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I realise there have been several threads on this topic but am hoping for some specific advice.

I recently bought the new Yamaha NU1 Hybrid: http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musical-instruments/keyboards/hybridpianos/nu1/nu1/?mode=model, having upgraded from a CLP370.

I live in a second floor flat and can only practice at ‘antisocial’ hours (7am and after 8pm). I can just about get away with playing softly at these times but can’t really practice effectively. The NU1 hybrid has hammers like a traditional piano to give a better weighting to the keys but no strings. This means that the thumping is marginally louder than the older CLP370. Clearly I practice with headphones, so it is just the thumping that is an issue, not the sound of the music.

The piano is on a carpet at present, but there is nothing else in place yet to insulate the sound. I need to find a solution to virtually eliminate the thumping if possible to allow me to practice properly, but without ripping up the carpet and adding fibreglass insulation etc. I am considering buying one of these washing machine sound mats and would be interested in any views on the likely effectiveness: http://www.floormats.co.uk/washing-machine-mats

If anyone has any specific advice on this particular situation and how to reduce the thumping I would be most grateful.

Thanks in advance

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Any after the fact solutions are only going to reduce, not eliminate the vibration because the real issue is coupling... or your need to decouple your floor/walls/ceiling from your neighbors' - which should have been handled properly during construction of the building.

Don't feel too bad about playing your digital piano with headphones in the off hours, I can't imagine it's so radically different from foot fall noise or as you suggest, running the dryer. A mat like you're looking at is really the only option. There are other materials, but this looks priced reasonably enough to give it a try.

Last edited by ElmerJFudd; 02/16/15 11:45 AM.
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There are similar discussions in various places, one in particular springs to mind was to reduce the transmission of vibrations from a FFF ("3D printer" to some).
The recommendation was to use sorbothane vibration isolators.
I didn't follow up on it since my FFF is in an adjacent room, the sound doesn't bother me THAT much and I like to know when it has finished - or worse, stopped/crashed.

Anyhow, a search for sorbothane would probably find something useful.

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Personally, I would go with something of little density as possible. The noise you are trying to get rid of is contact transmission not audio frequency. Some of the traditional solutions target the latter, and are tailored to that function.

In your case you want to decouple the source of the vibration from contact with its surrounds. I assume you cannot do something underneath the key bed... So I would look for some air mattresses that were thin enough to be stable but not so thin as to 'bottom out' at any point. Place underneath your instrument. (Whole bunch of informal thinking about the relative mass of the piano and the amount of energy you can put into the system with your fingers and the absorption / displacement of piano on air mattress... A dead air space should be sufficient.)

Possible solutions would be any thin camping air mattress or possibly bubble wrap (heavy duty and layered). It should be sufficient to only elevate the piano at its suspension points, it's 'feet' if you can find or make some air filled pads to place under them.

Let us know how you progress as this is a topic that has come up a couple of times.


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When I had this problem I placed a layer of foam on the (hardwood) floor and on top of that I placed a sheet of 1/4" MDF board and then the keyboard + bench on top of that.

This seemed to have done the check. I had a Clavinova then and the walls/floors were paper thin in the apartment building. The sound of keys bottoming does transfer a lot and I imagine it made quite a racket for the downstairs neighbor.

I found using heavy carpet or just foam will not work. For the most part these materials will compress and the vibrations will still transfer.


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Originally Posted by Vid
When I had this problem I placed a layer of foam on the (hardwood) floor and on top of that I placed a sheet of 1/4" MDF board and then the keyboard + bench on top of that.

This seemed to have done the check. I had a Clavinova then and the walls/floors were paper thin in the apartment building. The sound of keys bottoming does transfer a lot and I imagine it made quite a racket for the downstairs neighbor.

I found using heavy carpet or just foam will not work. For the most part these materials will compress and the vibrations will still transfer.

Isolation such as this have been suggested in the past, and instead of foam using tennis balls located in cut outs on the MDF platform. But the principle is one of isolation or loose coupling.

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sbudda, yes tennis balls are an excellent suggestion and might be sufficient if placed underneath the piano contact points.. The MDF would give you less pressure, or more accurately, would disperse the pressure of any impact over a larger area.

Steps might be to isolate with TBalls at contact points, then move to a broader platform with more distribution and contact points if not sufficient. Good luck and let us know how things go.


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Looks like others have thought about this problem in a different but related context. Have a look at drum solution platform .


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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Isolation such as this have been suggested in the past, and instead of foam using tennis balls located in cut outs on the MDF platform. But the principle is one of isolation or loose coupling.


This is it. The issue is structural noise. Elevate the whole piano/bench arrangement onto a board with holes made in which tennis balls will locate but not push through. I think drummers use this method sometimes. If it's good enough for them...

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Drummers ? Oh, those guys who hang around with musicians and bang on things - Yeah, the more muffled the better.

The tennis balls WOULD provide air suspension, but they concentrate the vibrations to a few relatively small points.
A sandwich of MDF, bubble wrap, MDF would distribute the vibrations to many more much smaller points at lower pressure.
I suspect that a 5 or 7 layer sandwich with different size bubbles in each layer would be even better, but there are realistic limits to how high off the floor you want to be.
laugh

Well, 3 layers of 6 mm (~1/4 inch) MDF is barely 3/4 inch and 2 layers of bubble wrap is probably only another 6mm, so a 5 layer sandwich would barely be an inch thick in total.
Add ~9mm (less than 3/8 inch) per layer above that.

Last edited by R_B; 02/17/15 07:24 AM.
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+1 for the bubble wrap MDF sandwich solution. Resource for BW at CPP here .

Let us know how you do on this issue. Lots of people seem to have a similar need.


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Bubble wrap - genius!


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The further off the floor the Piano the higher the bench needs to be, and the further away from the pedals you are. The height of the keyboard is very important for playing comfort, so i would say to make the platform big enough for Piano and bench to keep the player in proper position and not need to compensate in other ways.


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