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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
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

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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 Offline
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Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1252
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 Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
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: 2545
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
1000 Post Club Member

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 Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
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: 1429
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: 2545
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: 2328
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 Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
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 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 492
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 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3295
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 Offline
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Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3295
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 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 492
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
1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
https://sites.google.com/site/analysisofsoundsandvibrations/

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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: 427
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 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 492
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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Yamaha M1A console
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#1932474 - 07/26/12 12:07 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: PaintedPostDave]
beethoven986 Offline
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Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3295
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 Offline
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Loc: Michigan
We support DIY piano technology. Send a PM.
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Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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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 Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
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Loc: Oakland
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 Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
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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#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: 1429
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 Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
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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#1932649 - 07/26/12 11:19 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1865
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: 4789
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: 2328
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 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3295
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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#1932731 - 07/26/12 01:59 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Loren D Offline
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Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
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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#1932747 - 07/26/12 02:38 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Emmery Offline
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Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2328
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
I watched a renown tech use a rotational bumping motion to set a pin which was cracking, when several other techs before him (including myself) tried and said it couldn't be easily done. Sometimes wiggling the handle around while pulling will set the crack of the pin off from a different place. Also slightly deformed or oblong pin holes put most of the static friction on the string sideof the upper part of the pin. I will sometimes use my other hand to tune and have the handle at 11 oclock where the tilt is less severe (being opposite the string tension). This reduces the friction on the tilted pin enough to minimize the cracking in many cases.

An impact wrench that has the same shape of a traditional lever, L shaped with the handle above the pin, does everything a normal lever does as far as force vectors...and this includes the vector of tilt force on the pin. It simply does it on a higher order of speed affording smaller movements of the pin because you are overcoming static friction more efficiently than slow application of force. Force vectors don't change values in relation to each other unless its applied to a different location on a part, or from a different angular direction. Both levers get the force applied from the handle in identical ways therefore the amount of tilt force stays equal in relation to rotational force.
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#1932751 - 07/26/12 02:43 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Emmery Offline
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Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2328
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Srry, dbble post
(edited)


Edited by Emmery (07/26/12 02:43 PM)
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#1932788 - 07/26/12 04:23 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Loren D Offline
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Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
Emmery, I'm referring to the grand version of the Cyberhammer, which has two equally weighted arms protruding away from each other, with the head in the middle. You spin it instead of pull or push. Pure torque.



Edited by Loren D (07/26/12 04:26 PM)
Edit Reason: added Youtube video
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#1932815 - 07/26/12 05:48 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Emmery]
Tunewerk Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 395
Loc: Boston, MA
I have great respect for Dan Levitan and think he's one of the best technicians out there, technically as well as artistically, but I am confused about the claims of this lever.

It seems that there is an equivocation being made to the effective lever arm being in the plane of rotation, and the elimination of bending force (flagpoling) in reality.

Effective leverage arms are used in action design to state how a whole assembly will behave. These are mostly theoretical, however, because they don't delineate force transfer through an actual structure. They only summarize a structure in terms of it's effective lever arm lengths; also the start and stop angles of rotation.

In Dan Levitan's design, force applied to the handle near the keys will translate to a bending force in the handle rod, against the normal force exerted by the pin. This will be translated to a torsional force around the main rod and back to a bending force in the pin rod. This will 'flagpole' the pin like any other lever.

The only constraint may be the stiffness of the lever, made of .035" stainless. This will reduce torsional and bending loads from at least increasing the stress angle.

I was present at one meeting discussing the design of his lever. He focused on components of force, saying that any force applied above the plane of rotation of the pin results in two components: one in the plane of the pin, and one orthogonal to the plane, a component determined by the sine or cosine of the angle and the length of the lever arm.

This is true, as basic physics. As you increase the angle of application of force, you introduce an increasing component of bending force, described by the sine of applied force, or F*sin[a]. But to physically accomplish the theoretical rotation along the plane, you'd need a lever going through the pinblock.

Even though the effective leverage arm goes through the pinblock in Levitan's design, and the theoretical angle is zero, the real angles or force transfer are not zero.

I'm going to guess that this lever feels good because of the stiffness of the material it is made out of, the welded joints, and the fact that all pin deflection is forced to occur at 90 deg. to the speaking length.


