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The bottom line as always William is that we have different goals. Your driving force is price. My driving force is quality. They very seldom converge.
If your applied the same energy to reading what others write (for example my last post) that you apply to pumping yourself and your dogmatic opinions up, we might actually get somewhere. But this is not going to happen, so never mind.


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Where's lb when we need him?


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I think it's time for more puppy pictures! laugh


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G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
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William, here we have the chicken and egg scenario, but you have to ask, why are quality substrates disappearing? The reason is because the demand for quality furniture is disappearing. Why is that? Because you can offer a slick finish over what was once discarded and still sell it. So, why cater to such a small market e.g. piano makers. I have friends that bought a new dining room set for $15K that did not quite approximate my dining room set made in the mid '40's. It nonetheless is quality stuff. But, who is paying $15K for dining room furniture? A very small minority that can discern the difference.

The opinions are not "dogmatic" William. You merely expect me to adjust my standards based upon the availability of a given product. One of my piano profs in college once opined, "When you can discern quality in something, you can discern it in almost anything." You should see the inside of her house. Just because flakeboard and MDF are inexpensive to produce and tend to proliferate, does not make them a good product. It does cater very much to a "throwaway society" that is generally incapable of discerning quality on any level.

You keep wanting me to call a rooster a swan, and it is not liable to happen.

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John,

Please don't address your posts to me. Like I said, never mind. It's clear that you're exactly right as always. Someone such as you who buys a beat-up damaged Kawai from a school to use as a gift ,hauls a flatbed trailer to the Bayou to pick up a Kattrina-submerged Baldwin, and shops eBay to find cheap cadavers for rebuilding can rightly and righteously say "My driving force is quality".

Equally clear is that someone such as me who finds value in expensive verticals and grands even if he doesn't find it prudent to buy one at this time is only driven by price.

Of course it's equally clear that you always get what you pay for, especially with pianos. After all, the price everyone pays is the same because prices are uniform to all customers and clearly defined by the industry. Naturally that's true of the rebuilding community as well. If someone buys a rebuilt Baldwin from a small independent garage business in Texas and pays only half of what the rebuild would cost at a shop in Stamford, Ct., Philadelphia, PA, or Washington, DC, it's because the shopper gets exactly what he pays for, a halfway-decent rebuild. That's axiomatic. It has to be so. You get what you pay for.

Yes, you are right on all counts, just as you were right to trash M&H for being price-driven.
All points are conceded, so you need not address any post here to me.


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I hesitate to jump into a thread with so many tempers high. I am no expert on LDF, MDF, HDF, chipboard, flakeboard, OSB, or plywood.

But I am a Walter owner originally from New Orleans. And my 1520 console sat in a house with no climate control or ventilation at all for 90+ days after Katrina. No direct flooding, but 95 degree temperatures and 100% humidity.

After I moved it with me to Dallas, it was tuned and inspected and it had suffered no ill effects.

Like I said, I'm no expert on wood, but I'm not sure I'd be reporting "no ill effects" if the piano incorporated fiberboard in any form.


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from Steve Cohen
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Where's lb when we need him?
Waiting for lb to appear on this forum may be like waiting for Godot. laugh

In the meantime here is a little lb on demand from Jolly's Woodmen of the World thread on Pianofacts
http://www.armleg.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=9871&highlight=mdf&mforum=pianosinc#9871

Quote
Is there any area in a vertical where MDF is superior to lumbercore?

It all depends on the quality of the job whether solid wood core is better than MDF, I would not be bothered with a piano that used MDF in all the flat panels but I would like solid wood/wood core in areas that were structural requiring screwholding.



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Bob Newbie,

You made my day, my week, maybe my year. laugh

What a blast to see that the 'small' Chrysler still gives Ricardo all that ne needs.


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I think real wood cost more than MDF and therefore only few piano manufactuers use it.
I know for sure that at least in Germany, this is not true.

It is a typical, alas, false assumption.

For one, MDF is not just MDF, perhaps the Germans do built a very high end product that makes it more expensive than their own wood.

MDF, especially and perhaps mostly for upright case building, is used today by virtually each high end builder there as the material has technologically proven to be much more resistent, allows for no warping whatsoever,is heavier [can actually be good for tone concentration of soundboard..] and is certainly in line with current ecological thinking of wood preservation widely practised and adhered to in the E.U.

I know of some of those piano which use Fiemme Valley soundboard in their uprights - hardly a cost saving measure...

While many people like the notion of "solid wood" the manufacturing quality and design for similiar products, such as furniture fro example, is far more important.

Having a choice between a MDF built piano with top design,top quality soundboard and top quality manufacturing would, at least to me, be far more preferable to a piano simply built "out of solid wood" - but lacking excellence in all other crucical areas.

Norbert


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Hi
What an interesting topic.
When I said real wood I meant plywood (real sheets of solid wood panel glue together)like Rod mentioned in this previous post, not MDF not particle board.
It's hard to believe that MDF is much more resistant...no warping....
I do believe that MDF and particle board is more economicaly for the factory. For the function of boxing a piano (I mean the cabinet) MDF do just fine for the LOOK but for the tone and duratability???? I doubt it.
If in the case that with the technology we can build MDF to be better than plywood in anyway, have you every seen a pinblock made of MDF....
Absolutely no! 29 ply of hardwood Yes. This one they can not get away with it but solid hardwood.
Again, of course, piano cabinet is only one out of many factors that made a piano a quality one.


