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Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Olek] #2179762
11/09/13 07:53 PM
11/09/13 07:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 944
shirley, MA
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member
jim ialeggio  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 944
shirley, MA
Originally Posted by Olek
What I have seen of the Levitan lever is that he may tend to create more bending than the standard one, possibly not because of its shape but with the way it have to be manipulated.


The biggy for me is that it lets you apply twist or flex separately, as you see fit, as separate forces.

Jim Ialeggio


Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA
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Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2179845
11/09/13 10:27 PM
11/09/13 10:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
M
Mark Cerisano Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
Mark Cerisano  Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
M

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hi Guys,

I have just a few small notes to make regarding some of the things that have been said. Please remember that they are only my opinions and observations, and I wouldn't be posting them if I didn't want them challenged.

1. In my analysis and practical application of the massaging technique and the varying hammer angle technique, I do not consider pin deformation to have a variety of states similar to the non speaking length tension. There is friction at the bearing points that allow for a window of NSL tension values that result in a stable state and no slipping across the v-bar.

IMHO, there is no appreciable friction to allow the same kind of variety of states in the deformation of the pin, rotationally or laterally. I.e. Isaac, I do not agree that there is some way of inducing a "stored energy" into the pin by creating a different angle or twist than what it wants to be at under the tension of the NSL.

There just isn't any way of imagining friction within a steel object being deformed that would cause it to not undeformed laterally, or torsionally, exactly back to its initial position, unless you pass the elastic stage and begin actually bending it. (Hmm, I believe I may have been using the word "deform" improperly. There is no deformation, only elastic motion. I need to look this up. Kees?)

2. Your model Kees, while interesting, does not consider the bending motion. This is critical if your model is to help tuners visualize a way to produce stability. For that reason, it should really imagine situations where certain hammer angles, combined with certain elastic deformation, result in a Non-Speaking Length tension centered within the Tension Band.

3. I've seen Dan's video demonstrating his hammer. I have four reservations about that hammer.

a) The way he is bending that pin just seems wrong. It is way too much. Way beyond the normal amount of bending when using a regular hammer in the neutral plane. The NSL tension must be going crazy, in and out of the tension band. Getting it back to neutral is just trial and error. Not sophisticated at all. Again, my own humble opinion.

b) The length of the handle deceives the tuner about the actual force being applied at the pin. I see no problem actually permanently bending a pin with that behemoth.

c) It does not look at all comfortable to use on an upright. And you can't stand up and lean on the piano for a grand.

d) I often combine twist and bend in one motion, using hammer angles other than 12:00, to reach pitch very quickly if the piano can accept it. No can do with Dan's C lever.

Just my thoughts. I'm sure there are a lot of people who find that hammer very useful. I can imagine that it must be frustrating if someone has had some difficulty getting stability and this hammer promises to simplify the process by eliminating one of the variables. But, as we see in Dan's video, we need that variable.

Because of the way I think about friction and deformation, I have always been happy with my stability and have never had the desire to even try a different kind of hammer like Dan's or those gigantic titanium or tubular ones.

I once tried tuning a piano with a torque wrench with some success. Understanding how the forces apply to the pin means it doesn't matter how the force gets there, as long as you can control it. With the torque wrench, constant contact and a smooth pull in one direction means constant and consistent feedback at the handle.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2179930
11/10/13 04:22 AM
11/10/13 04:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,511
Suffolk, England
W
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Withindale  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
W

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,511
Suffolk, England
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT

2. Your model Kees, while interesting, does not consider the bending motion. This is critical if your model is to help tuners visualize a way to produce stability. For that reason, it should really imagine situations where certain hammer angles, combined with certain elastic deformation, result in a Non-Speaking Length tension centered within the Tension Band.

Mark,

I am not so sure it would be of much practical use for Kees to elaborate the model, but why not?

Seems to me that bending and twisting both produce a change in tension and that the effects you are trying to control are at the v-bar. It might be useful to know how much bending equates to how much twisting.

How much variation in the static and dynamic friction do you observe at the v-bar between newer and older pianos, and from string to string?

I ask because occasionally there can be large change of pitch in a string when resetting at the v-bar.

Last edited by Withindale; 11/10/13 04:23 AM.

Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: jim ialeggio] #2179955
11/10/13 07:46 AM
11/10/13 07:46 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
O
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
9000 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
Originally Posted by jim ialeggio
Originally Posted by Olek
What I have seen of the Levitan lever is that he may tend to create more bending than the standard one, possibly not because of its shape but with the way it have to be manipulated.


The biggy for me is that it lets you apply twist or flex separately, as you see fit, as separate forces.

Jim Ialeggio


Yes that is a good point,

But you say the foot of the pin is what is in the block , may be it is a simplification.

the foot of the pin is a part of what is inside the block

The upper part goes up to the coil indeed, it is twisted to help the bottom part to lock well., part of the twist is clearly in the block.

SO I wonder if the Levitan lever allows you to perceive that. It is clear when using a standard lever.

But sure it necessitate a much refined wrist to have the wanted control on the pin shape.




Last edited by Olek; 11/10/13 08:07 AM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
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Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2179960
11/10/13 08:06 AM
11/10/13 08:06 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
O
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
9000 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Hi Guys,

I have just a few small notes to make regarding some of the things that have been said. Please remember that they are only my opinions and observations, and I wouldn't be posting them if I didn't want them challenged.

1. In my analysis and practical application of the massaging technique and the varying hammer angle technique, I do not consider pin deformation to have a variety of states similar to the non speaking length tension. There is friction at the bearing points that allow for a window of NSL tension values that result in a stable state and no slipping across the v-bar.

