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Old 9th November 2012, 09:13 PM   #11
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There was another thread of this very same topic but I don't remember the name of it or the key words of the title or else I would post the link.

Cheers !!!

jer
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Old 9th November 2012, 11:44 PM   #12
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Oh, ok... VST it is... digital stuff... sort of real. Ok.

Well there is the piano lid that could act as a nice diffuser and reflector... might be more realistic than one might expect.

One problem is that the SPL output of a piano is far higher than one might expect, especially on peaks. Very hard for a speaker to reproduce.

Very difficult for a speaker to reproduce the sub sonic and very lowest frequency artifacts that a real piano produces also. It is a big mechanical device. Merely opening and dropping the sustain pedal produces a percussive output... most people don't notice this unless they either play the piano or spend a fair amount of time around one being played...

the dipole effect with the soundboard missing is interesting.

as jer noted, the sag (gravity) effect will make a difference on *any* speaker - at the moment I can't think of one where it will not.

I'll throw this out, and maybe get laughed at, but *if* you have the lid, you might consider a line array of dynamic drivers. Carefully chosen you might be able to do a credible job of making it sound plausible. Think about a Bose 901 reflecting off a wall... (don't laugh folks). You may need something for the HF to augment, and EQ for the bottom end. Or else some decent sized woofers, high Q, arrayed for the bass...

you will get a bit of horn effect from the lid...

the key to this idea is to be able to handle a TON of power and also be capable of significant SPL... you want to be able to get above 110dB SPL 1m at <1% THD or lower... then it will be credible, assuming you've got drivers that are selected for the job. Which is not easy.

But the good news is that you can do this with a board (got to be stiff) and drivers, and those can be replaced or upgraded later, as you learn from the experience...

Imo, an ESL cleverly done, with enough surface area will sound good too...

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Old 10th November 2012, 02:07 AM   #13
erer4 is offline erer4  United States
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I do have the lid. The action will be replaced with a weighted hammer-action MIDI keyboard. I plan on playing Synthogy's highly sampled Steinway D and Bosendorfer through this thing.

A stiff board and drivers was my first thought. Probably the direction I'll go. I also thought about facing some of the drivers towards the floor to help simulate the dipole nature of a soundboard.

Would you have any suggestions for a driver that meets your specifications? How about putting a ribbon tweeter in there? I hear those are nice on piano highs.
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Old 10th November 2012, 10:50 AM   #14
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I'll let everybody know when I have designed and built it!
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Old 10th November 2012, 11:40 PM   #15
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What are we talking about here?

Even with a "down the hallway" test, I've never even briefly thought I've ever heard a piano simulated. (Of course, I'd say that about every instrument or voice but the penny-whistle.)

To make piano sounds, you'd need something a whole lot more "out of the box" than most of the posts here that stick a driver into a piano frame.

Ben
Footnote: at Bell Labs, 45 years ago, the guys in my department (Max Matthews' group) used to show off their latest violin, flute, and voice simulations on KLH6s. Seemed great. In retrospect, kind of like Edison amazing people with the fidelity of his cylinders.
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Old 11th November 2012, 04:05 AM   #16
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"a ribbon tweeter" will likely not even come close to what you need...

Think about it this way, you will need what passes as a very high fidelity PA system, with the power to back it up. You don't want to *play* it super loud, but you need to have the *headroom* so that you are not clipping the peaks, and the distortion is low.

It's complicated.

I'd try to make sounds out of standard speakers first, or play through standard speakers first with your midi unit and appropriate amps, and see just how that sounds, and how much power it takes (acoustic power, which is the output of the speakers and electrical power, which is the amplification) to sound halfway ok... as in somewhat believable.

Only then commit to this in the piano box experiment...

You don't need to aim speakers "down" if you are building a "dipole" type speaker system...

Btw, take a look at the HF planar ribbon units used by Alcons in their pro sound reinforcement arrays... they don't sell the drivers, but that is akin to what you might aim for.

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Old 11th November 2012, 09:57 AM   #17
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Companies like Yamaha and Technics have been "faking" it for years; they sell a reasonable number of these pretend items without having everyone laugh at them, so it must be possible to do using relatively normal technology.

Maybe someone should buy a top of the line Yamaha digital piano, and then pull it apart to see how they did it ...

Frank
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Old 12th November 2012, 11:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
Companies like Yamaha and Technics have been "faking" it for years; they sell a reasonable number of these pretend items without having everyone laugh at them, so it must be possible to do using relatively normal technology.

Maybe someone should buy a top of the line Yamaha digital piano, and then pull it apart to see how they did it ...

Frank
Sure... organs have had stops with names of the whole orchestra for hundreds of years. Yup, can't miss the similarity but can't say it is anything but an organ.

There was a thread about "down the hall" tests (if you were listening to your speakers from down the hallway in your home, would you think you were listening to the real thing?") a few years ago.

Ben
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Old 12th November 2012, 11:51 PM   #19
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentoronto View Post
Sure... organs have had stops with names of the whole orchestra for hundreds of years. Yup, can't miss the similarity but can't say it is anything but an organ.

There was a thread about "down the hall" tests (if you were listening to your speakers from down the hallway in your home, would you think you were listening to the real thing?") a few years ago.

Ben
Have you actually heard the best of the best from say, Yamaha of late? They do things like simulating the appropriate strings of the soundboard resonating in sympathy when the sustain pedal is down, for example. Their engineers actually wheel in an acoustic grand, side by side with the copy, to see how well it can fool someone. But the real point is that relatively conventional speaker technology is used to produce the sound, and using relatively low powered amps,to add insult to injury ...

Frank
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Old 13th November 2012, 12:36 AM   #20
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Right. Has that "experiment" been published anywhere reputable?

Edison's audience said they couldn't tell the difference either (or at least that's the way Edison told the story).

Let me try to be clearer and I have few professional recollections as delightful as the late night demos at Bell Labs. Not that Hammond wasn't trying what Yamaha was trying many decades before Bell Labs too.

I have no doubt that the waveform picked up by a mic from a piano can be exactly reproduced by Yamaha before too long, pedals, cover up and down, etc.

What I don't think is feasible is to reproduce the sound of a piano in a room using a non-infinite number of loudspeakers, even ESLs, even when listening down the hall. I am not a golden-ear type. I just believe it is simplistic to think the sound of a piano in a room can be captured and reproduced with a regular kind of sound system.

I believe you can reproduce a cello very satisfactorily using a 15 inch Karlson enclosure. Prolly can do a good job with flutes using horns. Drums using motional feedback speakers. Maybe one or another instrument. Just not a piano, not even down the hall.

A tricky part of this debate will come up at some point since the "discriminators" can always accuse the non-discriminators of lousy hearing, in the absence of objective evidence.

Ben
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Last edited by bentoronto; 13th November 2012 at 12:43 AM.
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