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Joined: Dec 2004
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Originally Posted by MarkL
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Like this neighborhood...
We live on a farm, I forget most of the world lives in a city. I could throw a piano off the barn roof and no one would hear.
grin

I lived in Japan for 12 years, my husband was born and raised there. We lived in small town, so we lived in a house (rather than an apartment). But the space between our house and the house behind ours was maybe 2.5 meters wide, and that was considered "not close"! My piano was in the room that faced the neighbor's, fortunately, they were very sweet and my practicing was never a problem. But there's a reason why Yamaha has been the leader in digital piano tech and silent and hybrid pianos!

We now live in the US and our house is on a 0.75 acre lot, and in the back there's a wooded area on three sides, so we never see or hear our neighbors. Mr. SK sometimes remarks about how different things are just because of the space.

/threaddrift.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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What size Kawai do you have? And is it on floorboards, mat or carpet? I have a GL30 in a fairly large room. It sits on an island of installed underlayed carpet which used to be all hardwood floors. I was very mindful of having enough soft furnishings around as I like a more mellow sound.
Even so, I find the volume to be a little overwhelming at times, as I have a bit of hyperacusis and certain frequencies around F-G5 really jar my hearing. I've tried a number of things. I also looked into the Dawson string covers, originally for dust protection and being in Australia too, found the cost of them to be prohibitive. It would have been close to $1,000 Aud by the time I received it. I have not found any local manufacturer, and decided to just make one myself, though that project is yet to be finished!

One thing I have found that makes a difference....I have draped a very nice padded queensize cottage bed quilt over it. I never like the commercial padded piano covers, as they seemed to come in dark depressing colours and looked like a ski jacket, only just covering the casing. The quilt hangs down lower to the ground around the the sides and I have it's front edge just over the fallboard. When I want to play, I just pull the front of the cover up and fold it back onto the piano top. Along with the piano lid closed and this cover, the sound is damped considerably. I also sometimes put a small padded ottoman under the piano which also helps a little, but is usually not necessary with the carpet underneath.


I have a studio of digital instruments, and am able to EQ out any of my hearing problems with these, but of course the only way to EQ the piano other than voicing or changing components is to modify the reflective environment, so
when my hearing is particularly sensitive, I've been using a pair of Apple Airpod Pro noise cancelling buds. This was a revelation, as this EQ's my hearing. Where I would tire very quickly playing without them, I would begin to hear so many overtones, I would convince myself the piano needed tuning.

With the noise cancelling buds, I found myself playing for hours with no fatique, and it transformed my perception of the sound to that of a well recorded concert grand! I was actually able to hear the notes sounding so much purer. I have now been enjoying the sound of the piano this way with the lid open more often, and can hear the high harmonics so clearly. My problem with loudness may not be quite the same as yours, but there are many creative ways to adjust the sound filling your room, without completely boxing it in.

Chris

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I am familiar with the PianoMask system Kawai makes in Japan. It is not sold worldwide. It includes louvers under the piano that completely seal off the bottom of the piano but can be opened easily; a panel under the music desk that covers the strings and tuning pins and seals against the underside of the piano lid; and a special sealing foam all the way around the piano lid. The system is extremely effective.

But first, look at having your piano serviced! So many people have older grand pianos that have never been regulated and voiced. An older Kawai grand (you didn't mention how old yours is or what size) can become very bright and loud.

Then, as others have said, room acoustics has a HUGE effect on volume in the room. Look at music school practice rooms - I have seen piano major practice rooms that are all hard surfaces that are painfully ear splittingly loud, and other rooms that have a acoustic treatment in the room and even a 7'6" piano, while loud, is not painfully so.

So, get connected to a good tech who can do good regulation and voicing. Have the piano gone through, and give some serious thought to how the room is arranged. You will enjoy your piano much more if it is in great shape - the expressiveness of the instrument will be so much better that you won't have to hold back so much.


Don Mannino, MPA
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I have lived in Japan for some time so I know the noise from the neighbors can be a sensitive issue. There was even a case of a piano student murder. A neighbor just couldn’t stand another night of listening to a practice session and took to a kitchen knife... My family had a rule of no piano playing after 9pm. One of our neighbors on the other hand used to have a nightly karaoke session really loud! He could barely carry a tune so it was quite laughable but he had no shame😳

I think there are sound absorbing foam sheets that can be installed on the underside of the grand piano. It’s worth asking the piano technician about it along with voicing. Also there’s a quiet rail for grands that can be installed inside, sort of like the practice rail in uprights but not as quiet. Again, a tech can probably suggest different options before going to the mask. The brochure says 30,000 yen and additional service fees are required. That’s pushing $3k usd or more!

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Originally Posted by willpianist
My grand piano is quite loud and after practice today my ears starts to hurt despite playing with the lid closed already.

This prompt me to do some research and I saw this piano mask thing on Kawai website (I actually have a Kawai piano)

https://www.kawai.jp/product/pianomask/

Has anyone came across this? I really want to get it but not sure whether there is a way to do so. I am based in Australia.

Thanks for the link, that is interesting. It looks as if it essentially boxes in the underside of the piano with adjustable flaps/vents to control the sound level. However I initially misunderstood the method of operation which make me wonder if there might be another very effective way of reducing the sound ....

Maybe there could be some sort of contraption which can gently press some dampening material directly against the sound board. Dampening the soundboard itself would seem a very effective way of reducing the sound at source. To avoid damaging the soundboard I guess you would want to have it exert little pressure, spread that contact over a substantial area and only be applied when actually playing so the construction of it might be fun.

Last edited by gwing; 06/29/20 06:08 AM.
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Thanks everyone including KawaiDon for your insight on this product. Apart for my ears, it is also for my neighbours and my family. I live in a detached house but when I play I am pretty sure the whole street can hear my playing.

My piano is still quite new - a two year old Kawai GX2. I don’t play loud particularly but sometimes it is hard to control. My room isn’t small although it is relatively empty.

My tech didn’t feel the piano needs to be voiced saying it is not required given the piano is new and he doesn’t think voicing and making major changes to the piano is justified.

If kawaidon says the system is quite effective why isn’t it more popular?

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Originally Posted by willpianist
Thanks everyone including KawaiDon for your insight on this product. Apart for my ears, it is also for my neighbours and my family. I live in a detached house but when I play I am pretty sure the whole street can hear my playing.

My piano is still quite new - a two year old Kawai GX2. I don’t play loud particularly but sometimes it is hard to control. My room isn’t small although it is relatively empty.

My tech didn’t feel the piano needs to be voiced saying it is not required given the piano is new and he doesn’t think voicing and making major changes to the piano is justified.

If kawaidon says the system is quite effective why isn’t it more popular?

Probably because most people who actually need a really quiet piano take the easier option and just buy one with a silent system or a digital keyboard. The problem it is designed to solve seems more specific to Japan than most other countries.

As several folks have suggested here the first place to look is the room and its acoustics. How large is the room and what sort of furnishings and surfaces do you have?

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