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#1663106 - 04/19/11 06:01 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I am trying REALLY HARD to stick with tuning only 3 pianos a day now. Practically impossible for me to do without giving up a lot of work. Especially when working at my college. It has also caused me to be booked further and further ahead and I'm no where near completing all of the calls that need to be made yet. Oh well, at least I have a lot of work!

This morning, I tuned two little Kawai KG grand's. Raised pitch from about 437 or 8 to 440. Then, tuned a Baldwin spinet. When the call came in, she was complaining about sticking keys and lots of them. Turns out, all of the hammers were off from the hammer rail. Raising the hammer rail solved that problem easy enough. After touch was where it should have been so lowering the hammers wasn't an option although, the whole thing could use a good regulation and hammer filing. I lubricated the hammer flanges too. Then, regulated some back checks that were nearly bouncing off from the rest rail and some let off that was 3/4" away from the strings. Then, raised it 1/2 tone + to 440. $200 later, she was happy as can be! "The piano never played and sounded so good!" Love to hear that!

_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1663220 - 04/19/11 08:51 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3869
Some of those spinet pianos if dropped just right during a move can have hammer off the rail syndrome........
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#1663303 - 04/19/11 11:36 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3238
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I drove 80 miles through snow, sleet and rain, then the reverse back again (third week in April during supposed "global warming") to tune a Kawai UST-8 for a Unitarian church that insisted on me tuning the piano in the EBVT-III for double fee. Someone in the congregation had made a special donation to the small and quaint looking church in a little town named Stockton in Northern Illinois to pay for it.

Sorry to say but once again, what I found was Reverse Well and I knew that was the reason why I was called. I did some voicing too for no extra charge since the piano was at pitch. The piano was in perfect regulation. Thank you, Kawai for your excellent parts which maintain alignment and regulation over very long periods.

I saw a few interesting things in that church such as, "Universalists, a different denomination". The Frank Lloyd Wright estate people belong to that denomination and have employed me for over 25 years. They seem to seek a higher ground in many respects. They link poetry and architecture, go for beauty and simplicity. They will pay the price for the one person who will deliver what they truly want. The check was on the piano when I got there.

I returned to Madison to service the second piano I could manage today before going to a late afternoon music rehearsal for Mendelssohn's Elijah. It was a Young Chang studio with butt plates in the action. You guessed it, center pins walking out sideways. The customer asked me why would they build them like that and my answer was, "I don't know". Now, there is a half day appointment scheduled for next month to straighten out that mess.

My right shoulder improves each day for all concerned. Thank you for your sympathy and compassion.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1663309 - 04/19/11 11:46 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3238
Loc: Madison, WI USA
LOL, I just saw on the Weather Channel, 8.7 inches of snow for today, a record amount for this late in the season. I am glad I did not have to travel further North today!
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1663467 - 04/20/11 07:57 AM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: James Carney]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4944
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: James Carney
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT


My fore arm and hand work normally. I tried to tune just one string with my left hand and quickly gave up on that. I am a right handed person, so I could no more tune a piano with my left hand than I could write a paragraph or even sign my name with my left hand.


Bill,

Very sorry to hear of your injury...Wishing you a complete recovery...

I am right-handed and have never been what I would consider ambidexterous, but last summer I was inspired to learn how to tune grands left-handed in the high treble, as I observed this technique done by Ori Bukai, the owner of the Allegro Piano stores in Stamford, CT and NYC. I'm sure there a fair number of techs that can do this, but it is not commonplace.

I practiced this new technique on four or five grands a day, several days a week, until I didn't have to think about it anymore and it became second nature. That probably took about 3 months, but I was getting decent results within a week or two.

