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#1390072 - 03/06/10 10:46 PM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Nick Mauel]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2320
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I am in the process of re-tuning with Bill's figures as I type this...taking a break right now (this is not easy work, I am trying to make the unisons as clean as I can.....may hat's off the pro's out there who do this day in and day out.) smile Of course I am going string by string with my rubber mutes as opposed to strip muting, which takes me a bit longer.....I watched Bill use a muting stip, but did ask how to do it. frown I should have a few recordings posted later tonight.


Interesting phenomenon....I have both the RCT and the IPhone Tunelab ETD's going...I can see both as I tune...both ETD's have agreed on pretty much everything...except as I now tune the 6th octave and above, I am finding some notes that they do NOT agree on...RCT says it's flat, Tunelab, says it's sharp, or vice-versa.....interesting...the partial selection is correct...not sure why the discrepency...however, I taking the final word this time around from the RCT. Next time I tune, I will go with Tunelab's tuning.

Bill, thanks for the Serkin figures...have already written them down.

Stay tuned (pun intended)....more recordings on their way.......GP


Edited by grandpianoman (03/06/10 10:49 PM)

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#1390192 - 03/07/10 04:25 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7275
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Here, for anyone interested is the temperament Peter Serkin likes. The figures in the Journal are not the offsets to use with and ETD calculated program. They were measurements of aural tuning. This temperament will work well with a calculated stretch because it is a meantone temperament. In meantone, all 5ths are tempered alike, so you don't have the problem there is with an irregular WT like the EBVT and EBVT III.

It is the Jean Baptiste Romieu 1/7 comma meantone with one modification, the E-B 5th is pure. That mitigates the harsh side of the temperament just enough for Serkin's liking. He is touring the country using it. The key of A-flat sparkles with energy. The minor keys with four or more flats are very dark and disturbing. Excellent for Rachmaninoff's and Fauré's darker pieces. All 17th and 18th Century music have the proper tonal character. Dissonant chords in Jazz are all the more incisive. Show tunes and standards are superbly singable.

Grandpianoman, you will want to try this some day! Just use the RCT or Tunelab default stretch.

C: +3.0
C#: -1.0
D: +1.0
D#: +6.0
E: -1.0
F:+4.0
F#: 0.0
G: +2.0
A: 0.0
A#: +5.0
B: +1.0


I am listening to Toru Takemitsu recordings by Perter Serkin, and while I understand well his interest for other temperaments and contemporary music, I doubt that he will play for instance Takemitsu in any other temperament than ET.
Listen to that magnificent piece : "les yeux clos" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3g_wsokvBg

I wrote to him to ask what music /instrument he may play when using a 1/7 comma meantone, as I am begin to believe that you are purposely sending misinformation on that subject.

Certainly when performing on Forte pianos, the original temperaments can be used.

I am also listening again to the recordings provided, just to understand which is the aspect that gives me that "unbalanced" sensation, coherence miss somewhere, may be only at the resonance (harmonic) level.

The one I really cant stand is Rhapsody in blue, it really hurt my brain.


Edited by Kamin (03/07/10 04:26 AM)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1390238 - 03/07/10 07:34 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Olek]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3190
Loc: Madison, WI USA
The one I like best is Rhapsody in Blue. It sounds the way I intended it to sound and the way I like it to sound. When I was visiting with my colleague on Friday, a call came to him from a technician in another part of the country for information about how to tune the 1/7 Comma Meantone for Peter Serkin. Mr. Serkin does not perform on fortepianos. He is a Steinway artist.

Here is the text of his article from the February issue of the PTG Journal:

The Tuning of my Piano

By Peter Serkin

I had already been curious about the idea
of tuning keyboard instruments to historic
temperaments when I visited Tim Farley’s
shop and encountered some of these tunings
directly.
I remember playing the second subject
of the first movement of Beethoven’s Waldstein
Sonata, first as it appears in the exposition,
remarkably, in E Major, the major
mediant, itself a kind of bridge in a structural
bass-arpeggiation from the tonic through
the mediant to the dominant; then that
second group in the recapitulation where it
answers in the sub-mediant, A, upper neighbor
to the dominant, Major, then its modal
consequent beginning in A minor and back
to a G bass and cadence to C Major. In the
historic temperaments, one actually heard,
vividly, the innate differences in key colors
that exist among these tonalities, giving a
real aural sense to the harmonic structure of
the piece. One viscerally experienced the carried colorations
within each harmonic change.
I also played some of those passages from Beethoven
Concerti which feel somehow suspended by their remoteness
to their home-keys. In seventh-comma modified meantone
temperament, to which Tim Farley had tuned the pianos, all
the harmonic relationships become fully alive and meaningfully
colorful in a manner that, it seems, cannot be conveyed
in standard equal temperament. We can admire much in the
black-and-white lines and forms of great paintings, but how
much richer and more beautiful they are in full color, too!
In seventh comma there no longer seems to be a need to
overly fabricate a specialness to certain varied harmonies with
concocted voicings, slowing of tempo, or what-have-you; now
the pitches themselves manifest these colors and atmospheres
directly and convincingly. In Schubert, too, music reappearing
in various, often distantly related keys, arrived at through
extensive modulation, takes on new light and character in each
of its emanations, in seventh-comma.
I was fascinated by what I heard on that first visit, but it
was not until twenty years later that I started to use these tunings
myself. In this more recent encounter I was so persuaded
and intoxicated by it that I now try to have pianos, for every
concert where it might be effected, as well as on my instruments
at home, tuned to one-seventh syntonic comma modified
meantone temperament. Midway between one-quarter
(pure) meantone and one twelfth comma (equal) meantone,
one seventh comma seems to be a magical solution to accommodating all keys (more or less), albeit
with some wolf intervals, and at the same
time retaining an intrinsic variegated keycoloration.
No longer confined to only one key in
two modes, major and minor, which in standard
equal temperament are then transposed
eleven times, the older traditional tunings
open up the spectrum, giving distinct individual
character to each of twenty-four
keys. This difference is both subtle and
profound—subtle enough to sometimes use
this temperament without anyone noticing it,
other than to comment on the beautiful tone
of the piano; profound in emanating real differences
in keys and intervals while allowing
the instrument to resonate euphoniously.
I have used this tuning for all kinds of
music: Dowland, Byrd, Bull, Bach, Mozart,
Beethoven, Brahms, Schoenberg, Messiaen,
Takemitsu, Carter, Wuorinen and others.
There being no particular historical justification at all for using
this one temperament for so many periods of music, the
fact that it works so very satisfactorily for all this music attests,
I think, to its intrinsic viability as a general temperament for
keyboard instruments.
Peter Serkin
[This article is an excerpt from a letter in which Peter Serkin discusses
his use of one seventh comma meantone temperament. The complete
text of his letter can be read on ptg.org/journal-media.php.]

