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Originally Posted by TBell
It's right up there with DIY open heart surgery - don't do it. wink
Well that is how I feel.I have a good ear, but the thought of turning those pins with tuning hammer is just too scary.Not good for my occasional bouts of Carpel Tunnel either.


My piano's voice is my voice to God and the great unknown universe, and to those I love.In other words a hymn.That is all, but that is enough.Life goes on, despite pain and fear.Music is beautiful,life is beautiful.


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Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by TBell
It's right up there with DIY open heart surgery - don't do it. wink
Well that is how I feel.I have a good ear, but the thought of turning those pins with tuning hammer is just too scary.Not good for my occasional bouts of Carpel Tunnel either.

It is certainly not for everyone, Mrs. tre corda. If someone doesn't feel comfortable doing something, they shouldn't do it. Hire a professional, someone that you trust, feel comfortable with and like their work. Money well spent. smile

All the best!

Rick


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Tunelab already knows what pitch to place each string at, but a human is required to turn the tuning pins. I often wondered why no one has built a device to allow the computer to strike the notes and turn the tuning pins. You could press a button and Tunelab would, note by note, tune the entire piano itself. You could tune your piano for free twice a week and with zero effort and have a piano always perfectly in tune.

Last edited by Sonepica; 12/02/21 09:28 PM.
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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Tunelab already knows what pitch to place each string at, but a human is required to turn the tuning pins. I often wondered why no one has built a device to allow the computer to strike the notes and turn the tuning pins. You could press a button and Tunelab would, note by note, tune the entire piano itself. You could tune your piano for free twice a week and with zero effort and have a piano always perfectly in tune.

The software is sometimes wrong. There was an older version of a very popular ETD that seemed to tune all the G#s on the piano just slightly incorrectly (felt validated when my mentor said the problem was real, when I mentioned it). Even with newer devices, the "garbage in, garbage out" phenomena is true-- there will be 2-3 notes that it isn't hearing correctly due to a weird partial, false beat, limitation of the microphone/device placement. If the goal is "perfectly in tune" you still need to know how to check it by ear.

It is also interesting how differently one piano feels from another to tune, and they sometimes respond better to different inputs and hammer technique.


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I have many customers that live up in the mountains or way out in the country. I often encourage them to try fixing unisons and I’ll even teach them. Much better than me having to drive a long distance to fix a couple of unisons.
One hint for beginners: always brace the right arm (assuming it’s holding the lever) on something, whether the case or pin field or something else. Don’t try to turn a pin free-handed. Eventually you can, but it requires much practice and skill.

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I've asked a similar question on a different thread, but what's the chief danger of a non-pro doing touch-up tuning?

Breaking a string obviously is one. Bending or otherwise damaging a pin? Am I correct that the consensus is that it'd be pretty hard to damage the pin block this way, and that it's generally environmental conditions that are most detrimental to the pin block?


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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Tunelab already knows what pitch to place each string at, but a human is required to turn the tuning pins. I often wondered why no one has built a device to allow the computer to strike the notes and turn the tuning pins. You could press a button and Tunelab would, note by note, tune the entire piano itself. You could tune your piano for free twice a week and with zero effort and have a piano always perfectly in tune.
I would buy such a thing! Why don't you design it?!


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Someone did, many years ago. It never took off.

Don Gilmore Self-tuning piano

Last edited by prout; 01/02/22 08:00 PM.
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Originally Posted by prout
Someone did, many years ago. It never took off.

Don Gilmore Self-tuning piano

Me and a bunch of other kids sitting around in the students lounge at tuning school invented this in the early 80s.
By "invented" I mean we never actually built anything.
Or drew any schematics.
Or even really worked out bugs to even a back of napkin level.
And it worked on basic principles completely unrelated to this.
But really, we invented it first.
Like, totally, man.
But he can take all the credit, it's cool.
Cuz we're all humble like that.
wink

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"I've asked a similar question on a different thread, but what's the chief danger of a non-pro doing touch-up tuning?"

The biggest danger is breaking a string. However, the risk can be mitigated in two ways:
1. Simply check that you are on the correct pin. Even pros break strings by being distracted and putting the lever on the wrong string. Also, I come across the occasional non-standard pin arrangement--you just have to visually check.
2. The second way is to first LOWER the note. This also verifies that you are on the correct string. Technicians also lower the pitch slightly to break any corrosion on older pianos or those in damp conditions that exhibit corrosion.

Are there any other dangers? Not really. I suppose carelessly dropping a tuning lever on ivory keys or a case could be a bummer. Chipped ivories can be repaired. Case refinishing can get pretty expensive.

