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#2028646 - 02/07/13 09:56 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
BenP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 166
Loc: South Jersey
My how far we have strayed from the original question. I'll take partial responsibility for that - I shouldn't have brought out the soapbox.

I wonder if we have scared off adak or if he's still debating the acoustic vs. digital decision?
_________________________
Ben Patterson
Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#2028706 - 02/07/13 11:49 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
rxd Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1764
Loc: London, England
You could be right, Phil. Although its purely academic any more, I haven't done home tunings for some time now ( the reason being I can't be bothered with the scheduling) but I always left the pianos the best I possibly could and if doing something that really belongs on a separate bill accomplishes that then...

I used to joke, when I was asked to play, "I'll have to charge you a separate rate for that". For me to divide up my skills in what seems to me an arbitrary way seems just as much of a joke.

There was a thread about how a concert tuning differs from a home tuning. My answer has to be, "it doesn't". The object is the same, to produce the best results, with the circumstances given. If this brings my profession into disrepute, maybe Its a good idea for me to limit my practice to working for professionals only.

This is about fees and what they include.

I also used to joke that most of my fee was for getting here and getting home. I might as well tune your piano while I'm here. Just to get across that the time spent traveling is sometimes longer than the time spent tuning. Ollie Braymer used to say. Bring your piano to me and I'll tune it for a few dollars but if you want me to come to your place...

Different rate for driving? My time is my time whatever I spend it doing. This could get ridiculous.


Edited by rxd (02/07/13 12:26 PM)
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2028709 - 02/07/13 11:56 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
No we weren't Phil. I'm trying to point out, that the vast majority of piano technicians have not clue how to run a business as a business should be run. Do you think I say this from lack of experience? I've read countless books on the subject, attended countless classes. Given classes on the same topic and of course knowing hundreds of piano technicians and having talked to just as many, it becomes obvious in the course of a short conversation which ones do and which do not.

My example represents the technician that has attended dozens of courses, has read dozens and dozens of books on the subject. A technician that is continually upgrading his knowledge on the latest voicing techniques and putting that into practice. A technician that is on a regular basis doing something to upgrade his skill to a better level.

That my friend, does not represent the majority of technicians. It should but it does not. Most technicians do not bother to increase their knowledge in the piano field and many charge according to that given knowledge.

As I've said before, each technician knows their value and each one charges accordingly.--as they should.

You have to realize, not all piano owners are poor and not all of them have to have the cheapest instrument available nor do they want the cheapest tuner on the block. If that is all of the clientele that certain people can get then so be it. Maybe that's the area they live in.

I know all of the tuners in my area. I certainly wouldn't want one of the lowest ones tuning my piano! I know their quality of work and it ain't pretty! frown

The tuner that has the least amount of work generally charges the least amount of money. They can come within one or two days notice. That has been my experience for the past 40 + years of being in this business.

This was a question of how much does it cost to tune a piano RXD. You're thinking of the other thread... smile
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2028754 - 02/07/13 01:09 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
Phil D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 551
Loc: London, England
"The vast majority"?

I know exactly what you're saying, and you've said it many times before, and I agree - technicians need to be better businessmen. The only reason I commented is that, in a discussion about charging policies, and the inclusion of general maintenance or not with a tuning appointment, you automatically seperate technicians into two types - the successful ones, who run their business like you; and the 'tooners' who are failures who not only can't run a business but don't know how to tune either.

You're obviously very good at what you do, as you seem to leave no opportunity to let us know how busy you always are. But there seems to be no room in your view just for a different way of doing things. There are choices, there are different paths to take. I'm just trying to invite you to acknowledge that there are many ways to be successful as a technician.

It must be philosophy Thursday or something! smile
_________________________
Phil Dickson
The Cycling Piano Tuner

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#2028758 - 02/07/13 01:10 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: woodog]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2604
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: woodog
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

That’s a lot of zeros there Jerry…

For a grand piano I would think $3-500.00 in maintenance annually depending upon the rate of use. For an upright probably similar figures maybe a little less.


It's in Binary. That's $512 to us base-10 folks.

Forrest


You guys crack me up.

