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#1287232 - 10/14/09 11:26 PM Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's.............
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I thought it might interesting to show my experiences with 2 ETD's. I am not a professional tuner. I have been tuning my piano and some friends pianos for about 4 years now. ( the friends who will let me near their pianos wink )

I actually own 3 ETD's. My first one was a very simple ETD with pre-determined stretches and no ability to sample notes etc. It did a very nice job, and still does, but takes a lot more time to tune a piano with it. My second was the Reyburn Cyber Tuner Pocket version, and my 3rd is the Stopper Tunic OnlyPure. I am always looking for ways to improve my tuning and the effects that the tunings have on my piano. I tune myself because the 2 playback machines in my piano play the piano daily, and it necessitated my learning to tune if I wanted to keep the piano tuned more than 2-4 times a year.

This is an example of the Reyburn Cyber Tunder and the Stopper Tunic OnlyPure.

I recorded these back in July, just after installing the Isaac Cadenza S hammers, and the Wapin bridge mod was already in place.

I bought the Stopper Tunic OnlyPure system and installed it on my Pocket PC, along with the Reyburn Cyber Tuner, which was already installed, and I had been using the RCT for about 8 months already. I re-tuned my 1925 M&H BB to the Stopper tuning, and then tuned it back to the RCT stretch. RCT settings were left on default.


These 2 tunings are completely done by the ETD's, I did not tune anything by ear.

Stopper Tuning: "The Age of Innocence" on the LX Playback system http://www.box.net/shared/i7sl73t0h8

Reyburn Cyber Tuning, Stretch-OCT5 "The Age of Innocence" on the LX http://www.box.net/shared/2uxn31qs8u



The settings on the LX playback system were exactly the same, volume however might be a bit louder on one file because of the way Audactiy processes the recordings from a .WAV file to an mp3. The mics were the same, 2 Rode NT5's and in the same position for both recordings. The recording system was the Zoom H4 by Samson.

On the recordings, they do sound somewhat different in their effect on the sound of the piano, and in person, it's more pronounced. I think they both do a beautiful job, just a bit different in the outcome.

Any comments are welcome!




Edited by grandpianoman (10/14/09 11:54 PM)

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#1287876 - 10/15/09 09:40 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
JBE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 377
Loc: USA
Interesting comparison. At first I thought I liked the RCT one better but after going back and forth I found that I liked them
both. The OnlyPure recording sounds less sad. There is a sadness to the music with the RCT and a different sort of harmony with the Tunic....almost like you would get from some temperaments other than ET.

This is from the standpoint of analyzing the over all feel of the music as apposed to listening like a tuner. I like the RCT tunings very much in general and now I'm interesting in knowing more about OnlyPure.

Thanks for sharing.

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#1287892 - 10/15/09 10:04 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: JBE]
Gadzar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Mexico City
Very nice tunings!

But, honestly, I can't hear a difference.

I've made a test: I asked my son to play randomly Reyburn and Stopper tunings several times, while I tried to identify them and I failed many times!

Sorry...
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#1287973 - 10/16/09 12:38 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Gadzar]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Thanks Gadzar, and you're welcome Byronje3. smile

It's hard to hear a difference unless you have a set of headphones or a very good sound system. In person, it's a bit easier.

That's a good analogy Byronje3. I like them both as well. smile

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#1288424 - 10/16/09 07:23 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
DavidWB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/05
Posts: 54
Loc: Grand Junction CO
Beautiful song and performance! Thanks for sharing.

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#1288455 - 10/16/09 08:50 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: DavidWB]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
I can hear a difference...but its very subtle...

My take on it is that the Tunic OnlyPure produces a very clean, almost "sampled" piano sound...there's something that connects the registers in a different way, and it sounds a bit like a high end Roland sample or something...its hard to put into words.

I listened to the RCT version second, and immediately I felt like the sound was opened up more...it seemed like it came from an acoustic piano in the same room...more personal, more real....it might be a bit more "imperfect" which, I suppose, I like.

