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Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room

Posted By: doremi

Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 02/22/10 11:40 PM

Will it sound better?
Posted By: terminaldegree

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 02/23/10 12:28 AM

Due to space limitations, this is how my piano is placed currently. I don't really like how it sounds, but there are no other good options in my living room. I put up a furniture moving pad on the wall behind the instrument and it may have helped smooth out the sound a little.
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 02/23/10 12:30 AM

Try putting the pads between the backposts and the soundboard.
Posted By: Brandon_W_T

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 02/23/10 12:39 AM

Well an upright piano is supposed to have the wall behind it, to help project the tone.

I had an organ which had a speaker cabinet. One side was fully finished, and the speaker side was barle. The intention was to place the speakers facing the wall to reflect it out I guess.
Posted By: rocket88

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 02/23/10 03:25 AM

Originally Posted by Brandon_W_T
Well an upright piano is supposed to have the wall behind it, to help project the tone.


From where do you get your information?

When placed against a wall, the wall echoes the tone back into the piano, not into the room.
Posted By: Brandon_W_T

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 02/23/10 03:42 AM

Thats about what I recall the piano store told me.
I think he stated something about wall=projection, or just better volume when on a wall-
as that is why most always an upright is put against a wall,. Notice the backs of uprights are not finished, or painted.
Posted By: rocket88

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 02/23/10 03:49 AM

Lets see, Brandon...

Physics tells us that the sound from the soundboard of an upright, which is in the back of the piano, will travel out from the back, and, if it hits a parallel wall, will bounce back to the piano.

Its called an "echo".

But a "piano store told you"..."I think he stated something about wall=projection..."

Wow.

ps...the backs of uprights are not "not finished", as you claim, but rather have a clear finish. Again, that is where the soundboard is...To "paint" the back would mean painting the soundboard, not a good idea at all. But it is finished in clear, just like the soundboard of a grand piano.

Furthermore, my antique German upright has a black cloth from the factory that covers the entire back of the piano, so the piano could be placed elsewhere.

Have a nice day, Brandon. Bye.
Posted By: Brandon_W_T

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 02/23/10 01:47 PM

Well thats kinda what he told me,
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 02/23/10 02:15 PM

Advising people here when the basis is "Well thats kinda what he told me" is a dis-service to those who come here seeking accurate information from those with deep experience.

I know your intentions are good, but you have a record of passing on bad advise.
Posted By: jivemutha

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 01:33 AM

I'm getting a new Yamaha U3 "Silent Piano" (so-called "U3SG"). Aesthetically, angling (about 45 degrees) the piano near (but not in) a corner would absolutely look the best.

Can any expert out there be more specific about what this will do the the sound of the acoustic component of this hybrid piano, when compared with the usual up-against-the-wall upright piano positioning?

(Of course the digital component comes through headphones and therefore would sound the same if I glued the piano to the ceiling.)

There may be nothing better than subjective opinions but I'm hoping for something more consistent if that's possible. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
Posted By: Supply

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 01:44 AM

Originally Posted by doremi
Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room: Will it sound better?
What an odd question. What does "better" mean? For whom? Better could be - louder, or softer, it can be brighter - or mellower. It all depends on the piano, the space, and above all, the listener's perception, personal preference and judgement.

How about you try positioning your piano in a corner and reporting your (subjective) findings? I think that could kick off a more meaningful discussion.
Posted By: PianoWorksATL

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 01:52 AM

Acoustic science is absolutely complicated, but advice starts with a few "rules of thumb." Uprights, because they are closed, suffer a lack of immediacy in tone. Bringing it away from a nearby wall amplifies this tendency. Corners also tend to trap sound, creating expected and unexpected interference patterns - and you just took dead aim at a corner. It's not the end of the world, but it is an inefficient means of getting a pure sound back to the pianist.

My harsh advice would be to forget the corner because it is rarely, if ever, better aesthetically anyway. It usually happens out of need (like terminaldegree's situation).

My kinder, gentler advice is to roll the piano around a bit and try both. Many things about your new piano will be much more apparent when it arrives.

But mostly, enjoy your new piano!
Posted By: Mark R.

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 12:47 PM

I've had good results in moving the piano about 6" to 1' away from the wall, and angling it slightly, so that the bass side is somewhat further removed than the treble side. Of course, this means that the piano isn't perfectly "square" to the room anymore, but the acoustic results were so satisfying that I left it angled.

(This is the Ibach listed in my signature.)
Posted By: PassingBy

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 12:53 PM

Originally Posted by Mark R.
I've had good results in moving the piano about 6" to 1' away from the wall, and angling it slightly, so that the bass side is somewhat further removed than the treble side. Of course, this means that the piano isn't perfectly "square" to the room anymore, but the acoustic results were so satisfying that I left it angled.

(This is the Ibach listed in my signature.)


