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Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand

Posted By: Fantine56

Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/10/19 12:11 AM

I purchased a new Kawai GL-10 baby grand in May (it's manufactured in Indonesia). The dealer is the largest Kawai dealer in south Florida and is regarded as a reputable.

After a few weeks, a buzz developed on the left-hand side of the piano. The dealer's piano service tech (who I think is very diligent) tried to fix it twice. He told me that he isolated the problem in the wood piece that runs horizontally in front of and below the keyboard (if he told me the name of this piece, I've forgotten it). If I understood what he was saying, there's a metal rod in that wood piece and if it's not cut to precise length, it can vibrate. After two failed attempts to fix the piano, the dealer agreed to exchange the piano for me, as they had gotten a shipment of three and had one on hand.

Fast forward to the new piano. I've had it about two weeks, it has been tuned, but now it has developed a high-pitched ringing when the G above middle C is struck. The piano tech is coming back on Tuesday to figure out WTH is going on.

I'm pretty depressed about the whole situation. I saved for months to purchase a baby grand, and so far, it's been a disaster. First the buzzing, now the ringing. The sound is very distracting when I practice, and I dread the possibility that I would have to get a third exchange, even if the dealer is willing to do that.

Does anybody have any ideas what is going on with the ringing? The new piano's serial number is only two number away from the first piano, which leads me to think there is problem with quality control in the factory. I'd love any suggestions or comments. Thank you.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/10/19 01:16 AM

Chances are it is simply an errant damper felt somewhere. Either on the note itself or a lower note that is ringing sympathetically. Probably an easy fix.

Question: Is the ringing at the SAME pitch as the note played, or is it a higher (or different) pitch? It is possible itbis coming from a higher note too.

Pwg
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/10/19 01:57 AM

I think it’s a higher pitch.

Is it unusual for a new piano to have these issues?
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/10/19 03:02 AM

Well...yes and no.

How's that for a comprehensive answer?

The buzz is something that is almost totally unforeseeable. Buzzes happen in pianos because everything is vibrating. Sometimes the difference between something buzzing and not buzzing boils down to as little as .001". Plus, it could be dependent on relative humidity. There is a reasonably good chance that the buzz did not exist (audibly) at either the factory or the dealers showroom, and it just happens to occur at the relative humidity level in existence at your home. You just have to find it and fix it. Remember that there are literally better than 10,000 parts in your piano. Imperfect humans built it. Stuff happens.

On the ringing...once again it is possible that it did not exist prior to being moved to your home. Maybe someone accidentally hit something (like a damper head) in the move, or it could be that it just was not noticed. Depending on exactly what is causing it, the tech should be able to figure it out and take care of it.

Was it ringing BEFORE it was tuned, or only after? It could be a high undamped note frequency, now ringing sympathetically with a partial on the G. If it only happened after tuning it is likely.a result of the tuning and can be found and stopped one way or another. It could also be a longitudinal wave form (that would be harder to fix).

Dampers in a piano can be very finicky and very sensitive. Again, stuff happens. Let us know what the tech says.

Pwg
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/10/19 01:11 PM

The piano did not ring before it was tuned, but it was delivered to me in need of a tuning. Even my amateur ear could hear that. I completely understand that pianos can easily go out of tune when they are moved from a hot truck in south Florida to an air conditioned home in the summer. Luckily, my A/C keeps the humidity level in the house a constant 40-41%.

I'm going to call the dealer today and tell them that their tech has to come back for this issue, and hopefully, they will consider it part of the initial free tuning. Thank you for your input.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/10/19 05:52 PM

Delivery in need of tuning is SOP. The tuner should be able to track down the source within a few minutes. What will you do though, if it turns out that it is actually part of the normal sound of the piano? It is not uncommon for a pianist to question why certain notes in the treble start ringing when the ones right next to them do not. Then when it is shown to them that the dampers stop right there and everything above that point rings by itself they say: "Oh, I didn't know that".

