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#645177 - 01/01/09 08:58 PM Verituner or RCT for Novice?
straightclaw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/08
Posts: 25
Loc: Indiana
I started tuning my own piano a year ago using a guitar tuner for the middle and then tuning the bass and treble aurally via octaves and major chords with fair results. Recently I used TuneLab Pro trial version for tunings on some friends' pianos. I always use the tuning curve automatically generated by the TuneLab software after reading inharmonicity data from the pianos. The bass always sounds a little sharp to me. I am sure this could be adjusted with custom stretch in the program, but I don't have the aural experience or the time to do this now.

I would like to get a software that I could eventually use to tune pianos part-time with. I am looking at purchasing Verituner Pocket or Pocket RCT. Which software will generate an acceptable tuning requiring fewest aural adjustments? Any recommendations? Positives or Negatives on either? How do they compare to TuneLab?

Any comments and advice greatly appreciated!
Learning to Tune.

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#645178 - 01/01/09 11:57 PM Re: Verituner or RCT for Novice?
Keith Roberts Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 2002
Loc: Murphys, Ca
Both are top notch
Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

#645179 - 01/02/09 01:36 AM Re: Verituner or RCT for Novice?
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1929
Loc: Chicagoland
Study each to determine how many assumptions each software must make about the piano based on input from the user about the piano. Since you seem to be looking for one that will give you the "best" tuning with the least user input (and aural skills), I'd recommend the software that "learns" the most from the piano to calculate a tuning...

(that would be the Verituner software in my experience.)

Ron Koval
Piano/instrument technician

my piano videos:

#645180 - 01/02/09 01:46 AM Re: Verituner or RCT for Novice?
Aussie tuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 77
Loc: South Australia
I have used RCT now for 10 years and I have found that the programmer Dean Reyburn is always adding improvements and extra features. His last addition and upgrade to the program "smart tune" (free downloads when you have bought the program) is amazing. I have been a aural tuner for 35 years and started using EDTs in 1988. What I find now is that by tuning unisons as I go using "smart tune" gives me 99% accuracy with one pass and only requires a couple of unisons to be redone. What has changed from previous versions is that the overpull percentage is adjusted automatically using the inharmonicity results from the five As that are sampled. The upgrades and fixes generally come in at a rate of 3 or 4 a year. I am unable to comment on veratune, but I can after 20 years of using a ETD say the RCT is a great program with a very efficent support team. I think the hardest thing for felt strippers would be to change to tuning unisons as you go.
I now at the age of 67 tune approx 500 pianos a year and own two RCT licences for the odd occasion when one ETD plays up.
Best of luck
Robin Stevens ARPT
South Australia

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#645181 - 01/02/09 05:02 AM Re: Verituner or RCT for Novice?
Gregor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 453
Loc: Münster, Germany
I used to be an aural tuner for 18 year and now I use Verituner for 2 years. I love the tunings that Verituner calculates. Seldom there are intervalls I don´t like. But when I try to tweak them aurally I realize that I am not able to do so. No matter what I do, they don´t become perfect. That´s not because I am a bad tuner. It´s because some pianos and some strings in certain pianos are just not tunable perfectly. So, obviously Verituner makes the same what my ears do.

If you don´t plan to tune on concert level for international famous artists you and your customers will be content with the tunings "out of the box" without any further aural adjustments. Aside from tuning the unisons by ear, of course.

The handling is fine, too. Just switch on the machine, choose the standard settings and start to tune without fumbling around on any tuning curves or so.

I can´t compare Verituner to other ETDs because I never tuned with another one.

Drawback might be that there seems to be no further development of the software. I use the pocket pc version and there was no update for years. Maybe that it is planned for the future, but there are no regular updates.

piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany

#645182 - 01/02/09 12:22 PM Re: Verituner or RCT for Novice?
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
At your stage of the journey you probably can't go terribly wrong with either.

Ron's comment about VT gathering the most info from the piano is true, but that's ony one part of a larger, quite complicated picture. I have both VT 100 and Pocket RCT, and find that on many common pianos the greater depth of info gathered by VT isn't all that big of a factor -- and on some low-end pianos it may actually be a detriment, because all the crap gathered just confuses the machine into creating something muddy and inaccurate-sounding. Maybe greater selectivity in VT's use of info is needed, connected to the indivdual piano.

I also think RCT's "out of the box" tuning does more with the info it does gather, in terms of decision making about the resultant tuning, than VT does. I base that assumption, in part, on the way it varies the mixture of octave types it uses in the bass, depending on the piano. There are clear differences from piano to piano, whereas VT's stock styles always go for the same pre-programmed settings.

If I were buying VT now, I would definitely get the pocket version instead. Sounds like you're already leaning that way. The price of "the box" has gone up appreciably, against an appearance of more manufacturer interest in the pocket version.

To me Verituner has, on nice pianos, the ability to create a very musical-sounding tuning; although (for me) it requires knowledge and use of the Custom Styles feature to really dial in the stretch. Even then aural tweaking is often required, unless I've created a program specifically for that piano (doesn't happen that often). On nice pianos you can hear a subtle difference in resonant musicality through the midrange between VT and other ETDs. However, RCT has so many other plusses, that I can't begin to list here, I currently use it over VT a vast majority of the time. For one thing, the display on VT 100, while based on good ideas, has always been a problem for me -- because of its degree of movement and lack of a clear sense of resolution, while RCT's is very comfortable and conducive to fast accuracy.

The current Verituner is a very good beginning, and could very well represent the future, if Dave Carpenter does what it takes to fulfill the promise of his basic conception. That remains to be seen, in my opinion.

YMMV, and the usual disclaimers. Naturally, my comments can only reflect my current insights, preferences and practice.

Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

#645183 - 01/02/09 08:23 PM Re: Verituner or RCT for Novice?
straightclaw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/08
Posts: 25
Loc: Indiana
Thanks for all the information and advice thus far.

How does RCT and Verituner handle pitch raises, is one better than the other? TuneLab had a spectrum display that was really nice for this with the high treble notes.
Learning to Tune.

#645184 - 01/02/09 08:31 PM Re: Verituner or RCT for Novice?
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
How does RCT and Verituner handle pitch raises, is one better than the other?
Gotta go with RCT on that one ...

Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

#645185 - 01/19/09 10:31 PM Re: Verituner or RCT for Novice?
straightclaw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/08
Posts: 25
Loc: Indiana
Thanks for all your help!

I decided to go with Verituner Pocket. I have tuned 3 pianos so far and they all sound very good to me. My piano has never sounded better, Although I've only had my piano tuned once by an experienced tuner and have only owned it for little over a year. At any rate, it is really fun to play now!

Thanks again!
Learning to Tune.


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