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Something I noticed comparing a CFX with Yamahas 7'6 pianos is that the CFX had a better treble, by which I mean a much more substantial tone with a longer sustain.

It's easy to see why concert grands would have a better bass than smaller pianos - the bass strings are much longer. But the treble section would be almost the same, wouldn't it?

What's the reason that concert grands have a better treble? Or larger pianos vs smaller pianos in general, such as a C7 vs a C6?

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Interesting question. I’m wondering if it has something to do with the size of the soundboard?

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Although what you say may be true, one cannot make reliable generalizations from comparing one CFX with a couple of 7'6" pianos. There are many things responsible for a piano's tone besides its length. Also, "better" and "substantial" are purely subjective.

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They might not be better always.

I was impressed by the singing treble of the Estonia 168 during my visit to their factory.


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It really depends on the piano but concert grands have problems in the treble because of inefficient designs. Smaller pianos often have far better trebles than concert grands.


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I feel the opposite is true to the OP’s hypothesis. There are many concert grands I’ve played where the treble has trouble keeping up with the rest of the piano. This is infrequently a problem as you step back to the semi-concert grand size, and quite rare once you get to 7-foot and smaller pianos (at least, ones that are newer and haven’t suffered some sort of abuse).


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My experience as well is most concert grands have difficulty producing a powerful enough treble to balance the bass. I can reliably produce a better treble in a model B Steinway than a model D. I am talking about side by side comparison.

I have ideas of why this is so, but some of you would disagree without having any comparable experience in remedying piano tone issues.


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It goes without saying that some pianos are better than others at dissipating the energy that would otherwise have sustained a note. This depends on condition as well as design.

I have found the condition of the plate and its fixings, termination points and the wooden structure are prime suspects. Others in the know have commented on the effect of design elements in certain pianos.


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Keep in mind, I'm not comparing the treble on a concert grand to the bass, I'm comparing the treble on a concert grand against the treble on a semi-concert grand.

Are you claiming that the CFX has a weak treble? That wasn't my impression.

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The concert grands I have played had better treble than smaller grands I've tried. Without exceptions.

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Of course the soundboard is bigger, but only down near the bass bridge. Does the part of the soundboard right at the end actually vibrate with the treble strings? It's a long way away.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Keep in mind, I'm not comparing the treble on a concert grand to the bass, I'm comparing the treble on a concert grand against the treble on a semi-concert grand.

Are you claiming that the CFX has a weak treble? That wasn't my impression.

Did any of us single out the CFX? I didn't read that.

It's hard not to compare the performance of the sections of the same piano to each other. That's part of adjusting to playing any piano. And more 9-footers have balance issues (typically with the treble register not able to keep up, in terms of power or sustain) than the smaller two sizes, in my fairly extensive experience playing concert grands and large grand pianos of nearly every midrange and high quality brand available in the North American market. Just like the bass register of very small grand pianos usually doesn't typically measure up against the treble - in that case, it's not much of a surprise.

I'm not a piano designer, but you will note a good number of large grand pianos have cutoff bars in the bass section of the soundboard, and that's probably not an accident.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Keep in mind, I'm not comparing the treble on a concert grand to the bass, I'm comparing the treble on a concert grand against the treble on a semi-concert grand.

Are you claiming that the CFX has a weak treble? That wasn't my impression.

Did any of us single out the CFX? I didn't read that.

It's hard not to compare the performance of the sections of the same piano to each other. That's part of adjusting to playing any piano. And more 9-footers have balance issues (typically with the treble register not able to keep up, in terms of power or sustain) than the smaller two sizes, in my fairly extensive experience playing concert grands and large grand pianos of nearly every midrange and high quality brand available in the North American market. Just like the bass register of very small grand pianos usually doesn't typically measure up against the treble - in that case, it's not much of a surprise.

I'm not a piano designer, but you will note a good number of large grand pianos have cutoff bars in the bass section of the soundboard, and that's probably not an accident.

The CFX was the example I used in the original post. Again, I'm not asking whether concert grands have balance issues between the bass and treble.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Keep in mind, I'm not comparing the treble on a concert grand to the bass, I'm comparing the treble on a concert grand against the treble on a semi-concert grand.

Are you claiming that the CFX has a weak treble? That wasn't my impression.

Did any of us single out the CFX? I didn't read that.

It's hard not to compare the performance of the sections of the same piano to each other. That's part of adjusting to playing any piano. And more 9-footers have balance issues (typically with the treble register not able to keep up, in terms of power or sustain) than the smaller two sizes, in my fairly extensive experience playing concert grands and large grand pianos of nearly every midrange and high quality brand available in the North American market. Just like the bass register of very small grand pianos usually doesn't typically measure up against the treble - in that case, it's not much of a surprise.