That may not be the case with you, however it is possible that there is some correlation here. We shall see.

Of course...no buzz sounds belong in a piano. That's a given.

Pwg
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/14/19 08:26 PM

OK, so the tuner came yesterday, and basically told me that the piano is supposed to sound that way, and there wasn't anything he could do about it. He implied that I didn't know how a piano should sound, and that if my teacher didn't hear anything wrong with it, then there wasn't anything wrong with the piano. I pointed out that I went to my teacher for lessons, and he shrugged. In short, nothing got accomplished. I'll look for another tuner, preferably a RPT.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/14/19 08:53 PM

Originally Posted by Fantine56
OK, so the tuner came yesterday, and basically told me that the piano is supposed to sound that way, and there wasn't anything he could do about it. He implied that I didn't know how a piano should sound, and that if my teacher didn't hear anything wrong with it, then there wasn't anything wrong with the piano. I pointed out that I went to my teacher for lessons, and he shrugged. In short, nothing got accomplished. I'll look for another tuner, preferably a RPT.


One of our PW piano teachers also lives in Boynton Beach . You might want to drop her a PM and see if she can recommend a tech

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/users/22302/morodiene.html
Posted By: ShiroKuro

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/15/19 06:59 PM

Is it possible that there is something in the room (some metallic) that is responding to that particular note (or its frequency)? I had a problem with a particular note causing a fairly unpleasant buzzing noise. My tuner at the time worked with me and we tried all kinds of things.

Then in a moment of divine inspiration, I took the floor lamp, that was next to the piano, and moved it about 1 centimeter farther away from the piano. The ringing stopped.

My tuner and I shared a good laugh!

So, your problem may not be something external to the piano, but it might, so it's worth experimenting.

The other thing is that, this is a new piano right? It will change over time. Also, back to the humidity question, that may be influencing it more than you realize, so keep your eye on that.

Finally, I would say, believe, have faith, that this will be restored or that the piano will "grow" out of it, because the piano will change subtly every time it's tuned, and each time it will get a little better. I'm sure that, eventually, you'll be able to get rid of that buzzing!

Good luck!
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/15/19 07:21 PM

Light bulbs are also a culprit for me. Either the lamp next to the piano, or the recessed bulb in the ceiling above.
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/16/19 07:28 AM

Perhaps the coiled end of the string is vibrating .This happened to a friend.The technician wrapped the end of the string up or something and it stopped the ringing totally.Suggested this to the technician.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/16/19 12:01 PM

Fantine56,

What were you playing on prior to purchasing this Kawai?

Pwg
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/18/19 04:24 AM

Originally Posted by P W Grey
Fantine56,

What were you playing on prior to purchasing this Kawai?

Pwg


Only stringed instruments. I’m an adult beginner and this is my first piano.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/18/19 11:39 AM

It is very common for a beginner to question why strings up above about note 67 or so ring without stopping, whereas the notes right below do not. The reason is simple in that there are no dampers on those notes higher up...as part of the design. Every piano on the planet has this feature. There are good reasons for it.

These strings will ring sympathetically with notes played below (particularly when it is well in tune) as will any wire segments that are not muted off. This includes wire between the tuning pins and speaking length, as well as any rear segments left unmuted according to the specific model and design of the piano.

If there is one note in particular that seems to be annoying this can usually be dealt with by finding the offending string(s) and muting them. Occaisionally entire sections of wire need to be muted. This is done on a case by case basis.

In general, piano makers attempt to design their instruments for maximum resonance. Maybe you prefer a somewhat less resonant sound? It is possible. If you trust another musician's judgement you might have him/her come over and give their opinion and evaluate that before getting into a war with the dealer. Just a suggestion.

