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Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
#3023449 09/10/20 12:39 AM
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As for me, checking false beat is the first priority when choosing piano but I found many people even professional pianist doesn't seem to care about that. Is it because they cannot hear it or just ignore?

In my experience, it seems that the smaller the piano size is, the less false beat it has. Regardless of price, I found many small size piano sound is ultimately clean compared to big size grand which has dozens of false beat.

Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023453 09/10/20 01:42 AM
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I get the impression that what you are looking after is whether the sound that people like has a correlation with false beats.


But I don't think you are going to get the answer with your question.

Most people may not have a clue what you are talking about.

But they probably do know what kind of piano sound they like.


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Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023470 09/10/20 03:35 AM
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So I guess you always carry a two mutes or a Papst while visiting piano show rooms?
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Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
Beemer #3023476 09/10/20 04:02 AM
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yes. exactly

Last edited by tony3304; 09/10/20 04:02 AM.
Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023487 09/10/20 05:07 AM
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How often do you choose a piano? Have you established a correlation between size and makers of strings, i.e. Paulello or Röslau etc.?

Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023511 09/10/20 07:04 AM
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Haven’t you already posted about this before?

Originally Posted by tony3304
In my experience, it seems that the smaller the piano size is, the less false beat it has. Regardless of price, I found many small size piano sound is ultimately clean compared to big size grand which has dozens of false beat.

As a tuner, this has not been my observation in the field, thus far. There’s one particular 45” studio upright model that I’m convinced is a false beat generator...

You either hear it and fixate on it, or you don’t. If a piano sounds good to you, and also even, then it is good.


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Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023521 09/10/20 08:13 AM
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Generally a note with one false string is not a problem since tuning the choir will usually cover it. Two falsies in one choir is harder to tune clean. Three of course is messy.

Interestingly I have found that many pianists (good ones) are not bothered by mild beating. In fact they can come to like it vs a totally "clean" (translate: "blah") instrument. I'm talking performance here...recording is a different story. It should be as clean as possible because the recording environment does not perceive things the way our ears and our brain do.

Personally, I like a pretty clean instrument, but I'm not bothered by a some mild falsies. I don't like significant falsies. But I have clients that seem to not even hear them. They tend to be classical players vs modern. And a very few who refer to it as "vibrato".

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 09/10/20 08:14 AM.

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Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
wouter79 #3023557 09/10/20 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by wouter79
I get the impression that what you are looking after is whether the sound that people like has a correlation with false beats.


But I don't think you are going to get the answer with your question.

Most people may not have a clue what you are talking about.

But they probably do know what kind of piano sound they like.

I agree with wouter79 here. Most people/pianists/piano players/pianist-piano player wannabes wouldn't have a clue what a false beat is or is not.

Also, as for checking for false beats, as Beemer mentioned, only a piano technician or tuner can detect a false beat while in the process of tuning the piano. Otherwise, a beating note, as opposed to pure, could be caused from a slightly out of tune unison, to a hammer needing some minor voicing.

And, as wouter79 said, most people know what they like in a piano, false beats or not.

Just my .02, at a discount. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023680 09/10/20 03:30 PM
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Yeah my ears are not that good so I don’t really hear false beats. Both my last two piano techs have great hearing but do use instruments. Considering a couple of recent posts about certain sounds from their new piano driving them crazy maybe it’s just as well. I run a bit too close to the OCD line for my own good I don’t want to drive a competent tech nuts. Hopefully I’m not one of “those” customers. Oh well, the check’s always good.


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Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023690 09/10/20 03:50 PM
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It's rare that you notice false beats while playing. False beats are more annoying when tuning the piano than when playing it.


What do snowflakes and Chickerings have in common? There are no two exactly alike!
Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023694 09/10/20 04:04 PM
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tony3304, did you buy the Yamaha G2 ?

Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023707 09/10/20 04:28 PM
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Can't say I've ever heard of this false beat issue.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023736 09/10/20 05:26 PM
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The Kawai grand I had for many years developed very rusty strings. In the last year (with me) it started to develope "false
beats" I could hear it clearly ,especially if I recorded myself playing.
I do not know if the technician was afraid to tune it properly (because the strings would snap) However he knew I would
not blame him if this happened because the strings would snap at anytime.
The piano needed to be restrung and restored.
False bears means the piano is not properly in tune ,or do I have it wrong. There was a new grand piano I tried out which
seemed to give false beats as well.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/10/20 05:29 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023771 09/10/20 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
False bears means the piano is not properly in tune ,or do I have it wrong. There was a new grand piano I tried out which
seemed to give false beats as well.

Lady Bird, a false beat is a defect in the audible sound of a single string on the piano that manifests itself in the tuning of the note. It is an anomaly/abnormality that is not supposed to be present, and cannot be "tuned out" or removed. Sometimes a good piano tech can eliminate or at least subdue false beats to quieten them down a lot. Sometimes replacing the string is the only remedy for a false beat.

As some have mentioned, sometimes a particular false beat may not be objectionable, or even noticed by the pianist. A highly pronounced false beat can cause a particular note on the piano to sound so badly it can ruin the entire piano, if that note is played a lot; especially if the pianists notices it and "fixates" their mind on it, as someone else has mentioned.

