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My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? #1978062
10/24/12 01:45 PM
10/24/12 01:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 36
San Francisco, CA
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nillabean Offline OP
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San Francisco, CA
I bought this Yamaha YUS-5SG new this June at my local large Van Ness Yamaha dealer and it was delivered from the warehouse, so there was no dealer prep done. I negotiated 2 "free" tunings and used the first one within a month, as the piano sounded pretty bad after it was unboxed on my front porch.
The first tuning certainly improved the sound, but within about 7 weeks it was beginning to get out of tune already. I would say I have been playing an average of 1.5 hours per day, and I like to play pretty vigorously. Paul Marshall came for the second time and did a very quick tune--took him less than 90 minutes (both times).
Over the next few weeks, I began noticing the piano really starting to sound good.
But more recently , I noticed a few notes that were getting out of tune, and I thought why not do my third tuning already, understanding that a new piano, especially one that wasn't prepped in the music store will need at least 4 tunings in the first year. I called up a cheaper tuner I had used in the past on a cheaper grand that I was trying to restore.
He came last Saturday and for some reason it took him over 4 hours with a Peterson Strobe tuner, even though the piano was only very slightly out of tune. When I sat down to try it out, it seemed REALLY loud. The top was off, so I thought maybe this was it. We put the top on and it still sounded really loud.
At that point, after having him there for nearly 5 hours, I wanted my living room back, so I said goodbye to the tuner, even though my gut was telling me that my piano sounded strange.
When my gf came home and first heard it, she immediately said, "the piano sounds really bright." And she rarely says much about the sound of piano, even though I accompany her as a singer.
While playing Sunday and Monday the piano sounded harsh, really loud, and just did not have that same warmth that I was starting to grow accustomed to with my YUS5. I told myself its probably just the weather (it has been raining on and off here in San Francisco the last few days.) But after playing for over an hour last night, I started to get really bummed--the piano sounds like a regular U3. And it seems so much louder...I don't understand it. I have been googling "piano louder after tuning" but can't find any info.
I lost sleep over this last night, as I invested so much money into that piano, and I really want it to sound the best it can.
I did a search for SF Bay Area tuners and found a few recommendations. I have called one person already. Should I bite the bullet and have it re-tuned right away, or play hard on it for a few weeks to at least stretch the strings a bit first?
I am ready to let go of the $100 I paid, and chalk it up to experience. I just really want a skilled tuner that understands how to work on the YUS series Yamaha's and can tune it to have the sweet warm sound that I know it can produce.
I would greatly appreciate any feedback from this community.
Thanks!

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Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978109
10/24/12 03:38 PM
10/24/12 03:38 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,411
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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pianoloverus  Online Content
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Posts: 24,411
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I can't give you an answer to your question, but I will say that I have never heard of someone spending anywhere near three or four hours on a tuning. Did the tuner give any indication of why it took so long?

I do think that if there seems to be a problem that, especially in that kind of situation, it's worth it to get the best person you can to work on your piano.

Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978114
10/24/12 03:50 PM
10/24/12 03:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 149
UK
dancarney Offline
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Posts: 149
UK
Sounds like you hired an incompetent tuner. That length of time is unacceptable.

Why don't you invite the first tuner back again??


BMus(Hons) DipABRSM
Piano Technician
Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978119
10/24/12 04:03 PM
10/24/12 04:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
There is a chance that your tuner doped the hammers which may have sounded too dull for him - you may want to call him back to the piano and ask if he did anything to the hammers.

You have a good piano, it deserves quality servicing. However, tuning stability is not tied to instrument cost or quality. I find the larger Yamahas to not have as good tuning stability as a U1, by far. This probably has to do with the construction of the larger soundboard.


Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: pianoloverus] #1978123
10/24/12 04:07 PM
10/24/12 04:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 36
San Francisco, CA
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nillabean Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 36
San Francisco, CA
I thought it seemed like way too long. No, he never said anything about why he needed to be there that long. Yeah, I guess I just need to find a better tuner. I really want to find someone I like, and that I can form a good relationship with. The fist guy that came was ok, but I felt like he wanted to get out of there as soon as possible (maybe because it was the "free" tuning sessions.) I just wasn't feeling a good connection with him.

Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978145
10/24/12 04:38 PM
10/24/12 04:38 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 251
A North Atlantic Island former...
PNO40 Offline
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Posts: 251
A North Atlantic Island former...
I've just had a similar experience. Fourth tuning in less than four months on a rebuilt, hence restrung, hence still stretching, piano. Same tuner each time, but now I find most of the notes (especially in the tenor) giving off a high-frequency 'ring'/'buzz' when allowed to ring out. The only thing I can think is that this is a matter of the unisons slowly going, so I am now getting the 'beats' playing themselves out. Prior to the tuning, the whole piano had gone flat and many notes were wonky, but somehow sounding better than this high-pitched ringing on. Mind you, this hasn't happened before--all other tunings left the piano sweet--so, like you, I'm somewhat at a loss.

Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978147
10/24/12 04:41 PM
10/24/12 04:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 534
Oregon Coast
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TunerJeff Offline
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Posts: 534
Oregon Coast
There are many talented and skilled tuners working in the Bay Area. There are also many UN-talented and UN-skilled tuners who will take your money working down there, too. Basing the decision on who tunes your piano on 'who's cheaper?' will net you what you pay for. Oh dear.

Suggest you contact the local Yamaha dealers and ask for a suggestion on a tuner. They should offer you people that know their business....as they rely on people to do things right for them, too! They aren't going to suggest people that do poor work, as that would make them look bad, too. See? At a minimum; use an RPT from the PTG website. I know David Love, Israel Stein, Frank French, and others work down there...and are outstanding technicians.

I am worried that the tuner who took 5-hrs., using an innacurate and dated machine (Petereson), did not do a good job, and may have also 'brightened' the piano by filing the hammers, or adding a hardener, to make the piano sound louder and brighter. But, perhaps slightly out-of-tune unisons and octaves are to blame for the sudden change. Let's hope so!

You have a great piano. Use a good tuner. I have several YU's in my customer file. After a year, they settle in nicely, stay in tune, and sound very nice indeed. Good instruments.

Enjoy!



Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com
Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: PNO40] #1978150
10/24/12 04:48 PM
10/24/12 04:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 36
San Francisco, CA
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nillabean Offline OP
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nillabean  Offline OP
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San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted by PNO40
I've just had a similar experience. Fourth tuning in less than four months on a rebuilt, hence restrung, hence still stretching, piano. Same tuner each time, but now I find most of the notes (especially in the tenor) giving off a high-frequency 'ring'/'buzz' when allowed to ring out. The only thing I can think is that this is a matter of the unisons slowly going, so I am now getting the 'beats' playing themselves out. Prior to the tuning, the whole piano had gone flat and many notes were wonky, but somehow sounding better than this high-pitched ringing on. Mind you, this hasn't happened before--all other tunings left the piano sweet--so, like you, I'm somewhat at a loss.


I was thinking maybe there was a small crack in the soundboard--I had that on a previous piano--and it made a few notes buzz. But if most of the notes are doing that, then its probably something different. Its so frustrating to be all excited for the piano to sound better, only to discover a new issue or something just not sounding right.

I called up another tuner today and talked to him about this issue and asked if he thought he could help me/tune the piano to a more pleasant tone. The first thing he said was, "you sound like you're really picky." Haha, kinda funny, but only partially true--I believe--and especially after reading many posts from this forum--that with the right tuner/tech you can make a huge difference in the sound of a quality piano, simply through working with a skilled tuner. I think he was teasing me a little bit--he tunes by ear, so there's a lot of subjectivity involved in his style I imagine. But I think I will have him come in a few weeks(he told me to play heavily for a few weeks before he comes) and see if he can work a little magic.

Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: TunerJeff] #1978154
10/24/12 04:56 PM
10/24/12 04:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 36
San Francisco, CA
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nillabean Offline OP
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nillabean  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 36
San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted by TunerJeff
There are many talented and skilled tuners working in the Bay Area. There are also many UN-talented and UN-skilled tuners who will take your money working down there, too. Basing the decision on who tunes your piano on 'who's cheaper?' will net you what you pay for. Oh dear.

