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"Torrified" soundboards? #2721073
03/14/18 09:23 AM
03/14/18 09:23 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 434
Chesterfield. MA
C
Craig Hair Offline OP
Full Member
Craig Hair  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 434
Chesterfield. MA
We have been investigating the Luthiers for kindred philosophies, and came across the practice of "torrification".
It seems to be an artificial aging process involving the baking of the tone wood in a nitrogen gas to prevent oxidation. It seems controversial. Is anything like this being used in the piano industry?

Craig


Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Chesterfield, MA
Conservative Piano Restoration
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Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: Craig Hair] #2721247
03/14/18 09:20 PM
03/14/18 09:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 269
Maryland, USA
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Davdoc Offline
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Davdoc  Offline
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Maryland, USA
I’m not an expert, but after reading your post I did a Google search and saw this article:

Torrefaction

The article mentioned Yamaha’s name for this process, A.R.E., which is apparently something used in its (pretty new) SX series:

Yamaha SX

I have yet encountered an SX piano, and even if I had I am not experienced enough in Yamaha’s full range to know whether this A.R.E. makes any difference in tones (or longevity).


1969 Hamburg Steinway B, rebuilt by PianoCraft in 2017
2013 New York Steinway A
Kawai MP11

Previously: 2005 Yamaha GB1, 1992 Yamaha C5
Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: Craig Hair] #2721287
03/15/18 12:48 AM
03/15/18 12:48 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,550
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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terminaldegree  Offline
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Georgia, USA
If memory serves, the Yamaha SX example applies to the rim of the piano. I've played two of them: a 7 1/2 foot SX-7 and the 7 foot SX-6, at private appointments at NAMM the past two years, and both were quite nice instruments.

I wasn't able to do an A/B comparison between the new and old versions, back to back, prepared by the same technician. I did have that kind opportunity shortly after Yamaha released the CX series piano in a C7 vs C7X test for the Piano Buyer at Yamaha Artist Services in NYC. That was a really fun review to write...


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: Craig Hair] #2721288
03/15/18 12:53 AM
03/15/18 12:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,582
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Retsacnal Offline

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Retsacnal  Offline

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Interesting! I know a variety of guitars are "aged" and/or distressed in the factor, but sold as new (since they are).


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Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: Retsacnal] #2721294
03/15/18 01:12 AM
03/15/18 01:12 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,523
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Interesting! I know a variety of guitars are "aged" and/or distressed in the factor, but sold as new (since they are).


They may even be seasoned for destination!


Semipro Tech
Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: Retsacnal] #2721317
03/15/18 05:44 AM
03/15/18 05:44 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,934
Scotland
Beemer Online content
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Beemer  Online Content
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Posts: 1,934
Scotland
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Interesting! I know a variety of guitars are "aged" and/or distressed in the factor, but sold as new (since they are).

Willie's "trigger" guitar is certainly distressed smile

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_(guitar)

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: terminaldegree] #2721583
03/16/18 01:06 AM
03/16/18 01:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,893
Michigan
K
kpembrook Online content
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kpembrook  Online Content
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Joined: Apr 2010
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Michigan
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
If memory serves, the Yamaha SX example applies to the rim of the piano. ..


No. Actually it is the soundboard that is torrefied in the new Yamaha grands


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
Editor Emeritus, Piano Technicians Journal
Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: Craig Hair] #2721591
03/16/18 02:40 AM
03/16/18 02:40 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,550
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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terminaldegree  Offline
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Georgia, USA
Hello Mr. Akins,

Here is what we have published in the Piano Buyer regarding the process:

"The second Premium Collection line, added in 2017, is the SX Series, positioned between the CX and CF lines and comprising the 6' 1" model S3X, the 6' 7" model S5X, and the 7' 6" model S7X. The SX series uses the same soundboard and scale-design approach as the flagship CFX model; has a completely new hammer design derived from testing more than 100 prototypes; and, most significant, has a new, thicker rim construction in which the wood is treated with a patented accelerated-aging process called Acoustic Resonance Enhancement, to give the piano a warmer, more romantic sound with a wider range of expression."

