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#1864929 - 03/19/12 07:10 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: turandot]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3262
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: turandot

The dealers who do post here have different points of emphasis. For Keith it's prep.


I hope that is not what people get from me. What I always want to get accross here is that when someone is auditioning a piano, if they really want to understand what they are getting, that piano needs to be tested. Really tested. How does that piano sound and feel and respond in demanding music played at a high level.

The other thing I want to get accross is that price does not equal performance. There are highly ranked expensive pianos that have design limitations that no amount of prep will overcome. There are beautifully designed less expensive pianos that the right prep can transform.

There are even less expensive pianos that with minimal prep will out perform expensive pianos prepped to the nines. But to know this stuff, to really know it, you have to test these pianos.

I guess I also really want to convey that a good piano will keep improving with good work, and that a well prepared, quality piano can be extremely enjoyable and sometimes even inspiring to play.

And yes, I have a diabolical ulterior motive to all of this. I do feel strongly that the more I get piano buyers to focus on an instrument's performance, to develop a deeper understanding of what pianos can and should do, regardless of price, the more likely they will buy from PianoCraft.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#1864937 - 03/19/12 07:24 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Philadelphia area
Turandot, The "feel" that a technician regulates to is both mechanical and musical. The mechanical adjustments are done to accommodate dynamic feel and playability of the instrument. The two really have to be felt together.

The technicians goal is to satisfy the playing response the owner of the piano is asking for. This is why you will always hear technicians talk about how the tuning, voicing, and regulating are all interconnected. I.e. don't harden hammers to compensate for poor regulation and alignment.

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#1864975 - 03/19/12 08:47 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 199
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
I have really picky customers, one of whom is a fabulous pianist with two Steinway D's. I keep both his pianos in concert ready fine regulation in addition to tuning and voicing so I am there about twice a month. Most times I plan to spend all day. I'm saying this just as an example of the time involved in keeping these pianos consistent.

Fine regulating (because the tolerances are so small) deteriorates pretty quickly especially when his pianos get played more than most concert grands in concert halls. I am teaching this customer to regulate and voice to minimize my service calls. I tend to regulate in a very general way by specs but to get really specific changes it's mostly by feel. It's not that I don't use measurements but those measurements are derived from a need to increase control in some specific way i.e. key stoke more shallow or deep, aftertouch increased or decreased, damper timing changed or small changes in the placement of the jack, springs or repetition lever.

For instance this particular pianist can out play most actions regulated in a normal way. He can just play faster than a normal regulation would give him so I've spent hours adjusting the friction and regulation to give him a super fast action. I've coached him on doing some of the quick regulation steps that would bring things back into place. Gradually the repeated re-regulation has stabilized and the need to touch up diminishes to very slight changes. I've encouraged my customers to learn regulating and don't mind if they watch everything that I do while I'm there working if they want to.

Pianists can feel extraordinarily small changes in action adjustment. One particular pianist was complaining that the height of his sharps on one new piano was higher than another older piano. I measured it and indeed the sharps on one piano were .003 higher than on the other.

Turandot, the action regulating is controlled with screws that are pressing up against leather or felt buttons in all areas. This of course is to minimize the noise of the action parts moving. When these felt or leather pieces are packed down by the action part moving against them the action goes out of regulation. Every time you turn one of the regulation screws when a piano is new, the jack tender for instance hits a new place in the button or felt pad. That new area packs down and you have to readjust it again. Every time you adjust these parts you will find that the amount of adjustment lessens over time until the turn of the screw is so small that you can hardly see the tool turn at all. This is why repeated regulation gets a piano to the point that smaller adjustments are needed to maintain it at a high level.

In my experience most amateur pianists can tell if a piano is regulated well. They just don't realize it. When pianos are not evenly regulated the amateur who can't verbalize the specifics will complain.

Can you play softly on all notes with an even touch? Do all the notes sound the same even with the soft pedal? Do all the notes feel as if it takes the exact same pressure to get the same volume. If you press a group of keys down are they level with each other with full depression? Does it seem as though the amount of pressure needed is the same at the beginning of the key stroke where the friction of the action parts at rest is being broken by a downward blow? Does the action seem effortless? Does the timbre of each note change slightly in the same way with repeated blows from soft to loud? Are there tonal changes on the breaks between bass and treble?

One of the facts of life about regulation is that every regulation step affects another so that you have to go over and over an action. Sorry if this is too technical for this discussion but if you regulate the spring tension it affects the height of the repetition lever and the height of the rep lever can't be adjusted until the springs are even and if you do jack placement it affects let off, etc. If it seems like we go in circles, you're right.

