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#3148497 08/22/21 01:09 AM
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I have not watched much of this but it sounds helpful.Do you agree with him or not?


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Make sense to me. I enjoy his videos.


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I really enjoy Stu's videos. I also love his jazz compositions, improve!

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It's not until he's 17 minutes into the video that he even brings up the concept of actually going out and listening to and playing pianos at various price points.

That should be the first thing he places emphasis on in my view.

Question for those who know firsthand the actual science and facts concerning the role the rim of the piano plays in affecting the ultimate sound quality of the piano - how much of a role does it actually play? My understanding has been that it is primarily a structural component that (if properly designed and made) permits the sound producing elements to do their job (strings / soundboard). In the video, Stu gets into discussing the affects on tone that the "fibers in the wood laminations" in the rim produce. Is that accurate? Does the rim itself resonate and is it a tonal component, or does it simply serve to reflect and direct the sound coming from the actual acoustic components inside the instrument?

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From the final section of his video, you can tell he is financially partial to selling new pianos. I found this section to not be an impartial discussion.


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Originally Posted by RPA88
Does the rim itself resonate and is it a tonal component, or does it simply serve to reflect and direct the sound coming from the actual acoustic components inside the instrument?

Anything in the piano that resonates (thus taking energy away) and feeds those resonations back into the piano structure will be a tonal element. However it is difficult to do anything other than guess as to how important that effect is and it is likely to be different from one piano design to another. My suspicion is that it does have an audible effect but the rim is actually a necessary evil - in an ideal world pianos might perhaps not have rims or at least fully decouple them so that we can just listen to the soundboard without the sound being muddied by secondary vibrations essentially unrelated to the note being played.

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Perhaps worded another way - does the rim resonate? Clearly there's a difference from that structure resonating and it serving to reflect / resonance created from other components within the sound box.

I look at the construction of a multi-layered lamination made of hardwoods and I think of the Bowers and Wilkins Nautilus 800 speakers. The cabinets of those speakers are similarly laminated. The premise and intended design with them being that they do not resonate, they are purpose-built to avoid resonance which would color the sound.

I know there's fact-based science with this and there has to be a study or studies on the topic.

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Originally Posted by RPA88
Perhaps worded another way - does the rim resonate?
I second that - it matters if there is resonance.




From https://xiengineering.com/industries/building-structures-planning/bridges/

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Most people have either jumped or experienced someone else jumping, on a footbridge to make it bounce up and down. If the force is applied to the bridge is at a frequency which matches the bridge’s natural frequency, the vibration within the bridge will be amplified in a phenomenon called mechanical resonance. In situations where the mechanical resonance is strong enough, the resulting vibrations can cause a bridge to collapse from the movement.


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Mr Harrison is a really good piano player, especially Jazz and Classical. He seems to have a good ear for the various pianos he demonstrates and knowledgeable on the many brands shown. I wonder if Stu has a technical background? Has he ever tuned a piano, regulated or voiced one? Not that it has any bearing on his expertise.


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Originally Posted by panche23
Mr Harrison is a really good piano player, especially Jazz and Classical. He seems to have a good ear for the various pianos he demonstrates and knowledgeable on the many brands shown. I wonder if Stu has a technical background? Has he ever tuned a piano, regulated or voiced one? Not that it has any bearing on his expertise.
I don't think many advanced classical pianists would find Harrison to be a good classical pianist. I have only heard him play one classical piece in another video and IMO his performance was that of a very average intermediate player. I also don't think his jazz playing would allow him to play professionally although it may be better than his classical playing. His jazz playing in his video comparing Kawai and Boston was mostly doodling. I found many of his comments about piano tone and construction in that same video to be inaccurate and/or extremely unclear. I am not surprised at all that another poster found part of the video in this thread not an impartial video, i.e. geared to selling the pianos in his store.

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He's a great player, and I couldn't care less if he's a classical or jazz musician.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I don't think many advanced classical pianists would find Harrison to be a good classical pianist. I have only heard him play one classical piece in another video and IMO his performance was that of a very average intermediate player. I also don't think his jazz playing would allow him to play professionally although it may be better than his classical playing. His jazz playing in his video comparing Kawai and Boston was mostly doodling.
Here's an example of his jazz playing that is more than doodling once he gets past the two minute mark.

It really makes no difference to me whether he is a professional jazz player or not. I don't believe he's trying to represent himself as such.

I can't find any examples of his "classical" playing other than the Beethoven snippet in the Kawai/Boston video - and it seemed to me that he really wasn't trying to be serious there.


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Originally Posted by Carey
Here's an example of his jazz playing that is more than doodling once he gets past the two minute mark.
Yes, that's very good.

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Originally Posted by RPA88
Perhaps worded another way - does the rim resonate? Clearly there's a difference from that structure resonating and it serving to reflect / resonance created from other components within the sound box.

Yes, it does resonate.

Here's a quote from Ed Foote in another current thread:

"It is more than a question of mass, otherwise piano makers would make rims out of concrete. The case of a piano is entrained, i.e. it vibrates along with the string because the energy of the string moves the board and the board and ribs are connected to the case. The case not only receives, it also delivers, since the entrainment works both ways. If the board is connected to the case and the case vibrates, the board's vibration will be affected by the case vibration. Chickering built a number of pianos with the soundboard connected to an inner rim that was only connected to the outer case via a joint at the lower edge."

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Interesting seeing this.

There has to be some studies on this where the resonance is analyzed in some measured way. Do the rim vibrations actually translate into something that affects tonality?

It would be really interesting to see some science that supports the opinions and lore...

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Have a look at YouTube videos on the transmission and reflection of waves at boundaries. You'll find some of the enegy is transmitted and some is reflected. The soundboard and rim of a piano form such a boundary. However the patterns of vibration in the wood of a piano are hidden and complex.

It is a moot point as to whether the soundboard or the rim and frame have greater influence on the tone and timbre of a piano.


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Originally Posted by RPA88
Interesting seeing this.

There has to be some studies on this where the resonance is analyzed in some measured way. Do the rim vibrations actually translate into something that affects tonality?

It would be really interesting to see some science that supports the opinions and lore...

The interactions will be complex and it will be essentially impossible to manufacture and measure to your satisfaction all the possible rim configurations that are available. I suspect the main measuring instrument used is the human ear.

It probably would be possible to measure the tonality of say say one piano with its case and bare without it, and maybe with a second rim construction but that would prove nothing. The effect might be completely different with a different model piano and/or yet some other rim design.

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An example is the Yamaha SX ARE rim development much discussed in this forum. There is an SX Series video on YouTube where the engineers discuss what they did. Seems to have been by ear as gwing suggests but it would have made sense to do some spectral analysid as well.


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