But, both produced beautiful results, and your work to render both pianos into tune was nice!

Thanks for that, by the way...very interesting...

I listened to both several times....I'm liking the RCT version a little better, for warmth and more natural piano vibe...at the moment anyway.

FWIW

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#1288493 - 10/16/09 10:42 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: RPD]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
RPD, that's a very astute sonic observation. I am going to wait until a few more comments come in before I comment.

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#1288611 - 10/17/09 07:19 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
electone2007 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 254
Loc: Philippines
I listened to both recordings yesterday, then again today. My preference hasn't changed. I like the Stopper Tuning more than the RCT as the former has a more sparkling and cleaner quality to it which I like. It's not a subtle difference for me.

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#1288637 - 10/17/09 09:24 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: electone2007]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1579
Loc: Chicagoland
GP - VERY nice work with the tuning lever... congrats!

Have you played with the OTS functions or custom equalizer in RCT to further match the calculation to your instrument? For a start, you could use RCT to find out where a few notes (especially on top) are placed from the OnlyPure and then play with the OTS and see if you can calculate a similar stretch using RCT. That would make an interesting comparison.

The default tuning by design is "safe"... Probably not the best match possible for your piano. I would bet that the Onlypure tuning ended up 15 or more cents sharp at C8 from the RCT tuning. More "crispness" and "sparkle" to the tuning.

Let me know when you're ready to load the verituner software on that pocket pc... lots more customizing available there!

Ron Koval
chicagoland
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=drwoodwind


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#1288690 - 10/17/09 11:10 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: RonTuner]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
GP - I would bet that the Onlypure tuning ended up 15 or more cents sharp at C8 from the RCT tuning. More "crispness" and "sparkle" to the tuning.

Ron Koval
chicagoland


Really?? That's a pretty big factor, if true. Now I'm curious too about that...hmmmmmmmm

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#1288797 - 10/17/09 02:55 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: electone2007]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: electone2007
I listened to both recordings yesterday, then again today. My preference hasn't changed. I like the Stopper Tuning more than the RCT as the former has a more sparkling and cleaner quality to it which I like. It's not a subtle difference for me.



I agree with the above quote verbatim. Also, I agree with what Ron says. I could hear the difference between the two immediately and preferred the Stopper version. That is not to say that both versions sound just fine, very professional. Grandpianoman, your unisons are quite impeccable. If they weren't, neither version would be worth comparing and neither would sound very good at all.

The difference between the two is all in the amount of stretch. Now, there are some people who seem to prefer less stretch but in my experience, the majority prefer the kind of stretch Herr Stopper provides. That is the goal for him.

Not being familiar with the RCT, I still believe from what I understand about it, the Verituner and Tunelab, all can customize their programming to achieve that kind of stretch. The SAT III and IV can too, using the DOB function. Even earlier versions of the SAT can if you know how to manipulate the FAC numbers. Any SAT model can easily be used in the Direct Interval mode which is the way I most often have used it. In all of these other devices, you have to know what you are doing and you have to have some aural tuning judgment ability to know whether you've gone overboard or have not gone far enough with what you want to achieve.

To me, the RCT with default stretch sounded "dull" but some may have called it "mellow". To some, the more mellow sound may be the more pleasing. In my opinion, however, the amount of stretch Herr Stopper provides results in a more optimum compromise for the whole piano.

Many technicians think in terms of creating a temperament octave with little or no audible stretch in it. They like to hear that central octave as beatless and therefore create a 2:1 or 4:2 octave within which to construct the temperament. This inhibits them from putting much if any audible stretch when tuning up or down from the central octave. While their octaves may sound good when played just as octaves alone, all the rest is narrowed and overly compromised. This has a dulling effect on the music. The higher partials are not very well in tune at all. The over all effect is a flat and lifeless sounding piano.

It is important to note what the late Owen Jorgensen pointed out recently before his passing. There is virtually no music with exposed octaves in the midrange. There is also no music with exposed 4ths or 5ths. It could well be argued that the kind of purity that as technicians we like to hear in the process of tuning a piano is irrelevant to the music that will ultimately be played upon it.

