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#2070788 - 04/25/13 04:34 PM New Piano Tuning ...
heathermphotog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Georgia
I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the tech forum, but you guys have always been so helpful so I thought I would ask. I have a new Knabe WMV247 that I love. It was delivered to me March 12. So we have had it in our home for 6 weeks. We have had one tuning exactly 3 weeks ago - the first tuning after it was delivered and became acclimated to our home. Before the tuning I could hear a few notes that were a bit flat, but nothing unusual or terrible, really just what I expected them to be since it's new. After the tuning, the piano was just lovely.

She gets a LOT of use between me and my daughter (at least 3 hours every day) and over the past few days I am beginning to hear a few notes that are a bit flat again (not the same ones as before). Not terrible, but I can hear them. I've used my guitar tuner to test the notes and the few (really, just two or three) that are flat are just ever-so-slightly.

I am quite sensitive to instruments being out of tune - it just drives me crazy! Am I being overly sensitive? Would you call your piano tech to come and tune it again at this point or stick it out for a bit longer? I hope I'm conveying this correctly smile

I read over and over that new pianos need to be tuned several times the first year, but this often? Or is just because we have just experienced a weird spring down here in GA this year - the weather has been all over the place since I brought this gal home.

Any thoughts? smile
_________________________
~ Heather smile

Knabe WMV247
“When you play, never mind who listens to you.” ― Robert Schumann
“The piano ain't got no wrong notes.” ― Thelonious Monk

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#2070802 - 04/25/13 04:53 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: heathermphotog]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3296
Originally Posted By: heathermphotog
I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the tech forum, but you guys have always been so helpful so I thought I would ask. I have a new Knabe WMV247 that I love. It was delivered to me March 12. So we have had it in our home for 6 weeks. We have had one tuning exactly 3 weeks ago - the first tuning after it was delivered and became acclimated to our home. Before the tuning I could hear a few notes that were a bit flat, but nothing unusual or terrible, really just what I expected them to be since it's new. After the tuning, the piano was just lovely.

She gets a LOT of use between me and my daughter (at least 3 hours every day) and over the past few days I am beginning to hear a few notes that are a bit flat again (not the same ones as before). Not terrible, but I can hear them. I've used my guitar tuner to test the notes and the few (really, just two or three) that are flat are just ever-so-slightly.

I am quite sensitive to instruments being out of tune - it just drives me crazy! Am I being overly sensitive? Would you call your piano tech to come and tune it again at this point or stick it out for a bit longer? I hope I'm conveying this correctly smile

I read over and over that new pianos need to be tuned several times the first year, but this often? Or is just because we have just experienced a weird spring down here in GA this year - the weather has been all over the place since I brought this gal home.

Any thoughts? smile



After three weeks, you cannot expect your piano to be as "in tune" as it was when the tuner left. Day-to-day changes in humidity, above average use, and the fact that the piano is new, will conspire to throw your piano out of tune more quickly. That said, I am doubtful that the notes are so flat after three weeks that they can be perceived as being flat, and if they are, it likely indicates a serious problem with the piano. Very unlikely. Also, you cannot expect a guitar tuner to accurately judge whether or not a piano is out of tune because they are not designed for that kind of use. You would need professional piano tuning software (~$400-$1,000+) and the knowledge to interpret the measurements correctly.

Anyway, you certainly can call your tuner back to touch it up, but expect there to be at least a minimum service call fee. You may also consider investing in a Dampp-Chaser humidity system for your piano... they are pricey, but will help tremendously! Since you are sensitive to instrument tuning, you should also consider having it tuned 4x per year.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2070804 - 04/25/13 04:53 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: heathermphotog]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2173
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
You can call your tech, maybe she'll come out and touch up the tuning.

If you can, wait a couple of months. The piano and its strings are new. The strings will stretch as they become broken in. The piano will settle down eventually.
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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#2070820 - 04/25/13 05:38 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: heathermphotog]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6066
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Heather,

Brand new instruments take their own sweet time to settle down. If your piano only had minimal playing and tuning at the store, it will take a bit longer. Pianos have a break-in period, just like other mechanical devices.

Whether it is flat or sharp is of no matter, you hear it as out of tune. The treble notes all have three strings per note. These are tuned in unison and it is easy for one of those strings to go out of tune and then it is easy to hear. Most of the notes on the piano have more than one string and a guitar tuner is not designed to "listen" to more than one note. So, its not exactly accurate, but it can give some indication. It boils down to - Trust Your Ear!

Actually, it takes about two years to fully 'season' a piano. In the first year, four tunings are recommended. With the unusual Spring, lots of playing, and lots of newness, it will happen.

Don't Panic!

It will settle down with a little time!

Don't call 911 - Everyone will survive.

I agree with you. When something is out of tune, I start crawling the walls. I've had to stop listening to A Prairie Home Companion because of it.

So if it bugs ya, call back the tuner. A touch up of a few unisons is not the same cost as a full tuning. If you bake some cookies, it might even be free. (I learned that little trick with tuners a long time ago.)
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2070832 - 04/25/13 05:50 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
heathermphotog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Georgia
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Hi Heather,

Brand new instruments take their own sweet time to settle down. If your piano only had minimal playing and tuning at the store, it will take a bit longer. Pianos have a break-in period, just like other mechanical devices.

