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Beemer Offline OP
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In following on from my description of my Gentler and Quieter method of tuning I said I would make and post a video today. I hope it clarifies what I said:
Ian


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What a wonderful video. Thank you so much!

I have watched parts of it over and over. Even though you are BARELY using any pressure when you push away and pull towards yourself, you are actually using more pressure than I thought. I assume that given the length and strength of the tuning pin, working them loose over time would never be an issue as the pressure you are applying is miniscule and they would bend before working loose? (Like when you wiggle a nail in the wall you can work it loose.)

Unfortunately, my pins are not nearly as smooth as yours. Mine click and grab, and not one moves smoothly, but I will try my best.

Why does your piano not have a capo? Is it because it is extremely high-end? And does having a capo mean lesser quality? (My Walter is [very] high end, but it has a capo, and the NSL is mere millimeters; not anywhere nearly as long as the NSL on your piano.)

And wonderful playing. I sub'd to your channel and can't wait to see what else you upload. (It makes me long for my adults students, all who have suspended lessons during the virus.)

Thanks again. I am interested in what others have to say, too.


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Very nice Ian. I recognise the Leroy Anderson, the Beethoven and the Rimsky-Korsakov, but what was the first piece?

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Originally Posted by David Boyce
Very nice Ian. I recognise the Leroy Anderson, the Beethoven and the Rimsky-Korsakov, but what was the first piece?
Hi David,
It is John Field's Nocturne #1 in Eb from his 18 Nocturnes. It was he who introduced the nocturne style and which was then developed by Chopin. I picked this and the other pieces as they were slow enough to let the listener hear the notes sustaining.
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I should have guessed that! Thank you. Field's piano concertos are lovely too.

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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
What a wonderful video. Thank you so much!

I have watched parts of it over and over. Even though you are BARELY using any pressure when you push away and pull towards yourself, you are actually using more pressure than I thought. I assume that given the length and strength of the tuning pin, working them loose over time would never be an issue as the pressure you are applying is miniscule and they would bend before working loose? (Like when you wiggle a nail in the wall you can work it loose.)

Unfortunately, my pins are not nearly as smooth as yours. Mine click and grab, and not one moves smoothly, but I will try my best.

Why does your piano not have a capo? Is it because it is extremely high-end? And does having a capo mean lesser quality? (My Walter is [very] high end, but it has a capo, and the NSL is mere millimeters; not anywhere nearly as long as the NSL on your piano.)

And wonderful playing. I sub'd to your channel and can't wait to see what else you upload. (It makes me long for my adults students, all who have suspended lessons during the virus.)

Thanks again. I am interested in what others have to say, too.
Pins are made of steel and steel bends whatever pressure is applied. In the case of my test pressure the bend is miniscule in comparison to the tension already there. Similarly the pin vertical movement within the pin block is probably nil but if there is movement it will not be any more than the movement of the wood fibres when the pin has rotational torque applied.
Pins that stick and jump may only be reacting to your jerky lever technique. However if they are inherently jumpy then some have reported that after several acw and cw partial rotations they lose that tendency. Never apply any lubricant to a pin hole that would lead to piano destruction!
I note that your piano has agraffes on the bass section but a capo in the treble. My piano uses agraffes throughout. Both types have been used ever since the first Steinway design with manufacturers over the years swapping between for various reasons. One is that on smaller height uprights there is no height available to use agraffes. Some feel that a capo d'astro bar is more able to absorb unwanted vibrations than agraffes and also produce a brighter sound.
Thanks for your comment on my playing. It was not perfect and my playing seldom is! If you are interested you can see and hear all my performances at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj8QXUpJLXZQVs9EHnBKgTQ/videos
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My own tech complains of my pins sticking and jumping, so while my hammer technique is admittingly poor, it's more than just me. smile

I tried your technique on 10 notes, so 30 pins this evening. Three of them went exactly how your demonstration is: I would tune just above the pitch, let it settle back down when relaxing the lever, push away slightly and get no change, then pull towards myself slightly and the note would fall into place while subsequent pulls had no further change in pitch.

