 - 08/09/17 08:29 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Karl, whenever I see a post on a factual question, which begins like that I do wonder why the contribution is made.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2667148 - 08/09/17 09:21 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Karl Watson
Steve:

That article from the piano guide is EXCELLENT. It's always good to read your advice. Unfortunately, when you, Rich, Sally, Sam, Ed, et al, weigh-in with the advantage of your many years of professional experience, I find it often goes for nothing on this forum. FAR more popular is the threadbare homespun, fresh from the cracker barrel "stuff," invariably prefaced by "I'm no professional, BUT." Then, off we go, like hounds yapping, following a bad scent, to an orgy of excuses to NOT follow sage, reasonable, INTELLIGENT advice.

I don't get it.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
kw35@si.rr.com


Karl, I start many of my posts with the words, "I'm no professional, BUT". If you, and Philip, are talking about me, why don't you come on out and say it. I can take it. I thought this was a public piano forum made up of individual members, from all over the world, who want to participate, communicate, and share their experiences here on the forum, for the purpose of trying to help someone, learn something, engage in social interaction, or just for fun.

Why don't you contact Frank Baxter and suggest that he ban me from the Piano World forum, permanently, (that would solve the "I'm no professional, but", problem, to some extent, at least) and create a software default so that anytime someone posts a thread about anything to do with a piano here on Piano World, the PW site would automatically take them directly to the PianoBuyerOnline web-page. I'm not sure how all the other PW advertisers would feel about that, but perhaps it would please you and make you happy.

I want you to be happy, Karl.

All the best,

Rick


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#2667160 - 08/09/17 09:58 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Karl Watson]  
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Originally Posted by Karl Watson
Steve:

That article from the piano guide is EXCELLENT. It's always good to read your advice. Unfortunately, when you, Rich, Sally, Sam, Ed, et al, weigh-in with the advantage of your many years of professional experience, I find it often goes for nothing on this forum. FAR more popular is the threadbare homespun, fresh from the cracker barrel "stuff," invariably prefaced by "I'm no professional, BUT." Then, off we go, like hounds yapping, following a bad scent, to an orgy of excuses to NOT follow sage, reasonable, INTELLIGENT advice.

I don't get it.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
kw35@si.rr.com
I'm no professional, but, I do know when someone, such as you, provide opinions without a shred of evidence to back your claim. Show me a study that proves amateurs do not make contributions to knowledge.

As an amateur, I am able to spend the time to do in depth studies, experiments, reading, and practice which no professional can afford to do if they wish to make a living. As a result, I acquire knowledge and expertise in areas that exceeds that of professionals. When I offer advice, it is based on 'fact-based science', is falsifiable, and can be refuted or reproduced by like-minded people.

I respectfully ask that you allow us amateurs a voice.

prout

#2667170 - 08/09/17 10:49 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Wow! I'm lost! I DO understand the concern of amateurs expressing their opinions that contradict that of the professionals on the forum when it comes to technical matters. However, even among professionals, they have different views, methods, favorite makes & models, etc. It's very much a cottage profession once the instrument leaves the factory.

But when was a amateur's opinion posted IN THIS THREAD that contradicted that of a qualified professional? I've been following this thread all along. I haven't seen that here.

This has been about positioning a piano in a room for acoustic and aesthetics. If it's about Rickster's comments on the piano's tuning (which the OP solicited), he may not be out tuning for 100's of customers daily, but take a listen on his YouTube channel. He does a fine job keeping his pianos in tune, so he's not exactly an amateur when he comments on tunings.

This is a forum. We post here to get a variety of feedback. Some I like and some I don't. It's up to the individual what he/she takes away from the advice and opinions expressed. On technical issues, I pay closer attention to those who identify as professionals. I have to admit that I have resisted their advice b/c I wanted an easier answer, but thankfully I eventually came around. ;-)

After all, when it's all said and done, we're all here to share our joy and passion for something close to our hearts -- the marvelous, majestic PIANO!

#2667191 - 08/09/17 12:33 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: GC13]  
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Originally Posted by GC13
But when was a amateur's opinion posted IN THIS THREAD that contradicted that of a qualified professional?


It's that old PianoBuyer.com article that pops up here from time to time. It dictates a hard and fast size cutoff based on the perimeter of the room. The advice is easy to understand and apply, but at best it errs too much on the side of caution. There are a few of us who have concert grands at home in violation of the perimeter rule, and find them to be a cost effective instrument.


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#2667195 - 08/09/17 12:42 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: GC13]  
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Last edited by Karl Watson; 08/09/17 01:12 PM.
#2667201 - 08/09/17 12:55 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Karl
I am an avid piano lover as well, but I think we all need to stop and think that not everyone can afford the piano of their dreams and in fact, own or purchase a piano that some would consider not worthy of being considered.

Many cannot afford the frequency needed for optimal tuning.

