Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Who's Online Now
98 registered members (Chopin Acolyte, 36251, Brendan, cmb13, Bett, anotherscott, achoo42, 29 invisible), 1,132 guests, and 5 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Tuning duplex scales? #2850832
05/21/19 05:08 PM
05/21/19 05:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 4
WA, USA
K
KylePNW Offline OP
Junior Member
KylePNW  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 4
WA, USA
Hi Everyone,

I have a '67 Baldwin R that I love and I (foolishly?) thought it would be interesting to try tuning it. My thought process was along the lines of "old guy buys old car and learns to fix it for 'fun'."
After a few months, some expensive software and a very annoyed wife, it finally sounds solidly "ok" again. crazy
The most fascinating part of this whole process is learning just how much I didn't know when getting started and I suppose I'm just scratching the surface of what I still don't know.
The forums have been very helpful and so have videos from forum members.

Anyway, I've been looking over the forums trying to find a good answer about whether or not front and rear duplex scales can/should be tuned.
Duplex tuning wasn't even something I was aware of until yesterday when I was reading threads about a bass unison that wouldn't tune.

I went to the piano this morning and plucked the strings with a pick and they are 1) pretty badly out of tune with each other and 2) definitely not tuned to P2 or P3 as described in the forums.
For example C5's rear was somewhere around a G#6 which doesn't seem correct.

So here are the questions:
1) Does it really matter?
Seems like there are mixed opinions on this. Some suggest just muting them if they sound bad, others (like Ed McMorrow with the FTDS work) say they should be tuned.
Part of the reason I care is that there's a lot of 'sizzle' around the 5th octave (vbar/capo area) that is kind of unpleasant and I thought it might be related to NSL noise.
2) Is it reasonable or possible to tune these?
The Baldwin R doesn't have an "adjustable" duplex and strings are shared.
3) How?
I'm assuming that it would involve trying to get both sides of the string under equal tension and then somehow trying to balance the tension between the speaking length and NSL.
4) Should I just give up and find someone reasonably obsessed (hehe) to come do it for me?

Apologies for the naive post - I'm still learning the depths of my ignorance here. smile

Last edited by KylePNW; 05/21/19 05:15 PM.
(ad 800)
PTG Convention 2019
PTG 2019 Convention Tuscon AZ
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2850848
05/21/19 06:12 PM
05/21/19 06:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
Actually, Baldwin is a good make to look at for discussing the value of duplex scales.

Early Baldwins had aliquots that were truly non-tunable: There was a pin in the bottom of them that went into holes in the plate.
Later Baldwins did not have the pin or the holes.
Still later Baldwins, with Acu-Just hitch pins, did not have aliquots at all, so there was no duplex scale, at least behind the bridge.

So that may give you an idea of how important Baldwin believed duplex scaling to be.


Semipro Tech
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2850881
05/21/19 08:33 PM
05/21/19 08:33 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 655
New Hampshire
W
WilliamTruitt Offline
500 Post Club Member
WilliamTruitt  Offline
500 Post Club Member
W

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 655
New Hampshire
KylePNW, you may find this interesting reading: http://homes.ioc.ee/stulov/slovak06.pdf

This study was by Estonia, who incorporates tunable front and rear duplexes in their grands, as does Fazioli and Ravenscroft, Mason.& Hamlin, and others.

I won't guess as to the motives of Baldwin when they went to the accujust hitch pins. In that case, I think the merits of having independently adjustable down bearing for each string outweighed the virtues of duplex tuning.

Ed Mcmorrow can chime in if he wishes to tell you what exactly tuning a front duplex means to him.


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2850902
05/21/19 10:04 PM
05/21/19 10:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
You may want to try an experiment in muting off all the duplex areas and analyzing the result. A reasonable number of people prefer the sound of their piano without the aliquots ringing.

To test the effect put tape on all aliquot sections, front, rear, where ever. Then play and see what you think. Then, selectively remove tape one section at a time. If you like a certain combination make note of it. Remove the tape and thread thin felt through all that you want, leaving the sections (if any) ringing that you want.

Some ideas are great on paper but in reality don't work quite the way we intended. You can "tune" them this way (tune them out maybe).

However I concur that Ed M. Can doubtlessly give numerous reasons why and how to actually TUNE them.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2850914
05/21/19 11:15 PM
05/21/19 11:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,178
Seattle, WA USA
E
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online content
5000 Post Club Member
Ed McMorrow, RPT  Online Content
5000 Post Club Member
E

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,178
Seattle, WA USA
Thanks for asking me to comment.

Front duplex segments, (the ones between capo and tuning pin), must be de-tuned from whole number relationship with the struck segment.

Rear duplexes function best when they are close to the fundamental of the struck segment and damped.

The "sizzle" noise you are hearing may well be a too round V-bar finally allowing the old strings to buzz because they bent over time enough to where the speaking length is actually able to vibrate into the front edge of the V-bar.