IMHO, there is no appreciable friction to allow the same kind of variety of states in the deformation of the pin, rotationally or laterally. I.e. Isaac, I do not agree that there is some way of inducing a "stored energy" into the pin by creating a different angle or twist than what it wants to be at under the tension of the NSL.

There just isn't any way of imagining friction within a steel object being deformed that would cause it to not undeformed laterally, or torsionally, exactly back to its initial position, unless you pass the elastic stage and begin actually bending it. (Hmm, I believe I may have been using the word "deform" improperly. There is no deformation, only elastic motion. I need to look this up. Kees?)



Marc with all due respect, that is what I do not get with your descriptions, you have no idea of the perceptions I experiment, or you would be using other terms.
I am not tuning with particularly exceptional or strange technique. You seem to describe it but the way you talk of it make me think you are not experimenting the wanted sensations.

Then I find your descriptions accurate, while a little intellectual , it is a good think to try to make things into equations, and it opened the road for Doelkees excellent work.

I simply do not recognize the descriptions of the tactile feedback the tuner is experimenting. I wonder then how do you manipulate the lever? what is your level of precision, etc.

That energy reserve created by putting the pin and pinblock under stress a little more than what is yet there due to the string tension, is where the strenght of tone and longevity of the tuning is, for the part we can manipulate.

I admit that this "twist" notion is not widely known, and even that it can look strange at first.

It is in the end understood when experimented with success, once you learn to "read" the pin not as a rigid cylinder that you stuck in place as a whole, but as something that have also its elasticity to provide (as well as the pinblock have some)

To project his attention more on the pin, the tuner must have yet a certain level of tuning, as at that point, the deal with capo and bearing points, friction etc, is done without too much focus on it.

I am surprised that, as an engineer you correctly describe friction and static forces for 2 parts of the system, and you leave the 3d out of the equation.

It is also easy to make the demonstration between a pin set in standard equilibrium based on the string, and one that is made active.

just put the tuning tip on both pins you experiment a differnt tone, pluck the2strings one is more "dirty" sounding than the other, try to turn the pin with the lever, one will turn (unlock)relatively easily, the other you need to force and that as well to turn clockwise.

Make the experiment for yourself, on a vertical piano it is even easier.

Jim did with moderate success if I understand well so may be this is only for tuners with long experience, but I exchanged about that with a young concert tuner, and he get the idea soon.

you go passed justness a hair and the pin twist back. then it is under stress, and energy is stored.

P.S It may be that the pianos you tune does not allow that elasticity of the couple pin/pinblock to be perceived much. For instance on Yamahas and Kaway the level of elasticity of the pin is not that good.

Last edited by Olek; 11/10/13 08:41 AM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2179961
11/10/13 08:09 AM
11/10/13 08:09 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 440
new york city
James Carney Offline
Full Member
James Carney  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 440
new york city
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Hi Guys,

I have just a few small notes to make regarding some of the things that have been said. Please remember that they are only my opinions and observations, and I wouldn't be posting them if I didn't want them challenged.

....


3. I've seen Dan's video demonstrating his hammer. I have four reservations about that hammer.

a) The way he is bending that pin just seems wrong. It is way too much. Way beyond the normal amount of bending when using a regular hammer in the neutral plane. The NSL tension must be going crazy, in and out of the tension band. Getting it back to neutral is just trial and error. Not sophisticated at all. Again, my own humble opinion.

b) The length of the handle deceives the tuner about the actual force being applied at the pin. I see no problem actually permanently bending a pin with that behemoth.

c) It does not look at all comfortable to use on an upright. And you can't stand up and lean on the piano for a grand.

d) I often combine twist and bend in one motion, using hammer angles other than 12:00, to reach pitch very quickly if the piano can accept it. No can do with Dan's C lever.

Just my thoughts. I'm sure there are a lot of people who find that hammer very useful. I can imagine that it must be frustrating if someone has had some difficulty getting stability and this hammer promises to simplify the process by eliminating one of the variables. But, as we see in Dan's video, we need that variable.

Because of the way I think about friction and deformation, I have always been happy with my stability and have never had the desire to even try a different kind of hammer like Dan's or those gigantic titanium or tubular ones.

I once tried tuning a piano with a torque wrench with some success. Understanding how the forces apply to the pin means it doesn't matter how the force gets there, as long as you can control it. With the torque wrench, constant contact and a smooth pull in one direction means constant and consistent feedback at the handle.


I'm one of the very few working technicians on this forum that has made the switch to the Levitan Professional C-lever; as of now I've tuned about 385 pianos with it. I still use a traditional lever at times when I need to (the C-lever won't work on an August Förster 215 or a Yamaha vertical Disklavier for example) but the results are just so much better with the C-lever that I can't believe more techs don't use it.

Well, actually I can. There is a learning curve, and there is always resistance to innovation in all areas of life. Human nature I suppose.

Mark, what you are saying above is simply untrue, and I think you should state whether or not you have actually tuned a piano with this lever. Simply imagining what it must be like doesn't count, and it certainly isn't being fair to Dan Levitan. As I've said in another thread, I don't think anyone can make a judgment on it until they have tuned at least 20 pianos with it. Maybe even 50. It takes time to master it, but once you do the results are astonishing.

The C-lever flagpoles much less than a traditional lever. If you are holding it correctly, you have to go out of your way to flagpole with it. As Dan demonstrates, you can easily execute controlled flagpoling (which is a good and necessary technique to have as a fine tuner) and yes, I suppose someone could bend a pin more easily with the C-lever if they were not using it correctly. But come on, I can stick my flange screwdriver through a soundboard too, but since I know what I'm doing that's not going to happen.

It's way more sophisticated than you think it is, because you can choose to apply pure rotation to the pin, or you can apply controlled pin bending (flagpoling) or both at the same time with infinite variability between the two.