Suggest you contact the local Yamaha dealers and ask for a suggestion on a tuner. They should offer you people that know their business....as they rely on people to do things right for them, too! They aren't going to suggest people that do poor work, as that would make them look bad, too. See? At a minimum; use an RPT from the PTG website. I know David Love, Israel Stein, Frank French, and others work down there...and are outstanding technicians.

I am worried that the tuner who took 5-hrs., using an innacurate and dated machine (Petereson), did not do a good job, and may have also 'brightened' the piano by filing the hammers, or adding a hardener, to make the piano sound louder and brighter. But, perhaps slightly out-of-tune unisons and octaves are to blame for the sudden change. Let's hope so!

You have a great piano. Use a good tuner. I have several YU's in my customer file. After a year, they settle in nicely, stay in tune, and sound very nice indeed. Good instruments.

Enjoy!



Thanks for your response. I totally agree with many of your points.Glad to hear that you've had good customer experiences with the YU series. I am looking forward to next summer when my piano settles in. And I will find a good tuner--clearly this guy I used isn't very good. I am almost certain he didn't do anything but tune it though. He just very slow.Would it be obvious if the hammers had been hardened or altered in anyway? I wonder if I'd be able to just look myself. But again, I seriously doubt he did that--but you guys got me more worried now!
I wasn't real happy with the music store I bought the piano from, and frankly I don't want their recommendations. I already used their in-house tuner and wasn't too impressed. (though he was certainly better than this last guy).
I love my piano! And I want it to sound amazing! (Especially considering the large payments--interest free at least--I have to make on it each month smile

Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978155
10/24/12 04:58 PM
10/24/12 04:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,625
Philadelphia area
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Dave B Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,625
Philadelphia area
You could always ask the last tech if they hardened the hammers.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978159
10/24/12 05:11 PM
10/24/12 05:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,038
San Francisco Bay Area
master88er Offline
1000 Post Club Member
master88er  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,038
San Francisco Bay Area
Hi Nilla Bean:

First, congratulations on your new piano! It is going to bring you years of enjoyment.

New pianos need time to settle in. Usually, dealer preparation takes care of a lot of little "ills" that are standard with new pianos, but since you opted to have the piano delivered in the box, it is understandable that the process normally done "behind the scenes" is now playing out in your living room. DON'T WORRY. It will settle in and the tuning will stabilize.

That being said, the last few weeks in the Bay Area have been rather wild with vast humidity and temperature changes. Even in my showroom, with humidity control, we are noticing problems with tuning stability on some of our most expensive uprights in the last few days.

If I were you, I would call Music Exchange ( the dealer you purchased from) and ask them to have a technician check out the piano again. They are a very reputable dealer and I am sure they will send someone to examine the instrument.

As to the "two hour tuning:" Are you sure there wasn't a "pitch raise" involved? Sometimes, a tuner has to go through a piano more than once to get to the desired pitch and this involves more work than a simple tuning. Nobody can second guess the tuner or what he/she found when examining your piano. But if the technician was a PTG RPT Craftsman, you can be sure that the work done was necessary. That is why we always recommend checking the credentials of the technician.

Again, Congratulations. If I can be of any help to you, just give me a call.


Russell I. Kassman
R.KASSMAN, Purveyor of Fine Pianos
Berkeley, CA

FORMER US Rep.for C.Bechstein

SF Area Dealer: Steingraeber•Grotrian•Sauter•Estonia•Kayserburg•Baldwin•Brodmann•Ritmüller
www.rkassman.com
russell@rkassman.com
510.558.0765
Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: master88er] #1978165
10/24/12 05:33 PM
10/24/12 05:33 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 591
Usa
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Grandman Offline
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Usa
Originally Posted by master88er
Hi Nilla Bean:

First, congratulations on your new piano! It is going to bring you years of enjoyment.

