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Piano lost magic after first tune? #2827760
03/17/19 06:50 AM
03/17/19 06:50 AM
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willpianist Offline OP
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Hi all

My new Kawai GX2 seems to have lost a bit of magic in terms of its tone after receiving it's first tuning. My wife is a non player and she agrees.

The piano was set up quite well before the delivery (although a bit bright when the lid is open), but the tuning seems to make every note a bit more dull after a week.

Is this possible or was I expecting too much after reading the first tune can make the piano sound much better?

If I were to get another tech in to assess the situation, what should I ask him? I mainly play classical music.

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Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2827771
03/17/19 07:35 AM
03/17/19 07:35 AM
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sfhombre Offline
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If you bought from a dealer, why not call and get the phone number of the tech that set it up the first time?

Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2827779
03/17/19 08:51 AM
03/17/19 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by willpianist
Hi all

My new Kawai GX2 seems to have lost a bit of magic in terms of its tone after receiving it's first tuning. My wife is a non player and she agrees.

The piano was set up quite well before the delivery (although a bit bright when the lid is open), but the tuning seems to make every note a bit more dull after a week.

Is this possible or was I expecting too much after reading the first tune can make the piano sound much better?

If I were to get another tech in to assess the situation, what should I ask him? I mainly play classical music.


yes, it's dulling sound and mading sharp point for your ears feel strait of an unison sounding. It is a need which practice many tuners always

Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2827799
03/17/19 10:00 AM
03/17/19 10:00 AM
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wouter79 Offline
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Maybe it was out of tune and you got used to it?
Then after tuning,it sounds properly less sharp which might feel as dull), less inharmonicity (also 'dull' but now in the sense of 'less rich').

Another possibility is that the tuner tuned the piano slightly different from what the shop tuned. There are several 'parameters' and choices to be made when tuning, and every tuner chooses a little different. You might check with the shop where you bought it from who tuned it


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Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2827867
03/17/19 01:56 PM
03/17/19 01:56 PM
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jsilva Offline
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Of course there’s also the potential for mood changes. Somedays I think my piano sounds beautiful, then other days my mind fixates on weaknesses and isn’t quite as impressed by it smile

Though, as sfhombre said, it’s worth getting out the technician who did the last tuning you liked. Regardless of competency, different tuners make different decisions which you may or may not like as much.

Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2827872
03/17/19 02:08 PM
03/17/19 02:08 PM
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Hakki Offline
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IMO one of the advantages of tuning apps might be that the tunings are similar each time.

Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2827875
03/17/19 02:14 PM
03/17/19 02:14 PM
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P W Grey Offline
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1) What was the environment like in the store where you bought it? High ceiling/low ceiling, carpet/no carpet, large room/small room, etc.

2) Describe the room it is in now likewise please.

3) Are you ABSOLUTELY SURE that you received THE piano that you played and liked in the store? Did you check the serial number to verify? (Substitutions do happen sad to say).

4) Are you saying that it sounded great for a week once it was moved to your house, and then immediately after tuning you feel the luster is gone? Is that an accurate description?

5) Or, are you comparing the sound in the showroom to the sound in your home...period?


The following is not meant to be critical or condescending, but "store tuners" are not widely known for great expertise (This is not a universal statement). They are often (not always) newer techs in the learning phase (but they work cheap). Also, when a tech is sent out to do the "freebie" tuning he/she is often (not always) working at a cut rate, and we all know where this leads eventually.

OTOH, if the piano was in fact masterfully tuned in your home, but was less than masterfully tuned when in the store, and it happens that your ear prefers a somewhat "lively" unison tuning, whereas the tuner in the home nailed every unison and octave dead on perfect (unlikely but possible), then in fact the piano might sound "dead" to you.


I don't know...I wasn't there. These are some possibilities.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 03/17/19 02:16 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2828120
03/18/19 05:57 AM
03/18/19 05:57 AM
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willpianist Offline OP
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Thanks for all your response. The technician who set up the piano (going through the Kawai Dealer prep checklist) only works in the workshop of the shop and doesn't do private tuning. The piano sounds quite nice at my place for almost 3 months before I organised the first tune using someone else, in the hope of making the piano sound even better.

Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2828133
03/18/19 07:05 AM
03/18/19 07:05 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by willpianist
My new Kawai GX2 seems to have lost a bit of magic in terms of its tone after receiving it's first tuning. My wife is a non player and she agrees.

Fascinating. I read about this happening to a past PW forum member who wrote a non-fiction book largely about her piano losing its magic after its first tuning and how she ended up solving this. See this old thread.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2828155
03/18/19 08:19 AM
03/18/19 08:19 AM
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daniokeeper Offline
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Was there a change in pitch, either sharp or flat? This can also affect the sound.

