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#2043490 - 03/05/13 05:35 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: Rickster]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 665
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
Having been a member here for several years now, I've seen this topic come up several times. It can get heated, and tempers can flair (or is it flare? ).


I think both heh heh laugh
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Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.

Just be yourself, everyone else is already taken.


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#2043504 - 03/05/13 06:11 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
PianistInJapan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 32
Loc: Japan
Speaking of ETDs, does anyone have an opinion on this product?

http://www.dirksprojects.nl/index.php?Lan=english&Page=Tuner/piano_tuner_40.php
_________________________
Kawai RX-2
Kawai PN390 digital

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#2043538 - 03/05/13 07:21 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: PianistInJapan]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: PianistInJapan
Speaking of ETDs, does anyone have an opinion on this product?

http://www.dirksprojects.nl/index.php?Lan=english&Page=Tuner/piano_tuner_40.php


That it is not available on a pocket pc, Android, or iOS platform is a deal breaker. Totally impractical for a field technician, IMO.
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
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#2043545 - 03/05/13 07:37 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: beethoven986]
PianistInJapan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 32
Loc: Japan
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: PianistInJapan
Speaking of ETDs, does anyone have an opinion on this product?

http://www.dirksprojects.nl/index.php?Lan=english&Page=Tuner/piano_tuner_40.php


That it is not available on a pocket pc, Android, or iOS platform is a deal breaker. Totally impractical for a field technician, IMO.

That may be, but I was wondering about the technical aspect.

Their claim is that every type of piano needs a slightly different tuning due to differences in harmonics, and in order to make the tuning closest to optimal for a piano, they first measure the harmonics, before calculating the optimal tuning. This measurement is conducted only once and stored in a file, after which it is the base for all subsequent tunings.

They claim that this measurement phase is what distinguishes their software from others on the market.

I am a total novice, so it is hard to judge for me, but it does make sense. At the very least I got to realize that tuning a piano is actually a very complicated process.

Any tuners here who could comment on this software vs. what is already available?
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#2043548 - 03/05/13 07:42 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: PianistInJapan]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1936
Loc: Suffolk, England
Try searching here for Dirk, it's been discussed before.
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Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2043553 - 03/05/13 07:53 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8459
Loc: Georgia, USA
The Dirk software sounds a lot like TuneLabPro; even the graphics are similar.

I doubt if I will every tune pianos for pay, but if I did, I'd want the best tools on the market. Good techs use the best tools!

And, I wish I had the time to hang out with Sally Phillips at Columbus State University and watch her tune and critique those Steinways!! smile

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

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#2043630 - 03/05/13 10:34 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1068
Loc: PA
I have a slightly different take on this...

The best tuner is the one that meets your specific needs.

Sometimes "adequate" can be best, when you consider the big picture... price, availability, personality, etc. (and not just regarding piano tuners smile )

I think the best strategy is to define exactly what your needs are. Then, look for a tuner-tech that can meet those specific needs. IMO smile


Edited by daniokeeper (03/05/13 11:02 PM)
Edit Reason: Too verbose... Over-argued my point
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#2043706 - 03/06/13 01:37 AM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1957
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
ED FOOTE,
Thanks for quoting me. I did not mean for my post to be seen as contrary of yours. I was only trying to add my observations of how some machine tuners work and how the public reacts. The public sometimes does not react logically to tuning problems they encounter when assessing between machine and aural tuners. Your skills and protocols are of the highest professionalism, your clients are fortunate to have you.

The two issues I addressed regarding pitch drift and un-centered stretch curves are ignored by the marketers of tuning instruments when they tutor their customers. Pianists notice these things though in the conditions I listed and often blame the machine! The same problems can be produced by aural tuning alone yet pianists are likely to be more forgiving. Go figure how prejudices twist things!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2043733 - 03/06/13 02:40 AM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21393
Loc: Oakland
Another difference is that a top-notch tech will know which problems are due to the tuning and which are due to other causes. Machines do not know the difference.
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#2043742 - 03/06/13 03:01 AM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: Rickster]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1936
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Rickster
The Dirk software sounds a lot like TuneLabPro; even the graphics are similar.

