When a soundboard's compression exceeds the elastic limit of the wood fibers, those fibers may become crushed, producing slightly raised ridges in the soundboard's surface. Keep in mind that even a deep split is not a cause for immediate alarm. It takes an experienced rebuilder to determine if a soundboard needs replacement. You want to treat your piano like the treasure it is. If not, the soundboard isn't structurally doing it's job. Bradfield Piano Restoration Solid spruce soundboards swell and shrink with seasonal changes in humidity and, over time, can develop cracks. SoundPacks.com is a comprehensive source for free sample packs, drum kits, loop packs, and preset packs created by music producers and sound designers. Great piano with a lot of potential. (Reprinted from an article by Larry Fine). Any separation of a rib from the soundboard at a crack is a potential source of buzzing noises. If your piano receives a shock, like a flood or a drop during a move or relocation, you may notice a more serious crack in your soundboard. Nearly all soundboards will crack at some point over the life of the piano. When a piano develops cracks from old age, the cracks can cause buzzes. If the soundboard has sustained extensive damage, we can remove the plate from the piano and replace the soundboard. Native Instruments the GIANT Crack captures the sound of the world’s largest piano to deliver something even bigger: an intense and dynamic playing experience with utterly inspiring sound. However, in many cases cracked soundboards go unnoticed because it usually does not influence the sound. The repair is always done in the dry season. SOUNDBOARD CRACK! We’re honored to have the chance to work with you. While soundboard cracks are obviously undesirable, and in some cases can cause serious problems, they are quite common in old pianos and they are usually repairable. Used pianos will develop cracks after prolonged dry conditions. Over many years, because of the drying out of the wood and the loss of the wood's elasticity, the soundboard loses some or all of its crown, a condition that can be accompanied by the appearance of cracks. This is your soundboard. “…it is done so by hand, with hard-won expertise, and always with a nod to the elegant Steinway and golden age piano tradition.” Our Soundboard Restorations – Blending The Old & The New MYTH AND REALITY! Most soundboards are 5/8″ thick. However, when crushed, wood fibers lose their elastic properties, so the compression ridges are likely to turn into cracks as the soundboard's crown diminishes over time. Soundboards vary in size depending on how large the piano is. 10755 Sanden Dr STE 300  |  Dallas, TX 75238 This can result in cracks and loose soundboard ribs. Authentic parts give your piano the right tone and ultimately extend the life of your instrument. If the costs involved (overall) even start to approach a replacement piano, then I'll get rid of this piano and find another. If so, the crack may have split the soundboard … Cracks in the soundboard, while unattractive, are not necessarily important, as long as the tone has not suffered. That produces an amplification of 45,000%. Contrary to what the name implies, it is not one board, but several planked together, much like a hardwood floor. The fact of the matter is that pianos are sensitive to changes in the climate and in the room conditions. You'll get the call, naturally, when it's dry. In a traditionally made, solid spruce soundboard, the crown is maintained by the compression of the wood fibers, whose elasticity causes … I'm hoping the technician can provide advice on this. Together, these two opposing forces enhance the tone of the piano. And in cases like this the cracks are not even visible unless the lower panel is removed or the piano is turned around and looked at from the back – both which never really happen except during a tuning. Chicago Pianos.com - Illinois largest piano store featuring new and used acoustic, digital pianos and computierized player pianos. Very extensive cracking, however, can indicate that the piano has suffered great climatic extremes, and that its life expectancy may be short. I described my idea to my client and, with her encouragement – she was desperate – I ended up treating the soundboard in roughly the manner described below. Some piano owners have been dismayed to learn from their piano technician that their piano has a crack in the soundboard. The results were far better than I expected and the performance of the piano continued to exceed my expectations until I eventually moved from the area and lost contact with the owner. That’s why, when it comes to repairing a piano soundboard, hiring a knowledgable, proven technician is worth the investment. I haven't had any issues with cracking at the repair site. The good news is that most cracks do not create a noticeable difference in sound. Open the lid of your upright or grand piano, and you’ll see a shiny, thin piece of wood beneath the iron plate that runs along the back or bottom of your instrument. They can provide insight on how to best preserve your piano’s sound and give pricing for a soundboard repair or replacement. When manufactured, the soundboard has built into it a curvature or crown. From urban pop to the pathos of film music, mellow piano ballads, rock riffs to dark jazzy timbres, the unprocessed sound of THE GIANT Free satisfies immediately – immediately. Since the piano is completely held together by tension, any significant drop to the piano would of busted open the tension and damaged much more. Years of vibration and climate changes can cause the soundboard’s pieces to split at the seams. At Bradfield Piano, our experienced technicians apply advanced repair techniques to mend soundboard cracks and restore the instrument’s sound. Although soundboard cracks are not the death knell of a piano, they can cause buzzing and rattling that is unacceptable for