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Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
#3014131 08/15/20 07:38 AM
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Dear friends!
I came across an book "Complete course in electronic piano tuning
by Stevens, Floyd A" from 1974 with detailed instructions on the use of strobe tuners of the time. https://archive.org/details/completecoursein00stev
That would be more and music sound examples someone posted. How does it sound?

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Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3014459 08/16/20 06:58 AM
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Я думаю, що, можливо, ми не зрозуміли ваше запитання наприкінці.
Я не думаю, що в вивченні використання технології 1970-х років є багато сенсу.

I think perhaps we did not understand your question at the end.
I do not think there is much point in studying the use of 1970s technology.

Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3014474 08/16/20 08:27 AM
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There are many devices left from that time. But I've never heard a piano tuned with those tools. It would be interesting to hear. Can someone reproduce an example of that setting and make a record? Retro is fun for me!

Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3014488 08/16/20 09:15 AM
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Those technologies have been left behind because they were pathetically inferior. Other than simply proving how bad they were by actually doing it (once) I see little reason for messing around with it. But have fun if you want! 😨

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
P W Grey #3014527 08/16/20 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Those technologies have been left behind because they were pathetically inferior. Other than simply proving how bad they were by actually doing it (once) I see little reason for messing around with it. But have fun if you want! 😨

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Whoa! They are actually, if used correctly, quite advanced. What they don't have are all the tuning decisions made for you by an algorithm and they require a fair amount of note playing a knob twisting to do a decent tuning, but a skilled user of these devices can do a high level tuning.

Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3014547 08/16/20 12:15 PM
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So I ask an experienced user to demonstrate the work with the device and the results of their labor in the form of a tuned piano, as there are NO out-of-the-box tuning examples ANYWHERE (anyway, I didn't find) using Peterson Strobotuner, Conn etc.

Last edited by Vlad Ants; 08/16/20 12:20 PM.
Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3014548 08/16/20 12:19 PM
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Please! If not difficult smile

Last edited by Vlad Ants; 08/16/20 12:22 PM.
Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3014682 08/16/20 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Vlad Ants
So I ask an experienced user to demonstrate the work with the device and the results of their labor in the form of a tuned piano, as there are NO out-of-the-box tuning examples ANYWHERE (anyway, I didn't find) using Peterson Strobotuner, Conn etc.

Who will want to waste such time?

I have a 1990’s Sanderson Accu-Tuner which was a superior tool the older Strobo Tuners. I haven’t used it since probably 1994 and have no intention to.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3014798 08/17/20 08:23 AM
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I gave them all up.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3014801 08/17/20 08:35 AM
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Vlad-
Use any current ETD program set to non-stretch fundamentals and follow the instructions.
Adjust the offsets note-by-note manually (don't let the device read and set them automatically)
and you will have done a fair imitation of tuning with a strobe tuner.


Ed Sutton, RPT
Just a piano tuner!
Durham NC USA
Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3015268 08/18/20 04:59 PM
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Greetings,
The Strobo-Conn and the Peterson devices will give a tech all the information they need to do a credible job of tuning an equal temperament on a decent scale. A yard-stick will give one all the information needed to lay out a building site, but it is so much more work than a digital transit. The spinning wheels provide a lot of information, but the tech has to know how to extrapolate that into the decision where to place the octave. The tech must also know how to use the machine to isolate and average out the unavoidable irregularities in the scale. Perhaps one in 1,000 techs ever did that when these machines were in vogue, but rather, the tuners I saw with them simply stopped the lights from note to note, and the "better" ones added a couple of cents per octave for stretch. They would do a nice job on a Fender Rhodes, and a sufficient job on a Clavinola, but for a strung piano they would not pass the Guild tests for RPT. And those tests are fairly loose to begin with.
Regards,

Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3015300 08/18/20 06:07 PM
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As Ed stated, decent techs could do a decent job on decently scaled pianos using the old equipment and adding stretch as they went.

Often the problem was an uneven temperament, similar to an aural tech that only uses one type of test to prove the location of a note. They may end up with smooth 4ths and 5ths and wobbly 3rds. Or, the 3rds would progress well, but the 4ths and 5ths would show uneveness.

The bigger problem was going down through the break to the bass strings where many techs just tuned it by ear to get the octaves to work as well as they could.

The treble tunings were usually less stretched in the earlier approaches - and not stretched at all during the earliest use of many of the machines.

Ron Koval

Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Vlad Ants #3015474 08/19/20 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Vlad Ants
Retro is fun for me!
But not for the pianists ear. ;-)


excuse my bad english, I'm not native. Corrections are always welcome!
Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
RonTuner #3015501 08/19/20 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by RonTuner
As Ed stated, decent techs could do a decent job on decently scaled pianos using the old equipment and adding stretch as they went.

Often the problem was an uneven temperament, similar to an aural tech that only uses one type of test to prove the location of a note. They may end up with smooth 4ths and 5ths and wobbly 3rds. Or, the 3rds would progress well, but the 4ths and 5ths would show uneveness.

The bigger problem was going down through the break to the bass strings where many techs just tuned it by ear to get the octaves to work as well as they could.