******************************************************************

Kamin: Note that Serkin says he plays music by Takemitsu among other modern composers. Obviously, his opinion about non-equal temperaments and the effects they have on music is far different from yours.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1390269 - 03/07/10 09:00 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 783
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
Bill, I listened to the Rhapsody in Blue since you suggested it was the best representation.

The tuning sounds pretty clean. Is it possible that what I thought were wild unisons are simply intervals I am not used to hearing at a particular beat rate? Are some 4ths or 5ths a bit on the wild side? I am hearing this mostly in the middle. The upper treble sounds fantastic, is it pretty well stretched?

Please forgive me for not having the time yet to decipher the variances, since I am an aural tuner it can require math I'm not used to using.

Another sense I get is that this recording sounds very 'vintage', as if it were performed back in Gershwin's time. Is that also the reasoning behind this type of tuning? As if it was what was being used at that time. Maybe not what you see today in terms of modern concert tuning, but what certain individuals are eager to discover. Just my thoughts.
_________________________
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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#1390293 - 03/07/10 09:58 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Nick Mauel]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7275
Loc: France
Well some bass resonance are magnificent, but E major sound out of tune, the variations, to me does not add anything to the music.

More than that the tuning sound dull and lack "air" in the high medium, like with not enough opening of the octaves.

Clean, may be the term, but c5 is flat as ever. those F#4 sound harsh to me, that is not juicy, simply dull, to me.

Thanks for the letter from Peter Serkin, I wait to listen to that, I suppose that recordings will follow, but I believe that he may keep at last a consistent size for the octaves in hist tuning. something have to add resonance or the harmony is lowered.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1390358 - 03/07/10 11:43 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Nick Mauel]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3190
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Good to hear from you, Nick. Basically, you are right on all counts. First, let me talk about unisons. You remember I said I do not believe in anything but the most beatless unison possible. There are some people who do advocate some kind of manipulation of unisons and I believe it to be a quest for some kind of "color" when the very sterile sound of a perfected ET proves to be less than satisfying.

The way I temper the scale is very purposeful and deliberate. It follows the basic rules of Well Temperament where the slowest Major thirds (M3s) are among the keys with the fewest sharps or flats and the fastest M3s are among the keys with the most sharps or flats. That idea has been around since the time of J.S. Bach although it was not Bach who came up with it. He only used the idea and wrote music with it in mind.

I knew you would want to hear how I had tuned for Grandpianoman in Portland but I also had no expectation that you would like what you heard because from the recordings I have heard where you tuned, I heard what is considered to be standard practice today and the very finest example of it. What you do is what most piano technicians do or at least strive for. Any deviation from a perfectly equalized scale would upset the balance, so to speak.

A good technician who can really tune ET by ear with perfect unisons has trained the ear to perceive the very slightest imperfection in that model. It is work that is practiced daily, one piano after another. It is easy to understand how that particular model or style of tuning becomes what sounds "right" and how anything else is "wrong" or somehow inferior. A performing artist who has the luxury of always having a freshly tuned piano can also become accustomed to that sound and regard anything else as unacceptable. Recording engineers may also develop that kind of sensitivity.

That being understood, let us now imagine how other people may perceive the sound of a piano and music in general. Most people do not hear such perfection most of the time. Certainly, not all piano technicians can deliver it but even when they can, the piano owner can only enjoy that state of perfection for a very brief period of time. This means that most people, most of the time hear something other than that.

There was a time when I practiced what you do and believed only in a perfected ET as being the best a piano could sound. I could certainly do that today but what I found through experience and interaction with those for whom I tune pianos, those of all levels of experience from very limited to performing artists was that a Well Tempered sound has more appeal than the equally tempered sound. People simply prefer a distinction in harmony versus all harmony the same.

There is an infinite number of possibilities for Well Temperament as there are for any other variety. People, however do have their limits as to what sounds acceptable and what does not. The EBVT and EBVT III are both designed to remain within those limits but still provide the distinction from one key signature to the next that was known, accepted and used in the past. Those distinctions are an integral part of music and music composition history. They are also an integral part of keyboard tuning history.

Now, as to what you may have heard in either these recordings recently posted on here or those on my website, I have also heard what you hear. After tuning as perfectly as I could, unisons included, I have sat in the audience and listened as an artist performed. To get the well tempered sound, it is necessary to temper at least some of the 5ths more than they would be in ET. Nobody likes the sound of a tempered 5th. If we could tune all 5ths pure but also have all M3s beat gently, we would. Some tuners do stretch the temperament octave enough so that all 5ths sound virtually pure but of course, the consequence of that is that all M3s and M6s beat more rapidly and therefore sound more dissonant.

What I have heard when listening is that sometimes the sound of the tempered 5th sounds like an imperfect unison. I don't want my unisons to be anything but perfectly beatless because that would only upset what I do with temperament and octave stretch. Yet, when I know that my unisons have been as pristine as possible, I have heard from the piano what sounded to me like "dripping", "liquid" or "wet" unisons.

This is what happens with 5ths that are tempered more than they would be in ET. When I tune up and down from the central octave, I try to "hide" the sound of the tempered 5th as much as possible. It does not change the temperament any more than octave stretching in ET changes that temperament. What I can do, however is utilize the piano's own inharmonicity to "hide" the tempered 5ths and give the piano a clear and beautiful sound in the outer octaves the same way that any piano technician would when tuning ET. An electronically generated curve does not do that for me. It is an example of when I want something done right, I have to do it myself.

