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My piano plays very softly #2934962 01/16/20 05:33 PM
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WeakLeftHand Offline OP
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As some of you know, I got a new Kawai K-500 recently. Before I bought it, I was very concerned that it would be too loud and I would get complaints from my neighbours. But that hasn’t happened, which is great, but the piano seems to actually be very soft, even when I try to play loudly. I’m not complaining but just wondering if it is supposed to be like that? I do have it on a rug and thick underpad, but other than that, the room has no other fabric materials. Does size of room or house make a difference? My townhouse is open concept and about 3600 sq ft top to bottom. Could either of those reasons be why my piano sounds rather soft?

My first tuning will be in a few weeks. Maybe I can ask my tuner as well.


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Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2934970 01/16/20 05:50 PM
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MarkL Offline
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I assume you don't have the practice pedal accidentally engaged.


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Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: MarkL] #2934971 01/16/20 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkL
I assume you don't have the practice pedal accidentally engaged.


No, it’s not engaged. It just sounds rather quiet for a 51” piano.


Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2934985 01/16/20 06:41 PM
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U3piano Offline
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Maybe try with your right hand?


(Sorry, I had to.) smirk


How would you describe the dynamic range? Can you make a big difference between softer and louder playing? Do you have any access to or experience with other piano's so you can compare?

This is the first time i hear the opposite of "my piano is too loud!"

Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: U3piano] #2934994 01/16/20 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Maybe try with your right hand?


(Sorry, I had to.) smirk


How would you describe the dynamic range? Can you make a big difference between softer and louder playing? Do you have any access to or experience with other piano's so you can compare?

This is the first time i hear the opposite of "my piano is too loud!"


grin

The dynamic range is good, I think. I’m not very experienced so I might be wrong about that.

I recently played on a Yamaha baby grand in a very small room and that was super loud. That’s why I thought, hey, my piano is very soft. My teacher’s older Kawai upright is also louder than my K-500, but not as loud as the Yamaha. That was screaming loud.

I’m wondering if I muted it too much by placing it on a rug and thick underpad.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 01/16/20 07:13 PM.

Kawai K-500
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Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2934998 01/16/20 07:23 PM
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I played a K500 when I bought my GL-10 and the K500 had a better and bigger sound than the GL-10. Since it's the entire range, is it possible the dampers are not lifting completely when you strike a key? If you lift the lid and look down into the piano you should be able to see when you strike a key if the damper lifts clear of the string(s).


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Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2935000 01/16/20 07:28 PM
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Does the K500 have a celeste rail like the K300? Is so, check the lever on the bottom of the keyboard isn't partially engaged.


PW Recitals: LVI, XIX, XIV, XII, XI
Recent Recording: No. 9 - Nana de Mercedes (Javiere Navarette)
Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2935001 01/16/20 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand

I recently played on a Yamaha baby grand in a very small room and that was super loud. That’s why I thought, hey, my piano is very soft. My teacher’s older Kawai upright is also louder than my K-500, but not as loud as the Yamaha. That was screaming loud.


It does sound logical to me. As I understand, most older piano's are actually in need of some voicing, and have hammers that have gotten too hard, and are therefore loud, bright, and usually hard to play softly. On top of that I believe most Yamaha's have harder hammers. Your Kawai is new, so the hammers are still nice and soft, like they are supposed to be.

Originally Posted by WeakLeftHsnd

I’m wondering if I muted it too much by placing it on a rug and thick underpad.


You only muted it too much if you say so. There is no wrong or right here, only your opinion that counts.

Of course you could have it voiced if it's really too soft, but even tough I didn't hear it, I doubt you should do that. Ask yourself, do you prefer the volume of your Kawai like it is now, or the volume of the Yamaha baby grand in the small room? (And yes, room size definitely makes a difference as well.)

Personally, if there is nothing wrong (like i suspect) like dampers not lifting of the strings, I think it's great if it isn't too loud, you could then play with the lid open, or even the front panel removed, and have that lovely open grand-like sound without going deaf. The best way to play an upright if you ask me!

Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: Gary001] #2935007 01/16/20 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary001
Does the K500 have a celeste rail like the K300? Is so, check the lever on the bottom of the keyboard isn't partially engaged.

It's the K800 that has the celeste rail because it has a functioning sostenuto pedal. The K300 and K500 are less expensive and have the middle pedal as a practice pedal.

But it's possible the practice rail is misadjusted so that the hammers are slightly hitting the felt and muting the sound. He should also be able to see that when he watches the hammer while playing a note.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2935011 01/16/20 08:08 PM
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You need to have the tech who is going to tune the piano look at it to determine if it's really abnormally soft. Since none of us has heard it, we can't tell if there's really a problem or it's just different from your expectation. Any tech will immediately know if there is a problem. if you know someone who is a reasonably experienced pianist, they could also probably tell you if there's a problem. It could just be your personal taste, in which case you can remove the rug to make it louder.

You might consider asking the dealer if the first tuning can be done by a tech of your choice(with the dealer paying the tech) and not a tech employed by the dealer. There's a chance that a tech employed by the dealer might not want to say there's a problem with the piano. OTOH if you think the dealer is totally honest, you could use a tech employed by the dealer.

Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2935034 01/16/20 09:00 PM
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WeakLeftHand,
Is your carpet a full length with the thick underflelt ? As you have probably
have read I actually bought a full length carpet with a reasonably thick underflelt
for my Sauter 130 because the room is not large and the sound bounced from the
corner almost with echoes. I was also worried about disturbing people if I needed
to play at least some pieces which demanded a fairly big tone .
The carpet worked out very well with this piano .

