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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2071786 04/26/13 07:57 PM
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I believe those tips are interchangeable.


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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2071801 04/26/13 09:15 PM
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I started off with the nylon extension handle,bought a couple of extensions with different length tips, they worked fine but the lever is a bit on the heavy side. I recently purchased the David Levitan Classic lever from PianoTek and I really like it.


Les Koltvedt
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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2071867 04/26/13 11:56 PM
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Yeah - I was just reading the section in Pianos Inside Out about choosing a tuning lever, and I'm wondering if I should get the Dan Levitan Classic or the Fujan because they are stiffer than the traditional hammers...Not sure where I can order the Dan Levitan lever, though, because I don't have a Pianotek account.


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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2071978 04/27/13 07:54 AM
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Submit a app with them. PianoTek


Les Koltvedt
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www.well-lovedpiano.com/atlanta-piano-technicians/
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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072086 04/27/13 12:19 PM
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Thanks Les. Unfortunately, it's the weekend now. I'm not expecting to be able to get in touch with them until Monday, but I'll give it a shot next week.


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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072161 04/27/13 02:33 PM
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PK135,

Yes, the Watanabe tips fit on Schaff heads. (Better than the Schaff tips do, in my experience).

If you do manage to open an account with PianoTek, please drop me a private message.


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
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1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072423 04/27/13 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pianokeys135
Does anyone know if the Schaff and Watanabe tips are interchangeable?

For example, if I buy a Schaff hammer, can I use both Schaff and Watanabe tips on it?

Thanks.



They are, indeed. At least I interchange them, without any problems smile

The Schaff tips are a bit tighter than the Watanabes, so a Watanabe 3 would be roughly a Schaff 2 1/2, in my experience. There might be other takes on this, of course, as always.


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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072464 04/27/13 10:19 PM
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Thanks. Does anyone have any thoughts on the Jahn tips? I was initially looking at the Watanabe and Schaff tips, but now I'm thinking about the Jhan tips as well, as I'm leaning towards the Fujan lever now.

Thanks.


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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072522 04/27/13 11:40 PM
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I recently bought a Fujan lever and love it, after using a Hale extension lever for the last 36 years.

That being said, the Fujan is a huge investment for a novice tech; I think getting that one right off the bat might be going a bit overboard. IMO, I think you;re better served starting off with something a little further down the price range, until you refine a proper hammer technique and get a sense of pin setting, and then decide which high-end lever you want to go with.

I think starting out with a high-end lever is kind of like learning to drive in a Ferrari Testarossa...



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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072615 04/28/13 03:29 AM
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Thanks OperaTenor. Yeah - Maybe the Dan Levitan hammer or the Jahn Lightweight hammer would be a better choice for me at about half the price of the Fujan, or for even less the Nylon Schaff hammer (non-extension). After reading about how the stiffer hammers can make for better tuning, though, I wonder if the Schaff might be a bit more flexible than I would want. It seems like the Jahn Lightweight hammer comes in a kit with a few Jahn tips. Maybe that is the way to go. One thing I like about the Fujan, though, is that it's so modular. It seems like the Jahn hammer is somewhat modular too, but I'm not sure I would want to commit to getting the different components for it. I guess I could still use the Jahn tips if I decided to upgrade to the Fujan later on.


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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072648 04/28/13 06:41 AM
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There is the expression "trying to run before you can walk".

While I would not recommend starting with a really cheap and nasty lever (someone showed me yesterday a gooseneck lever they had bought, with a square tip, non-interchangable, and far too great an angle to use comfortably), it's important to make a start and practice lots of tuning work. I think a not-too-expensive lever is the way to go, to begin with, in order to find out if you are naturally drawn to or adept at tuning. Don't agonise about the top-flight levers at this stage. Remember that all tuners made a living without them before they started to exist just a few years ago.

Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072676 04/28/13 08:05 AM
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I agree with David. It is good to give some consideration to which hammer to buy, but the lion's share of the effort will be in how to use it. Good hammer technique does not rely as much on the quality of the hammer, IMHO.

I have tested and proved this opinion, for myself, by using my prreferred technique (slow pull with open double unison tuning) with a torque wrench, which is about as flexible a wrench as you can get.