In next month's PTG Journal, there will be a new article I have written published about just the way I tune octaves. I thank Patrick from Finland for providing the impetus to write it. You can read it now, however here: http://www.billbremmer.com/articles/aural_octave_tuning.pdf

There has been much discussion about the effects of octave tuning. There is the Chas method which I have never really been sure of just what it means, there is the Stopper tuning which as I understand it, creates an ET within not an octave but an octave and 5th which is tuned as beatless. Either of these has 5ths which are barely tempered but as a consequence, M3s, M6s, M10s and M17s which all beat faster and are more dissonant as a result. Some people like that sound, others do not.

What I discovered long ago, in the early 1980's before I ever started tuning any unequal temperaments was that equal beating double octaves and octaves and 5ths produced the most beautiful sound possible. Neither the double octave (slightly wide) nor the octave and 5th (slightly narrow) are perfectly beatless but the amount of tempering in each is extremely small. Both intervals sound virtually pure. I can do this with either ET or either version of the EBVT or any 18th Century or later style of non-equal temperament.

This means that in the outer octaves, I can make the piano sound clear and bright regardless of which temperament I use. Anyone who tunes aurally that uses this method of octave tuning will produce a beautiful sounding piano even if the temperament is not as perfect as intended.

Your comment about the recording sounding "vintage" is interesting. Gershwin was an early 20th Century composer. He was heavily influenced by the Jazz and Blues of his time. Even though it is most often said that ET prevailed from the 20th Century onward, I know enough about tuning methods to believe that the late 19th Century style of Well Temperament (which the EBVT III is) would have persisted well into Gershwin's time. The playing that you hear was done by Gershwin himself, recorded on a paper roll as the very first digital technology. While that technology was imperfect and the information has been manipulated this way and that, I firmly believe that this is the sound that Gershwin himself enjoyed while he played.

The smoothed out harmony of a perfected ET would not have been what Gershwin knew and enjoyed. The modulations have purpose and distinction. Additionally, there is the sound of the small minor third present in many melodic lines. This mimics the "blue note" sound of a Jazz or Blues musician. They are meant to sound as they do in the recording. The unisons have not deteriorated badly enough to ruin it. It sounds basically the way it is meant to sound. Certainly, there would have been very few piano technicians in Gerswin's day that could have or would have tuned a perfected ET the way we know it today, 100 years later.

Nick, if these and any future recordings spike your interest, I would be happy to travel to your place of business and tune for you. I can do it all by ear if you wish. I provided Grandpianoman with a digital record so that he can replicate what I did at will but for you, I can leave my ETD at home and tune any piano aurally.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1390371 - 03/07/10 11:58 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21307
Loc: Oakland
Quote:
Certainly, there would have been very few piano technicians in Gerswin's day that could have or would have tuned a perfected ET the way we know it today, 100 years later.

I do not understand that. If anyone could have tuned whatever you mean as "a perfected ET the way we know it today," everyone with enough talent to tune a piano at all could have.

What would be the difference? If the claim is that they did not want to tune that way, how would they have wanted to tune?
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1390394 - 03/07/10 12:30 PM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: BDB]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3190
Loc: Madison, WI USA
BDB, thanks for you comments and questions. I am glad you liked the way the tunings sounded. I guess any player piano would sound like a player piano at some point but I was truly amazed at how the original Ampico player system performed. The Modern, LX system would be expected to perform better but I was impressed with both.

I will answer your question that you quoted this way: People in all walks of life range from superior to inferior. The people in charge of major enterprises sometimes get fired or have to resign because of incompetence. Not everyone can perform as expected. Owen Jorgensen documented hundreds of pages of evidence that ET was not tuned as we know it today in earlier periods much to the dismay of people who had always believed that ET was the one and only way a keyboard instrument was ever tuned.

Recently, I went on you tube and found many examples of less than desirable piano tunings. I even caught one guy in the act of tuning reverse well.

Now, you may think in terms of what could possibly have been but so do I. What I truly believe is that technicians in Gershwin's time, those that were good enough for him to hire, still tuned with a 4ths & 5ths temperament sequence (the way that was documented at the Broadwood factory) that would have produced not ET as we know it today but a Victorian style temperament. What they would have done was close to ET, yes, (as is the EBVT III) but still retained the well tempered characteristics.

Gershwin was used to the distinctions of key color and worked with them as all composers had done previously.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1390482 - 03/07/10 02:14 PM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21307
Loc: Oakland
Have you tried listening to old fixed-pitch instruments, like celestes or marimbas?
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1390741 - 03/07/10 08:23 PM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: BDB]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3190
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
Have you tried listening to old fixed-pitch instruments, like celestes or marimbas?


No and what would that have to do with this discussion?
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1390750 - 03/07/10 08:35 PM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21307
Loc: Oakland
Because they would still have their period tuning.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1391024 - 03/08/10 04:58 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: BDB]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1059
Loc: Sicily - Italy
Hello,

GP, thanks for sharing the recording of Bill's tuning.

Bill,

I think you did a good job, a tuning that all together can be enjoyable, and you may not need me to say that. Your feedbacks from your customers also do confirm the quality of your tunings, so it should not be this the point of any discussion.

Anyhow, the main point of yours seems to be: ET is colourless, all keys are equally wrong, pianists can enjoy UTs more and composers think of music in UT terms.

You may know, by now, why I cannot agree with you on many of your statements, mainly because I do not manage to follow the logics behind them, so I find them merely confusing.

By reading Peter Serkin's above:

..."In seventh-comma modified meantone
temperament, to which Tim Farley had tuned the pianos, all
the harmonic relationships become fully alive and meaningfully
colorful in a manner that, it seems, cannot be conveyed
in standard equal temperament."...

You see that Serkin himself writes "colorful in a manner that, it seems, cannot be conveyed in standard equal temperament.".

Modern ETs are not "standard" equal temperaments, but very performing variants. Today you could acknowledge this simple fact, and I wonder what you find difficult about the whole issue. Yet, you know that reverse well is the product of many attempts, if one ever wanted to tune 12th root of two ET, the 300 years old ET model.

You write:

..."There is the Chas method which I have never really been sure of just what it means,"...

This statement of yours again puzzles me. How can this happen? Since May 2009 you could well know about Chas Temperamental Theory and its new approach to beats and the sound whole. How can you not "be sure of just what it means"?

And many times you happen to talk about music in philological and historical terms, so I ask: could not you acknowledge ET's evolution and the basic difference between a method and a theory, before referring to actual equal tempering of the sound scale? Should not you try your best to witness these new ET theories and their practical effects? 