Another issue is a non-technician deciding to take an action out for some reason.
In a grand, you can easily break off hammers, and in a vertical you can break off parts or muck up the dampers when reinstalling a vertical action. Some spinet actions must be specially secured or all the parts will create a big mess.

However, just about anything can be repaired by an experienced tech.

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Originally Posted by Scott Cole, RPT
"I've asked a similar question on a different thread, but what's the chief danger of a non-pro doing touch-up tuning?"

The biggest danger is breaking a string. However, the risk can be mitigated in two ways:
1. Simply check that you are on the correct pin. Even pros break strings by being distracted and putting the lever on the wrong string. Also, I come across the occasional non-standard pin arrangement--you just have to visually check.
2. The second way is to first LOWER the note. This also verifies that you are on the correct string. Technicians also lower the pitch slightly to break any corrosion on older pianos or those in damp conditions that exhibit corrosion.

Are there any other dangers? Not really. I suppose carelessly dropping a tuning lever on ivory keys or a case could be a bummer. Chipped ivories can be repaired. Case refinishing can get pretty expensive.

Another issue is a non-technician deciding to take an action out for some reason.
In a grand, you can easily break off hammers, and in a vertical you can break off parts or muck up the dampers when reinstalling a vertical action. Some spinet actions must be specially secured or all the parts will create a big mess.

However, just about anything can be repaired by an experienced tech.
Super helpful reply, thanks!


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Originally Posted by An Old Square
Originally Posted by prout
Someone did, many years ago. It never took off.

Don Gilmore Self-tuning piano

Me and a bunch of other kids sitting around in the students lounge at tuning school invented this in the early 80s.
By "invented" I mean we never actually built anything.
Or drew any schematics.
Or even really worked out bugs to even a back of napkin level.
And it worked on basic principles completely unrelated to this.
But really, we invented it first.
Like, totally, man.
But he can take all the credit, it's cool.
Cuz we're all humble like that.
wink
I enjoy your sense of humor!


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In addition to diy touch up, it might be a good idea to evaluate the room condition that the piano is in. If a heating vent is near the piano blasting dry air every night, it would go out of tune a lot faster. In an case, make sure to identify the direction to drop the pitch in addition to identifying the correct pin before moving the hammer. Even if the app is used, make sure to listen for an audible drop in pitch before proceeding to adjust the unison. The chance of string breakage is lower then. Also, there are techs who are comfortable with the owner touching up the tuning. Op and other diy owners may want to work with those techs.


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I've been tuning my own piano for about 20 years. I used to have a Yamaha tuning device and now use Tunelab for Android, and tune my piano twice a year, when the weather changes..

As a teen I used to do all the work on my racing bicycles, including building my own wheels, so early on I got used to doing a lot of my own mechanical work. It might sound weird to some, but building and truing wheels is actually quite a bit like tuning a piano. You'd probably have to try it to see why.


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Originally Posted by Mark Alexander
It might sound weird to some, but building and truing wheels is actually quite a bit like tuning a piano. You'd probably have to try it to see why.
Lol, you're actually right!

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Not only do I totally get it, I betcha most tuners would be *phenomenally* good at it.

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I am glad to have found this interesting thread as I am about to deal with my piano tuning for first time. It is a Yamaha U3H with still a decent tune on it, so it maybe just a touch up. I wonder about an Android or iOS app to help. Which ones would you recommend?. I am ready to pay but, please, think it is just for one piano, so super-pro apps would be out of range.

OTOH, I have already a good set of tuning and regulation tools.

Thanks!

Jose


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Originally Posted by EB5AGV
I am glad to have found this interesting thread as I am about to deal with my piano tuning for first time. It is a Yamaha U3H with still a decent tune on it. I wonder about an Android or iOS app to help. Which ones would you recommend?. I am ready to pay but, please, think it is just for one piano, so super-pro apps would be out of range.

OTOH, I have already a good set of tuning and regulation tools.

Thanks!

Jose

The Pro version of PianoMeter for Android is what you are looking for.

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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
The Pro version of PianoMeter for Android is what you are looking for.

Do you mean Plus version, which is 24,99€?. Pro version is 249,99€ (or 49,99€/year), a bit steep for one piano only.

Thanks!

Jose


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If you’re touching up, but not replacing an existing tuning, don’t use an app—it won’t work, because the pitch drifts away from the theoretical ideal with time, use, and weather changes. Use your ears. If you’re inexperienced, it’s probably best to focus only on unisons.


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