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#2181331 - 11/13/13 12:26 AM Perfection...  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member
Gary Fowler  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
PERFECTION! It is what I strive for each and every time out. Whether it's tuning a Steinway concert grand, or a cheap spinet piano. My goal is to get A-440 dead on the money. My next goal is to set a perfect temperment. Next, is to tune perfect octaves, and then make unisons as crystal clear as a bell. Even THOUGH, I know,theroetically, it ain't ever gonna be quite perfect, I feel I owe it to my customer to give it my damn level best. If I were not willing to treat my customer's piano as my very own, I need to find a different way to make a living. Somehow, I feel I am not alone.


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#2181338 - 11/13/13 12:36 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
OperaTenor Offline
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OperaTenor  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
Sandy Eggo, California
You're not. ;-)



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2181428 - 11/13/13 08:13 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: Nov 2008
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UnrightTooner Offline
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UnrightTooner  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,731
Bradford County, PA
Uh, what about stability? I would rather have a piano sound decent in a few months than perfect when I leave. I think what we owe the customer is value. The perfection thing is what we give our own egos. It is important, but needs to be tempered with what the customer is really expecting... and that depends on the customer. Many get their piano tuned because "It's the Right Thing to Do" every 5 or 10 years whether it needs it or not!


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
#2181443 - 11/13/13 08:58 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 993
David Boyce Offline
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David Boyce  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 993
Scotland
Quote
make unisons as crystal clear as a bell.


Since when were bells ever crystal clear? They're full of strange harmonics, some so much so that you can hardly tell the fundamental!

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#2181473 - 11/13/13 10:02 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,042
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,042
Conway, AR USA

Originally Posted by David Boyce
Quote
make unisons as crystal clear as a bell.


Since when were bells ever crystal clear? They're full of strange harmonics, some so much so that you can hardly tell the fundamental!


Figure of speech. Oxymoron. Can't get much clearer than that. smile

Last edited by bkw58; 11/13/13 10:05 AM.

Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2181487 - 11/13/13 10:34 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,511
Withindale Offline
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Withindale  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,511
Suffolk, England
What is as clear as a bell turns out to be an interesting topic when you look into it.

Thank you, David.

Last edited by Withindale; 11/13/13 10:38 AM.

Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
#2181495 - 11/13/13 10:53 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: bkw58]  
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 526
Jbyron Offline
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Jbyron  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 526
USA
Originally Posted by bkw58

Originally Posted by David Boyce
Quote
make unisons as crystal clear as a bell.


Since when were bells ever crystal clear? They're full of strange harmonics, some so much so that you can hardly tell the fundamental!


Figure of speech. Oxymoron. Can't get much clearer than that. smile


Yeah, but I don't think David deserves to be called an Oxmoron. laugh


Tuner-Technician


#2181510 - 11/13/13 11:14 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Jbyron]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,042
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,042
Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted by Jbyron
Originally Posted by bkw58

Originally Posted by David Boyce
Quote
make unisons as crystal clear as a bell.


Since when were bells ever crystal clear? They're full of strange harmonics, some so much so that you can hardly tell the fundamental!


Figure of speech. Oxymoron. Can't get much clearer than that. smile


Yeah, but I don't think David deserves to be called an Oxmoron. laugh


No, but he's got some "bad ears," man. cool


Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2181511 - 11/13/13 11:15 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,431
rXd Offline
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rXd  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,431
Locking the piano down at precisely 440 every time you tune it in the name of perfection is doing nobody any favours unless you are tuning it every day and more in order to keep it useable with electronics and electrophonics.

By not allowing the piano to float in pitch with the seasons, you are effectively more than doubling the range of pitch drift. The time the piano actually spends at or useably near 440. (or the local pitch standard) is reduced by more than half.



Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


#2181518 - 11/13/13 11:28 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: rXd]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,042
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,042
Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted by rxd
Locking the piano down at precisely 440 every time you tune it in the name of perfection is doing nobody any favours unless you are tuning it every day and more in order to keep it useable with electronics and electrophonics.

By not allowing the piano to float in pitch with the seasons, you are effectively more than doubling the range of pitch drift. The time the piano actually spends at or useably near 440. (or the local pitch standard) is reduced by more than half.



True. Doesn't contribute much to stability either. (A lesson some of us learn the hard way.)


Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2181543 - 11/13/13 12:08 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: David Boyce]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,890
TimR Online content
3000 Post Club Member
TimR  Online Content
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,890
Virginia, USA
Originally Posted by David Boyce
Quote
make unisons as crystal clear as a bell.


Since when were bells ever crystal clear? They're full of strange harmonics, some so much so that you can hardly tell the fundamental!


