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#2654387 - 06/17/17 04:02 PM Effect of humidity on tuning  
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rogergordon Offline
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Hi I'm new to the site and I have a technical question:

My Bechstein grand is 100 years old and was factory reconditioned before I bought it ten years ago, since when it has been wonderful. For the last year, however, despite having been tuned frequently, it has developed a tuning problem which causes the trichords to go out of unison in the central register. This is manifested by these notes making a "wowing" sound even when played alone.

The tuner says this is probably caused by changes in humidity which, when increased, causes the soundboard to expand making the strings in the central region go sharp. Whilst this seems plausible, I do not see why it has the effect of making the central register unisons go out of tune while maintaining their overall pitch. Any suggestion gratefully accepted.
Thanks, Roger

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#2654399 - 06/17/17 04:58 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Gadzar Offline
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Any changes last year?
Same location?
Same technician?
Same humidity conditions?


Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
#2654508 - 06/18/17 02:23 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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rogergordon Offline
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Thanks , Gadzar,

No changes;
Same location;
Regular tuner left the area, two different tuners, then same for last two tunings - 2 months apart;
Hygrometer by the piano shows normal variations around 70%, it is an old, draughty house no double glazing so temperature does vary in the room.

#2654513 - 06/18/17 04:16 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Gadzar Offline
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I'm afraid all points to the tuner.

Tuning stability depends on many factors, one of them been the tuning hammer technique of the tuner.

All other factors have not changed, so...


Rafael Melo
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rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

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#2654526 - 06/18/17 08:21 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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P W Grey Offline
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I wouldn't nail the tuner(s) quite yet.

Do I read correctly that you have now had 3 tuners on it? Or is it 4? And the "problem" persists? Its an old drafty house and your humidity is around 70%, and the instability is largely in the midsection of the piano. Do I have these points reasonably correct?

First thing you need to know is that wood gets weaker and less resistant to pressure and stress the higher the moisture content. This is why when we WANT to bend wood (without breaking it) the first thing we do is add moisture to make it pliable. Then if we need more flexibility we add heat. Now it has very little resistance to bending and we can pretty much turn it into "pretzel". Try to do that with a very dry piece of wood and it will simply SNAP.

So...dry=hard...moist=soft. There happens to be a "sweet spot" at around 42%-45% where it has maximum strength and flexibility together. This is WHY the Dampp-chaser system is programmed the way it is.

I would suspect that you have:

1) Too high humidity
2) Excessive and/or uneven downbearing problem.

Either one alone can create unnecessary instability, but together they would be very difficult to deal with.

My recommendation is to get humidity control properly installed (and you may only need dehumidifiers AND humidistat) AND a complete piano cover to enhance its effectiveness.

After it acclimates, then tune it. I suspect you will notice an improvement.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
#2654541 - 06/18/17 09:16 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Thanks PWG,

Yes 4 tuners in all but the problem only started after the first (long term) one left. The next two were not good but the fourth (current) one seems very good and the problem is better for a while after tuning but then returns.

Interesting what you say about humidity levels. It is around 70% at the moment because the weather is warm and humid, but in the winter it drops to 40/50% but I have heating in the room as it gets cold, which also affects humidity..

The level of humidity when the piano is tuned presumably makes a difference. So I can see that having a constant level should improve things and I will look into a Damp-chaser and cover.

Thanks again,
Roger

#2654542 - 06/18/17 09:18 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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MU51C JP Offline
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It seems to me to be an issue with humidity and temperature. If it's only the mid section where this happens, then that is precisely where the movement of the soundboard is greatest and most likely to wander out of tune. Another thing that would confirm the situation would be to note whether all the strings in the individual trichords of that section have moved in the same sharp or flat direction.

Whilst the actual speaking length on individual notes are the same, when soundboards shift due to fluctuations in humidity take place, each separate string of the trichord alters at a different rate due to the varying lengths of the nonspeaking sections, and if that shift is consistent then I doubt it's a tuner issue, more likely a non stable environment one.


Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 52 years in the United Kingdom
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com
#2654589 - 06/18/17 12:29 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Gadzar Offline
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My Bechstein grand is 100 years old and was factory reconditioned before I bought it ten years ago, since when it has been wonderful. For the last year, however, despite having been tuned frequently, it has developed a tuning problem which causes the trichords to go out of unison in the central register. This is manifested by these notes making a "wowing" sound even when played alone.

Nine years in the same place, same humidity conditions, with first tech, no problem.
Last year, same place, same humidity conditions, no changes except regular tech left, 3 other techs have tuned the piano, now unisons drift and are "meowing".

For nine years the same humidity conditions were not a problem with the first technician.

I think the problem is the technician. If the last tech is good maybe the 2nd and 3rd techs have destabilized the tuning and it will take some more tunings to completely stabilize, actual tech has tuned the piano twice, give him a third chance to get it stable, if not, then look for a better tuner.


Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
#2654609 - 06/18/17 01:26 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Bosendorff Offline
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Originally Posted by rogergordon
Yes 4 tuners in all but the problem only started after the first (long term) one left.
Hmmm...

Another thing is : were the pin block and pins included in the "reconditioning" ? If not, 100 years is a long time and maybe they are beginning to fail.

Also, if you are sure RH inside the piano room stays as high as 70% several months a year, you definitely need a DC system - with probably two dehumidifier rods. Once installed and the piano tuned, keeping the lid closed every time you are done playing will help optimize the DC efficiency.

#2654647 - 06/18/17 04:42 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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rogergordon Offline
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Thanks Bosendorff,

Just doing some research on DC and found a thread on this forum - "Damp Chaser Cost" where a post by BruceD states that he would not use a DC on a grand because it cannot maintain a separate micro-climate inside the piano except when it is closed and covered, and that tensions set up in the sound board could cause damage.

Now confused . . . any comments

Roger

#2654652 - 06/18/17 05:12 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Hi Roger,

In my case, I would never uninstall the DC on my grand, because the tunings hold much better since. I don't think it's very hard for anyone to follow a simple discipline and close the lid every time after practicing. I also use a very light cover that falls just a couple of inches lower than the wooden case. I think those two simple things are enough for the microclimate to be effective. One downside though is that a grand piano doesn't look as great of course when closed and covered.

I really doubt that the DC dehumidifier (since you might not need the humidifier part) can cause "tensions" in the soundboard. In the thread you mention, most people arguing never bought one for their piano. Mine didn't come equipped with a DC and I installed one about two years after, and in my case it improved the tuning stability quite a bit. It's up to you to decide, of course.

#2654660 - 06/18/17 05:45 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: Bosendorff]  
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Originally Posted by Bosendorff
Hi Roger,

In my case, I would never uninstall the DC on my grand, because the tunings hold much better since. I don't think it's very hard for anyone to follow a simple discipline and close the lid every time after practicing. I also use a very light cover that falls just a couple of inches lower than the wooden case. I think those two simple things are enough for the microclimate to be effective. One downside though is that a grand piano doesn't look as great of course when closed and covered.

I really doubt that the DC dehumidifier (since you might not need the humidifier part) can cause "tensions" in the soundboard. In the thread you mention, most people arguing never bought one for their piano. Mine didn't come equipped with a DC and I installed one about two years after, and in my case it improved the tuning stability quite a bit. It's up to you to decide, of course.


Out of curiosity, your forum signature is for the dampp chaser electronic controller. Is that something you sell?

#2654663 - 06/18/17 05:55 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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MU51C JP Offline
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There can be many reasons why the first tuner's work remained stable longer than subsequent ones that could explain this change. Yes clearly something must have changed, but if the middle section unisons are the only ones to be wandering and not the higher treble, where shorter strings should normally be more affected by a less experienced tuner, then perhaps the change is down to a yet to be determined reason.

1. Is the piano in exactly the same position in the same room ? A move within the room may have allowed direct sunlight to play on the casework or strings at times which will dramatically affect humidity levels quite rapidly.