You write..."there is the Stopper tuning which as I understand it, creates an ET within not an octave but an octave and 5th which is tuned as beatless. Either of these has 5ths which are barely tempered but as a consequence, M3s, M6s, M10s and M17s which all beat faster and are more dissonant as a result. Some people like that sound, others do not."...

But you yourself wrote that you met Stopper and that you liked his tuning, the pipe-organ effect being included. This again confuses me more.

Then you write:...”What I discovered long ago, in the early 1980's before I ever started tuning any unequal temperaments was that equal beating double octaves and octaves and 5ths produced the most beautiful sound possible.”...

Do I read correctly? Does “equal beating double octaves and octaves and 5ths” produce “the most beautiful sound possible.”?

So I can only wonder more. But despite any kind of “barrier”, and with the idea that no temperament should be exclusive, I would still be happy if you, Bill, took part actively and professionally to this precise moment, exactly now Bill, when temperament's theory and tuning practice is being renewed.

Regards, a.c. 
_________________________
alfredo

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#1391028 - 03/08/10 05:20 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: alfredo capurso]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2320
Loc: Portland, Oregon
This has been a lot of fun, although tuning for a "broadcast" quality recording is not easy!

Today I was able to get the piano up to where Bill left it when he finished it last Saturday, not an easy task by the way, he is VERY good! Part of the problem last week, was the fact that we pounded the pins down of the upper 2 treble sections the night before Bill arrived, and then did not record for 2 days. Those 2 sections seem to migrate to the flat side of the pitch even today. A fair amount of unisons seem to go out after every piece, especially the louder ones...so I tried to correct those before recording the next piece, I corrected most of them, but not all.

I must say right off the bat, I have NEVER heard my piano sound this beautiful. In the past, everything has been some form of ET...mind you, ET sounds very pleasant, and I have no argument with it....but when you hear this EBVT III, there is no comparison, ET sounds flat to me, not in pitch, but in it's ability to bring out different colors etc. EBVT III seems to bring out colors in the music I have never heard. The Rhapsody is just astounding in it's depth and scope of it's harmonies and the richness of the music comes through so well. The Debussy, magical. The modern pieces from the Movies are also beautiful.

What amazes me about this EBVT III, is that every type and style of music sounds great. As I said to Bill on Saturday, it "feels" right to my ear. Listen to "Il Postino"...the depth....the sweetness and beauty of the harmonies, which seem to envelope you...I could listen to this all day and never tire of it. Randy Potter heard it live on Saturday, and was impressed. I was so taken with the piano today after tuning it, I just kept recording ...LOL.....so here they are. Enjoy, and please feel free to comment, be it pos or neg.

I am glad to have met Bill, and to have had the opportunity to experience his tuning first hand, and to have been able to recreate and demonstrate his valuable work with my Mason & Hamlin RBB to everyone here at PW.....what a piano this is, especially now with the Isaac Hammers and Bass strings, (Roy, the hammers have not been voiced!) the Wapin bridge modification, the Ampico and LX playback systems, the new WN&Gross back-action, and now Bill Bremmer's EBVT III...wow! I don't think I will be changing the tuning for my piano for long time. 85+ year old pianos can still rock!!! Thanks Bill!


1. "Rhapsody in Blue" played by Matt Herskowitz, played on the LX in EBVT III, using Mark Fontana's Mid2Piano CD software. ( A slightly different interpretation than the previous recording) smile http://www.box.net/shared/18mtn6eq2d

2. "Il Postino" played on the LX in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/m9ca7ctxtg

As a comparison, here is the same "Il Postino" played in Equal Temperament from the RCT, OCT 5 stretch. http://www.box.net/shared/fav9kacmpv

3. Reflets dans L'eau in EBVT III, played by Leo Ornstein on the Ampico http://www.box.net/shared/pmvag7o200

4. A Tribute to Gershwin played on the LX-EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/7q0u5pmfon

5. "Out of Africa" on the LX-EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/y7hsemgiaa

6. "Somewhere in Time" on the LX-EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/6rua8m6hvb

7. "Age of Innocence played on the LX-EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/byr8pb545y

For comparison, here is the same piece in both the RCT OCT 5 tuning and the Stopper Tuning, which I posted back in Oct, 2009 here on PW.

Stopper (corrected for sound level) http://www.box.net/shared/s4huo9y1pm

RCT OCT 5 (corrected for sound level) http://www.box.net/shared/hagt0fk2ly

8. Rachmaninoff playing "Maiden's Wish" on the Ampico in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/i58daryc85

9. Very patriotic...:) Rachmaninoff playing "The Start Spangled Banner" on the Ampico in EBVT III http://www.box.net/shared/0n542k21ik

Well, that's if for now....I have so enjoyed this experience in hearing my piano in a completely different light. Thanks again to Bill for taking the time to come out and tune my piano, and it was a pleasure to meet Randy Potter as well.





Edited by grandpianoman (03/08/10 06:17 AM)

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#1391044 - 03/08/10 06:31 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Grandpianoman]
Bernhard Stopper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 211
Loc: Germany
Thanks GP for sharing a recording of the piece Age of innoncence, which you have also previously recorded with the OnlyPure software.

I do not want to comment about the tuning qualities, everybody has it´s preferences. I don´t have concerns with an out of tune effect in this piece as i had in the rhapsody in blue (which could also be caused by a partly gone tuning, which was the case as you mentioned already).

Anyway something must have been happened with the unisons between the two recordings.
I believe the hammers are voiced down to a level i don´t like, or maybe the assistance for unison tuning with the OnlyPure software did the difference for more opened unisons. I find the recording with the Stopper tuning more open and breathing in the unisons* as your own machine re-tuning with Bremmers EBVT figures. I am sure Bill could have tuned the unisons more open. Unfortunately they were already gone when you recorded with Bills original tuning.

*Although i found not all unisons were perfect either with the OnlyPure record, but probably just a lack of experience.






Edited by Bernhard Stopper (03/08/10 07:16 AM)
_________________________
Bernhard Stopper
www.piano-stopper.de

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#1391055 - 03/08/10 07:13 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4911
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Dan, ..... I don't care what your opinion is. If you don't like it, I don't care. I only care about what my customers think and about helping other technicians to learn how to tune ET, the EBVT III and octaves which is what I have been doing for many years. One more time: I don't care what you think. So, if you don't want to comment, don't comment! Don't comment on why you don't want to comment either because I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK!
.....


