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Hopefully this isn't the dumbest question in the world! Bass string length is clearly very important for tone and reduction of inharmonicity. Given ability to string diagonally, why isn't grand piano geometry reversed such that the long edge is on the treble side of the keyboard and the bass strings can be lengthened with diagonal stringing without increasing the overall length of the piano?

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I guess you mean like a cocked hat grand like a bentside spinet harpsichord. It has been done. I have even tuned one. It is not efficient use of space, and it poses difficulties for the layout of the action, and una corda.

Make a few drawings, and see if you can make it work on paper.


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I'm no authority on the subject, but if the strings were designed to be more diagonal, so they could be longer, the hammers would also have to be more diagonal/angled, which could possibly have a negative effect on the action function/geometry?

Initially, grand pianos were straight strung, and the design developed toward the traditional overstrung design we have now.

And, it is certainly not a dumb question, although my answer may be a dumb answer. smile

Rick


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BDB, thanks for your excellent reply... looking at the Cocked Hat Grand and Bentside Spinet Harpsichord (quite an extreme geometric design) was very interesting. And thank you for pointing out difficulties with action and una corda.

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Thanks Rickā€¦

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Actually the idea that longer strings automatically equals a bigger bass sound is an incorrect idea. Freedom of movement, long back scale, direct transmission through single bridge (no cantilever), and good scale drafting are better ways to achieve a great bass. And straight stringing (no overstringing) is superior for overall note to note consistency (no more bass/treble break).

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There is a break between the bass strings and the treble strings as long as there are overwound strings.

Overstringing is just different, not necessarily better or worse. It gives more resonance, but that can affect clarity and tonal focus.


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