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Piano News and Frequently Asked Piano Questions
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Part 4: Prevention
Topic: Soundboards

Anything you can do to maintain a constant humidity in your home will reap huge benefits for your piano.  Central air for summer humidity and humidifiers in the winter all help in tuning stability and promote good soundboard "health".  Keeping your piano away from heat and A/C ducts, fireplaces, and out of direct sunlight are essential in preventing soundboard cracks.  Installing a humidity control system inside the piano is the best way of maintaining a proper environment for the piano and keeping it in top condition to last a lifetime.

Dean

www.dierspiano.com


Posted by Dean Diers Piano Service at 8:54 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2011 7:08 PM CDT
Sunday, 16 October 2011
Part 3:Causes of Cracked Soundboards
Topic: Soundboards

Because soundboards are large thin wooden panels, they are very susceptible to humidity changes.  In areas with large humidity swings (like Minnesota) the soundboard can swell and contract quite a bit with the seasons, taking the tuning up and down with it.  In extreme dry conditions, or if the piano is placed in front of a large heat source, it can shrink so much that it will crack.  In some cheaper Asian made pianos, the wood isn't always seasoned well enough before manufacture to withstand the North American climate, making it also more susceptible to cracking.

Dean

www.dierspiano.com


Posted by Dean Diers Piano Service at 12:53 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2011 7:09 PM CDT
Friday, 14 October 2011
Part 2: What is a Soundboard?
Topic: Soundboards

If you look at the back of an upright piano, you will see a large thin wooden panel that comprises most of the back of the piano.  This will have diagonal slats (ribs) glued to it.  If you tap on this with your finger, you will notice the amplification of sound that this creates.  On a grand piano, you can find the soundboard inside, under the strings, and often with a decal bearing the piano's maker.  Underneath, the grand will look much like the back of an upright.  Soundboards of some cheaper pianos are laminated (like plywood) and claim they will never crack.  The best soundboards are tight grained spruce panels from old growth trees that produce the highest quality tone amplification.

Dean

www.dierspiano.com


Posted by Dean Diers Piano Service at 9:41 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2011 7:11 PM CDT
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Intro to Cracked Soundboards
Topic: Soundboards

IF I HAD A NICKLE for every time I heard someone say, "It has a cracked soundboard so it can't be tuned," I would be wealthy indeed.  Contrary to popular belief, a cracked soundboard has nothing to do with the tuning.  Many pianos have cracked soundboards, but still are wonderful instruments.  Sometimes, though, a crack can be severe enough to cause rib separation resulting in a buzzing sound while playing the piano.  Fortunately, this situation can be remedied by repairing the soundboard/rib joint to eliminate buzzing.  Stay tuned for Part Two:  What is a Soundboard?

Dean

www.dierspiano.com


Posted by Dean Diers Piano Service at 5:18 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2011 7:19 PM CDT

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