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Hi all. Two days ago, I took delivery of a new Seiler ED132. As when I tried the piano more than nine weeks and four days ago (I waited to take possession because I was moving house and didn't want to subject the instrument to an additional move; but, man, what a long wait!), I was surprised at how warm the tone was compared to what I had heard on YouTube recordings. Go figure. Although the piano is billed as being designed to have a "moderately bright" tone, I find that the treble is certainly not a 'thin' brightness, nor a 'hard' one. Very pleasant, but full of sparkle. The bass is a slight disappointment. For a 132cm instrument, I would have thought there'd be more richness in the bass than what I'm hearing. I wonder if that is due to insufficient voicing? Certainly, the piano has not been regulated and voiced by fanatically attentive Germans in Kitzingen. I know the piano needs some more regulation, and I'm sure the same is true for the voicing. So my first three, related, QUESTIONS are these: Is it normal to do voicing on new (Abel) hammers? Can voicing bring a more complex sound to the bass notes? Should I expect a rich bass from this piano, anyway?

A second thing is that I have noticed, when playing repeated chords, or series of chords, in the LH, that some notes go very slightly dead when I lift my fingers off the notes but still keeping the pedal down. This is not a matter of 'sustain', as such; indeed, the piano has amazing sustain. No, I tested individual notes and found that when I lifted my finger off the note, keeping the pedal down, that there was, with quite a few notes, an immediate decrease in the volume—very slight, but perceptible. And I think that effect is magnified when you're playing a chord where several notes might be doing the same thing at the same time—which is likely why I noticed it repeatedly while playing a piece. QUESTION: Is this normal? If not, is it a matter of regulation or voicing, or something else?

On the matter of regulation, what would be the recommended down weight and upweight for this piano? It seems slightly heavier than what I'm used to; will that change with use? And if I would like to have the action made slightly lighter, so that I can achieve pp more easily, is that difficult to do?

Finally. The piano has quite a big sound, a little too large for the room it is now in (we're only likely to stay in our new place for a couple of years, so I was thinking long term when I bought the piano). QUESTION: If it is suggested here that some voicing may be in order, can the volume produced by the hammers be lowered at the same time without too much difficulty? Is there a risk of damaging the hammers?

I'd be glad and grateful to receive any advice that is available here. Thank you.

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A few thoughts.

You can voice new hammers. Just do some research about technicians in your area. Listen to their work and talk to them. It’s not uncommon for someone to have their piano voiced only to not like what was done. With that said, a 132cm piano is not exactly large and you shouldn’t expect an impressive bass. Although what people want is always subjective, so perhaps you could get it more to your liking with voicing.

Regulation would likely solve your damping issue. As far as touchweight, I’d suggest you give it some time and see how you like it as you keep playing it. A lighter action wouldn’t necessarily assist with pp playing—unless there is excess weight due to excessive friction (would should be solved with regulation).

Finally, I personally wouldn’t advise trying to quiet the piano down with voicing. You could devise other ways, such as trapping the sound with absorption material.

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J Silva's suggestion for quieting the piano is good. Also makes sense to spend some weeks or months playing the piano in and getting it regulated well.


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In terms of the sound, I'd like to throw into the mix a factor which is often overlooked, yet can make quite a noticeable difference, and above all, is easy to test and to reverse. It's the placement of the piano.

For example, I've found my Ibach upright to have a more agreeable and balanced tone if I somewhat remove it from the wall, slightly more at the bass end (perhaps 120mm, 5") than at the treble end (perhaps half the distance). This has opened up the bass (literally) and helped, somewhat, to reduce the percussive, loud treble break.


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My pianos sound better if someone better than I am plays them.


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Originally Posted by Mark R.
In terms of the sound, I'd like to throw into the mix a factor which is often overlooked, yet can make quite a noticeable difference, and above all, is easy to test and to reverse. It's the placement of the piano.

For example, I've found my Ibach upright to have a more agreeable and balanced tone if I somewhat remove it from the wall, slightly more at the bass end (perhaps 120mm, 5") than at the treble end (perhaps half the distance). This has opened up the bass (literally) and helped, somewhat, to reduce the percussive, loud treble break.