Regardless of what we end up playing that we personally called "our piano "we all share a love of making music with our own two hands..... that should not be taken lightly

#2667208 - 08/09/17 02:00 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I am not talking about you, Rickster. Not even necessarily talking about this forum.

For many years I was an amateur blacksmith. I was in a chat room, with other experienced blacksmiths and some very good knife makers. A new member came on asking if he could make a knife out of a piece of reinforcing bar. We all said, yes he could, but given all the hours of work involved, why would you make it out of steel which is, basically, junk. So he went quiet for a while and then came back to say we were all wrong, he had found a site that said the opposite. That is the sort of situation to which I referred.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2667220 - 08/09/17 02:41 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I had read that article a couple of times before and I read it again.

The problem I'm hearing is not connected to the room, but to a change that happened to the piano in the course of a week. Right after the piano arrived it had the same tone that I heard in the store. Not now.

In terms of climate, the piano is in the best spot of the house. Although outside the temperature and humidity have huge daily swings, inside and particularly where the piano is located it's very stable. The aquarium may be helping in keeping the humidity around 42% and it doesn't vary much.

I play the piano everyday, but I can't stand the middle and bass range, so I play the top 3 octaves most of the time.

With some luck, the guy that I called to tune and regulate the piano will be able to bring the piano's tone back to where it was.

#2667252 - 08/09/17 06:34 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
[...]
The problem I'm hearing is not connected to the room, but to a change that happened to the piano in the course of a week. Right after the piano arrived it had the same tone that I heard in the store. Not now.

[...]


That change is not at all unusual. The piano has had its environment changed and, after the first week, the components (wood, metal, wool, etc.) are beginning to be affected by the new environment. Even after the first two or three tunings in your home, it may still take more time for the piano to stabilize.

Regards,


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#2667257 - 08/09/17 06:54 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: JohnSprung]  
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by GC13
But when was a amateur's opinion posted IN THIS THREAD that contradicted that of a qualified professional?


It's that old PianoBuyer.com article that pops up here from time to time. It dictates a hard and fast size cutoff based on the perimeter of the room. The advice is easy to understand and apply, but at best it errs too much on the side of caution. There are a few of us who have concert grands at home in violation of the perimeter rule, and find them to be a cost effective instrument.




I thought that we had established two rules:

Christmas Tree Rule: A piano should be as long as the optimum height of a Christmas tree that you would put in the room (assuming that you "do" Christmas).

"Who's the Boss?" Rule: A piano should not be longer than the player's height, so that it won't think it's in charge (short people, shut up 😜).

πŸ˜€πŸ˜‚πŸ˜€πŸ˜‚



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#2674694 - 09/12/17 09:08 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I finally got the piano tuned. The guy is supposedly the best in the area.

I told him I loved the piano's upper register as it was but that I had problems with the middle and especially lower register.

He brushed all the hammers and removed all the marks of the strings on the hammers. He said "now the piano is really singing".

I died right there when he played the upper register. The piano sound I loved was gone. The sound was muffled.

I told him that I didn't like the change and he said that the problems I was having with with the lower register would probably be better after tunning. He also said that the hammers would return to their original state if I played for a couple of hours.

He said he was going to tune it to 441 to account for the fact that it would be coming down. He tuned it once. In total I think he spent 90 minutes on the piano.

This was the first time I had the piano tuned and I am not sure how much of what he did and said is correct.

I have been playing the piano for half an hour and I am disappointed to say the least, I hope I can get used to the sound, but right now it's a chore to play it. I already removed the rug from underneath the piano and it sound a little better.

I am more and more inclined to learn to tune the piano myself.

#2674697 - 09/12/17 09:45 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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That's horrible! Was he a concert level tech with voicing experience? Just brushing over the hammers is never the right thing to do from my experience.

The good news is that this is probably easily corrected by a good voicer, but it may cost you a little depending on how much time he/she has to spend. What area are you in? Maybe someone can recommend someone to help you fix it.

#2674710 - 09/12/17 10:16 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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The lower register is better due to the tuning, but also suffers from the muffled sound.

But I should have listened to my instincts when, while I was in the kitchen preparing lunch, the hair on my arms stood up. He was playing the Goldberg variations. I had never heard the piano at the distance and that creeped me out (I will always associate it with "Silence of the lambs").

I am in Portugal in a remote area, so it's not easy to find someone to service the piano, I will probably have to get someone from Lisbon, around 250kms away from here.

This guy was just 80kms away. He also restores pianos. In fact recently he had a fire in his house and he lost 12 of his grand pianos.

At this point I just want to get the hammers to the previous state. How many hours do I need to pound that piano to get the hammers back to the original state?

#2674712 - 09/12/17 10:28 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
I died right there when he played the upper register. The piano sound I loved was gone. The sound was muffled.