New pianos need time to settle in. Usually, dealer preparation takes care of a lot of little "ills" that are standard with new pianos, but since you opted to have the piano delivered in the box, it is understandable that the process normally done "behind the scenes" is now playing out in your living room. DON'T WORRY. It will settle in and the tuning will stabilize.

That being said, the last few weeks in the Bay Area have been rather wild with vast humidity and temperature changes. Even in my showroom, with humidity control, we are noticing problems with tuning stability on some of our most expensive uprights in the last few days.

If I were you, I would call Music Exchange ( the dealer you purchased from) and ask them to have a technician check out the piano again. They are a very reputable dealer and I am sure they will send someone to examine the instrument.

As to the "two hour tuning:" Are you sure there wasn't a "pitch raise" involved? Sometimes, a tuner has to go through a piano more than once to get to the desired pitch and this involves more work than a simple tuning. Nobody can second guess the tuner or what he/she found when examining your piano. But if the technician was a PTG RPT Craftsman, you can be sure that the work done was necessary. That is why we always recommend checking the credentials of the technician.

Again, Congratulations. If I can be of any help to you, just give me a call.


What a classy post.

Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: Grandman] #1978302
10/25/12 12:34 AM
10/25/12 12:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,038
San Francisco Bay Area
master88er Offline
1000 Post Club Member
master88er  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,038
San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted by Grandman
Originally Posted by master88er
Hi Nilla Bean:

First, congratulations on your new piano! It is going to bring you years of enjoyment.

New pianos need time to settle in. Usually, dealer preparation takes care of a lot of little "ills" that are standard with new pianos, but since you opted to have the piano delivered in the box, it is understandable that the process normally done "behind the scenes" is now playing out in your living room. DON'T WORRY. It will settle in and the tuning will stabilize.

That being said, the last few weeks in the Bay Area have been rather wild with vast humidity and temperature changes. Even in my showroom, with humidity control, we are noticing problems with tuning stability on some of our most expensive uprights in the last few days.

If I were you, I would call Music Exchange ( the dealer you purchased from) and ask them to have a technician check out the piano again. They are a very reputable dealer and I am sure they will send someone to examine the instrument.

As to the "two hour tuning:" Are you sure there wasn't a "pitch raise" involved? Sometimes, a tuner has to go through a piano more than once to get to the desired pitch and this involves more work than a simple tuning. Nobody can second guess the tuner or what he/she found when examining your piano. But if the technician was a PTG RPT Craftsman, you can be sure that the work done was necessary. That is why we always recommend checking the credentials of the technician.

Again, Congratulations. If I can be of any help to you, just give me a call.


What a classy post.


Aw shucks blush


Russell I. Kassman
R.KASSMAN, Purveyor of Fine Pianos
Berkeley, CA

FORMER US Rep.for C.Bechstein

SF Area Dealer: Steingraeber•Grotrian•Sauter•Estonia•Kayserburg•Baldwin•Brodmann•Ritmüller
www.rkassman.com
russell@rkassman.com
510.558.0765
Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: Grandman] #1978493
10/25/12 12:45 PM
10/25/12 12:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 36
San Francisco, CA
N
nillabean Offline OP
Full Member
nillabean  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 36
San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted by Grandman
Originally Posted by master88er
Hi Nilla Bean:

First, congratulations on your new piano! It is going to bring you years of enjoyment.

New pianos need time to settle in. Usually, dealer preparation takes care of a lot of little "ills" that are standard with new pianos, but since you opted to have the piano delivered in the box, it is understandable that the process normally done "behind the scenes" is now playing out in your living room. DON'T WORRY. It will settle in and the tuning will stabilize.

That being said, the last few weeks in the Bay Area have been rather wild with vast humidity and temperature changes. Even in my showroom, with humidity control, we are noticing problems with tuning stability on some of our most expensive uprights in the last few days.

If I were you, I would call Music Exchange ( the dealer you purchased from) and ask them to have a technician check out the piano again. They are a very reputable dealer and I am sure they will send someone to examine the instrument.