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BWKRELL,

Would it be sufficient for you to simply like "real wood" (and by that you mean plywood) more?

Is it important for you to believe that "real wood" (and by that you mean plywood) is functionally superior as material for piano's cabinetry?

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BWKRELL,

You started this thread about the cabinet of a Walter vertical. Now you're talking about multi-ply pinblocks and sound reproduction. These are quite different things.

You of course can believe anything you want, but that won't make any of it true.


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Originally posted by turandot

One other comment. If I remember the price you paid for your Walter correctly, I would say that you did not pay any premium for the lumber-core plywood used whereas someone who paid 8 or 9k for the same piano would have. You say that it matters to you and that you wrote the check. That's fine and dandy, but you wrote the check for a piano with a closeout price. How much of a premium would you pay if a Walter piano offered you the same piano in two models: one using MDF core and the more expensive using glued basswood strip core? Would you have paid a .5k premium, a 1k premium, a 2k premium? [/QB]
That's right... and if you also remember, I had one other item in my original posts where I ONLY wanted to purchase an American-made piano, but that's for another post. But yes, near the very end, it came down to two makes, Walter and Steinway. To me, the overall value of the Steinway wasn't there. The Walter uses much of the same manufacturing techniques that Steinway does, but doesn't charge $22,000 for an upright piano, so I went with Walter.

And to answer your last part of your post (and this is true.... as a matter of fact, my wife and I were talking about this yesterday), I would have paid a premium over what I had paid for my Walter. I was prepared to spend an additional $2500 more, but I didn't have to since the store was liquidating.

Now don't tell the folks over at East Coast Piano that...


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BWKRELL

You seem to have some miscomprehension about how the sound of a piano is produced. You've compared it to a violin and guitar - "all have strings a wood box. To me that wood box must plays a vital factor of how an instrument sound."

The case of a violin or guitar has everything to do with the sound they produce. It forms the soundboard. The case of a piano has nothing to do with the sound production. Your original question was how does it affect the tone of the piano. The soundboard of a piano, unlike that of a violin or guitar, is not part of the case. Soundboards will be of varying quality and size but the case will not affect the tone (or very minimally and not intentionally). The rear of an upright piano is open, not cased in. The only thing the case is for is to make the piano asthetically appealing and add structural support to the frame.

Balf ♫

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An off the wall thought:

Several months we had a new Schimmel 213G on our stage for display. This instrument has a rim, legs, lyre, lid, prop, fallboard, etc. all made of a very thick clear acrylic plastic. The keybed and inner rim were traditional wood. The acrylic parts added a great deal of mass and extra weight to the instrument. IMHO the tone was superior to the standard Schimmel 213. Everyone who played the piano was impressed.

Impervious to moisture, humidity changes, etc. "Space Age" material likely from reclaimed soda bottles?


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Wow William, a nice "drive by" post directed to me and to which I'm not supposed to respond. That's pretty rich. But...I couldn't resist. The more that I read your posts, the more I realize that maybe...MAYBE there is a confusion in terms. Based on you lambasting my acquisitions, I can only conclude that you seem to be confusing "quality" with condition. In John's world, quality is intrinsic in the product. It cannot be removed. It is there by design and the use of recognized high quality components, implemented by caring craftsmen. Can the items be rendered to a mediocre or even a poor condition? Absolutely they can. But given that they originally had "quality", they can be returned to that state once again. I would think that if you posted the acquisitions, namely an institutional Kawai ST7, a pre-Aeolian Weber D and an "artist preferred" Baldwin SD10 and requested opinions from most techs as to whether these 3 instruments were quality instruments, you would find that most techs, and probably a lot of pianists would affirm that they are. I can say with full confidence that none of these 3 instruments have keybeds or case parts that resemble those posted above. The Weber is near 100 years old, the Kawai, around 40, and the Baldwin around 20 yrs old. I can say with pretty fair certainty that if the flakeboard/MDF pianos had been submerged like the Baldwin, they might not still be recognizable as pianos, at least not in the traditional sense. Not that I am suggesting such a baptism for pianos in general to determine longevity under harsh conditions.

As I opined earlier though, quality is built-in...or should be.

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Originally posted by Marty Flinn:
An off the wall thought:

Several months we had a new Schimmel 213G on our stage for display. This instrument has a rim, legs, lyre, lid, prop, fallboard, etc. all made of a very thick clear acrylic plastic. The keybed and inner rim were traditional wood. The acrylic parts added a great deal of mass and extra weight to the instrument. IMHO the tone was superior to the standard Schimmel 213. Everyone who played the piano was impressed.

Impervious to moisture, humidity changes, etc. "Space Age" material likely from reclaimed soda bottles?
Maybe off the wall....but right on point!

Great thought.


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Originally posted by Marty Flinn:


Several months we had a new Schimmel 213G on our stage for display. This instrument has a rim, legs, lyre, lid, prop, fallboard, etc. all made of a very thick clear acrylic plastic. The keybed and inner rim were traditional wood. The acrylic parts added a great deal of mass and extra weight to the instrument. IMHO the tone was superior to the standard Schimmel 213.
Add mass to the keybed and outer rim of your standard Schimmel 213. You can get brass rods and tape them on in a way that wont damage the finish. Add as much as you can fit. If you hear a difference, you might be on to something with your theory. If you hear a difference and don't like it, then the experimenting with how much to add begins.


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