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#2176903 - 11/04/13 11:34 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: kpembrook]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2405
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
Originally Posted By: Hakki
.....

So my questions were: 1.why the company was using (officially in my assumption) a fourths-fifths A3-A4 temperament. 2. they are against (again I assumed that this was a company regulation) the use of ETD and stress aural tuning, what are the arguments of ETD user's against this.

.....


If you want to know why I mow my lawn a cetain way ask ME, not my neighbors. Have you contacted Steinway?


Actually, for my first question I don't have to ask Steinway, because I am satisfied with the answers given here. Many thanks to who have contributed.

My second question has not been answered. But I understand that it is a rather sensitive subject around here.



Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Originally Posted By: Hakki

b. I need the documents of the E3(Eb3)-E4 and F3-F4 temperaments officially used by Steinway & Sons.


Hakki,
It would really help to understand what you are really trying to know. Where are you going with this? Why does it matter to you?

You are asking questions which, as you have observed on this thread, professional technicians who are noted for satisfying customers with their tunings don't consider important. Why are you obsessing about something that doesn't matter in the real world? Can you help us out here? You are asking for a lot of information. You don't seem to be satisfied with the responses you are getting, but you have not taken the time to inform us of what it is you want. It would be both helpful and considerate of you to do so.



I have tried to explain at a few posts above, that it only originates from my curiosity. And now I became even more curious to learn about it.
Since I am an amateur pianist and have little information about tuning I can't really comment on whether it matters or not. But, again, there are some answers in this thread that say it matters.

And thanks for clarifying that the guide was real.


Edited by Hakki (11/04/13 11:56 AM)
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#2177047 - 11/04/13 04:37 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Gerry Johnston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 97
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Hakki -
The specific temperament sequence being used is of far less significance than the skill of the technician using it. Every conceivable temperament sequence has highly skilled technicians who advocate it. If a piano has been well tuned it is virtually impossible to know what temperament sequence was used, or even what octave (or double octave) was used, or even if an ETD was used. Only Steinway can tell you why 4th's and 5th's is (or is alleged to be) the "official" temperament.
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#2177052 - 11/04/13 04:43 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Gerry Johnston]
kpembrook Offline
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Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1294
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Gerry Johnston
Hakki -
The specific temperament sequence being used is of far less significance than the skill of the technician using it. Every conceivable temperament sequence has highly skilled technicians who advocate it. If a piano has been well tuned it is virtually impossible to know what temperament sequence was used, or even what octave (or double octave) was used, or even if an ETD was used. Only Steinway can tell you why 4th's and 5th's is (or is alleged to be) the "official" temperament.


Very well said. The question is of zero practical significance in any sense of the word. It's kind of like asking "What color is the number 47?" The best answer is, "Who cares?".
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#2177067 - 11/04/13 05:12 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Gerry Johnston]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2405
Originally Posted By: Gerry Johnston
Hakki -
The specific temperament sequence being used is of far less significance than the skill of the technician using it. Every conceivable temperament sequence has highly skilled technicians who advocate it. If a piano has been well tuned it is virtually impossible to know what temperament sequence was used, or even what octave (or double octave) was used, or even if an ETD was used. Only Steinway can tell you why 4th's and 5th's is (or is alleged to be) the "official" temperament.


Gerry, I am sure all of what you say is very true.
I am in no way in a position to say otherwise.
That is why I am here to ask these questions.
When I read the following sentence from the guide,

"...Although there are numerous temperaments, Steinway maintains the A440 to A220 temperament."

I wondered, what did the word "although" stand for, what was meant by the word "maintain", why a certain temperament was pointed at out of "numerous temperaments".

And then this:

"Steinway & Sons stresses the importance of aural tuning. Developing piano tone is a mechanical and musical art. Solid aural tuning exercises and develops the musical ear, giving the technician a greater ability to master the methods used in tone building."


I wondered what the ETD user's arguments were against these arguments.

Is there anything wrong wondering about these things?
I simply wondered and asked here.
And got some answers too.
Some said because the A3-A4 was more precise.
Some said it was traditional, and Steinway liked to keep the tradition.
Some favored the fifths-fourths temperament over the contiguous thirds temperament.
And like you some posters said it did not matter.
And unlike you some said it did matter.
Some said it was an old out of date temperament.
Some said F3-F4 temperament was better.
Some said Hamburg used the E3-E4 temperament.
Some favored aural tuning.
Others favored the use of ETD as a tool.
Some favored using both aural and ETD tools together.
And so on...

So I like this wonderful place.
All ideas, information, are discussed at an equal level.