It's very comfortable for me to use on verticals, although when I do I am departing from Dan's method, as I grip the steel part of the handle, not the black delrin. Incidentally, I used it on the brand new Blüthner Model S last week which is about 144 cm - the tallest vertical made today; makes the Steingraeber 138 seem like a console! I love it on verticals.

I always sit when tuning grands - even with a traditional lever, so it's my preferred technique anyway. And the C-lever saves a lot of wear and tear on your arms because of this.

Again, the beauty of the C-lever is that you can easily combine rotation (or twist as you say) and bending (flagpoling) in one combined movement, and you can really dial it in to favor one over the other. I feel more connection to the pin with the C-lever than I do with my very fine Charles Faulk, and it has improved my accuracy, speed, and efficiency. I service lots of high use pianos regularly, so I can see the overall improvement of long term stability, even pianos exposed to serious humidity fluctuations.

It's not a tool to help tuners with stability problems per se, although it will undoubtedly improve the pin setting of a tuner who has solid technique and a great aptitude for this work.

I responded to this because negative opinions of an incredibly brilliant tool by those who haven't used it (or used it enough) are doing a real disservice to the tech community who might be interested in at least giving it a try. If you tune 50 pianos with the C-lever and then tell us you don't like it (and why) that's a different story.




Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2179963
11/10/13 08:15 AM
11/10/13 08:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
O
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
9000 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Hi Guys,


3. I've seen Dan's video demonstrating his hammer. I have four reservations about that hammer.

a) The way he is bending that pin just seems wrong. It is way too much. Way beyond the normal amount of bending when using a regular hammer in the neutral plane. The NSL tension must be going crazy, in and out of the tension band. Getting it back to neutral is just trial and error. Not sophisticated at all. Again, my own humble opinion.

b) The length of the handle deceives the tuner about the actual force being applied at the pin. I see no problem actually permanently bending a pin with that behemoth.


Hi Marc

In defense of the C lever and his inventor , on the video he is tuning a piano that is asking for that bending job (anyway it is a way to tune relatively commonly adopted by some tuners)

I traded that technique to the same effect obtained with pin twist, but that is a simplification, as pin twist is also asking for some bending on some pianos.

Pins can be definitively deformed but the amount of force to do so is really extreme , yes it could be done with a C lever, but why doing so.

BTW I wonder if the pins have to be bowed as much on Yamahas because they are in a soft steel (stainless ?) bowing them just under the level they would deform make them springy, and a springy pin is a big help for the tuner.

The fact you never state about such techniques make me ask myself what your experience is as a tuner. I of course agree that bending is something to be limited, and that bending plus massaging is just forbidden,if you want the block to hold fine for 50 years wink but those are standard techniques, widely used and necessary sometime.

Going just with the lever orientation to master the bending is not enough one need the tactile feedback at a precise level.



Last edited by Olek; 11/10/13 08:28 AM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: James Carney] #2179967
11/10/13 08:24 AM
11/10/13 08:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
O
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
9000 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
Originally Posted by James Carney
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Hi Guys,

I have just a few small notes to make regarding some of the things that have been said. Please remember that they are only my opinions and observations, and I wouldn't be posting them if I didn't want them challenged.

....


3. I've seen Dan's video demonstrating his hammer. I have four reservations about that hammer.

a) The way he is bending that pin just seems wrong. It is way too much. Way beyond the normal amount of bending when using a regular hammer in the neutral plane. The NSL tension must be going crazy, in and out of the tension band. Getting it back to neutral is just trial and error. Not sophisticated at all. Again, my own humble opinion.

b) The length of the handle deceives the tuner about the actual force being applied at the pin. I see no problem actually permanently bending a pin with that behemoth.

c) It does not look at all comfortable to use on an upright. And you can't stand up and lean on the piano for a grand.

d) I often combine twist and bend in one motion, using hammer angles other than 12:00, to reach pitch very quickly if the piano can accept it. No can do with Dan's C lever.

Just my thoughts. I'm sure there are a lot of people who find that hammer very useful. I can imagine that it must be frustrating if someone has had some difficulty getting stability and this hammer promises to simplify the process by eliminating one of the variables. But, as we see in Dan's video, we need that variable.

Because of the way I think about friction and deformation, I have always been happy with my stability and have never had the desire to even try a different kind of hammer like Dan's or those gigantic titanium or tubular ones.

I once tried tuning a piano with a torque wrench with some success. Understanding how the forces apply to the pin means it doesn't matter how the force gets there, as long as you can control it. With the torque wrench, constant contact and a smooth pull in one direction means constant and consistent feedback at the handle.


I'm one of the very few working technicians on this forum that has made the switch to the Levitan Professional C-lever; as of now I've tuned about 385 pianos with it. I still use a traditional lever at times when I need to (the C-lever won't work on an August Förster 215 or a Yamaha vertical Disklavier for example) but the results are just so much better with the C-lever that I can't believe more techs don't use it.

Well, actually I can. There is a learning curve, and there is always resistance to innovation in all areas of life. Human nature I suppose.

Mark, what you are saying above is simply untrue, and I think you should state whether or not you have actually tuned a piano with this lever. Simply imagining what it must be like doesn't count, and it certainly isn't being fair to Dan Levitan. As I've said in another thread, I don't think anyone can make a judgment on it until they have tuned at least 20 pianos with it. Maybe even 50. It takes time to master it, but once you do the results are astonishing.

