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#2134019 - 08/16/13 07:46 PM Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand
Teklover Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/13
Posts: 9
I need advice on tuning Kawai pianos. I have been tuning pianos for several years now but always seem to have problem getting the Kawai pianos stay in tune for more than a week. The pitch tends to drift lower over a couple of days and I have tried hard not to push the pin hard and bend the pin too much when settling them but to no avail. Right after the tuning, the pianos would sound great but my clients will call me after a couple of weeks and complain about their pianos being out of tune. I hate not able to serve my clients well with their pianos and I am a pianist myself so I understand how frustrating it can be to play on an out of tune piano, even when it is slightly where you can hear the unison not being in tune with each other.

I have a client who had a tuner who has been in this business for at least 40 years and had no problem tuning her Kawai piano. I don't know what the key is to stable tuning.

Any ideas or suggestion is desperately needed!

Thanks so much!

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#2134043 - 08/16/13 08:34 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Teklover
I don't know what the key is to stable tuning.
I do. Practice laugh

It is not the piano, it is your work. It sounds like are not able to achieve a stable tuning with your technique. You are finding out that there is a lot more to piano tuning than turning a few pins until it sounds good to your ear or a tuning device. A Kawai is not harder to tune than a Yamaha or most other pianos.

Seriously, it does not sound like you should be tuning pianos for "clients".

How many pianos have you tuned? It can take anywhere from a hundred tunings (for a gifted student, with a good mentor) to one thousand tunings of experience to tune a piano decently.
A tuning that holds only for a couple of weeks on a home piano is not a tuning.

I would recommend to take some tuning lessons from an experienced technician.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2134074 - 08/16/13 09:42 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Supply]
Teklover Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/13
Posts: 9
HI Jurgen,

Thanks for your comment. I have no problem tuning other brands of pianos. I have tuned around 1000 various brand of pianos. Many of my clients are music teacher, musicians and concert pianists. I seldom get negative feedback from my clients, except when I start tuning the Kawai pianos. A lot of my clients are repeat clients.

That's why I am baffled as to why I have such a hard time getting the Kawai pianos in tune.

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#2134078 - 08/16/13 10:04 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 672
Loc: shirley, MA
When you approach the target pitch, assuming the pitch is flat, are you moving the pin (not the apparent pitch, but the pin) sharp and then lowering the pin foot in an attempt to hit the target pitch? To be clear, I'm speaking specifically of the pin here and not the apparent speaking length pitch which, if pulling, will almost always overshoot the target.

Can you differentiate between movement of the pin foot and movement of the wire?

Jim Ialeggio
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

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#2134080 - 08/16/13 10:09 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3348
Interesting. To me, Kawai is one of the easiest to tune. If I were you, I'd keep track of the relative humidity when you service pianos. This will help determine if it's something in your technique or if it's something else.
_________________________
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
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#2134082 - 08/16/13 10:15 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1775
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Hi Teklover: I am rather curious as to what you mean by "bend the pin"?
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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#2134085 - 08/16/13 10:20 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: jim ialeggio]
Teklover Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/13
Posts: 9
Jim,

I always try to move the pin when I bring it sharp before attempting to settle the pin. I thought perhaps it had to do with my bending the pin too much when I settled the pin because the pitch would drift flat over time. So, I tried the new way of only giving the pin a very slight nudge to settle the pin but then the pin would drift sharp after a while. I have tried pounding hard on the key to equalize the string tension but that did not help either. I think I am missing something here. I talked to two reputable and experienced technicians about it and they seemed to run into similar problem of settling the pins on the Kawai pianos but their problem is not as worse as mine.

Beethoven, I think if the tuner who has 40 years experience could get the piano in tuned, then I am pretty sure it's not a problem caused by humidity fluctuations.

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#2134086 - 08/16/13 10:22 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: bkw58]
Teklover Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/13
Posts: 9
bkw,

I didn't mean I intentionally bend the pin when I settle the pin but I might have accidentally done just that where I nudge on the pin to settle it.