I'm a basically normal person with a normal piano.

I have it in mind that it costs about a hundred dollars for a tuner visit. (bonus points if you say that in a Rainman voice) Usually it is a bit more, because the DC gets new juice and padded as needed, and this or that gets adjusted.

I schedule whenever the intonation starts to sound bad, which is 3 or 4 times a year. It is likely that we are on the picky side of normal, maybe even one and a half standard deviations into the picky side.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2028792 - 02/07/13 02:05 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: rxd]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1387
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: rxd
There was a thread about how a concert tuning differs from a home tuning. My answer has to be, "it doesn't".


I agree. I tune for myself and as long as the piano is not too far off, I spend my time practicing and trying to get as close to a concert tuning as I am currently capable of. Let's face it, most residential customers don't know the difference between a good tuning and a great tuning anyway. So I don't expect accolades.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2028794 - 02/07/13 02:10 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1387
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
No we weren't Phil. I'm trying to point out, that the vast majority of piano technicians have not clue how to run a business as a business should be run.


According to Michael Gerber, self proclaimed Small Business Guru, and author of "The E-Myth", most small businesses fail because the owners spend too much time being technicians and not enough being entrepreneurs and managers.

I've often felt that if good piano tuners were not so much in demand and rare, it would be a different story. How many of us could stay in business if we were running a restaurant, for example? Not me, that's for sure. I would be spending too much of my time on RestaurantWorld.com! Ha ha. (Back to work)
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2028818 - 02/07/13 03:18 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: Phil D]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Originally Posted By: Phil D
"The vast majority"?

I know exactly what you're saying, and you've said it many times before, and I agree - technicians need to be better businessmen. The only reason I commented is that, in a discussion about charging policies, and the inclusion of general maintenance or not with a tuning appointment, you automatically seperate technicians into two types - the successful ones, who run their business like you; and the 'tooners' who are failures who not only can't run a business but don't know how to tune either.

You're obviously very good at what you do, as you seem to leave no opportunity to let us know how busy you always are. But there seems to be no room in your view just for a different way of doing things. There are choices, there are different paths to take. I'm just trying to invite you to acknowledge that there are many ways to be successful as a technician.

It must be philosophy Thursday or something! smile


I like that Mark RPT!!! Great points! smile

EDIT: I misread what Phil said so, I deleted and changed it. I wasn't trying to lump everyone into the same catatory. Good business = good quality although, that may be true. I recently ate in several restrauants. The ones that gave good quality also had excellent food. Those that had less than desireable quality, had food that was "so so." smile

SO, basically, what's my point? If you know how to run a business, you will be busy. You will be successful. Or at least, you should be anyway. wink That goes both ways on quality too. At least for a while anyway.

Growing up, I knew this horrible piano "tooner" that was one of the worst tuners around yet, he knew how to run a business. That made him one of the busiest tuners (among many) around town when I was a kid.

I tire of the questions of "how much do you charge." Call around and ask in your area if you want to know.

And, yes, I am very busy, as are many other technicians like Bob Maret. Or, Dan Silverwood. So is Ed Sutton. So is Loren DiGiorgi and lots of others that are in here. smile

There are simply not a lot of tuners that are good technicians and good businessman at the same time.

What some stimulation? Read the next two things.

http://freelanceswitch.com/freelance-news/commentary-analysis/give-yourself-a-raise-in-2012/

Here's one that I started quite a while back.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...ite_id/1#import


Edited by Jerry Groot RPT (02/07/13 05:29 PM)
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2028840 - 02/07/13 04:11 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3871
Because we don't have "company cars" here, an issue can be the travel charge. Someone says their Prius "makes them money", simply because it gets 60 mpg. They can write off more than the cost of driving it on their taxes. That's true enough. That person drives all over gods country, not thinking of the labor cost of sitting behind the wheel.