The C-lever flagpoles much less than a traditional lever. If you are holding it correctly, you have to go out of your way to flagpole with it. As Dan demonstrates, you can easily execute controlled flagpoling (which is a good and necessary technique to have as a fine tuner) and yes, I suppose someone could bend a pin more easily with the C-lever if they were not using it correctly. But come on, I can stick my flange screwdriver through a soundboard too, but since I know what I'm doing that's not going to happen.

It's way more sophisticated than you think it is, because you can choose to apply pure rotation to the pin, or you can apply controlled pin bending (flagpoling) or both at the same time with infinite variability between the two.

It's very comfortable for me to use on verticals, although when I do I am departing from Dan's method, as I grip the steel part of the handle, not the black delrin. Incidentally, I used it on the brand new Blüthner Model S last week which is about 144 cm - the tallest vertical made today; makes the Steingraeber 138 seem like a console! I love it on verticals.

I always sit when tuning grands - even with a traditional lever, so it's my preferred technique anyway. And the C-lever saves a lot of wear and tear on your arms because of this.

Again, the beauty of the C-lever is that you can easily combine rotation (or twist as you say) and bending (flagpoling) in one combined movement, and you can really dial it in to favor one over the other. I feel more connection to the pin with the C-lever than I do with my very fine Charles Faulk, and it has improved my accuracy, speed, and efficiency. I service lots of high use pianos regularly, so I can see the overall improvement of long term stability, even pianos exposed to serious humidity fluctuations.

It's not a tool to help tuners with stability problems per se, although it will undoubtedly improve the pin setting of a tuner who has solid technique and a great aptitude for this work.

I responded to this because negative opinions of an incredibly brilliant tool by those who haven't used it (or used it enough) are doing a real disservice to the tech community who might be interested in at least giving it a try. If you tune 50 pianos with the C-lever and then tell us you don't like it (and why) that's a different story.




Thank you, I respect what you say du to previous posts you wrote.

DO you believe that a simple handle added on a standard lever would allow to experiment ?

I question in the end the amount of feedback when compared to a standard lever. I suppose the C lever make you aware easily of the fulcrum point and axis of rotation, but you are far from the pin on the handle.

Do you need to use your "mental picture" of the pin more ? (knowing what is happening you are not obliged to have as fine tactile feedback as what you imagine tend to show as a proof you are right) ?

What I would be cautious of is that due to the long leverage, when you want to twist the upper part of the pin without having the bottom moving, you need to brake the pin with some lateral pressure, and it can be easily strong with a long lever. (idem but less dangerous if you want to move the bottom with minimal pitch motion. )

Regards


Last edited by Olek; 11/10/13 08:45 AM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: James Carney] #2179974
11/10/13 08:49 AM
11/10/13 08:49 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
M
Mark Cerisano Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
Mark Cerisano  Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
M

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted by James Carney
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Hi Guys,

I have just a few small notes to make regarding some of the things that have been said. Please remember that they are only my opinions and observations, and I wouldn't be posting them if I didn't want them challenged.

....


3. I've seen Dan's video demonstrating his hammer. I have four reservations about that hammer.

a) The way he is bending that pin just seems wrong. It is way too much. Way beyond the normal amount of bending when using a regular hammer in the neutral plane. The NSL tension must be going crazy, in and out of the tension band. Getting it back to neutral is just trial and error. Not sophisticated at all. Again, my own humble opinion.

b) The length of the handle deceives the tuner about the actual force being applied at the pin. I see no problem actually permanently bending a pin with that behemoth.

c) It does not look at all comfortable to use on an upright. And you can't stand up and lean on the piano for a grand.

d) I often combine twist and bend in one motion, using hammer angles other than 12:00, to reach pitch very quickly if the piano can accept it. No can do with Dan's C lever.

Just my thoughts. I'm sure there are a lot of people who find that hammer very useful. I can imagine that it must be frustrating if someone has had some difficulty getting stability and this hammer promises to simplify the process by eliminating one of the variables. But, as we see in Dan's video, we need that variable.

Because of the way I think about friction and deformation, I have always been happy with my stability and have never had the desire to even try a different kind of hammer like Dan's or those gigantic titanium or tubular ones.

I once tried tuning a piano with a torque wrench with some success. Understanding how the forces apply to the pin means it doesn't matter how the force gets there, as long as you can control it. With the torque wrench, constant contact and a smooth pull in one direction means constant and consistent feedback at the handle.


I'm one of the very few working technicians on this forum that has made the switch to the Levitan Professional C-lever; as of now I've tuned about 385 pianos with it. I still use a traditional lever at times when I need to (the C-lever won't work on an August Förster 215 or a Yamaha vertical Disklavier for example) but the results are just so much better with the C-lever that I can't believe more techs don't use it.

Well, actually I can. There is a learning curve, and there is always resistance to innovation in all areas of life. Human nature I suppose.

Mark, what you are saying above is simply untrue, and I think you should state whether or not you have actually tuned a piano with this lever. Simply imagining what it must be like doesn't count, and it certainly isn't being fair to Dan Levitan. As I've said in another thread, I don't think anyone can make a judgment on it until they have tuned at least 20 pianos with it. Maybe even 50. It takes time to master it, but once you do the results are astonishing.

The C-lever flagpoles much less than a traditional lever. If you are holding it correctly, you have to go out of your way to flagpole with it. As Dan demonstrates, you can easily execute controlled flagpoling (which is a good and necessary technique to have as a fine tuner) and yes, I suppose someone could bend a pin more easily with the C-lever if they were not using it correctly. But come on, I can stick my flange screwdriver through a soundboard too, but since I know what I'm doing that's not going to happen.

It's way more sophisticated than you think it is, because you can choose to apply pure rotation to the pin, or you can apply controlled pin bending (flagpoling) or both at the same time with infinite variability between the two.