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#2134093 - 08/16/13 10:27 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Teklover
...I have a client who had a tuner who has been in this business for at least 40 years and had no problem tuning her Kawai piano. ...
I'm, sorry, but if an experienced technician kept the piano in good tune, and you, following him, cannot, it is not the piano. It's your technique.
Originally Posted By: Teklover
I don't know what the key is to stable tuning.
Yes, that is what I am trying to say... You need someone to physically show you. A mentor.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2134101 - 08/16/13 10:33 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1775
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Thanks, Teklover. For example, on an upright, when you "nudge the pin to settle it," in which direction are you moving or applying pressure on the tuning hammer? Toward you? Counterclockwise? Elsewhere?
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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#2134103 - 08/16/13 10:39 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: bkw58]
Teklover Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/13
Posts: 9
bkw, I would be applying pressure on the hammer counterclockwise(away from me).

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#2134106 - 08/16/13 10:51 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1775
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Thanks, Teklover. I agree with my colleagues that Kawai is a joy to tune. Typically Kawai holds a tune quite well. I think that Jurgen's suggestion is wise. Contact a tech with a good track record so he/she can actually see what you are doing. If there is no one in your area willing to do this, then there is always an evaluation/lessons via Skype.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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#2134111 - 08/16/13 11:01 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Teklover Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/13
Posts: 9
bkw, thanks for suggestion. After reading Jurgen's comment and pondering on it, I think you are right. I will need someone to show me how exactly it is done on Kawai.
I did not know that you can get tuning lessons via Skype??

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#2134146 - 08/17/13 12:35 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1775
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: Teklover
bkw, thanks for suggestion. After reading Jurgen's comment and pondering on it, I think you are right. I will need someone to show me how exactly it is done on Kawai.
I did not know that you can get tuning lessons via Skype??


Yep. There might even be one or two of these instructors in the building.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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#2134229 - 08/17/13 08:00 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 296
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
Tuning is an ever diminishing series of turning the pin sharp and flat of pitch to feel the pin torque. Once you've determined that you have zeroed in on the pitch in regards to pin twist, the last motion is to nudge the pin in the sharp direction to set the string.

If you come down to pitch and leave it, the string segment between the tuning pin and counter bearing will be of lower tension than the speaking length. This is due to the friction at the bearing points and a firm blow will cause the friction to release and equalize tension, the pitch of the speaking length goes flat.

However, if your last movement is to ever-slightly pull up to pitch, that front string segment is slightly higher in tension than the speaking length and that friction will not release on a heavy blow. A solid tuning. This fine tuning is not moving the pin in the block but finessing the torsion of the pin.

For many Aeolian grands such as M&H and Chickering that have the high degree angle of counter bearing; you have to pull it to pitch and leave it. There is no finessing the pin torque due to the ultra high friction caused by the extreme angle. One has to lower the tension in the front section so much for the high friction to release that the pitch drops dramatically. That's why you have to 'set it and forget it'.

Another problem is with tight pins for setting a solid tuning. That is when the friction grip on the pin in the block exceeds the torque required to turn the pin, springy pins. When the sliding friction in the block does not exceed the torsion factor, all goes well.

I've had to change pitch as much as 20c before the pin would turn in the block.
Baldwins were that way as are some Estonias. These are a challenge to tune until they go thru enough seasons for the blocks to release some of their grip.
_________________________
Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2134238 - 08/17/13 08:25 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Jon Page]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7901
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Jon Page
Tuning is an ever diminishing series of turning the pin sharp and flat of pitch to feel the pin torque. Once you've determined that you have zeroed in on the pitch in regards to pin twist, the last motion is to nudge the pin in the sharp direction to set the string.

If you come down to pitch and leave it, the string segment between the tuning pin and counter bearing will be of lower tension than the speaking length. This is due to the friction at the bearing points and a firm blow will cause the friction to release and equalize tension, the pitch of the speaking length goes flat.

