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V-bar noise Yamaha C3

  • 1.  V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-24-2020 10:25
    I'm having difficulty confirming that the V-bar on a 15 year old Yamaha C3 is the true culprit of some aggravating extraneous noise...
    The sounds are typical of what I've experienced on many occasions when strings have worn indentations into the V-bar--  intermittent high partials that are irritatingly inharmonious and simply noisy on medium to loud blows. The sound also contains an element of tonal distortion even on quiet blows. The area is D5 to F5, the bass end of the first V-bar section. Muting out the duplex section does not solve the issue.  I resurfaced the V-bar on three of these notes simply to verify that this was the problem.  Even though the client and I both agree that the tone quality of these notes was slightly improved, the noise and distortion remain.  I gently rendered the strings to the bridge to no avail.  I've been tuning and voicing this instrument for several years, so I'm familiar with the tone quality and the methods of voicing the hammers that get what the client desires.  I'm considering restringing the entire V-bar section and carefully resurfacing and polishing the entire length of the V-bar as I would do in a rebuilding situation, but I'm not entirely convinced that this is the problem since it didn't vanish completely as I thought it might with this treatment of just 3 notes.  Visually, it appeared that I had removed the slight groves that had formed on the V-bar.  

    Might I be missing something that is unique to Yamahas?  Better glasses and more light for my aging eyes?  Is it time to really cut back on the coffee?  Not sure, but I'm grateful for any advice during this Thanksgiving week. 

    Best to All,
    John


    John Foy, RPT









  • 2.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-24-2020 11:19
    Hi John,
    There may be a steel rod inserted into the V-bar so the strings wearing down the cast iron, they are vibrating on the steel. I can’t remember whether they were still doing that on a 15 year older piano. You can see it by using a mirror underneath the capo. Replacing it with a brass rod might be the best all around solution.

    Jeannie Grassi
    PTG Registered Piano Technician
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    206-842-3721
    grassipianos@gmail.com




  • 3.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-25-2020 13:35
    I think the solution to this is better bourbon.
     
    Seriously, and certainly not unique to Yamahas, how about the counterbearing angle on the string rest (between capo and tuning pins)? I'd also check for loose bridge pins.
     
    Best to you my friend!
     
    Teri
     
     
    I'm having difficulty confirming that the V-bar on a 15 year old Yamaha C3 is the true culprit of some aggravating extraneous noise...The sounds...
    Please do not forward this message due to Auto Login.

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    V-bar noise Yamaha C3
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    John Foy
    Nov 24, 2020 10:25 AM
    John Foy
    I'm having difficulty confirming that the V-bar on a 15 year old Yamaha C3 is the true culprit of some aggravating extraneous noise...
    The sounds are typical of what I've experienced on many occasions when strings have worn indentations into the V-bar--  intermittent high partials that are irritatingly inharmonious and simply noisy on medium to loud blows. The sound also contains an element of tonal distortion even on quiet blows. The area is D5 to F5, the bass end of the first V-bar section. Muting out the duplex section does not solve the issue.  I resurfaced the V-bar on three of these notes simply to verify that this was the problem.  Even though the client and I both agree that the tone quality of these notes was slightly improved, the noise and distortion remain.  I gently rendered the strings to the bridge to no avail.  I've been tuning and voicing this instrument for several years, so I'm familiar with the tone quality and the methods of voicing the hammers that get what the client desires.  I'm considering restringing the entire V-bar section and carefully resurfacing and polishing the entire length of the V-bar as I would do in a rebuilding situation, but I'm not entirely convinced that this is the problem since it didn't vanish completely as I thought it might with this treatment of just 3 notes.  Visually, it appeared that I had removed the slight groves that had formed on the V-bar 
     
    Might I be missing something that is unique to Yamahas?  Better glasses and more light for my aging eyes?  Is it time to really cut back on the coffee?  Not sure, but I'm grateful for any advice during this Thanksgiving week.
     
    Best to All,
    John
     

    John Foy, RPT







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  • 4.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-25-2020 14:56
    As an experiment, try string braid in the duplex scale.?? Another culprit
    might be the string between the capo-bar and the front counter bearing
    bar by the tuning pins.




  • 5.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-25-2020 21:25
    Do you have a spare Rosen hammer to try on one of those notes? The V bar may well be the culprit but it's worth considering ... Not all hammers are created equal!

    ------------------------------
    Patrick Draine
    Billerica MA
    978-663-9690
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-27-2020 11:22
    Hi John,

    Yamaha usually does a good job with the v-bar radius but could it be a bit too large? We often see a too wide v-bar on Steinway grands but I have not seen that problem on Yamaha grands. If the noise is coming from the front duplex, how does the counter-bearing angle look? Years ago I experimented with the counter-bearing angle on a Baldwin by adding a thin piece of brass stock on top of the bearing bars. It was a big hassle but there was slight improvement.

