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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by Hakki
Sonepica, Yamaha says sand cast metal frame is better for sound and sustain.

Read from the their premium line CF series webpage, which use sand cast frames:

https://europe.yamaha.com/en/produc...s/premium_pianos/cf_series/features.html

That's just marketing material. We cannot assume based on that brief statement that sand cast frames really do give better sustain.
And it doesn't say "better" in that article.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by Hakki
Sonepica, Yamaha says sand cast metal frame is better for sound and sustain.

Read from the their premium line CF series webpage, which use sand cast frames:

https://europe.yamaha.com/en/produc...s/premium_pianos/cf_series/features.html

That's just marketing material. We cannot assume based on that brief statement that sand cast frames really do give better sustain.
And it doesn't say "better" in that article.

To be continued as there soon will be an edit timeout.

Last edited by Withindale; 04/06/21 05:36 PM.

Ian Russell
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by Hakki
Sonepica, Yamaha says sand cast metal frame is better for sound and sustain.

Read from the their premium line CF series webpage, which use sand cast frames:

https://europe.yamaha.com/en/produc...s/premium_pianos/cf_series/features.html

That's just marketing material. We cannot assume based on that brief statement that sand cast frames really do give better sustain.
And it doesn't say "better" in that article.

To be continued as there soon will be an edit timeout.

It's been 40 minutes already. This is a cruel tease.

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No, I had to finish a lookup on Excel !!!

The key point about tone in Larry Fine's article about plates is, "Rather than remain inert, as it's supposed to, a plate with less mass will have a greater tendency to ring in sympathy with the vibrating strings, thus causing a loss of tonal energy and creating a metallic distortion to the tone".

No one is questioning that the C/S/CX/SX series produce a characteristic Yamaha sound. A pound to a penny some of that sound results from the ringing Fine describes.

Plainly the CF plate is designed to be inert. That helps to produce the evenness of tone of those pianos.

Even so I'd take the S7X home (more character, more fun) or go looking for an alternative to a CF6.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
No, I had to finish a lookup on Excel !!!

The key point about tone in Larry Fine's article about plates is, "Rather than remain inert, as it's supposed to, a plate with less mass will have a greater tendency to ring in sympathy with the vibrating strings, thus causing a loss of tonal energy and creating a metallic distortion to the tone".

No one is questioning that the C/S/CX/SX series produce a characteristic Yamaha sound. A pound to a penny some of that sound results from the ringing Fine describes.

Plainly the CF plate is designed to be inert. That helps to produce the evenness of tone of those pianos.

Even so I'd take the S7X home (more character, more fun) or go looking for an alternative to a CF6.

How do we know they have less mass though? As people have already mentioned, the v-cast method is only viable for pianos produced in large quantities. Because the SX series come off the same production line as the CX series, and because the CX series are produced in in large quantites, this may be why they use a v-cast plate unlike other premium pianos. As mentioned already, Shigeru Kawai also use v-cast presumably for the same reason.

The SX pianos have a gold plate, while the CX pianos have a bronze plate. I don't know whether they are different, or simply painted different colours.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
No, I had to finish a lookup on Excel !!!

The key point about tone in Larry Fine's article about plates is, "Rather than remain inert, as it's supposed to, a plate with less mass will have a greater tendency to ring in sympathy with the vibrating strings, thus causing a loss of tonal energy and creating a metallic distortion to the tone".

No one is questioning that the C/S/CX/SX series produce a characteristic Yamaha sound. A pound to a penny some of that sound results from the ringing Fine describes.

Plainly the CF plate is designed to be inert. That helps to produce the evenness of tone of those pianos.
You seem to think that what you call the characteristic Yamaha sound has what Fine calls a metallic distortion, but I think many or even most would disagree with you. Also, the article doesn't say how much less mass will cause a metallic distortion, and no one one this thread has made any claim to know that or whether any Yamaha has that plate mass.

I don't hear anything metallic in this video on the S5X:


I've never heard anyone complain that the Shigeru has a metallic sound.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/06/21 06:58 PM.
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You're waaaaaaay overthinking things smile

Go play the piano, see if you like it. See if you like it more than everything else. Make the decision based on the actual options available to you smile


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Originally Posted by Hakki
gwing Yamaha believes otherwise. Read what they have to say about hand sand cast metal frames on their premium CF series. What do you think?

https://europe.yamaha.com/en/produc...s/premium_pianos/cf_series/features.html

From that page:

Quote
The frames are individually hand molded and sand cast to enhance the strength and stability of the pianos. This contributes to the outstanding tonal character and sustain of the series. The CF6 and CF4 feature an open pin block design which improves both the attack and sustain of the notes.

They do not in any way say that they could not achieve similar tonal character with a v-cast plate. It likely would cost more to do so at the low production volumes.

Some uprights and their plate status, and their published list price:

Baldwin B252, wet sand, $14,165
Yamaha YUS-5, v-cast, $20,999
Kawai K-800, v-cast, $24,195

The B252 is likely too low volume for v-casting to be cost effective.

Generally, I don't care how a piano achieves its tone. Either I like it, or I don't.

Wet sand plates are not consistent in shape, requiring more handcrafting of the case and soundboard. I suspect the better of the pianos with v-cast plates are more consistent from piano to piano.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
No, I had to finish a lookup on Excel !!!

