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Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
#2939383 01/27/20 05:54 PM
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So I was just reading the other thread about the person who was unhappy with problems with her new Kawai GX-2. I was going to add this as a response there and decided it deserved a separate thread. I have a new GX-3, and while I remain very happy with it, I am finding many adjustments and sensitivities. I'm not sure how many of these are just things to adjust my playing for, and how many my tech will look into when he has his first go at it.

The day it arrived, I noticed that two notes next to each other sounded different and the lower one was maybe a bit buzzy. My tech came over that day just to check out the piano (he lives 3 blocks away) and he pointed out that those two notes defined the highest note with one string and the lowest note with two strings, so there naturally is a difference. But that was just a modest difference and not something I considered a problem.

More recently I noticed some notes in the lower mid-range that sounded boomy and loud. So I checked inside, and sure enough they are the lowest notes with 3 strings! But unlike the other issue above, this one is a bit of a problem, and it was new, I hadn't noticed it before. I don't want to have to remember to pull back when just playing those three of four notes. Then I remembered that I had closed the piano before a trip and still had the top mostly closed, only open using that brass stand, which is, what, 6" tall? So I opened it fully and the boomyness is much reduced. I had had it wide open before the trip, so that was the cause of the difference. Not completely gone, but not so strong. I almost wonder now if my 6'2" piano is too large for my small living room, or maybe if being quite close to walls affects these sounds - emphasizes small differences. Should I consider some kind of sound-absorbing wall hanging?

I would add that I have noticed what I would call a sharpness on then highest notes that reminds me of the complaint from the new GX-2 owner. I need to read that thread in more detail to see what was recommended. This has only been for maybe the top two octaves, and I have found this easier to compensate for.

That said, with the first piano I ever owned that has such capability of nuance, I feel like it is going to take me a long time to really get full usage of all that it can do, and some of that is bringing these difference into account with my playing.

Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2939425 01/27/20 07:09 PM
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Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2939444 01/27/20 08:34 PM
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New piano syndrome? You have to adjust to playing a new fine piano, and the piano gets played in and adjusts to environment. There will be hiccups. They will pass if you are working with a good tech who will voice as needed, make sure regulation is ok (it will probably need some adjustment as you play in over first year or two). Patience will pay off.

Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2939664 01/28/20 10:27 AM
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We haven’t mentioned this before but it seems worth mentioning. When my favorite piano tech first checked out and tuned my new Estonia, the first question he asked me was if I knew how long the piano had been crated, and how long it was sitting on the showroom floor. I knew the answers because both the owner and the gentleman handling the delivery and payments both mentioned the time it took to be shipped and delivered and the relatively short two months on the showroom floor adapting to the environment. From experience it seems the longer the piano has been uncrated and sitting on the dealer’s floor the less “new Piano quirkinesses” happens in the buyer’s home. Also, new pianos need full dealer prep and 2 or 3 tunings under their belt and if those tunings happen before delivery it’s really advantageous. So maybe the GX2 in the other thread and the GX3 were just uncrated and prepped shortly before being purchased. The other advantage to buying a piano that’s sitting awhile on the showroom floor is the dealer (or at least my dealer) marks them down more than the “newly arrived and just uncrated”. So, especially with the C3, I saved a couple thousand and had a very stable piano right from the get go. Just my thinking.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2939706 01/28/20 11:36 AM
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Actually it was at least marked down an additional $2,000 on the “Special Sales” price. I got a pretty good deal on my C3 because they were premiering the new C3X and C7X. I could hear and feel a difference but certainly not a $12,000 difference. Heck for that much price difference I woulda just bought the C5.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2940262 01/29/20 01:05 PM
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So the tail of my grand is in the corner of the room. I could rotate it so that the tail was away from that corner and the keys are partly facing towards the side wall. I'm also sometimes hearing a faint whistling sound when a number of upper keys are sustaining. Maybe I need a rug under the piano for that.

Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2940282 01/29/20 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Deann
So the tail of my grand is in the corner of the room. I could rotate it so that the tail was away from that corner and the keys are partly facing towards the side wall. I'm also sometimes hearing a faint whistling sound when a number of upper keys are sustaining. Maybe I need a rug under the piano for that.


If you have examined the link I have post you should have noticed that the tail should not be at the corner. In that link the recommended way of placing a grand is shown graphically and approximate dimensions where to place it are also given.

But before moving the piano have an experienced tech examine the piano. The tech can solve probably the problems, and IMO with a new piano just newly transported, certain adjustments are needed.

For example the shrill notes in high treble. Those notes require an exact tuning, a slight out of tune unison might be the problem. Or individual strings migjt have some ringing that have to be eliminated by the tech checking string seating, hammer strike etc., before achieving a clean tone.

Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2940295 01/29/20 02:18 PM
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The notes you have mentioned are the ones that most pianos exhibit an uneven change in the transition. Some of the causes, one of which you have mentioned, are the change in string material from steel core/copper wound to steel only. Another is a change in string tension because of the material change. Yet another is the location of the two which typically is close to a major frame rib. Lastly for the both duple pairs you have interaction between their two strings even if they are tuned to the same frequency.

The sound differences can be minimised by a technician skilled in the art of voicing and compromise tuning.
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2940319 01/29/20 03:26 PM
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Hakki - Yes, it is because of reading that link that I realized that having the tail in the corner could be an issue. Thanks for posting that.

Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2940853 01/31/20 01:48 AM
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I'd be patient - play it extensively, make notes for the technician. Talk to the technician when he/she comes to voice & regulate the piano to your environment - they might suggest some changes. I've got full carpet under mine - if I didn't, I'd have an area mat under the piano and bench.

