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#3218766 05/23/22 09:38 PM
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Well no matter how I hide piano work continues to find me , so today a request from a touring band to tune their Yamaha CP-70, now believe it not in my 40 years in the business this is only the second request to service/tune this model and believe it or not the previous was in 1986 from Peter Gabriel in the UK just before I moved to Boston to take the tech. position at BU, Peter Gabriel at his converted farmhouse music studio outside Bath UK was having Paul Macartney and Linda over to do some studio work , it’s all true folks , so at that time I was totally an aural tuner, which I may do on this request that came today but wondering if you have any tips for setting FAC on Accu Tuner on these gnarly instruments esp. in the bass with strings barely 24” long….thanks.


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I always tuned these aurally, as I do all pianos. The saving grace is that they are not all 88 notes, so the really hard notes are not on the CP70 (or CP60–I had one of those once) at all. So appreciate the fact that it is not a CP80!


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I did one of these recently. I found it to be very unstable. I guess it makes sense--with fewer strings, moving any of them changes the others more.

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I had to tune one of those onstage at a rock concert whilst the soundcheck was happening. But the soundman fixed up the output to headphones so I was able to do it. Wasn't fun though.


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Aural tuner or not, I've done 100s, maybe 1000s of these and I ended up plugging the output into a tuner, plugged my ears with cotton, and tuned. Tested aurally after though,

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Do you have a copy of the service manual? I have one for my CP80 and it has the tuning curve included which you might find useful.

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Thirty plus years ago I tuned a CP-70 twice for Aerosmith at the Capitol Center in Concord, NH. They ran it through the PA system. It was so loud that I found myself salivating involuntarily each time I struck a key. I tuned it aurally. I got paid in cash by their manager/henchman. He pulled out a wad of cash that would choke an elephant and peeled off twenties until I said enough

When Steven Tyler and other members of the band were living in the Sunapee NH area sometime around the mid-seventies, a friend of mine shared a party line with them (A party line is a phone line shared by multiple households, for the uninitiated). She said it would ring at all times of the night, with mostly incoherent people at the other end. So party line is apropos after all. This was before they hit it big, although it was not too long after that.


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Will,

A party line!

You're really dating yourself! Haven't heard of that in ages. Kind of like the phone booth (if anyone remembers those).

I had to do one of those similarly at the Hampton Beach Casino many moons ago. They were called the Skinny Kid Band (IIRC). As I was walking up the back stairs to the venue I could hear them doing a sound check (pretty loud from outside). When I opened the door to go in, the volume almost literally blew me back down the stairs. Yowza! At least they allowed me to tune the thing in relative quiet. As soon as I was done and out the door...Blammo! They resumed their sound check. I was glad to be out of there.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 05/25/22 09:26 PM.

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I have used amps sometimes, and I have done without one if the room is quiet. I tuned one for Phish once, and nobody was around, so I did not need the amp. They had a set of bass strings, because they break, and there was one where the string that had broken had broken before, so it was missing from the set. But the distance from the hitch pin is the same on both strings of the note, so I could use the other one, which only needed the other end trimmed. I thought, "How come other people who had tuned this could not see that?"

I think the first one I tuned was for an outdoor concert by Mongo Santamaria. That is a name from the past!


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Chris Stainton, with Joe Cocker and still with Clapton, had the Kawai version. One year he showed up with the brand new Kurtzweil. Unsure of its usefulness, I went every day for 2 weeks during rehearsal, I think for Farm Aid or something. He never played it again, but kept it setup next to the Kurzweil, 'just in case'.

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If you are interested, here is a link to the CP70 and CP80 suggested tuning curves. I'm sorry I don't have a better version of the CP70 manual.

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Thanks so much for this I appreciate it …


Piano Technician and restorer www.snowpianos.com now relocated to Burlington Vermont after 33 years as Head Piano Technician at Boston University School of Music.
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So the tuning gig of the Yamaha CP-70 worked well today , it’s tuned at each location on the bands tour. The stage was busy with all the roadies setting up and although a small amp was promised it never materialized , I’d created a page in my Accu Tuner that “heavypiano” sent which was useful as a guide but went with mostly aural esp in the bass, and tweaking some errant unisons , the sustain pedal gave me enough added ‘volume’ for a final check through chord progressions.


Piano Technician and restorer www.snowpianos.com now relocated to Burlington Vermont after 33 years as Head Piano Technician at Boston University School of Music.
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Great! I've always had a soft spot for my CP80, despite the rough bass and scaling. Like most specs, the factory manual tuning stretch is just a recommendation but I'm glad at least it gave you another point of reference. Cheers.

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Oh and btw the band was Bon Iver who I gather are pretty well known but not to me!!


Piano Technician and restorer www.snowpianos.com now relocated to Burlington Vermont after 33 years as Head Piano Technician at Boston University School of Music.

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