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Topic Options
#1351174 - 01/16/10 02:23 PM How long should a tuning take??
Zooplibob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 245
Loc: Houston, TX
So the tuner is here and has been tuning for about 2.5 hours, and hes still more than 2 octaves away from finishing. Shouldn't this take less than an hour? It wasn't that badly out of tune...

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#1351183 - 01/16/10 02:37 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Zooplibob]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
I'd say two hours is probably average, if the piano is not way out of tune. A really skilled tuner might get by with an hour minimum. You'll know when he/she is finished if they know what they are doing.

Is s/he doing any other service as they go, besides tuning? Perhaps they are just meticulous and conscientious.

Be patient and let us know how it turns out.

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1351188 - 01/16/10 02:47 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Rickster]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
In my experience an hour or a little over an hour is more typical, I think -- but maybe that's because my tuners have been "really skilled" (as per how you put it) and maybe also because I get my piano tuned a little more often than most.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1351193 - 01/16/10 02:58 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Mark_C]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
1-1.5 hours just for the tuning alone is pretty average. Maybe he is doing more than just tuning as he or she is going along?
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1351198 - 01/16/10 03:08 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Zooplibob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 245
Loc: Houston, TX
BTW hes still at it. thats 3:15 so far.... just tuning

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#1351213 - 01/16/10 03:38 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Zooplibob]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1533
Loc: Old Hangtown California
Skilled means that after the work is completed the piano is in tune, sounds great and stays that way for a reasonable period of time. If it takes one or three hours, so what? There is always someone out there that can crank out a tuning for you in 45 min if that is what is important.
I suggest you give your tuner a chance to prove their skills.
If you are still curious, ask the tuner.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

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#1351214 - 01/16/10 03:38 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Zooplibob]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED


It usually takes mine about two hours, give or take. When I’m not there he usually spends thirty minutes searching the house. When I am there I usually have to make him a sandwich and a few drinks.

He often brings his latest script for me to read. His last one was about a princeton piano tuner-serial killer with a penchant for murdering men he met on various European trains, beaches, and spas. He got downright hostile when I told him it had already been done and stormed off only later to come back for his tools and rest of his sandwich claiming I was stealing his ideas.

I haven’t heard from him lately. He usually calls after his appointments demanding corrections on his bill he forgot to add and accusing me of stealing his tools in particular a set of snap-on sockets that work unusually well on household projects and adjusting the idle on my lawnmower.

My wife, who makes it a point to be shopping during his visits, believes he is mildly demented.

He is quite the craftsmen, however, and in his spare time builds full-sized guillotines and often muses they are much easier to make than gallows.


Mike
_________________________
smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#1351235 - 01/16/10 04:17 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Mike Carr]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1543
Loc: Danville, California
Not to mention quicker to effect their objectives.

Can I borrow a 3/8" socket? My tuner isn't scheduled to be here for a while.

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#1351284 - 01/16/10 05:42 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Furtwangler]
tc_eliot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/09
Posts: 37
Loc: California
How did the tuning turn out? Our new piano had its one month tuning just now. With tuning (with wires stretching, it had gone consistently flat) and a little voicing to bring down the brightness in the treble, the technician was here for just under two hours. He's quite experienced.

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#1351295 - 01/16/10 06:07 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Zooplibob]
Eric Gloo Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1266
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Originally Posted By: Zooplibob
BTW hes still at it. thats 3:15 so far.... just tuning


Was he raising the pitch?
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#1351299 - 01/16/10 06:12 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Eric Gloo]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
My tech tunes my B in exactly an hour each visit. He said he will usually take two hours if he is tuning for a concert.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1351316 - 01/16/10 06:54 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Horowitzian]
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1244
Loc: London
On a recent occasion, my tuner arrived at 1 p.m. Ok, he had to do a pitch raise. And ok, he did a few adjustments to the action. But he was not finished until 11 p.m.! I was really beginning to wonder if he was going to be with us all night...

