additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when playing

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gmalego
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additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when playing

Post by gmalego » 17 Jun 2016, 13:05

Dear members,

Since a couple of days I am the owner of a Yamaha C3 from 1979.During my test run at the shop, it sounded the way it supposed to sound, all was good.After delivery at my home, I noticed that some notes (it stretches nearly over 1 complete octave, some keys more impacted that others) have an additional high pitch sound to them, like there was someone with a triangle playing the same note simultanuously.As I am no technician, I do not know if this is simply a matter of having it retuned, or if voicing is required, or even more drastic actions.
Unfortunately I do not have any history of this piano, so no idea if it got a beating by a pro pianist, or was just sitting in the living room of some yuppie's villa :-) Any thoughts or insights would be more then welcome !

best regards,

Gerrit

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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by vernon » 17 Jun 2016, 23:18

It could be a hundred things.
Most likely is a sympathetic resonance. As it's appeared since delivery it could be a resonance in the room. look at; electric fire grills, glass windows in cabinets,piano lid, components,ornaments, glass in pictures,bits of paper behind the frame,hair grips, paper clips that been there ages but dislodged in the move.-- that sort of thing. Get someone to tour the room touching suspects while you generate the sound.Often it is definitely sounding in the piano but the culprit will turn out yards away.
It could be a crazed harmonic that is generated.. A dodgy damper not fully seating could set off a whistle.

Please report back if any success as noises in pianos are the bugbear of tuners to whom they are pointed out and technicians who are supposed to correct them.
Any experienced tuners reading this will add many other suggestions.

Good luck
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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by Colin Nicholson » 18 Jun 2016, 00:21

Vernon is spot on.... I've experienced this, and a sod to sort out.
If it played OK in the shop, then ringing bells in your home - then something in your home is to blame, not the piano.
Anything loose/ dangling / (fire companion set?) / old radiator? .... anything that hangs or is loose.
Sympathetic resonation is when an object in your home vibrates at a certain pitch - and it usually in "tune" with the strings played - "natural frequency of vibration" - everything metal on the planet has it whether we like it or not, but if it is well secured (and screwed down) - it doesn't ring on.

Just a hunch.... get a small screw driver, and check every hinge screw/ L pins for the top lid - if loose, they can play havock. Was the top lid removed during removal? .... chedk the pedal lyre is secure fully.

To me, I treat this subject seriously - just like insect damage (no joking). Let us know how you get on. The C3 produces a big sound, especially in the bass - so could be anything. A tuning customer of mine jokes about a few bass notes causing ringing on.... we have spent hours trying to sort it, but no luck yet, and just lately, no joking matter.
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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by gmalego » 18 Jun 2016, 19:22

Thanks for the feedback guys ! I read about those interferences in the room that could cause strange additional harmonics.I did a test and wrapped the piano in a thick blanket, if there was interference from an outside source, the impact should normally be reduced as the blanket would absorb at least some additional frequencies I guess ?But the issue remained.It is manifesting itself in the range G4 to G5, with B4 being the the note where it is more then clear.The other notes, it is far more in background, hardly noticeable.I do hope it is a tuning issue or a hammer that needs some maintenance.Hope to hear more on Wednesday, my tech is coming over, will keep you posted !

best regards,

Gerrit

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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by Colin Nicholson » 21 Jun 2016, 00:14

Just another suggestion/ question?

What type of flooring do you have where the piano is situated?
If carpet, then the ringing will be remote.... a blanket may soften the sound, but it won't change the pitch.

If laminated flooring? ...... then I reckon that could be the starting point. Wooden floors will act as a huge soundboard and transmit some of the sound elsewhere. If so, have a couple of Weetabix, then lift each leg up (may need 2 of you for the front), and place some carpet squares/ cork coasters! under each castor .... whatever to reduce or stop sound transmitting through the castors onto the floor. Just an idea. :)

If the top lid was removed during carriage, remove it again by sliding out the hinge pins, and possibly ask your tuner to tune the piano with the lid off.... might be a hinge pin or loose hinge screw; also check the prop stick hinge pin, and finally, lift off the fallboard/ music tray.... if that doesn't work, move house!! ha ha.
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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by gmalego » 21 Jun 2016, 18:22