2. Has anything been altered to do with heating or air conditioning ?

3. Does the tuning tend to improve at times or does it only get worse ? If it does wander in and out of tune rather than simply get worse it's most likely to be an issue with humidity change.

4. Get hold of a good quality maximum and minimum hygrometer / temperature gauge and place it inside the lid. It's of little use to state normal humidity range of 70%.

5. Do the present tuners tune your piano the same time of day as the first ? If humidity levels are not the same when you generally play as they were when the piano gets tuned then think about getting it tuned around the same time of day as your first tuner.

6. Apart from the loose central section unisons - have you actually measured the pitch to see whether it goes sharper of flatter in comparison to the other sections ?

None here can be sure of what's happening ... but only try our best to guess, having experienced similar customer concerns. It's all rather too easy to cast doubt on others professional abilities when experience lacks and simply suggest finding someone else.


Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 52 years in the United Kingdom
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com
#2654665 - 06/18/17 05:59 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: dogperson]  
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Bosendorff Offline
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Out of curiosity, your forum signature is for the dampp chaser electronic controller. Is that something you sell?
Up to now no, there is only one existing prototype and it's on my own piano.

#2654684 - 06/18/17 08:03 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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P W Grey Offline
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I have been putting these things on pianos (grand and upright) for 40 years. It is true that they don't work AS WELL on a grand as on an upright due to the enclosure effect of the upright. However it always improves things (assuming regular maintenance) though. Closing the lid ENTIRELY when not in use definitely enhances grand performance. A complete cover further enhances it's effect.

The idea of stresses building up due to DC install is IMO ridiculous. The amount of stress in a piano is ALREADY PHENOMENAL. 20 tons of tension...1500 lbs. of downbearing. Please give me a break!

I have never seen a properly installed and maintained DC system that did not improve the piano. If your data is accurate, you really need one.

Finally, while it is true that Bechstein is not the easiest piano to tune, and requires a little finesse due to the open pinblock style and large string bearing area, humidity control will minimize the amount of movement necessary to get the thing in tune and hasten stability. Yes, some tuners are better than others with this but still, controlling the humidity is really the key.

Pwg

BTW, where do you live?

Last edited by P W Grey; 06/18/17 08:04 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
#2654773 - 06/19/17 08:37 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Just to summarise:

I live in London;

Less than perfect experience with tuners 2 and 3, ok now;

No changes in location, position, heating etc;

Tuning does wander in and out due to changes in temperature and humidity - today temp 30, humidity 85 and it sounds better;

Tune and play at about same time of day, not sure whether it goes sharper or flatter;

Take the point about any humidity change due to DC being trivial compared to general load, will talk to (good) tuner/technician about fitting DC.

One final suggestion made by tuner: piano has not been toned in 10 years and hardness may be contributing to tuning problem.

How long should toning take as I will do this anyway because the tone is too bright, but I didn't want to do this before sorting out the tuning problem as this would just result in a more mellow "meowing"!

Thanks all,
Roger

#2654985 - 06/19/17 10:15 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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P W Grey Offline
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This is true. Worn hammers do make tuning more difficult. Reshaping them and fitting them to the strings can help a lot. I would highly recommend it. Some call this "toning".

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
#2655010 - 06/20/17 01:41 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Gadzar Offline
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I thought toning was voicing and not mating hammers to strings.


Rafael Melo
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Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
#2655016 - 06/20/17 02:30 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: Gadzar]  
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Worn hammers fit themselves to the strings. The trick is to take away all but a little. It is part of the process of voicing.


Semipro Tech
#2655129 - 06/20/17 04:07 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Today the hygrometer is showing 70% and the "wowing" is prevalent.

I have just noticed that by damping one of the strings the unison is restored for the other two strings. It appears that this only happens if I dampen the outer string on the right, as seen from above. I also notice that the tuning pin for this string is the one furthest away from the bridge. Is there any significance in this or is it just coincidence?