This is THE FIRST place to start. Room acoustics can do amazing things to a piano (good as well as not so good).

Thx Mark for bringing this up. If you hadn't, I would've.

Kiwi,

What kind of floor do you have?

How high is the ceiling?

Are there any large glass windows or doors?

Are there any bookcases?

What are your walls made of? Plaster...sheetrock...wood...paneling...etc.?

What are the dimensions of the room?

Where in the room is the piano situated?

Are all four casters EVENLY distributing weight?

BION, a simple change of just a few inches CAN change things dramatically. This is well documented, and I have experienced it numerous times. It's pretty amazing.


Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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"With that said, a 132cm piano is not exactly large and you shouldn’t expect an impressive bass."

Jsilva, isn't that the equivalent of 52" high? That's about the biggest vertical you can get that I'm aware of.

If it were my customer, I'd suggest two things:
1. Try voicing the room first. Tack a blanket across the back, use wall hangings, carpet underneath etc.
2. Just play it for a while and revisit your touch and tonal impressions in 6 months. If there's an obvious flaw, then tell the dealer. But in general, it's very natural when acquiring a new instrument, especially after having spent new instrument money on it, to have high expectations of perfection.

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My YUS5 is 132cm/52” and its bass is huge. I would say it has impressive bass. That is the largest vertical made, as far as I can tell.

My YUS5 also has a loud voice. My tuner has said that there is not much that he can do to make it quieter. I have grown used to it. It can definitely be heard throughout my house, which is nice because my piano is a Disklavier, it is the DYUS5.

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Actually there are 3 companies making higher pianos, but indeed 130-133cm is industry standard for top upright piano:

Steingraber: 138cm
Bluthner: Model S 145cm!
Petrof: 136cm

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Originally Posted by maucycy
Actually there are 3 companies making higher pianos, but indeed 130-133cm is industry standard for top upright piano:

Steingraber: 138cm
Bluthner: Model S 145cm!
Petrof: 136cm

We should not forget Chernobieff, who has created perhaps the tallest upright known to man. He posts on this forum.

The skyscraper upright is shown in his gallery, here:

https://chernobieffpiano.com/index.html

Last edited by LarryK; 02/22/22 09:55 AM.
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Originally Posted by Scott Cole, RPT
Jsilva, isn't that the equivalent of 52" high? That's about the biggest vertical you can get that I'm aware of.

I hadn’t realised it was an upright smile Looking up the piano there are claims of it producing a full bass. Of course that is always a matter of perspective, but given the claims it seems like a fair expectation.

I also agree with the room position comments. My piano room isn’t very big, at least for a M&H BB, so I had limited places to orient mine. I found a place which looks decent, produces a really good tone, but the bass isn’t super strong. A trade-off. That’s just how it goes though!

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Thank you to all who have replied. The room is not large, and I realize that that plays a part. I do not say the piano is over loud (although it is not a timid sound!), simply that it is a little too loud for the room. Bare windows, no drapes. Uncarpeted floor, though not tiles (as I had in my previous house). The piano is (and has to be) against a brick wall; it's a sort of 'feature' wall. And I know that probably doesn't help. I have the piano some 85mm out from the wall. I have put a queen size soft quilt between the wall and the piano, which has reduced the sound, though my wife is complaining that the piano now doesn't have the open, resonant sound it had before we put the quilt there. Hard to win, isn't it? The walls all around are concrete; all have wallpaper, except the feature wall. I am 6'1.5" tall and can touch the ceiling with my thumb knuckle. No bookcases. It would appear the piano is sitting evenly on the casters (which are in plastic cups that came with the piano). This is a typical Korean living room. Sure, if I was in my home country, the living room would likely be larger, the floors would be carpeted, and there would be drapes covering all the windows. I know that makes a difference. Fortunately, I'm in a standalone building, so don't have to worry about neighbours directly above, below, or beside me. I will keep experimenting with room acoustics.