Did the tuner leave any comments on the invoice?


Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.morethanpianos.com
(semi-retired)

"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: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2828160
03/18/19 08:28 AM
03/18/19 08:28 AM
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Hakki Offline
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It is most probably because of the way unisons are tuned.
But it might also be due to different stretch preferences between the tuners.

Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2828172
03/18/19 08:47 AM
03/18/19 08:47 AM
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Omaha, NE
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adamp88 Offline
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Will, where are you located?

There are too many variables for us to provide any sort of decent diagnosis over the internet. Temperature and humidity variations, how in tune the piano was when it was first delivered, whether the piano needed a pitch adjustment pass or not, skill of the technician, etc. We certainly don't have enough information to say that it's most likely how the unisons were tuned.

In my area (or anywhere in the midwest, really), 3 months is more than enough time for a piano to go quite noticeably out of tune. Your ears might not notice it happening, but once intervals start drifting, it can make the piano sound more... lively than a properly tuned piano - due to intervals stretching and/or compressing beyond their regular width. It is possible that having the piano freshly tuned simply quieted that liveliness. This new technician might use a less appropriate stretch on his tuning than the initial tech who tuned it prior to your purchase. It could be possible that you might prefer a piano tuned in something other than equal temperament, but again - it's hard to provide a decent diagnosis over the internet.

Last edited by adamp88; 03/18/19 08:53 AM.

Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
Piano Technician, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
ASB Piano Service
Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2828214
03/18/19 10:10 AM
03/18/19 10:10 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,596
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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If this is a brand new instrument, and it was not tuned in the home for three months it would be a pretty sorry sounding thing by that time, as well as flat in pitch. From what was said, I would deduce that the OP prefers he sound of mildly out of tune. This is not unprecedented as there are some very good musicians who also like this sound over a good tight fresh tuning (which sounds "dead" to their ears, or lacks "singing" quality).

I know this is anathema to most of us piano technicians but it simply is true. I was exposed to it early in my career but it took me years to actually catch on to the phenomenon (as it is totally opposite to what my ear wants).

My advice would be to wait about a month or two and see if the "magic" comes back.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2830300
03/23/19 08:30 AM
03/23/19 08:30 AM
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willpianist Offline OP
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Thanks everyone. I have decided to check out a few piano technicians in about 1-2 weeks time. I am quite a serious player so unsatisfactory tune frustrates me a lot. Will report back.

Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2830603
03/23/19 09:34 PM
03/23/19 09:34 PM
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P W Grey Offline
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Looking forward to your findings.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2830639
03/24/19 01:10 AM
03/24/19 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by willpianist
Thanks everyone. I have decided to check out a few piano technicians in about 1-2 weeks time. I am quite a serious player so unsatisfactory tune frustrates me a lot. Will report back.

If you find that you actually prefer a slightly detuned piano sound, you should ask your next piano technician up front to purposely ensure all the unisons are adjusted so you can get that sightly out-of-tune quality instead of too clean a sound.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2830836
03/24/19 01:18 PM
03/24/19 01:18 PM
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P W Grey Offline
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You might also ask him/her BEFORE tuning: "How do You find it right now? What problem areas (if any) do you find? What is its pitch level? How are its unisons?" Ask for a demo.

Make a note of what was said.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2836388
04/07/19 10:17 AM
04/07/19 10:17 AM
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willpianist Offline OP
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Reporting back two weeks after the technician visit. Was told that he found some of the bass notes a bit off too, and the higher notes should have been tuned a bit sharper (more brilliance) as these notes tend to sound flat.

The tech didn't want to do any voicing to the piano because 1. The piano is too new and 2. Voicing is not reversible and my living room is not acousticly very good so I will regret doing voicing.

The piano sounds quite nice after the tuning and the tune still holds up with average 1 hour of playing time per day for the past 2 weeks.

I know my piano is not Steinway but I think the piano is now performing as good as it should be so I am happy now.

Thanks guys for your input.

Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: willpianist] #2836415
04/07/19 11:32 AM
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jsilva Offline
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Glad that you are happy, although the reasons not to ‘voice’ seem strange without knowing what kind of voicing the technician was talking about. Seems to me that the piano being new is reason to voice it, and voicing it for the acoustics of the room is also reason to voice.

But since you’re happy then maybe there’s no reason to pursue it smile

Re: Piano lost magic after first tune? [Re: Hakki] #2836420
04/07/19 11:42 AM
04/07/19 11:42 AM
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Hakki Offline
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Originally Posted by Hakki
It is most probably because of the way unisons are tuned.
But it might also be due to different stretch preferences between the tuners.


Will I am glad that the problem is solved by tuning as I had guessed.
This is one example showing that proper tuning is important.

Last edited by Hakki; 04/07/19 11:43 AM.
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