However, if your last movement is to ever-slightly pull up to pitch, that front string segment is slightly higher in tension than the speaking length and that friction will not release on a heavy blow. A solid tuning. This fine tuning is not moving the pin in the block but finessing the torsion of the pin.

For many Aeolian grands such as M&H and Chickering that have the high degree angle of counter bearing; you have to pull it to pitch and leave it. There is no finessing the pin torque due to the ultra high friction caused by the extreme angle. One has to lower the tension in the front section so much for the high friction to release that the pitch drops dramatically. That's why you have to 'set it and forget it'.

Another problem is with tight pins for setting a solid tuning. That is when the friction grip on the pin in the block exceeds the torque required to turn the pin, springy pins. When the sliding friction in the block does not exceed the torsion factor, all goes well.

I've had to change pitch as much as 20c before the pin would turn in the block.
Baldwins were that way as are some Estonias. These are a challenge to tune until they go thru enough seasons for the blocks to release some of their grip.


I more or less agree with your first phrase, but the goal (for me) must be to attain the final location of the pin in one move (if possible,) and avoid any further motion of the pin to lower the pitch. This is the strongest and the most long lasting setting.

The more you "sand" the pinblock moving the bottom of the pin up and down, the less good the final setting, seems evident to me. If difficult I prefer to raise in 2 too small moves than go too high and turn back.

The thing is that some Kawai do not send back as much tactile information as many pianos, as if the pinblock was lubed or the pin steel very soft (plus hold firmly by the bushing).

Something a tuner need to perceive is the amount of tension that is in the upper segment of wire, and that have nothing to do (or very little) with listening, and much to do with physical sensitivity, plus a decoding of the different motions within pin, upper segment, rendering point.

The more back and forth motion you apply, the less precise you finish in regard of the upper segment (and in the end it takes more time than pointing the good location immediately, with just refinements done at the pin level in the end)


A very good and very firm pin setting hopefully allow for some leeway and then pins work is allowed.

Raising the tension in the wire too slowly and progressively gives the utmost control on friction points. The added stress in the front segment is "read" by the ear as pitch change/ vs torque.slow motion give a very precise "reading in the body and mind.

THat is the playing hand that moves the string, not the lever (exagerated)


Edited by Olek (08/17/13 08:34 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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#2134240 - 08/17/13 08:32 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Jon Page]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3876
Originally Posted By: Jon Page

Another problem is with tight pins for setting a solid tuning. That is when the friction grip on the pin in the block exceeds the torque required to turn the pin, springy pins. When the sliding friction in the block does not exceed the torsion factor, all goes well.

I've had to change pitch as much as 20c before the pin would turn in the block.
Baldwins were that way as are some Estonias. These are a challenge to tune until they go thru enough seasons for the blocks to release some of their grip.


Due to Florida humidity and the resultant tight blocks, we have pins flexing 60 cents before they turn in the block, then when they finally turn, they snap 10-15 cents.

Ultraflex Pins.

These pianos are still tunable, but take a lot more work and sometimes more time to make sure pins are set. You probably don't have enough experience at 1000 pianos tuned to set these types of "Ultraflex" pins with consistency. I've found that flexing the pin backwards or forwards when turning it helps the pin turn in smaller increments. The issue for us in humid Florida, is we don't get "seasons" that loosen pins to a comfortable level, so it can take many tunings over many years for pins to settle down.

Not all pianos are easy to tune, and the makers are not going to change the feel of tuning pins or string rendering because techs complain. You will have to learn to set difficult pins even if it takes you 3 hours at first to tune them.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2134246 - 08/17/13 08:40 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Bob]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7901
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Bob
Originally Posted By: Jon Page

Another problem is with tight pins for setting a solid tuning. That is when the friction grip on the pin in the block exceeds the torque required to turn the pin, springy pins. When the sliding friction in the block does not exceed the torsion factor, all goes well.

I've had to change pitch as much as 20c before the pin would turn in the block.
Baldwins were that way as are some Estonias. These are a challenge to tune until they go thru enough seasons for the blocks to release some of their grip.