Pwg
Posted By: MarkL

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/18/19 12:25 PM

I would put in another vote for having an experienced pianist come over and listen with you. When I first got my acoustic I heard all kinds of sounds that I thought were some kind of problem. I asked my music teacher to come over and listen to it and he told me it was beautiful, that's what a piano is supposed to sound like.
Are you able to make a recording of the sounds you hear? That would help a lot making a diagnosis.
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/18/19 04:41 PM

I want to thank everyone who responded to help me. I did move both lamps out of the piano room, and the ringing persists.

I have gotten a few names of piano tuners in the area that I will be calling in the near future, although I don't think that any of them are RPTs.

My late mother's cousin is an excellent pianist and has the best ear I've seen -- she can go to a musical that she's never heard before and come home and play the score by heart. I will get her over here to listen once she returns from her summer refuge up North.

I liked Peter's suggestion of muting the offending string (it appears to be the middle string for G above middle C). I'll talk to the tuner when he comes over.

I'm not sure how much help my piano teacher will be. While I think she's a great choice for a beginner like me, she has only digital instruments in her house, so I'm not sure how well she would be able to evaluate an acoustic piano.

Again, I really appreciate all the input from everyone. I'll post updates as they occur.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/18/19 05:21 PM

You would be correct in your assessment about your teacher given the circumstances.


Pwg
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/18/19 06:30 PM

Originally Posted by P W Grey
You would be correct in your assessment about your teacher given the circumstances.


Pwg

Hear Hear.
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/20/19 06:55 PM

This is a link to the sound that the G4 key is making.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B52ZvxCxFYSOaUtzWVVUdGF5OHg0REF6amxvLUZTVDJDMlVJ
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/20/19 08:54 PM

Can't open for some reason, says "Owner prevented downloads for this audio file."
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/20/19 09:15 PM

Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Can't open for some reason, says "Owner prevented downloads for this audio file."


OK, I changed the settings to allow downloads, so it should work now. Sorry about that.
Posted By: Hakki

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/20/19 09:22 PM

Did you try to play that G4 with single string?
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/20/19 09:25 PM

Thanks, works now. So my GL10 has a similar issue on a couple notes in the same octave as yours. I always thought it was a voicing/tuning issue, but will defer to the techs.
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/20/19 09:37 PM

Good suggestion Hakki. For me, damping one or two strings reduces the effect, but it's still there. Perhaps something in my house is sympathetically resonating. I wonder how many others, if they go thru their keyboard note by note, have similar issues? There is probably a reason they record albums in a studio rather than in the average living room!

This thread may also be applicable to this issue.
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/20/19 10:00 PM

Originally Posted by Hakki
Did you try to play that G4 with single string?

How do I do that?
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/20/19 10:28 PM

First, pull the music desk out and lay it down somewhere safe like a couch. Then, step on the left pedal and it will shift the hammers to the right so only 2 strings are struck. If it still rings, and one of the two remaining strings is the culprit, use a cue tip to damp the right string and see if that stops it. If not, try the middle string. On my piano, it didn't stop the ringing but only made it less noticeable. Did you look at that thread I linked to? It may be that these are sounds inherent to an acoustic grand. Lots of different things inside the piano can resonate, as well as objects in your room.
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/21/19 02:19 AM

Sorry, Q-tip. crazy
Posted By: Nathan M., RPT

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/21/19 05:15 AM

First of all, I can hear the noise you're talking about quite clearly in the recording, and it doesn't sound like anything a piano should be making. I don't think it's coming from the G4 strings themselves, at least not the speaking length of them -- it's way too high pitched. I don't think it's a hammer voicing issue either, basically for the same reason. If I were working on this piano I'd start by moving my head around trying to zero in on where the noise was coming from. Could be in the piano, could be in the room.

Does the ringing always stop as soon as you let off the note?
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/21/19 01:57 PM

OK, so I followed Emery's and Hakki's instructions, and if I mute the middle string of G4, the ringing disappears or at least is diminished to the point that I cannot hear it. I also moved both lamps out of the room and that did not change things.

So, does this mean that the middle string is the culprit? Would it have to be changed?