Years ago, I was interested in buying a used Baldwin model 6000, 52" upright piano. I PM'd a good piano tech friend here on PW to ask some questions about the Baldwin 6000, and he said he tuned a Baldwin model 6000 52" upright that had lots of false beats. Yet, and still, he said his customer loved the piano and never noticed or complained about the false beats.

So, perhaps only your technician knows for sure... smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
Hakki #3023783 09/10/20 08:31 PM
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Yes, I did. It has two false beat key in start of treble section. The one of them is very tiny false beat and the other one is bearable. Overall sound is amazing gorgeous

Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023806 09/10/20 10:44 PM
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Yes, there's more to a piano' s sound than a clear unison.

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Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
Rickster #3023830 09/11/20 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
False bears means the piano is not properly in tune ,or do I have it wrong. There was a new grand piano I tried out which
seemed to give false beats as well.

Lady Bird, a false beat is a defect in the audible sound of a single string on the piano that manifests itself in the tuning of the note. It is an anomaly/abnormality that is not supposed to be present, and cannot be "tuned out" or removed. Sometimes a good piano tech can eliminate or at least subdue false beats to quieten them down a lot. Sometimes replacing the string is the only remedy for a false beat.

As some have mentioned, sometimes a particular false beat may not be objectionable, or even noticed by the pianist. A highly pronounced false beat can cause a particular note on the piano to sound so badly it can ruin the entire piano, if that note is played a lot; especially if the pianists notices it and "fixates" their mind on it, as someone else has mentioned.

Years ago, I was interested in buying a used Baldwin model 6000, 52" upright piano. I PM'd a good piano tech friend here on PW to ask some questions about the Baldwin 6000, and he said he tuned a Baldwin model 6000 52" upright that had lots of false beats. Yet, and still, he said his customer loved the piano and never noticed or complained about the false beats.

So, perhaps only your technician knows for sure... smile

Rick
Rick
I realise false beats are something that should not be there.
As you will see I was talking about a piano that had EXTREMELY RUSTY strings .Strings that would snap every now and then .That piano was SOLD.in 2017
However I am asking whether I actually heard the false beats because yes , it was like a "weird vibrato" on single tones.
Does a piano with extreme rust on the strings give
false beats ?
I am talking about a piano about 53 years old NOT a new piano.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/11/20 12:46 AM. Reason: spelling
Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023834 09/11/20 01:08 AM
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I see you are referring to the new grand piano in a piano store where I thought I heard false beats .Yes that was the case , I do not like that brand of piano. Perhaps that was just the very strident tone (at least to me ) of that piano. Perhaps I misinterpreted that as fase beats. I have also thought I heard false beats in a flute,where the note that was produced by the
player was "slightly "off" .
I do not have "real perfect pitch" ( few people do in fact) so I could be quite wrong .But yes I know vibrato on a flute , but that was not vibrato.
I just ask these questions because obviously I have an
interest in tuning not for any other reason.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/11/20 01:15 AM. Reason: spelling
Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
Lady Bird #3023896 09/11/20 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
I see you are referring to the new grand piano in a piano store where I thought I heard false beats .Yes that was the case , I do not like that brand of piano. Perhaps that was just the very strident tone (at least to me ) of that piano. Perhaps I misinterpreted that as fase beats. I have also thought I heard false beats in a flute,where the note that was produced by the
player was "slightly "off" .
I do not have "real perfect pitch" ( few people do in fact) so I could be quite wrong .But yes I know vibrato on a flute , but that was not vibrato.
I just ask these questions because obviously I have an
interest in tuning not for any other reason.

My understanding is that you can't tell if there are any false beats normally because they cannot be distinguished from true beats between the unisons so to distinguish them you need to mute off the unisons so that only a single string is sounding. To my surprise when I tuned my Yamaha I could clearly hear beats from the single string which, presumably, are these 'false' beats. They were actually really quite obvious and my ears are nothing special so if I can hear them anyone can.

Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
Rickster #3023915 09/11/20 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
As some have mentioned, sometimes a particular false beat may not be objectionable, or even noticed by the pianist. A highly pronounced false beat can cause a particular note on the piano to sound so badly it can ruin the entire piano, if that note is played a lot; especially if the pianists notices it and "fixates" their mind on it, as someone else has mentioned.

I can testify to that. One single string in my 1886 Steinway B just sounds wrong, has a different attack sound and decay and harmonics composition, just plain ugly. One can clearly see that there is a tiny crack at the front bridge pin, so we've tried everything from CA to epoxy, replacing string, tightening/loosening adjacent string - nothing worked.

In November I'll get a full overhaul done on the piano's acoustic assembly, i.e. new strings, pins, boxwood bridge caps, agraffes, capo filing - the works. This single note is so prominent (b above the center c) that it's just a nuisance and has burnt itself into my memory. Since the piano is so beautiful in itself with a completely rebuilt action, it's just worth it to invest into the repair, just to get rid of that annoying sound.

Of course I look forward to the sound of new and cleaner strings and easier tuneability, but the main reason is indeed this one single note.

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