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Hi! Has anyone voiced a Fazioli? I came across a client who has a Fazioli F212 from 2007 that is way too bright for home use. As a piano technician, I am quite experienced with voicing American and Asian-made pianos, but I had never voiced a Fazioli. Because Fazioli is such an expensive piano, I want to make sure that my voicing efforts are going to produce a good result before I touch the hammers.

The piano is barely played in; the hammers are like-new and don't need filing. The tone is very bright and even metallic, quite typical for Fazioli. To my ears, the attack is very strong/harsh, but the sustain is not as good as, say, a Mason & Hamlin or a well-prepared Steinway (emphasis on "well-prepared"). Specifically, the tone drops off sharply right after the attack, and the sustain starts at a much lower level, although after the initial drop / attack phase, the delay becomes less rapid. It's a little harpsichord-like (typical of Fazioli IMHO). In the treble, starting from G6, there is very little bloom. Interestingly, the higher partials rings much longer than the fundamentals, which drops rapidly, as if something sucks the fundamentals out (perhaps something resonates out-of-phase and cancels the fundamentals out). However, when the sustain pedal is pressed down (dampers up), the sustain of the fundamentals becomes much better and present. I am not sure why that is, but it seems as if the soundboard is very efficient at transferring the energy of those high-pitch vibrations to the strings of the same notes in lower registers and the dampers suck out those sympathetic vibration. It's purely my imagination/speculation; I have no idea whether that is what actually happens, but it is how I would describe the tone.

I first thought it may have to do, at least in part, with the hammer let-off being set too close to the strings. In fact, Fazioli is known for that. It allows the pianist to always make a tone regardless how slowly a key is pressed down. Great for ppp playing, but perhaps it makes the hammers stay just a tad too long on the strings, thereby killing the sustain in the attack phase, especially for the high treble. I have adjusted/increased the let-off distance by about 1/32". The tone seems to be "freed up," with less drop off at the initial attack, but it is still quite harsh and strident. The fundamentals in the treble are still not as sustained and singing-like as I would expect from a super high-end piano. This suggests that the hammers bounce off the strings too quickly and needling the upper shoulders may improve the sustain. Again, I am just guessing.

Fazioli seems to compensate for the lack of sustain (especially in high treble) with brightness... This is why I am extra cautious about voicing down this Fazioli. My client would like a rounder, bell-like tone, with more bloom. The piano is very loud and bright right now, so I think there is lots of room for voicing down. To make an analogy, I think the Fazioli's sound is like a diamond-- with sharp edges, no warmth, and oftentimes so bright that many people consider blinding. Is it possible to make it more like a pearl-- round, shiny (but not blinding), with some warmth, and perhaps better color variation / partial development at different dynamic ranges (right now it is just one color -- bright -- regardless of the dynamic range)?

I have used needling techniques described for voicing Renner hammers (https://rennerusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Selecting-and-Voicing-the-Renner-Hammer.pdf) on many pianos with great success; I have brought out sweet, bell-like tones on many pianos that made my clients very happy, but I wonder what I can expect from a Fazioli. Is it possible to improve the sustain of the high treble by voicing the hammers? Can one get bell tone out of a Fazioli (I suspect the answer is a definitive yes)? How? Is there anything I should do differently for voicing a Fazioli than for, say, a Mason & Hamlin? What voicing technique do you find the most effective for delivering the best results on a Fazioli (assuming I had infinite hours to work on it; time is no issue. Client pays)? I would love to hear your experience and suggestions. Thanks!

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I have never voiced a Fazioli, so I'm making popcorn.

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Originally Posted by An Old Square
I have never voiced a Fazioli, so I'm making popcorn.
I'm no tech, but I can't wait to watch this thread. It certainly doesn't make me want to own a Fazioli! Are we sure PianoLover123 isn't a Bosendorfer/Steinway/Yamaha/Kawai dealer? 😄

J/k of course.


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Since the OP is so generally negative about the Fazioli tone and has no experience voicing a Fazioli, I think he should suggest the owneri find another tech to voice the piano.

