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#1931858 - 07/24/12 02:26 PM Dan Levitan's Lever
dancarney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 144
Loc: UK
I discovered this the other day. I've found mention of this very lever in various discussions, but have never seen one in action. So, for those who are interested:

http://vimeo.com/37869859
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#1931873 - 07/24/12 03:07 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
pianoloverus Online   content
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My tuner uses one of those. Perhaps not so surprising since he has the same name as that guy on the video.

Dan is a pretty amazing composer also:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpHr2bXYWaQ


Edited by pianoloverus (07/24/12 03:15 PM)

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#1931894 - 07/24/12 04:20 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
kpembrook Online   content
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Registered: 04/06/10
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Loc: Michigan
It's a well made tool. I have tried it and it is based on a principle that I used in making a different tuning lever about 30 years ago. It's physics and the principle is definitely valid.
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#1931973 - 07/24/12 07:14 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Interesting lever, cool for the body indeed.
However if it falls it may cause some trouble with the customer.

Dan Levitan seem to like the tuning methods that lighten the pressure of the string on the front part of the hole , the weight of the lever is really at the opposite of the string

I did not analyze close enough the first part but the pin seem to be cracking a lot
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#1931985 - 07/24/12 07:36 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Loren D Offline
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Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
That is some lever.
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#1932001 - 07/24/12 08:10 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
pppat Offline
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Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
Interesting lever! Does anybody know the list price in the US?


Edited by pppat (07/24/12 08:12 PM)
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#1932117 - 07/25/12 03:15 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
there is a web site..

His tuning technique seem to be coherent,(changed from the unisons demo video where it was PR quality) .

But still he act a a "piano tuner" that does not listen to the piano, does not build tone, only focus on partial beats, pitches, and anaesthetized tone (no life) (find if a string is too sharp or flat by playing a M3 is a sign, listening late another, not lively playing hand the last).

I'd like to try that lever, but need to know the weight first.

You can notice he correctly use twisting and bending for equalizing pin tension. As he does not seem to use it by slow pull the pin is somewhat separated from the string (as an element ) The huge advantage of slow pull is that it makes you consider the pin and the wire the same (I tell about the tactile thing)

This is very useful to know how much stress you have left; if you do that by very small cracks or nudges only experience let you know where you are... (you are obliged to trust the piano)

I am not criticizing the tuning or the method, BTW, I just see that while at the same time the quality is very professional, it can be very little different and then more lively.





Edited by Kamin (07/25/12 03:16 AM)
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#1932129 - 07/25/12 03:53 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Maximillyan Offline
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Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1550
Loc: KZ
Sparing regimen for the pin - yes. But the feeling hand of the tuner to change the sound when you set up will be much harder. You can make a 4 foot crank for the C-bar, but tuner will work much longer than usually
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#1932160 - 07/25/12 10:32 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Kamin


His tuning technique seem to be coherent,(changed from the unisons demo video where it was PR quality) .

But still he act a a "piano tuner" that does not listen to the piano, does not build tone, only focus on partial beats, pitches, and anaesthetized tone (no life) (find if a string is too sharp or flat by playing a M3 is a sign, listening late another, not lively playing hand the last).


 


I gotta say, I don't get you.
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#1932210 - 07/25/12 12:36 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Kamin, I believe he was only showing a demonstration of how the lever is used in various parts of the keyboard. Ergonomics and clearance of cabinet parts was the focus....not an aural tuning demonstration, per se.

The design of it makes sense, as far as lowering the plane of applied force to where the pin is, not above it. However, the advantage of not leaning out over the grand seems to be the opposite effect, on an upright. The upright tuning position looks more strained, having to reach out farther then conventional levers would have us do. I would have to try one to confirm this, since it just may be a matter of adjusting to the new position and things balance out.

A rubber sleave over the whole unit may prevent dinging up the cabinet moving it around, should it happen to slip off a pin, or if one is a bit careless with it.


Edited by Emmery (07/25/12 12:36 PM)
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#1932234 - 07/25/12 01:37 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Yes the demonstration is well done and complete, however I see may be more flagpoling than I would like, and I question how you get a good feel for the pin rotational plane with this setup.
Each time he moves the lever I see the pin going front or back, may be just a visual effect from the video, but I try to stick to the rotational plane more than that. Also I hear the pin cracking both directions, that mean it is worked with some torque pushing on its bed.

Sure about tuning unisons it was not the purpose but I see no reason why he should do differently. He tune just a little too soft and late, not working the tone during the attack.

It is very possible that the kind of voicing of the US pianos does not propose more projection if you work the attack of the tone (when the note speaks, not a second later) as it seem to me that the attack is often not very concentrated, I have problems to describe that, the attack often seem to provide the same tone quality than after, it is not the case on european pianos, where the attack can be more hard while allowing for a lively projection of toneimmediately after the initial "crack"

SO we tune very soon in the tone, for the projection and fast coupling, but still not exactly at the attack (there are different possibilities, I see that as regulated in regard of the moment the key is at its bottom and the hammer is rebounding on the strings - so depending of the touch you use when tuning you will have a different type of tone.

