How to protect pedal harp from vibrations

  • Member
    cc-chiu on #191317

    Hi all,

    Today they started a construction project behind my apartment where they first need to drive piles into the ground (I hope it’s the right word – it’s this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pile_driver). We were not informed (usually the construction company sends a letter to warn everyone and detail how long it will take etc), so this morning I was woken up because my bed was shaking due to the pile driving.

    Unfortunately, I live on the ground floor, so all the vibrations go right through the floor ‘into’ the pedal harp. (It’s hard to describe, but it feels like a mini earthquake every time that machine slams its weight down on the pile.) I imagine that this can be deleterious to the action/mechanism, so I was wondering if anyone else has ever encountered this.

    How can I protect the harp from the vibrations? I was thinking of buying some rubber tiles and putting them underneath the harp or so. The pile driving phase can last for weeks, 8 hours a day, so I guess it’s best to prevent damage instead now of noticing it later on…

    Participant
    duckspeaks on #191318

    Dear Cc,

    I am sorry to hear that. Repeated vibrations and highly complex mechanisms under constant string tensiondo not mix well.
    While I don’t have previous experience, I’d like to suggest there should be nothing nearby that may fall on the instrument. If your floor is wooden, try locating a less bouncy part of the floor. If U already have a rug, try putting it underneath and determine whether it is still stable for the harp. If not remove it! Or there are some soft pads for furniture legs available from household hardware shop, some are made of wooden cork like a sheet. That might help to dampen the vibration. Damping always works only for a certain range of frequencies and usually lower ones are hardest to damp, same as damping string with fingers. So in damping, try to feel and hear the residual thud. And determine how hard it is on the instrument. Do the strings ring? How hard?

    There are also pads for kids to play on. But soft materials might cause the instrument to topple, esp on a bouncy floor under external induced vibration. So be very careful experimenting with putting soft things underneath.

    If bad, I would choose to stop playing for a week and loosen the tuning by one whole tone. Is there a nearby relative to offer refuge for a couple of weeks? In a few days you may be able to estimate the duration from their progress. They usually have to ring the site with stellar least.

    Good luck and keep us updated.

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