I do that with my upright (not in my signature), but with the treble end angled out a tiny bit more than the bass end. The treble sounds much better, freer, in a way.
Posted By: R_Dorothy

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 12:59 PM

What about about in the middle with foam??? Like this beautiful Steingraeber 130:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb...1/topic/019089/Number/0/site_id/1#import
Posted By: Brent H

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 02:02 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Corners also tend to trap sound, creating expected and unexpected interference patterns - and you just took dead aim at a corner. It's not the end of the world, but it is an inefficient means of getting a pure sound back to the pianist.

My harsh advice would be to forget the corner because it is rarely, if ever, better aesthetically anyway. It usually happens out of need (like terminaldegree's situation).


To what extent do you find this also applying to grand pianos?

If you had a choice between the back and bass sides of a grand being just a foot or so from walls (with the lid opening facing out from the corner) versus getting it a few feet out of the corner on one dimention or the other would you avoid the corner?

Or with grands is it mostly that you don't want to point the lid opening into the corner?
Posted By: Stanza

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 04:49 PM

Recently, I angled my grand out so it was a little more cornered. I thought there was a dramatic improvement in the sound, especially less muddiness in the bass. Experiment! (also recording might help you judge the sound with less bias.)_
Posted By: PianoWorksATL

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 05:29 PM

Originally Posted by Brent H
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Corners also tend to trap sound, creating expected and unexpected interference patterns - and you just took dead aim at a corner. It's not the end of the world, but it is an inefficient means of getting a pure sound back to the pianist.

My harsh advice would be to forget the corner because it is rarely, if ever, better aesthetically anyway. It usually happens out of need (like terminaldegree's situation).


To what extent do you find this also applying to grand pianos?

If you had a choice between the back and bass sides of a grand being just a foot or so from walls (with the lid opening facing out from the corner) versus getting it a few feet out of the corner on one dimention or the other would you avoid the corner?

Or with grands is it mostly that you don't want to point the lid opening into the corner?

There is no shortage of sound from a grand, and most people do give aesthetics priority, but for the best acoustic presentation, absolutely the same rules apply...bring the piano more into the middle of the room and then play with the final position until you get a satisfying focal point. Car stereos allow you to center speaker output for the driver's benefit - same principal just more variables in your home.
Posted By: Withindale

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 05:58 PM

Originally Posted by Mark R.
I've had good results in moving the piano about 6" to 1' away from the wall, and angling it slightly, so that the bass side is somewhat further removed than the treble side.


So have I, but I'm only allowed 4", or 6" at times on sufferance. Wavelengths of piano sounds range from a few inches in the treble to many feet in the bass, giving plenty of scope for trial and error with wall effects and room effects. To hear what you are missing remove the front panels (i.e. sound barriers) from your upright!
Posted By: Brent H

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/01/11 07:04 PM

Thanks, Sam. I'll see what I can do within my space constraints to find a "euphonious" position somewhat out from the corner. Hopefully even a few feet will matter.

Hope mine wasn't too much of a thread-hijack from doremi's original question.
Posted By: jivemutha

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/02/11 02:10 AM

"What does better mean?" "Better" would mean there's pretty much universal agreement that an angled position is or is not preferable, much as there is agreement that a "C" series Yamaha sounds "better" than a "G" series or that a Mason & Hamlin sounds "better" than a Young Chang. My sense is that the comments in this thread (including your own) suggest that while angling the piano will indeed change the sound, it won't do so in a way that everyone would agree is more pleasing to most ears (or less so). In such cases, I agree with your advice--'sounds like I'll need to try both. Thank you.
Posted By: KurtZ

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/02/11 03:21 AM

Bass waves build up (increased by approximately 3db over along a flat wall and 6 db over free space) in corners causing muddy sound. This is why many studio monitors half equalizer switiches to compensate for speaker placement. Listen, on an upright 3db more bass might not be so bad. If it feels too muddy and you want to clean it up try a product like this:

Sound Column

[Linked Image]

It slips over a mic stand and you raise or lower it to adjust the sound. For example it may sound best all the way down behind the piano or it might to better to be raised to the mid-way between the wall and the ceiling. Functionally, the flutes help scatter (a good thing, really) the treble waves which tend to be beamy. The dense foam "eats" the echoes between the 1/4 space walls causing the muddy bass build up. It and the mic stand would probably be about $100. There are other products out there including foam corner wedges but many are much more expensive and the foam triangular columns lack the adjustability and I really think that in this case a freestanding pillar or tube trap has an advantage over corner blocks. I've heard a different circular tube trap behind a reflective plaster wall and a bass amp; the result was a quite marked improvement in clarity.