I'm still keen to know if the slight 'deadening' sound when releasing a note while still keeping the sustain pedal down is normal or a voicing or regulation problem. Jsilva suggests it is regulation. Would it be the pedal itself that needs adjusting? I think that would simply make all the notes sustain too much and produce an unacceptable wash of sound.

The difficulty for me is being in Korea, where the piano tuner most likely won't speak English and all the communication will have to be done through my wife. Even if that were not the case, piano tuners probably won't appreciate being told by the customer how to do their job. I suppose the best I can do is point out to the tuner (technician, I hope) the bass note whose sound I like best and ask him to make the rest of them the same, as much as that is possible.

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It's certainly tall, but not as tall as David Klavins' two gigantic uprights, which you have to climb stairs to play. The Model 370 and the Model M450i

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Kiwi,

So you have numerous unresolved issues here, ANY of which has the potential for being a/the cause of your stated problem(s). I would be at a loss to advise you in any way without first doing changes to the room acoustics as far as sound absorption.

Concrete is a great "eater" of sound but not necessarily in a good way. Years ago when I moved my Yamaha P2 (predecessor to the U1) from upstairs with hardwood floors and plaster and walls with brick backing (WAY TOO LOUD and boomy) downstairs to the basement with concrete floor and short ceiling, my bass disappeared (for all practical purposes). There was unfortunately no happy medium anywhere in the house. (I eventually sold it and replaced it with a grand in the same general spot but it seemed to work better).

Yes, acoustics can cause "dead spots" due to certain frequencies and the way they bounce around. If the issue is acoustic and you try to fix it with needling the hammers, etc you're treating the symptom rather than the problem and it won't end well.

Move the piano all around the room to different places and angles for experimental purposes and see if the sound changes (good or bad). Teflon sliders under the casters work really well to keep from marring the floor. If you find that this indeed changes the way the piano sounds to you then you know you have to solve the acoustic situation FIRST. Then look further if problems persist.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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Thanks for taking the time on a second input, Peter. Yes, it does seem that dealing with acoustics as best I can is the first thing to do. Moving the piano to another spot is not really possibly given my space restraints. I have moved the piano even further out from the wall (about 105mm and am working on stuff to put on the wall itself. I realise also that I'm coming from a situation where, in the apartment that I recently moved from, I would only play my Yamaha U3 using the middle pedal, so my ear was adjusted to an unnaturally mellow sound. And while that sound was not normal, and the playing action far from normal, it was preferable (to me) to the hard, shallow, and overly bright sound of the Yamaha. (To be fair on the U3—which, as everyone knows, is a good piano—it was forty years old and doing its best in an acoustically harsh environment [tiles on the floor and walls, with no curtains anywhere].)

Prior to that, I was in Australia and had been unable to bring with me my beloved Lipp. The Lipp, which is not well known in the U.S., was a wonderful, high quality instrument built in 1888. It had had the hammers and dampers replaced in about 1983, and still had its original strings which, needless to say, were sounding a little dull. All the same, it was a hugely gratifying instrument to play and I miss it greatly. I don't know exactly how tall it was, but it was probably at least 138 cm. If you know the Lipp sound (and this link perfectly captures the easily-identifiable Lipp sound:
— from 5min 55sec), you'll know it is a very mellow sound. My point is, almost any new piano now is, for me, going to sound a little on the bright side; but I still do, and always will, prefer a sound that is more on the other end of the spectrum. So, quite apart from the issue of volume of sound, I guess it is legitimate to have the piano voiced to be as mellow as is reasonable on my new instrument without doing damage to the hammers. Would that be right?

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My opinion of the sound of that Lipp piano is that it’s appropriately voiced for that room. I think in another room it could easily sound too bright (for my taste, at least).

Your piano may be too bright for the room, and also too bright in general. None of us can really give an opinion on that without hearing it. But what Peter said is important. Definitely pursue other options before deciding on voicing. Even if you can’t actually leave the piano in any other position, understanding the room by moving it around could be useful. You may also find yourself willing to make compromises you’re not currently willing to do.

My piano, objective speaking, is in a sort of ridiculous position in the room. But that’s where it sounded best given my limitations so I worked around it and made it work. And the room looks decent enough.


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