It's very comfortable for me to use on verticals, although when I do I am departing from Dan's method, as I grip the steel part of the handle, not the black delrin. Incidentally, I used it on the brand new Blüthner Model S last week which is about 144 cm - the tallest vertical made today; makes the Steingraeber 138 seem like a console! I love it on verticals.

I always sit when tuning grands - even with a traditional lever, so it's my preferred technique anyway. And the C-lever saves a lot of wear and tear on your arms because of this.

Again, the beauty of the C-lever is that you can easily combine rotation (or twist as you say) and bending (flagpoling) in one combined movement, and you can really dial it in to favor one over the other. I feel more connection to the pin with the C-lever than I do with my very fine Charles Faulk, and it has improved my accuracy, speed, and efficiency. I service lots of high use pianos regularly, so I can see the overall improvement of long term stability, even pianos exposed to serious humidity fluctuations.

It's not a tool to help tuners with stability problems per se, although it will undoubtedly improve the pin setting of a tuner who has solid technique and a great aptitude for this work.

I responded to this because negative opinions of an incredibly brilliant tool by those who haven't used it (or used it enough) are doing a real disservice to the tech community who might be interested in at least giving it a try. If you tune 50 pianos with the C-lever and then tell us you don't like it (and why) that's a different story.




Hi James,

I respect your opinion and am happy that you have found a tool that helps you get the job done better.

I, however, have not experienced the need to improve what I am doing. I have not received or experienced any problems with my stability, due to the advanced method I am using. Of course that could change.

In regards to your assesment that what I am saying is not true, I have to disagree. You yourself in your post admitted that one assesment was true.

All I am saying is that a tuner is doing themselves a disservice if they do not explore their own technique with a conventional hammer and try to understand the pin/string system better, if they are having trouble with stability, before changing hammers; that misunderstanding, if it exists, will just follow them to the new hammer.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Olek] #2179975
11/10/13 08:52 AM
11/10/13 08:52 AM
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James Carney Offline
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Originally Posted by Olek
Originally Posted by James Carney
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Hi Guys,

I have just a few small notes to make regarding some of the things that have been said. Please remember that they are only my opinions and observations, and I wouldn't be posting them if I didn't want them challenged.

....


3. I've seen Dan's video demonstrating his hammer. I have four reservations about that hammer.

a) The way he is bending that pin just seems wrong. It is way too much. Way beyond the normal amount of bending when using a regular hammer in the neutral plane. The NSL tension must be going crazy, in and out of the tension band. Getting it back to neutral is just trial and error. Not sophisticated at all. Again, my own humble opinion.

b) The length of the handle deceives the tuner about the actual force being applied at the pin. I see no problem actually permanently bending a pin with that behemoth.

c) It does not look at all comfortable to use on an upright. And you can't stand up and lean on the piano for a grand.

d) I often combine twist and bend in one motion, using hammer angles other than 12:00, to reach pitch very quickly if the piano can accept it. No can do with Dan's C lever.

Just my thoughts. I'm sure there are a lot of people who find that hammer very useful. I can imagine that it must be frustrating if someone has had some difficulty getting stability and this hammer promises to simplify the process by eliminating one of the variables. But, as we see in Dan's video, we need that variable.

Because of the way I think about friction and deformation, I have always been happy with my stability and have never had the desire to even try a different kind of hammer like Dan's or those gigantic titanium or tubular ones.

I once tried tuning a piano with a torque wrench with some success. Understanding how the forces apply to the pin means it doesn't matter how the force gets there, as long as you can control it. With the torque wrench, constant contact and a smooth pull in one direction means constant and consistent feedback at the handle.


I'm one of the very few working technicians on this forum that has made the switch to the Levitan Professional C-lever; as of now I've tuned about 385 pianos with it. I still use a traditional lever at times when I need to (the C-lever won't work on an August Förster 215 or a Yamaha vertical Disklavier for example) but the results are just so much better with the C-lever that I can't believe more techs don't use it.

Well, actually I can. There is a learning curve, and there is always resistance to innovation in all areas of life. Human nature I suppose.

Mark, what you are saying above is simply untrue, and I think you should state whether or not you have actually tuned a piano with this lever. Simply imagining what it must be like doesn't count, and it certainly isn't being fair to Dan Levitan. As I've said in another thread, I don't think anyone can make a judgment on it until they have tuned at least 20 pianos with it. Maybe even 50. It takes time to master it, but once you do the results are astonishing.

The C-lever flagpoles much less than a traditional lever. If you are holding it correctly, you have to go out of your way to flagpole with it. As Dan demonstrates, you can easily execute controlled flagpoling (which is a good and necessary technique to have as a fine tuner) and yes, I suppose someone could bend a pin more easily with the C-lever if they were not using it correctly. But come on, I can stick my flange screwdriver through a soundboard too, but since I know what I'm doing that's not going to happen.

It's way more sophisticated than you think it is, because you can choose to apply pure rotation to the pin, or you can apply controlled pin bending (flagpoling) or both at the same time with infinite variability between the two.

It's very comfortable for me to use on verticals, although when I do I am departing from Dan's method, as I grip the steel part of the handle, not the black delrin. Incidentally, I used it on the brand new Blüthner Model S last week which is about 144 cm - the tallest vertical made today; makes the Steingraeber 138 seem like a console! I love it on verticals.

I always sit when tuning grands - even with a traditional lever, so it's my preferred technique anyway. And the C-lever saves a lot of wear and tear on your arms because of this.

Again, the beauty of the C-lever is that you can easily combine rotation (or twist as you say) and bending (flagpoling) in one combined movement, and you can really dial it in to favor one over the other. I feel more connection to the pin with the C-lever than I do with my very fine Charles Faulk, and it has improved my accuracy, speed, and efficiency. I service lots of high use pianos regularly, so I can see the overall improvement of long term stability, even pianos exposed to serious humidity fluctuations.