a pianist. This is often a result of seasonal expansion and contraction of wood due to changes in humidity levels. Find the Piano sound you are looking for in seconds. Maximized Resonance, incredible projection and sound Radiation My piano soundboards are made to take full advantage of many acoustic properties and thus are not copies, but improved versions of the originals. A piano with a cracked soundboard should be carefully checked for rib separations before purchase. Many cracked soundboards can be easily repaired, but unless there are other problems with the board, these repairs are usually cosmetic. For more information on this subject, see The Piano Book. They are contained in tight spaces, controlled by the many parts that make … The most advanced piano soundboard made today. We even offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our services. In fact, small cracks are quite common and are usually not serious. A soundboard crack that isn’t really a concern is one that will appear fairly straight, like a dark line where you can see that the wood has kind of separated. Cracks can be repaired, retaining the original soundboard. Unless, there is a rattle or buzz the soundboard will still perform, but the crack does devalue your piano. A piano with a cracked soundboard should be carefully checked for rib separations before purchase. If so, the crack may have split the soundboard into different pieces. Any mover that specializes in piano moving would not have damaged the instrument because they know how sensitive it is to … If the cracks have been filled with wooden shims, this means that, at some point, the piano was rebuilt and the cracks repaired. FAQs on buying and selling. One of the problems that comes up most frequently in buying a used piano is judging the significance of a cracked soundboard. Some piano owners have been dismayed to learn from their piano technician that their piano has a crack in the soundboard. Also, the crack is much bigger than it would appear. The soundboard in any piano is exposed to humidity and other environmental swings during its lifetime. Smaller cracks may not impact your piano’s sound enough to warrant repair; however, many grand piano owners opt to repair even the smallest of soundboard cracks, since the soundboard is often visible during performance. Depending on the nature of the crack, it may not even need any immediate intervention, but simply analysis and monitoring. Then, the pin block and iron plate are mounted before the piano is strung. Buying advice. While this may sound disconcerting, it does not automatically mean that the piano has to be rebuilt or replaced. But in the early 1900s, Steinway and Sons introduced their “diaphragmatic” soundboards. Cracks in the soundboard don't mean it's a Basket Case. In extreme cases, fluctuating climate conditions can cause the piano’s soundboard to crack or its glue joints to fail. Soundboard cracks can cause buzzing and rattles. The ribs run perpendicular to the grain of the soundboard, and therefore perpendicular to any cracks. The soundboard is one of the most essential parts of your piano. Whether you have a grand piano or an upright piano, fixing cracks is one of the most common soundboard repairs. When choosing whether to repair or replace your soundboard, it’s important to consider the level of damage. The soundboard amplifies the vibrations of the strings via treble and bass bridges. I've never done this repair on its own - it's always been part of a restringing. Check bearing and crown everywhere in the piano you can reach, not just on the long rib as we were all taught. Call our timely, responsive team to learn more about how we can restore and repair your piano. Our factory-trained technicians are experienced in piano restoration, advanced repair techniques and piano refinishing. Play the instrument and listen — is there a pronounced rattle or buzz? In fact, small cracks are quite common and are usually not serious. applied to the piano soundboard. It will be impacted by consistent playing, and the vibration that … You can trust Bradfield Piano for your soundboard repair and replacement needs. Very extensive cracking, however, can be taken as an indication that the piano has suffered great dryness or climatic extremes, and that its life expectancy may be short. At Bradfield Piano, we’re committed to delivering the best service possible and exceeding customer expectations. This can happen, for example, in humid climates, or due to conditions related to the soundboard's manufacture. Usually the piano involved is older than your G2, and ribs have separated from the soundboard adjacent to the crack - these must be re-glued. In very cold temperatures, wooden piano parts can weaken and may snap when the piano is played. When a crack develops, the spruce of the sound board warps and pulls away from the cross ribs. Compression ridges are quite common, and do not necessarily affect the piano's tone. This is very common in older pianos and sometimes causes buzzing on specific notes. Purveyor of rare, vintage Steinways and Mason & Hamlin. The fact of the matter is that pianos are sensitive to changes in the climate and in the room conditions. Get Piano Sounds from Soundsnap, the Leading Sound Library for Unlimited SFX Downloads. In fact many, if not most, pianos will eventually develop some cracking in their soundboards. Soundboard cracks usually do not cause much of a problem with the tone and overall sound of your piano unless the soundboard ribs loosen and begin to buzz and rattle. Soundboard cracks can be repaired with shims if there are only a few small cracks but is not advisable for a soundboard with many cracks. A soundboard of a (grand) piano has a vast amount of pressure exerted on it. (This runs contrary to popular thought on the subject, I realize.) Cracks in the soundboard are common in older pianos and can cause buzzing, loss of volume, and