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Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: j&j] #2960109 03/24/20 07:06 PM
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Lady Bird Online Content
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Originally Posted by j&j
Steve,
Thank you for reminding me. About 7 years ago, while piano shopping, I did get a chance to play a Bosendorfer. I fell in love. The owner of the store came up and explained about the rim and all the spruce components actively producing the sound. The sound was gorgeous and I could feel the piano’s voice “vibrations” in my fingers, hands, wrists, torso and feet.

It was a wonderful experience, but sadly way above my pay grade. I have never played or felt a more responsive piano than that Bosendorfer.

Well what more is there ? That is enough surely ? So I do not really understand?

Last edited by Lady Bird; 03/24/20 07:08 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2960137 03/24/20 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
DreamPiano80,

Your question is related, but takes this old thread in a different direction. My suggestion is to pose the question in a new thread.


Thanks! I'll start a new thread for that question.

Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: Learux] #2960223 03/25/20 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Learux
You can analyze all you want, when I play on a Bosendorfer I know I like the sound and touch very very much.



I’ve only played two Bösendorfer grands in my life, for much too short a time on each occasion. I love both the sound and the feel. 3hearts
Because of where I live in the US, I haven’t gotten the chance to try many other great European makers like Bechstein, Blüthner, Sauter, or Steingraeber. I’ve only tried Bösendorfer, Schimmel, Estonia (only one which I purchased), and Petrof (my friends that wasn’t for sale). I guess analysis of what makes a Bosendorfer sound and feel like it does is useful. The only way I can describe it is when I’m playing a Bosie , it feels as if the whole piano is responding and singing as I play. It reminds me of riding my horse when we would canter down the trail. I could feel his breathing and response to my cues.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
“Send lawyers, guns, and money. The $hit has hit the fan.” Warren Zevon
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Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: j&j] #2960276 03/25/20 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
The only way I can describe it is when I’m playing a Bosie, it feels as if the whole piano is responding and singing as I play. It reminds me of riding my horse when we would canter down the trail. I could feel his breathing and response to my cues.
3hearts I love that description. I've had customers describe the sound like going from stereo to surround sound. And often, we talk about the relationship between the tool and the pianist...some great pianos are like very sharp knives in the hand of a trained chef, and it is the skill that shapes the music. However, the analogy I used is that the Bösendorfer is like a well trained dance partner, that if you lead, it knows where to go.

Per this discussion, I would propose that Bösendorfer's rim means more to its soundboard design than with any other current maker.

With a laminated rim construction, the rim certainly affects the design of the soundboard, but makers like Schimmel & Kawai have demonstrated their designs substituting plexiglass for wood rims altogether. Having experienced the plexiglass Schimmels, the performance is objectively better...wider dynamic range, flatter sustain while maintaining an excellent tonal range vs. the identical instrument in wood. For that design, the added density of the plexiglass is the obvious factor.

With a less dense laminated rim, both the soundboard and string scale would be optimized differently to achieve wider dynamic range and flatter sustain. Anecdotally, it does seem to me that with a laminated rim, denser rims have an advantage in producing more (or a greater percentage) of the fundamental tone. I see many examples of this, but you can never isolate the one variable with so many other variables.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: Hermerik] #2960375 03/25/20 05:35 PM
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I've mentioned this before, but the piano by which I measure all others is an old Bösie! It's in the choir room at my hometown church. I love it.



And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2960427 03/25/20 08:06 PM
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Lady Bird Online Content
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Originally Posted by j&j
The only way I can describe it is when I’m playing a Bosie, it feels as if the whole piano is responding and singing as I play. It reminds me of riding my horse when we would canter down the trail. I could feel his breathing and response to my cues.
3hearts I love that description. I've had customers describe the sound like going from stereo to surround sound. And often, we talk about the relationship between the tool and the pianist...some great pianos are like very sharp knives in the hand of a trained chef, and it is the skill that shapes the music. However, the analogy I used is that the Bösendorfer is like a well trained dance partner, that if you lead, it knows where to go.

Per this discussion, I would propose that Bösendorfer's rim means more to its soundboard design than with any other current maker.

With a laminated rim construction, the rim certainly affects the design of the soundboard, but makers like Schimmel & Kawai have demonstrated their designs substituting plexiglass for wood rims altogether. Having experienced the plexiglass Schimmels, the performance is objectively better...wider dynamic range, flatter sustain while maintaining an excellent tonal range vs. the identical instrument in wood. For that design, the added density of the plexiglass is the obvious factor.