Don't worry, what he said is true as long as he didn't deep-needle the hammers (which I'm sure he didn't). I have been through the same thing multiple times and practically cried multiple times, too. It will come back after a few weeks, or if you deliberately play hard it will come back sooner.

A previous tech had taken down my bass register too much and it really killed the sound. My tech had to harden it back up with some acetone as it had been deep-needled. Over time (as we continue to do work and the piano improves, the smaller flaws become visible), I realized it had been juiced a bit too much and the transition was very obvious. Recently he did a full voicing to even out the whole piano and the bass lost the satisfying "crispness" to the attack. But this was the first time I didn't panic and I've been banging on the bass with my fists (my husband does not like this!) and it's improving.

So don't be sad-- keep playing and the piano will sound great again after you break the hammers back in!


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#2674717 - 09/12/17 10:51 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Ufff... thank you very much for the reassurance.

What about the tuning the piano to 441? The piano was tuned to 440 and I thought that the whole objective was to keep the tuning stable.

#2674725 - 09/12/17 11:23 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
What about the tuning the piano to 441? The piano was tuned to 440 and I thought that the whole objective was to keep the tuning stable.

Had the tuning fallen and stayed low for a while? Sometimes they will overcompensate because the piano is used to being in that state and it will naturally try to drift back to the lower tuning. My tech says the best way to keep things stable is frequent tunings, especially as the seasons change.


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#2674729 - 09/12/17 11:53 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I noticed that the lower registers needed a little tuning but the upper and middle registers were reasonable and the technician agreed.

It sounds out of tune now, especially in the upper registers.

Last edited by Ardeus; 09/12/17 11:54 AM.
#2674739 - 09/12/17 12:49 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I'm wondering if he meant "the piano will be coming down" because winter is coming? Sorry to hear that you're so unhappy after his visit and that it's hard to get another tech other there... hope at least you can play out the muffled-ness.

I dug through my old posts and found the one where a voicing had seriously depressed me and it looks like after about ten hours of normal playing (and hating the sound), I complained about it and then did some serious pounding on the piano on everyone's advice, and a few days later the sound did open back up again. Just don't hit the keys so hard that you knock the strings out of tune smile


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#2674746 - 09/12/17 01:57 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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It was so wonderful to read that thread and reach the point where Bo suddenly returned smile I was really happy (both for you and for me smile )

Temperatures here only drop seriously by December.

I have an electronic tuner and I set it to 441 Hz and a few keys that I thought were out of tune really are out of tune. I already had done some pounding and may have contributed.

I called him and he agreed to come again next friday. In the meantime I will follow your advise and continue to pound the piano as much as I can take it.

Thanks a lot for your help.

#2674756 - 09/12/17 02:46 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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You're welcome! Hope the pounding works (I guess it doesn't matter at this point if you knock the strings more out of tune!) and then you can get a fresh tuning and enjoy the piano smile


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#2674766 - 09/12/17 03:56 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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It appears that a piano tuner is sort of like being a hairdresser or a fancy chef -- what's "perfect" or what the customer asked for is not necessarily what the customer actually wants.


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#2674784 - 09/12/17 05:01 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
I am more and more inclined to learn to tune the piano myself.

I will probably have to get someone from Lisbon, around 250kms away from here.

This guy was just 80kms away.


Given those distances, doing it yourself is likely a good idea. Check out the TuneLab software, you can try it for free, and if you want to use it, it's only $300. Mutes and tuning hammers are sold right here on Piano World. Just look at the ads on the sides of the screen.

After a while, if you get good at it, you could start to tune for nearby piano owners.





Last edited by JohnSprung; 09/12/17 05:02 PM.

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#2674797 - 09/12/17 05:27 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Frank, your comment on hairdressers and chefs is on point. There's also the difficulty of using words to describe sound.

I think that when I said that the sound in the lower register was harsh I meant something and he may have understood another, which lead him to brush the hammers.

The sound now is still harsh, but muffled.

He assumed I would like a softer tone in the upper register. He shouldn't have messed with it after I said many times that the reason I loved the piano was the way it sounded in the upper register. I love it, therefore you shouldn't change it.

He should have treaded more carefully after I said that more than playing music, most of the time I am mostly listening to the piano smile

Thanks for the tip John, I will look into that software. I had also found another one that also has the option of having 1 week training course. 800 euros for the course including lodging and meals plus 300 or so for the software.

#2674803 - 09/12/17 05:35 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I have no experience at all on this, so a course may be a good option to get me going and it's not that far from here:

http://www.dirksprojects.nl/index.php?Lan=english&Page=Tuner/PianoCourseRegistration.php

#2674814 - 09/12/17 05:51 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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That looks like fun, and the price seems quite reasonable, given room and board for the week is included.

You might also want to get the Arthur Reblitz book.


