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Question about front lid on my Kawai grand #2890825
09/16/19 03:13 AM
09/16/19 03:13 AM
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East Gippsland, Australia
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Deltajockey Offline OP
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I have a soft padded "spread" covering my piano for most of the time, and I find it convenient when playing spontaneously, by just rolling back the front of the cover from the fallboard with the piano closed up, providing me with a nice mellow sound for the type of pieces I practice.
This way, I have peace of mind that it is nicely buffered from the elements for the majority of the time I’m not using it, (I do play it every day!)

As my point of all this, is to have my piano configured with the least amount of fiddling to begin playing if I’m in the mood as I walk past, I have a question which is a variation on
several opinions that leaving the lid of a grand on the prop for extended periods may result in sagging of the timber.

What I was wondering, was if the front part of the lid was "propped" up by a small amount, is it likely to do the same thing over time?
One might ask, why not open and close the front section when playing?
Well, I find the same principle of opening the main lid to project the sound, works brilliantly at a smaller scale really well, for me as a player when practicing.

I’m amazed at the chest punching bass when the front lid is just propped a few inches with some foam pads., given the size of my piano, 166cm.

I might leave the front lid in this position for some time, so that all I have to do is roll the cover back. It depends on what sound character I want for the pieces I have rattling away in my brain at the time, and at other times, it would be closed.

So, interested in your learned thoughts on this,



Chris


The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88
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Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2890855
09/16/19 06:28 AM
09/16/19 06:28 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
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johnstaf Online crying
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If you mean folding the front part of the lid back, it won't do any harm. The potential problem with propping the lid on the stick is that there's a lot of weight supported at a single point.

Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2890856
09/16/19 06:37 AM
09/16/19 06:37 AM
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East Gippsland, Australia
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Deltajockey Offline OP
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actually, I mean propping the front part of the lid up by a few inches, rather than folding all the way back.


The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88
Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2890883
09/16/19 07:55 AM
09/16/19 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Deltajockey
actually, I mean propping the front part of the lid up by a few inches, rather than folding all the way back.


That shouldn't do any harm, as that part of the lid isn't heavy. The front edge to hinge probably less than 50 cm.

When you open the whole lid back, there's a lot of heavy wood with very little support, so that's a different matter.

Last edited by johnstaf; 09/16/19 08:02 AM.
Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2890941
09/16/19 11:16 AM
09/16/19 11:16 AM
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If your front lid is like mine, it's only supported at the two outside points by small rubber button cushions, there is no support in the middle. So the middle part is unsupported whether you prop it up or not, and there's no difference in terms of sagging if you hold it up with foam blocks or leave it all the way down. You'll also notice there is a piece of wood oriented vertically along the front edge of that lid acting like a small beam, so it's fairly strong.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2891107
09/16/19 06:57 PM
09/16/19 06:57 PM
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East Gippsland, Australia
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Thank you to both of you for your replies. Yes, of course it is sitting on the rubber stops. and the vertical timber brace adds the strength in any case.


The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88
Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2891851
09/18/19 09:41 PM
09/18/19 09:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,899
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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Good question, Delta-J. I mean, Chris. And some good answers/ observations. Yes, the little rubber stand-offs that support the lid and allow air to circulate, solely support its weight. There was a series of posts about this sagging question, a few years back; you might be able to Search out the thread... with a measure of luck. (If this works, immediately rush to the nearest terminal and buy a lottery ticket, before it wears off. You can read the thread any time.)

I think the lids are not supposed to sag; God knows they're heavy enough to have some stiffness built in. Whether you want to have it open all the time, and how much--- no real point in asking someone else what they like (or believe proper); it's your piano and you should do what you enjoy. Live dangerously, if that's what it takes. As Elvira, Mistress of the Dark was heard to scoff, "Oh, a little danger never hurt anyone."

Of course, we all have our standards regarding acceptable risk.

The good thing about it is that you're exploring the many different ways which exist to modify the envelope of tone, as heard from the bench. There is so much more to this than, lid up or lid down. What you have under the piano, for example, or where you put the dog's bed (because sound from under the piano bounces right to your ears, and very little in the way of acoustic treatment has a significant effect at this exact location. Or, you could completely remodel, banishing 90º angles and exactly parallel walls, and--- what the h--- knock out that confining, low ceiling... bass traps... irregular surfaces; tune the room and send those nasty standing waves packing. Packing!

