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Piano size & loudness #2913616 11/18/19 09:46 PM
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I am currently shopping for a new upright.

Should I expect a significance difference in volume between the Bechstein A124 Imposant (48.8 inches high) and the Bechstein A114 Compact (44.8 inches)? Does height make a significant difference in terms of volume?

I personally would prefer the A124 but, living in an apartment building, I am worried about my neighbors.

That being said, I currently have a Yamaha U1, and nobody has complained.

Thanks!

Last edited by theoo; 11/18/19 09:49 PM.
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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2913626 11/18/19 10:32 PM
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The larger piano will probably be easier to play softly.


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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2913628 11/18/19 10:47 PM
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If it were me, and If I lived in an apartment, I would prefer worry free practicing and playing, so i would go digital. Maybe get a clavichord for WTC.
-chris


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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: Chernobieff Piano] #2913643 11/19/19 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
If it were me, and If I lived in an apartment, I would prefer worry free practicing and playing, so i would go digital. Maybe get a clavichord for WTC.
-chris

Amazing suggestions ! Get the piano you like ! (I mean anyone of those Bechstein pianos )Play them before you decide !
I wonder ,I wonder ,I wonder ???? What is the big problem with piano rebuilders and European pianos?
I wonder ? Yes I wonder ? Did I say I ,wonder ?
,

Last edited by Lady Bird; 11/19/19 01:22 AM. Reason: Extra word
Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2913678 11/19/19 05:59 AM
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When I bought my U3 I had some concerns as common wisdom that it was probably too large and too loud for the room it is in. But logic suggested that you can play any piano loudly or sofly and the difference between a U3 and a U1 is that it has the potential to play louder rather than having to sound louder. I'm glad to say that logic has triumphed :-)

So I would also say get whichever piano you prefer and if you want it quieter then play more quietly. That said sound seems a strange thing and there are places in my house where the sound travels too pretty much irrespective of volume (even when muted with the practice pedal and barely audible in the piano room itself) so if I lived in an apartment I might choose a piano with a silent function just in case problems with neighbours developed.

Last edited by gwing; 11/19/19 06:00 AM.
Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2913691 11/19/19 06:50 AM
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Well, I’m renting a U1 with the silent feature and I just don’t find myself attracted to playing with headphones. I like to hear the sound of the piano in the room, and not the sound of the piano in my head, if that makes sense.

As for the neighbors, well, I have a funny story from last Sunday. Somebody mentioned WTC, and that only means Well Tempered Clavier to me, so tell me if it has another meaning. Anyway, to last Sunday. I was practicing the C Major Prelude from Book I at about 11am on a Sunday morning. After a while, I heard the same prelude from somewhere else.

I tried to figure out from where because there is a pianist in the next building who sometimes plays for four or five hours straight and, yes, we hear her through our window, and we don’t mind it. There is also a singer from down the hall who has a piano and she sometimes plays as well.

After a while, we realized that our neighbor downstairs was playing Bach. They’re new and we’ve never met them. The last guy there never complained about noise from us and actually told my wife at one point that he didn’t hear my stereo, which I found kind of amazing. Anyway, as for the new people, after ascertaining that it was a recording, I didn’t run downstairs for help with the Prelude, haha, I just kept practicing. Was it a bit of snarky criticism to play the Bach? I don’t know, I suppose so.

As Robert Schumann said: “When you play, never mind who listens to you.”

I live in New York. Nobody is promised a noise free environment but I only play within regular hours, and, well, we bought, and have a right to make music within those hours. One of the guys on the coop board had a grand in his apartment and life goes on around him. Besides, as my teacher has told me, playing the piano is a performing art, so I should get used to the idea that someone is listening.

My teacher’s downstairs neighbors ring her up if they don’t hear the piano one day and ask her if she is sick and should they bring up food? There are a lot of Russians in her building, and they’ve probably experienced worse things than piano practice.

Anyway, to the question. I have been leaning towards another 48” piano as my forever piano, thinking that the overall volume of larger pianos is louder. Am I wrong?

Here is a satirical video about what upstairs neighbors can do to you if they’re cruel:


Last edited by LarryK; 11/19/19 06:56 AM.

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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2913726 11/19/19 08:42 AM
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I’d get the A124. I played that piano and it was on my shortlist. I wouldn’t worry about it’s height since you already have U1.

I was playing my sax in my walk-in closet and realized after 45 minutes of practice that my next door neighbour was blasting his stereo, I suppose in response to my sax noise! Lol. No complaints yet...

Also, since I’ve started playing piano, I’ve noticed that my other neighbour’s kid (?) has been “competing” with me. Every time I practiced, he went to practice. Every time I played a fast song, he played a fast song. When I did scales, he did scales. I thought it was funny. I’m sure his mom has said to him, “Look! Even our next door neighbour is practicing! Shouldn’t YOU be practicing too?” His mom should be thanking me! Ling Ling all the way!

Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2913734 11/19/19 08:55 AM
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theoo Offline OP
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Thanks for all the great, and informative, anecdotes wink

I do play, with my U1, only during the day time, and play some parts with the practice pedal... and nobody has complained.

I was just a bit worried about the Bechstein A124 Imposant because it is described on the Bechstein website as an "ideal pianoforte."

Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2913736 11/19/19 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
I’d get the A124. I played that piano and it was on my shortlist. I wouldn’t worry about it’s height since you already have U1.

I was playing my sax in my walk-in closet and realized after 45 minutes of practice that my next door neighbour was blasting his stereo, I suppose in response to my sax noise! Lol. No complaints yet...