As to the "two hour tuning:" Are you sure there wasn't a "pitch raise" involved? Sometimes, a tuner has to go through a piano more than once to get to the desired pitch and this involves more work than a simple tuning. Nobody can second guess the tuner or what he/she found when examining your piano. But if the technician was a PTG RPT Craftsman, you can be sure that the work done was necessary. That is why we always recommend checking the credentials of the technician.

Again, Congratulations. If I can be of any help to you, just give me a call.


What a classy post.


I agree! Thanks Russell. This did help me to relax a little. I found another tuner and talked to him yesterday and he sounded like he could finesse my piano back to a sweeter sound, but that I should play on it heavily for a few weeks before he comes. He said we could even do a bit of voicing if I feel thats what it needs.

Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978624
10/25/12 05:56 PM
10/25/12 05:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,805
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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Jeff Clef  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,805
San Jose, CA
"...Would it be obvious if the hammers had been hardened or altered in anyway? I wonder if I'd be able to just look myself..."

Call the tuner who last worked on it, and ask. Your new tech may be able to tell you if the hammers have been lacquered, or needled in any special way. This takes an experienced eye. I think your best interest would be served by trying to get a tech you can trust to take up the servicing, rather than by trying to find it out for yourself. It would be very unusual for a tech to lacquer the hammers on a brand-new piano.

"...But again, I seriously doubt he did that--but you guys got me more worried now! I wasn't real happy with the music store I bought the piano from, and frankly I don't want their recommendations. I already used their in-house tuner and wasn't too impressed. (though he was certainly better than this last guy). I love my piano! And I want it to sound amazing! (Especially considering the large payments--interest free at least--I have to make on it each month..."

If you're happy with Russell's advice, nilla, then you should stick with it. However, the dealer who sold you the piano should see to it that it's in good playing condition when it's delivered. I can't make out if you dispensed with dealer prep in order to get a lower price for an in-box piano, but if that's the case, the technician's work on it will come out of your own pocket (other than the included free tunings). The waters are also muddied by having a tech who was hired by you, and not the store, to do the second tuning. If they have to undo an unsatisfactory service call, they may feel that you should pay for fixing it yourself. So it could take some negotiating and coaxing.

"...he sounded like he could finesse my piano back to a sweeter sound, but that I should play on it heavily for a few weeks before he comes. He said we could even do a bit of voicing if I feel thats what it needs...."

As for voicing a new piano, whose sound you were happy with before it was "worked on" by the last tuner, be patient for a little while. It is prudent to put any voicing off, until the intonation is at least stabilized in your piano's new home. When it can hold a tuning, and after it has gotten accustomed to your touch and playing style--- and after you've 'tuned' the room, meaning that you've adjusted piano's position in the room, and adjusted the furnishings so you get the best sound out of it where it is--- then it may be time to think about doing some voicing, very gingerly and gradually.

New pianos take several years to fully settle, and for the hammers to mature. It's best to give them at least four tunings a year for the first year or two, then ramp down to no less than two tunings a year. This investment will help the piano to become more stable for the future, and far more rewarding for the immediate present.

The action should have been in good regulation when you got it, but as it's played-in it may need adjustments after six months or a year to keep the action even. The felts and wood parts change with the time and environmental conditions, even as the strings do. Playing it, in the way you usually would do--- and a good bit of it--- is good. Pounding away, not so much. I don't think that's what he meant.

If you bought a new piano, with a manufacturers' warranty, from an authorized dealer, then you should realize that this dealer acts as the manufacturer's agent for new-piano service (usually minor adjustments and a few tunings). They will have the same role if it turns out you need warranty service, in case of some manufacturing problem (unusual, but not unheard-of). So, it's in your interest to try to have a decent and cordial relationship with the dealer. Sometimes they don't send out a first-string player to do that first tuning, but if you're dissatisfied, realize that they want the customers to be happy, and let them have a chance before you write them off. That is why these stores have a manager, and you can call them and ask to speak to him or her.

What you're describing doesn't sound like a serious problem that needs warranty service (and Russell is right about the recent weather conditions--- it does make a difference), but rather, a tuning and settling-in issue. It helps a lot to keep these things in proportion.

