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If you want to increase the bass output of your acoustic grand piano (without getting a 9-footer), would strapping a mic to the bottom of the soundboard and connecting it to a subwoofer work?

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If you mean louder bass, well sure, a monster sized amp and subwoofer can make alot of noise.

The fundamental issue (no pun intended) is that soundboards don't amplify sound much below 55Hz so that when you play the lowest octave, once the sound of the initial attack dies out, the fundamental frequency is gone and you are just hearing harmonics off the soundboard.

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I have a klipsch r-12sw - a 12" home theatre sub. May try this later on my Baldwin BP190.

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Originally Posted by TBell
I have a klipsch r-12sw - a 12" home theatre sub. May try this later on my Baldwin BP190.

Interesting.

After years of owning an old-school, cathode-ray Toshiba TV (the best TV I ever owned) I kept waiting for it to break, so I could upgrade and buy a new, modern flat-screen TV. Well, the old Toshiba kept on working and working and working great.

So, I got tired of waiting for the old Toshiba to break, and went ahead a bought a new 50" flat screen Toshiba (now owned by Hisense). I also got a hi-fi sound bar and an 8" subwoofer. Besides the fact that I can't hear well to begin with, I am very well pleased with my new Toshiba flat screen TV and sound system. Love to hear that subwoofer "hit" when those low frequencies kick in! smile

Now, as far as a mic'd, amplified and sub'd sound system offering a better low bass on an acoustic piano, I'm quite sure it would "boom" louder, but I don't know about the acoustic quality of the "boom".

In my view, when you start heavily amplifying an acoustic piano, you might as well get a good quality digital piano with a good Roland 150 keyboard amp. Wow, talk about a great low bass!! smile

Good luck!

Rick


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When I converted my theatre from film to digital cinema I also had a new sound system installed.

When the tech was tuning the lfe speaker (subwoofer) he said, "You'll probably have to clean the seats after this; it tends to bring a bunch of dirt down from the ceiling."


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Agree with Rick who knows more about it all than me.

If you do try your ideas out let us know what you think of the results. You may have hit on something!

More seriously, I suggest you have a look at Sonepica's thread about his new S7X. At first he was profoundly dissatisfied with the bass. Now with pounding in for weeks and months he said it is coming up well. Sonepica said he expects it to take a year or two to reach its full potential.

After 95 years of light use the bass on my upright is far too loud for the space it is in. You have plenty to look forward to.

Last edited by Withindale; 09/17/21 05:18 PM.

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I was wondering if anyone has tried this before I go out and buy a mic and an amp and a sub. I agree with the opinions presented that the added bass may not be clean and end up being boomy and will mud the overall sound.

@TBell Let me know how it sounds once you try it on your Baldwin.

@Withindale Interesting comment about the S7X's disappointing bass performance. It sounds like it was a new piano and needed to settle? Mine is new to me but was a floor model so I'm not sure it has any more settling to do.

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OK, I hooked up my Klipsch r-12sw (lolpoor Costco version - 240 watts) to my mixer and mic. Right off the bat I got feedback using my omni-directional Rode mic before I could get the gain up to a meaningful level, which is not surprising since the mic pics up from everywhere and the subwoofer throws sound everywhere.

So I used a Shure SM57 dynamic and placed it about 8 inches from the strings, way into the belly of the piano and pointing away from the sub. I had to up the input gain on the mic preamp a bit to get a good signal. After messing with the controls I got a decent gain of bass in the lower octave or two, but it the sound quality was just very average and it was easy to get feedback and ringing from the sub. I have a large reflective room which probably contributes to the feedback. The frequency cutoff sounded best from 120 to 140hz. I could have probably found a better sounding spot for the sub, but my rca cables are only 6'. But yes I got more bass.

Now my Baldwin already has good bass, accentuated by having it parallel to a wall, so a smaller grand or upright results may be more dramatic but also might just end up with louder but still weak bass (weak fundamental tone). You can also throw your piano sound out of balance by amping only the bass. Subwoofers are hard to judge since they are so non-directional and can sound muddy. Another good test is to use a bass amp with dynamic mics, which would probably give a more defined sound. You may need a mixer or other pre-amp that sets between the mic and amp for proper impedance\voltage.

My Klipsch is also a home theater sub, a better choice would use a studio or small PA sub. I also have a Yamaha 15" passive PA sub and Crown 2500 amp (500-1000 watts). Maybe I should try that - with my finger on the mute button smile.

The OP should try to borrow or rent a setup to see if it works before committing to purchase. My guess is that it will not be satisfactory.

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Originally Posted by TBell
OK, I hooked up my Klipsch r-12sw (lolpoor Costco version - 240 watts) to my mixer and mic. Right off the bat I got feedback using my omni-directional Rode mic before I could get the gain up to a meaningful level, which is not surprising since the mic pics up from everywhere and the subwoofer throws sound everywhere. . . .

PMFJI --

I started reading this thread, and the phrase "feedback will occur" passed through my mind as I finished the first post.

. . . It's nice to have it confirmed experimentally.

My guess is that, if you have enough gain to audibly "improve" the bass, the mic-amp-speaker system will have a gain high enough to oscillate.

I won't go into how a "feedback suppressor" works, but it won't help at all, in this situation.


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Originally Posted by WinstonSmith
It sounds like it was a new piano and needed to settle? Mine is new to me but was a floor model so I'm not sure it has any more settling to do.

Sonepica said it sounded like a piano that needed to be pounded in. His sustained assault on the bass keys for as long as possible sounded to me like part of the bonding process between pianist and piano.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by WinstonSmith
It sounds like it was a new piano and needed to settle? Mine is new to me but was a floor model so I'm not sure it has any more settling to do.

Sonepica said it sounded like a piano that needed to be pounded in. His sustained assault on the bass keys for as long as possible sounded to me like part of the bonding process between pianist and piano.

How to socialise with a Piano? Look at how great the b-ass is.... Sure... I never stop to learn.
Is that the equivalent to e-pen** comparisions?

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Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
How to socialise with a Piano? Look at how great the b-ass is.... Sure... I never stop to learn.
Is that the equivalent to e-pen** comparisions?

Well, there's a suggestion. Get high, love your piano.

Here's another. Listen to your piano through a graphic equaliser. Then it will sound just as it should. Yamahas are popular in recording studios after all.


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Maybe you should have bought the CF6 instead of the C3X.

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Originally Posted by Hakki
Maybe you should have bought the CF6 instead of the C3X.
I'm not that dissatisfied with the bass of the C3X. The CF6 definitely has bigger bass but I was thinking of the bass you get from a 9-foot grand. I played a Steinway D briefly and loved the deep bass that the CF6 doesn't come close to.

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Thanks @TBell for sharing your experience - very informative.

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You might try placing the bass side of the piano close to a corner.

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Originally Posted by Hakki
You might try placing the bass side of the piano close to a corner.

Doesn't that increase the Bass in a bad way? Room modes...

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Once you've set up a powered subwoofer or other sound system, ditch the microphone, and add a Hammond XPK-130G pedal unit with bass samples and sound engine to your piano.

https://www.kraftmusic.com/hammond-xpk-130g-13-note-midi-pedal-board.html

Last edited by Sweelinck; 09/18/21 05:21 PM.

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