The gent doth protest too much, methinks.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1391065 - 03/08/10 07:44 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Grandpianoman]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3190
Loc: Madison, WI USA
BDB, yes, I suppose they may but however those tunings were effected would have been quite different from the way pianos were tuned. Tuning a temperament and octaves on a piano is quite a different experience from tuning fixed pitch percussion instruments, organ pipes, etc. You also have to consider that any such percussion instrument has much higher inharmonicity than a piano. It would be an apple and orange comparison.

I do assume that those instruments were tuned in ET (or at least attempted that way) but that is only an assumption. Grandpianoman has two of those player type instruments with the large metal disc (I can never remember what they are called). They produce a charming and beautiful sound. They are amazing in the fact that the sound itself is produced by a relatively small set of tines. They are naturally amplified by the wooden box. The tines are arranged in an even looking comb which could only reflect ET, otherwise, the lengths of the tines would appear uneven. I've never heard of any tuned percussion (other than Gamelon) instruments being tuned in anything other than ET but how exactly true they are to ET is another matter.

Alfredo, thank you for your comments. Frankly, quite some time ago I gave up on following your threads. I cannot understand the math and I find your English barely understandable and therefore difficult to read. I am sorry but to this day, I do not know what "CHAS" means. I do get the idea that you tune in ET and that you stretch the octaves in a particular way but that is about all I understand. The same goes for the Stopper tuning.

Whatever difference there may be between the way you stretch the octaves and the way Herr Stopper does seems to me to be quite small and virtually indistinguishable. Yes, I liked the way Stopper's tuning sounded; it makes the piano sound crisp and clear. From what I have heard of your tunings, I certainly find nothing objectionable. However, when I played two recent examples that were posted, a CHAS tuning and a "standard" tuning, I frankly could not tell the difference.

Both of you seem to feel that you have found the ultimate solution for tuning the piano. You want to prove somehow with math that it is valid and I have no argument with that but I personally cannot understand what the math I have seen tries to portray, so it is lost on me. In any case, the difference in the way ET sounds, stretched very little, to moderately, to the most it could be only seems to yield very subtle nuances of difference.

I must admit that the first time I heard Grandpianoman's comparison between two examples, one with RCT default stretch and the other in the Stopper tuning, I preferred the clarity I heard in the Stopper tuning. There was more of a difference than I expected to hear. So, there is something to be gained or lost with the amount of stretch applied, yes. There were some listeners who clearly preferred the RCT default stretch calling the sound "warmer" or "mellow".

Now, I did arrive at the conclusion about stretch in ET long ago as I have said. Stretching the temperament octave to a compromise between a 4:2 and a 6:3 octave, then causing an equal compromise between double octaves and octave and 5ths seemed to be ideal for me. Many people, technicians and pianists alike expressed voluntarily how beautiful the octaves I tuned sounded. As I had written to you long ago privately, I seemed to be able to turn the two problems in tuning, inharmonicity and the comma, against each other in a favorable way by using that approach. It reduced the "noise" inherent in tuning. It made the piano sound beautiful and clear.

It turns out that this is the way most of the best tuners tune today whether they arrive at those results the way I did or not. Most technicians, pianists and music educators still believe firmly in ET as the best and/or only way to tune the piano.

No matter what is done, piano tuning is ultimately a compromise. Stretching ET to the point where the tempering of the 5ths is apparently hidden is one compromise, yes and it does yield its advantages and disadvantages. People can become accustomed to that sound and they can become fixated on that one sound being the one and only acceptable sound.

Everyone already knows I have found another compromise. I am in the minority, yes. Most people are skeptical about it. Some people reject it outright, some without ever hearing it. That does not hinder me because I have enough people who are interested to continue. Condemning what I do with ridicule and mockery however only invites the same in return. I recall the admonition, "If you can't say something nice, it is better to say nothing at all".

Therefore, I am not really interested in debating, analyzing, confirming or refuting which amount of stretch applied to ET is the ultimate solution. I already have my own idea about that but since I don't tune in ET, it is a moot point for me. I use the same idea when tuning the EBVT III but of course, because the EBVT III has 5ths of varying sizes, the octaves also vary in size.

Thank you for posting these latest recordings, Grandpianoman. I enjoyed listening to them all. As I listen to the three versions of the Age of Innocence, I hear again the clarity of the Stopper tuning but also a kind of "tart" sound to all harmony. The RCT version does indeed sound warmer and softer but it lacks that sparkle that the Stopper tuning has. The EBVT III seems to provide both the clarity and warmth I desire to hear from the piano. Modulations provide the tension and subsequent release of it that is inherent in the music the way it was written.

What you have is truly unique in all the world. Who else has a 1925 Mason & Hamlin BB with both the original Ampico player system and the modern LX system? It would sound just fine in whichever version of ET might be tuned but you asked for what I do and you liked what I did, so that is what matters. What you expressed in your phone call last night is what many people have expressed upon the discovery of the well-tempered sound (not just this well-tempered sound): a new musical experience that ET simply cannot provide.

The more you correct and re-correct the tuning back to the specifications I provided, the more the piano will begin to accept it and remain stable that way for longer. Enjoy it!
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1391075 - 03/08/10 07:59 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3190
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Bernhard, the hammers on the M&H are VERY soft. There has been no voicing done as of yet. They are naturally that way. When the piano is played manually, you really have to play hard to get anything out of it. However, this is necessary because the player systems drive the piano very hard. The American preference for a softer sound than most of the rest of the world should also be considered. As Grandpianoman continues to use the piano, the hammers will surely need to be shaped and voiced.

I can say this about tuning that piano. It requires a lot of effort to attain a particular pitch for each string. It has relatively new strings and a new Wapin style bridge. Grandpianoman can tune beautiful unisons but at this point, the piano is quite resistant to retaining the precision we all would like to hear from it although things are progressing well. The pinblock is also new and the tuning pins very tight. I believe that as the piano gets better broken in and each string is corrected and re-corrected to the specifications GP has, it will become more accustomed to staying in a beautiful tuning for longer.