Due to Florida humidity and the resultant tight blocks, we have pins flexing 60 cents before they turn in the block, then when they finally turn, they snap 10-15 cents.

Ultraflex Pins.

These pianos are still tunable, but take a lot more work and sometimes more time to make sure pins are set. You probably don't have enough experience at 1000 pianos tuned to set these types of "Ultraflex" pins with consistency. I've found that flexing the pin backwards or forwards when turning it helps the pin turn in smaller increments. The issue for us in humid Florida, is we don't get "seasons" that loosen pins to a comfortable level, so it can take many tunings over many years for pins to settle down.

Not all pianos are easy to tune, and the makers are not going to change the feel of tuning pins or string rendering because techs complain. You will have to learn to set difficult pins even if it takes you 3 hours at first to tune them.






Even on decent grip the raise can be 50cts if you go slowly.

This allow to store much added stress, that will be used at the end to regulate the higher torque of the front segment.

Indeed too much will make the string go sharp so experience is necessary.

With that higher pitch the wire is more elastic and more reactive, the friction points lessen.
_________________________
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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#2134260 - 08/17/13 09:09 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 672
Loc: shirley, MA
Originally Posted By: Teklover
I always try to move the pin when I bring it sharp before attempting to settle the pin. I thought perhaps it had to do with my bending the pin too much when I settled the pin because the pitch would drift flat over time.


This is why I asked about feeling the differentiation between pin movement and string movement.

Your description is pretty good, and it sounds like the pin foot has been raised beyond the target pitch. Then you are trying to move the pin foot counterclock-wise to "settle".

I have found the "settle" concept confusing because if you "settle" the wrong thing you you've got the problem you describe. Ideally, the pin foot goes to the "correct" position in the block and does not need "settling". The front segment of the string (the tuning pin segment) and all the felt bearing do need settling...but this is not done by moving the pin foot as it sounds like you are doing. It is done by flexing the upper part of the pin, or other "settling" techniques...test blows, etc.

My stability took a quantum leap when I realized that if the pin (again differentiating between the pin and the wire,)that is the bottom of the pin, the part in the block, not the upper part of the pin, but the bottom of the pin, moved only up to pitch and not not beyond, the I could achieve excellent stability, even on tight pin poorly rendering pianos. When doing this, depending on tightness of the block and the relative resistance to rendering, the pin foot may move up to where you intuit it wants to be, but the apparent pitch of the wire will often go well sharp of target, becasue the upper part of the pin flexes considerably before the pin foot turns. As Jon says, the apparent pitch may go a good 20c sharp, but you basically have to ignore that and feel when the pin foot moves and how much.

After I've got the pin foot where I think it is right, most of the time the apparent pitch will be off-target. That is because the upper part of the pin has flexed way more than the bottom part of the pin...creating the false impression that you've moved the pin foot too far. So, once the pin foot is where I think I intuitied it to be right, I flex the pin...yes, flex the pin gently back and forth, to ease the front segment into equilibrium. In addition I help the rendering and pin movement by keeping the whole string in constant vibrating movement by repeatedly, 2x/second striking the key musically at mf. Often, on a grand I will open the notes' damper and keep it up with the sostenuto to keep that string vibrating while I mess with the pin and segments. I don't do strong test blows, because when I tune, I am playing the piano musically...but whatever works you in the settling is the way to go.

If I move the pin foot too far sharp, and get lazy, trying to nudge the foot down, the pitch will go south, and maybe not immediately...as you report. This I think is mainly because when turning the pin in the same direction the string tension is torquing the pin, it is hard, at least for me, to have the minute control I need to go south. Sometimes I use a ratchet movement to tweak the pin foot flat just a tad, or flex and wiggle the pin to get that movement, but often, I find it quicker and safer to just start over and come up to pitch with the pin foot.

But the bottom line is, make sure when you say you are moving the pin that you are moving the pin and not just the apparent pitch...these are 2 very different things.