To begin the tuning process with a wider octave does create more of a sense of tension in the harmony. The rapidly beating intervals beat significantly faster but the 5ths and octave and 5ths become seemingly "pure". Triple octaves and double octave and 5ths become technically beatless. This is what is responsible for the "clarity" and "sparkle" that is heard from the Stopper tuning.

One might consider that if a particular piano is used mostly in the middle registers and rarely if ever in the upper, a more contracted tuning may sound better. If the piano is used by a skilled pianist who plays more complex music and utilizes most or the entire keyboard, the Stopper type stretch may well provide for a more overall pleasing effect.

For over 20 years now, I have gone beyond the subtle difference which can be made with the manipulation of stretch alone. I am not only not wedded to Equal Temperament (ET), I am completely divorced and estranged from it except for teaching it to people who want to pass the PTG tuning exam and for the exam purposes themselves. The way I teach people to tune and the way I construct a tuning for the exams is a way I would never and have never tuned a piano for public consumption for over 20 years.

While both of Grandpianoman's tunings were excellent and would be found acceptable to nearly anyone, what I missed upon hearing the selections was any contrast whatsoever from one key to the next. The piece is smooth and serene, yes and mostly if not entirely in one key signature but there was at least one departure from the key signature of the piece, a brief modulation. There was just nothing there!

Now, I would anticipate that if this same piece were played in the EBVT III or other similar Victorian style temperament that some people, particularly the piano technicians here would find the contrast occurring from the modulation to be jarring and disturbing. It's all about beats. As was discussed on another thread, piano technicians are so attuned to beat perception that very often, they no longer hear music, they only hear beats.

That can also apply to the effects of stretch alone in ET. It amounts to the technician providing his/her own particular sensitivity to the pianist, regardless of what the pianist may or may not find pleasing. So, that applies to me as well as any other technician. I generally provide what I consider to be the most optimum compromise for the piano unless I have some very specific request from the pianist (which is seldom) about what the pianist wants to hear from the piano.

Unfortunately, as I understand it, the Stopper software can only provide for ET with its own proscribed amount of stretch. If that is what you want to use, the software would be well worth purchasing because you would not have to do anything other than what it tells you to do. On the other hand, all of the other devices and software can be used in a wide variety of ways to achieve what you and/or the pianist desire according to the circumstances.

Keep in mind that generally, pianists do not perceive the piano the way technicians do. As technicians, we are able and must perceive deeply into the sound. We hear beats and we find conflicts and dilemmas. Pianists only hear the overall effects in a much more subjective way. They hear mellowness, dullness, sparkle, clarity, resonance and musicality, not beats. There can also be pianists whose perception does cross the line into what technicians perceive.

It's all food for thought and provides for infinite horizons to which the art of tuning, voicing and regulation can be taken. If as a technician, you find that you have reached the end point of what you can do, look into other more advanced concepts in each of these and you will find endless possibilities to explore.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1288950 - 10/17/09 07:10 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
First of all, Bill, RonTuner, and RPD, thank you for your compliments, coming from you guys who are the professionals, that is high praise indeed. I can now hear when a unison is not zeroed in, and sometimes, that happens with an ETD, but it may be due more to the tuning having wandered a bit as I go up the piano, as you have pointed out Bill, in another post.

Ron, your suggestion is a good one, and I will try that when I have some time to devote to it. I would also like to try the Verituner as well. I also should pull out my first ETD and see how it does, compared to these others.

It was suggested to me that both the "Age of Innocence" recordings did not have the same volume level. I did not check for that before posting. They are indeed a bit different, so here are the "corrected" verisons of both. In my notes, I also found that on these 2 recordings and the Liszt recordings, the Isaac hammers had been on there for about 7 hours playing time.