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#2674817 - 09/12/17 06:03 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Originally Posted by Ardeus
I have no experience at all on this, so a course may be a good option to get me going and it's not that far from here:

http://www.dirksprojects.nl/index.php?Lan=english&Page=Tuner/PianoCourseRegistration.php

Sounds like a good opportunity to make a vacation out of it! smile

And I completely agree with you on techs needing to *listen* to their clients. As you read, the voicing change when I loved the existing sound was what made me so upset. But it was a blessing in disguise, as it forced me to change to my amazing tech who has done wonders for my piano, even if he's so busy that I can't get into his schedule as often as I'd like. Maybe something good will come out of it for you as well!


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#2674920 - 09/13/17 06:56 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Thks for the suggestion John, I ordered it.

I will definately learn how to take care of this piano.

#2675027 - 09/13/17 02:26 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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The piano is getting more out of tune and I hate playing it more and more.

The technician is coming back the day after tomorrow and I was thinking that maybe it's a good idea to ask him to put it back where it was, i.e., in 440Hz instead of 441Hz. Is it a good idea?

I am willing to bet that the piano had never been tuned to anything other than 440Hz.

#2675029 - 09/13/17 02:36 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I would do 440.


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#2675031 - 09/13/17 02:44 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Thanks twocats, I will do that then.

#2675064 - 09/13/17 04:59 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Given its recent tuning history, I think -- and techs please correct me -- that going back to 440 would mean moving more pins than staying at 441, and therefore pins that are now holding at 441 would be less likely to stay where they belong.


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#2675118 - 09/13/17 09:31 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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The reason he pointed out to tune to 441Hz was that the overall tune was slightly below 440Hz.

You are probably right, if the piano is brought back down to 440Hz it will probably need to be tuned again in a few days.

When I play chords in the high register there's now a strange ressonance from the lower register.

He made an adjustment to the una corda pedal, maybe he made some change to the middle one.

I feel like reversing the roles and play the Goldberg variations next time he comes, and reenact the film...

#2675209 - 09/14/17 10:38 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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That sounds like a right pedal problem -- dampers not going all the way down. Sostenuto is unlikely to be the culprit. Try pumping the right pedal.


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#2675427 - 09/15/17 06:34 AM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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Reading all of this with great interest. I had an old Rogers upright - ok, nowhere near the league of the pianos that you guys have, but I have played many pianos over the years so am accustomed to their differences. Now have a Roland LX7 digital. By far the best piano that I have ever had in terms of the control I have over it, and sounds are quite good provided that I use the headphones. Through the speakers it shows up the acoustics of the room it is in - pretty awful.

If I ever move and have the room, would I get a acoustic grand? Reading all of this I think not. I just want to play and improve. But maybe that is because I am too old to worry about tuning, etc.

Hope you get it sorted out.

#2675508 - 09/15/17 01:01 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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I like option C, because I don't feel comfortable to be stuck in the corner.

#2676133 - 09/18/17 04:56 PM Re: How to position the piano in the room? [Re: Ardeus]  
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C is how it is now and I don't see any reason to change it, I even have a good view because I don't have the piano blocking it. I didn't like being stuck in corner either.

Colin, an acoustic grand was the last dream I had that survived for over 40 years. I fulfilled some of the others, the rest either died some time after they tried to go past their expiration date or turned into nightmares when they became real.

I didn't want to let any thing bad happen the last of old dreams or let it die. I play many times a day and I am loving it at least as much as I dreamt. That's how much it's worth a grand piano to me. More than playing music, I listen to the piano in awe of how beatiful it sounds.

If I make the great trip now, I will feel my life was even more worth it because I had a magical grand acoustic piano in my living room for a few days.

On the subject, some time ago I wrote and recorded 6 songs for piano and voice based on 6 suicide stories. Best music I have ever done, maybe because the subject is so heavy. It's also the kind of stuff you should only do if you're feeling in a particularly good mood and even so, do it quickly.

https://youtu.be/h-xIgVkoiNo

The tuner came back and he spent about an hour tuning the piano again.

He also did an adjustment to the right pedal as you suggested John and it solved the problem.

I finally made him understand what I loved about the piano sound (that kind of celesta sound in the upper register).

On the first time he used an electronic device but he rarely looked at it and he was constantly using fifths, fourths, etc as guides. On the second time he just used his ear.

When he left the piano was in tune.

I think that the pounding I gave the piano so that I could get the old voicing back was at least in part responsible for the need to tune again. It's not back yet, but it's better.

A couple of days passed and I noticed that a couple of keys are slightly out of tune.

Instead of calling him, I ordered some tools and began trying to learn how to tune pianos (how to use the lever, beats, temperaments, inharmonicity, etc). It's a daring task, but I will begin by trying to correct the unisons and stop there for now.

It will be a very long time (if ever) before I dare to completely tune the piano.

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