If a piano is not regulated you get the following complaints: I can't play softly. I can't get any power. Every note seems different. When I depress the pedal and release I hear certain notes ringing longer. It's too bright, mellow, tubby, or the one I love "too vanilla"!! Some notes don't play at all, are sluggish, have poor repetition, or notes seem to hang up after repeated blows. All of these common complaints are the result of poor regulation.

Of course I'm really a nerd when it comes to performance pianos. The concert I tuned for yesterday had four concert grands that had to be tuned together. I tuned them all three times in the two days before the concert and yesterday I started at 6 am and tuned all four in the dark with only the light of my iphone so that when the stage lights came on they were all at the same pitch BEFORE the lights hit them. I have found that when you do multiple pianos if you turn on the lights and start with piano number one then by the time you get to four they are warmer than when you started the first one. This really helped them stay together.



Edited by S. Phillips (03/19/12 10:34 PM)
_________________________
Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C, C. Bechstein A
Phillips Piano Tech

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#1865087 - 03/19/12 11:27 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: turandot]
Tunewerk Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 398
Loc: Boston, MA
Really a lot of deep questions here. I suppose they relate to the subject of clarification of prep work, by defining the details of regulation. These are some of the same questions I asked as I studied action design in more depth, coming from a pianist's perspective.

First, Turandot..

Originally Posted By: Turandot
Is the technician's feel that you mention from the technician playing the keys, or is this a different sort of feel that comes from inspecting the mechanics of the action itself?

1.) There are some high-end manufacturers who talk about factory regulation and subsequent factory fine regulation. Is there an any real difference?

2.) There are high-end factories that contract for cheaper pianos in Asia and claim that they bring them into their own factory for "final regulation". Is this perhaps misleaing since it might give the consumer the impression that everything is set for a useful life?

3.) If a player buys a used piano that has been used regularly for a few years, one would assume that the the felt and leather are broken in. If the piano was out of regulation for a good part of that time (which would not be strange at all given how people maintain their pianos), one assumes that the felt and leather parts are not broken in to a wear pattern that you feel is optimal even though the action feel might seem even and responsive to the player considering the purchase. Is this really such a big deal?

4.) Somewhere along the trail in this thread or the locked one that came before, I thought there was a mention of successive repeated regulations...IOW one regulation on top of another, with no playing interval between regulations. Maybe I got the wrong impression.


The 'feel' I was referring to was the use of feel as the regulation metric itself, when working with the mechanical alignment. Of course, a technician and good pianist can also feel something going right or wrong by playing the action itself.

1) Yes, big difference in how the entire process is approached for regulation vs. fine regulation, although I can't speak for specific manufacturers.

2) I have no expertise here. I bet Larry Fine himself is one of the few people who know the solid answer to this question. Nevertheless, all pianos leaving the factory, with the exception of the very finest, are regulated with play in the system intentionally as a failsafe.

3) Yes, in almost all cases. Yes, this is a big deal. It's obviously not the end of the world, but this is generally why pianos (beside corrosive damage and decay) eventually need new parts.

When I do a high-end regulation that uses existing parts, one of the steps is removing the memory points in the felt through rejuvenation. This is similar to rejuvenating hammer felt. If I don't do this, then all the surfaces are an uneven mess and I can't get any kind of reliable precision out of them. This is extremely time consuming and would be saved if the job was just done right in the beginning.

This includes the hammer knuckle, which is perhaps the most prone to degradation from the leverage ratio (7:1).

An example that all technicians will relate to is the letoff button. When the jack tender has made it's imprint here after years of use, when the wippens have not been aligned correctly, there is an asymmetric footprint. When the letoff button is rotated then, the tender can come to rest in all manner of positions, all of which, by all probability, include felt that is partially uncompressed. Subsequent rotations can result in a traveling letoff line, as the adjustment is not a linear constant anymore. This is the reason for instability in regulation.

4) I don't see the point of repeated regulations without playing in between. The playing helps 'normalize the statistical data field' so to speak. Either it's done right in the first place, or it's not and the work is split up for time constraint reasons.

I suppose this kind of discussion should be written in some kind of primer for the standards of piano regulation, disclosed to customers..

Also, Schwammerl..

Originally Posted By: Schwammerl
Here I have a few observations/questions:

1. Is how the expereinced technician feels the action should be regulated necessarily the best option or does most often the factory knows better?

2. Should the piano not be best regulated according to the onwner's 'feel' - provided she/he is an accomplished pianist - instead of to his standards?