Thanks to all who have contributed with every single valuable comment on this thread. I am grateful.
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#2177069 - 11/04/13 05:13 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Olek Online   content
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7179
Loc: France
That is something very difficult to detect, only when working repeatedly with the same tuners you finish with some clue (also because they use their own temperament sequence that differs on one or 2 notes from what the ETD computes.

It should not make any difference, but it makes one that is so thin that mostly only some tuners or some musicians can notice it.

What is funny is that nobody cares, apparently.

The "piano tells you" but , depending the way you sequence your temperament, the piano does not tell you the same things.

Once all is done, the difference must be almost unsuspected, unless the tuner is a little extremist in a direction or another (some are)

Now the more stretched the tuning the less the differences are perceived.

I remind having read some tuning instructions from Boesendorfer USA, stating to avoid enlarging the octave "as is usual among US tuners" . That give some clues on some habits unless the writed of the manual was under a false impression (it may have been the Boesendorfer importer at some point in time)

This have nothing to do with temperament sequences, sorry.

Never anyone asked me how I did or gave me instructions to do that way or that other. But after tuning with ladder of M3 as a start for years, I came to hear one of the most respected tuner, tuning a "plain simple" 4th and 5ths sequence.

And sure enough , how musical was the piano.

He told me simply he did not learn to do another way.

Make me think.

I still check the M3 stack,but it is not my sequence today.

BTW playing the stacked 3ds together, the note that sound louder point the too fast interval.











Edited by Olek (11/04/13 05:30 PM)
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#2177090 - 11/04/13 05:46 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Olek]
Gerry Johnston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 97
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Well known concert technician, Steve Brady, recently published his book Under The Lid. There is a section in which he discusses some of the benefits of using an ETD. However, he also states, "Anyone who cannot tune a piano well by ear is not a piano tuner, period". Again, he is not saying that all tuning must be done aurally, but that this is a skill that all tuners should have.
While this may be a somewhat controversial statement on Brady's part, I think there are probably more technicians who would agree than disagree. The pianist certainly judges the tuning by ear. My own opinion is that, especially in a concert setting, the technician must have demonstrably good aural ability or there may be a credibility issue. Perhaps this is Steinway's core reason for apparently insisting on aural tuning. I know that Franz Mohr (former head concert tech at Steinway) believed so. By the way, he also insisted on 4th's and 5th's, but I don't recall that he ever explained why specifically.
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#2177093 - 11/04/13 05:56 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
BDB Offline
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If you do not learn to hear tuning, you do not learn to hear what is happening to a piano's sound unrelated to tuning.
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#2177098 - 11/04/13 06:05 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
David Jenson Offline
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Loc: Maine
In the end, the ear is the final judge.
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#2177103 - 11/04/13 06:18 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Gerry Johnston]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2405
Originally Posted By: Gerry Johnston
My own opinion is that, especially in a concert setting, the technician must have demonstrably good aural ability or there may be a credibility issue. Perhaps this is Steinway's core reason for apparently insisting on aural tuning.


This is indeed a very insightful observation. Very sound, logical.

Now, I don't want to stir things up, and maybe this can be the subject of another thread, and I might be over my head, and this can be the most ignorant comment that could be made, but please let me ask this generally (not only to you Gerry I mean)

I have a feeling (just a feeling - meaning not feeling the tuning lever cause I am not a tuner but like a belief or similar) that contrary to aural tuning,
using an ETD might cause some of the tuning pins become unstable. It might affect the tuning stability of a piano. All related to the way of using the tuning hammer when tuning by an ETD.
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#2177108 - 11/04/13 06:25 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Olek Online   content
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Registered: 03/14/08
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#2177115 - 11/04/13 06:35 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Olek]
Hakki Offline
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Thank you very much Isaac.
Hope I can figure that out.
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#2177116 - 11/04/13 06:37 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7179
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: Gerry Johnston
My own opinion is that, especially in a concert setting, the technician must have demonstrably good aural ability or there may be a credibility issue. Perhaps this is Steinway's core reason for apparently insisting on aural tuning.


This is indeed a very insightful observation. Very sound, logical.

Now, I don't want to stir things up, and maybe this can be the subject of another thread, and I might be over my head, and this can be the most ignorant comment that could be made, but please let me ask this generally (not only to you Gerry I mean)

I have a feeling (just a feeling - meaning not feeling the tuning lever cause I am not a tuner but like a belief or similar) that contrary to aural tuning,
using an ETD might cause some of the tuning pins become unstable. It might affect the tuning stability of a piano. All related to the way of using the tuning hammer when tuning by an ETD.





