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Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 #2788504 12/06/18 07:27 PM
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TimM_980 Offline OP
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Are there any dangers in tuning a piano down to 432 from 440 all at once? Or does it need to be gradual? I’m using CyberTuner. Would it be okay to start at A0 and work up or better to do upper registers first?
Thanks,
Tim

Last edited by TimM_980; 12/06/18 07:28 PM.
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Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788513 12/06/18 07:56 PM
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No dangers in either pitch raising or lowering.
Doesn't matter what your approach is, it will be unstable when you're done with the first pass and will require another 1 or 2 passes to resemble stability.


Keith Akins, RPT
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Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788518 12/06/18 08:29 PM
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The only danger is that the piano will gradually get closer to the universal natural frequencies and cause serious feedback issues. The soundboard might crack. I suggest that you aim for A441 or A443 instead.


Chris Leslie
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Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788531 12/06/18 09:38 PM
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Tim,

What motivates you to do this? Just curious.

Pwg


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Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788532 12/06/18 09:39 PM
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Its more stable if you start from one end of the piano, I prefer starting in the bass. The first pass should be relatively quick, don't worry about setting pins. The first pass gets the tension where you want it. The second pass is slower, with pin setting. You will want to tune the piano again in 1-4 weeks.

If it were me, I'd do the first pass by turning the pins without listening, to lower the pitch - but that takes practice to get it relatively close.




Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: Bob] #2788543 12/06/18 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob
Its more stable if you start from one end of the piano, I prefer starting in the bass. The first pass should be relatively quick, don't worry about setting pins. The first pass gets the tension where you want it. The second pass is slower, with pin setting. You will want to tune the piano again in 1-4 weeks.

If it were me, I'd do the first pass by turning the pins without listening, to lower the pitch - but that takes practice to get it relatively close.

in Russian special literature for piano technicians it is recommended to start any tuningfirst pass with 3 octaves (G, A). Then "move" to the bass register ( to left) and respectively to 4 octave (to right). It's care pinblock about, I'm think

Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: Chris Leslie] #2788562 12/07/18 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Leslie
The only danger is that the piano will gradually get closer to the universal natural frequencies and cause serious feedback issues. The soundboard might crack. I suggest that you aim for A441 or A443 instead.


Nah. They've got a crystal for that.

Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788599 12/07/18 03:53 AM
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You're lowering the pitch about 32 cents.

As you are lowering some strings, others will start to creep up. You may want to monitor this as you do the initial rough pass, especially since it would be easy to do so with your RCT.

You definitely want to do this if this is an old piano, has rusty strings, or the bridges or other structural components seem iffy. In fact, you might want to lower the pitch using 2 small coarse passes rather than one big one. Use your best judgment.


Joe Gumbosky
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"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -Marcus Aurelius
Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788608 12/07/18 05:06 AM
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I found this site helpful, regarding the ideas behind A432 https://ask.audio/articles/music-theory-432-hz-tuning-separating-fact-from-fiction

Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788717 12/07/18 11:12 AM
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While a reduction of 8Hz is unlikely to result in physical harm to the piano, it will take more than one pass - perhaps several - to achieve stability at the new pitch.

It has to be borne in mind also that if it is a reasonably modern piano, the scale is not designed for A432 (and even if it's a very old piano it's unlikely to have been designed for lower than A435). The stringing scale - string thickness, length, and tension, were designed for A440 or slightly above (Bosendorfer pianos ship from the factory at A443, for example).

A reduction of 8Hz will result in a departure from the calculated scale design and a consequent change in tonal quality (quite other than the simple change in pitch). I'd be reluctant to subject a piano to that.

Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788720 12/07/18 11:17 AM
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Beethoven's tuning fork (A) is in the British Library, and there are recordings of it online. It is at A455.5

Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788743 12/07/18 12:14 PM
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Do stringing scale designs in modern pianos include nominal stretched tuning in their calculations?

Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788768 12/07/18 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by TimM_980
Are there any dangers in tuning a piano down to 432?


I'm pretty sure that if enough people tune their instrument to A432, the whole universe will collapse, bringing with it the space-time continuum. Proceed with caution.

Last edited by Bourniplus; 12/07/18 01:51 PM. Reason: edited to stay polite

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Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: David Boyce] #2788778 12/07/18 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
Beethoven's tuning fork (A) is in the British Library, and there are recordings of it online. It is at A455.5


That's not bad, considering the rate of inflation.


Ralph

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Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: prout] #2788818 12/07/18 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by prout
Do stringing scale designs in modern pianos include nominal stretched tuning in their calculations?

The scale spreadsheets I have used use theoretical frequencies. Since there are normally several notes for each string size it would follow that the small change for stretch for individual notes would be insignificant.


Chris Leslie
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Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: Chris Leslie] #2788827 12/07/18 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Leslie
Originally Posted by prout
Do stringing scale designs in modern pianos include nominal stretched tuning in their calculations?

The scale spreadsheets I have used use theoretical frequencies. Since there are normally several notes for each string size it would follow that the small change for stretch for individual notes would be insignificant.

The stretch amounts though in the F7 up and F1 down can be anywhere from -30 to +50 cents. C8 on my piano is about +32 cents and A0 is about -25 cents. These stretches come from the piano. I don’t add any extra.

Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: prout] #2788831 12/07/18 04:29 PM
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If you do some error analysis, you can see whether it is significant or not.


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Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: BDB] #2788871 12/07/18 06:13 PM
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I did a little math on your recommendation. Since tension varies as the square of the frequency, and percentage of breaking point (a sort of variable in aid of ‘tone’ quality) is a linear function, it appears that the tension varies only by about 2.9% for a 25 cent change, 3.8% for a 32 cent change, and 5.9% for a 50 cent change.

To me, it would seem that the change in tone of those few notes where the stretch is significant would not be discernible.

I do know from experience in tuning clavichords and harpsichords (low tension brass strings), that a change of 200 cents (A=392Hz) really kills the tone of a modern instrument scaled for A=440. Better to restring.

Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788884 12/07/18 07:12 PM
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If you intend on stabilizing and leaving it at 432, then perhaps either way. Too many variables. Level of experience. Quality of the instrument. Some pianos will do better with it than others. The better we know the particular piano, the less likely mistakes - some rather costly - will be made.


Bob W.
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Re: Tuning Piano to 432 from 440 [Re: TimM_980] #2788899 12/07/18 08:00 PM
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Thanks for all the comments/advice. I have decided to keep it at 440. I am not ready to deal with a potential disaster. I called the manufacturer to see if the piano can handle lowering the pitch and the technician there told me it is a bad idea for the piano. He also said to ignore people on pianoworld forum because half the stuff on here is terrible information.

Last edited by TimM_980; 12/07/18 08:00 PM.
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