Jim Ialeggio
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

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#2134265 - 08/17/13 09:22 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
A cheap tuning lever can be a huge disadvantage also. Make sure what you're using gives you precise feedback from the tuning pin.

I use a Fujan lever on grand pianos and a Cyberhammer on verticals. I find the impact method to be very stable. Bump it where it needs to be; done.
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http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#2134270 - 08/17/13 09:40 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1775
Loc: Conway, AR USA
The last few posts reveal the complexities of tuning the many different makes of piano. It is refreshing to read again of setting the strings. Sometimes in our zeal to explain the rather involved procedure of pin setting, we either forget that part or it is treated as incidental.

For students who stick with it and, through much practice on a variety of pianos - both upright and grand, old and new, cheap and quality - become proficient, dealing with tuning complexities will become "second nature." However, until that time arrives, proper guidance from a good teacher or mentor is needed to get there as well.



Edited by bkw58 (08/17/13 09:42 AM)
Edit Reason: clarity
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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#2134344 - 08/17/13 12:54 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: bkw58]
Dan Casdorph Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Morgantown, West Virginia
I'm always happy to see a Kawai piano, as I find them easy to tune and quite stable. Certainly, to me, one of the top pianos on earth.
_________________________
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Morgantown, WV
www.casdorphpiano.com
All pianos are bald ones.

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#2134391 - 08/17/13 03:07 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7901
Loc: France
they are not particularly difficult but the sensations in the lever are spongy, you never feel the pin getting more rigidity due to the stress from the pin.
even well loaded they feel yet soft. That is a little disturbing to me, it should be interesting to compare side by side a German tuning pin, that is more springy generally, and the original.

I tend to believe that some energy is dissipated as heat in the original pin, while reflected more frankly (more actively) with a Klinke tuning pin.

Now tuning pin and pinblock are a couple possibly resiliency matched.


Edited by Olek (08/17/13 03:11 PM)
_________________________
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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#2134440 - 08/17/13 04:54 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Johnkie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 726
Loc: England
Teklover :
I have come across this problem quite a lot .... you are by no means alone in struggling with tuning stability. I often get clients contact me where a supplier has sent their tuner to undertake the free post delivery tuning, only for them to be horrified at the speed of which it had gone so sadly out of tune. Boston (made by Kawai) are another make that can cause problems with stability.

I find the best way to attack these instruments that have such tight planks is to use the impact method. Using slow pull tends to leave twist in the wrestpin where as impact tends to shock the entire length. The trick is gauging how much impact to use so that you don't move the wrestpin too much and then have to struggle to find the wiggle room ... that place where the slightest pressure either way removes any residual twist that remains loaded in the external part of the wrestpin.

Practise trying to impact the pin so that the string is left no more than 3 or 4 beats sharp of where it needs to be. If you get it just right you should find that by using gentle opposite pressure the string will drop slightly in pitch only to raise itself again when the pressure is released. This is what I would call the 'wiggle point' ... where the smallest amounts of controlled pin pressure should enable a solid and stable string.

The most common mistakes made with trying to obtain stability on instruments that have firm planks are either leaving twist in the un-seen part of the wrestpin that is in the plank (normally through using the slow pull technique) or over shooting the mark and then trying to remove any residual twist by only moving the external part of the wrestpin.
_________________________
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#2134453 - 08/17/13 05:38 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3876
I find the Shigeru Kawai's very nice to tune. I think they are hand drilled and strung?
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www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2134471 - 08/17/13 06:00 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7901
Loc: France
I always leave some twist, until it cannot be maintained by the wire torque.

too hard blocks need to be eased, indeed the technique used is more shooting in the dark then, mosly using the security given by the extra tight block and work all in the upper region of the pin.

to shout by impact the pin springiness is yet used, it is simply a too large energy use to go by slow pull then.

if the pitch raise one half step before the bottom of the pin move indeed other solutions are to be used.

Still it is often possible to play with the braking of the pin and nudge, so to keep some control on the pin, inside the block.