But the other 27 were a mess. I would go just above the pitch, then relax the lever, then push up slightly with no change, then pull towards myself slightly with a huge change. I would try again. Eventually I would get the correct pitch after pulling towards myself, but subsequent pulls forward would continue with an additional huge change, never settling in without further changes in pitch. I would use hard blows on those.

I haven't played the piano yet to see if the three pins that worked with your method will hold or not.

I know that I am a "hard" player, and various techs often say that is the reason my unisons go out of tune, BUT keep in mind that I have been the same hard player since college in 1997, playing professionally until only a few years ago, meaning I have played 100s if not 1000s of pianos of all styles/sizes/brands, and I have never, ever had unisons go out from my playing style except my very own piano. That's why I am trying to figure all this out.

P.S. I can't believe I didn't realize one of the pieces you played was Field's 1st Nocturne. I used to know all 18 so well. One of my very first YouTube videos is the 10th Nocturne, with a terrible camera, horrible sound, and I played it much too slowly as I was petrified of the whole thing.


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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
My own tech complains of my pins sticking and jumping, so while my hammer technique is admittingly poor, it's more than just me. smile
I guarantee that it is not you and your technique. If you impact the hammer [basically knock it to the flat side], it will jump by a certain amount. People who complain about jumpy pins, this will all be rather small jumps, in terms of cents. And, each pin will show a different pattern. If you pull it back up, it will jump by a similar amount each time, for whatever pattern is happening on that particular pin. The amount of the jump--it will make a click/pop sound--is based on how the different parts of the last turn of the coil has been set on the pin. Sometimes there will be many small layers, or jumps as you knock the pin flat. Reset the coil, and this all will go away. Afterwards, it'll jump by large amounts like a half step, but there will be no jumps in the range that you are working with.

It all has to do with the coil. Some people blame it on the pinblock, or the tooth fairy, but it all has to do with how the coil is set.

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Thank you VERY MUCH, Ian
Of course, every piano has "its own soul". We cannot formally this fact to ignoring it's and have a single standard UPRIGHT piano tuning. You need to feel very clearly and consciously to make movements of the pin along the axis. We MUST feelling every pin and genteelly move it's there. It is necessary to minimize these movements, I'm think
I was pleasantly surprised that your have an almost identical method to mine .it's maybe because common sense everywhere there? The exception is, perhaps, that I work the handle hammer with both hands. It doesn't matter, I'm think.
I deliberately came to this method. I would add more both words 'deliberately slow' to the title of the method.
Your position of the handle is especially appealing for me. (9-12) UP for upright piano is my credo,
regards yours, Max from Kazakhstan.
goods luck,

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One thing to try is on your first movement is to take the frequency higher than you have been doing. Then be very careful when you relax and reverse the rotation. This should reduce the number of 'failures' when you do the pull test. Worth a try?
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
My own tech complains of my pins sticking and jumping
The other thing that I wanted to say about this is that using the impact tuning lever in both directions will install more jumpiness in the pins when later felt with a normal hammer. It has to do with the pin being at slightly different angles when the final coil goes around the pin, and this being done at many different points. When you wipe the slate clean, and do one long pull, then these jumps simply aren't there. Either small jerks of the hammer, or the use of an impact hammer "programs" the coils to jump in the amounts that they were installed.

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Originally Posted by Maximillyan
The exception is, perhaps, that I work the handle hammer with both hands. It doesn't matter, I'm think. I deliberately came to this method.
I also deliberately came to the method of using both hands to manipulate the tuning hammer. As the string exist on one side of the pin, the force applied is not in the center. Being able to use both hands is extremely important. For the grand, people need to use more left hand technique, for the upright there is benefit for using more right hand. But, both hands are important. Basically it has to do with the ability to pull the pin to the opposite side of the hole than the string normally pulls the pin to when you are in the process of tuning.