1. Stopper Tuning, Corrected in Audacity. http://www.box.net/shared/s4huo9y1pm

2. RCT OCT5 Stretch, Normalized in Audacity http://www.box.net/shared/hagt0fk2ly


Going back over my files in July, I see that I also recorded another piece while the Stopper Tuning was on the piano. I think I had purposefully forgotten about these recordings due to an annoying buzzing that started in the bass section when LOTS of notes are playing there...you will hear it! Something is lose or rattling around down there. I think I may know what it is, but have not found it yet....the black part of a small spring-loaded paper clip holder broke off when I was standing at the piano, and I never found it...it could be that.

As I listen to the Liszt, I am reminded again of how difficult it is to lay down a tuning that is perfect for a recording...it is really not easy! After I tune my piano, say for example the Liszt, after it's played through, there are now out of tune unisons and such, that it does not sound as good as it did right after I tuned it. I can see why the tuner is present for every piece in a pro recording. My hat's off to the pros that can do this well.

In any case, here they are. One caveat here...upon listening to both tunings, it sounds to my ear, that some of my unisons are indeed not as clean in the RCT tuning as they are in the Stopper tuning. I think what happened was that I recorded the Stopper tuning right after I tuned it to Stopper, the RCT was not recorded right away after I tuned it back to the RCT stretch. So with that in mind, here is Liszt's Ballade No.2 in B Minor, played by the great pianist Earl Wild, on the LX. It's quite a tour-de-force for the pianist, and the piano, as you will hear.

Quote:
Bill Bremmer said: One might consider that if a particular piano is used mostly in the middle registers and rarely if ever in the upper, a more contracted tuning may sound better. If the piano is used by a skilled pianist who plays more complex music and utilizes most or the entire keyboard, the Stopper type stretch may well provide for a more overall pleasing effect.


Bill, this might be the case here, although as I mentioned, my RCT tuning is not quite dialed in like the Stopper is.


I had just installed the Isaac Cadenza S hammers, and they were on there about 7hrs playing time, the Wapin modification was already in place.

1. Earl Wild plays the Liszt Ballade No.2 in B Minor on the LX playback system-- Stopper Tuning, Normalized in Audacity http://www.box.net/shared/qo5nskakfs

2. Earl Wild plays the Liszt Ballade No.2 in B Minor on the LX playback system--RCT Tuning, Corrected in Audacity http://www.box.net/shared/9jgay8u9zp

As a general note...if you have a pair of headphones, or a good sound system, these files will sound much better than computer speakers. smile


Edited by grandpianoman (10/17/09 11:35 PM)

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#1288980 - 10/17/09 08:14 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
Daryl Durand Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 419
Loc: Missouri USA
I like the RCT tuning better and to me it sounds more natural.
The Stopper Tuning sounds nice but almost like your floating on air. Maybe the octaves are stretched too much.

Daryl Durand
http://www.durandpiano.com/
_________________________
Daryl Durand, RPT
Durand Piano Service
http://www.durandpiano.com

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#1298170 - 11/02/09 10:07 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Daryl Durand]
Tony722 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 2
I am a pianist, not a tuner-technician, but I am interested in the different tunings available to me as a musician and have been very interested and curious about the Stopper Tuning.

What I was picking up on Stopper's website samples was a very clean but artificial quality to the tuning. (I was hoping that was due to the fact that most of the samples there seem to either be synthesizers or guitars :p)

However it is plain-as-day (to me) in this recording--the Stopper Tuning has a very synthetic quality about it--like plastic vs wood. The RCT tuning, besides having a natural / earthy quality to it, also had a soul-stirring quality and evoked emotion and feeling listening to it--critical things the Stopper Tuning lacked. (IMHO of course!)

Thank you so much, Grandpianoman for taking the time to do this!

(My first post here! --What a wonderful site!)

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#1298360 - 11/02/09 03:32 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Tony722]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Welcome to PW! This website has a wealth of information about the piano, and I am sure you are going to enjoy it.

Thanks for your comments.