There are several advantages to mastering this technique; one of which is that in a piano store, the grands are often lined up next to each other and there is usually no room to stand to the side of the piano at the high treble. The tech can also remain seated for the entire grand tuning. Another advantage is that I've found I can use a shorter extension and a head with a more horizontal angle (I use a custom Charles Faulk 12" lever with a 5-degree head and only a 1/2 inch extension) and now I never have to think about clearing plate struts at any point on the piano - even grands that have tall struts like the Bluthner models. Yet another advantage is that you give your striking hand some rest for about 1/4 of the tuning.

I still haven't worked on tuning verticals left-handed but I'm sure it is doable with practice. I also recall some techs that post here that can tune verticals with either hand. It may be easier to learn this technique on grands when sitting as you use the stretcher as an arm support to pivot, although the impact lever might work for you left-handed on verticals.

If you decide to try it, just be very patient with yourself, and before long it might be as easy as tuning right-handed. It felt completely alien at first, but my effort paid off...Good luck!


Huh!

I have switched to tuning the high treble left handed in grands, but for a very different reason. There is little or no overshoot needed when using a smooth pull. Sometimes a little undershoot is even needed. Using an extension, so that I could tune right handed while seated, just did not work very well for me. WAY too much overshoot was required, or too much hit and miss with jerking.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1663509 - 04/20/11 10:16 AM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3238
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I tried to tune exactly one pin left handed the day after the accident and gave up. The next day, I tried one again and gave up. I just can't do it! I did some things like move mutes left handed which felt awkward and slow but soon, I was able to reach again with my right arm and quickly reverted to my normal right handed practices.

The doctor said it would be difficult to tell exactly what happened without an MRI. It takes time to schedule one and my insurance would not pay for it because of a pre-existing condition. Therefore, I am just keeping my (right hand) fingers crossed. He said I may have just traumatized the cartilage and not the tendons. Anyway, it is getting better. I have no trouble at all tuning grands because I always stand. Studios and tall uprights are tiring but if I just take a break now and then and stretch, I get through them.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1663664 - 04/20/11 02:18 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Quote:
I have no trouble at all tuning grands because I always stand.


So, is it safe to say Bill, that you are "grand standing it?"
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1663802 - 04/20/11 05:52 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Had a no-show today. That hardly ever happens, but today it did. Got home a bit early! Did 4 today. 2 were at a college, then two private residences. Last one was a 150-cent pitch raise on a little Winter spinet (cast, not aluminum). An hour later and it was a 440 and sounding pretty good as far as spinets go. smile
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1663827 - 04/20/11 06:30 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1246
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Spent the morning waiting for the furnace repair people...the same people who "repaired" the same problem in February for a lot of $$$. But today, a sub-contracted (by my oil company) repairman arrived...and actually fixed the problem...which wasn't caused by what they thought in February. So now I get to deal with the original people to get my money back for the non-repair in February. Sounds like some of the "tooner" repair problems we hear about! LOL

So...only one appointment this afternoon. A new client with a 1905 B. Shoninger upright. On the phone, she told me they bought it for $10 at an auction, and it had a couple of sticking keys...so I was expecting bad things. Other than a non-existent fall board, and a hideous gold antique paint job, it's actually quite a nice piano. It was just a hair below pitch, but very even throughout. Reglued 2 jacks, replaced an upper hammer butt/shank/hammer head, tightened flange screws. Played it for a while when I was done...great tone...tunes well...as I often find with older Shoningers.

Came home...pressed the button on the thermostat...and it fired up, and I am warm!


Edited by Eric Gloo (04/20/11 06:31 PM)
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#1663936 - 04/20/11 11:16 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3238
Loc: Madison, WI USA
LOL, Jer. I have always stood at grands rather than sitting unless I am doing a program, then I may sit for a while. I tuned two grands (one of which I replaced a high treble string that the last tuner had broken and left with nothing there to splice) and two verticals. I had only minimal discomfort in my right shoulder. I guess I will be alright. My right shoulder has never been the same since the accident in 2000, even after the surgery. At this point, there is only a little more discomfort than there was before the recent accident.

