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Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
#3009034 08/01/20 06:28 AM
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Hi I am thinking to buy Yamaha G2b(1989). Everything was fine but there are some false beats around 8 keys im treble section 6 keys are mild two keys are little annoying as they are in sweet singing part.
I asked salesman if he can solve it and he brought techinician. He said false beats are quite usual in acoustic pianos even in new expensive brand pianos. Also said it's quite hard or impossible to fix.

Other shop technician said false beats are quite unusual and it's easy to fix.
Do most people check every single string free from false beats before they buy? Do they don't mind?

Thanks.

Last edited by tony3304; 08/01/20 06:29 AM.
Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
tony3304 #3009060 08/01/20 08:25 AM
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Generally when I go piano shopping I take my music notebook, which contains all the repertoire I’m currently working on and another book or two with some of my favorite pieces. I play enough repertoire to determine if the piano makes the first cut. Then I go back and play each top favorite with a wide variety of my music and see what I like and don’t like until I determine the best. This may take two visits. When it seems I found my winner, I play every single note and check the pedals. Typically the dealer has my favorite tuned before delivery. Once it’s delivered I check every single note and recheck the pedals. I haven’t heard or felt false beats before or since. I always bought new, so that may make a difference. You might just ask your question on the Piano Technician Forum. I don’t think it should be a big deal to fix but I’m not an expert.
Best Wishes.


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: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
tony3304 #3009068 08/01/20 08:50 AM
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All pianos have false beats to some extent. Some more than others. If it bothers you significantly on a particular piano, just move on — you will never “unhear” it.


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Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
tony3304 #3009072 08/01/20 08:56 AM
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They're not that unusual. They may or may not be difficult to get rid of. Posting in the technician's forum might be a good idea. The dealer's dismissive attitude is a little disturbing, considering you're looking at a grand. On the other hand, I can see the dealer not wanting to spend a lot of money - and working this problem might take some time - on a 30 year old instrument. Terminaldegree is right, though. You're not apt to get used to it.

Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
terminaldegree #3009080 08/01/20 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
All pianos have false beats to some extent. Some more than others. If it bothers you significantly on a particular piano, just move on — you will never “unhear” it.

+1

I have heard of changing/replacing a string to remedy a false beat, but that is not a small task.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
tony3304 #3009109 08/01/20 10:31 AM
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My old Kawai (500) had strings which after well over 50 years of use became very rusty.The false beats became very noticeable.(apart from suddenly snapping) The bass strings were still very good however.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 08/01/20 10:33 AM. Reason: spelling
Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
tony3304 #3009114 08/01/20 10:44 AM
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PMFJI --

What is a "false beat" ?

Is it a beat that occurs when a _single string_ is struck (as opposed to the beats between two strings tuned not-quite-the-same) ?

Thanks --


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
Charles Cohen #3009125 08/01/20 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
PMFJI --

What is a "false beat" ?

Is it a beat that occurs when a _single string_ is struck (as opposed to the beats between two strings tuned not-quite-the-same) ?

Thanks --

I'm no pro, but yes. A false beat, to my knowledge, is an audible nuance/beat that is not supposed to be there. And, yes, it is typically on one particular string, although a piano can have multiple false beats across the keyboard (on numerous strings).

When that particular note/unison is tuned properly (pure/no beats), there is still a "beat(s)" or other odd nuance that is not supposed to be there, and you can't tune it away. Sometimes you can voice that particular hammer a bit and tame the false beat to an extent, but it never goes completely away. Some fase beats can be tamed a bit, and eliminated by changing/replacing that string.

Sometimes the false beat is subtle and not noticeable unless one has a really keen ear. Sometimes they are so pronounced they jump out at you and slap you in the face (figuratively speaking). smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
terminaldegree #3009142 08/01/20 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
All pianos have false beats to some extent. Some more than others. If it bothers you significantly on a particular piano, just move on — you will never “unhear” it.
+2.

Where they are are and how prominent they are will bother a few people and be totally unnoticed by most. When you go to another piano with false beats in a different register, you may not notice it or be bothered by it. It's almost like the personal nature of perception and hearing....

There are some super simple techniques like seating the strings that will cure or improve some false beats, but after those are tried, it's not a simple fix, because the cause is often a guess.


Sam Bennett
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Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
tony3304 #3009159 08/01/20 12:43 PM
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May I ask, how big of a deal is it to change a string?
How many hours of work does it take?
Can it be done in the piano owner's home?

Last edited by Keybender; 08/01/20 12:44 PM.
Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
Keybender #3009167 08/01/20 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Keybender
May I ask, how big of a deal is it to change a string?
How many hours of work does it take?
Can it be done in the piano owner's home?

It depends on the string. Individual strings can be changed in situ. Mostly it does not take very long, but then the string needs to be retuned, which requires repeat visits.


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Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
tony3304 #3009168 08/01/20 01:00 PM
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Not that big a deal. Probably 1 hour or less. Then coming back to re-tune the new string. Then coming back to re-tune it, again. Problem is, we can't assume it's the string. How the string is seated at the pin - whether the pin is loose, etc. The tech can't know what the problem is. She can try easy fixes, then harder ones. Could be cheap or run into some hours of work, I'd think.

Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
tony3304 #3009173 08/01/20 01:16 PM
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Perhaps better to find another piano?

Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
David-G #3009174 08/01/20 01:22 PM
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I live in New Zealand tiny market . I don't have many option and other shop owner asked me to deposit $2,000 for piano currently in Japan that I've never seen to prevent to sold to other people.
Price is more than double in Korea. Used Yamaha G2(late 1980) is around 10,000 NZD in Korea but some dealer sells it at 24,000NZD

Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
tony3304 #3009415 08/02/20 07:46 AM
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Having been through the process of finding a piano that really works for me I can only advise to be very patient. I realize it´s painful and your used-piano market is small but eventually a great piano will come along.
In the end I settled on a piano that was relatively inexpensive and okay for a time (and ended up replacing it fairly quickly but that was chance really). If that´s an option for you, it really removes a lot of self-made pressure.

Re: Is false beat quite usual in most pianos?
tony3304 #3009492 08/02/20 11:42 AM
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80-90% of "false" beats occur due to the fact that the associated front bridge pin vibrates in response to the string vibration when struck. The beating heard is a result of the DIFFERENCE between the frequency of the pin vs the string. It is also possible that longitudinal mode issues set up a frequency mismatch at the pin. The bridge pin vibrates because the top of the hole in the bridge has expanded, allowing the pin to move. A close examination of the stresses involved here at the bridge clearly explain why this happens. The stress is phenomenal on the bridge pins and they remain in this state 24/7/365/1-75.

If one presses sideways on the offending pin (toward the string) slightly with a blunt metal instrument (like brass), very often the "false" beat will disappear (or be reduced). This is circumstantial evidence that the problem is with the pin, not the string. Replacing the string will not address the issue (except possibly temporarily) as it amounts to 'putting water in the radiator when the car is out of gas'.

If you are super sensitive to this issue you will probably need to find another instrument without these issues.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 08/02/20 11:43 AM.

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