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A440 or less.....
#2852624 05/27/19 07:45 AM
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Duaner Offline OP
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I'm curious to read of the circumstances (rusty strings primarily but maybe other points.....) that would cause you to "immediately" start to think (upon inspecting the strings or something else) I better tune this piano a little lower than standard. I think I can say that none of us want to run into a rash of broken strings, SO, what is the clue for you? What is it that would convince you that, well, I will try to level it out at A435 or A437 because.....and as a secondary question (please answer the first one before this one) do you even tell the piano owner??

Last edited by Duaner; 05/27/19 07:47 AM.

Duane Graves


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Re: A440 or less.....
Duaner #2852630 05/27/19 08:23 AM
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Rusty strings with some of them previously broken. I let the piano owner choose...tune a half step flat or risk paying to repair/replace more broken strings. Also I just jump straight to A415. A piano that is in-tune a half step flat is slightly less annoying to me than a piano that's tuned a quarter-step flat.


Anthony Willey, RPT
PianoMeter
Willey Piano Tuning
Re: A440 or less.....
Duaner #2852665 05/27/19 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Duaner
I'm curious to read of the circumstances (rusty strings primarily but maybe other points.....) that would cause you to "immediately" start to think (upon inspecting the strings or something else) I better tune this piano a little lower than standard. I think I can say that none of us want to run into a rash of broken strings, SO, what is the clue for you? What is it that would convince you that, well, I will try to level it out at A435 or A437 because.....and as a secondary question (please answer the first one before this one) do you even tell the piano owner??

I'm always try first tuning making near 435 because if we are not know it's piano: who tuninged it's piano 20 that years ago, what it's quality pin, string and ect.

Re: A440 or less.....
Duaner #2853301 05/28/19 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Duaner
I'm curious to read of the circumstances (rusty strings primarily but maybe other points.....) that would cause you to "immediately" start to think (upon inspecting the strings or something else) I better tune this piano a little lower than standard. I think I can say that none of us want to run into a rash of broken strings, SO, what is the clue for you? What is it that would convince you that, well, I will try to level it out at A435 or A437 because.....and as a secondary question (please answer the first one before this one) do you even tell the piano owner??


I would generalize it (for me at least) to:
Whenever a piano has good bit of rust and corrosion and is about 25 cents flat or more (usually if it is within 25 cents and has no sign of broken strings, you can get away with it- even with rust present)... If broken strings are present- definitely tune where it is. Also, if the customer does not wish to take the chances involved with string breakage...Though I still might test a few strings out here and there after lubing friction points and backing down 1/4 turn before pulling up.
* But, really - if this is the case- it might be better to suggest them getting a better used piano (rather than putting this money into something that cannot be tuned to pitch).

But, ALL requires a fully informed customer- which means you explaining things to them in an understandable way... It might take a little bit of extra time in explaining, but it pays off later to let the informed client decide for themselves. You do not want to be the recipient of a phone call with an upset customer asking, "why was the piano not tuned properly". Or worse yet, no phone call, but your name being spread around town as a bad tuner!
So, rule #1 - ALWAYS inform the customer-- it's their instrument, it's their decision. smile

Re: A440 or less.....
Duaner #2853439 05/29/19 07:53 AM
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Sometime in my first few years in business a customer left a key under the doormat so i could let myself in. The piano was an old upright. It had clearly not been tuned in many years and was a semitone flat. During out phone conversation the customer never gave any indication of wanting 440. Being young and inexperienced I thought I was doing the right thing by leaving it flat and saving the customer the added cost of a pitch raise. Turned out that someone in the family played the flute and they were upset that their duet with the piano didn't sound so good. Lesson learned - NEVER assume that leaving the piano flat will be O.K. AS Rick said "ALWAYS" talk to the customer about it.


Gerry Johnston, Registered Piano Technician
Haverhill, MA
(978) 372-2250
www.gjpianotuner.com
Re: A440 or less.....
Duaner #2853447 05/29/19 08:09 AM
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I generally strive for 440 (though there are times when floating the pitch is applicable when it's a few cents either way, depending on seasonal projections), but I always inform the customer and let them decide.

In all cases, I warn of the potential for broken strings and the need for a follow-up tuning and let them make the call. If the strings are rusted or there is a visible history of previously broken strings, I usually recommend to not raise the pitch. They usually follow my recommendation.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: A440 or less.....
Loren D #2853473 05/29/19 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Loren D
I generally strive for 440 (though there are times when floating the pitch is applicable when it's a few cents either way, depending on seasonal projections), but I always inform the customer and let them decide.

In all cases, I warn of the potential for broken strings and the need for a follow-up tuning and let them make the call. If the strings are rusted or there is a visible history of previously broken strings, I usually recommend to not raise the pitch. They usually follow my recommendation.

thanks for your clearity, Loren D

Re: A440 or less.....
Duaner #2853620 05/29/19 03:38 PM
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Those who have contributed so far have mentioned the most important things; taking a position(professionally) and relating such to the piano owner. Most of the times, they need to be told that such rust, breakages etc resulted from a long time of negligence and that it would require 2 or even 3 tunings before it would be stable...most owners would not mind if its not tuned to 440HZ, especially when such explanations have been offered...if no compromise is reached, its better to let the piano be...most piano owners expect technicians to 'perform miracles' by bringing a dead piano back to live!

Last edited by Israel Bright; 05/29/19 03:42 PM.
Re: A440 or less.....
Duaner #2855025 06/02/19 08:28 PM
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I tune my own piano a B.Brock upright of about 1945 vintage. When I bought it about ten years back I tuned it to 440 using a little electronic Yamaha tuner. Now as it has slowly dropped I have set the tuner at its lowest = 435 . However, if the note sounds OK to me I leave it as it is.
The most anoying notes are the first six bichords where I've had to do major matching of the hammer to its strings. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that they are the first notes on the base bridge

Re: A440 or less.....
Duaner #2855063 06/02/19 10:43 PM
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keep the customer happy, many people are miserable tight wads with money, 80% of these music lovers???? don't want the hassle and small cost of replacing a bass string. That's the world we or at least I live in .

Re: A440 or less.....
Duaner #2855103 06/03/19 03:33 AM
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My world too, michaelopolis. I'm very sceptical these days when I hear protestations of sentimentality about a piano - "It means such a lot, it was granny's piano". Actually it means so little, that they have only rarely had it tuned, have allowed it to fall to and remain at a low pitch for decades, and to go unregulated for its entire life.

It's surprising how quickly the wallet snaps shut in front of the sentimental piano when money gets mentioned.

Re: A440 or less.....
Duaner #2855119 06/03/19 07:35 AM
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Yeah I'd talk to the customer. Tell them the risks and let them decide. I feel once I've warned them of the chance of breaking a string and they still ask me to go ahead then I'm covered if it happens. I'd always rather tune to the expected 440 but wouldn't push it without the customer go-ahead in some cases.


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