I had another long drive for the last one, the grand with the missing string. I had to drive 55 miles northwest to a higher elevation where the roads were clear this afternoon but there was inches deep snow everywhere. In Madison, there was about an inch on the ground this morning but by the time I got home this evening, it was all gone. Just a short distance northwest, however, deep snow lingered on lawns, roofs, parked cars and fields. There was some water on roads here and there from melting but otherwise they were clear.

It is shocking how much gasoline costs now! About twice what I had been used to paying recently. These recent trips and the need to refuel really make it evident! I am only glad that I get a good 35 MPG in my car that will be a year old in a couple of weeks. It has nearly 19,000 miles on it now!
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1664051 - 04/21/11 08:03 AM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Speaking of gas mileage, on my trip to Florida, driving my Caddy, I averaged and this includes all gas stops, city driving while down there, traffic lights, trips to the store for groceries and highway driving, a total of 3,600 miles round trip 27 MPG. Not to shabby for a big V-8 engine. If I count ONLY highway mileage, I get between 28 and 33. If the road remains straight for long periods of time, it even manages to edge its way up into the high 38 MPG. The hills and stupid drivers who force you to change speeds constantly by pulling right in front of you screw that up but, all in all, not to bad! Nice ride too! smile
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1670554 - 05/03/11 10:46 AM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Mark R. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2024
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
What I did the last few days: I was on leave from my day-job, so I spent time with the family and with my project piano. Probably old hat to the technicians here, but for me, a great time, so I thought I'd share it here.

1) Eased stiff centers using alcohol-water mix.
2) Cleaned the dampers in my project piano to make a better cosmetic match with the new hammers (the seller fitted new hammers but left the rest of the action in its worn out and dirty state). Since the dampers still work reasonably, I decided to leave them for now. Picture
3) Polished the damper lift rod.
4) Generally stiffened the damper springs and equalised the tension between neighbouring notes to improve evenness of touch.
5) Visited Brendan from Simply Pianos, who is only 20 minutes drive away from me (and is registered in this forum as well) and had a fantastic time chatting about pianos, and looking at the work he's currently doing in his workshop, as well as their travel photos. Very pleasant and inspiring visit!
6) Brendan was kind enough to extract a hammer shank that the technician who sold me the piano had glued in skew. Re-glued that with hot hide glue. (The seller used white PVA glue...)
Picture 1: shank in butt (yes, the butt was already split before I worked on it)
Picture 2: shank in hammer head
My glue collars could be better...
7) Re-felted the hammer rest rail and slightly reduced the thickness of the wooden rail mountings to reduce the average hammer blow from 48-50mm to about 45-47mm. Took up lost motion - in many cases, I could finally get my awl all the way through the wooden dowel capstans. Before, they were screwed so far down that the threaded wire protruded into the holes. Before the reduction of blow, several notes had bobbled because the jacks wouldn't escape properly - in spite of a full 10mm key dip, no lost motion and generous let-off.
8) Removed the hammers, cut out the remnants of catcher leather, filed the catchers smooth and glued in new leathers that I cut from a 24" x 1 1/4" strip. Still busy with this job.
Picture 1: after and before (piano sold to me as "refurbished", for $2000)
Picture 2: finished and half-finished
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#1671058 - 05/04/11 12:56 AM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3238
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I have been very busy lately. For the last two weeks I have been recovering from a shoulder injury that is now all but forgotten. Far from my worst fears that I had permanently injured my right rotator cuff, I now feel almost no discomfort at all! I am taking it easy with it however and doing the exercises that both the MD and Chiropractor recommended.

Today, I tuned a Steinway Model B and Shigeru Kawai SK-2 both in the same room of a fine home in the Marpurg temperament (by request). I did not trust an ETD calculation for either, so I did them both aurally except that I used the ETD for the pitch of A4 for maximum accuracy. I also used it to find the exact compromise between a 6:3 and 4:2 octave between A3 and A4 on both but all the rest was done by ear. The customer was delighted!

