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Re: acrosonic [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #1307133
11/17/09 10:46 AM
11/17/09 10:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Emmery Offline
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Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted by Sam Casey
Let us not forget the grand repetition lever. There are fundemental differences between the vertical action and grand action. The best vertical action will never out perform a well regulated grand. Apples and oranges.


I respectfully disagree. The reason a vertical action does not have a repetition lever is that it does not need one. Apples and oranges yes, but there is the difference, the vertical action is vertical and the grand action is horizontal. If the vertical action (whether large upright, console or spinet) is precisely regulated, it will perform as well as (or nearly as well as) the finest grand...


The only vertical pianos that rival (or exceed) a fine grand's performance would be D. Fandrichs' modified vertical action in my opinion. If there wasn't a need for vast improvement on vertical piano actions, Mr. Fandrich would not have otherwise wasted his time inventing a good solution to some age old problems. I have played one and know first hand.

Simply put, if the mechanism can re-cock the jack for a successive strike without having to let the key come back up very far (like the grands repetition lever facilitates), rep speed increases. Direct control of the hammer through the key is also maintained for a wider range of key position. The grands' action has a more precise and consistent position for where this re-setting takes place. The other key point with a grand is that gravity assists the hammer rebound in a uniform way. Unlike springs, gravity does not wear and tear, require lubrication or maintenance and is consistent.

For practical purposes, how close are the finest grands and properly regulated verticals in this comparison? Miles apart in my opinion. If I try to play the C# repetitions in Liszts' H. Rhapsody #2 at the proper speed and dynamic level on a vertical that is properly regulated, I often lose notes. But when I play it on a fine grand piano, the notes all come out and it is a joy not to struggle with the limitations of the instrument.

I am far from being a concert level pianist or a "Liberace" but 99% of pianists are in the same boat. We are the ones that benefit the most from any advantage a pianos performance offers us.



Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
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Re: acrosonic [Re: Emmery] #1307267
11/17/09 02:53 PM
11/17/09 02:53 PM
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Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Emmery, you need to talk to Jack Wyatt RPT, Golden Hammer award winner, President of the PTG Foundation and curator of the PTG Home Office museum. He will change your mind about the above. Any spinet action can be regulated so that the jack returns upon the slightest lift of the key. It is all in the longer blow distance, minimum let-off, close checking distance and minimal after touch. The after touch has to be fine regulated just the way it would be on a fine instrument.

This seems to be another example of where you have turned a blind eye to the information that you could have benefited from all these years and could still benefit from yet you have clearly stated you do not want it and will not have it. In your mind, you have the diploma, you took the tests and you don't want to pay dues to the USA government. You already know everything there is to know about spinets and that is that they are no good.

However, what I know to be true is that if the verticals you have regulated skip on trills, they are not properly regulated, plain and simple. If you treat a vertical like a dog, it will play like a dog. If you give it the same respect you would give a finer instrument, it will perform far beyond your previous expectations.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: acrosonic [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #1307277
11/17/09 03:20 PM
11/17/09 03:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,188
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charleslang Offline
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It's threads like this that make it worth one's time to regularly check these piano forums! What a great thread.
Thanks to ALL of you for voicing your opinions here.


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: acrosonic [Re: charleslang] #1307413
11/17/09 07:41 PM
11/17/09 07:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Emmery Offline
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Bill, I have regulated both grands and verticals, including plenty of spinets to the satisfaction of my customers. I refuted what you stated because YOU invited anyone to to do so. Please don't turn this into another one of your JournalThumping diatribes, we all know how you feel about your own kinfolk.

I am not the only one who feels the way I do about a spinets' limitations, many techs including RPT's share this view. Many concert pianists share this view, just about every recording studio and concert hall shares this view. It is not because of sound limitations alone. The quality of workmanship, quality assurance and materials are inferior on any companies spinets in comparison to their finest grands, the price difference bears this out. These are important things if the envelope is pushed in regulating and you want the piano to function reliably and consistently in home environment. Rarely is it worth it to try and make a silk purse out of a sows ear with anything.