With a less dense laminated rim, both the soundboard and string scale would be optimized differently to achieve wider dynamic range and flatter sustain. Anecdotally, it does seem to me that with a laminated rim, denser rims have an advantage in producing more (or a greater percentage) of the fundamental tone. I see many examples of this, but you can never isolate the one variable with so many other variables.

PianoWorks ATL
What do you mean by a "flatter sustain" ?
I like a good sustain even a "rather lively one ".,What I do not like is if the decay of sound is sudden.
Although I do not think anyone wants that.

Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2960545 03/26/20 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL


With a laminated rim construction, the rim certainly affects the design of the soundboard, but makers like Schimmel & Kawai have demonstrated their designs substituting plexiglass for wood rims altogether. Having experienced the plexiglass Schimmels, the performance is objectively better...wider dynamic range, flatter sustain while maintaining an excellent tonal range vs. the identical instrument in wood. For that design, the added density of the plexiglass is the obvious factor.


There might be another explanation. Perhaps the plexiglass version is better and clearer because the plexiglass is not only denser but vibrates and transmits sound much less than wood, which is why it was used by some high quality hi-fi turntables. Thefore we might suspect that a plexiglass rim would contribute less to the overall sound and let the dynamics of the soundboard stand out for themselves. Maybe.

Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL

With a less dense laminated rim, both the soundboard and string scale would be optimized differently to achieve wider dynamic range and flatter sustain. Anecdotally, it does seem to me that with a laminated rim, denser rims have an advantage in producing more (or a greater percentage) of the fundamental tone. I see many examples of this, but you can never isolate the one variable with so many other variables.


I find it difficult to believe that any sort of wide band or even sound production from a rib can be achieved. It will have frequencies at which it resonates and reinforces the overall sound so maybe careful choice of heavier materials that resonate at lower frequencies will benefit (some of) the lower notes where the soundboard response is rolling off, but I doubt very much if there is any improved dynamic range or flatter sustain generally, only for the notes where the rim might resonate.

Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: gwing] #2960697 03/26/20 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
PianoWorks ATL
What do you mean by a "flatter sustain" ?
I like a good sustain even a "rather lively one ".,What I do not like is if the decay of sound is sudden.
Although I do not think anyone wants that.
By flatter sustain, I mean that the sustain decays less after the initial attack. Many pianos have a strong attack, but the initial decay is very strong, such that the long sustain is at a much more quiet level. Bösendorfer seeks to have their sustain to be of a flatter level, more like the sound of a bow across a stringed instrument. This gives the pianist more control over the overall expression.

Originally Posted by gwing
There might be another explanation. Perhaps the plexiglass version is better and clearer because the plexiglass is not only denser but vibrates and transmits sound much less than wood, which is why it was used by some high quality hi-fi turntables. Thefore we might suspect that a plexiglass rim would contribute less to the overall sound and let the dynamics of the soundboard stand out for themselves. Maybe.
This discussion echoes another thread about sound barriers. If the rim is designed to be very dense, then less of the sound is transmitted to the rim. In simple terms, more of the vibration energy is reflected back to the soundboard from the edges. But the soundboard and string scale have to be designed around this. In the case of the turntable, the density is isolating the vibrations on the turntable.

Originally Posted by gwing
I find it difficult to believe that any sort of wide band or even sound production from a rib can be achieved. It will have frequencies at which it resonates and reinforces the overall sound so maybe careful choice of heavier materials that resonate at lower frequencies will benefit (some of) the lower notes where the soundboard response is rolling off, but I doubt very much if there is any improved dynamic range or flatter sustain generally, only for the notes where the rim might resonate.
I'm not sure if you meant "rib" or "rim". I'll presume rim. You can design around a less dense rim in several ways by changing the shape of the soundboard and the string scale. Perhaps one with less crown and higher tension (or lower wire gauges and less tension) will pair better with a less dense rim. Crown and downbearing make the soundboard behave under stress. You can instead design a soundboard that operates under different forces, and I safely presume that the rim and rim connection would be optimized differently.

Bösendorfer speaks about the resonating box principle. If the soundboard on a laminated rim works similarly to the head of a drum, the rim construction of the drum (laminated wood or other materials) has some affect on the tone. But in the resonant box principle is what guides the construction of a violin or cello...the rim is an extension of the soundboard.

Because these are simplified explanations, the details make the result. Bösendorfer's methods make their design work. Using a laminated rim as a design platform can be executed better or worse, depending on the goals of the manufacturer. You can successfully make a laminated rim out of maple, beech, birch, oak, plexiglass, etc.). You can make it beautifully, or you can mass-produce it and the results will vary.

