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Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 2
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Joined: Apr 2021
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Hey all! I'm the proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha U1 Upright piano. It's in great shape. It was made in the 80's and is starting to develop a bright tinny sound in some areas. I'm going to have a piano technician do some voicing to help bring out the warm rounded tone.

Now the concern.

I also love playing and recording music with the practice pedal engaged (adding a layer of felt between the hammers and strings). It gives a nice soft rounded tone that's great for certain styles. If I have a technician perform voicing on the hammers, do you think this would affect the tone when the practice pedal is engaged? Or would it be a subtle difference since the hammers are already hitting felt instead of string?

I'm curious because I do like the tone with the pedal engaged. Just when it's not, the piano has the brighter tone that I'd like treated.

Am I trying to have my cake and eat it too?

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Personally the thing I disliked the most with my old Yamaha was that felt curtain. It is so thick it makes the piano unplayable, unless you overcompensate and really bang away at it, and gives such a soft and muffled tone it is almost non-piano like. I did think of changing the material to something thinner and more compliant but never got round to it.

But to answer the question I think that voicing the hammers should soften the tone, even the sound played through the felt layer should be softened a bit as well but probably not by much. The tone when your piano is used with the practice rail is so soft and so unlike that of the natural Yamaha you would not get anywhere near it with normal voicing. If that incredibly soft and muted sound is what you are searching for you might look at a different piano at the opposite end of the tonal spectrum to Yamahas, voicing can only do so much.

Joined: Apr 2021
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Makes sense. I have also considered swapping the felt for a bit thinner material. I'm not expecting the voicing to give it that muted felt sound. I'm just trying to get a nice tone when the mute rail is not engaged and when it is. Two separate tones/styles. Perhaps if it's too soft with the mute when the voicing is done, I'll try a thinner material.

Joined: Nov 2020
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As I mentioned in another post that’s the first thing I took off —that mute rail—uggh like drinking decaffeinated coffee..try some foam behind piano if you must and of course voicing is nice..
side note though -when recording the Yamaha U 1 -I like piano wide open w my mikes in front of hammers—did many many comparisons on that—
I have never heard of the mute rail having any advantages for doing anything except to be quiet .
Be curious about thinner materials sound.
Mine is an 88 U 1 E


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