Whether it is flat or sharp is of no matter, you hear it as out of tune. The treble notes all have three strings per note. These are tuned in unison and it is easy for one of those strings to go out of tune and then it is easy to hear. Most of the notes on the piano have more than one string and a guitar tuner is not designed to "listen" to more than one note. So, its not exactly accurate, but it can give some indication. It boils down to - Trust Your Ear!

Actually, it takes about two years to fully 'season' a piano. In the first year, four tunings are recommended. With the unusual Spring, lots of playing, and lots of newness, it will happen.

Don't Panic!

It will settle down with a little time!

Don't call 911 - Everyone will survive.

I agree with you. When something is out of tune, I start crawling the walls. I've had to stop listening to A Prairie Home Companion because of it.

So if it bugs ya, call back the tuner. A touch up of a few unisons is not the same cost as a full tuning. If you bake some cookies, it might even be free. (I learned that little trick with tuners a long time ago.)


Thanks!! This is what I wanted to hear smile and thanks for the cookie tip ... I might try it smile
_________________________
~ Heather smile

Knabe WMV247
“When you play, never mind who listens to you.” ― Robert Schumann
“The piano ain't got no wrong notes.” ― Thelonious Monk

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#2070952 - 04/25/13 08:43 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: heathermphotog]
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Is the piano in a stable environment. When I bought my new C3 in 2009 I went out of my way to keep the entire house stable, this made a difference. For the past few years I have just kept the living room stable.
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#2070954 - 04/25/13 08:48 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: Stevester]
heathermphotog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Georgia
Originally Posted By: Stevester
Is the piano in a stable environment. When I bought my new C3 in 2009 I went out of my way to keep the entire house stable, this made a difference. For the past few years I have just kept the living room stable.


It is, but the weather over the past few weeks has been so crazy here ... We've had the air on, the heat on ... Back and forth. Other than that we do normally try to keep our home environment stable.
_________________________
~ Heather smile

Knabe WMV247
“When you play, never mind who listens to you.” ― Robert Schumann
“The piano ain't got no wrong notes.” ― Thelonious Monk

Top
#2071001 - 04/25/13 09:51 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: heathermphotog]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6066
Loc: Rochester MN
Heather - that is typical in any area that actually has seasons. That is the piano owner's anguish of actually having seasons. At least, you are better off than Minnesota!

If you can, you might hold off on the next full tuning until you are fully into AC season. However, a touch-up won't hurt anything.

You might consider installing a Dampp-Chaser system. You can click on the link, on this page, for further information.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2071015 - 04/25/13 10:08 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: heathermphotog]
Edtek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 235
Loc: El Paso
Heather,

Humidity control is part of maintaining a good piano environment. Refrigerated air and heating both lower the humidity. A piano wants to stay between 40 and 45% relative humidity (RH). A small RH meter ($10 or so at Amazon) will tell you if your RH is varying too much.

I use a room humidifier in the winter to keep RH up to 40% minimum. I have evaporative cooling in the summer which raises RH so I installed a window AC in the piano room to lower RH.

If you want to check your tuning you can get an inexpensive but very good piano tuning program called TuneLab97 which is free to try and about $34 to register. If you really want to get into it you can buy a small tuning tool kit (I bought a pretty good one for $71 at Amazon) and try tuning your piano yourself. Tuning a piano even with TuneLab is quite an undertaking but having a piano that’s always in tune makes it worthwhile for me.

The Knabe WMV247 piano looks very nice and I hope you have much enjoyment from it.
_________________________
Ed (Out in the West Texas town of El Paso)
Yamaha T118, Yamaha PSR-S710

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#2071035 - 04/25/13 10:31 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: heathermphotog]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6066
Loc: Rochester MN
Actually, having a hygrometer (RH meter) is a good idea for any piano owner. I'm not sure that you can get one for 10 bucks, but any hardware store or home improvement center will have them for about $25-40. Keeping the indoor RH around 40% to 55% is ideal for pianos, people, furniture, pets, and plants. Oh happy us! You can move it around and check the whole house.

P.S. - I have a great sugar cookie recipe. Thin, like wafers, and just a touch of almond.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

Top
#2071049 - 04/25/13 10:44 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
heathermphotog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Georgia
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Actually, having a hygrometer (RH meter) is a good idea for any piano owner. I'm not sure that you can get one for 10 bucks, but any hardware store or home improvement center will have them for about $25-40. Keeping the indoor RH around 40% to 55% is ideal for pianos, people, furniture, pets, and plants. Oh happy us! You can move it around and check the whole house.

P.S. - I have a great sugar cookie recipe. Thin, like wafers, and just a touch of almond.


I have been meaning to buy one. Oh ... And I think I need that recipe wink
_________________________
~ Heather smile

Knabe WMV247
“When you play, never mind who listens to you.” ― Robert Schumann
“The piano ain't got no wrong notes.” ― Thelonious Monk

Top
#2071052 - 04/25/13 10:47 PM Re: New Piano Tuning ... [Re: heathermphotog]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6066
Loc: Rochester MN
Will do - I'll dig for the recipe and PM it to you!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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