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Mute rail and other quieting methods
#3039848 10/27/20 09:39 AM
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As I mentioned in another thread my neighbor has begun to complain to me about hearing my piano. I have been playing a grand for 20 years in the same room in my apartment and a vertical for 20 years before that and have only gotten three or four complaints but my neighbor is very upset. I only want to get a hybrid as a last resort since I love playing my M&H BB.

Does anyone have experience with mute rails? I listened to a demonstration of one online and it seemed to quiet the piano to an extreme where there wasn't much tone left. Can the volume when using the mute rail be adjusted at all? Does it basically insert something between the hammers and strings to mute the sound? Thanks.

Re: Mute rail and other quieting methods
pianoloverus #3039914 10/27/20 11:54 AM
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I only know about mute rails for uprights, in which it is indeed a strip of felt that gets inserted between the hammers and strings.

I absolutely HATED playing with the mute rail, and on my Petrof, I just removed it completely (I think I removed it from my Yamaha U1 as well, but that was much longer ago)

Anyway, I can't imagine that you would like playing with it in place even for a nanosecond... And I hat to say it, but you might be better off with a hybrid or digital etc.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this! frown


Started piano June 1999.
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Re: Mute rail and other quieting methods
pianoloverus #3039951 10/27/20 01:35 PM
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I play my upright about as often with the mute rail as I play it without. I like the tone that I get when the rail is engaged, and I also feel that it is worth more than a silent system. I guess it depends a bit on what you play - something percussive and fast is probably not as suitable as something romantic. I guess you will need to try it out.

Edit: You cannot really adjust the volume. You can exchange the felt against something thicker or lighter though. That will lead to more or less volume, but not on the fly.

Last edited by Gretel; 10/27/20 01:36 PM.

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Re: Mute rail and other quieting methods
pianoloverus #3040015 10/27/20 05:17 PM
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Perhaps you're coming at this from the wrong perspective. Play a Kawai Novus 10 and the equivalent Yamaha.

I've had fine players try out the Novus and come away very pleased.


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Re: Mute rail and other quieting methods
Gretel #3040204 10/28/20 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretel
I play my upright about as often with the mute rail as I play it without. I like the tone that I get when the rail is engaged, and I also feel that it is worth more than a silent system. I guess it depends a bit on what you play - something percussive and fast is probably not as suitable as something romantic. I guess you will need to try it out.

Edit: You cannot really adjust the volume. You can exchange the felt against something thicker or lighter though. That will lead to more or less volume, but not on the fly.

+ 1 in my upright with a mute rail (celeste pedal) especially for exercises, scales, harpeggios, etc. It spares the ears when working for long periods, then I can get musical on the grand. But of course, sometimes I play the upright without the rail, for it sounds gorgeous, only extravoluminous...


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Re: Mute rail and other quieting methods
pianoloverus #3040290 10/28/20 11:28 AM
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Maybe this thread could be of some use to you:

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

-edit-

I just realised you posted something in that thread, so you already know about it. I still left my reply in case you forgot about it.

Re: Mute rail and other quieting methods
pianoloverus #3040460 10/28/20 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
As I mentioned in another thread my neighbor has begun to complain to me about hearing my piano. I have been playing a grand for 20 years in the same room in my apartment and a vertical for 20 years before that and have only gotten three or four complaints but my neighbor is very upset. I only want to get a hybrid as a last resort since I love playing my M&H BB.

Does anyone have experience with mute rails? I listened to a demonstration of one online and it seemed to quiet the piano to an extreme where there wasn't much tone left. Can the volume when using the mute rail be adjusted at all? Does it basically insert something between the hammers and strings to mute the sound? Thanks.

As others have said, it's very common on uprights because it's easy to have a piece of felt in-and-out between strings and hammers. Much rarer in grands, even though I've seen an advertising for that recently (IIRC it was by QRS, but I would not bet it).