Certainly, a Yamaha, Kawai or any German made piano is far easier to tune precisely. The M&H also does not tune the way a Steinway does. It has its own uniqueness to it. Since GP does not tune for other people and he only wants to keep his own fine instrument in tune, I know that he will become used to how it behaves and he will be able to do better and better with it. Personally, I am enjoying very much the progress so far as I know GP is.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1391178 - 03/08/10 10:31 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21307
Loc: Oakland
Quote:
BDB, yes, I suppose they may but however those tunings were effected would have been quite different from the way pianos were tuned. Tuning a temperament and octaves on a piano is quite a different experience from tuning fixed pitch percussion instruments, organ pipes, etc. You also have to consider that any such percussion instrument has much higher inharmonicity than a piano. It would be an apple and orange comparison.

I do assume that those instruments were tuned in ET (or at least attempted that way) but that is only an assumption. Grandpianoman has two of those player type instruments with the large metal disc (I can never remember what they are called). They produce a charming and beautiful sound. They are amazing in the fact that the sound itself is produced by a relatively small set of tines. They are naturally amplified by the wooden box. The tines are arranged in an even looking comb which could only reflect ET, otherwise, the lengths of the tines would appear uneven. I've never heard of any tuned percussion (other than Gamelon) instruments being tuned in anything other than ET but how exactly true they are to ET is another matter.


It just seems that exactly how true the percussion instruments are to ET is going to be how true everything was tuned to ET, at least by the best tuners of the day.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1391211 - 03/08/10 11:15 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: BDB]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 577
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Bill:

Earlier in this thread I mentioned liking the EBVT I for some pieces, and you explained the difference between the first EBVT and third. Perhaps it is those pure 5ths that I miss in the third version.

You and Alfredo are actually in agreement about important things: Alfredo specifies that 12ths are slightly narrow in his CHas temperament. The exact pitches of 12th's in his tuning will of course differ from those of ET or EBVT, but you both prefer a slow beating on that interval and the octaves.

By the way, in your list of the off-sets that Serkin uses, you left out the G#\Ab. Is it left at 0?

(Are there recordings of Serkin using this temperament?)



Edited by Jake Jackson (03/08/10 11:17 AM)

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#1391216 - 03/08/10 11:22 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4911
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
.....

I do assume that those instruments were tuned in ET (or at least attempted that way) but that is only an assumption. Grandpianoman has two of those player type instruments with the large metal disc (I can never remember what they are called). They produce a charming and beautiful sound. They are amazing in the fact that the sound itself is produced by a relatively small set of tines. They are naturally amplified by the wooden box. The tines are arranged in an even looking comb which could only reflect ET, otherwise, the lengths of the tines would appear uneven. I've never heard of any tuned percussion (other than Gamelon) instruments being tuned in anything other than ET but how exactly true they are to ET is another matter.

.....


If the tines where not even, then the notes would not be in chromatic order. The tines could be in a outrageous temperament and still be even looking.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1391867 - 03/09/10 03:08 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: UnrightTooner]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1943
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Hi,

To add to Jeff's comments, the difference between ET and WT is a small fraction of each tone's frequency. The tines on an ET and WT instrument would differ by such small amounts that I would bet my bottom dollar (or South African Rand) that there would be no appreciable optical difference between the two.

Just think about it: a semitone (from one tine to the next) is 100 cents. A typical WT offset is what? Perhaps 2 cents, or 4 cents at most? Compare that to the 100 cents semitone - I don't think you'd spot the difference with your eye.

But fortunately, we have ears too. So it would indeed be interesting to examine fixed-tuning percussion instruments from earlier periods to gain insight to the tuning practices back then.

Back to topic.

Bill, I've listened to "The Age of Innocence" in all three tunings (Stopper, RCT and EBVT III). I still prefer RCT because in my ears, there are fewer extremes.

Example: at the climax of the piece, the B-flat maj. chord at 2:45 with Bb6 in the melody, as well as the B-flat maj.9 chord at 2:50-2:51 with C7 in the melody, both sound cleaner to me in the RCT tuning. That's my opinion, which I give freely, because I presume that this thread was started to solicit opinions (why else?) - even if they should happen to be pro-ET.

On the other hand, I can't find any places in the piece where the EBVT III sounds convincingly purer than the RCT. If you have any such specific examples, I'd appreciate your pointing them out to me.

And just for the record: I'm not ridiculing you, I'm not trying to make you change, I'm not trying to do anything to you. I'm giving an opinion. If however, you should want to read only pro-EBVT opinions, then please state this explicitly from the outset, and I'll go away quietly.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#1391912 - 03/09/10 05:25 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Mark R.]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7275
Loc: France
BTW It makes me listen to the some Gerswin recordings that are available on Youtube , and to me none of them are as extreme as EBVT. (they simply tone as ET to me).

On that one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U40xBSz6Dc&feature=related

The piano is a little low in high trevble vs the winds. (I traced it to the lights or the warmness of the audience) .

But the tuning is at best, (to please Bill !) a very mild Well (I can hear the C3 - , and then the G's that are MAY BE slightly less tempered, and it is may be only due to an enlarging of the C3 C4 octave in temperament).

But that does not lend to such unbalanced harmony than with the EBVT, and what may be more important, the intervals are lininig octaves, doubles etc, that gives more coherence in anycase, I suggest that the imbalance sensation I get from the EBVT is coming from there, as I believe I could listen to a no perfect ET and not feel bad.

On other recordings at piano solo this is always ET , to me.

Eventually may be they could be in some Well temperament, or have the same kind of slight difference in the last 5ths that I could see even n some good concert tunings sometime (that make a little change in some tonality if compared to a perfectly balanced ET, but often it was due to the sequence used by the tuner, and the need to have stretch soon, and the fact that he decide that it is more important to have good stretched octaves and nice unisons than to search for the perfect ET and spend 10 minutes more, he reconciles all in the stretch - a little like does Bill) That was the old way, most younger tuners goes for a more evened RBI progression from the start actually (and that is not always providing the most harmonious piano, as may be not all are striving for that).




By evidence a tuner who know how to have a piano that ring well can find how to make a perfectly balanced tuning be it with slow beating intervals or no (I recently recorded myself tuning with only 5 th 4 t h for the temperament, and octaves for the rest, and the RBI intervals are all absolutely progressive, it was only a matter to stay in the "resonant spot" all along the treble, I have done that with Chas, but was doing the same before with a more standard ratio (staying in the spectra resonance at all times) .