This experiment has showed me that tuning is a very subjective subject, just like pianos. It seems that some people like the Stopper, while others respond well to the RCT, such as yourself. To have such a variety out there is good for us, as we can choose from a vast sonic palette. smile

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#1298472 - 11/02/09 07:19 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Tony's comments are interesting. What sounded "dull" to me, sounded natural and earthy to him. In 1985, a piano technician from NYC published a book called, The New Tuning. It was the ET with pure 5ths idea. He thought he was going to change the way everybody tuned with his "new" idea (which wasn't really new at all. Some people liked it, yes but it also received a lot of criticism. In the end, the idea pretty much died.

I like the clarity Stopper's tuning provides but without any distinction from one key to the next, it does leave it with a kind of character that Tony's comments describe very well. When I tune the irregularly sized octaves the way I do with the EBVT, it gives a mix of both color and clarity, in my opinion, of course.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1298524 - 11/02/09 09:06 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
What is the spinner speed set to on the RCT?
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#1298533 - 11/02/09 09:30 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi Peter,

I have not changed the speed of the spinner since I received it, a little over a year now, so it's on default. Does the spinner speed make a difference as to how the RCT handles a tuning?

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#1298560 - 11/02/09 10:17 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I have not yet said anything personally, about what tuning I prefer...I wanted to wait and see what the comments were like before I posted my thoughts. Interestingly, no one has mentioned what I feel to be the main difference between the 2 tunings.

Again, this is all very subjective as you all know.

The main difference I hear, and it's more evident in person than on the recordings, but you can hear it if you listen with a pair of good headphones, is the interaction of the strings with one another when the damper pedal is down and the dampers are raised. With the RCT, I hear a bit more resonance from the piano anytime the damper pedal is engaged. In other words, there seems to be more of a "sustaining" quality to the sound of the whole piano. If you listen critically, especially in the first 30 secs of the RCT tuning, you can hear this effect. The Stopper on the other hand, has a clarity to it, but not as much of this "sustaining" effect when the damper pedal is engaged. The Stopper still sounds beautiful, but in a different way.

Take a listen again with this in mind, and I think you will hear it. It could not be the piano, as the LX plays both versions the same, with the dampers lifting the same distance on both pieces.

I like both versions, but am probably more partial to the RCT, for its "sustaining" effect. Can anyone explain this? It would be interesting to understand the 'why' factor. smile



Edited by grandpianoman (11/03/09 03:04 AM)

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#1298564 - 11/02/09 10:23 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
Hey there Grandpianoman.
I used the default for a while and was expecting better results..the tunings were the shape I wanted but just seemed a little ragged....until I discovered that button!
If you click on the smaller spinner logo and push the cursor up to the top you will be on the fastest setting.
It will check out your pin setting chops and how you manipulate that pin with your lever. It requires good skill to make that spinner stop....but isn't that what we're all aiming for?
It is obvious to me that some who have had a downer on these amazing tools just haven't taken the time to really discover what they can do...I'm so glad you are on that journey and I will do anything I can to help and be supportive.
I am looking forward to you trying it out and am very interested in your findings.
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#1298643 - 11/03/09 02:33 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
electone2007 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 254
Loc: Philippines
Grandpianoman,

When you say that the "damper pedal is up" or "the damper pedal is raised", do you mean that the sustain pedal is not engaged or depressed and the dampers are therefore muting the strings?

Jun


Edited by electone2007 (11/03/09 02:36 AM)

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#1298649 - 11/03/09 03:01 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: electone2007]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi Jun,

Sorry about that.....When I said "damper pedal is up/raised" I meant that the dampers are up...all of them raised. I will go back and correct that.

Peter, thanks for that tip, and for your help! Will give it a try when I have some time. Using the RCT, I always tune in "Fine" mode, and I can usually stop the spinner, except for a few notes that never seem to want to stop the spinner. Another factor here is that my tuning pins are a bit high in the pin block, so they flagpole somewhat when I tune. Not being a pro, it's more difficult for me to set them. I notice that after I tune, in the 5th-6th octaves and a little of the 7th, they tend to go a bit flat fairly quickly. You can hear it more in the RCT tuning than in the Stopper. Even with this issue, I still hear more of that "sustaining" quality in the RCT tuning.