What wonderful fun!

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with aiming low. I started preferring to leave the front lid segment open all the time, because I have a lamp with a stone base, which sits on the piano. Very handsome, if I say so myself, and it gives an excellent light. But moving it, twice a day, every day of the world--- come on. And, like you, I like the tonal envelope, configured like that for everyday practice and play. In fact, I get pretty good recordings that way, lowering two mics pretty close to the strings. The punchy, intimate sound, with sustain so present it feels as if it could be felt by the skin (maybe, right over the sinuses) ; the suppression of ambient noise (plenty of that around here).

But--- one bad problem. I see that you are posting from Australia, so you may have the same problem I have in California: dust. Where does it all come from? We're not barnyard animals around here; I have a vacuum cleaner AND an ostrich feather duster, and I'm not afraid to use them. All the same, enough accumulates on the piano's lid in 24 hours that you could write "Piano World" with your finger, and anyone could read it.

Solution: front folded back, cotton queen-sized top sheet folded so four thicknesses shield the open case. The music rack's back brace holds one side securely; the lamp secures one side, scores hold the other. The material is stiff enough that the unsecured part (on the top of the closed lid) does not slide down. I can change colors as it suits me; so far a handsome dark blue looks good, and another that is more of a wine hue picks up the color of a curtain I put up, lacking the self-confidence to knock out a wall to cancel a standing wave. Everything is sewn up; out of the box, it has a nice, finished look.

Your original question? I'll refer you to an authority. Dolly Parton was doing audience Q-and-A's on a radio program, and one caller asked, "Dolly, aren't you worried that, with all the, uh, enhancements, that one day, you might... sag?" Dolly laughed, and replied, "I already sag, honey! My worries are over!"

Indeed, she did not sound worried. But if you were to write to Kawai about this question, I don't doubt that they would answer you. I have never seen it or heard about it happening to someone else, but what do I know. Ask the real authority. http://www.kawaius.com/


Clef

Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2891865
09/19/19 12:56 AM
09/19/19 12:56 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,971
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WhoDwaldi Offline
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Another possible strategy is having a wool string cover (it would extend all the way over the tuning pins to the front edge of the insides) plus keeping the hinged part of the lid folded back with the lid down. This would keep out dust, allow the sound out of the front part of the lid, but filter the tone somewhat for shrillness.

Piano techs can order and fit a string cover.


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2891875
09/19/19 02:15 AM
09/19/19 02:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
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East Gippsland, Australia
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Deltajockey Offline OP
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Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed response Jef,

Yes I have spent some time exploring tonal variation with different physical configurations. I tend to like a more mellow organic sound, which is why I originally chose the piano I have. Though the room is quite a decent size (28x14ft and some non parallel walls, I have the area in which the piano is situated fully carpeted, and some sound dampening screening behind it against the wall. There is also a couple of single lounge chairs nearby and curtains, so as this image suggests, I do like it quite dampened! I'm very pleased with the room acoustics.

Even though I live in quite a green and forested part of rural Australia, my environment does also suffer from the same dust fate! I seem to be constantly dusting it down and wiping with a damp cloth. That's the draw back of the ebony mirror finish I guess. I notice it the most, late in the day when the filtered sunlight is shining though at a low angle near sunset. It even shows up the micro scratches, which are on any piano finish, that are impossible to see at any other time of day. I have the piano cover on more to save me the dusting than the other reasons, though I do like the sound also smile I have an old queen size padded cottage quilt which drapes over brilliantly. It has nice pastel colours on cream background and just fits the room decor perfectly. I never liked the bespoke piano covers. The ones I've seen are just black diamond padded, and are very drab, in my view.

Whodwaldi - I did consider a string cover. There are no local manufacturers here in Oz that I'm aware of, and it would have cost me almost $1,000AUD to buy one from the US. I did buy a length of wool felt to make my own, as some people have done. In the end, I'm happy with my configuration at this stage, and Jef's idea of a sheet over the front lid flap might also be worth a go to try it for sound smile I may down the track finish my string cover as an experiment....I even have the dowels and velco ready to go. Perhaps if I do, I'll post pics!