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Since the OP seems so generally negative about the Fazioli tone and has no experience voicing a Fazioli, I think he should suggest the owner find another tech to voice the piano.

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The sustain drop is because the hammers are too hard. Specifically the shoulders. And obviously the bright attack is because the top is also too hard. There are many techniques and protocols for softening the hammers via needling or chemicals.
But It sounds like you may just lack the confidence and experience in voicing to work on them. There are also a lot of threads here on pianoworld that dicuss voicing with much good advice.
Busby also published a decent ebook.

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Those new hammers are hard as concrete and the piano obviously is a diamond in the rough. It needs serious deep needling right down to the core of the hammer from the highest treble to the lowest bass. To me it sounds like you should hand this piano over to a technician who is completely fearless of hours of needling the hammers to make them more resilient and transform a baseball into a tennis ball.

This is how it's done:


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I suuggest you send your post to Fazioli for their advice and/or contact techs with experience of Fazioli pianos.


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It doesn't make sense to me how the hammers could be so hard. The OP says the piano has had very little use, and my guess would be that Fazioli does extensive voicing on the piano before it leaves the factory.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It doesn't make sense to me how the hammers could be so hard. The OP says the piano has had very little use, and my guess would be that Fazioli does extensive voicing on the piano before it leaves the factory.

Spot on.

By the same token, this looks like Fazioli knocking copy:

Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Those new hammers are hard as concrete and the piano obviously is a diamond in the rough.


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Originally Posted by PianoLover123
... but I had never voiced a Fazioli. ...

The tone is very bright and even metallic, quite typical for Fazioli. ... It's a little harpsichord-like (typical of Fazioli IMHO). ...

I first thought it may have to do, at least in part, with the hammer let-off being set too close to the strings. In fact, Fazioli is known for that. ...

Fazioli seems to compensate for the lack of sustain (especially in high treble) with brightness... ...

I am not a tech. But by reading OP's writing I would think that he/she has been quite experienced with Fazioli.


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Originally Posted by Davdoc
I am not a tech. But by reading OP's writing I would think that he/she has been quite experienced with Fazioli.

You may well be right, but there is no comparison between the piano in question and all the other Faziolis in the OP's experience. Those needed no voicing.

What he says is "I think the Fazioli's sound is like a diamond-- with sharp edges, no warmth, and oftentimes so bright that many people consider blinding".

Half this year's Chopin Competition laureates did not agree with that.

Last edited by Withindale; 12/04/21 08:14 AM.

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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Those new hammers are hard as concrete and the piano obviously is a diamond in the rough. It needs serious deep needling right down to the core of the hammer from the highest treble to the lowest bass. To me it sounds like you should hand this piano over to a technician who is completely fearless of hours of needling the hammers to make them more resilient and transform a baseball into a tennis ball.

This is how it's done:


Peter, do you know the name of the technician who works at Stingl Klavier in Vienna? I think he has also worked for Bösendorfer and I remember that the Fazioli pianos he voiced for Stingl sound exceptionally warm and clear. Perhaps he would be the person to ask about this?


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All Fazioli pianos come with a 'Gold Box' or 'Wooden Box' that have some instructions for the technician. If the client cannot find it, I think you can get a PDF version of it from the factory. You can email Patrizia [dot] Modolo [at] Fazioli [dot] com

As a dealer, I feel it is a real shame that the technician working on the piano doesn't believe in the brand. I recommend contacting the local dealer.

In my own experience, I have not encountered a Fazioli that does not sustain extremely well, and I always thought this was a great selling point.

Perhaps PianoLover123 does not truly understand the Fazioli voice and sound. It's not the same broad tone that most will be used to on other pianos. Also, we should also start a petition to change PianoLover123's name to M&H Lover 123 as that would more accurately represent him in the forum! Just kidding.

Best wishes on your work!


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by Davdoc
I am not a tech. But by reading OP's writing I would think that he/she has been quite experienced with Fazioli.

You may well be right, but there is no comparison between the piano in question and all the other Faziolis in the OP's experience. Those needed no voicing.