I'm not a piano designer, but you will note a good number of large grand pianos have cutoff bars in the bass section of the soundboard, and that's probably not an accident.

The CFX was the example I used in the original post. Again, I'm not asking whether concert grands have balance issues between the bass and treble.
You cannot draw generalizations about treble tone in concert grands vs. semi concert grands by listening to a single concert grand and two semi concert grands. The treble tone you preferred in the CFX could be a result of many different factors or a combination of factors in the design of the piano, the length of the piano being only one factor. It could be a result of the voicing of the pianos which can affect sustain at least to some extent. And a comparison of a different sample of a CFX to a different Yamaha semi concert grand might not yield the same conclusion from you.

It's also possible your approach to evaluating sustain is not the same as an experienced tech or professional pianist. IMO many people don't evaluate sustain correctly.

Two highly knowledgeable posters disagreed with your generalization about the treble section of concert grands vs. semi concert grands.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
You cannot draw generalizations about treble tone in concert grands vs. semi concert grands by listening to a single concert grand and two semi concert grands. The treble tone you preferred in the CFX could be a result of many different factors or a combination of factors in the design of the piano, the length of the piano being only one factor. It could be a result of the voicing of the pianos which can affect sustain at least to some extent. And a comparison of a different sample of a CFX to a different Yamaha semi concert grand might not yield the same conclusion from you.

It's also possible your approach to evaluating sustain is not the same as an experienced tech or professional pianist. IMO many people don't evaluate sustain correctly.

Two highly knowledgeable posters disagreed with your generalization about the treble section of concert grands vs. semi concert grands.

Pianoloverus, most of your posts are simply questioning whether people's opinions or observations are reliable, because of all the different factors that might have influenced someone's subjective impression. The "question everything" or "it's impossible for us to ever really know anything" position. If I prefer a Steinway over a Samick, it might just be that the Steinway had been more recently voiced. It might be that listening to recordings mainly on Steinways had biased my perceptions. It might just be that I have a anatomical flaw with my ears causing me to hear things inaccurately.

What's your opinion, do larger pianos tend to have better trebles?

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
You cannot draw generalizations about treble tone in concert grands vs. semi concert grands by listening to a single concert grand and two semi concert grands. The treble tone you preferred in the CFX could be a result of many different factors or a combination of factors in the design of the piano, the length of the piano being only one factor. It could be a result of the voicing of the pianos which can affect sustain at least to some extent. And a comparison of a different sample of a CFX to a different Yamaha semi concert grand might not yield the same conclusion from you.

It's also possible your approach to evaluating sustain is not the same as an experienced tech or professional pianist. IMO many people don't evaluate sustain correctly.

Two highly knowledgeable posters disagreed with your generalization about the treble section of concert grands vs. semi concert grands.

Pianoloverus, most of your posts are simply questioning whether people's opinions or observations are reliable, because of all the different factors that might have influenced someone's subjective impression. The "question everything" or "it's impossible for us to ever really know anything" position. If I prefer a Steinway over a Samick, it might just be that the Steinway had been more recently voiced. It might be that listening to recordings mainly on Steinways had biased my perceptions. It might just be that I have a anatomical flaw with my ears causing me to hear things inaccurately.

What's your opinion, do larger pianos tend to have better trebles?
Actually, my post didn't just question if your opinion was reliable. It gave many reasons why I thought it probably wasn't. I certainly never said anything like "it's impossible for us to ever really know anything". I own a semi concert grand(Mason & Hamlin BB) but have only played concert grands very minimally and have no opinion on their treble sections. I do trust the opinions of the posters on this thread with many hundreds times your experience with these pianos, great pianistic skill, and great technical knowledge of pianos.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
You cannot draw generalizations about treble tone in concert grands vs. semi concert grands by listening to a single concert grand and two semi concert grands. The treble tone you preferred in the CFX could be a result of many different factors or a combination of factors in the design of the piano, the length of the piano being only one factor. It could be a result of the voicing of the pianos which can affect sustain at least to some extent. And a comparison of a different sample of a CFX to a different Yamaha semi concert grand might not yield the same conclusion from you.

It's also possible your approach to evaluating sustain is not the same as an experienced tech or professional pianist. IMO many people don't evaluate sustain correctly.

Two highly knowledgeable posters disagreed with your generalization about the treble section of concert grands vs. semi concert grands.

Pianoloverus, most of your posts are simply questioning whether people's opinions or observations are reliable, because of all the different factors that might have influenced someone's subjective impression. The "question everything" or "it's impossible for us to ever really know anything" position. If I prefer a Steinway over a Samick, it might just be that the Steinway had been more recently voiced. It might be that listening to recordings mainly on Steinways had biased my perceptions. It might just be that I have a anatomical flaw with my ears causing me to hear things inaccurately.