Kurt

Posted By: Dale Fox

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 12/02/11 06:15 AM

Originally Posted by KurtZ
Bass waves build up (increased by approximately 3db over along a flat wall and 6 db over free space) in corners causing muddy sound. This is why many studio monitors half equalizer switiches to compensate for speaker placement. Listen, on an upright 3db more bass might not be so bad. If it feels too muddy and you want to clean it up try a product like this:

Sound Column

[Linked Image]

It slips over a mic stand and you raise or lower it to adjust the sound. For example it may sound best all the way down behind the piano or it might to better to be raised to the mid-way between the wall and the ceiling. Functionally, the flutes help scatter (a good thing, really) the treble waves which tend to be beamy. The dense foam "eats" the echoes between the 1/4 space walls causing the muddy bass build up. It and the mic stand would probably be about $100. There are other products out there including foam corner wedges but many are much more expensive and the foam triangular columns lack the adjustability and I really think that in this case a freestanding pillar or tube trap has an advantage over corner blocks. I've heard a different circular tube trap behind a reflective plaster wall and a bass amp; the result was a quite marked improvement in clarity.

Kurt



If you could elaborate on what you mean I'd be interested to learn. You say that Bass waves build up (increased by approximately 3db over along a flat wall and 6 db over free space) in corners causing muddy sound. This would indicate some sort of amplification, in that the DB level increases.

I understand that the placement of the piano could create some audio conflicts that could be described as creating a muddy bass or something of the sort. I do not understand where the amplification comes from since there is no additional energy being fed into the sound level from another source. I'm sure there is a fine explanation that I am unaware of, not being a studio recording person.
Posted By: Jt2nd

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 05/08/19 01:35 PM

What a shame this conversation was so short .I think the "problem would begin with a piano in a square room with the sound projecting straight across to the opposite wall . For a grand piano with lid raised (not always stated here) the lid will project sound sideways to the opposite wall and if the wall surface was hard and flat it would reflect back and create interference patterns .So angling the piano (keyboard ) would break up the interference patterns .(Imagine those invisible patterns). If the lid angle can be varied (up or down ) then the floor surface or carpet would become involved. Contrast an echoing concrete cell with a shop selling wool . Each wall covered in shelves full of bails of wool . From the severe answers here we could be chastised for asking if one is better than the other . A kinder approach would suggest something between the two extremes would be preferable. Choose your own definition of preferable here .
Surfaces with a mixture of hard and flat with some absorbent areas would improve things. Reach for a thesaurus to define "improve " and "things ".
Angled wall surfaces (ie not parrallel ) may act like prismatic angles on a diamond .(I like that idea ). Not many rooms are built like that however .
In the case of an upright , the wall behind the piano can be compared to the lid of an upright .So the sound will be less muffled by a close solid wall if one end is pulled away from the wall .Preferably the bass note end outwards ? Good question . In a grand piano the bass notes are tucked up close to the lid hinge . So try the treble end out from the wall . For an upright the parrallel wall might not be such a nuisance .(Look up "Might "and also "Nuisance "in your favourite dictionary .) If you had the permission it would be interesting to play a piano in the Whispering Gallery in St Paul`s Cathedral . Walls have ears .
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 05/08/19 07:57 PM

We placed a fair sized carpet in the piano room.It has really
improved the sound. Being not too far from the corner wall
and having low ceilings made the sound too overwhelming .
While moving the carpet the piano ended up in the middle
of the room.The piano sounded wonderful.
Having the carpet in the room really has helped "hearing the
piano "It is now about 4 inches from the wall.I do not think I
could persuade anyone at home that I should centre it in the
middle of the room ?
Posted By: backto_study_piano

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 05/09/19 08:07 AM

Originally Posted by doremi
Will it sound better?

Yes, or at least different.

My last home, very small living room with upright YAMAHA UX (YUS5 size), lots of furnishings, heavy carpet, curtains etc, and the piano had to go in the corner and sounded "dull".

After enduring this for a while, I experimented and moved the bass end out about 6" and I could hear the bass more accentuated, but still nothing like as bright as I wanted. So, I swapped, with the RH side out another 4 or 5" - and it sounded more like I wanted it.
Posted By: Beemer

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 05/09/19 10:27 AM

Originally Posted by doremi
Will it sound better?

Without your response this thread has wandered. Are you saying that you are not able to experiment with the angle yourself? Is your corner preference to display the instrument or to achieve a particular sound result?
As has already been said corner position for pianos or loudspeakers is not ideal as bass frequencies are boosted and will create an unnatural balance with the treble.
To correct some comments from others in this thread, upright pianos are not "placed against a wall". They should be at least 8" (20cm) from it but again experimentation on this distance is advisable to minimise reflection boosting the treble. A sound absorbing pad on the wall at the treble area can help.

Ian
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Angular positioning of upright piano in corner of room - 05/10/19 02:01 AM

Walls have ears alright !

This is a ghost thread we are responding to., OK ! ,Now lets go down the" Whispering Gallery"
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