I know a spinet can be regulated to specs as good as new and we can even tighten up some specs and tweak the regulating to get extra performance. From a practical sense few techs push this envelope because they don't want to be called back when the temperature/humidity changes in the customers house or an overweight singer leans on it and it becomes unreliable or outright unusable.

You are correct about your extremist views, so why get in a tiff where you feel the need to draw my background and schooling into question? Looking back through multitudes of threads you always seem to weave the PTG into things in a controversial way.

I suggest you read your own organizations code of ethics rule #6 and ask yourself why you interpret the "profession" they are referring to as only your members. You certainly don't promote "good will" towards me...and I am in the profession.

While your at it read the ethics #5 rule and ask yourself, "why didn't I go college and fill in all the holes that the minimalist exams don't address". Putting an action model together properly has little to do with regulating all the parts consistently, and circling answers on a written test don't show squat about what you can do with your 10 fingers.

As for the highly respected technician you mentioned, I wouldn't mind reading what he has to say on it. If he or the PTG want $$ from me to do so, I'll pass LOL. After many of the top engineers in Nasa said the O rings were OK, I take any kind of "expertise" with a grain of salt. I'll believe it when I see it.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
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Re: acrosonic [Re: Emmery] #1307437
11/17/09 08:27 PM
11/17/09 08:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Originally Posted by Emmery


As for the highly respected technician you mentioned, I wouldn't mind reading what he has to say on it. If he or the PTG want $$ from me to do so, I'll pass LOL. After many of the top engineers in Nasa said the O rings were OK, I take any kind of "expertise" with a grain of salt. I'll believe it when I see it.


As a matter of fact I will go one better. Why not have this "highly respected technician" drop by here and explain to all of us how exactly he is going to make a Baldwin Acrosonic spinet play like a Steinway B which is what the OP is after.

This is something I just have to read.



Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: acrosonic [Re: Silverwood Pianos] #1307465
11/17/09 09:28 PM
11/17/09 09:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 119
Central PA
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PianonaiP Offline OP
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Central PA
Quote

As a matter of fact I will go one better. Why not have this "highly respected technician" drop by here and explain to all of us how exactly he is going to make a Baldwin Acrosonic spinet play like a Steinway B which is what the OP is after.

This is something I just have to read.




From me,

Quote
So my question to you guys is, reasonably speaking, can I hope to get a decent range out of my spinet if it is regulated properly? And if so what specifically should I address to my technician?


Quote
I wanted to prime myself for this occasion, as well as have a few other opinions since really I have only the slightest of ideas about what goes into regulating a piano.



Quote
Im not looking for it to be as good as the steinway I play on now, just if it can get me through the summer. As well I haven't played on many different spinets to be able to make a comparison to mine, I was simply wondering how much the action can be manipulated on them and if there was something to ask him to look at specifically.


Quote
Im glad you realized that I am just looking for something that I can still advance on through the summer, and not a grand that I will be performing on.

Re: acrosonic [Re: Silverwood Pianos] #1307466
11/17/09 09:29 PM
11/17/09 09:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,016
Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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I guess I should be banned for my extremist views. An Acrosonic can well serve as a useful practice instrument and that is all the original poster wanted to know. The technician who would be willing and capable of rendering that service does not necessarily need to be an RPT or a member of PTG. But from the responses he got, I seem to be the lone wolf that says it can be done. Nobody, including me, ever said they could turn an Acrosonic into a Steinway B. What I did say was that an Acrosonic can be regulated so that it performs as intended, whether or not those performance specs are carried to their extremes as they often are on fine pianos.

Let's ban PTG from this forum and let it all go to those who know better. Then, we'll have nothing but people who say to a guy, "buy a $50,000 piano or better, that will solve your problem". There are many, many, many very fine technicians who don't belong to any organization at all. They all have diplomas and have passed tests that far exceed the meager standards of PTG. They all know everything there is to know and the most important thing they know is that an Acrosonic is useless as a musical instrument and they would not lift a finger to try to improve the performance of any of them. They would only tell somebody it would cost more than the piano is worth, so forget it, buy a Steinway.