Also, since I’ve started playing piano, I’ve noticed that my other neighbour’s kid (?) has been “competing” with me. Every time I practiced, he went to practice. Every time I played a fast song, he played a fast song. When I did scales, he did scales. I thought it was funny. I’m sure his mom has said to him, “Look! Even our next door neighbour is practicing! Shouldn’t YOU be practicing too?” His mom should be thanking me! Ling Ling all the way!



Haha, I love it. Sonny Rollins took his sax playing to the Manhattan Bridge in order to spare his neighbors. After that, he recorded an album called The Bridge. The cover of the album shows the Brooklyn Bridge but he practiced on the Manhattan Bridge.

Obviously, we can’t go to a bridge with our pianos. I tried to soundproof a tiny room in a studio apartment but my neighbor could still hear my violin practice. Sound is a funny thing. My neighbor said she enjoyed listening to me play.

We shouldn’t discount the imitative nature of human beings. I’m probably playing the piano because of listening to the woman in the next building.

A guy in my classical guitar trio used to be a professional trumpet player. At one point, he lived in Little Italy and was experimenting with producing noise. Somebody threw a wine jug through the plate glass window of his apartment. If he had been playing something from an opera, he probably would not have received such a harsh review. He went out and bought a mute.

I say play on!

Last edited by LarryK; 11/19/19 08:59 AM.

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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2913740 11/19/19 09:09 AM
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The thread is. unexpectedly. developing into a very entertaining collection of anecdotes about our neighbours wink

Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2913744 11/19/19 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by theoo
The thread is. unexpectedly. developing into a very entertaining collection of anecdotes about our neighbours wink



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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2913757 11/19/19 10:01 AM
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In my humble opinion the larger the piano (taller upright, longer grand) has greater volume range. It is easier for the pianist to play more loudly and more softly. Since you haven’t disturbed the neighbors with the U1, the Bechstein A124 shouldn’t present any issues. Just control your dynamics as you already do with the U1.


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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2916566 11/26/19 10:30 AM
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So, this morning, my superintendent said the new downstairs neighbors were complaining about noise:

NOT from my piano,
NOT from my stereo,
NOT from my guitars,

but from my wife’s Birkenstocks with hard soles making clomp, clomp, clomp sounds. I had warned her that those shoes were going to make a lot of noise. I wear Glerups, wool slippers, at home, so it is not me who sounds like a horse!

Hahahahah. 😂

Can anybody recommend some quiet slippers that have an insole to provide support?


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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: LarryK] #2916568 11/26/19 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
So, this morning, my superintendent said the new downstairs neighbors were complaining about noise:


Did you say... new neighbours?


How dare they complain! You and your wife were there first! smirk

However, to keep the peace you could glue some caster cups to her Birkenstocks.

Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: theoo] #2916570 11/26/19 10:48 AM
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Try Fly London (not a vacation spot) shoe brand,


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: U3piano] #2916577 11/26/19 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by LarryK
So, this morning, my superintendent said the new downstairs neighbors were complaining about noise:


Did you say... new neighbours?


How dare they complain! You and your wife were there first! smirk

However, to keep the peace you could glue some caster cups to her Birkenstocks.


Haha, indeed, but we try to maintain peaceful relations no matter when our neighbors moved in. We’re all shareholders.

The last neighbor told my wife that he didn’t hear us at all, which I found hard to believe. I had heard from my lawyer that the woman who lived in our apartment before we bought it had stomped around in high heels at 6am, so we know shoes are a problem.

My wife thought of gluing furniture pads to the bottoms of the Birkenstocks. I don’t know if that will do the trick. Maybe she should glue one inch felt pads onto them. Maybe a shoe repair guy could do that.

Last edited by LarryK; 11/26/19 10:58 AM.

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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: j&j] #2916582 11/26/19 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
In my humble opinion the larger the piano (taller upright, longer grand) has greater volume range. It is easier for the pianist to play more loudly and more softly.
if that was the case, no one would ever be worried about getting a piano that's too big for the room or complain that their piano was too loud. Some feel that the sometimes longer keys on larger pianos make it easier to play softly, but I think that's just one part of the picture. There is a limit to how slowly one can depress a key and get some sound.

Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: dogperson] #2916606 11/26/19 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Try Fly London (not a vacation spot) shoe brand,


Any particular model?


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Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: LarryK] #2916613 11/26/19 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by dogperson
Try Fly London (not a vacation spot) shoe brand,


Any particular model?


All of the styles are heavily cushioned —- flats and sandals


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Piano size & loudness [Re: pianoloverus] #2916615 11/26/19 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by j&j
In my humble opinion the larger the piano (taller upright, longer grand) has greater volume range. It is easier for the pianist to play more loudly and more softly.
if that was the case, no one would ever be worried about getting a piano that's too big for the room or complain that their piano was too loud. Some feel that the sometimes longer keys on larger pianos make it easier to play softly, but I think that's just one part of the picture. There is a limit to how slowly one can depress a key and get some sound.


Well yes you are right. I’m assuming that if I bought a bigger piano for an apartment, I’d pick something with a more mellow voice and when neighbors are home I’d keep lid down and maybe acoustically dampen the room. And I’d have to take into account insulation. If neighbors are complaining about LarryK’s wife’s birchenstocks, maybe the piano should really have a silent option. With uprights we’re talking inches of height difference vs feet length difference in grands, so I still think it would be very manageable.


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