The key point about tone in Larry Fine's article about plates is, "Rather than remain inert, as it's supposed to, a plate with less mass will have a greater tendency to ring in sympathy with the vibrating strings, thus causing a loss of tonal energy and creating a metallic distortion to the tone".

No one is questioning that the C/S/CX/SX series produce a characteristic Yamaha sound. A pound to a penny some of that sound results from the ringing Fine describes.

Plainly the CF plate is designed to be inert. That helps to produce the evenness of tone of those pianos.

Even so I'd take the S7X home (more character, more fun) or go looking for an alternative to a CF6.

Ringing from plate resonance, if it is occurring, would affect one frequency, which would be a fundamental of one note, and in the harmonic series of some other notes. It would not cause the entire treble range to be bright.


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There is more information in a 2006 thread on piano plate resonances than Larry Fine was able to provide, not least Ron Overs contribution.

Short excerpt:

"I have experienced instances where plate resonance was an issue for some notes of some pianos. Heavier sectioned plates seem to resonate less in the treble string sections, and tend also to result in pianos with longer sustain. I have tuned several examples of pianos which had quite noticeable plate resonance in the high treble. Lighter plates tend to be worse in this respect."


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I would think plate resonance could be established definitively with a tuning fork vibrating at the resonance frequency.

A earlier posting if mine seems to have been misinterpreted by some. I have no particular opinion about whether a v-cast plate can be the equal or superior to a wet sand plate. I was just pointing out that the use of a wet sand plate in low volume, top tier pianos but not higher volume pianos can have explanations other than the wet sand plate being a prerequisite for top quality.


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Originally Posted by Hakki
gwing Yamaha believes otherwise. Read what they have to say about hand sand cast metal frames on their premium CF series. What do you think?

https://europe.yamaha.com/en/produc...s/premium_pianos/cf_series/features.html

Sorry Hakki, I'm not sure what part of my post you are referring to here?

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gwing, you might want to look at the other thread on the technicians forum for a discussion about V-pro and wet sand cast plates.

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Well I could always get a Hailun 218 / Feurich 218 instead of a Yamaha S7X. They have a wet sand cast plate.....

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Or rather 3.3 of them.....

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Or rather 3.3 of them.....

That would also be a really good advance in design, bolt three sand plates together and you'd have a really solid structure that was better damped than the competition. Even better you could do some clever stuff with damping materials between the plates as well.

I'm not sure what you would do with the other .3 of a plate though :-)

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Originally Posted by gwing
I'm not sure what you would do with the other .3 of a plate though :-)

Turn it into a gong?


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[Linked Image]

This shows an analysis of the sound produced very soon after striking the A=440 string of a
Bösendorfer concert grand piano, from Richard Dain's paper Engineering the Grand Piano.

As you can see the harmonic peaks are interspersed with a significant volume of sound at other frequencies.

As TwoCats says it is up to pianists to decide if they like a piano's soundscape.


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Withindale, your screen capture is so blurred that it tells us nothing beyond your statement that it is a graphic representation of a moment of time for the striking of A440 on a Bosey Imperial. If you can provide us with a link that will bring us to the posted representation, perhaps we can get more information that would make it useful.
Never mind, found it. https://www.ingenia.org.uk/Ingenia/Articles/3cc393f4-89e6-41ef-a575-9451d2fa98a2. Pic not there though.

All plates resonate, be they vacuum cast or sand cast. I have heard very audible resonances coming from both.

Plate resonances do not always occur within our range of hearing, but that does not mean that they do not have an effect on the other components in the system. My friend Tom researched cabinet resonances in high end loudspeakers in the company he and his brothers started, and did a lot of research with a wide range of materials to reduce/eliminate cabinet resonances. It is now a widely held belief that resonances above or below our threshold do interact with vibrations in the system occurring within our frequency range, and introduce colorations.

We use cast iron in a lot of metal and woodworking machines because it damps well. The more of it, the better it damps. I think that holds true for plate castings. It is not surprising that plate struts are more resonant, they are long and relatively thin. Sometimes we can hear a resonance on a plate strut, and we place our hand on it and the sound goes away. And sometimes I can't hear a plate strut, but if I place my hand on it, there is a vibration that goes away.

Here is something that anyone can try, and I ask the rebuilders amongst us to play with this. Go to the hardware store and buy a 1 inch diameter hardwood dowel. Cut it to a length of about a foot. Round off one end of it. Hold it a couple of inches above the plate, and drop it. It will bounce, so catch it on the way up. You will hear the plate resonate, more so in some places, less so in others. If you have a plate out and inverted for pinblock fit, just bounce it all over and listen. I think you will find that interesting.

One of the more interesting places of greater resonance is in the front part of the hitch pin field, and especially near plate struts. That is unfortunate, because that is where the strings are resting on the plate on an aliquot or string rest, and the hitchpins are close. That seems to beg for some damping intermediary.


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William, you can download the article from that link but the images are blurred.The Bosendorfer analysis is alongside a similar one for a Steinway D with less harmonics. Maybe someone could share one or two high resolution images from other pianos.

All this reminded me that tightening the central boss greatly improved the tone and sustain of the Ibach. Three struts cross over at that point.

We have one or two household items with a round ended dowel screwed to a base. They are ideal for your test and confirm what you say about the hitch pin field. Maybe the OP should arm himself with one for his visit to Melbourne on Sunday.


Ian Russell
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