Piano Noise Reduction with Piattino Caster Cups
Piattino caster cups are designed to reduce piano noise by putting an acoustic break between the piano and the building. This product was designed and is produced in Germany, where the majority of people live in close proximity to others, and need to reduce the noise impact of piano playing on neighbors. These caster cups are the most effective item on the market for cutting down on the direct vibration transmission from the structure of the piano into the structure of the building. Piano Forte is the official importer and North American source for Piattino caster cups from Germany.
Piano Acoustic Soundproofing
Piattino Caster Cups have a patented design which allows for almost 1½” of acoustic insulating material to be inserted between the legs of a piano and the floor. By means suspending a cup into the center of a ring of this material, the piano is actually only lifted ½” off the floor. This is important to maintain the correct height of the keys and the pedals from the floor.
How your piano’s sound travels into your neighbor’s suite:
Just as heat can travel in different ways (convection, conduction, radiation), sound can also travel in different ways. In a building sound travels through the air, along ducts or under doors; the sound in a room can carry through walls and floors, but direct transmission of vibrational energy (conduction) is a main culprit. The entire piano is resonating while being played. The weight of the instrument on the floor makes for an excellent transmission of vibrations into the floor which is essentially the ceiling of the rooms below. The amount of physical vibration being transmitted through the case and the casters into the floor and the rooms below is substantial. That is why nearly all sound complaints stem from the downstairs neighbor, and not from upstairs.
It is not possible to exactly quantify the effectiveness of the reduction of sound with caster cups because much depends on the design, materials and execution of the building construction. Suffice it to say that these caster cups were designed in Germany, where most people live in apartments, to confront the most important aspect of acoustically isolating the piano from the floor to cut down on volume into the room below. Note that these caster cups do not diminish the sound of the piano in the room it is being played. A portion of the sound that is being heard in the adjoining room below is surely coming from the sound waves in the air radiating out from the piano. These may be hard to dampen short of putting thick wall to wall carpeting down, or cutting foam blocks to fit between the beams on the underside of the grand piano (or the back of an upright).
There is often a psychological component to a neighbor’s annoyance caused by piano playing. Taking neighbors’ concerns seriously, researching solutions and making the substantial investment in the best acoustical caster cups available often goes a long way toward easing a situation. It is undoubtedly a sincere sign of goodwill, one that will hopefully be reciprocated by neighbors in the form of reasonable acceptance of occasional piano playing.
Piattino Caster Cups for Grand Pianos (set of three)
There are two sizes. The cup depth on both is 1-1/8″ (30 mm)
Regular size: inside diameter: 2-5/8″ ; outside diameter: 3-3/4″
Large size: inside diameter: 3 ½” ; outside diameter: 4-3/4″
To check which size you need, take a piece of thin cardboard or stiff paper and cut a 1″ wide strip, 8″ long. Bring the ends together to form a circle around the wheel of your piano. No cheating – it has to be a real circle, not an oval. If the circle fits, order the regular size. Otherwise, order the large size. The large size will accommodate casters which will fit inside a paper circle made of a 1″ x 10 ½” strip. If 10 ½” doesn’t make it around, the Piattino caster cups will be too small.
Piattino Caster Cup Ordering:
The cost per set of three for the regular size in polished brass is US$160.00.
The nickel plated set of three, regular size, is US$205.00
The large size in brass is US$205.00 per set.
Piattino Caster Cups for Upright Pianos (set of four).
For an upright or vertical piano, specify the regular size of caster cup. The cost is US$205.00 for a set of four. The nickel plated version costs US$245.00 per set of four.
US Shipping is $30 for regular size, $35 for large size or regular set of four. Allow for 6 – 10 business days for delivery. Canadian buyers please inquire for CAD pricing and shipping.
Note on Shipping Costs: Our default shipping method is using the Postal Service. We are located near Vancouver, Canada, and our shipping costs reflect actual postage costs plus one or two dollars for packaging and handling. There is no profit on shipping.