Tuning late provide the most part of the job, but if one begin to tune sooner you can work more on the energy usage : more for the attack or more for the sustain, and so you adapt your touch to the piano you are tuning.

The pianist have to feel the energy of the attack under his fingers, the best way to obtain that is to tune that moment of tone too.
If not you can have a perfectly tuned piano, even with a nice tone, open, clear, strong, for the audience, but something is missing for the pianist (in fact for the audience too the tone is not going around the instrument as much, it can tend to go straight to the ceiling, or just not fulfill the room as much as with a rich attack.

Indeed it is not certain that the attack is not worked when Dan is tuning ,(as long as you have the good sensation in your playing hand you are aware of the attack gestion, even when playing softly, but then you play softly but still firmly)

I see him not putting much energy to the string, hence my conclusion.

I'd like to know the weigh of that lever, the lenght is certainly not a problem, but above a certain weight it is may be less easy to decide how much torque is left (he states correctly the level of torque and bend to be left in the pin)
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#1932407 - 07/25/12 08:41 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
PaintedPostDave Online   content
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Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 558
Loc: Upstate New York
It appears from searching the web that the Levitan tuning lever can only be obtained from PianoTek which in turn will not sell to non piano technicians. Is there any other place that sells them?
Thanks.
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#1932412 - 07/25/12 08:57 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: PaintedPostDave]
beethoven986 Online   content
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Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3371
Originally Posted By: PaintedPostDave
It appears from searching the web that the Levitan tuning lever can only be obtained from PianoTek which in turn will not sell to non piano technicians. Is there any other place that sells them?
Thanks.


Nope, and Pianotek is pretty strict on this issue. You could get a tech with an account to order one, but you will likely pay markup.
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#1932418 - 07/25/12 09:15 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Olek]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3371
Originally Posted By: Kamin
however I see may be more flagpoling than I would like


I think people spend way too much energy worrying about "flagpoling"; tuning pins and pin blocks are elastic within the forces encountered in piano tuning... not to mention the fact that everyone puts this kind of force on the pin when they tune.

Intentional tilting of the pin is a valid tuning technique, and that's what he's doing. Indeed, my piano's pins are so tight that fine tuning it would be impossible without intentional tilting! The important thing is that the piano stays in tune when you're done; that's all that matters.

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Also I hear the pin cracking both directions, that mean it is worked with some torque pushing on its bed.


I don't hear any cracking. Regardless, when pins do this, it says more about the pin block and perhaps tightness than tuning technique, IMO.

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Sure about tuning unisons it was not the purpose but I see no reason why he should do differently. He tune just a little too soft and late, not working the tone during the attack.


His unisons sound fine to me.
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#1932442 - 07/25/12 10:20 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: beethoven986]
PaintedPostDave Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 558
Loc: Upstate New York
Thanks, Beethoven.

I wonder why Dan Levitan and PianoTek are not interested in selling to the general public. Are RPTs afraid that the unwashed will use this tool and take business away from them? confused
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Yamaha M1A console
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#1932449 - 07/25/12 10:38 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: PaintedPostDave]
Zeno Wood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 480
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Dan Levitan is selling his tool through Pianotek. Pianotek sells piano supplies and tools to the trade. Anytime you buy stuff, you're paying retail, not wholesale. Bookstores, groceries, toy stores, gasoline, etc. etc.
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#1932455 - 07/25/12 10:51 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: PaintedPostDave]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: PaintedPostDave
I wonder why Dan Levitan and PianoTek are not interested in selling to the general public. Are RPTs afraid that the unwashed will use this tool and take business away from them? confused

What does RPT have to do with it? Nothing at all, if you understand what RPT means.

It seems that ever since Costco came along and started selling bulk to anyone who is willing to pay a yearly fee to enter the store, that the public thinks they are entitled to buy wholesale anywhere, anytime.

Most often, if someone asks "How much does it cost?" (it being a specialty tool, for instance) that they are not seriously looking at purchasing in that price range anyway.

Specialty tools often cost hundreds of dollars. If you think that is too much, get out your welder and weld one up for yourself. As long as you make it for your own personal use, this is allowed, as I understand it.
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#1932462 - 07/25/12 11:11 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Supply]
PaintedPostDave Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 558
Loc: Upstate New York
Mr. Goering, you are over reacting to my tongue in cheek comment. I am simply surprised that something as clever as the Levitan tool is difficult to buy. Also, contrary to your rant, I am not complaining about the price (which I do not know) - I just would like to buy one. Good grief! confused
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#1932474 - 07/26/12 12:07 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: PaintedPostDave]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3371
Originally Posted By: PaintedPostDave
I am simply surprised that something as clever as the Levitan tool is difficult to buy.