Yep, I am really extreme, so ban me because I would actually take care of that Acrosonic and move on. It would all be in a day's work for me.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: acrosonic [Re: Silverwood Pianos] #1307476
11/17/09 09:47 PM
11/17/09 09:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,016
Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
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Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted by Silverwood Pianos
Originally Posted by Emmery


As for the highly respected technician you mentioned, I wouldn't mind reading what he has to say on it. If he or the PTG want $$ from me to do so, I'll pass LOL. After many of the top engineers in Nasa said the O rings were OK, I take any kind of "expertise" with a grain of salt. I'll believe it when I see it.


As a matter of fact I will go one better. Why not have this "highly respected technician" drop by here and explain to all of us how exactly he is going to make a Baldwin Acrosonic spinet play like a Steinway B which is what the OP is after.

This is something I just have to read.



Dan, Jack Wyatt has no more time for you than you do for an Acrosonic. In order to know what he teaches and performs, you would have to attend a PTG convention.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: acrosonic [Re: PianonaiP] #1307480
11/17/09 09:52 PM
11/17/09 09:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,016
Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Bill Bremmer RPT  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,016
Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted by PianonaiP
Quote

As a matter of fact I will go one better. Why not have this "highly respected technician" drop by here and explain to all of us how exactly he is going to make a Baldwin Acrosonic spinet play like a Steinway B which is what the OP is after.

This is something I just have to read.




From me,

Quote
So my question to you guys is, reasonably speaking, can I hope to get a decent range out of my spinet if it is regulated properly? And if so what specifically should I address to my technician?


Quote
I wanted to prime myself for this occasion, as well as have a few other opinions since really I have only the slightest of ideas about what goes into regulating a piano.



Quote
Im not looking for it to be as good as the steinway I play on now, just if it can get me through the summer. As well I haven't played on many different spinets to be able to make a comparison to mine, I was simply wondering how much the action can be manipulated on them and if there was something to ask him to look at specifically.


Quote
Im glad you realized that I am just looking for something that I can still advance on through the summer, and not a grand that I will be performing on.


Your little piano can serve well as a practice instrument. You just have to find the right technician to service it. Obviously, none of the guys on here are the right ones.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: acrosonic [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #1307489
11/17/09 10:04 PM
11/17/09 10:04 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 227
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T'sMom Offline
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I am an intermediate player picking up piano again in my 40's. I currently have the Baldwin Acrosonic that my parents bought new for me, in the late 1960's, when I was just starting lessons as a little girl. It hadn't been tuned for well over a decade before we moved it from my parents' house.

The technician who tuned it after the move said it was excellent for a spinet. But spinets just don't have as good sound as grands or even uprights. Doing regulation, voicing, etc on it is apparently labor intensive as the whole thing is folded up in a complex pattern inside, unlike a grand piano where the parts are well laid out and easily accessible. So our technician told me that beyond the tune, it would be labor intensive (expensive) to improve its voice. His opinion was that it was good enough for now, and that I should buy a grand if I or my children really stick with piano for the long haul.

I have definitely heard of technicians who are too "snobby" or busy to work on spinets.

Just another 2 cents.

ETA: about it only playing "forte": I just wrote in another thread about the action on this piano being very light compared to my teacher's Steinway grand. A common issue w/spinets, apparently.

Last edited by J&Smom; 11/17/09 10:07 PM.
Re: acrosonic [Re: T'sMom] #1307499
11/17/09 10:24 PM
11/17/09 10:24 PM
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Oakland
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BDB Offline
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The problem with spinets, besides the small size, is the difficulty of working on the action. Now, with some old pianos so inexpensive, one might be able to find a console, or even a studio, buy it, move it, and regulate it for less than the price of doing just the work on the spinet. The results will be better, as well.