A piano can take several weeks - some say 6 - to settle into your environment.

I'd also count on calling your technician 3 monthly for your first year - that'll help it settle in, do adjustments as necessary and you'll end up with the beautiful piano you want.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2940955 01/31/20 11:04 AM
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As a further correction, that faint whistling sound is not necessarily coming from high notes, and it doesn't sound like it is coming from the piano. It sounds like it is coming from the wall. Somebody suggested to me that a high end sound might be something in the room that is vibrating at certain frequencies. There is nothing on the wall where the sound is coming from, but this weekend I think a project is to hang a blanket on the wall and see if that corrects it. I could also try rotating the tail out of the corner of the room.

Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2940975 01/31/20 12:19 PM
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Get someone to walk around the room as you play.
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2941131 01/31/20 10:49 PM
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If I recall, in the other thread, the person said they loved the way the piano had sounded in the shop, but not the same piano in their home. So it seemed like it might be quite a bit related to their room acoustics.


M-Audio Keystation 49 | Casio PX-S1000
Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2941141 01/31/20 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Beemer
Get someone to walk around the room as you play.
Ian

It is amazing how much different a piano sounds a few feet away from the player. It is not often that someone visits my home that plays the piano. However, I had a distant relative to visit a couple of years ago that could play well. They played my Yamaha C7 while I listened from several feet away from the piano. I thought to myself, dang, that piano sounds good! And, not just good, but real good! Fantastic even! smile

My piano sounds great when I sit and play
But it sounds even better from several feet away
If only I could sit, play and sing
While experiencing the soul out of the body thing
But, alas, there is no need to drift away
While listening to myself play
So, I'll keep listening from the bench
And try not to move an inch
Until I can listen to someone else play my piano
And perhaps sing soprano? smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2941161 02/01/20 01:06 AM
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All new pianos can be criticized but without having had a full prep, it is almost useless. Unfortunately not many dealers are willing (or able..) to go all the way, something that would definitely influence my decision to buy something. OP’s story has been told here many times before. It is hard to believe that so many are willing to give the competition a sizeable advantage in this.
But one is grateful for the opportunity.
Norbert🥴

Last edited by Norbert; 02/01/20 01:07 AM.

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Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2941165 02/01/20 02:00 AM
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I just cannot believe all these people going through these same problems with
very good quality Kawai pianos ???

Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2941263 02/01/20 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Deann
As a further correction, that faint whistling sound is not necessarily coming from high notes, and it doesn't sound like it is coming from the piano. It sounds like it is coming from the wall. Somebody suggested to me that a high end sound might be something in the room that is vibrating at certain frequencies. There is nothing on the wall where the sound is coming from, but this weekend I think a project is to hang a blanket on the wall and see if that corrects it. I could also try rotating the tail out of the corner of the room.


We have my son's cajon (box drum with snare strings) in the living room to keep it handy so we can quickly sit down and play together when we're in the mood. Sometimes, a specific Ab5 (mid-treble) on the piano will cause those snare strings to vibrate. My Steinway has they New England style fallboard where the lip is hinged to fold down when the wallboard is open for playing. There are a couple of notes that can cause those hinge pins to vibrate. I've see certain pitches cause old-style metal Venitian blinds to vibrate. If you can, isolate the notes on the piano that cause the vibration and then follow the sound to the source while playing it.

I'd encourage you to schedule a warranty service call with the dealer to thoroughly check things out. Kawai is a very reputable piano company. I'm very sure they want satisfied customers. If you don't get any service from your local dealer, contact their national customer service. Other Kawai owners have posted here on PW of the excellent service they have received from Kawai master technicians.

Last edited by GC13; 02/01/20 08:34 AM.
Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Norbert #2941283 02/01/20 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Norbert
All new pianos can be criticized but without having had a full prep, it is almost useless. Unfortunately not many dealers are willing (or able..) to go all the way, something that would definitely influence my decision to buy something. OP’s story has been told here many times before. It is hard to believe that so many are willing to give the competition a sizeable advantage in this.
But one is grateful for the opportunity.
Norbert🥴


Exactly right. To me, and I’m definitely not in the piano business, but it seems fairly silly to buy or likely finance a new piano, to resell to customers and do little to no dealer prep and just trust the factory prep took care of any little kinks or misses for the pianos’ playability. I certainly didn’t get the lowest price for my pianos in comparison to others but I am very grateful each piano got the necessary factory and dealer prep before I purchased them. I’m kinda sad that other dealers don’t “go all the way” with dealer prep. It’s so important. My 2 cents.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
j&j #2941311 02/01/20 10:51 AM
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Maybe I’m weird....wait I am weird....but if you’re trying to sell something you want it to present well. You want potential buyers to see the gleaming possibilities when they take it for a test spin. If I’m trying to sell a vehicle I give it a thorough cleaning and vacuuming. I make sure it runs goods and sounds good. If I’m selling new pianos I need to keep them in tune and playing well. I sure don’t want shoppers sitting down and being disappointed in the sound or feel especially brand new pianos because that’s my biggest investment, new piano inventory.
Although if, as a piano store owner, I also balance my own books and am seeing sales are off by a large margin I would be looking at cutting costs and so new piano prep might suffer. Hmmmm. But then it’s just not my worry. I’m glad I’m just an old amateur because the whole music industry is a complete puzzle.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
[Linked Image]
Re: Sensitivities on a new piano (GX-3)
Deann #2941349 02/01/20 12:19 PM
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Well all I know is the Kawai Piano House in Richmond BC has a good reputation and they
do prep thier pianos! So where are these pianos coming from ?

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