That I did not believe it was even possible a few months ago (making a 4-5th sequence and obtain a perfect progression of RBI's , but it is, in fact and I sea no reason 19520 tuners did not do so !

I can assure you that I generally trace any slight difference in harmony. I would not probably hear immediately a very light Well, but at some point there is an interval that tells me he tone differently.
I have been highly trained to that, of course I can be wrong sometime but depends of the quality of the sleep !



MArk "The RTC" does not mean something else than a tuning with smooth 3d partial curve in the medium and begin of the treble. (that provide some resonance yet, but does not suffice !)
That does not really describe a tuning, to me . Or are you saying something else ?


Regards
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1391946 - 03/09/10 07:16 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Olek]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7275
Loc: France
Here is "Maiden's wish" played by Rachmaninoff :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB6B_xpXMYw

That one tones just to me.

I listened to the new recordings. When comparing th 3 RCT, EBVT, and STOPPER, Ive find the EBVT more musically enjoyable, as for a recording. may be it is due to a differnt tone in unisons, better quality recording.
But more harmonic resonance in the mediums when listening to the RCT OT5 (The basses are not very nice on that one.
The Stopper I've find just, but somewhat dry.

On a real piano, I really like the 12ths that are "broken in".

I really cant get acquainted to it, always that unbalanced sensation at some moment , and lack of harmony.

By evidence each one believe he find THE good way to tune, but there are preferences that can be applied and that, depending of the situation.

Each tuning ask for a compromising.. To me the Chas lend to a very large one that raise the "reverberation like" behavior of the piano.

That is what I appreciated first with the VT100 the fact that partials are well evaluated, and then are lining well. large harmonies still maintain a resonant state without too much incoherence no prominence of some beats, more quietness.

Just me, probably !

Those tuning things make us very emotive and passionate.

Thanks for the sharing. I am happy you enjoy it.






.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1391960 - 03/09/10 07:44 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Olek]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1943
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: Kamin
MArk "The RTC" does not mean something else than a tuning with smooth 3d partial curve in the medium and begin of the treble. (that provide some resonance yet, but does not suffice !)
That does not really describe a tuning, to me . Or are you saying something else ?


I am not really saying anything with "RCT". I was just referring to the names that Grandpianoman has given his tunings/recordings:
Stopper only pure
RCT
EBVT III
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#1391990 - 03/09/10 08:37 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Mark R.]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7275
Loc: France
I did not get it. sorry !
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1392027 - 03/09/10 09:36 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Olek]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1059
Loc: Sicily - Italy

Bill, thank you for your reply. You'll find mine in another thread.

Regards, a.c.
_________________________
alfredo

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#1392066 - 03/09/10 10:27 AM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Olek]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3190
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Thanks for all of your comments. Kamin, when you say "unbalanced" to me, that is what occurs in reverse well. It means that wider or narrower M3s are in the wrong places with respect to the rules of Well Temperament. To you, it must mean anything but perfect ET. What I recognize from both of you is what I expect to hear from most piano technicians. You have become accustomed to a perfected ET and anything that deviates from it in the very slightest way sounds incorrect. I could choose to tune that way but I have made another decision.

Kamin, what you recognize from the vintage Gershwin recording (and what I also hear) are three things: Quasi ET, less than perfect unisons and an octave tuning method that is random. The octaves were most likely tuned one upon the other without listening to the effects of double and triple octaves nor the 5ths in between or any RBI checks. There are still technicians who tune that way today. In the old tuning books I have, it says not to stretch the octaves too much. Some people today still say that. I never hear a piano in any of the recordings from the early 20th Century or even those from the 60's or 70's that sound as good as they do today. None of them would fit the description of "broadcast quality" for today.

Yesterday, I worked for 12 1/2 hours with another technician to replace key frame and damper felts, bridle straps, file and align hammers on an old upright owned by a professional musician. So, I did not have any time at the computer, nor will I for the rest of today (tunings out of town and PTG meeting tonight). The customer was also a sound engineer and he made some CDs for me of GP's latest tunings. We listened to them as we worked on a good stereo system. They were very enjoyable.

Neither the technician who worked with me nor the musician whom we were working for made any such comments as have been written here. Only the music was enjoyed. The piano I worked on was tuned in the end as usual, in the EBVT III. The musician loved all of the improvements in tone and touch. His wife provided lunch and dinner. He understood all about the EBVT III, liked the concept and that is why he hired me. He played and played when the piano was finished, enjoying every moment. He paid the bill by check but also gave both me and the other technician a generous cash tip. As we left, the sound of the piano playing could be heard from outside.

So, it is this kind of feedback to what I do which I respond to, not what technicians on here may say. It happens every day and has happened every day since I first tuned the EBVT in 1992. If I did, in fact, receive the kind of feedback from the pianists for whom I work that I do from some technicians, I would certainly change what I do to satisfy them but the fact is, that I don't. Instead, I receive comments along the lines of what Peter Serkin wrote which cannot be ignored. Should I listen to what he says or should I listen to what other technicians say?

I take the position that I have always heard from Steinway: We respond to what the artists say, not what technicians say. It is not that technicians are necessarily wrong in their opinions. For example, I still firmly believe that the Model O Steinway scale should have been changed. But when I express what I feel is deficient about it, I only get strong rebuttals from pianists who say they like it the way it is.

I know there are people in my area who do not hire me to tune their pianos because of what they perceive (whether having heard it or not) and they make their decision to hire the technician they prefer. It would always be that way regardless of the reason they make their decision. I also know at least three technicians who come to mind immediately who make their living tuning pianos and who have their own loyal customers but who consistently tune in reverse well. Would I tune in reverse well so that maybe I could get those customers? No. Would I tune in ET sometimes as a guess that maybe this customer or that customer may like it better than the EBVT? No, I would not do that either.

I have a full clientele of people who want what I do the way I do it, so I give them what they want. I have a full day today of all fine grands, each of which needs to be maintained the way I do it, so I have to get going and do it. I know that GP likes what I did and I hope he will post more offerings soon.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1392133 - 03/09/10 12:19 PM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 783
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
I think the new recordings are a tremendous improvement and I enjoyed listening to the songs, so much so that I could start to analyze what I was hearing.

