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#609217 - 12/09/01 06:08 AM Buzzing objects = out of tune?
sparrow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/01
Posts: 106
Loc: Groningen, NL
This may be a very silly question, but is it a sign that a piano needs tuning when objects lying on or near the piano start vibrating/buzzing along with a certain note? And how about when the things that are buzzing are within the piano? I found that usually after a few weeks or so this buzzing stops by itself, or may move to another note.

Iíve just had my piano tuned and thereís still buzzing within the piano when pressing the middle-D. Did my tuner miss it, or is this something that he neednít fix when wearing his tuner-hat (instead of his technician-hat)?

Thanks for your help,
regards, Thea

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#609218 - 12/09/01 10:57 AM Re: Buzzing objects = out of tune?
PNO2NER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 128
Loc: Traverse City, MI
Hi Sparrow: The buzzing noise you are hearing on certain notes can be described best as a "sympathetic vibration." The item making the noise is being excited at the same frequency as the particular note on the piano that makes the noise happen. It is not a sign that the piano needs tuning, as it can occur as easily in a tuned or untuned instrument. The problem is finding it! Your technician may not have heard it at the time he was tuning (since you indicated it comes and goes) or he chose to ignore it for whatever reason. It is correctable but may take some doing especially since it is inconsistent. It may be easiest to find and correct using two people: one playing the note that creates the buzz, and the other locating it. The possibilities are many: soundboard problems, foreign objects in or near the piano, string problem, I have found a common cause to be an item that has fallen in behind the piano (assuming its a vertical) and is resting against the soundboard making the noise. You will have to try to locate the problem when it is there (obviously) otherwise you wouldn't know whether or not you've corrected it. Noises of this type are very irritating, but take heart, there is a reason, and it is fixable.[EMAIL]null[/EMAIL]

#609219 - 12/09/01 03:23 PM Re: Buzzing objects = out of tune?
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
There are certain things that vibrate and buzz around my piano as well when I play certain notes. It's the most annyoing thing in the world, it is!
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#609220 - 12/09/01 10:01 PM Re: Buzzing objects = out of tune?
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
And hopefully it's not an intermittent buzz because that can drive the tech crazy! You want it there strident as ever when he comes to check it out.

I speak from personal experience on this.

Mark Mandell www.pianosource.com

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#609221 - 12/10/01 05:27 AM Re: Buzzing objects = out of tune?
sparrow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/01
Posts: 106
Loc: Groningen, NL
Thanks for your advice! I opened the piano (upright) and vacuumed wherever I could reach. It was amazingly clean for a 17 year old piano. This didnít help, however.
When I touch the left string of the central-D with the tip of my finger while hitting the key the ringing sound is gone, when I touch the middle string, itís much worse, and touching the right string doesnít make any difference. Is this an indication that it may have something to do with the strings?

#609222 - 12/10/01 04:39 PM Re: Buzzing objects = out of tune?
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Then based on what you just said, I'd have the string/bridge connection checked out. If even a small particle of wood somehow wound up lying there, it could cause a buzz when the note's played.


#609223 - 12/11/01 02:18 PM Re: Buzzing objects = out of tune?
sparrow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/01
Posts: 106
Loc: Groningen, NL
Thanks for the help. I looked again but coulndít find anything. Iíll ask my tuner next time heís here. Iíll try not to get annoyed too much by the extra ringing tones, and hopefully itíll go away soon. It could be that going out-of-tune may fix it, right? Then the string will emit vibrations on another frequency (pardon my non-technical language) and the buzzing object wonít feel obliged to join in.

Iíll also ask my tuner why he didnít notice/remark on this. Itís as if the sound got more noticeable after the last tuning, but that may be my imagination. Weíve only had this tuner for about a year. The tuner we had when we lived somewhere else, fixed everything without us having to ask about it, and wouldnít even charge extra for this. I guess weíve been spoiled by him.

Bye for now, regards, Thea


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