Hakki, let me suggest you ask what color is the underwear of the tuners, so you will have more answers.

Ther are reasons that could make what you state happen, but it all boils down to the way the tuner interact with the ETD



Edited by Olek (11/04/13 08:48 PM)
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#2177125 - 11/04/13 07:12 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: BDB]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
If you do not learn to hear tuning, you do not learn to hear what is happening to a piano's sound unrelated to tuning.


Bottom line, wonderfully stated.
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#2177147 - 11/04/13 08:36 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Gerry Johnston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 97
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Hakki -
Tuning stability has to do with proper manipulation of the tuning hammer in conjunction with the ear or display if using an ETD. It is absolutely false to suggest that ETD tuning is inherently less stable than aural tuning.
Occasionally I hear of someone who decides to become a "tooner" and, with no training or guidance, assumes that using an ETD is all it takes. These people produce consistently poor results and unfairly give ETD tuning a bad reputation. Please note that this comment is coming from an aural tuner.
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#2177229 - 11/04/13 10:33 PM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Olek Online   content
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7179
Loc: France
Well I dont know, when tuning I am so focused on the pin, I am almost more attentive to it than to the listening.
I remind that when looking more or less precisely at a display the game is to have it stopped, there is a natural tendency to cheat on pin placement as you see the display is stopped.

It is just human. Now not anyone use those ETD things the same.

What I find particularly disgusting is stopping checking the intervals during tuning; Then it turns to a casino game, you tune all notes and ... surprise, the piano sound in tune.

Anyone happy then .

But pretending that you are in the same mood and link with the instrument doing so is just taking his desire for reality.

The way you eventually test after having tuned all center strings, for instance, you have no time to get the mood of the piano as when tuning aurally. That is different.
And the volonty to retune and reset seriously notes that you have yet fight to put in phase with the display, is certainly not as strong as it should be.

Or you should :
1 tune all center strings lightly,without really setting the pins firmly
2 verify all those notes while setting the pins definitively

I miss the advantage of using the ETD to do so.

Now what I noticed is that the level of exigence of the pianist 90% of the time, is low enough, mostly because they do not know how to test a tuning.

Only tuners hear the defects most of the time, and probably only some of them.

In fact with a pool of good aural tuner tuning together, they should have really very little work to do.

May be a generic setup may help somehow an aural tuner, just to be a little bit more lazy, why not. But this is only for very good ones and the ones I have seen do not wish to use a machine, as long they keep some interest to their work.
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#2177278 - 11/05/13 12:05 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Olek]
kpembrook Offline
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Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1294
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Olek
<snip>
But after tuning with ladder of M3 as a start for years, I came to hear one of the most respected tuner, tuning a "plain simple" 4th and 5ths sequence.

And sure enough , how musical was the piano.

He told me simply he did not learn to do another way.

Make me think.

I still check the M3 stack,but it is not my sequence today.

BTW playing the stacked 3ds together, the note that sound louder point the too fast interval.


Interesting comment. My journey was exactly the opposite. Having learned WB White 4ths/5ths temperament from my father, I studied John Travis's exposition of stacked M 3rds in his "Let's Tune Up" and decided to try it. I did it both ways for a while but eventually decided that the thirds was the more musical and more consistent approach.

Of course I still listen to 5ths. One thing that is objectively factual is that 5ths have multiple audible coincidental partials (just like octaves) which easily create confusion -- especially with certain scale designs.

If 4ths/5ths works for you than great!
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#2177283 - 11/05/13 12:29 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2405
Isaac, could you please give how the e3_e4 temperament is related to a440. Maybe the beginning steps of the temperament?
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#2177285 - 11/05/13 12:36 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
BDB Offline
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If you are tuning equal temperament, where you start does not make any difference in the result.

If you are tuning from E to E, you probably start with a C fork, so the thirds are C-E-G#-C-E (which is the way I tune).
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#2177309 - 11/05/13 02:38 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: BDB]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2405
Originally Posted By: BDB
If you are tuning equal temperament, where you start does not make any difference in the result.

If you are tuning from E to E, you probably start with a C fork, so the thirds are C-E-G#-C-E (which is the way I tune).


The above temperament seemed like a fifths fourths temperament to me. Am I wrong?
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#2177315 - 11/05/13 03:06 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Mark R. Offline
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Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1937
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
No, Hakki, you're right, Isaac's picture shows a 4ths and 5ths temperament with M3 beat rates as checks. But I don't think BDB was referring to that picture per sé. I think he was answering your question in a broader sense of how to use a standard pitch reference (and which one) for the E3-E4 temperament. That pitch reference doesn't have to be A440.
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#2177325 - 11/05/13 03:48 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Mark R.]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2405
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
No, Hakki, you're right, Isaac's picture shows a 4ths and 5ths temperament with M3 beat rates as checks. But I don't think BDB was referring to that picture per sé. I think he was answering your question in a broader sense of how to use a standard pitch reference (and which one) for the E3-E4 temperament. That pitch reference doesn't have to be A440.