In the same room I also have a Kawai 49"This piano made in 1984 is a much softer
piano than the Sauter 130 ,although quite a mellow Kawai. The carpet I am sure
is perhaps a bit too much for the Kawai.
I did try the K500 and really liked the sound very much but it was quite a long time
ago and the showroom in that dealer did not have a thick carpet.(most of them I do
not think have) So yes the technician would be the best one to talk to.

Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2935099 01/17/20 01:04 AM
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I also played a K-500 recently and it was much softer (it was really dull) than a K-300 that they also had.

I guess only a tech can give you good advice how to proceed here. Could be the piano, could be the room, could be you. A tech could figure this out reliably with you. Let us know how this turned out. Regardless of if it was something stupid or simple or if it required a tech investing some work.


W.Hoffmann T122, Roland FP-50, Roland RD-64
Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: MarkL] #2935172 01/17/20 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MarkL
Originally Posted by Gary001
Does the K500 have a celeste rail like the K300? Is so, check the lever on the bottom of the keyboard isn't partially engaged.

It's the K800 that has the celeste rail because it has a functioning sostenuto pedal. The K300 and K500 are less expensive and have the middle pedal as a practice pedal.

But it's possible the practice rail is misadjusted so that the hammers are slightly hitting the felt and muting the sound. He should also be able to see that when he watches the hammer while playing a note.


My K300 has a separate rail with a leaver underneath the piano to lower some felt between hammers and strings. Although, perhaps that was added because I have the ATX version as the middle "practice pedal" is used to engage the hammer blocking rail instead?

Figured it wouldn't actually be the OPs problem, it'd be too obvious a change in tone, but, you never know... smile

Last edited by Gary001; 01/17/20 06:41 AM.

PW Recitals: LVI, XIX, XIV, XII, XI
Recent Recording: No. 9 - Nana de Mercedes (Javiere Navarette)
Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: Gary001] #2935200 01/17/20 08:27 AM
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MarkL Offline
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Originally Posted by Gary001
Originally Posted by MarkL
Originally Posted by Gary001
Does the K500 have a celeste rail like the K300? Is so, check the lever on the bottom of the keyboard isn't partially engaged.

It's the K800 that has the celeste rail because it has a functioning sostenuto pedal. The K300 and K500 are less expensive and have the middle pedal as a practice pedal.

But it's possible the practice rail is misadjusted so that the hammers are slightly hitting the felt and muting the sound. He should also be able to see that when he watches the hammer while playing a note.


My K300 has a separate rail with a leaver underneath the piano to lower some felt between hammers and strings. Although, perhaps that was added because I have the ATX version as the middle "practice pedal" is used to engage the hammer blocking rail instead?

Figured it wouldn't actually be the OPs problem, it'd be too obvious a change in tone, but, you never know... smile


Interesting, didn't know that. I agree it sounds like something to do with partially blocking the hammers from hitting the strings.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: MarkL] #2935208 01/17/20 08:41 AM
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Gee, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that complaint about a new tall upright. When you tried it in the store did it seem more quiet than the other pianos you tried? Has your piano been this soft since delivery? It could be any number of things but a good piano tech can help you figure this out. Until then, it’s far better to suffer with a piano that plays too softly than one that’s way too loud. Keep us posted on what you find out. Sorry for your dilemma.


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Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2935298 01/17/20 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
As some of you know, I got a new Kawai K-500 recently. Before I bought it, I was very concerned that it would be too loud and I would get complaints from my neighbours. But that hasn’t happened, which is great, but the piano seems to actually be very soft, even when I try to play loudly. I’m not complaining but just wondering if it is supposed to be like that? I do have it on a rug and thick underpad, but other than that, the room has no other fabric materials. Does size of room or house make a difference? My townhouse is open concept and about 3600 sq ft top to bottom. Could either of those reasons be why my piano sounds rather soft?

My first tuning will be in a few weeks. Maybe I can ask my tuner as well.



Definitely ask the tuner. Perhaps something happened to your piano during the move from the dealer to your home. You live in a large space - but that shouldn't impact how loud the piano sounds to you when you are playing it. I live in a 2100 sq ft house, and the sound of my K500 fills the space nicely - not as powerfully as my M&H BB, but more like a smaller Kawai grand .. It does sit on a bare floor, however.


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Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2935379 01/17/20 03:05 PM
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Meanwhile, you have bought the problem of being able to rock out with no annoying, whining, buzzkill neighbors to disturb your practice, practically around the clock.

My heart is not exactly bleeding.

The others are right: whatever the story is, it can be seen to at the first tech visit. The only thing I can think of that hasn't been suggested, is: do you have it jammed right against the wall? If so, try moving it out 6 to 12 inches. That is where an upright speaks--- away from you.

I think you have a very fine piano. And yes, it will brighten up some as you play it in. And I agree, taking off the front and letting the piano sing right in your face is one of the delights of owning an upright.


Clef

Re: My piano plays very softly [Re: Jeff Clef] #2935385 01/17/20 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
Meanwhile, you have bought the problem of being able to rock out with no annoying, whining, buzzkill neighbors to disturb your practice, practically around the clock.
.


Buzzkill neighbors.

Love it! Only thing worse is a buzzkill boss! But then that title fit most of the people I worked for. grin


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