To make it easy for members, I lifted the sound of the marbles being dropped onto the strings of the body-less piano (video 20) and combined it with the sound of the complete piano under restoration (video 17).
First the marbles, then the hammer. Points to note:
1) I applied a little bass-cut in the second clip (complete piano being hammered) because the body makes the sound richer (obviously) and the play-park piano is just sound board, strings and iron frame.
2) The marble clip is recorded outside in the open, so definitely no room wall reflections
3) Despite 1 and 2, the basic quality of the sustained resonance is remarkably similar. They decay at about the same rate with (all things considered) the same sort of tone. If you hadn't seen the videos and just heard the sound (listen to audio clip) you'd be sure to guess that bothw ere some sort of stringed instrument. This must mean that the fundamental sonic character of the piano is not from the rigid, massive case but from the lighter parts: the strings, sound board and perhaps to a lesser degree, the cast iron frame. The volume or loudness of sound is something related to trapping it and amplifying in inside the wooden case. We intuitively know this. All wooden instruments are crafted from very thin wood, moulded and shaped for sonic reasons. We also know that a thin-wall speaker cabinet (like the Harbeths) is easier to tune and damp than a rigid one and during design the sound can be steered from bright and resonant to sweet and damped.
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Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK