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Chris Maene Soundboard

  • 1.  Chris Maene Soundboard

    Posted 13 days ago
    Was reading about the Chris Maene straight-strung concert grand this morning and noticed that it is stated that "the grain of the soundboard of the treble part doesn't follow the strings but has been redirected parallel to the bridges." This would suggest that the grain direction for the tenor and bass areas of the soundboard are not parallel (or nearly so) to the bridges. Anyone know what grain angle he is using? Also, anyone know how the joint/transition between the two (or more???) grain angle areas of the soundboard is constructed?

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 2.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Posted 13 days ago
    Also, just curious, anyone aware of his soundboard crowning approach (compression, hybrid, rib crowned, etc.)?

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 3.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Posted 13 days ago
    The wording suggests that the grain angle in those regions is parallel to the strings.

    With my experience of pre-1860 instruments I believe that my tuning style would particularly suit the straight strung instrument and get it to resonate more. If anyone knows anyone with one of these instruments, I'd like to tune it and see if the expected result materialises.

    Best wishes

    David P



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    David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
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    +44 1342 850594





  • 4.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Member
    Posted 13 days ago
    I would assume that the glue up used non-parallel boards as he progressed through the treble...fanning the grain angle with a succession of non-parallel pieces. I think, actually the grain angle would be following reasonably close to the long bridge in the tenor and bass, in a 9ft instrument, which would place grain at much closer to the 90 deg to the belly rail in the high treble, than on a smaller instrument.

    I'm curious why you are wondering about this. Are you working to get get more out of the high treble?...or just wondering about belly things in general?

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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
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  • 5.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Posted 11 days ago
    Jim I. asked: "I'm curious why you are wondering about this. Are you working to get get more out of the high treble?...or just wondering about belly things in general?"

    In all honesty, my curiosity isn't even that - more of a woodworking question in general. I guess there must be some sort of transition zone between two different grain angles where individual flitches are cut with non-parallel edges. I wonder what kind of edge grain angles can be cut/used before glue joint integrity becomes an issue. Maybe its quite a bit less a concern than I seem to have. Perhaps take a sub panel, cut one side to the new desired grain angle and glue the darn thing up.

    If different grain angles improve soundboard performance in different areas of the soundboard, then why not build a soundboard panel with different grain angles in different areas of the board?

    Why do I hear Ron Nossaman in my head telling me to stop talking and get up off my.........


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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 6.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 13 days ago
    You migh be able to discern the grain of the soundboard from this video.  1:50 minute mark and 1:59 minute mark.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO7xWoIRrE0

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    Christopher Storch
    Belmont MA
    617-489-6436
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  • 7.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Member
    Posted 13 days ago
    The 1:58 pic seems to show a constant grain angle of 45-ish, to the bellyrail, or in that department. This means the long bridge has the grain running at a decent angle to it, rather than roughly along the bridge.  I don't see, from the little I can see in that pic, anything like a changing angles of the grain in the treble.

    This is quite different than what Del and Ron design(ed) to, where they were trying to get extra stiffness by having the grain running more perpendicular to the high treble bridge. I no longer approach grain angle in that way, perpendicular to the high treble bridge,, and  am more along the lines of what Chris Maene is doing here. Reason being, in my experience, high treble sustain comes from termination conditions, pin conditions, and pivot termination, plus well designed duplexes and generous backscales. Hyper stiffness is not where I am anymore. When one can get real good high treble sustain, which exceeds a new hyper stiff board by a long shot, from an old board, it makes one rethink the impedance model we were mentored on.

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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
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  • 8.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Member
    Posted 11 days ago
    I was able to zoom in to a pic on his website. Its nothing exotic...just somewhere around 45 deg to the bellyrail, consistent up through the high treble.

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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
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  • 9.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Posted 11 days ago
    If one takes into consideration the purpose of choosing a particular grain direction, then it would quickly become evident that changing direction midstream serves no purpose mechanically or acoustically whatsoever. Before compression boards came along, makers crowned boards along the grain(tension boards). The ribbing is also different in each of those systems. I suppose today, plywood or carbon fiber type boards represent another system. A non stressed panel system perhaps.

    -chris

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    Chernobieff Piano Restorations
    "Where Tone is Key"
    chernobieffpiano.com
    grandpianoman@protonmail.com
    Lenoir City, TN
    865-986-7720
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  • 10.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
    Jim,
    What is "pivot termination"? Also, are you redesigning duplexes? I gathered from an earlier post about vertical hitch pins (which was very helpful) that you were dispensing with duplex scales altogether.

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    John Pope
    University of Kentucky School of Music
    Lexington, KY
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  • 11.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Posted 10 days ago
    John Pope asked about vertical hitch pins and duplexes. You are correct that one would typically dispense with any rear duplexes when one installs vertical hitch pins - or at least I do - it would kinda defeat the purpose of the vertical hitch pins if you left the rear duplex in place and the strings rested on them. Not sure what Jim I. means by "pivot termination" - but likely just referring to the nature of the vertical hitch pin which does allow the string to pivot on the hitch pin as the string vibrates up and down.

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 12.  RE: Chris Maene Soundboard

    Member
    Posted 10 days ago
    Pivot termination is at the capo.  The capo comes to a true "V", so the string pivots over the capo into the front duplex, instead of the capo being a wide bearing surface which allows less pivot. Yes I am grinding off the original cast duplexes, but re-designing them, not removing them. I'm using Ed Mcmorrow's Fully Tempered Duplex Scale duplex, and co-polymer counterbearing duplex terminations.  I am most decidedly not abandoning duplexes. I did in the past, based on suggestions from Ron N, but I was very unhappy with the sustain in high trebles that assumed the impedance model was the only factor effecting sustain up there.  My take is, that the conditions at the terminations, tighter bridge pin front to back spacing (10mm) to reduce losses at the bridge pins), generous backscale (pushing 1:1 if you can get it at 88) and hammers as light as you can them, create sustain...at least in this high treble section. Sustain in my high trebles is now consistent piano to piano, with high levels of discernable pitch.

    Also, I've backed off the bearing in the high treble as well, and that is why I use vertical hitches up there. All I want is positive bearing to make sure the bridge pins are not being compromised by negative bearing...maybe 1 deg or a little less composite bearing. The vertical hitches help here, because targeting that composite angle is really difficult. When SL's are that short, bridge height above string plane at 88 is a scant 0.75mm...which is pretty hard to hit without some form of adjustability.



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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
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