I often get called to drive a 3 hour round trip to tune one piano. After they hear my travel charge, on top of the tuning fee, the client usually finds a local tuner instead. In the three hours behind the wheel to reach one client, I can easily tune 2 pianos here, in town. In my mind, the client needs to pay me for at least two piano tunings...maybe three ....PLUS my vehicle expense to drive up there. I allow 60 minutes drive round trip, before some type of travel charge kicks in. It's expensive to drive around. Both in labor expense, and car expense.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2028843 - 02/07/13 04:13 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
rxd Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1764
Loc: London, England
Mark is right. I cannot muster any interest in business classes. I'm a bit of a spoiled brat in that I've never done anything I don't want to do. I did, however, hire a business manager and a few employees for several years. I got bored, sold the business and travelled for two years. I'm now drawing a small pension from those years.

I am not a slave to my work, I let my work work for me. I've cut my workload in half and yes, I can cover the tuning somebody forgot to book. I don't charge more but there are hidden perks that can't be bought.
I can also get up in the morning and go to the south of France if it feels a bit chilly. I can equally just go back to bed. I have to stay on top of my job, however, so that I can take off almost any time I please.

Jerry, you and I know that we are different people from opposite sides of the spectrum. That never got between us before. You have chosen what you are justifiably proud of, I have let this life of freedom and abundance unfold before me. It just is.
It took me half my lifetime to find out how and the other half to learn to put it into practice.

We have done totally different things with what basically amounts to the same skill set. Don't let others force that between us.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2028890 - 02/07/13 05:31 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I kind of figured as much RXD. Retired, semi retired, not working hard, not tuning for homes etc., with you... grin

I wasn't spoiled. I had to work my tail off to get myself where I am at today. Anyone that has done that should be proud of themselves, including you in your other ventures.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2028923 - 02/07/13 06:31 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: rxd]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3871
Originally Posted By: rxd

I can also get up in the morning and go to the south of France if it feels a bit chilly.


This is the best part of Europe. My cousin and I sat in Cambridge England one Friday night, wondering what to do for the weekend. We decided to visit Paris. We found a cheap flight out Sat morning, stayed in a hotel right by the museums. We saw the Mona Lisa, and other landmarks, drank some great wine, ate some great pastries, and flew back to England Sunday evening.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2029858 - 02/09/13 12:06 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
rxd Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1764
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I kind of figured as much RXD. Retired, semi retired, not working hard, not tuning for homes etc., with you... grin

I wasn't spoiled. I had to work my tail off to get myself where I am at today. Anyone that has done that should be proud of themselves, including you in your other ventures.


Sorry, I missed thIs one.

Retired?, Good heavens no. I must have casually ambled through 35-40 tunings last week, most of them on an all night session I pulled yet i still had a 3-4 days to myself.

Let me explain, The trick is this, selecting the kind of work I like to do. I now never tune a piano that hasn't been seen by me, one of my assistants or colleagues sometime during the last few days. Sometimes seen during the last few hours.

Having the diagnostic skills to spot a potential problem and deal with it while it is still small so there is never accumulation of error, (this harks back to including anything necessary in a tuning). And staying on top of the job.

You mention pride. Well, I never let anybody get the idea that I am the only one that can tune their piano. Gratifying as it is, for me to be the only one when they want me, drastically interferes with my freedom. there are only 3-4 people that I allow to think this way and that's for purely political reasons.

I have never inherited any tunings. Quite the opposite , because of my love of travel and new places, I have set up a tuning business from scratch 5 times, so far. Sometimes I have sold the business, most often I have continued my phone line for 12 months after I leave an area with the numbers of the tuners I have shared work with and befriended. It's never about money, that looks after itself.

This morning, between tunings, I walked past a line of people halfway round the block for a special exhibition in an art gallery. I casually ambled in there Thursday morning and had the place almost to myself. Give me them unsocial hours anytime.

Anyway, over the years I have learned to work smart, not hard. Ditch digging is hard work, piano work isn't. I do, however, do a lot of work but the concept of putting in the hours is foreign to me.

I simply took the road less travelled. Anyone can do it.

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#2029861 - 02/09/13 12:10 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 386
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Here is the thing, Before the economy tanked not many consumers were really doing their homework on what anything was really costing them but today that has changed and not just merely changed but people are smarter when it comes to being duped or up - sold things they don't need.

