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Topic Options
#1157620 - 03/05/09 08:32 AM American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter
Aaron M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/09
Posts: 15
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
I've read a lot about the Randy Potter course for around $1800 but haven't heard much about the American School of Piano Tuning home study course for around $1300(www.piano-tuning.com). Has anyone been through this course or have any thoughts about the quality of the material?

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#1157703 - 03/05/09 10:25 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Aaron M.]
JDelmore Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 634
I did the ASPT for about three lessons; I haven't done Potter. But Potter seems to be MUCH more complete. MUCH more...
_________________________
PTG Associate Member

"There is always room above; there is only the ground below."....F.E. Morton (with props to Del F.)

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#1157787 - 03/05/09 11:53 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: JDelmore]
Aaron M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/09
Posts: 15
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
thank you for your input, greatly appreciated.

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#1157825 - 03/05/09 01:05 PM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Aaron M.]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3296
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I did the American school back in 1968 when it was only $100 but even at that price, it wouldn't be worth it today. When I finished the course, I found out there was a whole bookshelf to fill with what I didn't know yet. Take the Potter course and join PTG if you have any hopes of becoming a piano technician!
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1157845 - 03/05/09 01:30 PM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Aaron M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/09
Posts: 15
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Gotcha, that seems consistent with what I've been finding so far. Thanks for your help!

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#1158324 - 03/06/09 07:34 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Aaron M.]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Aaron, have you purchased the course yet? Are you going to spring for the tools and if so, have you inquired on what brand and quality they are? Does anyone else have any comments on the quality of the tools. I'm entertaining the option of no tools and purchasing them through my mentor. The Action Model seems like the most difficult to obtain.
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#1158340 - 03/06/09 08:18 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Les Koltvedt]
Aaron M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/09
Posts: 15
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Monster,
I have not yet purchased the course, and I've been told by a few people not to buy the tools with the course mainly because the tuning hammer needs to one of great quality. The action model would seem to be hard to find, but I seem to remember seeing a few at a local piano store that Yamaha had sent them to use as a display. Might be worth asking someone like that if they have extras or an older model they no longer display.

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#1158348 - 03/06/09 08:32 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Aaron M.]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Good idea... on line cost seems pretty high...$300+ each.
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#1158357 - 03/06/09 08:50 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Les Koltvedt]
Aaron M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/09
Posts: 15
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
My father in law happens to own a piano store here in Cincinnati and he just told me they usually have 1 or 2 extras that Yamaha sends them every couple years. So I think that would be your best bet.

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#1158746 - 03/06/09 08:34 PM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Aaron M.]
MStaples Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 10
I’m working through the Potter course now and I chose to buy the tools, parts and vertical action model ($400 option) as part of the package. If I had it to do over again I would not have bought the tools etc, and would have applied the $400 to better tools and an old upright to practice regulation and repairs on. While most old American uprights have blown pin blocks, there are so many being given away, that it’s not hard to find one with a pin block you can work with. I would not recommend using a piano like this to practice tuning on though. Learning to set the pins is hard enough, you need a good, tight pin block to give yourself a fighting chance to learn. Specifically about the Potter tools: the tuning hammer is a Schaff student type with a #3 tip. I have a 1983 Kimball console that I practice tuning on and a #3 tip goes right down to the coil and therefore is also wobbly. Even if I put a #2 tip on it, the hammer is springy as student tuning hammers are (a bad thing). I don’t know what I’m doing yet so I need every advantage I can get and a stiff hammer is an important one. The plastic rubber mutes are ok, but I’m happier with the natural rubber ones that I replaced them with. The action model is ok, but with an old upright, you’ll get 88 to play with! I can’t comment on the basic regulation kit as I haven’t used it yet. If you decide to get an upright though and you’re new to this game, have a technician help you pick one out. I was all excited about the first one I looked at(first time I’d peeked inside a piano at all!) and in less than 5 minutes of examination, my tech pronounced it completely worn out and a bad choice for me. I ended up buying a Kimball console for tuning (and playing) and have my eye on an old Kurtzmann upright (the unisons sounded decent, but I’ll go back and put a hammer to it before I decide) to practice working on.

Michael Staples
PTG Associate member

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#1158775 - 03/06/09 09:27 PM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Aaron M.]
TsonicTsunami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 39
Loc: Melbourne Village FL.
I just signed up with Randy Potter this morning. I called him and he stayed on the phone with me for a half hour. He is a very interesting fellow and strikes me as a straight up guy. He has a couple of ways to pay for the course and is willing to work with you to make it easy on your budget.
I also opted out of the tools. I was fortunate that a Widow and daughter of a man who serviced piano's in my area listed all his tools on creigslist. I have enough tools for 3 tech's. They listed it at 7:00pm and I was on the phone at 7:05pm and picked them up the next morning. It was a good thing I have a van because I loaded about 10 Boxes of gear, unreal. The woman was very sweet and still very emotional about the loss of her husband. I was certain it was very painful for her to let her beloved husband's things go. I gave her a big hug as she was a little teary. I happily paid her the asking price as it was well worth it. I didn't have the heart to start playing hardball with her, what a sport eh?
Anyway, as I now had the tools I thought I'd take the plunge. Give Randy Potter a call, I'm happy I did.
Tom
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Pianoforte Neophyte

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#1159066 - 03/07/09 02:45 PM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: TsonicTsunami]
Scooters Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/09
Posts: 227
Loc: N.E. Montana
Hi, I'm glad you signed up!

