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Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910224
11/10/19 12:14 AM
11/10/19 12:14 AM
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The strings which are most likely to break are the highest treble strings, and they are short, so they do not whip out very far. In uprights, they are behind the action, and in grands they are away from your body. The risk is not that great.

I think we will need more people who are competent to tune, who care enough to learn what tuning is all about, and not just someone blindly, or rather deafly following an indicator on a screen.


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Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: OE1FEU] #2910233
11/10/19 01:37 AM
11/10/19 01:37 AM
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OE1FEU: your last comment was totally unhelpful and demeaning. You know it and everybody else knows it. I'm able to think rationally about a tuning. One bad day, two bad days, at a certain point, I'll try the piano on the third good day and the piano will still not sound right. Perfume?? What is wrong with your thought process?

I don't have to be an expert on tuning to ask a question on this forum. I don't know the program she used. I do know she didn't start in the centre like I thought she would. If memory serves, she started at one end and went to the other. Is there an order one should follow?

Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910255
11/10/19 04:02 AM
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Starting at one end and working to the other is not, to my mind, a very good sign.

Electronic tuning software applications CAN be used in such a manner and produce a good result, in the hands of an experience and aware tuner. But it does SUGGEST someone who is blindly following the software and not demonstrating proper awareness of temperament.

Also, the five hours thing is still a bit of a dead giveaway that the person's competence is questionable.

Tuners tend to start in the middle in order to be sure that a good temperament is being set, from which to work out to each end.

Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910327
11/10/19 09:22 AM
11/10/19 09:22 AM
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Taking 5 hours to tune any piano tells me that this woman is not very experienced, at least not to the point that she should be charging people for it. If it's taking her 5 hours to tune, it makes me question her actual tuning knowledge, wjhether she knows how to aurally check a tuning to verify things are in proper relationship, and especially whether she knows how to properly set up the ETD for the tuning (depending on what ETD she uses, she may have needed to take sample note measurements first, or determined the stretch setting for the piano). Simply matching the note on the ETD screen does not mean that the ETD was properly set up for the piano.

Bottom line, the amount of time it took her to tune your piano is the biggest indicator that her lack of experience produced the result, not the fact that she used an ETD.


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
Piano Technician, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
ASB Piano Service
Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910381
11/10/19 12:50 PM
11/10/19 12:50 PM
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I thought the reason tuners started in the middle was to do with preventing uneven tension throughout the piano. In other words, to prevent a warp while tuning. Can anybody comment on that?

The five hours were mostly spent with her trying to get each note to match each pitch. She said she made some alterations to the high end to flatten the pitch because the natural tendency is for those notes to be too sharp.

I'm just trying to learn as much as I can to avoid losing money on my next tuner. She trained in a shop that repaired old pianos (and sold new pianos) from guys who used the electronic tuner. She didn't study in a tuning school.

Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910383
11/10/19 12:58 PM
11/10/19 12:58 PM
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5 Hours sounds way too long for an experienced professional tuner,,

Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910386
11/10/19 01:07 PM
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If it takes a professional tuner 5 hours, and it does not sound good afterwards, the prospects of becoming a professional tuner in your area are very good! smile


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Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: BDB] #2910412
11/10/19 01:58 PM
11/10/19 01:58 PM
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BDB, thanks for the post. I am a nurse and think about the worst outcomes. I've seen lots of accidents, although none with piano tuning.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910425
11/10/19 02:33 PM
11/10/19 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
OE1FEU: your last comment was totally unhelpful and demeaning. You know it and everybody else knows it.


Sorry, but you're wrong on all three accounts.

You may not like what I wrote, but that's a different story.

Last edited by OE1FEU; 11/10/19 02:34 PM.
Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910426
11/10/19 02:33 PM
11/10/19 02:33 PM
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Candywoman,

From what you have described thus far, it would appear to me that the piano was a bit flat, and she misjudged the need to go over it twice (IOW give it a pitch correction first...then tune). This could explain several things and is a signature of inexperience.

It takes a long time to really understand the ins and outs of this profession, some of which you simply learn the hard way.

If she went through it completely once and then went back to check it against the meter, finding every thing off due to too much tension change, then she would have to start all over again (not to mention the discouragement factor). Now she's into it for at least three hours. Second time through she repeatedly goes back to check her work and finds it still moving...more time...then she second guesses the stretch factor in the treble...more time...perhaps realizes that wasn't such a good idea...you get the picture.

The idea of starting at the bass and progressing note by note to the treble is actually not bad (proven by Dr. Al Sanderson years ago). However it can only be done electronically, and assumes that the piano is already at pitch. Analog (aural) tuners must start in the middle to produce the temperament that gets expanded throughout to the bass and treble. We have no choice in the matter...we must do it that way since the calculations required to produce the desired results are made one by one based on what has already been done as well as "reading" the piano as we go. The ETD pre-calculates everything in advance (generally speaking).

The debate over analog vs digital tuning has been going on for decades and still has its dedicated camps. The day a machine actually can think the way I think is the day I will switch to digital. Until then I'm analog all the way. However, I know techs that do a very fine job digitally and I do not fault them in any way. The success of any tool depends on the ability of the craftsperson to use it effectively...whether a hand chisel or a heart-lung machine. You've got to KNOW your stuff and practice regularly to keep up.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 11/10/19 02:35 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: OE1FEU] #2910467
11/10/19 04:10 PM
11/10/19 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
[

A good tuning, or tuning in general, is physics. It can be analyzed and conclusions can be drawn from such a sober analysis. This should be the starting point of finding out what - in your perception - is wrong about it. Anything else is speculation and a pretty pointless discussion of why tuning A is better than B, especially when your perception results in not playing your piano for a reason that no one else can actually understand.


