Piano problem

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by jlucas, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. jlucas

    jlucas Rando

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    My secondary listening location has been rendered of limited use/volume since the addition of a upright piano on the wall opposite of the speakers. Removing the piano is not an option as it is important to my wife (and removing her isn't an option either before someone suggests that!!).

    Just wondering if others have faced this issue and already found a good solution. My current thought it to try and cover with a moving blanket but before I go out and buy one I thought I would ask.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    No one would suggest removing your wife. Sex and/or love > audio gear and music.

    My first thought would be a plush blanket. Something with a robust, maybe even thick, external texture to it, ie not with a smooth sheen, to help absorb sound waves.
     
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  3. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

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    For first trials use a duvet or quilt, if it works and you want a dedicated solution stage molton might be of use.

    By the way cool avatar
     
  4. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    The piano is opposite of the speakers? Not in between? Like the piano is behind your listening position?

    How big is the space?
     
  5. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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  6. jlucas

    jlucas Rando

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    Thanks all. Yes into old cars too.

    Room is roughly 22x15 with the piano behind the listening position (speakers and piano on opposing 15' walls). It currently makes the soundboard in the piano resonate when using moderate to loud listening levels.
     
  7. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    If appearance is a factor and you want something more attractive than a moving blanket or duvet, perhaps a quilted piano cover? It's definitely a more expensive option, but I think something like the 1/2" quilted here should be thick enough to make a pretty sizable difference.

    I think you'll be able to find stuff like this at your local piano shops?
     
  8. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Ok hang on a second... so the problem isn't the room/speaker acoustics, but rather that the piano vibrates? You might be getting resonances in the gap, in which case a thick quilt or duvet between the piano and wall might help. Do you hear any similar resonance when the piano is being played?

    I have an old upright grand that had a weird boxy sound in my living room until I hung a blanket behind it.
     
  9. jlucas

    jlucas Rando

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    Yes, and good idea! This type of feedback is why I posted. :)
     
  10. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    Could you place some anti-vibration material like sorbothane or even a blanket inside the piano while listening to speakers? It might prevent the vibrations by effectively 'fusing' the sound board to the case. Obviously remove it before playing.
     
  11. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    This is the key thing. A quilt or two is not going to stop sound waves reaching the piano. Heck, even walls don't stop sound waves! Stuffing them inside the piano might help.
     
  12. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Stuff pillows inside the piano
     
  13. SSL

    SSL Friend

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    The first culprit I would look for is the undamped strings at the top of the register. Placing something soft against them might solve most of the problem.
     
  14. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Guys... please don't go stuffing things into the piano. Someone's going to forget, or something will fall in, or something will snag and potentially damage or knock it out of tune.

    Go use a brick to hold down the soft pedal and see if that helps.
     
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  15. SSL

    SSL Friend

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    Uh, soft pedal isn't going to do anything. Damage isn't likely either.

    Of course, the ideal solution would be to sell the acoustic and get an electric instead.
     
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  16. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I get a dis for legitimately trying to help someone out here? Geez.

    On some uprights, the soft pedal brings down a bar with felt to dampen. If some of the resonances he's getting is the strings humming along to room noise, that could potentially help (I can't recall if that felt rests on the strings or merely obstructs the hammer).

    Damage is totally possible if you're throwing stuff into a piano. Putting weight on any of the bars, or any of the hammer mechanism. Maybe a loop of fabric will catch on a string or a pin, or yank on the felt, or a leather strap, or a spring, or on any part of the action. They aren't "delicate" machines, but they are relatively complex mechanical devices nonetheless and the action of an upright is relatively more exposed than a normal piano.
     
  17. SSL

    SSL Friend

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    The felt rests in front of the strings. It isn't going to dampen any resonances. Forcing the mute pedal down for long periods isn't even harmless because of the stress this would place on the return springs. So yes, you get a dislike for a dumb recommendation.

    If the OP isn't comfortable sticking things inside the instrument, the only option is cover it (especially the soundboard) with a heavy blanket or quilted piano cover.

    And next time the piano is tuned, have the technician check the regulation and make sure nothing is vibrating that shouldn't be.
     
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  18. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    That's fair, I did not think about the return spring on the pedal potentially getting damaged by being held down... though I would still not be comfortable with anything that has a potential for snag or weight pressing down on the action itself.

    Either way, if OP has a random blanket lying around, it's a zero cost to hang in front or behind first. Or just try moving the piano a couple inches forward or back in case there's some sort of weird interaction with the wall. I'm curious if the piano resonates weirdly on its own when being played (if noticeable), or only when the speakers are blaring. Is it a boxy sound, is it the string vibrating, is it something else rattling? We might be chasing a red herring without further detail.
     
  19. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Especially not sheets of paper between the strings and the soundboard

    :bird:
     
  20. FallingObjects

    FallingObjects Pay It Forward

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    What kind of flooring is the upright piano on, @jlucas ? Carpet?
     

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