Edited by grandpianoman (11/03/09 03:05 AM)

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#1298759 - 11/03/09 09:37 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1866
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Hi GP,

A fascinating comparison! I hope you don't mind a non-tuner and rather amateurish player commenting in the hallowed technicians' halls?

Although listening only through smallish speakers on my work PC, it seems to me as though the Stopper tuning produces a clearer sound, especially in the treble, e.g. C6 to F4 at 00:11 to 00:13. The tenor (octave 3), e.g. in the opening notes, sounds warmer [edit: not really warmer, difficult to say - perhaps more extrovert] and clearer to me than in the RCT tuning. The latter strikes me as bland, almost muddy in places, while the former makes the piano sing and sparkle.

But, on the other hand, I perceive a difference in the way that bass notes blend in with their harmonics. To me, this becomes particularly clear in the often-played tonic of the piece, i.e. the way that F2 blends with F3 and its other harmonics - even more so where F2 is played sufficiently loudly to bring out its partials. Some examples: 00:34 and 00:43 (also to a lesser extent in 00:29-30). I am no professional, but my ear hears much more beating in the Stopper tuning than in the RCT tuning - in fact, my first reaction to the Stopper F2 was, "is that unison in tune?"

I'll also listen to the recordings using earphones, but my preliminary conclusion is that it appears as though a clear, singing tone comes at the expense of more beating between (partials of) bass and treble notes?

It's just an opinion (and some conjecture to boot), but there you have it.

A lovely piece, either way!

Regards,
Mark


Edited by Mark R. (11/03/09 09:43 AM)
Edit Reason: given in posting
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1298769 - 11/03/09 09:53 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician]
Emmery Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2330
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Grandpianoman, Peter's point about changing the spinner speed is very helpful for improving your tuning skills. The default setting of 2 cents I found is also related to the amount and duration that the spinner blushes, indicating a stable, on target setting. Setting the speed to the highest discrepancy introduces a new hurdle to overcome. At that speed you will often encounter strings, especially on lesser quality pianos, that waiver or more often roll sharp on attack, stabilize for a second, and then slowly roll away flat. When RCT is set to record mode (in the initial sampling or when you click on the ear in CyberEar), I think it picks a small segment of the sustain/decay to come up with its analysis. For this reason it is important to develop a tuning technique that produces the same amplitude (mf) and experiment with different mike locations, and then gauge your results with the variance numbers. With practice you can get the variance numbers down to less than .1 which is well under the "good" description. If you rely heavily on the ETD and have not developed good aural skills it is worthwhile to check the 5-6 Sample A strings with CyberEar first to eliminate any unstable ones from your original sampling. Often the tuning graph will bear this out with a more even curve for intervals than if you happen to sample a rogue string. When cleaning up unisons by ear on these not so stable strings I am baffled that I have found no consistent visual pattern in respect to the phase to compare to on the spinner. Sometimes they clean up closer to the attack and other times closer to the end of the decay. I guess that this is because of the somewhat inconsistent nature in which the strings couple together. The ear still rules in this respect.


Edited by Emmery (11/03/09 09:54 AM)
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1298975 - 11/03/09 03:12 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Emmery]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1866
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Hello again,

I've listened to the recordings through earphones and asked my wife to play them at random, so that I can test objectively whether I can hear any difference.

I strongly advise those who say that they recognise each tuning to do the same, and post the results here!

After this exercise, I'm no longer convinced that I can really hear a difference (other than mechanical noises that differ from one recording to the other). We ran a total of six tests:

1) RCT played, heard (wrongly) as Stopper.
2) Same as 1.
3) Stopper played, first identified as RCT, but unsure, then decided on Stopper.
4) Same as 3.
5) RCT played and identified correctly.
6) Stopper played and identified correctly.

