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First pitch raise #2314765
08/13/14 12:26 AM
08/13/14 12:26 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 7
Sarasota FL
A
AaronM Offline OP
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AaronM  Offline OP
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I'm going to tune a piano that probably needs a pitch raise. It hasn't been tuned in about 6 years. I've been researching the methods and will be using an accu tuner 4. If anyone would like to share some tips and advice it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Aaron M

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Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2314790
08/13/14 02:04 AM
08/13/14 02:04 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
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Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Raising the pitch is as much about getting the strings to move as it is about getting the piano close to pitch.


Semipro Tech
Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2314887
08/13/14 08:19 AM
08/13/14 08:19 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,596
Strong, Maine
David Jenson Offline
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Just dive in. As you work, you'll develop more specific questions.


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2314893
08/13/14 08:42 AM
08/13/14 08:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,012
Chicagoland
RonTuner Offline
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A0-C8, tune unisons as you go. Use one mute, tuning strings from left to right. Think of it as pushing the deflection wave through the structure of the piano from left to right. Leaves the piano stable and ready for fine tuning...

"Choose and move" Just keep plugging along, use the overpull setting and move the pitch slightly over and back down to get the lights to close to stopping.

Consider it the first pass of a two-pass tuning; no stressing over the quality of unisons, just keep moving!

Ron Koval


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Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2314986
08/13/14 11:54 AM
08/13/14 11:54 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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You will understand what goes on with experience. It is the same than with normal tuning

If you use an ETD it will show how the piano reacts.

Now if you have some sensitivity you may notice that the sound degrade.
This is due to the deformation of the panel and bridge tilt.

Forget advice from the ones that do not hear that.

Hint : tap the bridge pins lightly with a light hammer, sustain pedal engaged.





Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2314987
08/13/14 11:55 AM
08/13/14 11:55 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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You will understand what goes on with experience. It is the same than with normal tuning

If you use an ETD it will show how the piano reacts.

Now if you have some sensitivity you may notice that the sound degrade.
This is due to the deformation of the panel and bridge tilt.

Forget advice from the ones that do not hear that.

Hint : tap the bridge pins lightly with a light hammer, sustain pedal engaged.





Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: First pitch raise [Re: RonTuner] #2315092
08/13/14 05:23 PM
08/13/14 05:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 7
Sarasota FL
A
AaronM Offline OP
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AaronM  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2014
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Sarasota FL
Thanks a lot Ron.

Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2315094
08/13/14 05:24 PM
08/13/14 05:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 7
Sarasota FL
A
AaronM Offline OP
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AaronM  Offline OP
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Sarasota FL
Thanks to all for the advice

Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2315106
08/13/14 05:54 PM
08/13/14 05:54 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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France
think that with new or recent wire , 6-8% of the tension stay on the speaking length side.

I think with old corroded wire that percentage may be very high, to the point one may consider the string fixed on the bridge.

then, going from note 1, you push the panel in a "S shape", while adding tension, an the part above lower in tension by reaction.


The soundboard and ribs must be supple enough to accept that treatment - the ribs glue joint may accept that too.

The loading of a soundboard is said to be better from center to top then from center to bottom.
But it is just Steinway that pretend that.

I thing a more secure way for large PR is to work from one range of tuning pins at once, so the stress installs evenly

This does not solve the bridge tilt question but at last there is no lateral stressing of the assembly. just my opinion


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2315122
08/13/14 06:23 PM
08/13/14 06:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 696
Lincoln, NE
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That Guy Offline
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Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 696
Lincoln, NE
Take your time and don't freak out if a string breaks. It happens to everyone.

I like to rock the string back and forth a bit to make sure it's loose from the bearing points. At least loosen the pin a touch. You might hear a click as the sting breaks loose. If there is a click the string should come up to pitch easier.

Good Luck!


"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
Re: First pitch raise [Re: RonTuner] #2315126
08/13/14 06:25 PM
08/13/14 06:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Gadzar Offline
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Gadzar  Offline
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Mexico City
Originally Posted by RonTuner
A0-C8, tune unisons as you go. Use one mute, tuning strings from left to right. Think of it as pushing the deflection wave through the structure of the piano from left to right...


But, in verticals, the bass bridge is at the center of the soundboard!

The lower notes on the treble bridge are the left most strings of the piano!

Almost all, except of Dr. Albert Sanderson (A0-C8), advice to tune from the break to the top, and then from the highest bass to the bottom.



Last edited by Gadzar; 08/13/14 06:26 PM.

Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2315288
08/14/14 03:45 AM
08/14/14 03:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
A little bit more on bridge tilt :

With recent strings, the tension difference can be as high as 5000 N for 90 strings.

This is largely enough to bend the bridge. Curved bridges resist better to that indeed as are helping the little "dents" that allow an even progression of lengths around the plate breaks.

Now if the wire is old and have a raised friction at the brdige (and, if someone strengthened the bends ) when you pitch raise you are basically pulling directly on the bridge, while the portion of wire behind the bridge is at its original tension.

A few tests with pitches of backscale and some manipulations are a clue as to how much tension can migrate from front to back.

On the opposite, when lowering the pitch of a piano, I always find there is a sensible tone amelioration I put on the bridge taking a better position.

Before lowering pitch on a piano I massage the backscale.

Now, question :

What is the most important reason to keep pianos at "their" pitch -(sometime written on the keys) ?