    Have you tried the string couplers that Scott Jones sells? I have been mostly successful in reducing front duplex noise with these couplers. Some times you have to experiment with the position of the coupler and how many will be needed to reduce the noise.

    Best,
    Don

    ------------------------------
    [Don] [McKechnie,] [RPT]
    [Piano Technician]
    [dmckech@ithaca.edu]
    [Home 607.277.7112]
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Posted 11-27-2020 12:17

    "Have you tried the string couplers that Scott Jones sells? I have been mostly successful in reducing front duplex noise with these couplers. Sometimes you have to experiment with the position of the coupler and how many will be needed to reduce the noise." - Don McKechnie, RPT

    Yes, these can save the day! Another way to get the same effect is with 2 small rare earth magnets, one for the middle & left and another for the middle & right. Arrange them so the they are attracted to each other. I use these all the time. If you get the effect you want you can then install the string couplers for a more "permanent" solution. The magnets stay in place pretty well but, of course, can move around a bit. 



    ------------------------------
    "That Tuning Guy"
    Scott Kerns
    www.thattuningguy.com
    Tunic OnlyPure, TuneLab & PianoMeter user
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-27-2020 13:00
    I, too, have had success with Scott’s string couplers even though that isn’t what they were designed for.
    Scott, your magnet idea it ingenious. How do you control the placement? I find it difficult to place them where I want once they get near all that other metal. Tweezers don’t work because they won’t let go. Papp mute?
    ~ jeannie

    Jeannie Grassi
    Registered Piano Technician
    Island Piano Service
    206-842-3721
    grassipianos@gmail.com




  • 9.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Posted 11-27-2020 17:10
    Yes, it can be tricky to keep them in place. Mostly I haven't had any problem with that. Maybe be sure to have some that are small enough to not get close to the metal around it. These are the size I use from Amazon.

    A while back I had communicated with Scott Jones about the use of rare earth magnets and he said he had experimented with them but the little couplers will stay in place better.

    ------------------------------
    "That Tuning Guy"
    Scott Kerns
    www.thattuningguy.com
    Tunic OnlyPure, TuneLab & PianoMeter user
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-27-2020 17:06
    I don't usually find v-bar problems with Yamaha. I'm sure you made sure the hammers are properly shaped and the string mating is precise. If not that's a must.  I find this is often a problem with noise in that section. Otherwise I think it's important to have a light sugar coating on the strike point. Additionally, medium depth needling on the proximal side of the hammer in the 12:30 - 2:00 range can reduce duplex noise as will.

    ------------------------------
    David Love RPT
    www.davidlovepianos.com
    davidlovepianos@comcast.net
    415 407 8320
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-27-2020 22:16
    All the Yamaha plates I have tested at the V-bar had harder metal than is good for the wire. Harder V-bars also mean the V-bar is abrasive and will wear flat spots in the wire over time and tunings. The hardness is not on the surface like the typical case hardened Steinway that can be removed when putting the proper V-shape profile on the bar, but is all through the metal.

    I have considered machining a flat mounting surface, drilling and tapping it for upside down cut-off-just-above-the-string-holes agraffes for the V-bar section on Yamaha's and other hard plated pianos. But so far, never got that far since I don't sell used Yamaha.

     I would caution about leaving powerful magnets out where an inquisitive child may get access to them and try eating them. They have killed a few kids because they can perforate the intestine.

    ------------------------------
    Edward McMorrow
    Edmonds WA
    425-299-3431
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Posted 11-28-2020 12:30
    "I would caution about leaving powerful magnets out where an inquisitive child may get access to them and try eating them. They have killed a few kids because they can perforate the intestine." Edward McMorrow

    You mean leave them out in your tool kit? I usually put mine away in a tin container when I'm done. If you mean get them out of the piano, I have to admit I hadn't thought of that but wow, that would be amazing if they did. They're very difficult to get off of the string, not to mention the metal areas around it that they would stick to, and first of all they'd most likely have to push back or remove the music stand to get to them. But hey, weirder things have happen I suppose. Thanks for the heads up! I'll be careful of that.  


    ------------------------------
    "That Tuning Guy"
    Scott Kerns
    www.thattuningguy.com
    Tunic OnlyPure, TuneLab & PianoMeter user
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: V-bar noise Yamaha C3

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-28-2020 14:41
    I'm surprised that no one has commented on the steel bar that Yamaha imbedded into the v-bar. Definitely not a nice sound. Combined with the low bearing angle of the strings it made for a fine jangle of extra noise! Perhaps it could be replaced with brass. I don't think they were glued in place but held there by the upward pressure of the strings. 

    Jeannie Grassi
    PTG Registered Piano Technician 
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    206-842-3721