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Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
#3027735 09/22/20 05:34 AM
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What are your tips for doing a speedy and effective 'first pass' in a two-pass pitch raise, for a piano around 25-30 cents low?

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Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3027738 09/22/20 05:47 AM
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I would lube the bearing points and tune about 12 cents sharp first pass, have a cup of tea, then go for pitch 2nd pass.

Nowadays though, I would use the pitch raise on Tunelab. It produces such an amazingly accurate tuning in one pass that I suspect black magic is at work. The second pass is just tuning to my preferences then.
Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3027744 09/22/20 06:24 AM
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Quote
I would lube the bearing points and tune about 12 cents sharp first pass, have a cup of tea, then go for pitch 2nd pass.

That's exactly what I do. I judge whether to go 8, 10 or 12 cents sharp based on the feel of the piano and experience. I usually get it right, in terms of dropping back to the right place.

How clean do you make unisons on first pass?

I should make more of an effort with Tunelab or PianoMeter - I haven't really tried them properly for pitch raises.

Last edited by David Boyce; 09/22/20 06:24 AM.
Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3027748 09/22/20 06:41 AM
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The beauty of tunelab pitch raise (and I only measure 4 notes per octave) is that I can start at A0 and work up. I think this applies the tension very evenly. I tune the unisons by ear as I go. But I'm not really trying hard. The program saves your ears for the proper tuning later, which is also much easier as the first pass is so accurate. It brings to mind what my old teacher told me "you can't really tune a piano unless it's already in tune". So the second pass becomes a good tuning.
I haven't tried any other tuning programs than tunelab, which I bought many years ago in order to measure what I was doing by ear. It was very interesting to see just what stretches I had applied to which pianos. For two or three years I measured everything after I'd finished tuning by ear. Eventually, tunelab became like having an esteemed tuner friend sitting next to me. We don't always agree, but I value his opinion highly.
Nick

Last edited by N W; 09/22/20 06:44 AM. Reason: Addition

Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3027755 09/22/20 07:00 AM
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Greetings,
I use a SAT, which has an over-pull calculator. I take readings as I go beginning at A0 with the first reading taken from A1. I re-calibrate the calculator on every C# and A as I go up the piano, but avoid doing that on the first note of the tenor, which is often much farther off pitch than, say, a note 5 notes above it. It takes about 4 seconds to re-calibrate, so the added time is inconsequential. I also only move a pin once after the initial downward "bump" to break any metal to metal bonding that may have been formed. I then pull the string up to perhaps 5 cents sharp of the calculated pitch and let it drop to stop the lights, (or nearly so). And, if I land a little sharp or flat, I make up for it on the next string. I don't even consider them to be unisons, just close enough on either side to average the expected tension.

It takes about 20 minutes to get the tension installed at pitch, this way. Then a normal tuning is possible. I warn customers that have had large changes in their piano's pitch that the wooden structure is going to slowly change to accommodate the new tension, and that the tuning will not be the most durable one. I haven't lubed strings in decades, and don't remember the last time I broke one doing this.

Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3027805 09/22/20 09:33 AM
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I went from 80 cent flat.

Tuned to 40cent flat, then to 10 cent sharp,

Then a fine tune, then a another fine tune a week later, then minor adjustments after another week.

Total 4 and a half tuning. Overall, the tuning has been rather simple, the action for the languished instrument needs a whole lot more work to feel nice/ even. It played fine even without regulation, but post regulation and tips from the experienced folks here, even-ness was much improved.

Last edited by jeffcat; 09/22/20 09:37 AM.
Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
N W #3027811 09/22/20 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by N W
I would lube the bearing points and tune about 12 cents sharp first pass, have a cup of tea, then go for pitch 2nd pass.

What bearing points are lubed? What do you use for lubricant?

Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3027817 09/22/20 10:11 AM
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I use Protek Prolube applied carefully with a small brush (an artists' brush) to where strings pass under pressure bar and over V bar, and at agraffes.

Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3027835 09/22/20 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
I use Protek Prolube applied carefully with a small brush (an artists' brush) to where strings pass under pressure bar and over V bar, and at agraffes.
This.
Or spray the whole piano inside and out, especially around the tuning pins with WD40!

(just a joke, for goodness sake...)
Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3027885 09/22/20 01:09 PM
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I just use the pitch raise with overpull function on Verituner, and cycle the % of overpull based on whether I'm on the wound strings, in the middle of the piano, or in the high treble (less/more/most). Don't obsess over absolute perfection (particularly with the unisons), because you're going to make another pass anyway. It takes me about 35 minutes if I don't stop and stay focused, and I'm not a particularly fast tuner at all. I'm sure the folks that are tuning 4 pianos a day are doing this first pass pitch raise in 20-25 minutes. If I see corrosion or am doing a particularly large pitch raise, I lower the string ever so slightly before raising it.

That first pass typically gets me within 2 cents of the target pitch for the second pass, over nearly the whole piano...and a satisfactory result.


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Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
N W #3027929 09/22/20 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by N W
Originally Posted by David Boyce
I use Protek Prolube applied carefully with a small brush (an artists' brush) to where strings pass under pressure bar and over V bar, and at agraffes.
This.
Or spray the whole piano inside and out, especially around the tuning pins with WD40!

(just a joke, for goodness sake...)
Nick

Shudder.....

Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3028148 09/23/20 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
Originally Posted by N W
Originally Posted by David Boyce
I use Protek Prolube applied carefully with a small brush (an artists' brush) to where strings pass under pressure bar and over V bar, and at agraffes.
This.
Or spray the whole piano inside and out, especially around the tuning pins with WD40!

(just a joke, for goodness sake...)
Nick

Shudder.....

STP more mileage­čśť

Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
joggerjazz #3028175 09/23/20 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by joggerjazz
Originally Posted by David Boyce
Originally Posted by N W
Originally Posted by David Boyce
I use Protek Prolube applied carefully with a small brush (an artists' brush) to where strings pass under pressure bar and over V bar, and at agraffes.
This.
Or spray the whole piano inside and out, especially around the tuning pins with WD40!

(just a joke, for goodness sake...)
Nick

Shudder.....

STP more mileage­čśť

I basically krytoxed everything that moves / slides. But I used the 205 grease so it's tact and won't run.

Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3028183 09/23/20 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffcat
Originally Posted by joggerjazz
Originally Posted by David Boyce
[quote=N W][quote=David Boyce]I use Protek Prolube applied carefully with a small brush (an artists' brush) to where strings pass under pressure bar and over V bar, and at agraffes.


STP more mileage­čśť

I basically krytoxed everything that moves / slides. But I used the 205 grease so it's tact and won't run.
I'm rather upset, I tried STP to cover some scratches on the lid of a Bosie I'm rebuilding and it didn't work out so now I've had to sandpaper off a patch. I'll give krytox a go but the colour has already changed and I think I'm going to have to paint the top. Matching the curly walnut isn't going to be easy.....


Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3028191 09/23/20 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
What are your tips for doing a speedy and effective 'first pass' in a two-pass pitch raise, for a piano around 25-30 cents low?
I tune aurally. That said, first I may not bring a piano up to pitch if it is the dry time of year, but only halfway. Listening to how flat the low tenor is compared to the rest of the piano will reveal much. The lower it is, the more a change in humidity is the reason for the low pitch. The upper treble will also tell you how long it's been since being tuned last. The lower, the longer.

Next is how much to overshoot. 50% overshoot works for me, but from the treble break up, it always seems to need more. So as I go, I give it more. First tuning one string per unison, then going back for the rest. And if it seems I might not have raised enough, I'll give the 3rd string a bit more.

Finally, there are times I have underestimated how much to overshoot, sometimes just the treble, and pulling things up during the fine tuning can throw the rest out of whack. But that problem doesn't seem to present itself if I overestimate the overshoot. So when in doubt, I give extra overshoot wherever needed.

But with a piano only 25-30 cents flat, and I am pressed for time, I might give it a "blind" pitch raise, and maybe just on one or two strings per unison.

Just another perspective.


Jeff Deutschle
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Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
N W #3028202 09/23/20 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by N W
I would lube the bearing points and tune about 12 cents sharp first pass, have a cup of tea, then go for pitch 2nd pass.

Nowadays though, I would use the pitch raise on Tunelab. It produces such an amazingly accurate tuning in one pass that I suspect black magic is at work. The second pass is just tuning to my preferences then.
Nick
Forgive me as a six year tuner of my own pianos. I'm of the opinion that lubricating the bearing points loses the advantage of stiction that acts in conjunction with the pin stiction to do two things:
Firstly to use the NSL as a buffer against SL tension change during playing. Secondly to allow stability testing by using hammer push/pull (up/down) direction whilst monitoring the final tuning. If no change then there is more chance of good stability. If lubrication is used then using a push/pull test would increase the chance of equalisation of NSL and SL and hence a reduction of in tune margin with heavy playing.
Of course I don't have a tuning time restraint, the need to use overpull, nor do I have RPT issues with dealing with difficult to tune pianos. I might have missed other reasons for such lubrication and would be interested to hear of them.
Ian


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Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3028255 09/23/20 01:21 PM
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I lubricate the bearing points on a pitch raising job because it eliminates breaking strings. Remember, on such a task you are trying to move alot of wire ( relatively, compared to normal tuning) through the agraffe/ pressure bar. The highest tension of the wire is the part wound around the tuning pin. The next highest is from pin to agraffe. So to move the speaking length (increase that tension) you are asking alot of the wire if there is the slightest rust or sticking at the agraffe. It's easy to take the first two parts of the wire beyond breaking if the tension won't slip easily through the agraffe.

I wouldn't expect to lubricate in a normal tuning situation unless there was a specific reason.

Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3028264 09/23/20 01:42 PM
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Tuned a piano that was about 20 cents sharp today. I suspect the last tuner might have went for A444 but that's another story.
Verituner first pass in 30 mins.
Don't worry too much about accuracy or tight unisons. within a few cents is fine. Go for speed and keep moving the pins.
2nd pass I go for accuracy , good unisons and most of all stability.
Verituner is worth its weight in gold and tunelab can also make light work of pitch raises. I used to do pitch raises by ear a few years ago but never want to go back to that pain again.

I also lubricate with protek on any pianos that are new to me.

Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3028272 09/23/20 02:16 PM
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Which Protek do you lubricate with? Protek CLP or Protek Prolube?

Re: Fast First Pass for Pitch Raise?
David Boyce #3028295 09/23/20 03:17 PM
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CLP here.

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