When you look behind the screens I think you will find they differ. Dirk's tuner works as PianistinJapan says whereas the TuneLab Pro 4.0 manual describes inharmonicity curves and selecting 6:3 or 4:2 etc. during a tuning.

You can also use Dirk's tuner to assess the tuning of a piano. Play all the notes, compute the optimum, compare actual to optimum. This may be of more interest to owners than technicians.


Edited by Withindale (03/06/13 04:52 AM)
Edit Reason: Added assessment
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2043820 - 03/06/13 08:33 AM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
An ETD is a tool. How well one uses it is a measure of craftsmanship.

An ETD will help a beginning tuners create better tunings earlier. In the hands of an experienced and serious tuner, they sharper tools of the craft. On an out of pitch piano, my final result will much more accurate and stable because I used the pitch-raise function of my Cybertuner.


Experienced tuners will silently affirm when I say you HAVE to use your ears. It's much easier than you think to find yourself tuning a chunk of the piano with your machine (computer) listening to the wrong partial!
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#2044571 - 03/07/13 03:47 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
hoola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 167
Loc: LA, USA
I had my piano tuned yesterday.

On the keys with 3 strings, I saw that tuner only used machine to tune the first string (the left one), then he used his ear to tune the middle and the right string using the left string as reference.

I asked him why he did not use machine to tune all 3 strings of the same key. He said that it's better to do 1st with machine, 2 others with ears. I don't fully understand his explanations (he's from Europe and has accents, and English is not my mother language)

Is his way is a good one?

Thanks.

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#2044594 - 03/07/13 04:04 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8459
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: hoola
I had my piano tuned yesterday.

On the keys with 3 strings, I saw that tuner only used machine to tune the first string (the left one), then he used his ear to tune the middle and the right string using the left string as reference.

I asked him why he did not use machine to tune all 3 strings of the same key. He said that it's better to do 1st with machine, 2 others with ears. I don't fully understand his explanations (he's from Europe and has accents, and English is not my mother language)

Is his way is a good one?

Thanks.

No, it must not be a good technique... that is how I do it. smile

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

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#2044622 - 03/07/13 04:22 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: Rickster]
hoola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 167
Loc: LA, USA
I appreciate your sense of humour :), but I appreciate more if I can have more explanations, because it seems that it will be out-of-tune if he tuned all 3 strings of the same key with machine.

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#2044641 - 03/07/13 04:57 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
hoola,

What the tuner did was a very good technique and used by lots of tuners. The machine is used to set the pitch, but the ear is more accurate for matching. There is much that a tuner listens to other than just the basic pitch. It takes a long time to develop that level of hearing.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2044651 - 03/07/13 05:08 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1936
Loc: Suffolk, England
hoola,

The first post in the following thread on unison tuning goes into detail:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1887457/Unison%20Tuning.html#Post1887457
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2044660 - 03/07/13 05:25 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: Withindale]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Withindale
hoola,

The first post in the following thread on unison tuning goes into detail:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1887457/Unison%20Tuning.html#Post1887457


The first post in the above thread speaks about string coupling and the possibility of making adjustments to the temperament when tuning the 2nd/3rd string(s) of a unison. It is interesting to note that two very low notes on a pipe organ separated by a semitone, when played simultaneously, will often phase sync into a single pitch. It appears to be random, however, which pitch will result. The synced pitch will be either the lower or the upper note, not an intermediate pitch. Does this random pitch shift in string coupling occur in piano unisons. If so, how can one be sure that the temperament adjustment being made will be reproducible?

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#2044666 - 03/07/13 05:31 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: Withindale]
hoola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 167
Loc: LA, USA
Thank you for the intimidating thread, it's like La Mecca of unison, and makes me sweat smile.

