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Blather, soon to be followed by more Sturm und Drang....


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There is literally nothing wrong with floating a board. I wouldn't do it for a concert piano, designed to project to the back of a large hall, but that is not what floating is for. There is a long history of doing it. I've experienced no negative consequence. The boards hold up for the test of time. It has been re-implemented in new piano design. One user here gave it a good review. Where is the controversy? It has been used in the past, it is being used now, it is a fine approach. For short piano designs, in smaller rooms, it is a nice touch.

I just say it again. I've seen a lot of crazy soundboard designs. They all work fine. Are some better than others? Sure.

I just don't have a problem with people doing this with the soundboard. It works fine. It is not smoke and mirrors. It is not a frivolously concept. It is real, and it has a real history.

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Originally Posted by piano411
Hundreds of piano makers in Vienna used a floating board design for many decades. These viennese actions can be found in abundance all over the city still to this day, and they all have floating board designs of one sort or another.

The floating boards works fine. It gives a warm, softer, fuzzy, home-like sound characteristic. It's not a smack you in the face projection kind of sound. But, it works. There is literally nothing wrong with the design. As I have stated, the design of the soundboard is very forgiving. You can do so many things with it, and it sounds acceptable. That is just the reality of the situation.
.
well OK,piano 411. I have to ask you. Will such a design not have badly negative side effects over the years?

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Originally Posted by Maximillyan
I have to ask you. Will such a design not have badly negative side effects over the years?
Max, have you ever worked with the viennese piano action? This was a very well loved action design in the area that was still in production until the mid-1900s, usually upon request. It was more popular in the previous century, but the point is that these actions were floating up in the air, underneath the soundboard. All those pianos had to have a floating soundboard. Those pianos are still found all over the city today. So, the point is, that design lasts a long time. It doesn't fall apart. It has a long history. Vienna has real seasons, and most people don't use AC, and choose to air out their homes instead. The pianos survive. The design has a long track record.

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Originally Posted by piano411
Originally Posted by Maximillyan
I have to ask you. Will such a design not have badly negative side effects over the years?
Max, have you ever worked with the viennese piano action? This was a very well loved action design in the area that was still in production until the mid-1900s, usually upon request. It was more popular in the previous century, but the point is that these actions were floating up in the air, underneath the soundboard. All those pianos had to have a floating soundboard. Those pianos are still found all over the city today. So, the point is, that design lasts a long time. It doesn't fall apart. It has a long history. Vienna has real seasons, and most people don't use AC, and choose to air out their homes instead. The pianos survive. The design has a long track record.
thanks,

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https://youtu.be/i0eD0l6fZwQ

Piano design can be quite forgiving; everything works to some extent.
Just not equally well.

Craig

Last edited by Craig Hair; 12/22/20 10:37 AM.

Craig Hair
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Originally Posted by Craig Hair
https://youtu.be/i0eD0l6fZwQ

Piano design can be quite forgiving; everything works to some extent.
Just not equally well.

Craig
It's amazing corrugated sound board, very amazing PLATE too!

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Thank you Craig_Hair for that video. I've seen a lot of crazy soundboard designs in my life, and that is yet another example of what has been done. I'm always amazed at what can be done to soundboards, yet they still work, and it still sounds like a piano. If metal will work, that'll work too.

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Thank You for sharing the video Craig.

As much as I have developed a dislike at feeding the A454.7/piano411 troll. I want to point out the weak argument of "anything works".

Hammers: You could use solid wood,metal,fiberglass,or anything hammers. That will work.
Action: You could use legos. That will work.
Strings. You could use nylon. That will work.
Soundboard: You could use the hood of a car. That will work too.

Yes everything has been tried, but we have what we have today because everything else was weeded out for one reason or another. Mostly cost of production or just an inferior tone quality the market didn't support.

-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
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I went to Piano411‘s profile and clicked the ignore button. Now I no longer have to see the troll’s posts. What a relief.