It matches what we were told in person by the company's Japanese design and technical team who came to the NAMM show in January 2017, and worked directly on the project. Although I know there is sometimes a language barrier to deal with at an internationally-staffed show, it seemed pretty clear to me that they were talking about the rim. There was an S6X on display at this year's show in the premium room (enclosure), however the majority of staff present during my appointment at the factory level were Bösendorfer folks this time around.

What is the source of your information? If we have this wrong, I would ask that you contact Larry Fine at larry@pianobuyer.com with a suggestion.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: Craig Hair] #2721669
03/16/18 10:37 AM
03/16/18 10:37 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,578
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
1000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
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P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,578
New Hampshire
Hmmm...somehow, somewhere, I was led to believe that the aging process was detrimental to soundboard wood...the major reason for replacing old boards with new.

So now we're artificially aging them to ENHANCE them.

Somebody inform me as to which of these is propaganda 101?

Or am I just so totally out to lunch that I don't get it?

Hmmm.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: terminaldegree] #2721731
03/16/18 01:20 PM
03/16/18 01:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,893
Michigan
K
kpembrook Online content
Platinum Subscriber
kpembrook  Online Content
Platinum Subscriber
K
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,893
Michigan
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Hello Mr. Akins,

Here is what we have published in the Piano Buyer regarding the process:

"The second Premium Collection line, added in 2017, is the SX Series, positioned between the CX and CF lines and comprising the 6' 1" model S3X, the 6' 7" model S5X, and the 7' 6" model S7X. The SX series uses the same soundboard and scale-design approach as the flagship CFX model; has a completely new hammer design derived from testing more than 100 prototypes; and, most significant, has a new, thicker rim construction in which the wood is treated with a patented accelerated-aging process called Acoustic Resonance Enhancement, to give the piano a warmer, more romantic sound with a wider range of expression."

It matches what we were told in person by the company's Japanese design and technical team who came to the NAMM show in January 2017, and worked directly on the project. Although I know there is sometimes a language barrier to deal with at an internationally-staffed show, it seemed pretty clear to me that they were talking about the rim. There was an S6X on display at this year's show in the premium room (enclosure), however the majority of staff present during my appointment at the factory level were Bösendorfer folks this time around.

What is the source of your information? If we have this wrong, I would ask that you contact Larry Fine at larry@pianobuyer.com with a suggestion.


I believe you are correct. I have been looking into this process and know that wood treated with this process is being used in top-line guitars both in the necks and the tops. (see here http://www.theguitarmagazine.com/features/all-about/all-about-torrefaction/) It was in that context that I read that it was used by Yamaha in their violins and also pianos. Given the context I assumed it was soundboards but looking at the Yamaha website, it is clearly a treatment of the rim. Nothing is said about soundboards -- although they do mention its use in the violins.

Another link:https://pianopricepoint.com/yamaha-sx-grand-pianos-with-are/

Thanks for pointing this out.


Last edited by kpembrook; 03/16/18 02:34 PM. Reason: add link

Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
Editor Emeritus, Piano Technicians Journal
Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: Craig Hair] #2721786
03/16/18 04:16 PM
03/16/18 04:16 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,550
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
4000 Post Club Member
terminaldegree  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,550
Georgia, USA
Don't worry about it -- it's more important to me that we publish correct information, and with your level of experience/understanding as a technician, I was honestly a little worried!


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: "Torrified" soundboards? [Re: Craig Hair] #2721795
03/16/18 04:41 PM
03/16/18 04:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 269
Maryland, USA
D
Davdoc Offline
Full Member
Davdoc  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 269
Maryland, USA
A little more than a year ago I posted this question:

Yamaha SX series?

Looking back, it is interesting to see how A.R.E. works was described/deduced/imagined on the forum.


1969 Hamburg Steinway B, rebuilt by PianoCraft in 2017
2013 New York Steinway A
Kawai MP11

Previously: 2005 Yamaha GB1, 1992 Yamaha C5

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