Edited by Tunewerk (07/26/12 09:14 PM)
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#1932873 - 07/26/12 09:11 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Chris Leslie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 452
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
I would be happy to see the measured results of a controlled experiment with varying the position of the force applied to the lever's handle both above and below the horizontal plane of the pin (pinblock), and varying the length of the lever. The measurement would be of rotational force at the pin but in the vertical plane (flagpoling).
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#1932936 - 07/27/12 01:51 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Tunewerk]
Jim Moy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 292
Loc: Fort Collins - Loveland, CO
I am also suspicious that the Levitan C lever may not work precisely as it's been described. But I've rationalized how I think the practical forces work. (I have not used one, so I am clearly blowing out my arse on this, but that won't stop me...)

Let's say you have a relatively loose fitting tip on on your lever, say a Watanabe 2 or 3. It's not a nice, tight fit, so the points of contact with the pin are roughly at the top of the pin, and lower on the pin near the coil. You lean on a regular lever, and flagpoling ensues with the fulcrum roughly at the bottom of the tip, while the lever arm is supported by the contact at the top of the pin.

Now imagine a C lever like the Levitan design, but the handle is longer. Grab this imaginary lever at the bottom of the handle, to clarify the force vectors. Then the fulcrum is still near the coil end of the tip, and is effectively fixed in place. But because of where you've grabbed the handle, since the rotational plane is way below the level of the pin, the behavior at the top of the pin like an uneven teeter-totter, and the top contact point on the pin is actually pushing the opposite way you are pushing the handle of the lever. So the pin does not flagpole in the direction it does with a normal lever, and some amount of force is actually pushing it the other way, because of that orthogonal force vector. I think that's the way this imaginary C lever would work, reverse flagpoling. Then I imagine that the actual length of the handle in the real Levitan design is made short enough so that the opposing force I just described is close to zero.

I was not at Dan's presentation, so I don't know what was said there, but from the descriptions I've seen in the videos, and diagrams in articles, I'm not sold on the idea that manipulating the pin above the plane of the pinblock can actually cause the pin to rotate as if an imaginary lever is grabbing it in the center of the pinblock and turning it, which seems to be implied. It seems to me, at best, you are doing some cancelling of the ordinary flagpoling force, perhaps in a similar fashion to the Reyburn grand impact lever (which Loren conveniently linked to above). But I'd say that alone is an accomplishment.

I wonder if you could hang that lever off the right side of a grand. Then you could get a better feel for whether any flagpoling was going on. As it is, the default position is parallel to the strings, conveniently, where flagpoling has less effect anyway even with a normal lever.

I'm not sure it matters much to me though, I like my Fujan, and being able to position it either parallel or perpendicular as I see fit; the string rendering while (lightly) flagpoling is good information too.
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#1932958 - 07/27/12 02:53 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
Kamin

Quote:
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.


I think he just wants to emphasize how easy his tool works. Working hard on the attacks might not fit that.
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#1932963 - 07/27/12 03:07 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: wouter79]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Kamin

Quote:
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.


I think he just wants to emphasize how easy his tool works. Working hard on the attacks might not fit that.


possible indeed , well seen ...
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#1932966 - 07/27/12 03:17 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Loren D]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Emmery, I'm referring to the grand version of the Cyberhammer, which has two equally weighted arms protruding away from each other, with the head in the middle. You spin it instead of pull or push. Pure torque.



This works on the assumtion that the wave of the impulsion is raising all wire segments the same.

Then the tuner have no control on that front segment (which is indeed the less easy part of the wire to control as stated a colleague on a French forum lately)

A good way to break bass strings in my opinion , as nudging with them.

Then again on the video a demonstration of non tuning.
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#1933026 - 07/27/12 07:04 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4789
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Gosh, guys. Haven't you ever used a box end wrench on a rusty bolt and flipped the wrench around so the plane of force was the same as the plane of resistance? The wrench is less likely to slip from the bolt. Dan's lever works just like he says it does.
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#1933039 - 07/27/12 07:57 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: UnrightTooner]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2328
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
Gosh, guys. Haven't you ever used a box end wrench on a rusty bolt and flipped the wrench around so the plane of force was the same as the plane of resistance? The wrench is less likely to slip from the bolt. Dan's lever works just like he says it does.