Then how is the concert pitch requirement of the contract is fulfilled?
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#2177358 - 11/05/13 06:40 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Olek Online   content
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7179
Loc: France
Use of a A 442-40 fork.

So see what you get with piano technology questions : other questions.

Only with a3 a4 sequence the pitch is part of it I guess.

That Steinway sequence is a difficult one with late fast beating intervals.

It should not in theory, but may induce more differences in chords "coloration" and 5ths "color" than F3 F4 or A3-A4.

Anyway strong link with the pitch reference A440, stronger than when tuning F3A3 as a first interval.

Certainly make a difference in final output.

I agree that the M3 stack is more "precise" but one may keep its own priorities using any sequence.

I guess that most tuners jump on the M3 stack sequence as a mean to get done with temperament sooner , and I suspect that something can be "lost in translation" at that time.

For what I know I can have similar precision with 5ths and 4ths, something I did not believe was possible and that surprised me.

About what say RXD,when tuning constantly the same brand and models of pianos, at some point you can tune any interval almost alone, and use any note to start with (which is a great help when correcting a precedent tuning).

then I believe musical memory is used 100% when tuning.






Edited by Olek (11/05/13 07:47 AM)
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#2177384 - 11/05/13 07:55 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Gerry Johnston Offline
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Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 97
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Hakki -
A440 is the most commonly used fork today. Some still use a C fork. With either pitch reference multiple temperament sequences are possible. An E3 to E4 temperament is easily navigated with a either fork. E3 is a 4th from A3. E4 is a 5th from A3. If you were using a C fork in the same octave a stacked 3rds approach would probably be simplest.
Years ago I used to tune an F3 to F4 temperament starting with an F fork. The only problem with using forks other than A-440 is inharmonicity. "Textbook" pitch frequencies do not exist in the real world. Since A-440 is the, more or less, universally accepted pitch standard it is more common to use an A fork. If you start with a C-523 fork it is entirely possible that "A" may not end up at exactly 440. If you are tuning for a professional performance or recording session this could be a problem.
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#2177387 - 11/05/13 07:55 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2405
Isaac can you explicitly explain how a440 is used with the e3-e4 temperament? I mean when the temperament is used for a professional contract as said by Gerry.


Edited by Hakki (11/05/13 07:59 AM)
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#2177391 - 11/05/13 08:00 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Olek Online   content
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7179
Loc: France
first interval tuned is a 4th , the second is an octave, etc...

Tuning traditionally is not more "precise" than that if it is the question.
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#2177462 - 11/05/13 10:37 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Olek]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2405
Originally Posted By: Olek
first interval tuned is a 4th , the second is an octave, etc...

Tuning traditionally is not more "precise" than that if it is the question.


Thank you Isaac.
No it is not the question, but I assume that the Steinway A3-A4 temperament is precise enough for a top notch concert tuning. Such as preparing a piano for a concert at the Carnegie Hall or the New York Philharmonic.
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#2177466 - 11/05/13 10:44 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7179
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: Olek
first interval tuned is a 4th , the second is an octave, etc...

Tuning traditionally is not more "precise" than that if it is the question.


Thank you Isaac.
No it is not the question, but I assume that the Steinway A3-A4 temperament is precise enough for a top notch concert tuning. Such as preparing a piano for a concert at the Carnegie Hall or the New York Philharmonic.


Any sequence, in my opinion.
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#2177481 - 11/05/13 11:12 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
BDB Offline
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Equal temperament is equal temperament no matter what method or sequence is used to tune it. How accurate it is depends on how well one tunes, not the method, despite what some people here say.
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#2177483 - 11/05/13 11:18 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: BDB]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2405
Originally Posted By: BDB
Equal temperament is equal temperament no matter what method or sequence is used to tune it. How accurate it is depends on how well one tunes, not the method, despite what some people here say.


Theoretically this is true.
But with the inharmonicity of the piano is it really equal?
Can it really be equal?
Or is there some compromise among intervals, octaves?
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2177488 - 11/05/13 11:24 AM Re: Steinway & Sons tuning guide [Re: Hakki]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1918
Loc: Suffolk, England
Hakki

Do you mean it is equal by some objective measure or sounds equal to a tuner or a pianist?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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