1) Yes. The factories don't even follow the 'factory regulation' specs (maybe a few do - I cannot speak for them). But I do know the derivation of specifications. They are there mostly as a standard for guidance. As a matter of fact, an action regulated to spec, is probably regulated incorrectly.

One example to illustrate is the letoff specification for almost all pianos is 1/16" to 1/8". This number doesn't mean anything. It is a general arc length approximated as a linear hammer distance that will allow the jack to clear sufficiently from under the knuckle (depending on the leverage ratio of the jack assembly and leverage ratio of the action in general), to prevent bobbling or jack damage at high velocity.

Sometimes 1/8" is given when shipping from high humidity regions, to prevent hammer blocking. Now manufacturers are better about climate conditioning.

2) Yes, I think so. However, certain specs with regards to the longevity of the instrument and structural integrity are important. For example, if a pianist wanted low checking for some reason, I might recommend against it to prevent over compression of the springs.

Originally Posted By: Schwammerl

Question. Knowing that 200 CS had been very well serviced, still me not liking it at all, could it be that the piano was always regulated according to the previous ownner's needs which made it wear in in such a way that somebody else (me) could no longer appreciate it?


That was an interesting story, Schwammerl. Yes, this could very well be the case.
_________________________
www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.

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#1865279 - 03/20/12 10:15 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Sally Phillips and Tunewerk,

I've read your latest posts a couple of times, but need to read them a couple of more times at least as I try to digest the information (so no more questions for now).

I just wanted to thank you both for your generosity in sharing so much specific information in responding to the questions.

In my particular case, I'm not able to challenge most pianos' technical abilities with my own, and over the years I've learned to compensate pretty well for problem pianos when necessary. However, I'm very interested in better understanding the idea of training the piano so that it doesn't develop any nasty habits because of my lack of attention to its maintenance.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1865305 - 03/20/12 11:17 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8083
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: turandot
However, I'm very interested in better understanding the idea of training the piano so that it doesn't develop any nasty habits because of my lack of attention to its maintenance.

Although a vague and ambiguous term, I think I understand, (to an extent at least) what is meant by “training the piano” in terms of tuning, regulation and maintenance. It is akin to training our hair (if we have any laugh ) to look a certain way. You comb it and part it the same way and wash it and dry it the same over and over again to get it to look the way you want it to look. If you want a new hair-do, or hair style, you have to do something different, out of the ordinary.

The same concept/scenario applies to the acoustic piano. Keeping it tuned to the same temperament, and the same pitch note for note will yield certain stability and predictability over time (through training). The same applies to the regulation adjustments… keep it regulated properly and it soon begins to wear consistently and evenly and have some predictability so a schedule of regulation maintenance can be established; hence, you train the piano.

The opposite is to have it tuned and regulated infrequently and inconsistently; no predictability or certainty can be established. It is untrained…

Of course, I may have it all wrong… smile

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

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#1865353 - 03/20/12 01:09 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Rickster]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Rick,

If the analogies to hair-do's and combing out dogs' coats help you, that's fine, but I do understand what the professionals that I thanked are talking about. I simply need time to digest the specifics and consider how they relate to my experience.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1865360 - 03/20/12 01:23 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 443
Loc: Oregon Coast
Tunewerk,

As always, your post is clear, interesting, and thought provoking. I agree with your assessments of the general view of 'prep'... a cloudy and confused area that has no specific meaning or definitions inside the industry.

Dealer prep can mean anything from 'I uncrated it and knocked the dust off' to 'This piano has been thoroughly regulated and voiced'. But, as you say, there are limits to how far a piano fresh from the factory can be serviced on the dealer floor.

Pianos that have just been uncrated cannot be 'pushed' to the performance limits that unlock the potential of the instrument. There is too much settling and change occuring within the piano; the woods of the frame, soundboard, parts, and regulation felts/buckskin/escaine are going to be changing as the piano gets some use, adjusts to the new 'micro-climate' of the owner's house (...or performance venue) and there is much to be done in the first two years of a piano's life.

The fine edge of performance must rest with the technician who brings that service to the piano AFTER the delivery of the instrument. It is that simple.

Dealer prep can only insure the basics of play and evenness of 'fresh' hammers in the voicing. Fine dealers take time to regulate and voice as part of their prep, poor dealers just make sure that pushing the key makes a noise, but both can say; 'I prepped this piano'.

Getting to the 'edge' means getting let-off pushed to the closest possible non-contact with the string; but a dealer has to insure let-off by leaving it 'safe'. Fine regulation of repetition means constant attention to the repetition springs, jack to knuckle adjustment, rep-height to jack, and all the details that change from use....even day to day. A dealer cannot get there 'out-of'the-box'. So, how to define it?