Actually, it's not "just physics". That is, it certainly involves physics but is not limited to physics. There are multiple solutions to the question of "is the piano in tune or not". In fact, the PTG RPT exam allows for scoring to be challenged. If the examiners agree that the way the examinee tuned is "just as good" as the prepared tuning, then it is accepted.

My understanding is that some tuning devices allow for different amounts of "stretch" which provide different-but-still-acceptable tunings. And, of course, there are some variations among tuners themselves -- even very good ones. You see, tuning is somewhat of a "pick your poison" kind of process-- given the spread of the spectrum of partials from a given string and the absolute "physics" reality that none of them will be perfectly aligned with all other notes -- that allows for matters of taste and artistry.


Keith Akins, RPT
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USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
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Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Chernobieff Piano] #2910470
11/10/19 04:14 PM
11/10/19 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
Candywoman,
Your assertion that the ETD tuners are not as good as the Aural tuners has been disproved many years ago. The Virgil Smith and Jim Coleman tune offs come to mind. Plus when an Aural tuner takes an exam their tunings are verified with ....(wait for it) ....an ETD. Like any trade, tradesman come in all different skill levels. So when you search for your next tuner, don't focus on the "how" but on the service you received, like you have been doing. Sometimes it can take awhile to find the right person
-chris



Well, sort of yes, but technically no.
In the RPT exams, tuning aids are NEVER used to establish the master tuning -- which is done entirely by ear. Rather the tuning aid is used only as a recording device to record the pitches of the notes for reference purposes.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910475
11/10/19 04:18 PM
11/10/19 04:18 PM
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Quote
You see, tuning is somewhat of a "pick your poison" kind of process-- given the spread of the spectrum of partials from a given string and the absolute "physics" reality that none of them will be perfectly aligned with all other notes -- that allows for matters of taste and artistry.


I tell people "It's part arithmetic and part flower-arranging".

Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: David Boyce] #2910476
11/10/19 04:19 PM
11/10/19 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
Quote
You see, tuning is somewhat of a "pick your poison" kind of process-- given the spread of the spectrum of partials from a given string and the absolute "physics" reality that none of them will be perfectly aligned with all other notes -- that allows for matters of taste and artistry.


I tell people "It's part arithmetic and part flower-arranging".


Good analogy!


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910799
11/11/19 01:29 PM
11/11/19 01:29 PM
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My mom's piano had always been tuned by a tuner who is very experienced, he's a family friend, older generation, always aural tuning. And it's generally a very pleasing tuning, I guess it favors thirds in a very "euphonic" way, so to speak. However I've noticed that some thirds that span 2 or 3 octaves are very harsh and out of tune. As I mentioned, some years ago I tuned the piano myself (I read a lot of theory and instructions on how to set the temperament octave, etc. but ultimately I struggled a lot with hearing the beatings, so I resorted to) using an iPhone app called TuneLab. You record some of the strings, it calculates the inharmonicity and then calculates a proper stretch that will create a nice compromise. The result is, for the first time in years those 2-3 octave thirds sounded right! I'm not sure about the rest of the keyboard, my aural memory isn't that good, it's pretty much possible that regular thirds are not that good as they were before, but as a whole I really loved how the piano sounded after all. I preferred it to how the professional aural tuner used to tune it. It's Bulgaria, there's no RPT, etc., so he might have not been that good after all. Or I might be biased thinking my tuning is good only because I did it with my own hands. But there's still the possibility that I, the total noob, could have produced a more than acceptable tuning, using an iPhone app smile


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Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910807
11/11/19 01:44 PM
11/11/19 01:44 PM
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1.
5 hours is too long and shows that the tuner is not a pro! Nobody can be concetrated for 5 hours, but without concentration, you can't judge the tone.

2.
Only a few Softwares really can measure a correct tuning. Most are rubbish -> doesn't matter what the pointer shows.

3.
Yes you can. But it takes some time. I needed about one year.


excuse my bad english, I'm not native. Corrections are always welcome!
Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910873
11/11/19 05:11 PM
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CyberGene, well done for using TuneLab correctly and producing a nice tuning.

TuneLab is one of a handful of excellent, "proper" piano tuning software applications which if used correctly, can help you to produce a good tuning (assuming you can manipulate the tuning lever appropriately).

Other such professional piano tuning software applications include Reyburn CyberTuner, Verituner, Tunic OnlyPure, and Anthony Willey's excellent PianoMeter.

It is certainly possible that your family friend tuner was not producing as good a tuning as you formerly thought.

Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2910937
11/11/19 07:49 PM
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It could also be (from the description) that he tuned a slightly UT. This would harmonize with his description of it. However I don't recall if he identified the fast 3rds.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Should I try to tune my own piano? [Re: Candywoman] #2911254
11/12/19 04:17 PM
11/12/19 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
She said she made some alterations to the high end to flatten the pitch because the natural tendency is for those notes to be too sharp.


This is a clue that the tuner MIGHT have used a simple chromatic tuner that doesn't account for inharmonicity.

A high treble which has a correct amount of stretch is usually up to around 35 cents sharp when measured by a simple chromatic tuner.

She might have "corrected" for this, and thus you don't like how it sounds now even though the unisons are spot on.


Last edited by electone2007; 11/12/19 04:18 PM.
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