Does A Cracked Soundboard Ruin A Piano?

Does A Cracked Soundboard Ruin A Piano?

One of the main pieces of a piano is the soundboard. The soundboard’s function is to take and repeat the vibrational movements of the strings, creating air sound waves that are vastly greater than could be produced by strings alone.Does A Cracked Soundboard Ruin A Piano?

The better the soundboard performs this function, the better the soundboard is. And the better the sound becomes.

More than two hundred strings are stretched at high tensions over wooden supports that are rigidly fastened to the surface of the soundboard. Every time a key is pressed, it sets in motion the strings, transmitting through the bridge to the soundboard, and reproduces the sound again and again across the surface. These tiny movements vibrate front to back. They are powerful waves which immediately register to anyone that is near.

This process continues again and again, faithfully, no matter how many strings are played at one time.

The strings create the sound; the soundboard amplifies it.

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.

Soundboards vary in size depending on how large the piano is. They are contained in tight spaces, controlled by the many parts that make up the piano. Because the very nature of wood is to expand and contract as the environment changes, the wood changes all the time.

As long as the structure of the soundboard remains solid, with ribs and bridges adhering correctly to the surface of the soundboard, and all strings and other fasteners attached rigidly to the frame of the piano, cracks will have very little impact on the overall sound.

With proper maintenance and tuning, even a soundboard with cracks can be maintained for years.

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