poor sustain. New pianos, because of new wood, will crack much sooner, sometimes even within a week after being exposed to very dry conditions. Although cracks in the soundboard appear from time and time again, they are often more of a cosmetic nature than functional. service@BradfieldPiano.com  |  214-883-1885, © 2021 Bradfield Piano Restoration All rights reserved, 10755 Sanden Dr STE 300  |  Dallas, TX 75238, only genuine parts in our restoration projects, Repairing Or Refinishing A Piano’s Veneer, A Guide To Preventing Damage To Your Piano. Download FREE Piano sounds - royalty-free! If your piano receives a shock, like a flood or a drop during a move or relocation, you may notice a more serious crack in your soundboard. Without a soundboard, the music from vibrating strings would be difficult to hear. Cracks and rib separations are usually repaired at the same time the piano is restrung. Repair of rib separations can usually be done at reasonable cost without rebuilding the piano. There should be positive bearing over positive crown everywhere. When manufactured, the soundboard has built into it a curvature or crown. For this reason, a crack in the soundboard reduces the soundboard’s ability to amplify the vibrations of the strings only in relation to how much of the surface area the crack reduces the vibrating area of the board. The soundboard needs repair (repairs estimated at ~1K), but the cost of repairs would be comparable to buying a very basic newer used upright from a piano store, and the sound quality of this piano would be MUCH BETTER. Our technicians have first-hand knowledge of how Steinways and other pianos are manufactured. While this may sound disconcerting, it does not automatically mean that the piano has to be rebuilt or replaced. The True Facts from the Piano Buyers Guide. The Steinway soundboards gradually taper to 1/4″ thick at the sides. Solid spruce soundboards swell and shrink with seasonal changes in humidity and, over time, can develop cracks. It may sound acceptable in high humidity seasons, and horrible when it dries out. For over ten years, the Bradfield Piano team has rebuilt, repaired and restored Steinway and other piano soundboards with the best results in the industry. Also a few nicks and scratches and one missing ivory. Unless you have repaired a cracked soundboard before, we recommend contacting a professional. The effect is to widen the crack as far as acoustics are concerned. For example, if the crack crosses a rib or you hear a lot of buzzing when the piano is played, then it’s very expensive and very problematic to try and fix that crack. This design allows for greater projection and air movement, which many piano makers have adopted since then. Although, in theory, cracks and a loss of crown should result in a deterioration of tonal quality, the actual results vary greatly from piano to piano; therefore, the tone quality of each such instrument must be evaluated on its own merits. Play the instrument and listen — is there a pronounced rattle or buzz? To crack a soundboard when moving, the piano had to be dropped and if so more than the sound board would be damaged. In such a case, other symptoms of this will usually be evident elsewhere in the piano. I'm certain not keen to resolve any soundboard cracks as a DIY project, but hopefully the piano the buzzing can be resolved without substantial spend. Small cracks, especially along the seams where the wood pieces are joined together, occur after the board has had many years of vibration coupled with cyclical changes in the weather, usually accompanied by the drying of the wood and the glue used to … A piano will go through many changes as weather and seasonal changes bring in cold and warmth, dryness and humidity. Excessive dryness can strain the joints and other laminated sections of your piano and cause cracking. Nearly all pianos develop cracks in the soundboard over the course of their lives, and rarely are these cracks serious enough to cause any bother. The soundboard is what amplifies the vibrations of the strings to a volume we can hear, if there are cracks … Repair of rib separations can usually be done at reasonable cost without rebuilding the piano. One of the problems that comes up most frequently in buying a used piano is judging the significance of a cracked soundboard. When a soundboard cracks, the most effective repair involves cutting out the crack and planking in a fresh piece of spruce. The good news is that most cracks do not create a noticeable difference in sound. In a traditionally made, solid spruce soundboard, the crown is maintained by the compression of the wood fibers, whose elasticity causes the crowned soundboard to push back against the downbearing pressure of the strings on the bridges. Contrary to popular belief, cracks in the soundboard, while often unattractive, are not necessarily important, as long as the tone is acceptable. Small cracks, especially cracks that form along the seams where the wood pieces are joined together, occur in most cases due to age. Soundboards must be perfectly balanced to eliminate any sound interference. • Cracked soundboard. Four or five pieces of wood are glued together to form the soundboard, which is attached to the back bracing of the piano. Usually, cracks in a piano’s soundboard does not mean the end of it’s life. In most cases it is not a case to cause alarm. We use only genuine parts in our restoration projects to mimic the original construction. Is it any wonder why it is called a soundboard? In addition, your tolerance for such imperfections will depend on how expensive the piano is, and on your use of and expectations for it. More humid conditions cause sound boards to swell, pushing the wood grain with force causing the soundboard sometimes to … Humidity Swings And The Piano Pinblock . A related condition is that of compression ridges. 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