I can often make a big difference with some spinets just by taking out the lost motion, but that is only worthwhile on spinets for which it is easy to do. Acrosonics, except for the newer ones with the wire stickers, do not fall into that category. The ones with the wire stickers have other problems, like the wires coming out of the wippens on a hard blow.


Semipro Tech
Re: acrosonic [Re: T'sMom] #1307504
11/17/09 10:31 PM
11/17/09 10:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
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Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
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Hey Bill,
I've just had a quick go around the assembled technicians on this here forum and managed to scrape enough cash together to send you to Transilvania ....whoops...I meant Pennsylvania....

We are going to come with you and video the transformation you will make to the aforesaid Wurlitzer Acrosonic Spinet.

The resulting video and commentary will be shown at National Convention and we all feel sure it will completely confirm your status amongst this venerable profession.

Your fee is whatever you need to cover your out of pocket expenses with some excess to cover your expertise. We have change for a dollar.

If the OP would like me to try and make that Steinway B go around corners a little faster I'd be up for that challenge...horses for courses I guess???

I am an Elitist....I like very good pianos....


Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician


Re: acrosonic [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician] #1307513
11/17/09 10:48 PM
11/17/09 10:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 119
Central PA
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PianonaiP Offline OP
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Central PA
Again guys, I am NOT trying to turn coal into diamond.

I have an acrosonic I got for free less than a year ago. I do not think it has been taken care of, nor anything done to it besides tuned.

so far, this has been the best response:

Quote
If you can find a technician who knows what to do, how to do it and is willing to do it, the process would begin by removing the case parts (the giant fallboard) and action, tightening all flanges, lubricating any sluggish ones and re-pinning any overly loose ones, removing all the keys and vacuuming the dirt and debris from underneath them and totally cleaning (vacuuming and/or blowing out) the rest of the interior.

The hammers are filed and as the action is replaced, they are aligned to the strings. This is done with the keys still placed aside. The keys are then replaced and leveled. It is most efficiently done with a straight edge, not some elaborate jig. Then, a maximum blow distance for the hammers is determined and a minimum let-off. Then, a minimum after touch and checking distance for the hammers (the distance the hammer is held from the strings when the key is played and held down) is made. The dampers should begin to lift when the hammer is about half way to the string.


I REALIZE that I have a baldwin acrosonic spinet, that it is not a steinway B, nor will it ever be.

My question is will that improve the dynamic range of the piano significantly? Or should I just burn my piano and start saving for the Steinway B that I apparently want so badly?

Last edited by PianonaiP; 11/17/09 10:50 PM.
Re: acrosonic [Re: PianonaiP] #1307517
11/17/09 10:57 PM
11/17/09 10:57 PM
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Posts: 27,008
Oakland
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It is hard to say whether that will improve the dynamic range or not. That depends on how the piano has aged.

If you believe that this is what you should explore, find a technician who is willing to do that sort of work and get a price for that much work. I suspect that it will be a lot more than you want to spend.


Semipro Tech
Re: acrosonic [Re: BDB] #1307523
11/17/09 11:16 PM
11/17/09 11:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,135
SW Missouri
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Sam Casey Offline
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You know Bill, you pick the oddest fights. If the vertical action design were equal to or superior to the grand action there would be NO grand action today and the square grand system would be standard issue. Not so. The repetition level clears the jack before key release, even under a action with long wear and friction. Why argue with evolution??

Re: acrosonic [Re: Sam Casey] #1307528
11/17/09 11:24 PM
11/17/09 11:24 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 295
Fort Collins - Loveland, CO
Jim Moy Offline
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Fort Collins - Loveland, CO
Jeez guys, take a chill pill. Forum ranting is like road rage, just back off.


