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Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
#2961479 03/29/20 07:34 AM
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Hi,

I'm still in the process of settling in with the new piano. Since I don't want to annoy my girlfriend or neighbors too much, I started dampening the piano: first by placing a thick duvet und an extra blanket between wall an piano (good result) but since that duvet also has other duties I bought some basotect sound absorbing material.
The thing is: it works well only WITH the blanket - is that because it's not a good fit? The basotect panels are pretty rigid. (pic: https://photos.app.goo.gl/1tC6xDirCpgwu6vV8).

Question: Would it be better to cut up the panels and place them between the wooden beams right next to the soundboard?

On a sidenote: since higher frequencies are more easily absorbed, the bass has become much more pleasant and relatively stronger - even impressive for such a small piano. I also feel that the overall sound is cleaner and "drier". It's still easily loud enough for the small room it's in and it allows me to open the lid for extra clarity without being overwhelmed...

Thanks!


Last edited by Keybender; 03/29/20 07:35 AM.
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Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2961497 03/29/20 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Keybender

Question: Would it be better to cut up the panels and place them between the wooden beams right next to the soundboard?


Yes, IMO it would be better.
Cut them very slightly larger so that they stay squeezed between the beams.

Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2961514 03/29/20 11:27 AM
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You've already accomplished a lot, Keybender. I agree with Hakki that placing the panels in the back of the piano - between the support beams - is worth doing. If you can afford it, you could do both: keep panels where they are against the wall, and put a second set of panels inside also.

Just a reminder, though, that the point of a piano is to make sound. If you can make an improvement of maybe 20% in sound reduction, I'd consider this a success.

Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2961515 03/29/20 11:28 AM
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Folk method is used many people there as "Old wool blankets" are also used in Russia. In one house I saw absorbers fixture: between the back wall of the piano and room wall were placed about one hundred 1,5 liters plastic bottles with river sand. From the words of the owner of the piano, he did it to "remove the extra sound", which prevents lives neighbors.

Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2961588 03/29/20 03:44 PM
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A quilt placed between the beams and the soundboard is usually very effective.


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Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Steve Cohen #2961599 03/29/20 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
A quilt placed between the beams and the soundboard is usually very effective.



Make that a comforter...


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Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2961767 03/30/20 05:28 AM
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I did it and it has pretty much the same effect as I had before but with fewer panels and greatly improved looks! Maybe it sounds even slightly better but that may be placebo or the fact that the dampening might be a tiny bit less.

Thanks for your support, I was a bit hesitant to cut up the pieces since they are 30$ each but it was worth it.

Regarding something being placed between soundboard and support beams: doesn't that completely change the tone? If I hadn't already put in all the panels, I'd just try it obviously... maybe next weekend when I've got the time. Although I don't really need much more volume reduction I'm still curious.

Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2961936 03/30/20 01:53 PM
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Hi Keybender, I did basically the same thing with my new piano, and I was also surprised how much a kids mattress (in my case) changed the volume and the sound character, and in a very good way. It‘s such a cheap and easy modification, and I wonder when or if piano manufacturers will recognize that this could also be an optional feature for a new piano (e.g. sound absorbers already cut to the optimal shape or so).


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Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Gretel #2962101 03/31/20 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretel
Hi Keybender, I did basically the same thing with my new piano, and I was also surprised how much a kids mattress (in my case) changed the volume and the sound character, and in a very good way. It‘s such a cheap and easy modification, and I wonder when or if piano manufacturers will recognize that this could also be an optional feature for a new piano (e.g. sound absorbers already cut to the optimal shape or so).

Actually, when I was at the Steingräber factory a while ago, the guy told me that this is an option. As far as I understood you just have to ask for it and they will cut the stuff to the right shape and they do it just for the cost of the material. Compared to the price of a Steingräber piano it's roughly nothing anyway.
On the other hand, another salesperson at a piano dealership asked me why I would "want to do that to a piano"... which I find a bit odd because I think that every piano that is size 125 or more can easily overwhelm all but the largest rooms.

Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2962111 03/31/20 04:50 AM
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Yeah, that‘s my thought, too. It seems to me to be a common problem that acoustics are too loud in many cases. Hence the number of people trying to quiet them down a bit.
To me it is simply another option to influence volume and tone. Much in the same way as opening or closing the lid on a piano. Nobody would ask you why you would want to close the lid on a piano.


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Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2962228 03/31/20 12:24 PM
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Yes and it goes beyond putting stuff into the instrument, a friend of mine is a sound engineer and he keeps ranting about how people spend tons of money on great sound systems and then put them is a room that is really echo-y. I guess the same holds for pianos to some extend... a decent piano in an acoustically well treated room might sound better than a Steinway in a windowless concrete cube smile

Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2963741 04/04/20 07:34 PM
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I must say I have always been lucky enough to always have a room where I could add furniture, carpets and curtains and that would be the solution .

The only time I ever added anything to try and stifle the sound was in the 1970's .
We lived in an apartment, I had a Kawai grand and although the neighbors were great I tried to
soften the tone by covering the the piano with a blanket .
Ultimately I discarded the blanket kept the lid closed .Of course I had to add a cushion to the
piano bench and add a good lamp as the music stand was further away .
Eventually after a few months we.were able to buy our own house.

However I understand not wanting to bother anyone by your practising, one has to resort to these
measures.

Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2963744 04/04/20 07:47 PM
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I seem to remember that a disused foam mattress, placed between piano and wall, cooled the sound down well. Bottles of quartz sand, though... nothing like mass to attenuate vibration, though working on the linkage, so the sound is channeled toward the sand, could take some ingenuity.

Now, I have a piano that can be too powerful in the room it occupies. So, what you do is try this, try that, try moving the piano... it can take a long time to find the combination that gives you the best result. In my case, the piano's power is now an asset, and I am having a wonderful time learning to wield it. Many thanks to my tech, for giving it the care over the years that has made it have such a wonderful sense of presence... but I have done my part, too. Anyway, I'm happy and I'm thanking everyone.


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Re: Placement of sound absorbers on an upright to reduce volume
Keybender #2963809 04/05/20 05:57 AM
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Take a look in this thread, it could give some ideas:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2943782/1.html


Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

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