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TBell Offline OP
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Hello all:

I have a 2 year old Baldwin BP 190 that gets maybe 2-3 hours practice per day and whose tone has gotten a tone a bit hollow and percussive. Is there anything that can be done to improve the sound to be more rounded and sustaining? It has always been a bit percussive\hollow but seems to be getting worse.

It has Abel hammers (per Baldwin's specs). I'm not sure if voicing or even looking into different hammers (though extreme) is something I should explore.

Here is a short video\audio: Piano Video

Thank you.

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Voicing would help. Needling the sides of the hammers would be an improvement, but the hammers should be shaped properly and fitted to the strings as well.


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maybe the hammer has shifted in side. whereas it must to kick 3 strings at the same time always.
Significant grooves may have formed on the head of the hammer. It's need to be sanded using a nail file or sandpaper there,
regards,

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It’s hard to tell anything from the video. The room acoustics don’t seem great though, as if it’s a small, carpeted room that doesn’t have any resonance.

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Originally Posted by TBell
I have a 2 year old Baldwin BP 190 that .. has always been a bit percussive\hollow but seems to be getting worse.

Might it need regulating as well as voicing?


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I'm with Scott-- I can't tell much from the video. At first blush, the tone sounds acceptable and the piano in a decent state of tuning. There is a slight immediacy or sharpness to the attack sound.

Has the piano had any regulating or voicing work done since it was delivered to you, 2 years ago? Start with the simple stuff...particularly if you liked the sound of the piano when it was new.


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I hear a somewhat "nasal" sound. If I were attending to it, I would treat the hammers with a mixture that has been discussed here quite a bit and see what happens. Treatment can include both strike area as well as lower shoulders.

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TBell Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Scott Cole, RPT
It’s hard to tell anything from the video. The room acoustics don’t seem great though, as if it’s a small, carpeted room that doesn’t have any resonance.
Yes it sounds that way, but the room, which is mostly hard surfaces, is about 600 sq ft or so. I've done several things to treat the room thinking it would help at least in recording, but it has done little. The mics are about 20" from the rim, but not much resonance. I may move the piano to a different spot in the room, where it can be pointed diagonally into the room.

I will have my tech look at reshaping, fitting and voicing the hammers. I did the All fabric softener\alcohol treatment a couple of weeks ago and it sounds better, but still has a way to go.

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The best long term solution is to replace the hammers with Ronsen Weikart felt

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How much wear is on these hammers? (E.g. strike point width).

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In addition to the other comments, almost certainly the strings need to be leveled at the strike point.
If the piano wasn't properly prepped (most dealers really don't have the capability) it has probably never given all the tone it is capable of. After 2 years, well, it certainly doesn't get better.

For myself (and I'm sure some of the other respondents), 1-4 hours of TLC could produce profound results.


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Thanks. Here is a different recording on a different device - handheld Tascam unit. Almost sounds like a banjo-piano cross breed (kidding).
Recording

And here is a picture of the hammers around middle C. Do you think I should get them sanded down?
Hammer Grooves Picture

The hammers are quite hard, even after the All\alcohol treatment. Only two years old but gets 2-3 hours daily of practice. The hammers are probably not the best and I'm not opposed to getting improved ones. Maybe I should invest 3-4 hours of a tech's time to try to improve the existing ones first.

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You have enough advice. Your task now is to find someone who can work on your piano to improve it. That will not be easy.


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Originally Posted by TBell
Thanks. Here is a different recording on a different device - handheld Tascam unit. Almost sounds like a banjo-piano cross breed (kidding).
Recording

And here is a picture of the hammers around middle C. Do you think I should get them sanded down?
Hammer Grooves Picture

The hammers are quite hard, even after the All\alcohol treatment. Only two years old but gets 2-3 hours daily of practice. The hammers are probably not the best and I'm not opposed to getting improved ones. Maybe I should invest 3-4 hours of a tech's time to try to improve the existing ones first.

I notice that both of your examples focus primarily on notes in the 3rd and 4th octaves. If that is where you spend most of your playing time, and that is where you are hearing the effect the most, then, yes, your piano probably needs voicing focusing in that area. As Keith said above, there is a good chance your piano was never prepped properly at the dealer with hammer shaping and voicing.

To be honest, I can hear the effect somewhat in your first video, but the audio recording above... I'm not hearing a glaring issue. Am I the only one? I'm not listening on the greatest of speakers, but, still...

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Originally Posted by TBell
And here is a picture of the hammers around middle C. Do you think I should get them sanded down?
Hammer Grooves Picture
.
It's Grooves no deep. If you have possibility need delete it's

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Originally Posted by violarules
To be honest, I can hear the effect somewhat in your first video, but the audio recording above... I'm not hearing a glaring issue. Am I the only one? I'm not listening on the greatest of speakers, but, still...

No, you're not the only one. Acoustics around the piano seem quite muffled, but I'm not hearing a glaring issue with the tone itself either.


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Originally Posted by TBell
Thanks. Here is a different recording on a different device - handheld Tascam unit. Almost sounds like a banjo-piano cross breed (kidding).
Recording

And here is a picture of the hammers around middle C. Do you think I should get them sanded down?
Hammer Grooves Picture

The hammers are quite hard, even after the All\alcohol treatment. Only two years old but gets 2-3 hours daily of practice. The hammers are probably not the best and I'm not opposed to getting improved ones. Maybe I should invest 3-4 hours of a tech's time to try to improve the existing ones first.

It sounds like a nice piano to me. It has what I would describe as a clean, bright modern sound, with some warmth, based on this recording. 2-3 hours of playing for two years will have packed down the hammers a bit at the strike point. Some techs will do some chopstick needling at this point in time, and that will probably bring it back close to the way it sounded when you bought it. But my advice would be just to keep playing and not think about it too much. We sometimes get tired of the way our pianos sound, no matter how much we like them. Our moods change from day to day, week to week, and season to season. We tend to like our piano’s sound more when we are happy and well rested. We tend to find them too harsh when we’re tired and practice isn’t going well. All these things matter. It took me a while to learn this. Sometimes having a friend come and listen to the piano and then hearing him tell you it sounds fine can put things into perspective. But in short, I can tell from this recording that it is a lovely piano. Enjoy!


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The piano sounds fine to me. And the hammer grooves are nothing to worry about at this stage.


Chris Leslie
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