I've been at mine for about 2.5 months now and I still love it! As for the tools? I'm pleased with the quality. I had a really old tuning hammer but the one that came with the course was miles above it in quality and feel. Sure, down the road I might spring for one of those fancy weighted ones or one with a Ball on the top (like Randy has) but all in all, I'm happy! The course tool package comes with various piano parts too. You can practice your bushing removal and instillation as well as peel off a few key tops. The piano (upright) action, included, is great to practice with too.

Good luck with the course and don't give up! thumb

Scooter
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Scott
Associate Member Piano Technicians Guild
RsgPianoService
We love to play BF2

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#1159929 - 03/09/09 08:50 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Scooters]
Aaron M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/09
Posts: 15
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Thank you all for your feedback. My confidence in Randy Potter is certainly growing at a rapid rate smile

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#1160005 - 03/09/09 11:15 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Aaron M.]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3296
Loc: Madison, WI USA
The quality of the tuning hammer is very important! The one I got from American back in 1968 was practically useless for tuning a piano! I would hope they provide something better now. That is not to say that an inexpensive hammer cannot be adequate, it can. It just has to have certain qualities. Often, the kind that you would see for sale at music stores or catalogues (for the general public) seemed designed to be inadequate so that you will give up and call a professional technician!

The hammer Randy provides is just fine. When you get to the point where you can make use of the qualities another, more expensive hammer has and you can afford it is the time to buy one. There are many different styles, each having its own features. There are also many threads on here where they are discussed. Just because one be the most expensive does not necessarily mean it is for you! In time, you will know what you are looking for.

I might say this: since the tuning hammer is the tool that your hand is on more than any other, it becomes a very personal item. Once you are used to the one you have, another feels strange and awkward at first. When you begin to feel this personal connection with the tool, you will know you are getting somewhere.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1160123 - 03/09/09 02:59 PM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Yamaha06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Midwest USA
I have completed ASPT and the studies are quality for tuning/minor repair. If you are looking for piano restoration work, then find a mentor and you will need more training than ASPT offers. Nonetheless, the ASPT is excellent for tuning purposes and minor repair. I've made many thousands of dollars after graduating from their course with tunings/minor repair. I've also obtained study materials from Potter as well to get a more rounded training. ASPT is worth the money and you get a large amount of materials to get you started. Frankly, the references to what was offered by ASPT in 1968 is simply irrelevant. This is 2009 - You won't be disappointed with ASPT.

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#1160256 - 03/09/09 07:07 PM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Yamaha06]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3296
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Off topic contents deleted.


Edited by BB Player (03/10/09 10:45 AM)
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1160359 - 03/09/09 10:26 PM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Ken Knapp Offline



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2278
Loc: Pennsylvania
I wonder - maybe it would be a good endeavor for the people on this forum to come up with a FAQ for aspiring piano technicians which could be pinned to the top of the forum. One that would give advice on schools, apprenticeships, organizations, and just plain advice based on experience. But it would have to be a group effort, and done in a way where everyone was comfortable with the advice given. I think it would be a fantastic resource for newcomers, and maybe even some old timers could find value in it as well. Question is, could we do it, and could we do it in a way where everyone was happy with it?

Ken
_________________________
Ken

Piano Organ Depot
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#1160379 - 03/09/09 11:13 PM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Ken Knapp]
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Probably a good idea Ken because were seem to answer the same questions over and over. But as to pleasing everyone, now that would be the challenge. How do we start it and give it a try?
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#1160397 - 03/09/09 11:49 PM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Ron Alexander]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
(You could see how folks in the Digital & synths forum made up their thread.)

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#1160473 - 03/10/09 02:09 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: guest1013]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3296
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Off topic contents deleted.


Edited by BB Player (03/10/09 10:46 AM)
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1160502 - 03/10/09 04:00 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2477
Loc: Olympia, WA
Off topic contents deleted.


Edited by BB Player (03/10/09 10:47 AM)
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1160587 - 03/10/09 09:32 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: rysowers]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3296
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Off topic contents deleted.


Edited by BB Player (03/10/09 10:49 AM)
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1160596 - 03/10/09 09:44 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4954
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Off contents post deleted.


Edited by BB Player (03/10/09 10:47 AM)
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1160620 - 03/10/09 10:33 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: UnrightTooner]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4954
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Off contents post deleted.


Edited by BB Player (03/10/09 10:47 AM)
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1160622 - 03/10/09 10:37 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Ken Knapp]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4226
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Off topic contents deleted.


Edited by BB Player (03/10/09 10:48 AM)
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1160623 - 03/10/09 10:37 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: UnrightTooner]
Aaron M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/09
Posts: 15
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Off topic contents deleted.


Edited by BB Player (03/10/09 10:49 AM)

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#1160626 - 03/10/09 10:45 AM Re: American School of Tuning VS Randy Potter [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
BB Player Online   content


Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2718
Loc: Not in Texas
This is another possibly useful thread that is rapidly marching toward closure. I have gone back and deleted all of the recent off topic posts and will continue to do so. The question was about the American School of Tuning vs. Randy Potter. It was not about the merits or lack thereof of PTG membership nor was it a request for anyone to defend or offer support of previous posts and positions.

Please stay on topic.
_________________________
Greg

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