Good dealer prep means checking the key fit on the pins, dealing with the gross, not fine, regulation of the instrument; the better the dealer, the better the preparation that allows a technician to reach for the 'fine' adjustment in the home or on the stage. Good dealer prep means tapping the strings, regulating the pedals, insuring proper shift on the trapwork, and all the mechanical aspects of the piano. Bad dealers just deliver the piano (sometimes still IN the dang box!) and expect the owner and his technician to deal with it. (sigh)

But, as you say, it is absolutely the owner and the regular service provider that really look for the final polish and performance edge that the piano can reach. That's the simple truth.

Respectfully,
I remain,
Yr. humble and ob't svt.,
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff@aol.com

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#1865364 - 03/20/12 01:44 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8083
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: turandot
Rick,

If the analogies to hair-do's and combing out dogs' coats help you, that's fine, but I do understand what the professionals that I thanked are talking about. I simply need time to digest the specifics and consider how they relate to my experience.

Who said anything about dogs’ coats? My comments were in regards to the professional’s comments about “training” a piano, not dogs' coats… besides, what in the world do dogs have to do with this discussion? (Although I know you can train them to do tricks) grin

I only quoted you in my post as a reference to the topic of understanding the term “training a piano”. If I somehow inflamed you or offended you, I apologize. In regards to your emphasis of me not being a piano professional, so what? Are you? Do you have to be a professional to understand the intricacies and mechanics of a piano?

Also, the last time I checked, the forum was open to any and all comments from members, professional or not. smile

Rick


Edited by Rickster (03/20/12 01:51 PM)
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1865461 - 03/20/12 05:35 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Rickster]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Rickster


If I somehow inflamed you or offended you, I apologize. In regards to your emphasis of me not being a piano professional, so what? Are you? Do you have to be a professional to understand the intricacies and mechanics of a piano?

Also, the last time I checked, the forum was open to any and all comments from members, professional or not. smile

Rick


No need for your heartfelt apology here. I did not place any emphasis on you not being a professional. I placed emphasis on Tunewerk and Sally Phillips being professionals. That's why I asked specific questions of them, and that's why I wanted to thank them.

Would I have confidence hiring either to evaluate and do work on my piano? Absolutely! Would I hire you? The answer to that is the same as it would be if I thought about hiring you to give me piano lessons.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1865657 - 03/20/12 11:07 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8083
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: turandot
Would I have confidence hiring either to evaluate and do work on my piano? Absolutely! Would I hire you? The answer to that is the same as it would be if I thought about hiring you to give me piano lessons.

Turandot, I try to stay out of your way here on the Piano World Forums, unless it is moderator business. I’m used to your rudeness and subtle insults by now; I try not to take it personally, but sometimes it is hard to ignore. When you decide to go after someone here on the forum, you don’t hold anything back, and anything goes. You are very articulate and skilled at tearing someone down and cutting deep with your snide comments, innuendos, and subtle insults. I try to let your comments and insults be like water off a ducks back.

I’ve always thought we were like a community here on Piano World, a family, if you will, where we share with one another, encourage one another, learn from one another, and, at times, like siblings, argue amongst ourselves.

However, I won’t stand idly by and allow myself (or anyone else, as far as that goes) to be bullied by you or anyone else.

You are more than welcome to hire anyone you wish for any purpose. And, I’m quite sure your playing skills far exceed mine… so, your personal insult toward me about the piano lessons is noted. Touché for you.

To Tunewerk; sorry for the short spat between turandot and me in your thread. I was merely trying to explain what I thought “training a piano” meant to me and I guess it got out of hand.

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

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#1865673 - 03/20/12 11:40 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Rickster]
fcar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 45
Loc: GA, USA
Rick, just ignore his comments as some people just can't help themselves; they are what they are and most everyone knows them for what they are.

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#1865726 - 03/21/12 02:09 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Rickster]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Rick,

I posted a simple acknowledgment of thanks for the very helpful information that two professional technicians gave in answering my specific questions to them. I asked no question in my post about what training a piano meant or about anything else. I never asked any question of you on this thread.

You replied by quoting me and commenting that training a piano was like styling your hair. Had you not quoted me and replied to my post with your analogy, there would have been no response from me. If an analogy to combing hair helps your understanding, that's fine, but it doesn't do anything for me.

I see absolutely no parallel between styling your hair and attending to the need of a piano to be regulated to avoid its getting into a bad playing groove. That's a simple honest comment. I wouldn't even be making it had you not been responding to me. It's not rudeness. It's not an insult. It's not going after you. I just don't find it helpful at all.

