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Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2838515
04/12/19 06:08 PM
04/12/19 06:08 PM
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I guess its essentially the same as the Chladni Pattern procedure that some European factories use, as well as luthiers (some anyway).

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
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Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2838516
04/12/19 06:09 PM
04/12/19 06:09 PM
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I guess its essentially the same as the Chladni Pattern procedure that some European factories use, as well as luthiers (some anyway). Except they know exactly what they're looking for.

Pwg

Oops...double post

Last edited by P W Grey; 04/12/19 06:10 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2838670
04/13/19 08:55 AM
04/13/19 08:55 AM
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I didn't find the Chladni Patterns very useful for piano soundboard construction. In Luthier work you can easily remove a top plate and make minute structural adjustments. Since guitars and violins are small relative to a piano soundboard, small adjustments become important for targeting a pitch. With a large surface area to work with, adjustments can be more crude and forgiving. I would also say that tonal targeting and opening up a board are two different objectives.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2838721
04/13/19 12:18 PM
04/13/19 12:18 PM
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Chris,

I think I agree.

About 15 years ago (in DC) Ulrich Sauter (I'm pretty sure) gave a presentation at Pianocraft, and in it were some slides (maybe some video...dont recall) of a bellyman spreading "sand" on the soundboard, and I think pounding the soundboard allowing the sand to form patterns on the surface, after which he would mark the board, remove the sand, and then scrape the board (thinning) in the selected areas, repeat, repeat until he got what he was looking for. A precise description of the process was not forthcoming, but it seems to me he was doing what you do, but in a different way. Yes?

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2839271
04/14/19 11:53 PM
04/14/19 11:53 PM
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Peter,
Before I answered you, i checked out some Chladni pattern videos and did a little reading on it. My take away, is that its not the same thing that I am doing. It seems to me that you can make an array of patterns by changing the frequency of the test piece. And the object seems to be just to make the patterns? What I do is listen to the natural tone of the board and open it up (increase sustain) if it needs it. I have a demo board that I made awhile back for the purpose of taking it to classes so techs could hear what a board should sound like. It was quite effective.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2839315
04/15/19 04:29 AM
04/15/19 04:29 AM
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Peter, Steingraeber modifies soundboard panels by using sand.

" Steingraeber's principle of deploying individual membranes

The vaulted soundboard made of resonating wood is built like a loudspeaker system encompassing tweeter, midrange and woofer. Every piece of wood varies in how it measures up!

Thus Steingraeber customizes the thinning out of the spruce by means of a sand examination with fine sand strewn over the soundboard. By tapping on the bridge we can identify which areas are “mobile” and which are “immobile”. This is how a conically spherical soundboard comes to life.

We individually match the braces of the soundboard membrane to the conical vaulting before gluing them into place. Ultimately they are worked into a curved line with constantly varying angles."

http://laureate-concert-group.com/pianos.html

Since Pianocraft is a Steingraeber dealer, this may be whom you were thinking of.

You may have never heard a Steingraeber, Chris. I have, both in person on a number of occasions and in multiple recordings. No one would ever accuse their instruments of lacking in sustain, and their pianos are rightly considered to be among the very finest in the world.

"And the object seems to be just to make the patterns? " Really, Chris? Sigh....

Will Truitt


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2839392
04/15/19 07:38 AM
04/15/19 07:38 AM
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Will,

There is a very strong possibility that you are correct. My memory told me it was one or the other and the first name started with "U". I just could not remember for sure. I do recall though that he did not want to divulge too much information (for somewhat obvious reasons) and many of us in the audience were clamoring for more. He just smiled and moved on.

I suspect there are parallels between that and Chris's procedure even though not identical. I have read about "voicing" soundboards in some other factory (European I think) through tapping and chiseling if ribs. Long time ago...dont recall where...


Chris,

I certainly would be interested to see and hear your method(s) someday.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2839436
04/15/19 09:12 AM
04/15/19 09:12 AM
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Udo Steingraeber, Peter?