Edited by Olek (08/17/13 06:03 PM)
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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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#2134479 - 08/17/13 06:29 PM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1973
Loc: Philadelphia area
Teklover, Try a different hammer. I have a Yamaha hammer with a smaller-than-usual size 2 tip which I keep specifically for Kawais. Or, if I'm too lazy to walk back out to the car, I just use a Fujan with a standard set-up.

Adding to Loren's bump technique suggestion, playing the key softly may help.

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#2134700 - 08/18/13 07:11 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Bob]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7901
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Bob
I find the Shigeru Kawai's very nice to tune. I think they are hand drilled and strung?


may be, they have a nice tuning pin feel anyway
_________________________
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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#2134761 - 08/18/13 10:27 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1401
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Teklover, I teach piano tuning over Skype. I am a professional piano technician, an RPT, and a mechanical engineer and I am working on perfecting the art and science of piano tuning stability, and the teaching of it.

Many technicians may (have) pipe(d) in to say that stability can only be achieved with years and years of practice. They are partly right. Without an understanding of the piano system, that is the only way to improve; your subconscious brain needs thousands of pianos in order to recreate some understanding of the feedback loop in order to be able to successfully produce stability. (Read "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell)

Some technicians have attempted to explain how the system behaves and have correctly identified some important elements; non-speaking length, bending, foot movement, pitch change, etc.

For me, I am achieving stability, using a technique that incorporates an understanding of the friction, deformations, and elasticity of the system. I don't have a name for it yet, but it might be called "Slow Pull Technique using Parallel Plate Movement with Variable Hammer Angle for Controlled Bending/Twisting and Controlled Unbending/Untwisting to Produce Neutral or Slightly Positive Tension Differential Across the Upper Bearing Points, Coupled With Occasional Intentional Minute Bending for Difficult Systems, and Occasional Impact Techniques".

The majority of my approach uses a controlled and predictable application of force, which produces predictable results when coupled with the understanding of how the system behaves depending on the piano and where the string is in the piano. Sometimes I have to use the unpredictable/uncontrolled technique of jerking, impact, search and find, sharpen/flatten, etc. The difference is, I only use these when my controlled technique doesn't work, and most of the time I could use the controlled technique if I took some time to think it through.

I also tune using open unisons. I use a soft blow technique with minimal test blows to protect my hearing. The open unison technique requires rock solid unisons and allows the technician to discover drifting unisons early and correct the unisons, and reassess the effectiveness of their technique.

The benefit of this intentional technique is that I rarely have trouble with stability. I have found pianos that don't behave as others do and I need to analyze what will work but with this technique, it is fairly easy to do and often involves a simple change in the hammer angle and approach.

Send me a PM and we can talk about it more.
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Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2134778 - 08/18/13 10:52 AM Re: Problem with tuning Kawai pianos - upright and grand [Re: Teklover]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1775
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Not sure if Teklover is still following his thread, but in re-reading his OP and subsequent remarks, I think our answers largely beg the question.

His problem is with Kawai uprights and grands and none else. Neither is the difficulty he describes limited to new units. If it were, then his question would be quite easy to answer.

It took awhile, but I now recall problems in connection with at least three Kawai instruments many years ago - two uprights and one grand. There may have been more. But, to my knowledge, the experience was limited to Kawai. None were new pianos.

After tuning, these did not hold for more than a week or two. It wasn't caused by a change in RH. They were neither moved nor played overly aggressive. The cause wasn't anything that we would typically expect. None involved significant pitch changes either. There certainly was nothing wrong with any of the pianos. As I mentioned earlier, Kawai is a good piano.

There was only one common denominator that I could think of. It was, I suspected then, and still is as I ponder this even today, a change in tuners - i.e. tuning technique.

After I corrected the problem and tuned these again in their normal cycle, this instability never recurred with these particular instruments.

And so, I suppose my question is for Kawai Don:

Is there something inherent in Kawai that would cause it to be a little sensitive to a change in (qualified) tuners with different techniques?



Edited by bkw58 (08/18/13 11:50 AM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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