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Originally Posted by P W Grey
I recently rebuilt a 5' Mason and Hamlin Model SG which had an absolutely HORRIBLE bass. I decided to apply the "float" idea to it (with some redesign of the bass strings) but basically nothing else. The bass on this piano now rivals a good 6' grand (if you had your eyes closed. It made a phenomenal improvement in this dinky little piano.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Has it affected tuning stability or anything Peter?

Nick


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Originally Posted by TimM_980
I went to Piano411‘s profile and clicked the ignore button. Now I no longer have to see the troll’s posts. What a relief.
Nice tip. Lovely and simple. Many thanks.
Nick


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I just noticed that he plucked the strings so that we could hear what that soundboard sounds like at 7:16.

https://youtu.be/i0eD0l6fZwQ?t=436

That soundboard has an awesome sound!

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Originally Posted by N W
Originally Posted by TimM_980
I went to Piano411‘s profile and clicked the ignore button. Now I no longer have to see the troll’s posts. What a relief.
Nice tip. Lovely and simple. Many thanks.
Nick

Best tip I have had in the last 6 months! Thanks

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I went back and listened to a few more times. That treble sound is so unbelievably gorgeous, and the whole piano resonates like a dream. It probably hasn't been tuned in 80 years. The more I listen to it, the more I want to try making a soundboard like that. It might be neat to make a wave propagation pattern, so that it is really stiff in the treble, then tapers flat for a better bass sound at the other end of the piano. Fitting the bridge would not be fun though.

I'm so happy to have seen that video.

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Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by N W
Originally Posted by TimM_980
I went to Piano411‘s profile and clicked the ignore button. Now I no longer have to see the troll’s posts. What a relief.
Nice tip. Lovely and simple. Many thanks.
Nick

Best tip I have had in the last 6 months! Thanks

Ditto.


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I'm surprised that there are so many technicians that are completely unaware that a floating boards used to be a normal thing in piano soundboard construction. But, I'm glad that the design is making a comeback. Pianos built for homes don't need to scream. It is crazy how loud the pianos are made these days, especially when the are being put in small rooms. Construction techniques for a concert piano and a hall are totally different than what we want when we put a piano in a small room. Almost everyone complains about their pianos being too loud in the rooms these days.

I found a few videos of what a floating board sounds like. They have a warm, fuzzy, intimate sound. It is not a smack you in the face kind of projection. For the home, this is an excellent approach to piano sound.

This guy is a great master piano builder. He specializes mainly in historic instruments, like the ones that have a Viennese action and a floating board. He plays some, but mainly talks in German about his passion. This is a great example of what a one of these pianos would have sounded like new.
https://youtu.be/hqWg0htoIsg

This is another Austrian master piano builder legend playing on one of these floating board designs.
https://youtu.be/TO-BoFR-c6Y

The following are three more examples of this warm fuzzy tone. The last one is in a small room so that you can hear that the big piano is not overpowering is such a small space.
https://youtu.be/0BVvvPY2nRM
https://youtu.be/aQd2_Yu30aQ
https://youtu.be/xduBwVsyyns

The moral of the story is that there is a long history of these floating boards, and the design has held up perfectly almost 200 years. Again, for the concert hall, no, floating boards have a tone that is too fuzzy. But, for the home, or small room, this is a lovely approach. I am glad the design has been reintroduced back into modern production. It is no way a band-aid. It wasn't meant to fix anything, it was meant to create a specific tonal character. And it does that very well indeed.

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Originally Posted by TimM_980
I went to Piano411‘s profile and clicked the ignore button. Now I no longer have to see the troll’s posts. What a relief.


Hmmm, didn't know about that feature. Maybe that's why nobody laughs at my jokes - they clicked the ignore button on my profile and don't get to see them!

OK fess up everyone. If you don't see this post let me know. I wanna find out who is ignoring me. wink


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I'm ignoring you and didn't see that post..... Kidding. I didn't know about the ignore feature.

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Originally Posted by David Boyce
- - -

Did you say something? wink


Jeff Deutschle
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