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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FAIeYWx4uWs

I was pleased to find this eye opening video comparing 2 grands- one well regulated, the other out of regulation (the makes in this case are irrelevant). I found it very interesting that this competent pianist playing the same few measures sounded far less skilled on the poorly regulated one. Significantly she refers to the prevalence of ghost notes on the poorly regulated piano. I've seen this many times in showrooms and homes. This video clearly illustrates how the ability to easily play softly with full expression from ppp, up to ff (ie. a piano with a large dynamic range), is seriously compromised on a poorly regulated piano.

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 01/23/20 10:19 PM.
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This was very helpful, thanks!

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Yes indeed. Thank you for posting. Very informative.


J & J
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Oh wow that's really interesting!! I wish I had seen it before I had my piano regulated, I would have tried to make a before and after video!

I bought my 20 y/o Yamaha C2 last August, my piano tech tuned it after it was moved and then a month later, he came back and spent 8 hours (almost exactly) regulating and doing a little bit of voicing. I liked the action before I bought it (a big reason why I bought it obviously), and it was better than the other options I had tested out that were in similar price ranges. My tech (who evaluated it for me before I bought it) said, based on evaluating it, that he thought it had never been regulated or voiced by the seller (who was the original owner). When I played it at the seller's house, I had already test-played numerous other pianos, some that were new and definitely out of my price range, but I had played some pianos in dealers' showrooms that were prepped to perfection, so I knew what a really well-prepped piano plays/feels like. So I could tell my Yamaha wasn't up to its full potential and wasn't as responsive as some of the (super expensive) new pianos I'd played.

So since I already liked the action, and the sound of course, and my tech said he felt he could really improve it, I went ahead with the purchase with the knowledge that I would be having it regulated almost immediately.

Wow! It made such a huge difference. I didn't expect it to feel so much better, but after it was regulated it was so much easier to play the way I wanted. I am no where near the level of the woman who made the video you linked, but my playing just sounded better after the piano was regulated.

The other thing this brings to mind is how regulation (or lack of it) complicates the ability of the average piano shopper trying to buy a used piano. People selling their pianos tend not to have them properly maintained, and it is really hard to evaluate a piano if it's not properly tuned, regulated and voiced. In many ways, I got lucky with my piano, because after all the regulation, it sounds and feels much better, but that outcome is far from guaranteed!

As an aside, when I first went to see my Yahama C2 at the seller's house, it was so out of tune, it was horrible. The wife of the seller said "well it will have to be tuned after it's moved, so we better not have it tuned." She had this horrible idea that it's bad for the piano if you tune it too often! I told them that I couldn't evaluate the piano when it was so out of tune. I also gave them the contact info for a few piano tuners I knew. A month later maybe they actually had the piano tuned and I went back to play it, and that was how everything started to come together. I would not have purchased it without being able to hear it tuned, but I wonder if they could have sold it to someone else for more than I paid had they also had it regulated first.

In any case it's all just speculation but it gets back to the disadvantage for people tried to buy used pianos from private sellers when those sellers haven't be conscientious about maintaining the piano.

Sorry, that got kind of long... whome


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No ShiroKuro, that’s really useful info for piano shoppers and even more so for piano sellers. It reminds me of looking at used cars on the Air Force Base I worked on. They had a “Lemon Lot” for base residents to sell their cars, trucks, and trailers. Some sellers would completely detail and polish their vehicles before putting them on the lot. Other people couldn’t even be bothered to use the coin wash station right behind the Lemon Lot itself. It’s much tougher to convince a potential seller that your vehicle is mint when kids have written “wash me” in the crud on the back window. It’s tough to sell a piano that’s so out of tune the potential buyer is wincing when they play. It does make me really happy you found your beautiful C2.


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Thank you!!

This discussion, and the point about selling used cars, reminds me of when we bought our house. I had seen it listed on Zillow but it was a good bit above the budget we set. They dropped the price once, and at that point I added it to my saved list so I would get a notice if they dropped the price again. Well, it didn't sell and they did in fact drop the price, this time down in our range. At that point we had our real estate agent arrange a showing and of course, we bought it and now we live there.

I am convinced that the only reason it hadn't sold earlier (and for one of those higher prices) was because it looked horrible inside. They had... unusual taste in interior decorating, to put it mildly, with dark colors on the walls in all of the rooms, a large number of unusual art and most walls covered with multiple pieces of original artwork, curtains with dramatic patterns that clashed with their furnishings, one room with a weird strip of wallpaper and dark brown and purple paint, and one room with carpeting in a really unpleasant color. And to make it worse, they tended to keep the curtains closed (they had multiple treatments on each window), so the house was dark and between that and their interior decorating, the listing photos just looked horrible.

My husband is very handy, and we could see beyond the color clashes to recognize what we could do with it. After we bought it, he painted literally every room, every hallway and stairwell, and we paid professionals to have the carpeted room refloored in some new nice flooring. In some ways that's a lot of work, but he could take the time off to do it and because he did the painting himself, all told it didn't cost very much to be move in ready for us.