It's not a tool to help tuners with stability problems per se, although it will undoubtedly improve the pin setting of a tuner who has solid technique and a great aptitude for this work.

I responded to this because negative opinions of an incredibly brilliant tool by those who haven't used it (or used it enough) are doing a real disservice to the tech community who might be interested in at least giving it a try. If you tune 50 pianos with the C-lever and then tell us you don't like it (and why) that's a different story.




Thank you, I respect what you say du to previous posts you wrote.

DO you believe that a simple handle added on a standard lever would allow to experiment ?

I question in the end the amount of feedback when compared to a standard lever. I suppose the C lever make you aware easily of the fulcrum point and axis of rotation, but you are far from the pin on the handle.

Do you need to use your "mental picture" of the pin more ? (knowing what is happening you are not obliged to have as fine tactile feedback as what you imagine tend to show as a proof you are right) ?

What I would be cautious of is that due to the long leverage, when you want to twist the upper part of the pin without having the bottom moving, you need to brake the pin with some lateral pressure, and it can be easily strong with a long lever. (idem but less dangerous if you want to move the bottom with minimal twisting - or with minimal pitch motion. )

Regards



I don't think you could successfully cobble together any kind of equipment to get a sense of the Levitan professional.

The C-lever is all-steel with zero flex, so all of the energy is being transferred to the pin; nothing lost like there is with a traditional wooden handle.

But it's that combined with the placement of your hand - in line with where the pin is in the block - that separates this tool from the other "no flex" tuning levers. Additionally, your torso and upper arms become part of the movement of the pin - I think proponents of Alexander technique would agree that it is ergonomically brilliant.

Once I get the pin rotated to where I want it, I can manipulate the C-lever in the tiniest of increments to remove any residual twist, and if I need to I can use controlled flagpoling to find the ultimate placement. But what's amazing is I didn't have to think about it at all after a while - the tool does most of the work for you. I think it removes the residual twist much more efficiently than traditional levers do. That's why my clean-up passes take so little time. There are far fewer strings to correct after a full tuning. (I always tune unisons as I go, whether aural or ETD.)

You can of course smooth pull with it but it is also possible to use it impact style - I use both techniques.

So, to best answer your question, I do not need to use a "mental picture" while tuning. If anything it's the opposite - I've experienced a more instinctive and pure connection to the pin.


Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: James Carney] #2179984
11/10/13 09:21 AM
11/10/13 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by James Carney


I responded to this because negative opinions of an incredibly brilliant tool by those who haven't used it (or used it enough) are doing a real disservice to the tech community who might be interested in at least giving it a try. If you tune 50 pianos with the C-lever and then tell us you don't like it (and why) that's a different story.


James and Jim,

I tried the Levitan C-Lever very briefly yesterday. The benefits of the tool become immediately obvious upon USING it. I agree with what you and Jim are saying here in this thread.

One of the things that alarmed me in watching Dan's video of the use of the tool was the amount of flagpoling that he APPEARED to be putting on the pins. After having USED the tool, I can confirm that he's actually NOT flagpoling the pins as much as the video would imply.

I used the tool for approximately 10 minutes, and I can verify that all the CONJECTURE that is flying around this thread regarding the use of the tool is really just incorrect.

Dan Levitan is owed an apology. Seriously.

Last edited by Chris Storch; 11/10/13 09:27 AM.

Chris Storch
Acoustician / Piano Technician
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2179988
11/10/13 09:25 AM
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Last edited by Olek; 11/10/13 11:35 AM.

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Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2179989
11/10/13 09:27 AM
11/10/13 09:27 AM
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OK thanks

indeed standard lever are springy, and we learn to use that springiness when tuning.

Never try to leave a light residual twist, as it look so easy to do so ? just to compare the result , tone wise, could be interesting. (more tight/clean)

As I see it, the weight of the vever may be goes in the way of doing so , as it maintain the pin under a light flex up, having the exact feeling of the (very small) amount of torque that can be left may not be as easy as I thought.

That said, that mass may balance the wire tension somewhat, and that is possibly a part of the better tactile feedback.

( I use the string tension as a reference , a sort of "support" , when tuning)
Best regards

WHat you say there seem to be the result of the mass balancing the pin :

"But what's amazing is I didn't have to think about it at all after a while - the tool does most of the work for you. I think it removes the residual twist much more efficiently than traditional levers do. That's why my clean-up passes take so little time. There are far fewer strings to correct after a full tuning."

As a clear advantage the "bed" of the pin is removed from some friction by the weight of the tool, so when you turn the lever the upper part of the pin is more free (as when using a standard lever at 15:00)

Last edited by Olek; 11/10/13 09:40 AM.

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Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2179992
11/10/13 09:45 AM
11/10/13 09:45 AM
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Any tool that allow to "stethoscope" the pin better is good , in my opinion.

I am unsure I would be at ease with the mass thing, but lowering the amount of pin twist necessary to move the bottom is good indeed.

About friction in the hole, my gut feeling is that the slow "massaging" of the fibers during slow pull create some orientation that raise the friction, if not a pin cannot keep as nicely its tense posture. (I mean if the bottom of the pin is moved very fast in position, the walls of the hole are not in the same condition)


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Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2180005
11/10/13 10:01 AM
11/10/13 10:01 AM
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Not to derail Mark's thread, to a C Lever discussion, my point in mentioning the C lever was to illustrate the 2 aspects that define how we "read" the NSL.