As others have said, some love it, some hate it. I am not sure anybody has tried BOTH a felt mute and a digital hybrid. I have. I used to have an upright with handmade felt mute, and I have a Yamaha NU1 now (in addition to a Golden Era grand). I liked the felt mute much more, even though it did change both the tone and the touch of the piano, and that piano was a beaten up, old upright.

I think you should ask to the piano technician or to the myptg.org forum, more than here, since it's more of a specialized thing that only a technician with lots of experience under their belt will have seen.

Other options: I suggest you consider a rug under the piano, a blanket inside the cabinet, on the strings (which will double down as a protection!) and something underneath. I suspect you will like that better. In my opinion, the sound of a digital instrument, even top of the line is so inferior to "the real thing" to leave you disappointed. Another option would be to trade down for a smaller instrument, the BB is arguably too big for a house, and you have it in an apartment....
Also see https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/ten-ways-to-voice-a-room/ and https://www.pianobuyer.com/faqs/how-can-i-lower-the-volume-of-my-piano/ -- Consider soundproofing the room. Talk to your technician, your piano store, people who have recording studios in your area...
I mean, with the money that you'd spend on an N1x or similar, you can be much more satisfied looking at other options, given that you have such a wonderful instrument already!!! (I wish I could afford that myself)

Re: Mute rail and other quieting methods
Del Vento #3040568 10/29/20 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Del Vento
I used to have an upright with handmade felt mute, and I have a Yamaha NU1 now (in addition to a Golden Era grand). I liked the felt mute much more, even though it did change both the tone and the touch of the piano, and that piano was a beaten up, old upright.

Wait, do you mean you liked the upright with felt mute better than playing on the Yamaha NU1?? Wow, that surprises me!

Is your preference for the felt mute due to the touch or the sound?


Started piano June 1999.
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Re: Mute rail and other quieting methods
pianoloverus #3040569 10/29/20 08:17 AM
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If you're interested in soundproofing your apartment, you might want to visit the soundproof cow.
they have many soundproofing options.


You can conquer the world with rhythm and beautiful tones.
---Leschetizky
Re: Mute rail and other quieting methods
ShiroKuro #3040580 10/29/20 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Originally Posted by Del Vento
I used to have an upright with handmade felt mute, and I have a Yamaha NU1 now (in addition to a Golden Era grand). I liked the felt mute much more, even though it did change both the tone and the touch of the piano, and that piano was a beaten up, old upright.

Wait, do you mean you liked the upright with felt mute better than playing on the Yamaha NU1?? Wow, that surprises me!

Is your preference for the felt mute due to the touch or the sound?

I'm purely talking about sound here, sorry for not making it clear. The touch of that piano was just ok and it was made even worse by the mute felt (because of the effectively decreased distance of the hammers from the strings). FWIW, that piano also had that pedal that moved all the hammers close to the strings, but that did not lower the volume sufficiently and made the touch so weird, with all that added lost motion... The touch of the NU1 is excellent in comparison to that instrument and in comparison to many pianos I tried. For example, touch on the NU1 is beautifully uniform from note to note, something that many acoustic struggle with (I know, it can be regulated, but often it's not).
That upright piano had many other problems (e.g. the dampers did not damp correctly) but focusing only on how it sounded it was much better than any digital I ever tried IN PERSON.
Funny thing is, hearing a recording of an acoustic vs a recording of a good digital, sometimes I like the digital better. But in person, I have never heard a digital that sounded better than any even just a barely decent acoustic. Despite trying hard to understand why I think so, I've not been able to understand it, and I've now just accepted it.

Re: Mute rail and other quieting methods
pianoloverus #3040601 10/29/20 09:40 AM
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Del Vento, thanks for those comments. Re recording, I know what you mean about often digitals sounding better in recording (sometimes I think recordings really magnify any flaw or tuning issue in an acoustic). But I agree, I love the sound of acoustics in real life, even when they're not perfectly in tune. An acoustic is like a living breathing animal, while a digital often just sounds sterile in its "too perfectness."

Quote
Despite trying hard to understand why I think so, I've not been able to understand it, and I've now just accepted it.

Life's like that isn't it! grin


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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