To answer Nathan's question, the ringing stops immediately when I let off the note.
Posted By: Hakki

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/21/19 02:11 PM

Can you record the three strings as single string one by one indicating which recording is which?
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/21/19 03:13 PM

Originally Posted by Hakki
Can you record the three strings as single string one by one indicating which recording is which?


I tried but muting two strings while playing one was too difficult for me to do by myself. Thanks for the help in any case.
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/21/19 04:15 PM

Do you have access to makeup wedges? I'm not sure what they're called, but my wife has these wedge like spongy things in her makeup kit. If you get two unused ones and wedge them between the far right string and the neighboring string, and also the far left string and the neighboring string, then strike the key, only the middle string will sound. Then, using only one wedge, stick it between the right string and the middle string, and only the left string will sound. Repeat with the left string and middle string.

Hope that makes sense.
Posted By: Hakki

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/21/19 05:01 PM

Also don't forget to press the sustain pedal while you're sticking the wedge mutes.
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/21/19 05:04 PM

Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Do you have access to makeup wedges? I'm not sure what they're called, but my wife has these wedge like spongy things in her makeup kit. If you get two unused ones and wedge them between the far right string and the neighboring string, and also the far left string and the neighboring string, then strike the key, only the middle string will sound. Then, using only one wedge, stick it between the right string and the middle string, and only the left string will sound. Repeat with the left string and middle string.

Hope that makes sense.


OK, I know what you're talking about. I'll have to get some clean ones first, so hopefully, I can post something tomorrow.
Posted By: Nathan M., RPT

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/21/19 06:26 PM

Originally Posted by Fantine56
OK, so I followed Emery's and Hakki's instructions, and if I mute the middle string of G4, the ringing disappears or at least is diminished to the point that I cannot hear it. I also moved both lamps out of the room and that did not change things.

So, does this mean that the middle string is the culprit? Would it have to be changed?

To answer Nathan's question, the ringing stops immediately when I let off the note.


Oh that's interesting. So one thing to look at is the non-speaking lengths of that string, because that might be what's ringing. (By non-speaking length I mean the part between the agraffe and the tuning pin, and at the other end between the back bridge pin and the hitch pin.) . You can try muting these off with your Q-tip while playing the note and see if it makes any difference. The understring felt and stringing braid are *supposed* to dampen unwanted noises from these sections of string, but perhaps something is causing it to not do its job?
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/22/19 06:01 PM

Nathan:

I try muting those parts as you suggested, and I still heard the ringing.

Emery & Hakki:

I got the wedges, and did as you suggested, and it does seem that the middle string is the culprit.

I think at this point, I need to call a tuner and let them try to figure out what the issue. Thanks for all the assistance. I learned a lot about how pianos work from this discussion -- and now I know what an agraffe is!
Posted By: Emery Wang

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/22/19 06:08 PM

Cool, keep us posted, Fantine. It seems my piano has similar issues, so I'm curious as to what's up with yours. For the most part, I really like my GL10 and think it's a great piano for the money. I think it has solid build quality and a good design. The low price allows more budget for voicing and regulation, something even very expensive new pianos need. I look forward to seeing what this piano can do once its perfectly regulated and voiced.

My tech is coming out to voice my piano and address some of the ringing I'm experiencing. I'll let you know what he finds.
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/22/19 06:11 PM

Great, Emery, thanks so much. (I'll have to look up what voicing is.)
Posted By: Hakki

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/22/19 07:22 PM

Fantine, can you post the recording for each string.
Posted By: Nathan M., RPT

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/22/19 10:34 PM

Thanks for the updates -- sorry I couldn't guess the problem frown. I'll be very curious to hear what it turns out to be!
Posted By: Fantine56

Re: Need help w/ Kawai GL-10 baby grand - 08/23/19 12:05 AM

Hakki,

I wasn't successful with using the cosmetic wedges on that set of strings. They either muted too much or too little. I needed the hard rubber ones that tuners used. Sorry I can't post the results.
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