If you take any disagreement with something you say as someone going after you personally, I can't help you with that.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1865729 - 03/21/12 02:23 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: TunerJeff]
Tunewerk Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 398
Loc: Boston, MA
Rick and Turandot, no worries guys. Thanks, Rick. I guess piano world is just a microcosm of the real world, right? All the realities inclusive.

You're more than welcome, Turandot. It's gratifying to be able to share specifics from my side on an open forum. I hope it can start creating good changes somewhere down the line.

Jeff, much appreciated. I can tell you really read my posts by the way you clearly rephrased the point I was trying to share:

Originally Posted By: TunerJeff
I agree with your assessments of the general view of 'prep'... a cloudy and confused area that has no specific meaning or definitions inside the industry.

Dealer prep can mean anything from 'I uncrated it and knocked the dust off' to 'This piano has been thoroughly regulated and voiced'. But, as you say, there are limits to how far a piano fresh from the factory can be serviced on the dealer floor.


When you wrote this next part, I realized, yes exactly, this is the point I wanted to further clarify:

Originally Posted By: TunerJeff
Dealer prep can only insure the basics of play and evenness of 'fresh' hammers in the voicing. Fine dealers take time to regulate and voice as part of their prep, poor dealers just make sure that pushing the key makes a noise, but both can say; 'I prepped this piano'.

Fine regulation of repetition means constant attention to the repetition springs, jack to knuckle adjustment, rep-height to jack, and all the details that change from use....even day to day. A dealer cannot get there 'out-of-the-box'. So, how to define it?


I say: Don't define it.

Leave the functions of integrous instrument refinement alone and don't sully them (and confuse the customer) with an overarching term that does nothing, but make nebulous, what work has/has not been done post-factory.

This synthesizes both what Sally and BoseEric were saying also, each in their own way:

Sally mentioned something to the effect of, 'Prep is tuning, regulation and voicing in a circular refining process.'

BoseEric mentioned something to the effect of, 'Prep is process, not a thing. It is an infinite continuum of refinement.'

I say: Yes, exactly! However, outside of the new piano market, these are called just what they are: tuning, regulation, voicing and other specific, clear processes; not 'prep'.

I would want to work for a more clear definition of terms and services to create more educated customers.

As I write this, I do intimately see and understand the point made by others about the role of a 'doctor having to decide what needs be done', and possible support for the 'prep' term, given that what a new piano needs cannot be delineated on any kind of standard list.

What I am talking about is tangential, and not against these understandings.

I'm not suggesting a standard fixed list. I'm suggesting a standard list with great room for elaboration and large subcategories.. but subcategories under the major important disciplines of piano refinement.

An example would be:

This piano was uncrated and inspected on this date/time by this dealer. No major structural/cosmetic damage noted. Accepted.

Detailed inspection completed by this tech on this date/time.

Technical assessment completed by this tech on this date/time to determine preparatory work needed.

Preparatory work completed:

Tuning work:

- as general or specific as desired to communicate the level of work done

Regulation work:

- as general or specific as desired ""

String work:

- as general or specific as desired ""

Voicing work:

- as general or specific as desired ""

Other:

- minor case repairs, trapwork, etc.
_________________________
www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.

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#1865836 - 03/21/12 09:23 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: turandot]
sgao Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/12
Posts: 19
First of all, as someone looking to buy a new piano, I find this thread very informing. I still need to take some time to understand things better to see how it can help with my purchase though.

But my comment is on something else. (I'm new here, so I don't know if this is too much...)

Originally Posted By: turandot
I asked no question in my post about what training a piano meant or about anything else. I never asked any question of you on this thread.

I don't get this. This is public forum, where people respond and comment and express their opinions. You not asking doesn't mean others can't comment.

Originally Posted By: turandot
Had you not quoted me and replied to my post with your analogy, there would have been no response from me.

Rick explained why he quoted your. I don't see how that would get you all sensitive. I don't see any sign of attack, insult, or even disagreement in his comment.

Originally Posted By: turandot
I see absolutely no parallel between styling your hair and attending to the need of a piano to be regulated to avoid its getting into a bad playing groove.

I find this much more useful, and much less insulting, than the "dogs' coats" or "Would I hire you?" comments.

Originally Posted By: turandot
I wouldn't even be making it had you not been responding to me. It's not rudeness. It's not an insult. It's not going after you. I just don't find it helpful at all.

On the contrary, that's what you should have responded with. I believe that would not have caused Rick or anyone else to find insulting, and would be valuable to other less educated readers (like me).