The treble tunings were usually less stretched in the earlier approaches - and not stretched at all during the earliest use of many of the machines.

Ron Koval
What about this would not apply to the modern digital tunings?

I remember working with a rotating display machine many years ago in the workshop (rebuilt pianos) to get them tuned a few times before release. Actually, each octave note involved tuning the lower note display to the next octave before tuning the octave so each note was stretched exactly correctly for beatless single and double octaves. By letting an algorithm estimate the stretch, surely, like any model, it's not exactly correct anywhere? So, in that sense, the earlier machines, where the tuner had to think about each note, ended with a better tuning than today's machine decisioned tunings. I certainly seem to follow tuners who stretch the octaves to a massive extent and the clients aren't happy even though they can't express exactly what they don't like.
This whole "tuning curve" obsession is doomed to mediocrity because it's a model, not an actual measurement of each individual note. Or am I misunderstanding it?
As for tuning as you go down, meet wound strings or down across the break, I find it hard to believe any tuner would just tune "to the machine" and not then adjust as necessary for it to actually sound OK.
I love tuning with tunelab for pitchraising as it's almost uncanny how accurate it is. But for a decent result to satisfy a proper pianist I think you still need the amazing computer that is the human brain....the computer that can listen to g1 and discern which harmonic is most prominent and compromise that as little as possible but enough....etc. surely that's better than an intellectual decision made before 10ths, octaves, fourths fifths etc are taken into account and adjusted for....and in no time at all as well.

My comments are all a question really, not a statement of fact as I find facts hard to come by in tuning. smile
Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
N W #3015542 08/19/20 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by N W
So, in that sense, the earlier machines, where the tuner had to think about each note, ended with a better tuning than today's machine decisioned tunings. <snip>

I love tuning with tunelab for pitchraising as it's almost uncanny how accurate it is. But for a decent result to satisfy a proper pianist I think you still need the amazing computer that is the human brain....the computer that can listen to g1 and discern which harmonic is most prominent and compromise that as little as possible but enough....etc. surely that's better than an intellectual decision made before 10ths, octaves, fourths fifths etc are taken into account and adjusted for....and in no time at all as well.

Nick

Greetings,
In theory, I can perhaps agree with the above, but practice has shown a different comparison. It is rare to find a piano that is evenly out of tune, with all sections the same amount off. When tuning aurally, the tech has no way to change the correction of, say, every octave, by an amount that will compensate for that octaves divergence from pitch. To illuminate: it is common to find a piano with a bass section 1 or two cents off at the very bottom, but 4 cents or more at the top, then at the first note over the break, it may be that there is 6 or 8 cents off and an octave above that, near the middle of the piano, only 3 cents off. Continuing upwards, the divergence may gradually increase. My SAT will allow me to measure the divergence as I progress through the scale,( I begin at A0 and go up, and usually measure 5 or 6 notes above where I am), and make compensations on the .3-1.5 cents range, leaving my tuning within .2 cents of the pitch I am aiming for. I have never seen an aural approach that comes near this accuracy. There are two reasons for this. Beginning in the middle of the piano, which is what aural tuning requires, lets any change of pitch elsewhere alter the beginning section, throwing a margin of error into the whole tuning. Also, aural tuning requires using the previous pitches as guides, and the previous pitches are being changed after they were decided upon. Those decisions may have taken into account the expected deviation to come, but that guess is nowhere near as accurate as the measured deviation that the SAT uses to compute the correction factor.

When I want my triple octaves to be pure, (usually for concerto use), I have to make these sub-cent corrections for the whole piano to hang together. I can't afford to leave a cent here and there variation due to changing pitches after I have tuned the previous notes. And when I want to play 4 octaves all together and have the lowest note's 8th partial to line up 3 octaves above, the machine can be programmed to do exactly that, yet the work to make them within tolerance by ear(if possible), will leave far less time to polish the unisons.

If a piano is exactly at pitch and needs to be changed up or down say 4 cents and be completely in tune, it is possible for an aural tuning to do that, maybe. I haven't seen it happen, though. I was trained by one of the best, and sold aural tunings in the professional world for years. When Al Sanderson finally developed the programmable SAT, I got one, and it made me a better tuner, in that I could tell the machine what I wanted, and it would provide the info to do just that. The consistency allowed the continual refinement of the program until the machine's guidance provided a template that I couldn't find anything that I needed to change. As an aural tuner I had to reinvent the tuning every time I sat down a the piano and got no benefit from the cumulative refinement of my efforts stored in an electronic chip.
Regards,

Re: Complete course in electronic piano tuning by Stevens, Floyd
Ed Foote #3015827 08/20/20 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed Foote
[quote=N W] As an aural tuner I had to reinvent the tuning every time I sat down a the piano and got no benefit from the cumulative refinement of my efforts stored in an electronic chip.
Regards,

As crazy as it may seem, that's precisely why no prefer aural tuning...it keeps my brain busy making decisions and WORKING. I do not like delegating that function to an electronic machine, otherwise the "machine" I was blessed with gets lazy.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8

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