Note: However, my thank you is sincere.

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#2044714 - 03/07/13 07:00 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: Withindale]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: Rickster
The Dirk software sounds a lot like TuneLabPro; even the graphics are similar.

When you look behind the screens I think you will find they differ. Dirk's tuner works as PianistinJapan says whereas the TuneLab Pro 4.0 manual describes inharmonicity curves and selecting 6:3 or 4:2 etc. during a tuning.

You can also use Dirk's tuner to assess the tuning of a piano. Play all the notes, compute the optimum, compare actual to optimum. This may be of more interest to owners than technicians.


I use Dirk's Piano Tuner. I am a pianist, not a technician. I only tune one piano. the software is truly amazing. I would highly recommend it for private use. You still need to learn how to set pins and tune unisons, but the calculated stretch is amazingly beautiful.

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#2044721 - 03/07/13 07:14 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: Minnesota Marty]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3518
Loc: Northern England.
If a tuner creates flawless unisons, the moment he walks out of te door, is the moment they deteriorate. Not nice, but acceptable I guess.

As one who has tuned his own piano (Just one, might I add0 It is fun. Yes! You can achieve flawless unisons. Yes! You can achieve flawless octaves, beat perfect. And the top notes? OMG!! Stretch tuning. I did that. The piano sounded Good, to me and `er, who played Chopin (I was stuck on Beethoven (easy play)). . . . Until I played it! . . .but it was worth it. Wonderful memories of 30 years ago . . .
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#2044724 - 03/07/13 07:30 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: peterws]
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 265
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
[quote=peterws]If a tuner creates flawless unisons, the moment he walks out of te door, is the moment they deteriorate. Not nice, but acceptable I guess.

That is the point of stabilizing the pin. The tuning won't move as soon as the tuner walks out the door.
_________________________
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Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
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#2044819 - 03/07/13 10:25 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: hoola]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1957
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I have seen situations in several markets where a Tech with a prestigious account does not provide the same level of service to customers of lesser musical professional status. Say for instance they service pianos for the resident professional orchestra part time and gain private clients who expect them to provide artist level services for them. For these clients they do a lower standard work and charge a premium price-then if the client complains they claim the same standard was applied to their piano that the touring pro's get-and the pro's are happy!

Conversely I have seen techs who haven't had a chance to have a top position who consistently turn out well serviced, voiced and stably tuned pianos for the "average" user.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2044820 - 03/07/13 10:27 PM Re: What differences between top-notch tuner and average tuner?` [Re: S. Phillips]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1121
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: S. Phillips
[quote=peterws]If a tuner creates flawless unisons, the moment he walks out of te door, is the moment they deteriorate. Not nice, but acceptable I guess.

That is the point of stabilizing the pin. The tuning won't move as soon as the tuner walks out the door.


Yeah, what she said.

There is a point in the unison where the differences of the three strings is small enough so that the resulting note doesn't "move" which is often the only goal that circumstances warrant. There is often another point where the note blooms, signaling some mysterious alignment, that, though fragile, beckons with ineffable musical qualities. It is more than just a quiet unison, it is synergy made manifest.

Obviously, a pair of strings' behavior can be easily plotted, they approach unison and then depart and there is only one point of maximum agreement. This isn't the case with three strings, which offer the possibility of phases of phases. The three relate to one another in a wide variety of ways, leaving me to wonder if perhaps there is room for a fractal perspective on what the simple combinations of three frequencies is capable of producing.

By now, my best unisons come from a mindless approach. I don't think about the note, I don't think about my car, I don't think about getting old or needing a shoelace, or anything else. I just try to follow David Anderson's guidance to accept that I am a good tuner, and if I get totally in the moment with a piano, I will get a good tuning. So, I get a cleaner, more consistent result if I stop thinking about what I am hearing and instead, pay attention to what it feels like.
Regards,

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