Jim Moy, RPT
Moy Piano Service, LLC
Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado
http://www.moypiano.com
Re: acrosonic [Re: BDB] #1307550
11/18/09 12:14 AM
11/18/09 12:14 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Emmery Offline
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Emmery  Offline
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Originally Posted by Peter Sumner- Piano Technician
Hey Bill,
I've just had a quick go around the assembled technicians on this here forum and managed to scrape enough cash together to send you to Transilvania ....whoops...I meant Pennsylvania....


Nobody asked me...I'll kick in $50...if its a bumpy ride.


PianonaiP, I am pleased to hear that you understand your not going to get the type of performance out of the spinet that people expect from a fine grand. Some techs will shy away from jobs they are not familiar with and others will refuse to do the work if they feel your expectations won't be met
in the end. Both of these are good reasons and serve your best interest.

The problem with the best response quote is not in the technicalities or the process...its in the "how much". The difference between re-pinning a few items and most of them is HUGE...same goes for hammer alignment, key levelling ect...
If your hammers have already been carded heavily (sanded)you could be at the end of the line with that route too. Proper regulating is labour intensive and can multiply to the extent of 88, for everything.

Without seeing the condition of the piano it is ludicrous to throw even a ball park figure at you for costing this, let alone a relatively low one to build up your expectations. It would be like quoting you $10 to cut your grass unseen, and finding out that I need 4 extra hours to remove all the rocks hidden in it. Some techs do throw out a high end number that is a worst case scenario, four tunings (5-600$)worth of cost is not that number IMHO.

Contrary to the quote, ask the tech if they use any jigs or fixtures for any of the procedures. These are not essential but are used by many techs to facilitate more consistent results in a more efficient manner, that is why they are used in factories.

Since you have it tuned regularly maybe ask your tech to give you a quote and an opinion on how much it will improve the dynamics. Even doing one note as a sample could give you a better idea without the risk of commitment. I have done this on occasion with good results. If you like the feel, touch and response then its just a matter of getting all the other notes the same, less risk for you and the tech. Good Luck


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
Re: acrosonic [Re: Emmery] #1307551
11/18/09 12:20 AM
11/18/09 12:20 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
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Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
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San Francisco
Emmery, you nailed this answer...

All this fabulous FREE advice flowing around here....

And about having a whip 'round, sorry, I lied....

Perhaps you could donate the $50 to the piano tuners benevolent society up in your wonderful part of the world.


Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician


Re: acrosonic [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician] #1307577
11/18/09 01:29 AM
11/18/09 01:29 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,135
SW Missouri
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Sam Casey Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
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SW Missouri
Respect the dodo for what it is. Don't expect it to fly.

Re: acrosonic [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician] #1307581
11/18/09 01:41 AM
11/18/09 01:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,016
Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Madison, WI USA
Keep telling him it will never be a Steinway, guys. You are right about that. It will cost so much to do anything at all with his poor little piano that he may as well get rid of it. That is what we are all on here to say, isn't it? "I only do Steinways and I hate PTG and don't need to belong to it".

Don't join PTG!!! That would ruin everything! Leave the Acrosonics for guys like me. You guys are above and beyond that, way past anything anyone who belongs to PTG could offer. Stand your ground; maybe some day, the only pianos anyone will have will be Steinways and we would not need to even think about an Acrosonic.

Meanwhile, I will stay in Madison, WI and service the pianos in my clientele the way I see fit (like the Fazioli I tuned yesterday, the pipe organ effect sounded like it was in a cathedral).

"Contrary to the quote, ask the tech if they use any jigs or fixtures for any of the procedures. These are not essential but are used by many techs to facilitate more consistent results in a more efficient manner, that is why they are used in factories."

The technicians in the Steinway factory use a straight edge as I do and that is where I learned it.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
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You're Never Too Old to Learn to Play the Piano
by Piano World. 02/18/19 12:12 PM
Virtual Chords & Scales - Fixed
by Piano World. 02/18/19 11:21 AM
Young Chang Piano - How do you think the tune is?
by AntOnYou8. 02/18/19 08:36 AM
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