I also use a loose (poor) fitting technique where I take the hammer off the pin a bit to get a loose fit, and use it like an impact wrench. (This does increase wear, in my experience, so I don't use it often)

For me, slow pull also does not depend on fit because, with the one directional approach to pitch, there is always constant contact between tip and pin; the looseness is only a problem when you are going back and forth, searching for the pitch. With slow pull, you approach from one direction and drop it where you want it. (It doesn't work well with tight pinblocks, but the loose fit technique does.)

For me, it is the hand fit and weight that is the preferred goal, but that is subjective, IMHO.

Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072689 04/28/13 08:35 AM
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I don't think the comparison with learning to drive in a ferrari is valid here - a carbon fibre tuning hammer will definitely make learning to tune easier IMO. You will find feeling the movement of the pin and setting it much easier from the beginning if you have a stiffer tuning hammer. A cheaper hammer will be more flexible, and so you will have to spend longer learning the right amount of force to use to move the base of the pin as the flexibility of the hammer will absorb some of the feedback you feel from the hammer.

As soon as I switched to a carbon tuning hammer (by Charles Faulk) I immediately wished I'd always had one. They don't make anything more difficult, like a Ferrari would if you are learning to drive, they only make it easier!

So really it is just a question of price. Buy the stiffest, and lightest, hammer that you can afford.

Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072696 04/28/13 08:59 AM
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I'd recommend the Dan Levitan classic for a beginner. It's very high quality, it's priced right, and it will come with a tip that won't strip your tuning pins. I am amazed at the number of junk tools that find their way into musician's hands, and have seen several levers over the past year that were absolutely worthless.

It's easy for a pro technician to adapt to just about anything, the way a great player can make music on almost any piano no matter the condition. But I think a beginner should have a quality tool so they can concentrate on tuning.

BTW, I have been using the Dan Levitan C-shaped lever extensively, and will have much more to say on it in the near future. It has changed my life!


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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
James Carney #2072707 04/28/13 09:26 AM
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I'll look forward to your observations on the Levitan C lever in due course, James.

Dan Levitan held a seminar day at Steinway in London last OCtober, and we were able to watch adn to try out the C lever. Only a brief try of it though - I would have liked to try doing a whole piano with it.

I really enjoy my Fujan lever, one of the best piano tool purchases I ever made.

Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2072804 04/28/13 12:59 PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone. The Dan Levitan C lever looks very interesting, but I think I should probably go with something more traditional to start out with.

I'm sort of going back and forth at this point between the Levitan Classic or the Jahn Lightweight lever on the one hand and a more expensive carbon fiber hammer on the other. I'm not sure where I can get the Levitan Classic or the Jahn Lightweight levers, though. I guess I'll have to wait and try pianotek tomorrow. I definitely understand the reasoning behind getting something more affordable to start out with. At the same time, it seems like the CF levers may actually be better to learn on because of their additional stiffness, so maybe it's worth it!

Cost is a factor, and I may end up not going with the CF just for that reason. I'm wondering, though, are the CF levers that much stiffer than the Levitan Classic or the Jahn Lightweight lever to justify the extra cost for me?

eek



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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2073417 04/29/13 11:09 AM
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I'm very happy with the DL Classic... for the $$.


Les Koltvedt
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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
Les Koltvedt #2073522 04/29/13 02:42 PM
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As a relatively inexperienced tuner myself, I can vouch for the Dan Levitan hammer. I fought and fought for a couple of years with an old student lever, and the Levitan provided a vast improvement in control. Of course, then I had to re-learn technique, as it takes much less muscle to get the pin moving.

Another thing folks may want to comment on is this- my friend and pro-tech locally showed me how he changed to one of the short levers- it looks just like a typical rosewood extension lever, but about half as long. His advice was, the closer you can get to feeling the movement of the pin, the better.

Good luck,
jw


Music teacher and beginning Tuner
Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2073675 04/29/13 05:51 PM
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Hey everyone. I think I'm going to go with the Jahn lightweight lever kit for now. It comes with the hammer, the tip wrench, and three Jahn tips. This way, if I decide to go with the Fujan later on, I'll already have the Jahn tips that work with it and the tip wrench. Plus I like the fact that it's a bit more modular than the DL classic (different head angles, etc.), since I may want to try different things. I'm excited to get started with this!


pianokeys135
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Re: Advice on Tuning Hammer
pianokeys135 #2074018 04/30/13 09:00 AM
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I think no matter what you end up with, you'll be looking for something else in the future... it's a tool/guy thing....lol


Les Koltvedt
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