Not sure what you mean Tooner...are you talking about a box or closed end wrench with an offset on the head such as this?...

If you had the clearance for the handle, a wrench like in the image can be flipped so the forces are applied lower, along the area where the bolts threads sit.
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#1933048 - 07/27/12 08:17 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Emmery]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4789
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Emmery:

Box end is the same thing as a closed end, as far as I know. You have the right idea about flipping the offset around, but a combo wrench (one end box, one end open) has a simple angle instead of an offset.

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#1933063 - 07/27/12 09:04 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Emmery Offline
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Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2328
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Okay, I know what you mean by the angle now. Wasn't sure what you meant at first.
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#1933131 - 07/27/12 12:02 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
Loc: France
the lever is still acting differently, in my view because of the tip and the part above it, it may lighten the pressure on the bed of the pin so the bottom is worked sooner


Edited by Kamin (07/27/12 12:07 PM)
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#1933216 - 07/27/12 02:57 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: beethoven986]
PaintedPostDave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 492
Loc: Upstate New York
Beethoven,
The price is $149.95 plus shipping.
smile

I stand corrected: it is much more than that. Sorry.



Edited by PaintedPostDave (07/28/12 03:05 PM)
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#1933260 - 07/27/12 04:28 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: PaintedPostDave]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3295
Originally Posted By: PaintedPostDave
Beethoven,
The price is $149.95 plus shipping.
smile



You want the C-shaped lever, right? $149.95 isn't even close. I'll send you a PM....
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#1933381 - 07/27/12 08:49 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1730
Loc: Philadelphia area
It's my understanding that the lever is much more than $150.00

I don't see how the C-Shaped lever offers greater advantage than working any normal hammer through the plane of the tuning pin turn. The presentation's assumption that the L-lever always creates a downward or upward movement against the tuning pin turning plane is not true. Especially for techs who use ball grips. From what observe on the video, The applied pressure from under the end of the lever handle tilted the hammer tip against the angle of the tuning pin. I don't know if this is an advantage or a disadvantage.

I would like to try one out. The discussion hasn't reached the topic of the possible ergonomic advantages the C-shaped lever may offer. Anyone have experience with this Lever????

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#1938494 - 08/06/12 09:23 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Dan Levitan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 1
A client of mine emailed me that there were some posts on PianoWorld about my C hammer, and after reading the very interesting discussion, I thought I'd take the liberty of chiming in.

When I started working on the tool, I was interested in seeing how a tool would work whose handle was in the plane of the pin block. I started with a few wooden prototypes, very flexible, so I could more easily see how the tool reacted to the application of force to the handle. The post by Tunewerk is insightful, and in my view absolutely correct: pushing or pulling on the handle in the plane of the pin block did indeed torque the long, horizontal (on a grand) shank. However, as best as I could tell, the resulting force at the tip was perfectly rotational.

However, I've seen many tools come and go that had a great theory behind them, but for some reason didn't work well. Once I started having metal prototypes made, the torsion didn't show as clearly in the tool itself. But using the tool, it seemed to me that I really could, for the first time in my tuning career, turn or twist the pin without bending it, judging from the effect of my movements on the speaking length.

Many prototypes later, I had a tool of 1 1/4" tubing with a 0.020" wall (thinner and lighter than the Pianotek model). The stiffness of this tool, fully welded, with no threaded joints, seemed to be key. As I grew used to the tool, I found that I was having much better control, tuning more stably and more rapidly. It seemed to me that the greater control came from being able to separate--if not completely, certainly to a very great extent--the turning and tilting forces on the pin. But that mattered less to me than the fact that, for whatever reason, my work was better. Interestingly, I found that there were many pianos that, try as I might, I couldn't tune stably without tilting (or "flagpoling") the pin. The looser the pin in the block, and the higher in the treble, the more I seem to need to tilt the pin.

By the way, I have worked side by side with excellent tuners who tune almost exclusively by tilting the pin. With the tool in line with the string, pointing towards the hitch pin, they move the handle up and down in the vertical plane. These tend to be tuners working in concert halls. Those pianos are very well in tune to begin with, meaning their pins are in more or less the ideal rotational position, so I surmise that these tuners are reluctant to turn the pins and possibly destabilize the tuning.