It could also be that the front duplex is too close to a whole number relationship with the speaking length. (Measure the speaking length of both the struck segment and the duplex segment and divide the duplex length into the struck segment length and if the result is close to a whole number, that is a likely noise source).

It could also be inaudible longitudinal modes beating with themselves in the audible frequency range.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2850923
05/21/19 11:57 PM
05/21/19 11:57 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
I would estimate that the possibility that the sizzle in your piano is due to voicing and wear in the hammers is very close to 100%. Try filing the hammers. You should not need to take off all the string groove to make a noticeable difference.


Semipro Tech
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2850982
05/22/19 05:33 AM
05/22/19 05:33 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 655
New Hampshire
W
WilliamTruitt Offline
500 Post Club Member
WilliamTruitt  Offline
500 Post Club Member
W

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 655
New Hampshire
BDB's contention that this noise almost always originates in the hammers can be readily tested when one hears it coming from notes that have front duplexes. Sound an offending note, and put your finger on the strings in the front duplex area. If it goes away with the touch, it is not originating in the hammers, but at the Capo V bar, being either too rounded in origin, or rounded over by string cuts created by years of heavy playing. It is as Ed describes,and there is no controversy as to this problem, except perhaps in BDB's mind.

The cure for the string grooves is to relieve the string cuts and reshape the V bar into a narrower profile. Rebuilders do this all the time.

It can also be said that piano makers are not always attentive to creating a proper profile, so sometimes you can hear this sizzle right out of the gate on new pianos.


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: BDB] #2851063
05/22/19 10:24 AM
05/22/19 10:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,178
Seattle, WA USA
E
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online content
5000 Post Club Member
Ed McMorrow, RPT  Online Content
5000 Post Club Member
E

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,178
Seattle, WA USA
So BDB, have you ever experienced a V-bar shape that you thought was too blunt?

Have you ever reshaped a V-bar to a V-shape and compared the tone difference?


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2851077
05/22/19 11:01 AM
05/22/19 11:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
I can attest to the importance of V bar shape! And it goes back a long way.

Ed is CORRECT! Listen to him.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2851080
05/22/19 11:09 AM
05/22/19 11:09 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
By all means you can try the $1000 cure before you try the $100 cure. But I recommend doing those in the opposite order.


Semipro Tech
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2851104
05/22/19 11:50 AM
05/22/19 11:50 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
Absolutely BDB...start simple (that's a no brainer), but the cure depends on a proper diagnosis. First check for the easy, but be ready to commit to the complicated if necessary. A V bar buzz can EASILY parade as a soundboard or bridge problem.

I recently restored an A, an O, and in the process of a B...ALL of which had seriously poorly shaped Vbars in various places straight from the factory (or possibly from poor treatment in previous "rebuilds"). I do not enjoy tackling this in a strung piano. PITN! Literally.

Hopefully though your buzzes are elsewhere. That would be nice.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2851121
05/22/19 12:36 PM
05/22/19 12:36 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 655
New Hampshire
W
WilliamTruitt Offline
500 Post Club Member
WilliamTruitt  Offline
500 Post Club Member
W

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 655
New Hampshire
BDB, do you charge a $1000 to diagnose a buzzing front duplex by putting your finger on the offender?

I believe you have done some rebuilding. Don't you listen to the front duplexes before teardown, examine the V bar after destringing. and reprofile as needed? Every rebuilder I know does just that.


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2851132
05/22/19 12:50 PM
05/22/19 12:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
More and more as I became more adept at basic service, I found that pianos need less rebuilding than people claim.


Semipro Tech
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2851136
05/22/19 12:57 PM
05/22/19 12:57 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 655
New Hampshire
W
WilliamTruitt Offline
500 Post Club Member
WilliamTruitt  Offline
500 Post Club Member
W

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 655
New Hampshire
Right on the mark, Peter. His buzzes are elsewhere.....


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2851203
05/22/19 03:39 PM
05/22/19 03:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 4
WA, USA
K
KylePNW Offline OP
Junior Member
KylePNW  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 4
WA, USA
Thank you for all of the feedback.

A few updates:
1) I think maybe the duplex _is_ tunable? I don't know if the little metal bridges are movable or glued/fixed to the harp. Here's a picture.
[Linked Image]
2) In any case, I'm not going to bother messing around with them. From reading more, it sounds like as long as they are close, they achieve the goal (adding some overtone ring, bridge impedance magic???)
3) I didn't measure the front duplex length to the speaking length ratio, but the front sounds much more "in tune" with the primary note... it sounds like 2 to 4 octaves higher. That would lead me to think that they are some integral multiple of the speaking length.

As for the sizzle, a few more notes on that.
1) many of the strings there are hard to tune. They seem... unstable (???) throughout the attack/sustain. I don't know if those are false beats or something else, but the pitch (of a single string) will start sharp, fall flat go back sharp, and land in tune then fall flat again. Whatever the cause, the tone is not clean and pure. I'm not even sure how to begin tuning the unisons because each string is so wild.
2) I gently put my finger one of the worst offenders in front of the capo and struck the note. The note sounded very dead and I felt a lot of vibration in the string. I'm going to guess this is because some of the vibration is 'leaking' into the front duplex because the termination isn't clean. The last time I had a tech come out, he tried pulling the string into the capo to seat it better, but I'm guessing that didn't really work to solve the issue.

