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Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
Lady Bird #3023950 09/11/20 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
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.

Hi Lady Bird,

I too have had a few pianos over the years with some rust on the strings. The rust was not extreme or heavy, but rust nonetheless. I would take some 0000 steel wool and try to clean some of the rust off the strings. In some cases, if the rust was not too bad, the steel wool would remove the rust on the surface of the strings and leave it with a newish looking sheen.

I do not recall the rusty strings having false beats and the pianos tuned up find. I do think heavy rust would cause the string to be more prone to breakage from tuning (or just playing) than non-rusty strings, as you have stated.

If you are asking if the rust alone can cause false beats, I suppose it could. However, I have a couple of older upright pianos now that are over 100 years old with the original strings, and although the wound bass strings are a little dull, the plain steel wire strings still sound as good as my newer pianos, for the most part.

A brand new piano can have false beats on some strings/notes. I think it just comes with the territory...

However, I am not an authority on the subject. Just sharing my own personal experience.

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 #3023966 09/11/20 10:00 AM
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"False" beats are a very complex subject. All pianos have some. "Good" pianos allow them to be "smoothed" over when tuning unisons so they are not noticeable, even by tuners ears.

I too have noticed that large grands can have more problematic false beats than smaller pianos. But this is not always true.

Not all false beats are caused by loose bridge pins or twisted wire, or poor string spacing. I have discovered that some are caused by longitudinal modes interacting with the transverse modes. Then the false beats become inherent to the construction/design of the piano.

And yes, I do take a mute and listen to the single strings for falseness when evaluating a piano.


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Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3023974 09/11/20 10:17 AM
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I was always under the impression that false beats were principally the result of imperfections in the piano wire itself, such that portions of a single string would beat against other portions of the same string.

Larry.

Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
iLaw #3023986 09/11/20 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by iLaw
I was always under the impression that false beats were principally the result of imperfections in the piano wire itself, such that portions of a single string would beat against other portions of the same string.

Larry.

I think the point is that pretty much every sound a piano makes is a combination of many factors adding together and it is essentially impossible for a normal pianist to identify what is responsible for the sounds. All we can realistically do is judge the tone of a piano as a whole and not worry about how it achieves what it achieves - it is the end result that counts.

Now it is probably possible to identify what you think is a false beat when tuning or when isolating strings deliberately but its highly unlikely that there is just one possible cause of those false beats. If you want to identify the actual cause of a false beat and fix it you are probably moving beyond the scope of an average competent technician to that of piano or wire designer (or those here with a special interest :-) Or so it seems to me at any rate. Personally I either like the tone of a piano or not - and if I don't I'm not that interested if the problem is a false beat or something else, choosing a different piano seems a better solution.

Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
Rickster #3024013 09/11/20 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
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.

Hi Lady Bird,

I too have had a few pianos over the years with some rust on the strings. The rust was not extreme or heavy, but rust nonetheless. I would take some 0000 steel wool and try to clean some of the rust off the strings. In some cases, if the rust was not too bad, the steel wool would remove the rust on the surface of the strings and leave it with a newish looking sheen.

I do not recall the rusty strings having false beats and the pianos tuned up find. I do think heavy rust would cause the string to be more prone to breakage from tuning (or just playing) than non-rusty strings, as you have stated.

If you are asking if the rust alone can cause false beats, I suppose it could. However, I have a couple of older upright pianos now that are over 100 years old with the original strings, and although the wound bass strings are a little dull, the plain steel wire strings still sound as good as my newer pianos, for the most part.

A brand new piano can have false beats on some strings/notes. I think it just comes with the territory...

However, I am not an authority on the subject. Just sharing my own personal experience.

Rick
The strings on my Kawai 500 (1966) started snapping around 2016 only .We lived in a city with perhaps higher humidty than Miami .The piano was moved to Canada in 2001.
Around 2015 two treble strings snapped totally on thier own .
I would simply have them replaced .More snapped 2016 and 2017.I consulted an excellent technicians. There is no doubt the strings had corroded to the point where where the piano needed to be restrung.This WAS the CONCLUSIONof TWO professional technicians.

I do not understand Rick how you can say that was not the cause of the strings breaking .The technicians could ONLY
remove some of the rust .If anything is under pressure developes and developes such a degree of rust , of course it will break !
Apart from that the two technicians I consulted said quite plainly the piano needed to be restrung. They even gave us quotes ., You did not even see the piano and are saying rust was not the cause of the strings snapping. They would snap in the night , at lessons, when no one was around .Only once did it happen when the technician was tuning the piano. I mean I was there , of course it was rust !



As for new pianos NO I have looked at many new pianos , tried
them and could never hear false beats ., not ever !!!
There was a Hailun grand which I heard someone play in the store with had a strident tone. The salespeople said that piano
had a duplex scale.
At fist I thought that was false beats ?

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/11/20 12:19 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3024024 09/11/20 12:27 PM
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Rick I may have misinterpreted what you said .If so I am sorry .
Letting go that Kawai grand ( which was so part of my life was quite a big thing for me )

Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
Lady Bird #3024051 09/11/20 01:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Rick I may have misinterpreted what you said .If so I am sorry .
Letting go that Kawai grand ( which was so part of my life was quite a big thing for me )

No problem, Lady Bird. We are, and will remain friends, even if there is a misunderstanding. smile

Originally Posted by Lady Bird
I do not understand Rick how you can say that was not the cause of the strings breaking


Perhaps here is the misunderstanding, if there was one... I never said that rust was not the cause of the strings breaking on your Kawai 500. I said that none of the strings broke due to rust on my old upright pianos.

I always take your word at face value, Lady Bird, 100%! 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 #3024058 09/11/20 02:19 PM
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Same here Rick , I know you know a great deal about pianos and tuning , rechnical work on a piano. As you know I tend to get things a bit skewed at times here.
I agree about the false beats perhaps the suggestion by the technician about rust causing false beats was not true or
perhaps it was ? Either I heard it , or perhaps I thought I heard it because he suggested it.
The main problem was that the piano needed to be restrung.

Re: Do you consider or check false beats when you buy piano?
tony3304 #3024068 09/11/20 03:00 PM
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This string has a very noticeable and annoying false beat, because of a loose bridge pin.

When the bridge pin is stabilized by pressing a screwdriver gently against it, the false beats decrease noticeably.

https://youtu.be/zGmuZ772e6Y

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