#2655210 - 06/20/17 10:55 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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P W Grey Offline
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This is a standard pattern of unison behavior. VERY often (but not absolutely universally), as the humidity rises significantly the unison goes out...all strings sharp but the middle string more so than left, and right string the most sharp. I would bet that if the humidity came down to 55%-60% those unisons would come back pretty close to in tune.

Total opposite happens in the dead of winter when it drops to 20%-25%..pattern is reversed.

If you get it under control at 45%-50% you'll probably be in great shape.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
#2655230 - 06/21/17 01:14 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Gadzar Offline
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Originally Posted by rogergordon
Today the hygrometer is showing 70% and the "wowing" is prevalent.

I have just noticed that by damping one of the strings the unison is restored for the other two strings. It appears that this only happens if I dampen the outer string on the right, as seen from above. I also notice that the tuning pin for this string is the one furthest away from the bridge. Is there any significance in this or is it just coincidence?


So, there is only one out-of-tune string in the unisons and it happens to be the one with the longest non speaking segment, with the other two strings being in tune with each other. This is absolutely not what Peter talks about in his last post.

I do not want to be annoying but this is a sign of a bad tuning hammer technique, the tuner does not set correctly the tuning pins and the strings to leave them in a stable condition.

When dealing with a NEW problem, i. e. something that happens now and did not used to happen before, I focus my attention in finding what is now different from before. What has changed?

There is a recent thread by Beemer called "Why is the longest NSL the first to detune?", there technicians coincide to say that this is due to a bad tuning hammer technique.

A DC system and/or a whole room humidity control system won't help. If your tuner is doing a bad job, unisons will continue to go out-of-tune even if the RH stays constant.

If I were you I would make a test, a cheap test: I would have the piano tuned once more and for three weeks I would make a record of the RH, if unisons do not stay in tune while the RH has not changed significantly then I would know RH is not the culprit. Instant changes in RH are not relevant, it takes 3 weeks for the soundboard to absorb humidity. So the fluctuations must be not only significant but enduring to make the soundboard move.



EDIT: Or directly hire a well reputed tuner, living in London you won't have troubles in finding a good one

Last edited by Gadzar; 06/21/17 01:34 AM.

Rafael Melo
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rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
#2655245 - 06/21/17 03:49 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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The nonspeaking length of the string seems to be factor in lack of tuning stability which I will follow up with the tuner.

I cannot, however, accept that his tuning technique is a cause of the problem: I hired him through one of the top London Piano retailers and Bechstein specialist. He has trained in Kawai, Fazioli and other factories, preparing concert grands for recitals at various venues including Festival Hall in London for top line artists (including Herbie Hancock). This might well have been the case with the previous two.

Thanks again.

#2655249 - 06/21/17 05:37 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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Excellent discussion here!

Just an additional thought.

Your piano was stable when tuned by the first tuner. Yet, there was no humidity control system installed. The room's humidity was not stable then or now.

If it was OK before, why not now?

What time of day was your first tuner tuning the piano?

What time of day is your current tuner tuning the piano?

Perhaps there is a rhythm to the room's environment.

Edit: For example: If the humidity is high in the early morning and low in the late evening, maybe it's better to tune the piano at noon to avoid too wide swings in one direction only. Maybe it's better to let the tuning get a little more humid and then a little dryer. In other words, don't tune at the very peak of the curve or at the very bottom of the curve.

Edit: Also, is there some other activity going now that wasn't going on before, such as steam cleaning the carpets?

I agree that a correctly installed humidity control system is probably your best solution, though.

Last edited by daniokeeper; 06/21/17 06:12 AM.

Joe Gumbosky
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#2655260 - 06/21/17 07:46 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: P W Grey]  
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
This is a standard pattern of unison behavior. VERY often (but not absolutely universally), as the humidity rises significantly the unison goes out...all strings sharp but the middle string more so than left, and right string the most sharp. I would bet that if the humidity came down to 55%-60% those unisons would come back pretty close to in tune.

Total opposite happens in the dead of winter when it drops to 20%-25%..pattern is reversed.



Hi Peter,

This has intrigued me since studying the effects of NSL on stability. Let me see if I can propose a logical reason.

