The machine is only a tool, and bears little discussion. The manner in which the tool is employed is a more profitable topic.
I would agree.
All of the modern, programmable, machines, on a well scaled piano, will produce superior results to 90% of the aural tuners I have encountered.
Hmm... Ed, I am not sure if what you are saying is meant to prize ETD's, or the aural tuners you have encountered.
It will match 5% of them, and that last 5% will have a very small market that can tell their differences.
Does that mean that tuning aurally would give little or insignificant advantage where you work?
On the big pianos, the FAC tuning on my SAT has proven itself to a long list of world-recognized talent, in performance and recording, (tuners can get away with murder on performance tuning, it is under the microphones, in front of a producer, that things are totally unforgiving.) I had no qualms about using it, simply to test, for perhaps the world's number one cellist as the master tracks were recorded. It was very well received.
Did you have to readjust bass and trebles?
I have an ear modified program for most of the pianos I see, and they have been tweaked here and there to match what I hear, rather than simple formulae from IH measurements. On a D, the difference between my "refined" template and the machine generated one is so small that it can be tossed into the moot basket and no one would notice.
Which is the D you mention? Where do you need to tweak most often?
It is on the smaller pianos, the ones that have inferior scales, that the machine is lost. Its judgement is not up to making the sensual compromises our ears do with ease, so there is a trade-off.
What would you say is the percentage of "well scaled" and "inferior scaled" pianos around, in your area?
There are situations where the machine is going to give an inferior result to even a journeyman level tech, and there are places that the best tech will have to strain to keep up .
Yes, you said that at the beginning, it depends on "...The manner in which the tool is employed". So, in your experience, do ETD's still need some "aural" tweaking?
Thanks for sharing your know-how.