The question often comes up about how to tune two dissimilar pianos together. The most common reply is to tune both pianos to the same pitch but each to themselves. Essentially, that is what I did except that I made sure that each had the same amount of stretch between A3 and A4. The difference between the two pianos on that point turned out to be almost nothing: 0.1 cents. Otherwise, I did not and could not compare one piano to the other since they were on opposite sides of the room.

Presumably, if the two pianos are used together, one is a solo piano and the other an accompaniment. Any effort at trying to make both pianos be exactly alike would have either compromised one or the other or both. It is a better idea to tune each piano to itself after establishing the same pitch for both.

I used the "Harvey Chord" technique or perhaps the same or similar to what Bernhard Stopper uses for the 5th and 6th octaves. I don't need a special tool for that since the piano has one built right in: the Sostenuto pedal.

The idea is very simple and natural for any aural tuner. From F#4 to F5, play the notes which are an octave, fourth and fifth below the note being tuned and hold them with the Sostenuto pedal. There will be only one place where the note being tuned sounds "perfect". After F5, simply leave out the fourth and play only the double octave, octave-fifth and octave below the note being tuned. When you get the sound that seems the "purest", you have it!

It is interesting to note that this works just as well with a slightly non-equal temperament as it does with a strictly intended ET. So, even if your ET is not as E as you wish it could be, don't worry too much about that, you can still make a beautiful sounding piano out of it anyway!

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

The past two weeks were spent not only servicing pianos but with long and hard practice and rehearsals for the fifth time I have performed in Felix Medelssohn's grand oratorio, "Elijah". In its entirety, it runs over two hours of music. When stage entrances of choristers, soloists, and intermission and the re-entry of all personnel plus standing ovations and curtain calls, it runs close to three hours!

It is often truncated for that reason but this and the last performance about 10 years ago by the University of Wisconsin Choral Union were unabridged. I learned this time as I had the last that the "Director's cut" included material that proved to be among the best. Leave nothing out; do the whole thing!

The first performance to a full house on Saturday night was received with an instant standing ovation with repeated calls of "Bravo!" and loud whistles from the audience. Two guys with cards that opened flashed them to the performers. They read, "Awesome Show!" "Great Stuff!" I guess they anticipated a great performance. Indeed, I felt as did another long term chorister that this had been our group's finest performance to date.

The second performance on Sunday night was more perfectly executed as it usually is but to a slightly smaller audience. They still stood immediately but there was only one loud, "Bravo!" from the audience and no whistles as there had been the night before. I guess there is a different type of crowd on a Sunday than there is on a Saturday.

I often wonder about that when it happens. If this was the best, could a future event ever be better? It goes that way with any art, including piano tuning. It is never perfect nor ever really finished. It is just the best that could be done at this time.

The UW Choral Union is made up of a mix of students and community members. The community members provide the backbone of strength and experience. The student body provides the youthful exuberance.

Each year, the group has auditions and only the best are selected. The long term director attracts the very best talent just as the football team coach does and we keep getting better and better. Half of the UW symphony players fill out the ranks of our excellent local symphony orchestra. I can hear the excellent teaching of the players that mimic the sound of their professors who make up the principal players of the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

In past decades, I performed with the Madison Symphony Chorus and opera but for about 15 years now, I have chosen to perform with the university instead. My long term voice professor was the soloist chosen to execute the role of Elijah as he had been ten years ago.

He was also involved with the local opera company that weekend in a performance of Verdi's "La Traviata". Coming from one stage performance to the next and attending a voice recital during the day at «La Maison Française» where I had tuned and voiced a Steinway model L for one of his student's Junior recital, he was thoroughly occupied.

I prefer the university setting as a place to keep growing and learning as a vocalist. I often wonder during such a monumental piece if I could have endured the sheer length of it from the audience? To me, being in an opera or oratorio is a totally different experience from sitting in the audience.