Fortunately, I don't have much trouble with wildly varying temp/humidity, as my house is double brick and doesn't change very rapidly, and the piano is well away from windows or sources of temp/humidity variation, but the dust is a bummer!!

Chris

Last edited by Deltajockey; 09/19/19 02:15 AM.

The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88
Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2891882
09/19/19 02:33 AM
09/19/19 02:33 AM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,658
North Vancouver
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Lady Bird Offline
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Jeff Clef
I love your posts and you always make me laugh!
Sorry Deltajockey, I cannot help it ! I hope you get good
advice !

Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2891885
09/19/19 02:43 AM
09/19/19 02:43 AM
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East Gippsland, Australia
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Deltajockey Offline OP
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All good Ladybird!

I enjoy everybody's ramblings serious or otherwise, I enjoy rambling too, though I'm not as funny as Jef, nor do I have the confidence on the forum to be!


The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88
Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2891892
09/19/19 03:29 AM
09/19/19 03:29 AM
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East Gippsland, Australia
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Deltajockey Offline OP
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Just a couple more thoughts on my discussion. On the subject of dust, I find most of the dust that sticks to my piano, is dust which is generated inside the house anyway. Most of it seems to originate from clothing, bedding and soft furnishing lint, carpet, mats. So it's not something I can eliminate, and is likely to be a problem for anyone regardless of the landscape we live in, (other than the obviously dusty places in the world). I came to this conclusion as I have a separate room set up as a music studio with keyboards, synths etc. As I keep this room closed when I'm not in there, and there's not much fabric being kicked around, I have very little trouble with dust, unless I leave a window open on a windy day! So anywhere humans are constantly moving around the house, there's dust!


Also, not sure if this is something anyone can relate to, but my preference for a mello piano sound partly comes from trouble I have with my hearing. Inner ear congestion, allergy? tends to cause my hearing to accentuate certain frequencies whith jarring, and is always changing from day to day, which is why I'm often fiddling with the sound I'm looking for.
Just when I have a sound character I like, my hearing sensitivity changes and I might change the sound character of the piano to keep my ears happy. If that makes sense. It's perpetually frustrating. Like having a cold that comes and goes.

Last edited by Deltajockey; 09/19/19 03:30 AM.

The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88
Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2892037
09/19/19 01:53 PM
09/19/19 01:53 PM
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Jeff Clef Offline
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"...Also, not sure if this is something anyone can relate to, but my preference for a mello piano sound partly comes from trouble I have with my hearing. Inner ear congestion, allergy? tends to cause my hearing to accentuate certain frequencies whith jarring, and is always changing from day to day, which is why I'm often fiddling with the sound I'm looking for.
Just when I have a sound character I like, my hearing sensitivity changes..."


You've probably heard about enough from me, but I just have to answer this one thing. You're probably not as old and wore out as me, but I believe this is a problem known as presbyacusis. At first, it sounded like a ringing in my ears. A few years later on, once the cobra had been aroused by exposure to loud sounds (like a piano can produce), sounds would undergo a sort of twangy distortion.

Although it was interesting, I came to recognize this as a final warning to get the volume down or off, or my ears would take care of it for me. Actually, a lot of people hear, not silence, but a noise that never goes away: tinnitis. Treatment: unknown. They just have to live with it. Some can, some can't; it's not just a trivial problem.

Some have described it as a man's last refuge from a nagging wife. Certainly, it is very interesting and, well, suspect that the very frequency of the nagging voice goes completely dead. But then, one thinks of the horror of Beethoven's deafness.

One could speculate for reams, but the only fact worth knowing, for most of us, is that hearing loss can be prevented, or arrested... but once the hearing is lost, it can never be brought back.

Recently, there was a discussion here about whether a certain size of grand would be too loud for an OP's space. It was pointed out that some people think that the volume of sound has less to do with the size of the piano than with how it is played. I sort of agree with this, but then, as I have, perforce, struggled to find ways to keep the volume of my 6½ foot grand down, so I don't go deaf as a post, another idea took form. Certainly, it is possible to play Kawai grands very quietly. But, just as we can whisper when speaking, if we want to, we don't always want to play the keyboard on tiptoe. So, there's a natural sort of moderate volume, not quiet, not loud; we try to pitch the room so that is comfortable and nice to our ears.