Originally Posted By: turandot
If you take any disagreement with something you say as someone going after you personally, I can't help you with that.

I find this the hardest to believe. Rick expressed an opinion that you don't agree. Instead of responding with an disagreement, *you* turned it into something personal.

turandot, I have read many posts on this forum, to help me with my piano purchase. I find that many of your posts try very hard to get factual/truthful information out, than trying to "sell" something with misleading claims and no evidence to back them up. I believe that to be a great asset to this public forum, so I admire you more than what the above may otherwise indicate. I just find that, at least for this incidence, things could have gone more smoothly.

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#1865847 - 03/21/12 09:45 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8083
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: turandot
Rick,

I posted a simple acknowledgment of thanks for the very helpful information that two professional technicians gave in answering my specific questions to them. I asked no question in my post about what training a piano meant or about anything else. I never asked any question of you on this thread.

Perhaps not a question, but an opening for further discussion on “training a piano”.

Originally Posted By: turandot
You replied by quoting me and commenting that training a piano was like styling your hair. Had you not quoted me and replied to my post with your analogy, there would have been no response from me. If an analogy to combing hair helps your understanding, that's fine, but it doesn't do anything for me

You forgot to mention your snide remark about “dogs coats”, which I never mentioned.

Originally Posted By: turandot
I see absolutely no parallel between styling your hair and attending to the need of a piano to be regulated to avoid its getting into a bad playing groove. That's a simple honest comment. I wouldn't even be making it had you not been responding to me. It's not rudeness. It's not an insult. It's not going after you. I just don't find it helpful at all

I was not responding to you, or asking you a question of any sort… I merely quoted you regarding your comment that you wanted to understand the concept of “training a piano” better. I used a simple example of a person training their hair to look a certain way. Next, you went on the attack with the personal insults.

Originally Posted By: turandot
If you take any disagreement with something you say as someone going after you personally, I can't help you with that

No disagreement here… more like an unprovoked personal attack from you.

Nice try at backtracking, tuandot. Yes, you are rude when it suits you; yes, you do resort to personal attacks and insults when it suits you; yes, you do go after other members here with a vengeance when it suits you.

I’ll make a continued effort to stay out of your way here on the forum, unless it involves moderator business. I would ask you to make an effort to be less harsh and abrasive toward other members, if that’s possible.

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

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#1865857 - 03/21/12 10:07 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19105
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Tunewerk
I'm not suggesting a standard fixed list. I'm suggesting a standard list with great room for elaboration and large subcategories.. but subcategories under the major important disciplines of piano refinement.

An example would be:

This piano was uncrated and inspected on this date/time by this dealer. No major structural/cosmetic damage noted. Accepted.

Detailed inspection completed by this tech on this date/time.

Technical assessment completed by this tech on this date/time to determine preparatory work needed.

Preparatory work completed:

Tuning work:

- as general or specific as desired to communicate the level of work done

Regulation work:

- as general or specific as desired ""

String work:

- as general or specific as desired ""

Voicing work:

- as general or specific as desired ""

Other:

- minor case repairs, trapwork, etc.
I think the trouble is that without verification by another independent tech any kind of list(even if dealers would be willing to use one)would be pretty useless because:

1. the buyer often wouldn't understand the items mentioned

2. even if they understood them would not be able to verify if they had really been done and how well they had been done. That is why some dealers can say they've done extensive prep even though that's not the case.

How many dealers if asked will say they only do minimal prep even if that is the case?

If I was buying a new piano that was reasonably expensive I would be willing to spend extra money to have a tech verify any kind of list but I'm not sure others would be willing to do so. Also, finding a tech who is independent enough to find things wrong with a dealer's piano or verify items on a list is probably not so easy.

If one has absolute trust in a dealer, then verification by an outside tech wouldn't be necessary. There are a few dealers that I trust that much but not a majority.

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#1865860 - 03/21/12 10:13 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
ChrisVenables Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 727
Loc: Hampshire, England
Originally Posted By: Tunewerk

Frankly, I'd like the term 'prep work' to die. I think it is intentionally vague and meaningless as a term. No pianos need 'prep work', but all pianos benefit and are transformed by excellent detail work.
Originally Posted By: Tunewerk



The intent here is to provide a place for piano players and buyers to ask questions and for professionals to provide concrete, honest answers; not for opinions or things they push in business practice.

'Prep' work doesn't mean anything. It is intentionally a gray term to help with business practice.

Let's talk about what a piano needs and can benefit from. From the ground up.