The standard tuning technique is to raise pitch slightly above target and set the pin with a CCW twist. Despite what some people seem to think, I do this often. It was the first hammer technique I learned.

But let's imagine what happens to NSL tension after we do our CCW twist.

The pin untwists in the CW direction. This is needed because as we apply our CCW twist, the NSL tension is dangerously low, making the NSL flabby and loose. The CW untwisting puts tension back into the NSL.

Now, because of Hooke's Law, whose corollary states that for the same deflection a short spring changes tension proportionally more than a longer spring, this means the consistent CW untwisting produces a higher NSL tension in the right pin.
(See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooke%27s_law)

Now, when the soundboard rises, the SL tension increases, but the right pin's higher NSL tension counteracts the increased SL tension and prevents slippage at the v-bar.

The longer NSL tensions however are lower and as the SL tension rises, this raises the tension band, bringing the already low NSL tensions closer to the lower limit of the tension band, eventually resulting in the string slipping on the v-bar/agraffe and going flat, the longer NSL going flat first.

This would produce a relatively sharper right string and the pattern you observe.

This is why I try to be aware of the different length NSL and tune them appropriately.

It may also explain why some tuners seemed to have stability that lasts through the seasons better.

Sorry for derailing the thread. If anyone wants to discuss this more, please copy and paste my post to a new thread.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
#2655282 - 06/21/17 09:27 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
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P W Grey Offline
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I have observed this phenomenon for many years.

I am (reasonably) convinced that it is a function of the WAY the soundboard/bridge moves (slightly at a compound angle relative to the agraffe) under EXTREME humidity conditions (both high and low...and AFAIAC 70% is extreme for the reasons I set out earlier). My reasoning for this (largely) is due to the fact that when the humidity comes back closer to where it was when tuned, THE UNISONS COME BACK TOO to a large extent (not perfectly of course but often pretty close).

If it was NSL slippage (which yes, it can be in some cases or compounded by) the unisons will REMAIN out of tune even though humidity comes back.

Can I prove this beyond any question? No! But if his unisons improve (not perfectly, but generally) when the humidity comes back down, this is strong circumstantial evidence that it is a simple matter of CONTROLLING the humidity that will SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

It may also be (as I stated earlier) that there is an excessive or uneven (or both) downbearing issue (also unprovable short of restringing [which I am sure is not going to happen]) exacerbating the problem. HUMIDITY CONTROL is also the best solution for this too.

Think simple...the solution usually is simple.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 06/21/17 09:29 AM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
#2655308 - 06/21/17 11:26 AM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Gadzar Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gadzar  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Peter,

All what you say about the effects of changes of the RH in the tuning is correct but this does not explain why the piano was stable for 9 years with the first technician and has been instable since he left. How do you explain that?


Mark,

I do not know what others do but I for my self only make an untwisting CCW movement to set the pin. That is, I do not twist the pin CCW, I do not make the pin foot move CCW. I just untwist the pin in its hole to suppress the CW torsion and leave it straight. So there is no CW untwisring .

If I happen to feel the pin moving when I make the CCW setting I restart from the beginning , that means I've gone too sharp in the first movement. If I correctly estimate how sharp I must go before the CCW untwisting, then this 2 movements (go sharp and untwist) are enough to leave the string at pitch and stable.


Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
#2655413 - 06/21/17 05:56 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 470
P W Grey Offline
Full Member
P W Grey  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 470
New Hampshire
Raphael,

This is probably going to spark some defense and/or criticism but here goes:

People change over the years, our likes and dislikes, our preferences, our sensitivities, etc. We are being asked to give advice (or simply insight) into a situation for which we have NO truly hard data. We are simply told that he was very satisfied with one tuner for 9 years (in which it is implied that the piano virtually did not go out of tune [yes, that is probably am overstatement, but...]). Then he was forced to have another tuner, then another (neither satisfied him), and his current tuner is very good, it seems the piano has somehow developed this annoying habit of unison drift in the center section.