We're both on the same page here; I just want to underscore the importance. YES, other people have the same thing, YES, we can relate, YES, it is possible to arrest the progress of hearing loss, and NO, hearing, once lost, cannot be recovered. So at the first sign, put a stop to the racket, or protect the ears with earplugs. The cheap foam earplugs from the drugstore can save your hearing from that passing garbage truck or fire engine, if you always have them in a pocket or purse or day pack.

End of commercial for hearing health awareness. The following is the first graf from the Wikipedia article on presbyacusis. Not to be confused with the idea that a Presbyterian is accusing you of some misdeed (but if one did, you could reach in your pocket for the earplugs).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbycusis

"Presbycusis (also spelled presbyacusis, from Greek presbys "old" + akousis "hearing"[1]), or age-related hearing loss, is the cumulative effect of aging on hearing. It is a progressive and irreversible bilateral symmetrical age-related sensorineural hearing loss resulting from degeneration of the cochlea or associated structures of the inner ear or auditory nerves. The hearing loss is most marked at higher frequencies. Hearing loss that accumulates with age but is caused by factors other than normal aging (nosocusis and sociocusis) is not presbycusis, although differentiating the individual effects of distinct causes of hearing loss can be difficult.

"The cause of presbycusis is a combination of genetics, cumulative environmental exposures and pathophysiological changes related to aging.[2] At present there are no preventative measures known; treatment is by hearing aid or surgical implant.

"Presbycusis is the most common cause of hearing loss, afflicting one out of three persons by age 65, and one out of two by age 75. Presbycusis is the second most common illness next to arthritis in aged people.

"Many vertebrates such as fish, birds and amphibians do not suffer presbycusis in old age as they are able to regenerate their cochlear sensory cells, whereas mammals including humans have genetically lost this regenerative ability...."


Clef

Re: Question about front lid on my Kawai grand [Re: Deltajockey] #2892196
09/20/19 02:35 AM
09/20/19 02:35 AM
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Deltajockey Offline OP
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thanks for another detailed account Jeff!
Though it sounds like I'm a young-en compared to you:) I am retired now, so if that gives you an idea. Thank you for the description on Presbycusis. While I'm sure there is a component of that at my age now, I think there is more to the story. I have a sister who was diagnosed with Meniere's disease, and while not having any medical confirmation as yet, I suspect I'm heading in the same direction. I also experience debilitating vertigo at times, and do have tinnitus. Interestingly, my tinnitus often goes away completely, and my hearing is excellent sometimes. I don't think I've been subjected to as much loud noise through my life as some people have. Often when I hear the harshness of certain notes on the piano, if I nose clear the eustachian tubes, there is congestion moving around in my inner ear which I can hear, and then the harshness will disappear for a time, just like being blocked with a head cold. I'm not sure Presbycusis would be something which would right itself so instantly, be it temporarily.

We do tend to, as humans, try to simplify symptoms down to one cause, but as I suspect, I think there are several problems at play here. Regardless of the source, I understand that if I have Meniere's it will degrade my hearing over time, whether protecting it from sound or not, Interestingly, my sister, whom is in her mid 70's and has had the condition for a few decades, still has excellent hearing, though she is female, so that may help a little.


On a previous point, certainly I tend to agree that larger pianos are not necessarily exclusively louder. We all know the increased dynamic range playability which comes from large soundboards and longer strings and keysticks. I tend to view the piano size somewhat like speaker size, when it comes to the amount of air being moved. I chose a piano for my room size (Kawai GL30) and the bass in my modest living room sounds excellent. I recently played a Fazioli F228 in a showroom and compared it to my GL30 nearby. I could clearly here the difference in such a large showroom, however when I returned home and played mine, the fullness and satisfaction it produces stacks up well, placed in my appropriate size living room.


The companions I can't live without.........

Kawai GL30 Acoustic Grand. Kawai MP11SE, Korg Kronos 2-88

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