I can tell you this. I personally have been to court with state officials who wanted to regulate my prices as in doubling them and charging me tax on services that we have never charged for. They wanted to send appraisers in here to tell me what to charge for used pianos and services. Well they are now funding my retirement plan when they lost that case.... very badly.

I give it another 5 years and you will see state regulated pricing on all used merchandise sold by dealers and services. When we owned our Moving agency in Michigan it was heavily regulated and we were only allowed to be about 10 dollars cheaper than any other moving business. If we wanted to change toilet paper brands we almost had to get permission from Lansing,

I'd say what you are paying for a tuning depends on what they are doing and how thorough they are. If you are watching a supposedly experienced tuner doing his work and you go in there and he has a subway sandwich laid out on your keyboard and charging you 95 dollars an hour then I would be questioning that.

In my area 80 - 150 depending on what is involved. If they whip out an I phone with a tuning app I would be scared though
_________________________
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

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#2031498 - 02/11/13 10:04 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 60
Don't know about being scared if someone shows up with a tuning app. I'm tuning for a high end piano store, tuning big money grands and have nothing but rave reviews and requests to tune at other stores as well as in home tunings. I use nothing but Tunelabs. Of course, I program in the IH turn solid unisons and set the pin.

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#2031503 - 02/11/13 10:25 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3871
Originally Posted By: Nash. Piano Rescue


I give it another 5 years and you will see state regulated pricing on all used merchandise sold by dealers and services. When we owned our Moving agency in Michigan it was heavily regulated and we were only allowed to be about 10 dollars cheaper than any other moving business. If we wanted to change toilet paper brands we almost had to get permission from Lansing,



How in the world could the state regulate pricing on all used merchandise? If I owned a trucking company, I'd be $10.00 more expensive, and blow the competition out of the water with better service. Better service beats a lower price over the long term.

Oh....and those funny things called ETD's don't scare me much either.........just like a tuning fork, they are a good tool in the right hands.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2031637 - 02/12/13 04:31 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: plns]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7870
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: plns
Don't know about being scared if someone shows up with a tuning app. I'm tuning for a high end piano store, tuning big money grands and have nothing but rave reviews and requests to tune at other stores as well as in home tunings. I use nothing but Tunelabs. Of course, I program in the IH turn solid unisons and set the pin.



Then you are not listening to the sympathetic resonance of the piano while you tune , are you ? ETD can provide you a perfect smoothing of the tuning curve at a given partial level
Tuning by ear only is a really different thing in the end,(in my experience) because you allow yourself more pleasure and have a more resonant/sonorous instrument in the end.

The model in the end will be " a hair" different, I believe because you hardly can listen to intervals and tune with ETD at the same time, (auto recognize note mode) you are obliged to trust the ETD.

I also suggest that temperature changes are not detected by the EDT, and can happen during the curse of a tuning.
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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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#2031638 - 02/12/13 04:32 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: Bob]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7870
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Bob
Originally Posted By: rxd

I can also get up in the morning and go to the south of France if it feels a bit chilly.


This is the best part of Europe. My cousin and I sat in Cambridge England one Friday night, wondering what to do for the weekend. We decided to visit Paris. We found a cheap flight out Sat morning, stayed in a hotel right by the museums. We saw the Mona Lisa, and other landmarks, drank some great wine, ate some great pastries, and flew back to England Sunday evening.



THank you wink
_________________________
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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#2031700 - 02/12/13 07:59 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: plns]
Ryan Hassell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 480
Loc: Farmington, MO
Originally Posted By: plns
Don't know about being scared if someone shows up with a tuning app. I'm tuning for a high end piano store, tuning big money grands and have nothing but rave reviews and requests to tune at other stores as well as in home tunings. I use nothing but Tunelabs. Of course, I program in the IH turn solid unisons and set the pin.



I have had a similar experience with Tunelab (using the iPhone app). I am not a "veteran" tuner by any means, I've only been doing this about five years now, but have had "rave" reviews too. I now have a database of several hundred customers, 100% of them have been pleased with my tunings. The owner of the local music store (who have been in business since the 1940's) has used several technicians over the years. After he had me come in to tune a couple of pianos for him, he told me that he really liked the way I tuned and he would only be using me form here on out.