The application of turning force that is exerted by a traditional lever imparts both a bending and twisting motion to the pin. Each and every tuner who has ever turned a pin has forced the the pin to bend as he has turned the lever...Unless a traditional lever is held perfectly parallel to the strings, a condition that is virtually impossible to find on more that just a few pins in a piano, the force vectors give us no other choice. So talking about traditional levers controlling or minimizing pin flex ignores the unavoidable angle of forces involved, and as such has to lead to false conclusions, and wishful thinking.

Tuners have learned how to "read" the pin bending and twisting conditions they have imparted into the NSL, and Mark's analyis is very helpful in understanding those conditions.

My point in mentioning the C lever at all in this discussion was that in using the C Lever, which to some degree allows you to isolate the pin bending from the pin twisting force, in comparison to my Goss 20 degree head traditonal lever, I was very, unto extremely surprised to see how much greater the effect of pin bending had on temporary NSL caused pitch changes during tuning as opposed to the effect pin twisting had on the same NSL. I think if I actually had the math to understood the math Kees was illustating, the point could well be made mathematically that pin twist effect on NSL caused pitch change is actually quite small relative to the pitch changes we routinely experience, especially with tight blocks.

On the same pin(grand), same piano, same tuner, same day, as I first used the traditional lever and read the NSL caused pitch changes, whether I used the traditional lever at 12:00 or 3:00, when I switched to the C Lever, same pin, the NSL caused pitch changes were reduced by an order of magnitude.

Sorry guys...try it and see...I was very, very surprised at how much greater the effect of unavoidable pin bending has on the NSL caused pitch changes than the twisting has. And further, when I purposely apply bending forces ( which are a necessary part of settling the NSL)they are 1- of extremely short duration, as opposed to the length of time they are applied in a slow pull with a traditional lever, and 2- can be effective in tiny amounts, again relative to the traditional lever. With this lever, my abuse of the block has markedly decreased...not to mention not having to reach in to grands all day at an ergonimicially unsustainable, awful body angle, to apply a turning force to the lever form a mechanically disadvantaged position.

Jim Ialeggio


Last edited by jim ialeggio; 11/10/13 10:06 AM.

Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: jim ialeggio] #2180058
11/10/13 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jim ialeggio

I was very, unto extremely surprised to see how much greater the effect of pin bending had on temporary NSL caused pitch changes during tuning as opposed to the effect pin twisting had on the same NSL.


Jim, that is why pulling/pushing lightly on the lever is the test for NSL balance of forces.



Last edited by Olek; 11/10/13 11:41 AM.

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Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Olek] #2180087
11/10/13 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Olek
Jim, that is why pulling/pushing lightly on the lever is the test for NSL balance of forces.


Yes, but you missed the point of my post.

The point of mentioning the C Lever is that if you isolate the pin bend from the pin twist, you will see that the by far, the greatest difference in NSL related pitch change comes from the bending of the pin, not from the twist of the pin. Even in really tight blocks, if you eliminate the bending force, which is the major force inducing temporary pitch change in the NSL, the twisting force creates very little NSL pitch change all by itself.

Whether one chooses to use the C Lever is not my point. Rather, for someone learning how to create stability, knowing what relative forces one is dealing with, and to some degree quantifying them in a relative way, can help some people come to an understanding of the whole gestahlt of the NSL's on stability.

Jim Ialeggio


Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2180100
11/10/13 01:19 PM
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I think I get the point (and agrees) I just insist that this is why twist can be used for better firmness, without trouble.

It have to be relatively extreme to create pitch raise later.

In fact the twist have some leeway, that is, when tuning "normal way" (and with slow pull) some is generally left, but as it was not really the point of focus it is left in different positions, the firmness of the pin varies from pin to pin.

it is all but easy to obtain a similar twist left from pin to pin, the hand must be used to evaluate the amount of tension perceived in the lever.

A good habit... as often said the test by pulling/pushing on the lever gives the proof that your sensations are accurate.

I understand the C lever must be a good learning tool to apprehend all those motions and deformations, with a standard lever a somewhat long training with slow pull , that lenghten your tuning time a lot, is necessary to train the arm and wrist to recognize and learn to weight the pressure/tension and relate it to the tuning.

But after that training time, there is a new ability learned, it can be used as soon the beginning of the motion applied to the lever is slow enough.

It also serves to memorize the resistance perceived and be sure it is reproduced after a small motion (massage up)

So I suggest this physical training to be done until all is learned, then any other tuning technique will be more precise.

if the C lever helps to do so , perfect, but the sensations are still to be learned with that lever in my opinion.








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Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2180120
11/10/13 01:54 PM
11/10/13 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Originally Posted by James Carney
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Hi Guys,

I have just a few small notes to make regarding some of the things that have been said. Please remember that they are only my opinions and observations, and I wouldn't be posting them if I didn't want them challenged.

....


3. I've seen Dan's video demonstrating his hammer. I have four reservations about that hammer.

a) The way he is bending that pin just seems wrong. It is way too much. Way beyond the normal amount of bending when using a regular hammer in the neutral plane. The NSL tension must be going crazy, in and out of the tension band. Getting it back to neutral is just trial and error. Not sophisticated at all. Again, my own humble opinion.

b) The length of the handle deceives the tuner about the actual force being applied at the pin. I see no problem actually permanently bending a pin with that behemoth.

c) It does not look at all comfortable to use on an upright. And you can't stand up and lean on the piano for a grand.

d) I often combine twist and bend in one motion, using hammer angles other than 12:00, to reach pitch very quickly if the piano can accept it. No can do with Dan's C lever.

Just my thoughts. I'm sure there are a lot of people who find that hammer very useful. I can imagine that it must be frustrating if someone has had some difficulty getting stability and this hammer promises to simplify the process by eliminating one of the variables. But, as we see in Dan's video, we need that variable.