Last edited by Olek; 08/14/14 03:47 AM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2315446
08/14/14 11:18 AM
08/14/14 11:18 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 534
Oregon Coast
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TunerJeff Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
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Oregon Coast
Dear Aaron,

I find that dropping the pitch slightly, pin by pin, can be a good idea. The strings, neglected for too long, want to stay where they are! Simply adding tension, without freeing the bearing points, can break strings. You want to make sure that when you torque the pins upward, the string will follow. OK?

You don't have to move the pin down (rotate widdershins). You are just listening for a definite change in pitch, slightly lower, that let's you know that the string has moved on the upper bearing bar, pin, capo, or agraffe before you lift the string upwards. It does not add a lot of time to the tuning, but does decrease the possibility of snapping strings. So, a little 'dip' or 'twist' with the hammer, listening to the pitch shift, and then rotating the pin up where it needs to go.

Your first pass should be quick. Make sure the PIN moves. Don't aim for great accuracy as much as getting the tension re-loaded on the whole piano. You can't get high accuracy from a large pitch change anyway! So, try to reduce the motions on each pin to one or two quick motions and move on to the next.

I use an AccuIII for pitch raises. The more practice you have with pitch raises, the better your accuracy will get on that first pass. You will find that each region of the piano will require about the same amount of pin-change, and quickly get a feel for how far you need to shift the pins. It becomes a fast and simple operation. Re-measure the pitch adjustment needed every octave or so (read your manual!) so that the calculation the machine is making matches the need of the piano. Pianos don't go flat evenly! My experience with the AccuIII shows that it can put a piano VERY close to accurate pitch for the second pass. I do go A0 to C88 string by string, as suggested by AccutunerIII manual.

The lowest strings (A0-D1) don't require much overshoot, I simply pull those a tick sharp (slow rotation on the dial) and start measuring the pitch-change needed at D1 or so.

When explaining the need to a customer, I prefer to call it a 'tension adjustment', not a 'pitch raise'. The real aim is to get the piano close enough in pitch/tension to get an accurate tuning on the second pass through the piano. Tension adjustment is easier to explain, for me at least!

Of course; this is only based on my own experience in the field for 30+ years. Yer mileage may vary.

Sipping the morning brew,
watching the rain,
(sigh),
I remain,
Yr. humble and ob't svt.,


Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com
Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2315448
08/14/14 11:26 AM
08/14/14 11:26 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 534
Oregon Coast
T
TunerJeff Offline
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TunerJeff  Offline
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T

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 534
Oregon Coast
Dear Aaron,

In looking at your post (duh!) I see that you are looking at a 6-yr. since tuned interval. That is not too bad....you may find that the piano is fairly close to pitch. Anything over 5-cents flat, measured at A4, should get a two-pass tuning (tension adjustment and then fine-tuning).

It get much more fun when the piano has not been tuned for 30 years, 40, or longer! You'll really be working when you tune a piano from the 60's that has never been tuned. Been there. Done that. One little old lady called me to her house to fix a broken hammer and was amazed to learn that pianos needed to be tuned! Bought new in '65.....(sigh). That one was about a third-flat.

Have fun!
No worries!


Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com
Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2315529
08/14/14 03:15 PM
08/14/14 03:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
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Olek Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
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France
the last strings are fragile but the ones that are prone to break with overpull are the bichords near the break.

releasing the friction is good, but turning the pin back, the part of old wire suddenly expose to tension may break also.
That is how harpsichord strings break, generally, when lowering not the opposite.

About tilt please nobody try to talk about that.
After all it is a bit complicated and goes against the simple idea of PR (and PR with machine, please do not say anything against our wonderful machines !)


That may not be for the mainstream tuners, NO COMPLICATIONS PLEASE .

LOL

That seem to be the main problem on forums, most of the tuners are tuning ordinary or cheap instruments with reduced musicality and are not interested in trying to have them a little musical at last (if possible)

if the hammers nee to be needled that is a catastrophe yet. people is so use to a mediocre tone the idea it is not normal do not pass the mind.

And I try to talk of the difference it does when the bridge tilt ! silly me.

Once in a while, a customer is unhappy with the tone of his piano after the pitch is reinstalled.
On forums that make a good free time for anyone, arguing how umb and stupid the customers are sometime, etc.
SO the soun is more brillant, it is normal because it is AT PITCH.
But the decay i shorten ? No, the tuner i not notice anything, all is well, an the display shows perfectly A=440 Hz, or whateer the local standard is.

In my poor experience, only recent pianos accept PR without too much troubles an even there they need some manipulation so the tone settles normally.

Older pianos can also, assuming they have been tuned regularly for some long enough time , an,d where settle on a given pitch. But neglected old pianos will groan an cry when pitch raised, the only real solution would be to change their strings.

Now, if customers o not complain, why bother.

In the absence of A443 let me take the relay ;))))


Last edited by Olek; 08/14/14 03:21 PM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
Re: First pitch raise [Re: Olek] #2315729
08/14/14 11:56 PM
08/14/14 11:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,308
KZ
Maximillyan Offline
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Originally Posted by Olek
Older pianos can also, assuming they have been tuned regularly for some long enough time , an,d where settle on a given pitch. But neglected old pianos will groan an cry when pitch raised, the only real solution would be to change their strings.

A change the strings yes. But then client can be disheartened new pitch A=440 with new strings. He(she) feels music only as A= 415. And he can ask to return ALL as this was previously,joke

Re: First pitch raise [Re: AaronM] #2315731
08/15/14 12:00 AM
08/15/14 12:00 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 7
Sarasota FL
A
AaronM Offline OP
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Sarasota FL
Thanks everyone for the advice... made it through without a hitch. On to the next one


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