"... I love my piano! And I want it to sound amazing!..."

I don't think you'll find a soul here who will give you an argument about this. This is what we all want! I think you're pretty much on the right track to make it happen. You paid good money for a good instrument, you're trying to find a good tech to care for it and bring out its best, and you're asking questions. That's how you do it. Good luck to you.


Clef

Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: Jeff Clef] #1978630
10/25/12 06:16 PM
10/25/12 06:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 36
San Francisco, CA
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nillabean Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2012
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San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
"...Would it be obvious if the hammers had been hardened or altered in anyway? I wonder if I'd be able to just look myself..."

Call the tuner who last worked on it, and ask. Your new tech may be able to tell you if the hammers have been lacquered, or needled in any special way. This takes an experienced eye. I think your best interest would be served by trying to get a tech you can trust to take up the servicing, rather than by trying to find it out for yourself. It would be very unusual for a tech to lacquer the hammers on a brand-new piano.

"...But again, I seriously doubt he did that--but you guys got me more worried now! I wasn't real happy with the music store I bought the piano from, and frankly I don't want their recommendations. I already used their in-house tuner and wasn't too impressed. (though he was certainly better than this last guy). I love my piano! And I want it to sound amazing! (Especially considering the large payments--interest free at least--I have to make on it each month..."

If you're happy with Russell's advice, nilla, then you should stick with it. However, the dealer who sold you the piano should see to it that it's in good playing condition when it's delivered. I can't make out if you dispensed with dealer prep in order to get a lower price for an in-box piano, but if that's the case, the technician's work on it will come out of your own pocket (other than the included free tunings). The waters are also muddied by having a tech who was hired by you, and not the store, to do the second tuning. If they have to undo an unsatisfactory service call, they may feel that you should pay for fixing it yourself. So it could take some negotiating and coaxing.

"...he sounded like he could finesse my piano back to a sweeter sound, but that I should play on it heavily for a few weeks before he comes. He said we could even do a bit of voicing if I feel thats what it needs...."

As for voicing a new piano, whose sound you were happy with before it was "worked on" by the last tuner, be patient for a little while. It is prudent to put any voicing off, until the intonation is at least stabilized in your piano's new home. When it can hold a tuning, and after it has gotten accustomed to your touch and playing style--- and after you've 'tuned' the room, meaning that you've adjusted piano's position in the room, and adjusted the furnishings so you get the best sound out of it where it is--- then it may be time to think about doing some voicing, very gingerly and gradually.

New pianos take several years to fully settle, and for the hammers to mature. It's best to give them at least four tunings a year for the first year or two, then ramp down to no less than two tunings a year. This investment will help the piano to become more stable for the future, and far more rewarding for the immediate present.

The action should have been in good regulation when you got it, but as it's played-in it may need adjustments after six months or a year to keep the action even. The felts and wood parts change with the time and environmental conditions, even as the strings do. Playing it, in the way you usually would do--- and a good bit of it--- is good. Pounding away, not so much. I don't think that's what he meant.

If you bought a new piano, with a manufacturers' warranty, from an authorized dealer, then you should realize that this dealer acts as the manufacturer's agent for new-piano service (usually minor adjustments and a few tunings). They will have the same role if it turns out you need warranty service, in case of some manufacturing problem (unusual, but not unheard-of). So, it's in your interest to try to have a decent and cordial relationship with the dealer. Sometimes they don't send out a first-string player to do that first tuning, but if you're dissatisfied, realize that they want the customers to be happy, and let them have a chance before you write them off. That is why these stores have a manager, and you can call them and ask to speak to him or her.

What you're describing doesn't sound like a serious problem that needs warranty service (and Russell is right about the recent weather conditions--- it does make a difference), but rather, a tuning and settling-in issue. It helps a lot to keep these things in proportion.

"... I love my piano! And I want it to sound amazing!..."

I don't think you'll find a soul here who will give you an argument about this. This is what we all want! I think you're pretty much on the right track to make it happen. You paid good money for a good instrument, you're trying to find a good tech to care for it and bring out its best, and you're asking questions. That's how you do it. Good luck to you.