There is a term in the computer world, "garbage in, garbage out" If you don't thoroughly read the manual and understand exactly how the software works, then yes, you will have mistakes in your tunings. However if you follow the directions and know how to "tweak" the program you will get excellent and consistent results.

Case in point... A local church started using me a couple of years ago. Their previous tech tried to tune by ear, but was not very good at it. They called me in for a second opinion. I have been servicing their piano ever since. On two different occasions while I was at the church tuning the piano, one of the pianists thanked me for doing such a good job. He said, "The thing I love about your tunings is that they are consistently good." Just the other day, while tuning the piano, another one of the musicians there saw that I was using my phone to tune and said, "Thank you for using that!"
_________________________
Ryan G. Hassell
Hassell's Piano Tuning
Farmington, MO
www.hassellspianotuning.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hassells-Piano-Tuning/163155880804
ryanhassell@hotmail.com

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#2031704 - 02/12/13 08:25 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7870
Loc: France
Only if you have a musical ear, you can adjust an ETD curve,

And then other things may arise, as partials that are not exactly at the same pitch that expected.

A friend that tune with ETD because it get no particular reflex ions in the end, tells me he know he would tune otherwise but as he discovered the ETD provide an acceptable tuning it is easier for him to use it.

What I recall is that at the end of the tuning you have the surprise : is the piano sounding nice ?

I hate that distance it installs between the piano and us

(but it is an excellent backup tool for special situations)


Edited by Olek (02/12/13 08:25 AM)
_________________________
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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#2031723 - 02/12/13 08:58 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: Olek]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3871
Originally Posted By: Olek

What I recall is that at the end of the tuning you have the surprise : is the piano sounding nice ?

(but it is an excellent backup tool for special situations)


Absolutely, is the piano sounding nice? Oleck, I tune more by ear than with an ETD - so for me, an ETD is just one of my tools. I quickly learned when tuning an entire piano with ETD to check things as I went along, to avoid the "end of tuning surprise". Tunelab does a really good job on raising pitch via overpull. That's the feature I use most. Once overpulled, I go over the piano by ear.
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www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2031752 - 02/12/13 10:32 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: Olek]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1183
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Olek



Tuning by ear only is a really different thing in the end,(in my experience) because you allow yourself more pleasure and have a more resonant/sonorous instrument in the end.
The model in the end will be " a hair" different, I believe because you hardly can listen to intervals and tune with ETD at the same time, (auto recognize note mode) you are obliged to trust the ETD.
I also suggest that temperature changes are not detected by the EDT, and can happen during the curse of a tuning.
[/quote]

Greetings,
I am curious how the strictly aural tuner deals with a piano that is 3 cents flat in one section, 5 cents in another, and dead on in another. My ETD allows me to make the fractions of a cent correction as I progress. Is your ear able to progressively tune .3 and .6 cent corrections as you go? I have never seen a tech that was able to do this.

I have used a ETD tuning for years. Artists from John Browning to Renee Fleming, and numerous others have commented on how resonant the piano was. The same ETD has carried me through decades of major recording studio work at the highest prices in this town with excellent reviews.
I was trained by Bill Garlick, and he and I both thought my aural tuning was capable of meeting the demands of the most stringent customers in the world, and he was right. That said, after 17 years of aurally tuning, the ETD made me a better tuner, simply because it can correct off-pitch beginnings as I progress through the scale instead of tuning every piano twice to hit the performance level.
The machine is a tool, and used by a hack it is only marginally effective. Used with experience and knowledge, I think it will produce a superior tuning to the ear 99% of the time. There are very few that inhabit that last 1%.
Regards,


Edited by Ed Foote (02/12/13 10:34 AM)

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#2032628 - 02/13/13 06:40 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 60
I've had nothing but great response using Tunelabs but I do understand how someone would be inclined to continue with the aural method and prefer it. The learning curve is harder and longer, no pun intended, than using a device and it's a small crowd that can do this.

