Piano Information

Demo of the Overstrung Underdamped Action



Contemporary upright pianos are all overstrung and underdamped.

With Overstrung Pianos the bass strings cross diagonally in front of the mid and treble strings.

Overstringing was introduced in the 1850s. The process means that the longer bass strings provide richer sounding, truer bass notes. The construction of the piano is also more sturdy. The bridge, which transmits the string vibrations to the soundboard, does its job much more effectively as it is further from the edge of the soundboard.


The dampers prevent the strings from vibrating when notes are not being played. Earlier pianos were often overdamped where the dampers were situated above the hammers. These were much less effective than underdamped models as they operate further from the end of the strings and hence cut the sound off more cleanly. The linkage that lifts the dampers gives the action a different feel, so underdamping is always preferable.