Because of the way I think about friction and deformation, I have always been happy with my stability and have never had the desire to even try a different kind of hammer like Dan's or those gigantic titanium or tubular ones.

I once tried tuning a piano with a torque wrench with some success. Understanding how the forces apply to the pin means it doesn't matter how the force gets there, as long as you can control it. With the torque wrench, constant contact and a smooth pull in one direction means constant and consistent feedback at the handle.


I'm one of the very few working technicians on this forum that has made the switch to the Levitan Professional C-lever; as of now I've tuned about 385 pianos with it. I still use a traditional lever at times when I need to (the C-lever won't work on an August Förster 215 or a Yamaha vertical Disklavier for example) but the results are just so much better with the C-lever that I can't believe more techs don't use it.

Well, actually I can. There is a learning curve, and there is always resistance to innovation in all areas of life. Human nature I suppose.

Mark, what you are saying above is simply untrue, and I think you should state whether or not you have actually tuned a piano with this lever. Simply imagining what it must be like doesn't count, and it certainly isn't being fair to Dan Levitan. As I've said in another thread, I don't think anyone can make a judgment on it until they have tuned at least 20 pianos with it. Maybe even 50. It takes time to master it, but once you do the results are astonishing.

The C-lever flagpoles much less than a traditional lever. If you are holding it correctly, you have to go out of your way to flagpole with it. As Dan demonstrates, you can easily execute controlled flagpoling (which is a good and necessary technique to have as a fine tuner) and yes, I suppose someone could bend a pin more easily with the C-lever if they were not using it correctly. But come on, I can stick my flange screwdriver through a soundboard too, but since I know what I'm doing that's not going to happen.

It's way more sophisticated than you think it is, because you can choose to apply pure rotation to the pin, or you can apply controlled pin bending (flagpoling) or both at the same time with infinite variability between the two.

It's very comfortable for me to use on verticals, although when I do I am departing from Dan's method, as I grip the steel part of the handle, not the black delrin. Incidentally, I used it on the brand new Blüthner Model S last week which is about 144 cm - the tallest vertical made today; makes the Steingraeber 138 seem like a console! I love it on verticals.

I always sit when tuning grands - even with a traditional lever, so it's my preferred technique anyway. And the C-lever saves a lot of wear and tear on your arms because of this.

Again, the beauty of the C-lever is that you can easily combine rotation (or twist as you say) and bending (flagpoling) in one combined movement, and you can really dial it in to favor one over the other. I feel more connection to the pin with the C-lever than I do with my very fine Charles Faulk, and it has improved my accuracy, speed, and efficiency. I service lots of high use pianos regularly, so I can see the overall improvement of long term stability, even pianos exposed to serious humidity fluctuations.

It's not a tool to help tuners with stability problems per se, although it will undoubtedly improve the pin setting of a tuner who has solid technique and a great aptitude for this work.

I responded to this because negative opinions of an incredibly brilliant tool by those who haven't used it (or used it enough) are doing a real disservice to the tech community who might be interested in at least giving it a try. If you tune 50 pianos with the C-lever and then tell us you don't like it (and why) that's a different story.




Hi James,

I respect your opinion and am happy that you have found a tool that helps you get the job done better.

I, however, have not experienced the need to improve what I am doing. I have not received or experienced any problems with my stability, due to the advanced method I am using. Of course that could change.

In regards to your assesment that what I am saying is not true, I have to disagree. You yourself in your post admitted that one assesment was true.

All I am saying is that a tuner is doing themselves a disservice if they do not explore their own technique with a conventional hammer and try to understand the pin/string system better, if they are having trouble with stability, before changing hammers; that misunderstanding, if it exists, will just follow them to the new hammer.


Just to be clear to anyone who is following this thread, I did not switch to the Levitan C-lever for stability reasons; I tried it because I was experiencing incredible hand pain. Once I became comfortable with it, I realized it was making my tunings better in many different ways.

Mark, I think it is safe to assume at this point that you have never tried the C-lever for yourself. Because of this, I think it undermines your credibility to critique and dismiss it as a non-starter on a public tech forum. Let's not forget that the inventor has not only been in business since the 70s, but has written an encompassing book on tuning; taught at the national and international levels for years; amassed about 4,000 clients; availed himself to countless technicians as a trusted personal mentor, often for free; and created innovative tuning tools that were tested and refined over a number of years before they were offered to the public. Dan Levitan is truly one of the greats in the field, so please take a step back and ruminate a bit on your earlier words here; I think you have been less than respectful and a bit reckless in judging an invention that you have no personal experience with, especially a tool invented by a "hall of fame" guy who knows his stuff inside and out.

I have always felt that the best teachers in any field are the ones who are the most open to experimentation, exploration, and the pursuit of innovation. The piano industry is notoriously old-fashioned, slow to change, and epitomizes the term "moldy figs." So please, let's give this tool a chance before we knock it down. If nothing else, and if you give the C-lever a fair trial period, you'll possibly be better equipped to help your students who are curious about it. It is highly unlikely that any burgeoning technician will start on a C-lever, but even if they did, they (we) still need a traditional lever on hand at all times. Everyone will still have to know how to tune effectively with a traditional lever.

I think Jim Ialeggio brings up a good point that perhaps we should hold further discussion of this topic on the C-lever thread which I started in September.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2159115/The_Levitan_C_shaped_Professio.html


Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/
Re: Tuning Stabilty [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2180150
11/10/13 03:09 PM
11/10/13 03:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
M
Mark Cerisano Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
Mark Cerisano  Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
M

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Well said. I did say I was ready to be challenged. I will try it as soon as I meet someone who has one.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
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