And probably, the tuning can be more natural or inclined for each piano.

It's hard to want to learn the aural method when one is getting smiles all the time from customers but I do intend to learn it slowly over time as it is a respected skill.

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#2032734 - 02/13/13 09:36 PM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
pianotune2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/01/12
Posts: 61
Loc: ks
I use an ETD some of the time also. However tune aurally some also as not to get "rusty". My reasoning is from a business standpoint I know electronics fail. I can't imagine it would look to professional to show up to a clients home or a concert tuning and not be able to tune their instrument because your ETD fizzles out. As far as which sounds better, it's all in the "ear" of the beholder.
_________________________
Stewart Moore
Piano Technician North Central and North East Kansas

www.pianotune2.webs.com

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#2032882 - 02/14/13 07:13 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7870
Loc: France
I agree with you, pianotune,

What I noticed is that the machione driven tuning modify slightly the way you install justness, and in the end the way you listen.
Possibly because for instance the 3d partial is used for the display, one tend to grasp on it more than usual.
This is a very thin effect, indeed in the end the progressiveness can be very good, but I feel that the "consonance" job, is not taken in account as much as with aural tuning.

AT worst I could say that the etd make too much compromising;
The tuning gets "perfectly" even and sound just of course, but I feel the type of justness lacks a little "meaning" .

Yes it is a big help to check the drift or evolving of a piano, while the FBI gives you similar information (as the octave quality, and many other tests)

The problem in aural tuning is that it is easy to obtain some unbalance at some point, due to spectra change or more or less rich notes, then it is reflected to the top if not detected soon enough.
But the level of "impreciseness " I could measure in concert tunings (that where mostly due to the use of slow beating intervals consonance in priority to FBI progressiveness) where really low , around 1-2cts not really much more . (and there where 2 ETD users and 4 aural only , so the tunings in the end where a mix of both approaches)

But there was a clear choice for one kind of interval, not tweaking them much in order to keep a FBI progression even.

Some other tuners used all FBI tuning generally more enlaged than what the ETD propose as a medium tuning.

the fact is that someone robbed my ETD at some point, then I discovered I did not need it, I could do a faster job without it, and have more pleasure.

but it helped me to obtain very minimal pitch increments, some of them barely noticeable by ear.

The fact one cannot really use checks while tuning with an ETD is what annoyed me the most.


Edited by Olek (02/14/13 07:39 AM)
_________________________
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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#2032909 - 02/14/13 09:18 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3871
A Client with a Steinway 45 wanted an electronic tuning. He said the last tuner forgot his ETD, and tuned the piano by ear, and he didn't like the result. I found an inaccurate temperament, so the last guy didn't know how to tune by ear, and normally relied on his ETD. He was out of his comfort zone without an ETD. That's the danger of relying on an ETD.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2032914 - 02/14/13 09:36 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: Olek]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2434
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: Olek

....The fact one cannot really use checks while tuning with an ETD is what annoyed me the most.


There is nothing inherant in the ETD itself which prevents a tech from doing checks. I do hybrid tuning and most aural tuners who have picked up an ETD to help them in their work do the same. The ETD's work so well that you only need to run checks and small adjustments when the piano is near finished.

One of the best advantages of the ETD is to allow total freedom to initially tune whatever note one wants to without relying on other notes to be tuned to do so. The ETD will also prevent compound errors from occuring as the base referance does not shift as the soundboard gets loaded. You can load the structure with tension in the best possible way, either for safety, or to bring worse sections up to reasonable tension before continuing. This would be in cases where a full pitch raising cycle is not warranted.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#2032916 - 02/14/13 09:42 AM Re: how much does it cost to tune a piano [Re: adak]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7870
Loc: France
Yes Emmery there are som advantages, (and if you maintain a lot of pianos you can raise the stability faster possibly) but you don't go "within" the piano justness as when tuning aurally (the small moment where you take the measure of the sound the piano can produce, and tune accordingly)

SO I always have felt that I had top please the piano on one side, and the ETD on the other, and sometime it is in contradiction .

You may have seen me with the VT100 located far from me, so not to fight too much together wink
_________________________
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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