The exception is, perhaps, that I work the handle hammer with both I would add more both words 'deliberately slow' to the title of the method.[/quote]I think in general, I agree with this. If I am pulling the pitch higher, and there is any jump or skip higher, I stop and redo. I think this happens when there is a slight twist in wire at the turn, because the pin is at a slight different position do to flagging. If the movement is too fast, there will be an audible click, and then a skip in the sound higher. That is not good. As later when it is release, it will fall back down to THAT specific point, instead of somewhere between.

I do, however, use a fast movement down (flat) to clear the system and get rid of that "twist" that people think is the pin, but is actually just the turn of the coil and less than stellar tuning technique.

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Originally Posted by piano411
It all has to do with the coil. Some people blame it on the pinblock, or the tooth fairy, but it all has to do with how the coil is set.

I see a pattern here. Every posting of yours is about coils. Would you mind elaborating on it in a way that gives us a real insight? I've previously posted these questions based on your assumptions:

So basically, in a concert prep situation (Assuming we are talking concert grands here), you're doing what to "set the coils"? Visually inspect 280 or so pins about the way each individual string is set into the hole? And what are the parameters that serve as a decision point that anything regarding the coils hasn't been set right? What is the variance and what thresholds are the defining points for the decision to take action in working on setting the coils?

After a first, quick visual check about the state of the coils, what further checks do you proceed with to verify your results of a visual check? What is, in your experience, the impact of a 'badly set coil' in terms of tuning stability and what is the percentage of those ones not acting as expected by a concert technician in a concert grand over all the 280 or so pins? Assuming, of course, that the piano isn't completely fresh from the factory and has at least received one decent prep by a concert technician and has survived a concert with standard repertoire and a pianist that was able to produce both pp and ff on an acceptable level?

And what is your usual time frame for a concert prep situation that includes checking regulation, voicing, tuning and minor stuff like perfect fit between keyframe and keybed, string contact on the bridge between the pins?

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Originally Posted by piano411
Originally Posted by Maximillyan
The exception is, perhaps, that I work the handle hammer with both hands. It doesn't matter, I'm think. I deliberately came to this method.
I also deliberately came to the method of using both hands to manipulate the tuning hammer. As the string exist on one side of the pin, the force applied is not in the center. Being able to use both hands is extremely important. For the grand, people need to use more left hand technique, for the upright there is benefit for using more right hand. But, both hands are important. Basically it has to do with the ability to pull the pin to the opposite side of the hole than the string normally pulls the pin to when you are in the process of tuning.

The exception is, perhaps, that I work the handle hammer with both I would add more both words 'deliberately slow' to the title of the method.
I think in general, I agree with this. If I am pulling the pitch higher, and there is any jump or skip higher, I stop and redo. I think this happens when there is a slight twist in wire at the turn, because the pin is at a slight different position do to flagging. If the movement is too fast, there will be an audible click, and then a skip in the sound higher. That is not good. As later when it is release, it will fall back down to THAT specific point, instead of somewhere between.
[/quote]thanks for your clarity, piano 411
exactly so, therefore, one cannot ignore the "behavior of the coil" when we are moves pin pushing the string. And we slow does move our pin we don't will be an audible any of a click and jumping pin there. If we think it's so and DO about that your job will to creative right and it's has good result future time

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Originally Posted by piano411
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
My own tech complains of my pins sticking and jumping
The other thing that I wanted to say about this is that using the impact tuning lever in both directions will install more jumpiness in the pins when later felt with a normal hammer. It has to do with the pin being at slightly different angles when the final coil goes around the pin, and this being done at many different points. When you wipe the slate clean, and do one long pull, then these jumps simply aren't there. Either small jerks of the hammer, or the use of an impact hammer "programs" the coils to jump in the amounts that they were installed.
I have never replied to your thread about coil and becket position. I just checked my Blüthner and can confirm that all the coils are tight and all becket entry points are between 3:15 and 3:25 o'clock. I have not changed this since the piano was new.
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Ian,

I believe you have a clear understanding of the forces involved in moving and settling the PSA (pin/string/assembly). It is not rocket science nor is it brain surgery. It does require practice though, and patience, both of which you clearly have.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

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Or as one of our clever animation students used to say, "It's not rocket surgery".