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#1351320 - 01/16/10 07:03 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Horowitzian]
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
Mike - did you get your pen back though?

OP - are you paying by the hour or for a tuning? If the latter, chill out and let him do get it right.

I have my piano (9ft concert grand) tuned every three months, or maybe a bit more often if I am feeling fussy. It has a very hard life and it takes my tuner 2 or 3 hours, including coffee and a chat. There is usually a bit of regulation etc to do and I play it three or four times during the tuning process so that he a) he understands exactly what I want and b) I actually get what I want.

When we had a recording studio, we had the CG tuned roughly fortnightly if we were busy and that took him about 30-40 minutes to touch it up.

This was tuning by ear, not using an electronic device. We have occasionally played around with different tunings and that takes time (and then more time later to put it back how it was ;-).

This is life with pianos!
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#1351328 - 01/16/10 07:19 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: AJB]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3896
The problem with long tunings is they are mentally exhausting. An inexperienced tuner can take so much time, he fights against himself while trying for perfection.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#1351344 - 01/16/10 07:49 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Bob]
jnod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 794
Loc: Toronto
longer for a grand than an upright?
_________________________
Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780

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#1351387 - 01/16/10 08:59 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: jnod]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3896
For me, tuning time is dependent on tuning pin feel and how close to pitch the piano is . Pins too tight and too flexible can take me 1 3/4 hours, especially if I'm adjusting pitch. Pins that feel just right when pitch is close is 3/4 hour. My average tuning time is 1 to 1 1/4 hours but I can tune a piano in 25 min if the situation demands it.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#1351526 - 01/17/10 12:19 AM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Bob]
Zooplibob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 245
Loc: Houston, TX
Well turns out he did raise the pitch, even though it was just a few "cents" off as he put it. But even the actual tuning part took 2-3x longer than the last guy, and that guy was doing it by ear. This one had the little tuning device.

Finished product sounds great though, just dont like that it took most of my afternoon listening to the banging.

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#1351544 - 01/17/10 12:46 AM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Furtwangler]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
Furtwangler: If you're ever in the market for a new tuner, I just happen to know this guy looking for clients . . . .

AJB: this and other pressing questions will be answered in my epic screenplay-- Guess Who's Tuning Your Piano? Hoping to get Matt Damon interested.

Mike
_________________________
smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#1351546 - 01/17/10 12:48 AM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Zooplibob]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Glad to hear the end result was good.

Piano technicians/tuners really earn their money. It is not an easy process, and yes, it is not necessarily pleasant to the ears and the mind. But the end result can be beautiful and very pleasing to the ear, and the mind!

Rick


Edited by Rickster (01/17/10 12:50 AM)
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1351699 - 01/17/10 05:29 AM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Rickster]
Terry Benge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 123
Loc: Southeastern Ky
Pianos that I tune regularly 1 hour 20 minutes. Pianos that have'nt been tuned for years 2 hours and in worst cases 2 to 2 and half hours. If it requires more than that I tell the customer to wait a month and do another tuning. After all its their fault its so bad.
_________________________
PTG Associate
Steinway Studio
Yamaha CP300

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#1351895 - 01/17/10 02:14 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Terry Benge]
Kieran Wells Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 243
Loc: Saint Paul, MN
I have had some tuners in the shop who were used to tuning older pianos out in the field that initially did not do as well on new pianos. New pianos are often more difficult to tune because the pins are tighter and can be jumpy--even on nicer pianos.
_________________________
Wells Pianos
wellspianos.com
new: Sauter, Hailun, Brodmann, Charles Walter
rebuilt: Mason & Hamlin, Steinway and other quality pianos
651-695-1000
651-757-6136

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#1351937 - 01/17/10 03:08 PM Re: How long should a tuning take?? [Re: Kieran Wells]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 792
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
I like Bob Maret's response - tuning times can vary.

The opening poster Zooplibob's piano is a Brodmann 212, and they tune up great!
_________________________
Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
239-206-4541 direct line
www.nickspiano.com

Concert Piano Technician, Dealer, and Pianist

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