My observations are from a strictly only aural tuner who likes tuning with utmost precision in ET. I don't understand a lot of the math that is used to express the deviations from ET, and probably without the use of an electronic tuner would have a difficult time doing anything else.

The new recordings with the cleaned up unisons were very enjoyable. For me it was like listening to an orchestra that has good intonation. If it doesn't have really good precision, naturally someone who tunes pianos is going to be annoyed listening to it. The different instruments of the orchestra have to blend correctly to sound in tune with everyone else, and that is what this tuning reminded me of.

This type of tuning to me sounds 'less' like a piano since you do not hear as much of the beating. But this is what makes a piano unique, because this must occur in order to have the ability to have all the notes at your fingertips, unless you seek the modifications to ET which are being illustrated in this thread.

In complex chords, I think many pianists and tuners like the sounds that ET gives them, sort of a vibrato effect and lots of color. It seems as though there is less of this with the modified tuning, which may be desirable to some, just like the sound of an orchestra that combines many different instruments into one harmonius sound.
_________________________
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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#1392191 - 03/09/10 01:20 PM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Nick Mauel]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 577
Loc: Atlanta, GA
The new recordings make a tremendous difference. I think that part of what Kamen was responding to was the bad unisons and the few notes that went entirely off. He hadn't heard the recordings from several months ago. These very latest recordings after a second tuning really remind me of why I like the EBVT. Still a little more tension in some intervals than in ET, but this is great, warm sound:

http://www.box.net/shared/m9ca7ctxtg

Kamin--A completely different sound from the first recordings in this thread, yes? But, yes, very different from CHas. Different animals entirely, with different goals in the intended sound.


Edited by Jake Jackson (03/09/10 07:11 PM)

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#1392344 - 03/09/10 04:54 PM Re: My Piano in EBVT III [Re: Jake Jackson]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2320
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Greetings all,

I am not a tech, but I think by pounding the upper 2 treble sections as we did the night before Bill arrived, did not do the stability issue for the whole piano any favors. Even after Bill spent the better part of Sat, grooming the piano, it was somewhat out of sorts 2 days later when I recorded it. Even after I re-tuned it, it is now out again. Bill showed me a different hammer technique...before, I was slow pulling the hammer a bit sharp, then hitting the key while I nudged the hammer a bit to get the string to fall into place to make a clean unison. Bill suggested that I "impact" the hammer with a quick easy blow to the sharp side, which he explained as sending a slight shock wave through the whole length of the string, which hopefully will equalize the tension in the whole length of the string. I tried this on my tuning, and it seemed to work, but then after a few days of concerts every day,:) the tuning is not right again.

I think what is going on here is partly due to my not being able to do a really good stable tuning, yet, and the pounding of the 2 treble sections, which disturbed the tension in the whole piano, and the daily concerts. wink

My sonic observations so far....how to put it into words....I am getting a sound that is more "earthy". When the piano is fresh from my tuning it, it is so musical sounding, unlike anything I have heard before. More sonic observations later...I am going to have to tune it again. Hopefully, the more it's tuned this way, and with no more pounding of notes or changes to the piano, (Wapin), it will eventually settle.

Bill is correct, both player systems play the piano, depending on the piece, like a concert pianist doing a concert. It really pounds the notes. So I guess I can't beat myself over the head for the tuning not being so stable. One thing to mention...while Roy Peters is correct, the LX puts out very little heat if any, the Ampico motor on the other hand, does just the opposite. It's a large electric motor, and after being on for awhile, it's put's out heat. In addition to that, there is a vinyl cover over the whole belly of the piano, to cut the noise of the Ampico mechanism. This traps the heat from the motor and probably effects the soundboard a bit and the tuning to some degree. It certainly helps with the moisture issue up here in Oregon though.

Jake, I agree, especially on the Il Postino. Even in that though, there are treble unisons that are not right, and some of the treble has slipped flat, even so, the effect of the EBVT III is magical. That was recorded several pieces after the Herskowitz Rhapsody, which really pounded the notes at times. This "tension" you mention in some intervals...I think this is what I perceive as "earthy" sounding, and gives EBVT III a distinct sound from ET.

Nick, your explanation is right on the money.

Everyone has a different take on what a beautifully tuned piano should sound like. It's all so very subjective. I am glad there are people like Bill, Alfredo, Bernard etc, that are pushing the envelope of piano tuning so that we can have more of a 'sonic' palette to choose from! Now if Don Gilmore can perfect his self-tuning piano, I would be in 10th heaven, not 7th, 10th. smile Just think about it, at the push of a button, one could have either EBVT III, ET, Stopper, CHAS, etc etc etc.

This re-tuning I did of Bill's original tuning, I relied solely on the RCT for the whole tuning. Btw, my thanks to Dean Reyburn for emailing me the file with Bill's figures so I could load them into my RCT, and to Robert Scott for showing me how to input the EBVT III figures into my Iphone Tunelab, a very easy process btw. Both took my phone calls right away!

This time around, I am going to rely totally on the Iphone Tunelab. I had both ETD's going while I did the tuning, to see if they agreed, which they pretty much did, but I relied on the RCT as the final say. One thing I did notice between the RCT and Tunelab...the RCT was a bit quicker in showing me the correct tuning...this was pretty much only as I tuned octaves 6 and 7, the higher I went up the treble to the end, Tunelab took a bit longer to show the correct tuning.

Some explanation of my antique music boxes is in order. I played both my Reginaphone and Olympia music boxes (circa 1900-1907) for Bill. I showed him the musical combs and how a music box disc strikes 2 tines together for 1 pitch/note, this is called a "double-comb" music box. (They also made "single" comb boxes, with only 1 tine per note.) They did this to get more volume and a more complex sound. According to the experts, each note has 2 tines to it, tuned slightly different, but the same note....this effect when all are going, produces a unique sound. The way they tuned these tines, was by attaching lead weights of different weight, under each tine/note to sharpen or flat the note/tine. I had forgotten to mention that to Bill. So while there is a uniformity to the combs when looking at them from above, below where the leads are attached, it's different, although the lead still follows that the longer and heavier the lead, the lower the note, and vice versa for the higher notes. With this lead "voicing" so to speak, they were able to fine tune the tines/notes a lot better than by just making the tine larger or smaller.

More music to come....:) GP


Edited by grandpianoman (03/09/10 07:36 PM)

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