Thanks Jeff for the informative and experienced response. I was one of those noobs that didn't know any better regarding buying a piano from the box without any prep. There's a whole thread I posted on this--
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1913998/1.html
When I addressed this after the fact with the store manager, he basically told me that I was over-reacting and that Yamaha's, especially the YUS series, receive all the necessary prep from the factory, and that it would be redundant to do prep it again. I passed this information on to Yamaha--they actually agreed that this particular piano does arrive int he box very well prepped, regulated, etc., but that they are not happy when dealers sell straight from the warehouse--and that there's nothing they can do about it.
The store manager continued to defend how they sold it to me, and only offered to add an additional tuning to my first "free" tuning. So I got 2 "free" tunings which I've already used. I have definitely noticed that the piano is still settling in however--I've played a lot with the acoustics and am happy with the placement of the piano etc. At this point, I think you are right--I just need to be patient, find a good tech, let it continue to settle in, get my regular tunings (expensive!) and not freak out.
I may talk to the manager again, I want to have a good relationship with them--I understand that they are my liaison for any warranty work etc. But I felt really blown off by them. When I told the manager that I had gotten a lot of information from Piano World forums he seemed especially annoyed frown
Anyway, I will hold off on any thoughts of voicing for now--makes a lot of sense what you said. Its just so crazy how long it takes for a new piano to settle in! Had I known it would be like 2 years, I really may have bought used instead--even though I know that comes with its whole own set of concerns. I admit I think its really cool that I know every bit of history with my instrument. I am just so anxious for it to sound a bit better.
Thanks again for the advice and feedback

Last edited by nillabean; 10/25/12 06:17 PM.
Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978634
10/25/12 06:25 PM
10/25/12 06:25 PM
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It is not likely that someone came in and hardened the hammers, as that would take too much time, although there are plenty of people who can mess up a piano really quickly, and four hours with a strobe tuner is not a good sign. Unfortunately, it is difficult to say what the situation is with your piano. Words are not adequate to describe what happened, because there is not enough agreement about what the words we use to describe sound actually mean.


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Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: BDB] #1978643
10/25/12 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
It is not likely that someone came in and hardened the hammers, as that would take too much time, although there are plenty of people who can mess up a piano really quickly, and four hours with a strobe tuner is not a good sign. Unfortunately, it is difficult to say what the situation is with your piano. Words are not adequate to describe what happened, because there is not enough agreement about what the words we use to describe sound actually mean.


He didn't harden the hammers. If anything, I was probably exaggerating about the new "loudness" I am experiencing. I do have a sensitive ear, so it is noticeably louder--but probably wouldn't be noticed by many. The piano is in tune, for what's thats worth, lol. I think this guy is just really slow. He's tuned pianos for decades, so I doubt he screwed anything up. The weather here has been really all over the place in regards to humidity and temp, so I am sure that has something to do with it.
You;re right about how we use words to describe sound on this forum. Especially considering the wide range of people on this site--from total newbies with music/piano, to tuners, teachers, etc., and then people like me that I have played for 30 years, but basically never owned a piano til this year! So I have an interesting learning curve with my new instrument. And the main thing I am starting to understand is that a piano, especially a new one, is a living beast, and must be fed, tamed, and trained so that it can grow up to be a well-adjusted, stable, sweet-sounding instrument.

Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978650
10/25/12 07:25 PM
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I am shocked every time my tuner leaves. Not only by the sweetness (pitch wise) of the freshly tuned piano, but what a difference it makes with sustain, volume and general ease of play. The ease of play is psychosomatic but it just seems that much better. My piano never gets very out of tune either (I have it tuned 4 times a year). Normally I wouldn't comment but I just had it tuned yesterday and then I saw this post.

Re: My new Yamaha YUS5 sounds worse after tuning? [Re: nillabean] #1978800
10/26/12 06:41 AM
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Once, after my upright had been tuned, I also found it was much louder and brighter than before the tuning. I am still not sure why, but my technician did not do anything to the hammers at all. However, I think it is possible that a piano's tone can change after a tuning alone.


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