But if any maker tried to take a shortcut in the steps that make a Bösendorfer soundboard & rim construction, the result would automatically be poor. Bösendorfer's methods, including how they cut, season and dry the wood, make it an all-or-nothing result. Though there used to be other makers that employed this type of construction in Europe, there will never be a copy or "knock-off" of a Bösendorfer. There are no shortcuts.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2961092 Yesterday at 07:39 PM
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I guess it’s the no shortcuts that make Bösendorfers so expensive.


J & J
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Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: Hermerik] #2961131 Yesterday at 11:35 PM
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There is so much bad information regarding piano design/acoustics here I almost don't where to begin. I understand completely if someone likes the Bosendorfers (and I've played on a few nice ones) but to perpetuate their resonant box theory is a little over the top.

This was stated:
"Bösendorfer speaks about the resonating box principle. If the soundboard on a laminated rim works similarly to the head of a drum, the rim construction of the drum (laminated wood or other materials) has some affect on the tone. But in the resonant box principle is what guides the construction of a violin or cello...the rim is an extension of the soundboard"

So lets just use some simple common sense here. EVERY instrument that IS based on an resonant box has a trait in common. ITS a thin walled Box. The violin for example the back is a thin walled piece of maple behaving as a membrane.
Lets compare that to a Bosey. A membrane on top, and on the bottom - a massive criss cross beam structure. One would have an easier time in court proving its meant NOT to resonate.

Both the laminated rim and the Bosey style of rim are both behaving as drums. They're just built differently and each offers its own tonal spectrum.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
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Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: Hermerik] #2961138 22 hours ago
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The "newer" Bosendorfer scale designs have laminated rims. (I am talking about the 5'8" and 6'7" and newest 9' models compared to the older 7' foot and two 9' and 9'6" models).

So evidently Bosendorfer doesn't think the pieced up spruce rim used in the good old days of Ignats and Ludwig Bosendorfer is vital for the entire brand.

I think the old rims were kept in place because they couldn't afford to invest in converting the old scales to laminated rim construction. And the sales department had to generate a "reason" to explain the inconsistency.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
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Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2961212 13 hours ago
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I’ll ask again for perhaps an explanation for an amateur. I played a 6’7” in 2012 and the newer 214 VC Bösendorfer in 2019. Both pianos gave me the feeling that the whole piano was responding to my playing. I was told when I tried them about the special rim design. What gives those pianos the feeling that the whole piano is responding and resonating with my playing? The laminated spruce rim? The scale design with the laminated spruce rim?

Last edited by j&j; 13 hours ago.

J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
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Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: Chernobieff Piano] #2961213 13 hours ago
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
John,
I like where your going with this, but i think Ash has the highest strength to weight ratio of the hardwoods if i remember correctly. Great to work with too, machines very well.

Kurtmen,

My philosophy is simple. To learn all the different prevailing ideas( past and present) in piano technology (soundboards specifically) challenge the ones that are false, agree with the ones that are true ( for confirmation) learn of the current trends, to be well rounded. So i am absorbing what is useful and discarding the rest. It's my "Jeet Kune Do".
I've been talking flexibility in soundboards for years and everyone else talks only about stiffness like its an automatic reaction. Yet they never mention about too much stiffness. If i'm lucky and press them hard enough then i get the "impedance matching" thing. That's been the jist of conversations of the past 2 years. But all that theory stuff is fine, but i never hear any practical ways to pull that off. It just sounds like hit or miss and trying to sound intelligent while guessing.
So, care to throw in what you think the variables and degrees are? So when in the shop hovering over a newly installed soundboard, how do you know if its too stiff? Or too flexible? Where is the balance point?
-chris



Stiffness and flexibility are 2 ways to express the identical thing. Mathematically, they are just the reciprocal of each other.

Re: Soundboard shape and size [Re: Hermerik] #2961385 3 hours ago
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Roy 123,

You missed the point. Other rebuilders seem to be "focused" on just Stiffness. Almost as if the more the merrier. What I'm saying by throwing flexibility into the conversation is to say that there are limits. The purpose of scalloping is to induce flexibility and to adjust and center the driving point under the bridge (no one else does this but that is its purpose) Most boards I have studied exhibit too much mass. And trying to gain stiffness via mass acoustically has a high price to pay in the form of added weight. Then trying to solve the weight problem, the size of the board is reduced. And on and on down the designer rabbit hole until the end product resembles a Bongo Drum instead of a Timpani Drum. Nothing against Bongo Drums. The resonance I am achieving right now is ten fold what i was getting a year ago. And that makes me happy.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
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