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2839524
04/15/19 12:21 PM
04/15/19 12:21 PM
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Will,
Yes I have heard of Steingraeber, played on a few of them too. Regarding their use of chladni patterns, do you actually know what they do? and what the goal is?
Or did you just copy and paste what was on their website? The descriptions they give, that you quoted, is rather vague as to what the purpose is and how it is achieved.
Its not enough to say you want this section to be a tweeter, and this section to be a woofer. It don't work like that. I think the chladni patterns are cool, and i certainly have an open mind about it. The acoustics book of his has forever been in French only, just came out in english, but too pricey for me.
-chris

Last edited by Chernobieff Piano; 04/15/19 12:23 PM.

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Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2839567
04/15/19 02:24 PM
04/15/19 02:24 PM
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It would be fair to say that my understanding of this method to achieve a better response from the soundboard (however one wants to define that) certainly has its limits. And I have no direct experience working with Chladni patterns and piano soundboards. I have seen Chladni patterns demonstrated with a guitar top plate by a guitar maker when I visited his shop, he is also a luthier wood supplier. How directly that translates to a piano soundboard, I can't speak to. I don't know what Steingraeber's goals are. What I copied and pasted was yes (gasp) copied from their website. I should have hidden the link, that made it a dead giveaway! It was the only thing I could find. Why don't you contact them directly and ask them?

I will take a stab though, although I think the vibrating of a piano soundboard is a very complex system with many variables that contribute to the response of the panel that we experience by our means of testing. But I think they hint at what they mean with the use of the words "mobile" and "immobile". (The language used is likely translated from the German, and the meanings may end up being somewhat different, depending on the language). The Chladni method organizes the sand in different patterns depending on what frequency they are testing. It can identify "dead zones" within a panel. Anyway, I would think of a panel being more or less responsive at specific frequencies and locations. The areas of least activity will have the sand congregate there, it is not being moved by the induced vibration nearly so much. In those zones I would say that more energy is being lost by being absorbed by the wood itself as heat, which would also be affected by the thickness of the panel, the closeness of the perimeter and bridges, and the ribbing. What I think they are doing is thinning the panel in these less responsive areas.

Also, a piece of wood of a given thickness is not going to have a uniform response throughout. If you take several pieces of soundboard spruce lumber or Maple bridge stock of the same dimensions and do a tap test on them, you will find that the individual pieces will have differing responses, and that will also be true within a single piece. So there is a lot of variablility, despite the use of the best available materials and careful design and workmanship.

We certainly want the whole board to be the most responsive we can make it by our thinning, and we want it to avoid it having resonant peaks as much as possible; i.e. respond uniformly across the frequency band.

I know it doesn't work like that. You know it doesn't work like that. The people at Steingraeber know that it doesn't work like that . The man on the street doesn't know, and marketing doesn't care. What's your point, beyond stating the obvious?

This from Harold Conklin, https://www.speech.kth.se/music/5_lectures/conklin/howdoes.html. He did a lot of research on this at Baldwin win back in the sixties and seventies.

Will


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2839625
04/15/19 04:40 PM
04/15/19 04:40 PM
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Yes Will, it could very well be Udo. Keith Kerman would know for sure as he was there (for obvious reasons).

I do not remember tone generation being used in this process (but my memory is a little cloudy). I thought I remembered pounding on the board rather vigorously to create the patterns. But I repeat that we were being SHOWN a process rather than being taught how to do it. Precisely what the guy was looking for and specifically how to "fix" it was not being fully discussed. It was pretty cool though, I thought.

Tom's demo of Chladni patterns that day in his shop, reminded me of that occasion. If I knew how to deal with what I saw, I would fool around with it, but I freely concede that I don't.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 04/15/19 04:41 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Should I have an old Steinway custom refurbished? [Re: neve1064] #2839794
04/16/19 08:03 AM
04/16/19 08:03 AM
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Will,
Thanks for the Conklin Link. I read it years ago but forgot about it. So going by Peters description of what Steingraber may have been doing, was to focus on mode 1 of the soundboard. Which is to narrow the band of sand around the perimeter and any dead spots in the center field. I think i'll play with that on the next board and see what happens.
I currently have a Baldwin from the 70's in my shop, and yes it's a fantastic sounding board. Even the rib structure was good ( with only 1 rib in the rib scale seemingly out of place). I recommended to the owner not to replace the board, even though it had suffered some damage from vandalism. Every time i work on a Baldwin, they climb higher on my "Best Piano List".
Thanks again.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
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