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#2052289 - 03/22/13 06:18 AM Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano
pinkfloydhomer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 534
Loc: Denmark
My own shortcomings as a piano tuner aside, what is the best and/or fastest way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano?

What do they do to a new concert piano or new recording studio piano?

I guess they tune it very often?
And hammer the keys hard to make the strings set?
Do they do other things? Pull on the strings etc?
_________________________
Piano: Nordiska 120CA upright from 2004.

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#2052352 - 03/22/13 09:08 AM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2538
Loc: Maine
I knew a tuner once who sipped on an adult beverage as he tuned. He seemed to have something in one eye as he blinked it repeatedly and told me that the beverage improved the tuning stability.

In a well made, or rebuilt piano, tuning stability is largely a function of time. I've never discovered any reliable shortcuts, and I viewed the advice of the aforementioned tuner with a bit of skepticism.


Edited by David Jenson (03/22/13 03:54 PM)
Edit Reason: grammar correction
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Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
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#2052372 - 03/22/13 09:57 AM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Pianos in bars take no time at all to stabilize. Unstable ears allow for a magical transformation of infinately perfect unisons.

In all other situations, it just takes time.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2052393 - 03/22/13 10:48 AM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
Monaco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 387
Loc: GA
Make sure the coils are tight, the beckets are pushed in, and the strings are seated.
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Ben Ereddia
Piano Teacher
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#2052407 - 03/22/13 11:24 AM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
pinkfloydhomer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 534
Loc: Denmark
Heheh, good ones smile

So you guys don't do anything different if you have to tune a NEW piano very often, monthly or weekly, other than, well, tune it?
_________________________
Piano: Nordiska 120CA upright from 2004.

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#2052426 - 03/22/13 12:08 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
Tunewerk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 585
Loc: Boston, MA
As far as I know, there's nothing different being done on concert or recording pianos other than tuning and some regulation work to get them settled in. They usually receive tunings extremely often anyway.

There are things that can be done however. First, setting the strings around the hitch and the bridge, tightening and setting the coils, stretching the strings, and raising the pitch to 442 or so on the first tuning. The combination of these things should settle things in very quickly.
_________________________
www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.

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#2052429 - 03/22/13 12:09 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3489
Proper string seating can help. A Dampp-Chaser system can help. Using an ETD, tuning from A0 to C8, unisons as you go, and tuning the piano using the same file every time, and tuning it often, can help. Proper string setting technique is essential to any tuning, but unfortunately, varies in difficulty, depending on the piano.

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#2052453 - 03/22/13 12:58 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Look at the strings where they contact and bear off the hitch pins closely. If the radius appears a little wide or there isn't full contact on the inner perimeter it can sometimes help to reduce the tension 50% and do a pinch on the wire and then pull them back up to proper pitch. An over formed (pinched) wire on a hitch pin will conform back to a neutral stressed shape much faster than one that is under formed in my experience.
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Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#2052561 - 03/22/13 03:49 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: Minnesota Marty]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2553
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Pianos in bars take no time at all to stabilize. Unstable ears allow for a magical transformation of infinately perfect unisons.

In all other situations, it just takes time.


I can attest to this...
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2052563 - 03/22/13 03:53 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: Emmery]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2538
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Emmery
Look at the strings where they contact and bear off the hitch pins closely. If the radius appears a little wide or there isn't full contact on the inner perimeter it can sometimes help to reduce the tension 50% and do a pinch on the wire and then pull them back up to proper pitch. An over formed (pinched) wire on a hitch pin will conform back to a neutral stressed shape much faster than one that is under formed in my experience.
Yea, good one. I forgot about that. 'Really helps. 'Funny, the little details you forget.
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David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2052569 - 03/22/13 03:56 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: OperaTenor]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2538
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Pianos in bars take no time at all to stabilize. Unstable ears allow for a magical transformation of infinately perfect unisons.

In all other situations, it just takes time.


I can attest to this...

I'll bet you can! Is the Shout House a bar btw?
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2052626 - 03/22/13 05:22 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: David Jenson]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Pianos in bars take no time at all to stabilize. Unstable ears allow for a magical transformation of infinately perfect unisons.

In all other situations, it just takes time.


I can attest to this...

I'll bet you can! Is the Shout House a bar btw?

I would guess that the pianos at the Shout House are required to be very stabile, since they are in a stable.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2052641 - 03/22/13 05:54 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: David Jenson]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2553
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Pianos in bars take no time at all to stabilize. Unstable ears allow for a magical transformation of infinately perfect unisons.

In all other situations, it just takes time.


I can attest to this...

I'll bet you can! Is the Shout House a bar btw?


Yes. A dueling piano bar.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2052642 - 03/22/13 05:54 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: Minnesota Marty]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2553
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Pianos in bars take no time at all to stabilize. Unstable ears allow for a magical transformation of infinately perfect unisons.

In all other situations, it just takes time.


I can attest to this...

I'll bet you can! Is the Shout House a bar btw?

I would guess that the pianos at the Shout House are required to be very stabile, since they are in a stable.


laugh
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2055266 - 03/27/13 06:41 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 9230
Loc: France
Here is some music from Iranian stout house :



piano : Steinway wink
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Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!

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#2554519 - 07/06/16 08:31 AM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
pinkfloydhomer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 534
Loc: Denmark
As some of you may remember, I have written before about my struggles with achieving tuning stability as an amateur tuning my own piano.

I don't know whether it is my technique that has improved, if it is my newish piano (2004) and its strings that has finally reached some sort of stability itself, if it's my focus on raising humidity in the room in winter or all of the above. But nevertheless, stability is much better now.

I just tuned it again now after not tuning it for 7-8 dry and cold winter months. Almost every string was close to spot on (for stability, I've been using the same ETD tuning every time for some time now, instead of playing around with different ETDs, UTs, stretch). And most importantly, the unisons were still quite okay. Usually the first thing that bothers me stability-wise is the unisons being a little off, affecting tone. Mind you, the tone and unisons are still not perfect all year, but at least it ends up very close to where it was that last time we had the same outdoors humidity.

I guess I also have a better understanding now of how much humidity affects not only the tuning of this piano but also the tone. I used to sometimes tune my piano very often, every other week or so, just to try to repair the tone/unisons. I think now that the tuning itself is stable enough since it can end up very close to target after a winter season. I think the variations in tone and stability I experience now is seasonal and due to humidity changes. When the RH is sometimes 30% in the winter, the piano doesn't sound good even if it is in tune.


Edited by pinkfloydhomer (07/06/16 08:31 AM)
_________________________
Piano: Nordiska 120CA upright from 2004.

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#2554678 - 07/06/16 05:44 PM Re: Best way to achieve tuning stability of a new piano [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
Bob Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 4332
Loc: Florida
Sounds like both the piano and your tuning stability are improved !

I got a text today from a client - she was a pitch raise 2 months ago on a Sejung George Steck grand. In April, I raised it 50 cents and made it clear in writing that the pitch raise will slip, and a followup tuning would soon be needed. Because I made it clear, the client expected to tune it again soon, and the text was "my piano teacher says the piano is out of tune, when can you come?"

Had I not impressed on her the piano would need tuning soon, the text would have been "can you come out (for free) and fix your tuning? It didn't stay in tune"

This next tuning will be more stable, but not as stable as the tuning after that, and the tuning after that. And so on............
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www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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