Had the sellers done even half of what we did, they probably could have sold it for $30,000-40,000 more, and sold it 4-6 months sooner! Well, their loss was our gain.

Sorry, I guess today is my day for rambling posts! whome


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I think the video is somewhat misleading. There are several other reasons why it can be difficult to play softly besides improper regulation. A piano can be within spec for friction but still be difficult to play pp. A piano's voicing can make it much more difficult to play pp. I know both of the above based on my own experience. IOW, if one has difficulty playing pp, one cannot assume it's the regulation but should inform the technician. A good tech will be the best judge of what's causing the problem.

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That is a very nice video. We've had other pianists here talk about how big a difference and how important regulation is to their piano, but Shirley (who, BTW, is a member here) made a nice video.

Thanks for sharing!


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Rich, By any chance did Cunningham happen to restore her Baldwin? What an incredible piano...

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Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
Rich, By any chance did Cunningham happen to restore her Baldwin? What an incredible piano...


I happen to know the details behind the piano. If you would like to know more PM me as I’ve decided to no longer post on this forum.

Last edited by Furtwangler; 01/25/20 10:09 PM.

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Originally Posted by Furtwangler
Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
Rich, By any chance did Cunningham happen to restore her Baldwin? What an incredible piano...


I happen to know the details behind the piano. If you would like to know more PM me as I’ve decided to no longer post on this forum.

But, you just did! crazy

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Originally Posted by Furtwangler
Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
Rich, By any chance did Cunningham happen to restore her Baldwin? What an incredible piano...


I happen to know the details behind the piano. If you would like to know more PM me as I’ve decided to no longer post on this forum.


Furtwangler - I, for one, will miss your thoughtful, informative posts. I really hope you’ll reconsider your decision to no longer post to this forum.

Your friend,
J&J


J & J
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Thanks for this informative video. I can only endorse this. The manufacturer's name is less important - what matters most is how well a specific instrument is regulated.

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Originally Posted by Pianist685
Thanks for this informative video. I can only endorse this. The manufacturer's name is less important - what matters most is how well a specific instrument is regulated.
I think a more accurate statement is the both the manufacturer and the tuning/regulation/voicing are important. One cannot really say one is more important than the other. A great piano with poor tuning,regulation, or voicing could sound worse than a lesser piano with excellent TRV, but a great piano with excellent TRV will sound better than a lesser one with excellent TRV.

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I was just surprised that in her video she demonstrated excellent hand control, yet made no mention or understanding that a technician could (more than likely), regulate the Steinway to a similar level as the Baldwin.
She overemphasised her findings. Seemed to me to be a plug for Baldwin over Steinway.
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Originally Posted by Beemer
I was just surprised that in her video she demonstrated excellent hand control, yet made no mention or understanding that a technician could (more than likely), regulate the Steinway to a similar level as the Baldwin.
She overemphasised her findings. Seemed to me to be a plug for Baldwin over Steinway.
Ian


I took her demonstration to be more about how poor regulation, even on a Steinway, makes the piano difficult to play. Or maybe I’m just shallow. wink


J & J
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Originally Posted by j&j
I took her demonstration to be more about how poor regulation, even on a Steinway, makes the piano difficult to play. Or maybe I’m just shallow.

You are correct since I think those are both her pianos. But unless a tech told her the problem playing pp was caused by regulation I think she made a mistake by not saying it could also be related to the piano's voicing or both regulation and voicing.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by j&j
I took her demonstration to be more about how poor regulation, even on a Steinway, makes the piano difficult to play. Or maybe I’m just shallow.

You are correct since I think those are both her pianos. But unless a tech told her the problem playing pp was caused by regulation I think she made a mistake by not saying it could also be related to the piano's voicing or both regulation and voicing.


I agree. Acoustic pianos are complicated instruments. Piano technicians have to be piano diagnosticians.


J & J
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FAIeYWx4uWs

Furtwangler identified the Baldwin in the video as a 5yr old Parsons (Chinese) stencil. Wow, I thought it was a great vintage restoration. If the Chinese can produce a sound like that for approx 1/3 the cost of a performance level piano, there will be a number of high end, low volume manufactures that will be under even increased survival pressure.

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After watching the video, I'd venture a guess that that Steinway may have worn out knuckles. Friction between the tops of the jacks and the knuckles increases as the knuckles get worn and get flatter. To play a ppp note, you have to provide the energy to overcome that friction plus just a little more to actually make the note sound. The more the friction, the harder it is to get just the right little bit more to make ppp instead of p or nothing.....

If the knuckles are shot, nothing you do to the piano will do any good until you replace them. And that opens up the "other things you ought to do as long as you're working on it" can of worms.

So, have a good tech look at it, and report back here....


Thanks --



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