Very true. I teach handbells. In theory they ring at the fundamental and the 12th, but in practice you can hear them beating, some very much more than others, some so differently that they affect the chord.


gotta go practice
#2181714 - 11/13/13 04:47 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: rXd]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Rxd, can you explain this a bit more....as an ETD user only, it's always set at 440 when I go to tune the piano. Is this not a good thing for stability etc?

#2181878 - 11/13/13 07:33 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member
OperaTenor  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
Sandy Eggo, California
I believe rxd is referring to it being exactly on A440, +/- 0.0 cents. A virtual impossibility, really.

And, as Jeff said earlier, stability matters.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2181920 - 11/13/13 09:27 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 993
David Boyce Offline
500 Post Club Member
David Boyce  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 993
Scotland
Quote
Very true. I teach handbells. In theory they ring at the fundamental and the 12th, but in practice you can hear them beating, some very much more than others, some so differently that they affect the chord.


And yet there is this persistent piano metaphor of the piano with the 'wonderful, clear, bell-like tone"! One wonders where it came from...

Incidentally, well done for teaching handbells - a charming sound. Though if a piano really sounded like bells, I don't think anyone would buy it!

#2181964 - 11/13/13 11:29 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,166
rysowers Offline
3000 Post Club Member
rysowers  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,166
Olympia, WA
As L.A. technician extraordinaire David Anderson once said - "My life became so much better when I gave up striving for perfection and settled for excellence!"

Striving for perfection in piano work puts you on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spectrum. Pianos are not perfect - distortions such as false beats, time constraints, quality of piano etc all force compromise. It is best to clearly understand what constitutes a professional quality job. Spending time making things "perfect" may not serve the client well.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
#2182002 - 11/14/13 12:11 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: rysowers]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member
OperaTenor  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by rysowers
As L.A. technician extraordinaire David Anderson once said - "My life became so much better when I gave up striving for perfection and settled for excellence!"

Striving for perfection in piano work puts you on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spectrum. Pianos are not perfect - distortions such as false beats, time constraints, quality of piano etc all force compromise. It is best to clearly understand what constitutes a professional quality job. Spending time making things "perfect" may not serve the client well.


But, but ,but!

Aren't we all at least a little OCD?

wink


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2182034 - 11/14/13 12:48 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,993
Mark Cerisano Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Mark Cerisano  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,993
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I do not teach to hear perfection in my course. I find the strain to be counter productive.

I explain the goal, tuning A4 to be exactly 440Hz for example, but I am very clear that what we try to do is identify when we have not attained that goal, and then try to improve.

This leaves perfection, or rather, the striving for perfection, out of the equation, yet the striving for perfection, still the goal.

My belief is that, striving for perfection can lead to frustration and then quiting. While striving for improvement keeps us moving towards perfection.

And what is perfection?

Perfection is when one can no longer hear any room for improvement. Yet, the sensitivity of one's hearing may not be as precise as the sensitivity of another's, or of one's own hearing in the future.

I use the following analogies to explain how one acheives perfection, without striving for it.

Imagine making a snowball; a perfectly round snowball, with no bumps or edges. One would hold the snow ball in one's hands and roll it about, every now and then rubbing off some bump or edge that makes it not round. And in the end, acheive the perfectly round snowball, without trying to make it round, but rather, trying to make it not bumpy.

Or consider a room with a very bright spot light shining down from the ceiling onto a spot on the floor. Imagine that spot is perfection; you want to be there. What happens when you stare at the spot light, trying to figure out where it is shining? Of course, you go blind. Now imagine that instead of looking for the light, you mearly walk about the room, and try to keep away from the shadows. Eventually you find yourself in the spot light, without ever try to be there; you were simply trying to stay out of the shadows.

We use many techniques like this, including the technique of tuning within windows, to allow a more attainable result gauged to the student's present ability, which allows for improvement at the student's own speed.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
#2182162 - 11/14/13 09:18 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: OperaTenor]  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Emmery  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted by OperaTenor
Originally Posted by rysowers
As L.A. technician extraordinaire David Anderson once said - "My life became so much better when I gave up striving for perfection and settled for excellence!"

Striving for perfection in piano work puts you on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spectrum. Pianos are not perfect - distortions such as false beats, time constraints, quality of piano etc all force compromise. It is best to clearly understand what constitutes a professional quality job. Spending time making things "perfect" may not serve the client well.


But, but ,but!

Aren't we all at least a little OCD?

wink


I'm definately not OCD....I"m CDO. Its similar to OCD, but all the letters are in alphabetical order...LIKE THEY SHOULD BE.

There is perfection with tuning to strive for but its not to do with the piano. When your done, its nice to hear the customer say "Perfect, exactly what I wanted".


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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