Well, to be fair, it's not like they mass-produce these. But, it doesn't have to be difficult; ask a technician to order one for you.

Originally Posted By: PaintedPostDave
I am not complaining about the price (which I do not know) - I just would like to buy one.


You might not when you find out how much it costs... Considering that the online stores like Vandaking markup between 30-70%, depending on the item, you can expect to pay well over $400 for this Levitan lever.
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#1932479 - 07/26/12 12:30 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: PaintedPostDave]
kpembrook Online   content
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Loc: Michigan
We support DIY piano technology. Send a PM.
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#1932488 - 07/26/12 01:19 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: PaintedPostDave]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: PaintedPostDave
... I am simply surprised that something as clever as the Levitan tool is difficult to buy.

It's not difficult to buy - you just have to join the secret society and learn the secret handshake! laugh
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Piano Forte Supply
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#1932491 - 07/26/12 01:24 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
BDB Online   content
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I can get it for you wholesale...

And sell it to you retail!
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#1932513 - 07/26/12 03:43 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: beethoven986]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Kamin
however I see may be more flagpoling than I would like


I think people spend way too much energy worrying about "flagpoling"; tuning pins and pin blocks are elastic within the forces encountered in piano tuning... not to mention the fact that everyone puts this kind of force on the pin when they tune.

Intentional tilting of the pin is a valid tuning technique, and that's what he's doing. Indeed, my piano's pins are so tight that fine tuning it would be impossible without intentional tilting! The important thing is that the piano stays in tune when you're done; that's all that matters.

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Also I hear the pin cracking both directions, that mean it is worked with some torque pushing on its bed.


I don't hear any cracking. Regardless, when pins do this, it says more about the pin block and perhaps tightness than tuning technique, IMO.

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Sure about tuning unisons it was not the purpose but I see no reason why he should do differently. He tune just a little too soft and late, not working the tone during the attack.


His unisons sound fine to me.







No problem with flagpole I just thought the tool provide less than waht I see there; Before flagpoling the twisting of the pin is more constructive, and compress less the block.

The cracks Ok come from the pinblock, but with his lever you have little choice of torque/pressure orientation, while with a standard lever the handle can change orientation depending of the block, the technique used...

The unisons are clean, they just may be a little asleep, to me.


Edited by Kamin (07/26/12 03:50 AM)
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It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#1932569 - 07/26/12 08:51 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Olek]
Maximillyan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1550
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: Kamin
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Kamin
however I see may be more flagpoling than I would like


I think people spend way too much energy worrying about "flagpoling"; tuning pins and pin blocks are elastic within the forces encountered in piano tuning... not to mention the fact that everyone puts this kind of force on the pin when they tune.

Intentional tilting of the pin is a valid tuning technique, and that's what he's doing. Indeed, my piano's pins are so tight that fine tuning it would be impossible without intentional tilting! The important thing is that the piano stays in tune when you're done; that's all that matters.

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Also I hear the pin cracking both directions, that mean it is worked with some torque pushing on its bed.


I don't hear any cracking. Regardless, when pins do this, it says more about the pin block and perhaps tightness than tuning technique, IMO.

Originally Posted By: Kamin
Sure about tuning unisons it was not the purpose but I see no reason why he should do differently. He tune just a little too soft and late, not working the tone during the attack.


His unisons sound fine to me.







No problem with flagpole I just thought the tool provide less than waht I see there; Before flagpoling the twisting of the pin is more constructive, and compress less the block.
but with his lever you have little choice of torque/pressure orientation, while with a standard lever the handle can change orientation depending of the block, the technique used...
.

Applied force to the flagpole handle a little less. Hand tuner will be less tired, but to catch the sound for his own ear by pulling this lever is a little harder. But to have an experienced professional to work need such a lever which to the extent possible would to save from destruction a pinblock
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#1932574 - 07/26/12 09:01 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Loren D]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Originally Posted By: Kamin


His tuning technique seem to be coherent,(changed from the unisons demo video where it was PR quality) .

But still he act a a "piano tuner" that does not listen to the piano, does not build tone, only focus on partial beats, pitches, and anaesthetized tone (no life) (find if a string is too sharp or flat by playing a M3 is a sign, listening late another, not lively playing hand the last).


 



I gotta say, I don't get you.


a tuner usually does not need to play an interval to find which string is low/high, suffice to play the doublets (and it is quieter for the ear)

I really cannot imagine how you can perceive the pin's rotational plane with such a lever. probably you can, but with less tactile feedback, as with the ball lever when you have it in the palm of the hand, the twisting and bending of the pin is less perceived
( because the wrist is at 90° from the same plane then the ankle have to assess the rotational plane it is less clear).