Here are some excerpts about what local journalists had to say about the Elijah oratorio:

Quote:
I generally am not a big fan of Felix Mendelssohn, especially when it comes to his piano works and chamber music, which often seem dull compared to the composition of his exact contemporaries like the Romantics Chopin, Schumann and Liszt.

So why, then, was I so moved and surprised by the performance of Mendelssohn’s oratorio “Elijah” by the UW Choral Union, the UW Symphony Orchestra and various soloists, all under the baton of Beverly Taylor, on Saturday night in Mills Hall?

Several reasons are at play, I think.

One is the work itself. Focusing on the Old Testament Hebrew prophet Elijah, the oratorio actually benefits from and plays into, even reinforces, Mendelssohn’s aesthetic conservatism, his accessibility, his pure melodic and harmonic loveliness punctuated by wonderful dissonances. When you are dealing with an epic text, an epic figure and an epic story, the magnitude of the original can remain intact when the music doesn’t interfere with it but instead reinforces it. The oratorio, as a form, plays to Mendelssohn’s strengths.

A second reason, of course, was the outstanding quality of the performance. I found the amassed stage full of singers and instrumentalists very much up to the task. As Phil Spector might put it, the UW Choral Union and UW Symphony Orchestra projected a “wall of sound.” This was a big story told in big sound that was convincing and subtle in the way that Taylor had shaped and balanced the choral and orchestra parts. Control and tightness paid off.

The major solo parts were perfectly cast.

As Elijah, UW baritone Paul Rowe brought great expressivity to a figure who can seem like a loud and long-winded, a repetitive and abrasive crank – as many prophets do indeed seem. But Rowe brought out the human side of the holy prophet and was never more moving than when he sang his solo that he is now ready to die. Not even Charlton Heston as Moses in “The Ten Commandments” could compete with Rowe’s bittersweet poignancy of the Biblical prophet who, accompanied by a wonderfully doleful solo from principal cellist Hannah Wolkstein, must stay behind his people.

[big cut] Even some of the choruses – “He that endure to the end shall be saved” and “Be not afraid” – cry out for broad interpretation in these times.

[cut, cut, cut]...Maybe others shared those same reasons for appreciating it. In any case, the performance was well attended, its ranks swelled by the UW School of Music’s Alumni Weekend, which happens once every five years. The thunderous applause and a prolonged standing ovation they offered in appreciation were well deserved.

[There were many activities downtown that evening so it was hard to even find a parking place! There was an infamous annual block party on one campus street that had such a drunken brawl going on that the new mayor said, "Never again!"] Yet enough sober people managed to attend our huge concert and fill the house.

Another reviewer wrote with much deleted commentary: The UW [Symphony] Orchestra gives generally solid support, despite a few muffed entrances on Saturday. But the star of the show is most clearly the Choral Union. One hundred forty-four singers strong, by my count, it is wonderfully firm and disciplined, thanks to conductor Beverly Taylor's leadership. But its sonority is the thing. What a thrill to hear the majestic power, grandeur, and sonority of its massive yet focused singing! Yes, the too-bright acoustics of Mills Hall can make such sound overwhelming, but perhaps that is the point.

A performance like this may or may not persuade you to worship God, but it will surely make you venerate, and thank, Felix Mendelssohn. Elijah is too rarely performed these days, so there is a particular reason for trying to catch the remaining presentation on Sunday evening at 7:30.


Here are two You Tube posts of this concert that appeared yesterday. They were taken by a Journalist and the sound is only what the video camera captured. They are of two of the chorales from the piece which are soft and pleasing to the ear as opposed to much of the loud and violent sounding episodes in the two hour oratorio:

"He, watching over Israel, slumbers not nor sleeps"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXisZQ-OD6I

"He, that shall endure to the end shall not be shaken"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_IFcPq9oDw

A full CD version of the concert will be issued soon.