In any case, it sounds like the capo is part of the sizzle problem.
I ordered some pitch locks (for a few really ugly bass bichords), but some posts have suggested they may help in the capo section too?

As fun aside, when messing around with it this morning I learned what happens if your phone falls behind the fallboard. eek

Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2851256
05/22/19 07:54 PM
05/22/19 07:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
Lol...good one Will. I missed that.


PitchLocks work very well in the capo area. You need the small ones for that. Large for the bass. Just be careful that you don't drop too many down into the action...😢

You can look at the V bar with a mirror and flashlight with the action out. Are the annoying sounds limited to the V bar area? Or do they also extend into the agraffe section? A better test might have been to literally move the entire unison over slightly to get it out of whatever grooves might be there already. Then listen to it. If it clears up, you know what your problem is. If it doesnt, look elsewhere.

As to the tuning issue, some pianos are simply like that (actually virtually all do it to some degree). Assuming you are using an ETD you "see" more of it than we aural tuners do. We just go with the flow and tune it with our ears.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 05/22/19 07:56 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: P W Grey] #2851278
05/22/19 10:10 PM
05/22/19 10:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 4
WA, USA
K
KylePNW Offline OP
Junior Member
KylePNW  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 4
WA, USA
It's mainly the capo section. The C5/C#5 are the last agraffe strings and C5 can be a little harsh. Mainly it's (C5 to C6). Above that it doesn't seem as bad - but I really don't play up there as much so maybe I just don't notice it as much?

If I wanted to move the unison over a bit, how would I do that? Can I do it under tension and just push down and over or should I loosen those strings and then slide them over?

I am using an ETD (Verituner) and it's very jumpy on those notes, but even when tuning the unison (which I try to finish up by ear), I don't really know would be the best to tune to. So far, I've been listening for beats in P2 and P3 but the pitches are so unstable, I'm not even sure what part of the attack/sustain I should even try for. In the high treble, I have tuned the very initial attack and that sounds pretty good. If I tried that in this octave, I can get the attack to sound good and then have a busy sustain or have a busy attack that settles after a second. I guess if I have to pick one, the sustain might be more important so chords sound clean.

In theory it all seemed pretty straightforward... (famous last words) smile

Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: KylePNW] #2851395
05/23/19 08:56 AM
05/23/19 08:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
I was not really thinking of suggesting that you do it. Your tech has the tools, etc.

Have you tried muting off the entire aliquot sections yet?

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2851693
05/24/19 08:37 AM
05/24/19 08:37 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 524
Chesterfield. MA
C
Craig Hair Offline
500 Post Club Member
Craig Hair  Offline
500 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 524
Chesterfield. MA
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Rear duplexes function best when they are close to the fundamental of the struck segment and damped.


Ed,
Except in the highest notes, how can the rear duplex approach the fundamental of the speaking length?
And how do you damp the rear duplex. I don't think I have spotted any changes from design in your pictures.


Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Chesterfield, MA
Conservative Piano Restoration
Watch us on YouTube
https://plus.google.com/u/0/105412259108667869462

Sometimes, all you can hear is the cat snore.
Re: Tuning duplex scales? [Re: Craig Hair] #2851744
05/24/19 10:27 AM
05/24/19 10:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,178
Seattle, WA USA
E
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online content
5000 Post Club Member
Ed McMorrow, RPT  Online Content
5000 Post Club Member
E

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,178
Seattle, WA USA
Hi Craig,
I have one piano with the top octave having hitching length equal to speaking length. Of course it would be unrealistic to have this continued much lower than the top two octaves of the standard piano compass.

Damping of ancillary string segments is achieved in the usual ways. Soft cloth of some sort.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com

Moderated by  Piano World 

Shop Our Online Store!
Shop Our Store Online
Shop PianoSupplies.com

Did you know Piano World has an online store, and that it's loaded with goodies pianists and music lovers want?
Check it out and place your order.

Special Purchase!
Keyboard and Roses Piano Bench Cushion Keyboard & Roses 14"x30" piano bench cushions Regularly sold for $79 to $100, now only $39. (while supplies last)

(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Bechstein
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Opinions about Feurich Grands?
by ShiroKuro. 06/26/19 06:52 PM
Hand Discomfort
by Anna123. 06/26/19 02:52 PM
New Yorker seeking assistance for a Unicorn Hunt
by PHollis. 06/26/19 01:37 PM
Estonia Concert Grand
by LovingPianos. 06/26/19 01:31 PM
Ebony Sharps - how low is too low
by DougD. 06/26/19 12:34 PM
What's Hot!!
PIANO TEACHERS Please read this!
-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics192,726
Posts2,842,334
Members93,715
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1