What he says is "I think the Fazioli's sound is like a diamond-- with sharp edges, no warmth, and oftentimes so bright that many people consider blinding".

Half this year's Chopin Competition laureates did not agree with that.

3/8 is a half?
Is this topic about F308 on a big concert hall?

But of course, you can't disagree with the winner of the Chopin competition!

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Hi everyone, thanks for your response! It seems like Fazioli is a hot topic (although I was anticipating responses from mostly piano technicians familiar with Fazioli)! I just want to make clear that IMHO, the Fazioli is really a piece of art with exquisite build quality. The action is extraordinarily smooth and responsive. As to the tone, it is highly subjective. The piano in question is for home use and the owner wishes to bring out a more rounded tone due to a somewhat confined living space the piano is placed in.

I have heard one of the most amazing piano sound I have ever heard coming out of a Fazioli in a big concert hall -- some 25 years ago -- and I still remember my fascination about the experience that day. I am asking for your feedback not to be critical of Fazioli (I am in no position to do so and I actually admire Fazioli pianos), but to get a sense how the particular piano in question would sound its best when voiced down (I want to be cautious exactly because I consider Fazioli very precious). I know quite a few people who talked about their preference for a more mellow sound on a Fazioli... including people in this forum.

I'd love to hear your experience! How would you describe the tone of Fazioli if voiced to be more mellow? Bell tone, sweet, or just reduced power?

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Hi Fazman, I first played a Fazioli in Richmond BC years ago! I remember the sound of Faziolis in that store (Showcase Piano?) to be not so bright... Perhaps the store selected for more mellow sounding ones from the factory or voiced them down themselves as part of piano preparation?

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I was at Portland Piano company a few months ago with PW member Osho, who was considering buying a 1985 9ft. Fazioli they had. It sat next to a brand new 9ft. Fazioli. The new Fazioli had a beautiful warm sound. The 1985 Fazioli was brighter and more harsh. I don't know if it could have been voiced to sound like the new one, but both Osho and I agreed that the new Fazioli was among the best sounding pianos we'd ever played. I would describe it as warm but still with the same amount of power. You might want to search for Osho on PW and send him a PM. I know he spent a lot of time evaluating and comparing similar high quality pianos when considering the Fazioli.


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I have only tuned on Fazioli, a 308. The same day, I tuned a Yamaha CFIIIs, which I preferred for its tone, but I could see other people going the other way.

I think it is all in the hammers. I have the theory that the lowest bass hammers have to be much, much softer than the highest treble hammers, more so than can be differentiated in the manufacture. Most hammers are made to favor the treble, and are too hard in the lower notes. (New York Steinway is the outlier.) Also, they need a harder layer near the outside, to give definition to the tone, but not too hard. Working with these principles, it is possible to make a real difference even to old hammers, even on inexpensive instruments.

So in this case, I think the Fazioli hammers were a little too hard, especially on the outer layer, while the Yamaha was closer to what I prefer, and from the feedback I have received from musicians.

However, not all instruments, even by the same manufacturer are the same. I briefly tried another Fazioli, I think the next smaller one, at Piedmont Piano, and I thought it was nicer. Sometimes the variations came later in the piano's career, as in a Steingraeber I tuned at a music studio. I voiced my qualms to the engineer, and he said that someone had asked the piano to be voiced differently (that is diplomatic for "poorly") at some time. So I tend not to judge brands as much as individual pianos.

Anyway, I suggest that one should practice on cheaper pianos. You usually can make a bigger difference in them. Often you can do a lot with some quick voicing as you are testing your tuning, even if you have not done a fine regulation on the piano. Just do a little to see what the difference is, and to try to make it even. What you learn will be applicable to when you are able to do a more complete job.


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Yes! That's my shop!

Yes, when they are new they don't sound as bright. When we get a used one in stock that sounds a little too bright, we ask the technicians to voice them down a little and they usually do some deep needling, and in typical 'Fazioli' style by keeping to the precise angle and section of the hammer.

I'm glad to hear you actually like the pianos, your original post gave me a much different feeling!


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