Thanks for reading! I have been very busy but am well!
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1671584 - 05/04/11 05:22 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1066
Loc: Sicily - Italy

..."I used the "Harvey Chord" technique or perhaps the same or similar to what Bernhard Stopper uses for the 5th and 6th octaves. I don't need a special tool for that since the piano has one built right in: the Sostenuto pedal.

The idea is very simple and natural for any aural tuner. From F#4 to F5, play the notes which are an octave, fourth and fifth below the note being tuned and hold them with the Sostenuto pedal. There will be only one place where the note being tuned sounds "perfect". After F5, simply leave out the fourth and play only the double octave, octave-fifth and octave below the note being tuned. When you get the sound that seems the "purest", you have it!

It is interesting to note that this works just as well with a slightly non-equal temperament as it does with a strictly intended ET. So, even if your ET is not as E as you wish it could be, don't worry too much about that, you can still make a beautiful sounding piano out of it anyway!...".

Thank you, Bill, for describing more of this technique. Also, I'm glad your shoulder is getting better.

Regards,

Alfredo


Edited by alfredo capurso (05/04/11 05:23 PM)
_________________________
alfredo

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#1674215 - 05/09/11 08:29 AM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
A=443 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 109
Loc: Japan
I bought a Digital Angle Gauge in Amazon.com.
http://a443hz.blogspot.com/

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#1675280 - 05/10/11 07:57 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
SM Boone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 303
Loc: VA USA
see my post later re the strange German piano. I have never seen an action like this. The dampers are, of course, on the strings, yet there is an extension mechanism that wraps around the entire upright action. Comes back up on top of the action. There is a spring mounted on left side which is attached to a wooden piece that goes over the hammers. Crazy! you can't get to the strings to insert even mutes without removing the entire action and damper mechanism, then tuning it without dampers in. Pretty tho!

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#1675287 - 05/10/11 08:06 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3869
That sounds like a birdcage piano. We've all had our fun with those one time or another!
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#1675336 - 05/10/11 10:39 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Bob]
SM Boone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 303
Loc: VA USA
first I've ever seen Bob! And the pins are totally strange. I don't have a tip that works,.. there is NO plate at all, Creepy.

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#1676835 - 05/13/11 09:17 AM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
RonTuner Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1664
Loc: Chicagoland
Last night was one of those experiences that most of us probably don't like to take, but feels great when it works!

I'm not the "normal" tuner for our local high school. Since my kids have been in the choirs and budgets are being squeezed, I've offered (free) tunings in addition to whatever the regular tuner does - especially for choir concerts if the piano was just tuned a few weeks before. (I hate sitting in concerts hearing the unisons beating...)

We've had an unusual warm and wet week here, with temps pushing 90. As you can imagine, many pianos have shifted a bunch - especially in institutions where the HVAC systems bring in a lot of outside air. I've seen the humidity go from the 40's to the high 60's this week.

Anyway, I was a few towns away at a volleyball match - I had to pull my son after the first game to get him showered and back to school in time for the concert. Sitting in the stands, I got a call from the local school performing arts dept. chair asking if there was any way I could do something with the piano... The pianist said it "wasn't too bad" (uh-oh) It was just tuned last week for a performance of Rhapsody in Blue...

Oh boy, here it goes. I got to the auditorium (6:45) and waited while the freshman group finished getting off the risers. Doors open at 7 with the concert starting at 7:30.

Great, 10 minutes of quiet. It seems fitting that the last column I wrote for our local chapter newsletter was titled "Time's Up"! In there I wrote about standardized tests all having a time limit and how sometimes we get put in tuning situations where time is limited...

I had tuned this piano before, (Steinway L) and had saved a tuning file in my Verituner. Checked a few A's to find that the tuning was about 10 cents flat(A=438ish) in the plain wire strings, but pretty close to pitch for the bass strings. Octaves and unisons were all over the place. (Surprising that every other piano I've seen this week has been sharp - why was this one flat if it was just tuned last week? Another story for another time...)