To me, the approach makes sense in that context, but makes no sense in the context of most tuning work. In any case, any time we use a conventional we tilt the pin; as far as I can tell, for every two pounds of force turning the pin, one pound is tilting it. To me this all confirms the posts that offer the opinion that piano design has evolved to accommodate tilting of the pin while tuning. In fact, in my present view it is a feature of pin block design that helps to make fine tuning possible.

Since I was so pleased with the tool, I approached Pianotek about manufacturing it. No matter how much I liked the tool, I was curious to see if it would work for others as well. Yes, Pianotek sells only to technicians who have registered with them, and I'm sorry if that is an obstacle to those who aren't in their files. But I have been very much involved with the process, and I think they've done a great job, in both producing a well-made tool and in offering it at a reasonable price. They sell the hammer for $300, which is an order of magnitude less that what my last two prototypes cost me, and significantly lower than many other premium tuning levers. As the name of the tool suggests, I envisioned the market for it to be pretty much limited to professionals interested in doing very high level work. It turns out, though, that a number of tuners who have developed severe shoulder pain from the stress of tuning have been able to work again without pain using the tool, and that is very gratifying.

The video was intended not to demonstrate tuning technique, but to demonstrate how I put the tool on the piano, sit, etc., for first-time users. I assure you, if you've never tuned for a room full of tuners, you don't know what stress is! And making a video that lots more tuners can rewind and watch in slow motion...yikes!

Anyway, I hope this answers a few questions. I greatly appreciate all the interesting input and feedback.

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#1938641 - 08/07/12 07:02 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
UnrightTooner Offline
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Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4789
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Dan:

Welcome Aboard! I hope you don't regret it. smile
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#1938654 - 08/07/12 07:34 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Quote:
I would like to try one out. The discussion hasn't reached the topic of the possible ergonomic advantages the C-shaped lever may offer. Anyone have experience with this Lever????


Being both a Piano Technician and a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I would like to weigh in. Based on this thread, I placed an order for the Levitan lever with Pianotek and received it last month. Prior to receiving this lever I had been using my Fujan hammer for about four years. After tuning numerous different brands/sizes of grand pianos with the Levitan lever over this past month I can truthfully say that it takes pin control and ergonomics to a new level. It makes it extremely easy to finesse the pin in both rotational and horizontal planes, while allowing the technician to remain in a functional neutral posture that places no strain/wear and tear on any of the upper extremity joints, as tends to occur when using traditional tuning devices. Based on my own experience with this lever over the past month, I can unequivocally, and enthusiastically, endorse it.


Edited by CC2 and Chopin lover (08/07/12 07:42 AM)
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#1938670 - 08/07/12 08:28 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
Loc: France
Thanks for the witnessing CC2 and also for your presentation, Dan.

Yes for the body that sound like a good answer, assuming one have to tune a large amount of pianos each day.

What is the weight of the lever ?
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#1938712 - 08/07/12 10:18 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1632
Loc: Colorado
Hi Dan, all~
I just ordered the C Lever. I tore the labrum and bicep tendon in my right shoulder in February of this year, developed bilateral cubital and carpal tunnel prior to that. Neither is a result from tuning pianos, but they have prevented me from all tunings, including sitting at a keyboard/typing, playing the piano, among other things, etc. Thank goodness for dictation software - it's been a lifesaver!

Prior to all this medical drama, I started using Joe Goss', Mother Goose - plateau, ball lever on Bill Bremmer's recommendation to better utilize the tap method for many tunings along with Issac's techniques - they've worked great as both predicted, but at this point, it's still not possible utilizing either at this point.

As I have gotten stronger and continue to manage the symptoms under the proper care of an OccupationaI Therapist, a PT, an Acupuncturist, a DO, and a Neurologist, I look forward to giving the C Lever a solid test-drive once it's delivered and I am more fully able to get back to turning pins, taking care of clients, and furthering my education in piano care. I have a 1931 Story and Clark Petite Grand learning piano waiting in my garage to continue reworking, etc.

Glen
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