Hello Colin,

The floor is made of solid stone tiles, I tried already to place a big blanket under the piano to avoid sound reflections from that surface, no luck unfortunately.I will try to place some piece of carpet beneath the wheels anyhow and see how that goes.
During transport, the piano was transported without removing the top lid, they just removed the pedals and the 3 legs.The piano was moved initially from the showroom to the workshop in another town, where they would give it a polish and tuning (that's what the guy who sold me the piano told me).Who knows if they forgot to tighten a screw left or right...
I meanwhile noticed that the issue seems to be a little less present when playing with the una corda pedal, so my first suspect is the damper area somewhere, but that is up to the tech guy to confirm tomorrow :-) I'll start meanwhile going through the house ads ;-)

Best regards,

Gerrit

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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by vernon » 21 Jun 2016, 19:29

I don't envy your tech guy tomorrow.
If he's a young technician(under 60) he will be sent crackers.
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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by gmalego » 22 Jun 2016, 18:22

Well, the piano guy came to my house today :-) And guess what... he didn't find the problem ... He even discovered other behaviour that wasn't normal, so the sh*t has hit the fan even more :-) Next week, an expert tech will come over to have another try, let's see how that turns out.

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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by Colin Nicholson » 23 Jun 2016, 08:42

It is not in a piano tuners job description (or CV)/ or expectations to sort out problems like this / some customers expect this and think it's part of their job - it's not!.... could take hours of labour & love to sort out, no matter how expert they are, and in most cases, ringing noises are left unsolved. If there is a problem with the playing of the instrument (mechanism), then that's different.... but checking every "nut & bolt"/ screw etc.... at least six thousand parts can be an impossible task, and in some cases, all your piano tuners queued up may just walk away. To start with, remove EVERYTHING from the room - empty it completely, and see if that helps. Bin the blanket policy - start from scratch, then if the problem persists, you know it lies in the piano itself. Good luck next week. :)

Una corda pedal on, and the ringing is reduced? .... check all damper lift wires are not touching any strings , the odd one could be very slightly resting on a string.... but it could also be the lift wire guide rail bushings being worn - if worn, the wires can steer to the left or right instead of straight up and down.... ask your tech guy to check that.
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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by gmalego » 23 Jun 2016, 10:21

Hello Colin,

Thanks for the feedback !
It would definitely not surprise me there is a wear issue, as the piano is already 37 years old meanwhile.I have a question though : if it is an issue that is tied to the room, would the issue occur if you replace the piano ? Reason I ask : I swapped my old grand out for this C3, which is now in exactly the same spot as the old one.On my old one I did not have these issues, and nothing changed to the room layout.
My tech actually thinks that the issue was always present, but is now reinforced by the smaller room the piano is placed into.
I agree that it is not the piano tuner's job to do that, I called the store to explain the issue, and it is up to them to send out the right people to the job, being a tuner, expert,craftsman from the workshop,...
But if they cannot resolve the issue at the end, it will be an easy choice, they can take it back as I have 5 years warranty that comes with it :-)

Best regards,

Gerrit

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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by vernon » 23 Jun 2016, 20:17

Did not Yamahas have an acoustical problem with their C3 s in the 80s?
I am am sure there was some correspondence here on the subject.
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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by gmalego » 29 Jun 2016, 21:11

Well, today I had another tech come over to assess the problem.He tuned the piano up to concert standard and did some voicing, in the end the problem is still there but has improved a lot.As the hammers have already seen better days (they're still okay, but are not in the optimal condition to take a serious beating), he suspects it is a wear issue.The effect is reinforced by the conditions of the room it is in, stone tile floor and big naked window. Perhaps next year I'll look into having the hammers replaced and the mechanism optimised.

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Re: additional high pitch bell sound to some notes when play

Post by vernon » 29 Jun 2016, 22:33

You did mention that the una corda pedal seemed to affect it and wondered if it was a damper problem. The una corda mechanism has no connection with the dampers so,if you get another tech calling, if they are not now all in hiding, get him to probe there. Just along shot. That seems to be all you have left in the locker now.
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

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