Got out my keythumper, and started tuning from the break up until it was getting too loud to tune quickly. (I made it to C7) One mute, unisons as I go - making sure that the unisons are solid and clear. (pianist is really good, and can play pretty heavy when the need arises) Finished with the bass quickly by ear. Packed up and was off the stage by 7:10.

I'm fortunate to have spent a good amount of time creating and testing custom stretches with the Verituner, so was confident that the machine calculation would be just about exactly where I would place the tuning by ear. (For a real concert tuning, I spend extra time working down into the break and bass strings to find the best blend of octave, double octave and octave + fifth. That seems to be the most challenging part of the scale for machines to calculate properly.)

Found my normal seat near the back and waited for the concert to start. As it so happens the Performing Arts chair shows up and sits in the row in front of me. He thanks me for getting to the piano.

You know what? Aside from some wavering in that top octave I never touched, the tuning really sounded great! Phew!

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

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


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#1677249 - 05/13/11 09:46 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
A lighter day today before the weekend; did three of them. A Steinway B on a high school stage (needs rebuilt), a 70's vintage Winter spinet, and an old 1919 Hamilton upright that was at 440 and sounded amazingly nice. Nice take-your-time kind of day. smile

Now working on this month's email newsletter to my subscribers, and sending out confirmation and follow-up postcards. Tomorrow I'll be tuning one for my wife's piano recital she has for her students. I'll think of it as a working weekend!
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1677437 - 05/14/11 08:11 AM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Worked on a 1919 Knabe, filed hammers, set blow distance, aligned hammers to strings, tweaked jacks to knuckles, set letoff and drop. This Knabe's keyframe is screwed to the bed and the soft pedal lifts the hammers. Is this a low line model?
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#1677466 - 05/14/11 10:01 AM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21587
Loc: Oakland
It is either an ex-player or designed to be a player.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1678097 - 05/15/11 11:55 AM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
BDB, I think you hit it on the head. It had a notch in the middle of the keybed -below the slip- but I saw no evidence of a player system. thks
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#1678331 - 05/15/11 05:21 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Went to the cottages Friday, opened up the 2nd one and spent the weekend.

For those of you that are interested, Bill Bremmer will be arriving at my house within the hour to present his EBVT III to our chapter tomorrow evening from 7-9 PM.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1681207 - 05/19/11 09:27 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
SM Boone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 303
Loc: VA USA
went to courthouse in Botetourt co VA and did genealogical research, my mental ;-)

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#1681218 - 05/19/11 09:39 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: SM Boone]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Tuned a wonderful Yamaha C3 grand at a church, followed by a Samick grand at a high school. After that, a 150 cent pitch raise on a 1960's vintage Cable spinet (both I and the piano survived!), and finally a 1923 Ludwig grand.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1681233 - 05/19/11 10:09 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Practiced aural tuning... aligned strings/hammers on a S&S O rebuild.
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#1681234 - 05/19/11 10:11 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
Re-glued and straightened out several keys that were broken due to hard playing on a grand at a church that some tooner must have tried to do a quick fix on. He must have put them back on the keyframe without letting the glue set. All of the keys took on a rather large bowed shape. Kind of like a rainbow. Why do I always get to follow these clowns.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#1681235 - 05/19/11 10:19 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Curry, maybe you should change your name to Big Top Ring Leader!!!! laugh
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#1681248 - 05/19/11 10:39 PM Re: So, what did you do today? [Re: Sam Casey]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Hey, you aren't the only one Curry! They're everywhere. Kind of like ants! GIANT ants! smile

I only tuned 2 today. Spent the rest of the PM responding to emails, setting up two more action jobs, a Yammie C7 and a P22 for August. No more action jobs for this coming summer. No more time left. Will be sub contracting out the rest if more comes in.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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