I'll start with a very obvious one: many factories regulate their pianos to very loose specs before they leave the factory - for a good reason - they don't want to have complaints of hammers blocking in a month when they arrive in the dealer showroom.

Regulation should be done from the bottom up, starting at the keybed, on a new piano, to put everything in true alignment.

To my knowledge, no one does this in what is referred to as 'prep' work. A dealer might pay a technician to look at a hammer line, or adjust letoff a little.

This is incomplete patchwork that will actually cause problems later on.


I like your enthusiasm Tunewerk and I'm all for good regulation, but your comments above are unnecessarily strong.

Granted, there are some dealers who will cut every corner to make a fast buck and those dealers who adopt the hunter rather than the farmer philosophy will be the ones to go out of business. (Call it a self-regulating market, grin no pun intended).

As an example of transparent dealer prep, here's Brodmann's dealer prep list:



What dealer who's in business for the long haul would want to display an unprepped or badly prepped piano on his floor and expect to sell it? The dealers I know of who contribute here on PW do a thorough job of prepping their stock and we all know that it's a cyclical task. My business is based on good prepping and prepping to customers' requirements with after sales/technical back-up. There's nothing wrong with the word prep and it's no more vague than the copy on your website. grin

Reputable dealers and manufacturers don't use the word 'prep' as the vague or meaningless sales pitch which you have implied.
_________________________
Tech. & Partner: Venables Pianos
Yamaha Piano UK main dealer and Grand Piano Centre
Stocking new Yamaha, Brodmann and Venables & Son

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#1865864 - 03/21/12 10:19 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Rickster]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Rickster

Nice try at backtracking, tuandot. Yes, you are rude when it suits you; yes, you do resort to personal attacks and insults when it suits you; yes, you do go after other members here with a vengeance when it suits you.


Are you sure it's me who is on the attack here? Those are pretty sweeping accusations. Have I made any comment about you that comes remotely close to that?

Let's get back on topic. How many new pianos have you actually trained? How many new pianos have you seen through the wear-in process? What is the basis of the opinions you've stated here?
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1865870 - 03/21/12 10:30 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8083
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: turandot
Let's get back on topic. How many new pianos have you actually trained? How many new pianos have you seen through the wear-in process? What is the basis of the opinions you've stated here?

No need for me to answer any of your questions, turandot… you’ve already formed your opinion of me and my opinions here in this thread…

Originally Posted By: turandot
You've got Rick here ready to chime in that he's visited only one dealer in his life that had well-prepped pianos and that if a piano sounds bad, he's not interested in playing it, despite what he invariably describes as his own modest playing skills. But remember, Rick is a DIY guy who has probably never spent a dime on piano lessons or professional instruction in piano technology. He's the exception. He marches to his own drum.

So, it’s apparent that you are not interested in anything I have to say, unless you are looking for ammunition to attack and humiliate me further.

Like I said, you stay out of my way, and I’ll stay out of yours.

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

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#1865871 - 03/21/12 10:30 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
This is in response to the back & forth between Rick, sgao, and Turandot.

When William (Turandot) has lashed out at someone (most recently Rick, sushi5, Rafterman, etc., etc.) and someone has had the courage to say something back (rather than simply go away, as I think may have happened with the 14-year-old that Turandot went after a few weeks ago), my interpretation of William's responses is that he doesn't get how harsh he sounds. His denials sound as though they might be sincere. If they are, he really doesn't get it. My wife, the counselor, says that people don't move forward without awareness. If indeed that awareness is lacking (and William's denials about how his barbed comments come off the way Rick has, in my view, accurately described them suggests that possibility to me) then this is a sad situation. I say that because as I think sgao said, Turandot's comments are often helpful and enlightening when he's not in attack mode. Indeed, except for Del and a bunch of diligent technicians, I have to admit I've learned more from William than anyone else I can think of. The problem here is how his useful comments might be made in the absence of the kind of barbs Rick has described. Unfortunately, without more awareness, I don't see how that is likely to happen. Frankly, all this saddens me.

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#1865905 - 03/21/12 11:28 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: jivemutha]
fcar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 45
Loc: GA, USA
Bingo! I agree.

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#1865937 - 03/21/12 12:19 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
KurtZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 776
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
Maybe it's time to re-close this thread. Let the mod's do the policing of people while we confine ourselves to discussing ideas and things piano related.

Kurt
_________________________
I just wanted to be just "a" guy. That's enough of a life.

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#1866165 - 03/21/12 07:53 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8083
Loc: Georgia, USA
Concerning turandot…

FYI (for your information) turandot has been suspended from the forum for two weeks because of his rude and hatful behavior toward other Piano World members. This is not something new, and, as has been mentioned in this thread, others have experienced the sting of his personal attacks in the past.