Not a very convincing tally! More tests may follow. But I'm not sure whether I'm beginning to rely on things like single notes or mechanical noises that differ between the two recordings.

My earlier posting on blending harmonies does not seem very solid any more.

Regards,
Mark
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1299142 - 11/03/09 08:42 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Mark R.]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Interesting results, Mark. A colleague of mine sent me recordings about a year ago where he played various pieces in ET and others in some kind of very mild well-temperament. Surely, I thought, I would be able to identify each correctly in each case. WRONG! The music was all very complex, mind you but the person who sent me the CDs said that I was wrong more than half of the time! Yet, I know very clearly when I hear my own style of tuning.

I wonder if Grandpianoman would like to use the figures for the EBVT III that are on record to tune his player piano and offer yet again some comparisons? I already know that it would not be exactly the way I would tune the piano but I also know that many people would do it the way he would: enter the "correction figures" for the EBVT III and tune the piano with the RCT default settings. I, for one, would be interested in the results. Grandpianoman could post the same pieces played by the player piano in three different versions: RCT default ET, Stopper tuning and the EBVT III with RCT default settings.

I am sure that I would get both positive and negative reactions but it is all good. I expect that. I would just like to hear the results.

Grandpianoman, you would need to consult your RCT manual on how to do this. If you need for me to provide the exact correction figures, please ask either on here or by private post. They are available on my website at www.billbremmer.com but I would be glad to send them to you.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1299204 - 11/03/09 11:23 PM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi Bill,

Thanks for the offer...you know I thought about this awhile back, but did not follow through. I think it's a great idea and I would be happy to do it. I was just thinking it might be fun to throw in another ETD in the mix, my original ETD that I bought 4+ years ago, that started me on this journey. It's not as sophisticated as the RCT or the Stopper, as it has only pre-set stretches, but it served me well. It would be interesting to see now, how it fares against the other 2, plus your EBVT III. I won't be able to do this project probably until next month, as I am knee deep in work for the next month. So let's shoot for mid December! Bill, please pm me the correct figures for your EBVT III. Also it might be fun, once I get the 4 tunings recorded, to first do a "guess which ETD this is" test. What do you think?

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#1299222 - 11/04/09 12:07 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
Gadzar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Mexico City
It seems interesting.

But, instead of your amazing recordings of music, which sound great! I would prefer to hear some intervals. With an entire striped piano, to hear only one string of each unison.

Runs of 8ves, 5ths, 4ths, M3s, M6ths, M10ths, 12ths, double and triple octaves, will give us a much better idea of what is achieved by each ETD in terms of stretch and quality of the intervals calculated by RCT and Onlypure software for the same piano.

Don't you think?

BTW, how do you get such a professional quality in your recordings?


Edited by Gadzar (11/04/09 12:08 AM)
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#1299235 - 11/04/09 01:02 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Gadzar]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2245
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I could certainly include that test Rafael.

My setup is really very simple. There is no processing or enhancement of the sound, except in Audacity, where I amplify the original recording to bring the levels up a bit. I use the Samson Zoom H4 and 2 Rode NT5 mics connected to the H4's built-in pre-amps, with 2 boom mic stands, lid raised. You can see a picture of the mic set-up on my YouTube site, plus a few more recordings etc. http://www.youtube.com/user/AmpicoGPM

I think the digital recorders of today are leaps ahead of what we had before. Of course, the M&Hamlin BB is what it is, and with the 2 modifications, the sound is quite something now. I really did not expect this good of a sound from this setup, so I was very surprised they have turned out so well.

Another recording that might be good to include in this test: "Il Postino" which is not on my YouTube page. It has a magical quality to it, lot's of pedal. I have it here only in the RCT tuning: http://www.box.net/shared/fav9kacmpv


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#1299251 - 11/04/09 02:19 AM Re: Interesting comparison of 2 ETD's............. [Re: Grandpianoman]
Gadzar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Mexico City
I saw your pictures.

Il Postino: Great music!
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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