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Originally Posted by Beemer
One thing to try is on your first movement is to take the frequency higher than you have been doing. Then be very careful when you relax and reverse the rotation. This should reduce the number of 'failures' when you do the pull test. Worth a try?
Ian
I actually tried this after I posted my question. Unfortunately, the loud sound of tuning (my piano is 105dB when open at a "normal" playing level, let alone if I do hard blows) made my ears ring and feel numb, so I stopped tuning. I have special musician's earplugs on order. I am going to hold off on trying anything further until I get my earplugs tomorrow.

In the meantime, this leads me to asking about setting the pin, though. I understand that you turn cw above the pitch, and the reason for turning ccw to set the pin is that the fibers of the wood pinblock are then able to grab and hold the pin. This is the "setting of the pin." BUT, is there a point where turning too far ccw disrupts the fibers and therefore goes beyond gripping and thus un-setting the pin?

What about loose pins? I have three pins that are loose enough that if I turn cw they will hold, but ANY pressure ccw and they spin down at least a minor-2nd.


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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by Beemer
One thing to try is on your first movement is to take the frequency higher than you have been doing. Then be very careful when you relax and reverse the rotation. This should reduce the number of 'failures' when you do the pull test. Worth a try?
Ian
I actually tried this after I posted my question. Unfortunately, the loud sound of tuning (my piano is 105dB when open at a "normal" playing level, let alone if I do hard blows) made my ears ring and feel numb, so I stopped tuning. I have special musician's earplugs on order. I am going to hold off on trying anything further until I get my earplugs tomorrow.

In the meantime, this leads me to asking about setting the pin, though. I understand that you turn cw above the pitch, and the reason for turning ccw to set the pin is that the fibers of the wood pinblock are then able to grab and hold the pin. This is the "setting of the pin." BUT, is there a point where turning too far ccw disrupts the fibers and therefore goes beyond gripping and thus un-setting the pin?

What about loose pins? I have three pins that are loose enough that if I turn cw they will hold, but ANY pressure ccw and they spin down at least a minor-2nd.
Yes you have the concept. Consider the string as being already tuned. Then apply gentle rotational torque in any direction. What happens first is that the nsl tension increases or decreases without the foot of the pin moving. Note that using a normal lever imparts pin angular displacement which is a factor in changing the NSL tension. (If you use a Levitan lever this would not apply).This may or may not change the SL tension depending on the amount of rotation or the agraffe friction.
BTW, decibel level at A weighting is measured 1 meter from the source so your stated 105dB is suspect smile
Regarding the loose pins. There are several methods to improve the friction. Traditionally you could tap the pins further into the pinblock whilst accepting that after doing it you will need to retune the whole piano. Next you could try the thin cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) method but with an upright it really should be placed on its back. Thirdly Maximillian's method of cardboard packing as well documented in this group. My suggestion though is as a test on one string lower the tension half a turn then using your lever with your other hand on the bend press the pin hard inward whilst rotating slowly (never fast as the heat would damage the fibres) left and right several times. See if this makes the pin tighter and smoother to rotate. Be very careful not to move the pin such that coils touch the felt collars or pinblock.
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Ian,

I believe you have a clear understanding of the forces involved in moving and settling the PSA (pin/string/assembly). It is not rocket science nor is it brain surgery. It does require practice though, and patience, both of which you clearly have.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor
Peter,
I am so grateful to have been able to absorb the knowledge from you and the other esteemed tuners here. In my past working life I have had to figure out fixing the failures and performance loss of complex machines and much of that was spent finding out how something worked before trying to fix it. Of course there is also the satisfaction of help others as I have learned here in this great forum.
'Piano Doctor' what a great handle!
Ian


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