Also, just so you know, I was not the moderator who suspended him, so you all will not think it was retaliation on my part. I PM’d Ken Knapp, our senior moderator/administrator and asked him to take a look at this thread and tell me how I could have handled things differently, better, with more tact and wisdom. Ken agreed that turandot stepped over the line here with his personal attacks and insults toward me in this thread and issued the suspension.

I don’t know about you all, but life for me is stressful enough as it is, without more stress here on the Piano World forums. I participate here because it is something I really enjoy… in fact, I love it. I’m addicted and hooked on Piano World, for better or worse. I enjoy the discussion of all things pianos, and I have learned more about pianos here on PW than I could have possibly learned anywhere else. It shouldn’t be a place that adds more stress to our lives… it is a reprieve, an oasis, a haven from the rigors of everyday life; it is, and should be, a fun and relaxing place.

With that said, this is no place for vulgarness, nastiness, rudeness, hatefulness, personal attacks, insults, and the like. Frank Baxter has something very special going on here…

I have a lot of respect for turandot’s knowledge and experience regarding pianos and the piano industry. He’s a very intelligent and articulate member. But that is no excuse for rude and hateful behavior toward others. Also, this should be a lesson for us all that bullying, or harsh and abrasive treatment of other members will not go unnoticed or undisciplined. There is a line that can be crossed…

I like what Ken had to say here…

"Let's all be friends"

Best regards,

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

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#1866210 - 03/21/12 08:54 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Philadelphia area
Rick, Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering what was going on in this thread.

For me this is an interesting topic. I have been working with area retailers for well over 15 yrs. On average, from the time of uncrating, I find it takes around eight tunings spread across a two year period to "train" a piano. Well, I should say that the tuning starts to settle in enough to stay playable through a regular 6 month tuning cycle.

Regulation normally doesn't take as many passes. Over the years manufactures have made great improvements with action stability. One of the many commendable improvements in piano manufacturing.

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#1866240 - 03/21/12 09:35 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Rickster]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: Rickster
Concerning turandot…

FYI (for your information) turandot has been suspended from the forum for two weeks because of his rude and hateful behavior toward other Piano World members. Rick


Rick, thank you for this explanation. I'm hoping this decision might cause Turandot to reconsider his tone rather than drop out. As several of us have said (yourself included), he knows a lot, he's articulate, and often his comments add considerably to the dialogue. I know he's taught me useful information. However, short of the action PW has taken, I'm not sure anything else would necessarily have stood much chance to change things. I'm hoping this will do it. It would be a ashame if William disappears from PW. Far better if the action that PW has taken instead causes a little reflection and a little more compassion for other people who are posting. Thanks again!

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#1866527 - 03/22/12 10:36 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2173
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Having been part of the Internet wars since the days of Usenet, I think turandot was pretty mild mannered, really. He was a little out of hand in some remarks to Rick, not sure what set that off. It certainly wasn't anything Rick wrote.

But you need a thick skin on the Internet, for sure. What I like about PW is its lack, for the most part, of drama.
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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#1866551 - 03/22/12 11:19 AM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Plowboy]
Dara Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 986
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: Plowboy
What I like about PW is its lack, for the most part, of drama.

shocked eek blush sick smirk grin laugh mad wink smile ......

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#1866919 - 03/22/12 10:59 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: ChrisVenables]
Tunewerk Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 398
Loc: Boston, MA
Thanks, Chris, for your input from a dealer's perspective. I couldn't read the Broadmann list but it looks detailed. It would be great if more dealers did this.

Thanks also, Pianoloverus, for your thoughts. Always complete.
_________________________
www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.

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#1867272 - 03/23/12 02:01 PM Re: Piano 'prep' work: like 2g/3g/4g cellular data service? [Re: Tunewerk]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
I just thought Turnadot hated anybody that wanted a Kawai K8.

Someone mentioned here about various levels of member knowledge.....how the term "well prepped" was thrown around.

I am 100% guilty of that. I am new to pianos but I have played music professionally for 30 years. When I was shopping at all of these piano dealers some dealers (Ori Allegro Pianos) would take the time to demonstrate and explain his dealer prep process in detail. When I would play the same model at another dealer I asked them for the same information. Usual response was just uncrate and tune. Some dealers wouldn't even have their premium brands tuned on the floor. Those pianos did not sound or play as well as Allegro. I don't believe that my ears and fingers were lieing to me. The tone was better- not dull.

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