Here is what we know:

1) It is a Bechstein grand. (Open pinblock, large string rest...)
2) It has been refurbished 10 years ago.
3) It is currently in an extreme environment (according to most standard assessments).
4) He liked his first tuner.
5) He didn't like his 2nd or 3rd tuners.
6) He likes his 4th tuner.

Here are things we don't know:

1) The specific tuning cycle of the first tuner (1, 2, 3 times per year).
2) The specific month(s) of first tuners work.
3) Did the tuning cycle change when tuners changed?
4) Did the tuning month(s) change when the tuners changed?
5) Is there any personality likes/dislikes about any of these tuners?
6) Have there been any emotional situations he has dealt with recently that may be coloring his perception of what is currently going on, OR in his recalled perception of what USED to be?
7) What has been the TRUE humidity cycle this instrument had been subjected to? (Data logger can yield surprising results).
8) Did the first tuner know to lube the string rests and the others do not?


There are more factors to be considered that I don't have time to deal with. These are ALL RELEVANT whether one wants to admit it or not. We though, have no way of verifying anything and are only getting one side of the story. I am in no way trying offend or accuse!. Simply stating facts that 40 + years of experience tell me are all part of the story.

What consistently puzzles me is WHY some people are so adverse to controlling the humidity which is probably the single most obvious and simplest solution?

Okay...fire away!

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
#2655426 - 06/21/17 06:52 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: rogergordon]  
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,417
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member
daniokeeper  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,417
PA
Quote
(from P W Grey)

Here are things we don't know:

1) The specific tuning cycle of the first tuner (1, 2, 3 times per year).
2) The specific month(s) of first tuners work.
3) Did the tuning cycle change when tuners changed?
4) Did the tuning month(s) change when the tuners changed?


Excellent points.

Also, was the first tuner floating the pitch?
Is the current tuner also floating the pitch, or setting it to exactly A=440 every time?

Last edited by daniokeeper; 06/21/17 06:53 PM.

Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.morethanpianos.com
(semi-retired)
#2655439 - 06/21/17 07:25 PM Re: Effect of humidity on tuning [Re: P W Grey]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Gadzar Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gadzar  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Originally Posted by P W Grey
Raphael,

This is probably going to spark some defense and/or criticism but here goes:

People change over the years, our likes and dislikes, our preferences, our sensitivities, etc. We are being asked to give advice (or simply insight) into a situation for which we have NO truly hard data. We are simply told that he was very satisfied with one tuner for 9 years (in which it is implied that the piano virtually did not go out of tune [yes, that is probably am overstatement, but...]). Then he was forced to have another tuner, then another (neither satisfied him), and his current tuner is very good, it seems the piano has somehow developed this annoying habit of unison drift in the center section.

Here is what we know:

1) It is a Bechstein grand. (Open pinblock, large string rest...)
2) It has been refurbished 10 years ago.
3) It is currently in an extreme environment (according to most standard assessments).
4) He liked his first tuner.
5) He didn't like his 2nd or 3rd tuners.
6) He likes his 4th tuner.

Here are things we don't know:

1) The specific tuning cycle of the first tuner (1, 2, 3 times per year).
2) The specific month(s) of first tuners work.
3) Did the tuning cycle change when tuners changed?
4) Did the tuning month(s) change when the tuners changed?
5) Is there any personality likes/dislikes about any of these tuners?
6) Have there been any emotional situations he has dealt with recently that may be coloring his perception of what is currently going on, OR in his recalled perception of what USED to be?
7) What has been the TRUE humidity cycle this instrument had been subjected to? (Data logger can yield surprising results).
8) Did the first tuner know to lube the string rests and the others do not?


There are more factors to be considered that I don't have time to deal with. These are ALL RELEVANT whether one wants to admit it or not. We though, have no way of verifying anything and are only getting one side of the story. I am in no way trying offend or accuse!. Simply stating facts that 40 + years of experience tell me are all part of the story.

What consistently puzzles me is WHY some people are so adverse to controlling the humidity which is probably the single most obvious and simplest solution?

Okay...fire away!

Pwg



thumb


Thanks for your answer and your time.


Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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