What's your opinion, do larger pianos tend to have better trebles?
Actually, my post didn't just question if your opinion was reliable. It gave many reasons why I thought it probably wasn't. I certainly never said anything like "it's impossible for us to ever really know anything". I own a semi concert grand(Mason & Hamlin BB) but have only played concert grands very minimally and have no opinion on their treble sections. I do trust the opinions of the posters on this thread with many hundreds times your experience with these pianos, great pianistic skill, and great technical knowledge of pianos.

Yes, you often shed doubt on the legitimacy of other people's opinions while being careful to reassure us that you have no opinion yourself. The experts you're referring to mainly commented about the balance of the bass and treble on a concert grand, which is not actually what the thread is about. Perhaps some other experts will come along and agree that larger pianos have better trebles, and then what will you do? Perhaps you'll have to form an opinion of your own somehow!

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
You cannot draw generalizations about treble tone in concert grands vs. semi concert grands by listening to a single concert grand and two semi concert grands. The treble tone you preferred in the CFX could be a result of many different factors or a combination of factors in the design of the piano, the length of the piano being only one factor. It could be a result of the voicing of the pianos which can affect sustain at least to some extent. And a comparison of a different sample of a CFX to a different Yamaha semi concert grand might not yield the same conclusion from you.

It's also possible your approach to evaluating sustain is not the same as an experienced tech or professional pianist. IMO many people don't evaluate sustain correctly.

Two highly knowledgeable posters disagreed with your generalization about the treble section of concert grands vs. semi concert grands.

Pianoloverus, most of your posts are simply questioning whether people's opinions or observations are reliable, because of all the different factors that might have influenced someone's subjective impression. The "question everything" or "it's impossible for us to ever really know anything" position. If I prefer a Steinway over a Samick, it might just be that the Steinway had been more recently voiced. It might be that listening to recordings mainly on Steinways had biased my perceptions. It might just be that I have a anatomical flaw with my ears causing me to hear things inaccurately.

What's your opinion, do larger pianos tend to have better trebles?
Actually, my post didn't just question if your opinion was reliable. It gave many reasons why I thought it probably wasn't. I certainly never said anything like "it's impossible for us to ever really know anything". I own a semi concert grand(Mason & Hamlin BB) but have only played concert grands very minimally and have no opinion on their treble sections. I do trust the opinions of the posters on this thread with many hundreds times your experience with these pianos, great pianistic skill, and great technical knowledge of pianos.

Yes, you often shed doubt on the legitimacy of other people's opinions while being careful to reassure us that you have no opinion yourself. The experts you're referring to mainly commented about the balance of the bass and treble on a concert grand, which is not actually what the thread is about. Perhaps some other experts will come along and agree that larger pianos have better trebles, and then what will you do? Perhaps you'll have to form an opinion of your own somehow!
What you wrote about my posts is, to put it bluntly, utter nonsense! I have expressed my opinion on countless things on this forum. I wasn't "being careful" to not express an opinion; I was just saying I didn't have one and explaining why.

It's perfectly logical to not have an opinion on the issue on this thread but still understand that what you've expressed is dubious for all the reasons I gave. Of the two experts who expressed their opinion on the treble of concert grands before my post referring to experts, only one discussed this as a balance issue. And balance is certainly an important issue in evaluating the treble even if it's not the issue you raised.

If other people I consider to be expert give a different view about the treble of concert grands, it wouldn't be the slightest problem for me. The implication of your "then what would you do?" is just plain silly. Depending on how many and who felt that way I might adjust my opinion. As far as your suggestion that I form an opinion of my own, the comparison on this thread is not one that affects me as I have no intention of ever buying a concert grand. I certainly am not going to start visiting dealers to investigate the issue.

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So far, there seem to be people who believe that larger pianos have better trebles and people who in fact think that the opposite is true. It would be good to hear from more people on this. Pianoloverus doesn't have an opinion, unfortunately. And, of course, there is the concerning issue that my own posts contain dubious conclusions, and are also "utter nonsense" and "plain silly". Who else can help us resolve this question?

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Something I noticed comparing a CFX with Yamahas 7'6 pianos is that the CFX had a better treble, by which I mean a much more substantial tone with a longer sustain.

It's easy to see why concert grands would have a better bass than smaller pianos - the bass strings are much longer. But the treble section would be almost the same, wouldn't it?

What's the reason that concert grands have a better treble? Or larger pianos vs smaller pianos in general, such as a C7 vs a C6?

Have you compared the treble sustain of medium length grands from other manufactures to the CFX or just smaller Yamaha grands? An SK-3 I played had excellent treble sustain. Grotrian pianos I've played had phenomenal treble sustain as well, just to mention a couple. I haven't played a Yamaha grand in a number of years, but I would assume the product line that competes with Shigeru Kawai's contains excellent pianos.


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