I believe that a handle with a 90° return on the end of the lever would give more feedback.
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It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#1932649 - 07/26/12 11:19 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2069
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
I wonder whether one could get a first-cut feeling for this type of hammer by adding a grip handle (something like the removable front handle on an electrical hand drill, or a long steering knob) to the end of a conventional extension lever.
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#1932652 - 07/26/12 11:30 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Ok, so this lever eliminates flagpoling, but it does not deal with string rendering or pin torque. I purposely use flagpoling to deal with these other two factors.

Hmmm... I just now thought of it. You still can flagpole the pins if you choose to. Just add some upward or downward force. Hmmm...
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#1932674 - 07/26/12 11:54 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: beethoven986]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Kamin
however I see may be more flagpoling than I would like


I think people spend way too much energy worrying about "flagpoling"; tuning pins and pin blocks are elastic within the forces encountered in piano tuning... not to mention the fact that everyone puts this kind of force on the pin when they tune.

Intentional tilting of the pin is a valid tuning technique, and that's what he's doing. Indeed, my piano's pins are so tight that fine tuning it would be impossible without intentional tilting! The important thing is that the piano stays in tune when you're done; that's all that matters....



I disagree with your views on flag poling from several perspectives beethoven. First of all its only a valid techniique as a last resort...it should never be simply used without trying to manipulate the pin in the way it was designed to be moved....rotationally.

Secondly, pianos can be tuned using horrific techniques that puts unneccesary wear and tear on them. The end results don't simply justify any means to get there. Plenty of youtube DIYers demonstrating this all the time.

If I seen a tuner deliberately move to a pin, throw the hammer in 12 oclock position and begin flagpoling and bumping/nudging the pin back and forth in line with the string...without first trying to move it rotationally, I would kick their butt out the door.

If the pin is cracking to either side of target and does not want to settle in place, this is a valid reason to pursue less conventional techniques. The block is not as elastic as you think. If wood had the resiliant qualities of being completely elastic and immune to deformation, the pins would not be drilled at an angle to begin with.

Also, not everyone puts the same amount of force (in flagpoling direction) on the pin when tuning. A 3 oclock position of the hammer will put more force in this direction from rotational manipulation than a 12, or 1 oclock position.
One can also apply a countering force to lessen the effects of pin tilt by by rotating the lever handle like a motorcycle throttle grip, while pulling it in the pins rotation axis. I use this technique all the time to help keep the tilting forces on the pin more neutral.


Edited by Emmery (07/26/12 12:06 PM)
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#1932727 - 07/26/12 01:52 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Emmery]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3371
Originally Posted By: Emmery
I disagree with your views on flag poling from several perspectives beethoven. First of all its only a valid techniique as a last resort...it should never be simply used without trying to manipulate the pin in the way it was designed to be moved....rotationally.


Well, of course.... but if I'm in a situation where the pitch is going to move a lot before the pin even moves in the block, and I only need to change the pitch a few cents, you better believe I'm going to use intentional tilting of the pin.


Originally Posted By: Emmery
If I seen a tuner deliberately move to a pin, throw the hammer in 12 oclock position and begin flagpoling and bumping/nudging the pin back and forth in line with the string...without first trying to move it rotationally, I would kick their butt out the door.


Likewise, if I saw a tuner try to tune my piano by raising the pitch of a string 50 cents just so he had the pleasure of feeling the pin move in the block, his butt would be out the door.

Originally Posted By: Emmery
If the pin is cracking to either side of target and does not want to settle in place, this is a valid reason to pursue less conventional techniques.


Less conventional? confused


Originally Posted By: Emmery
The block is not as elastic as you think. If wood had the resiliant qualities of being completely elastic and immune to deformation, the pins would not be drilled at an angle to begin with.


From what I've read, this angle is actually a holdover from the fortepiano era; essentially, it is done due to tradition rather than necessity, cause our pins don't start dislodging themselves from the pin block like they used to wink With our infinity-ply granite pin blocks, where tilting is most often necessary, there's simply no need to worry.

Originally Posted By: Emmery
Also, not everyone puts the same amount of force (in flagpoling direction) on the pin when tuning. A 3 oclock position of the hammer will put more force in this direction from rotational manipulation than a 12, or 1 oclock position.


I don't ascribe to any particular "time".... sometimes, it's 12, or 2, or 3, or 6. Whatever is comfortable and effective for the situation at hand.
_________________________
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
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#1932731 - 07/26/12 01:59 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
There is no way to not flagpole the pin as long as you are using any lever with a handle that you push or pull on. The only thing you can do is flagpole in a direction that lessens the impact of pitch, i.e., side to side instead of in line with the string.

It seems to me that the only way to completely eliminate flagpoling on a grand would be to use the grand Cyberhammer, since with it you are applying pure torque.
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