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Topic Options
#2181331 - 11/12/13 11:26 PM Perfection...
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
PERFECTION! It is what I strive for each and every time out. Whether it's tuning a Steinway concert grand, or a cheap spinet piano. My goal is to get A-440 dead on the money. My next goal is to set a perfect temperment. Next, is to tune perfect octaves, and then make unisons as crystal clear as a bell. Even THOUGH, I know,theroetically, it ain't ever gonna be quite perfect, I feel I owe it to my customer to give it my damn level best. If I were not willing to treat my customer's piano as my very own, I need to find a different way to make a living. Somehow, I feel I am not alone.
_________________________
Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...

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#2181338 - 11/12/13 11:36 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2541
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
You're not. ;-)
_________________________
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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#2181428 - 11/13/13 07:13 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]
UnrightTooner Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 5246
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Uh, what about stability? I would rather have a piano sound decent in a few months than perfect when I leave. I think what we owe the customer is value. The perfection thing is what we give our own egos. It is important, but needs to be tempered with what the customer is really expecting... and that depends on the customer. Many get their piano tuned because "It's the Right Thing to Do" every 5 or 10 years whether it needs it or not!
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2181443 - 11/13/13 07:58 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]
David Boyce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 436
Loc: Scotland
Quote:
make unisons as crystal clear as a bell.


Since when were bells ever crystal clear? They're full of strange harmonics, some so much so that you can hardly tell the fundamental!

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#2181473 - 11/13/13 09:02 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1944
Loc: Conway, AR USA

Originally Posted By: David Boyce
Quote:
make unisons as crystal clear as a bell.


Since when were bells ever crystal clear? They're full of strange harmonics, some so much so that you can hardly tell the fundamental!


Figure of speech. Oxymoron. Can't get much clearer than that. smile


Edited by bkw58 (11/13/13 09:05 AM)
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas

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#2181487 - 11/13/13 09:34 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2264
Loc: Suffolk, England
What is as clear as a bell turns out to be an interesting topic when you look into it.

Thank you, David.


Edited by Withindale (11/13/13 09:38 AM)
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2181495 - 11/13/13 09:53 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: bkw58]
Jbyron Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 526
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: bkw58

Originally Posted By: David Boyce
Quote:
make unisons as crystal clear as a bell.


Since when were bells ever crystal clear? They're full of strange harmonics, some so much so that you can hardly tell the fundamental!


Figure of speech. Oxymoron. Can't get much clearer than that. smile


Yeah, but I don't think David deserves to be called an Oxmoron. laugh
_________________________
Tuner-Technician



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#2181510 - 11/13/13 10:14 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Jbyron]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1944
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: Jbyron
Originally Posted By: bkw58

Originally Posted By: David Boyce
Quote:
make unisons as crystal clear as a bell.


Since when were bells ever crystal clear? They're full of strange harmonics, some so much so that you can hardly tell the fundamental!


Figure of speech. Oxymoron. Can't get much clearer than that. smile


Yeah, but I don't think David deserves to be called an Oxmoron. laugh


No, but he's got some "bad ears," man. cool
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas

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#2181511 - 11/13/13 10:15 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]
rXd Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2110
Locking the piano down at precisely 440 every time you tune it in the name of perfection is doing nobody any favours unless you are tuning it every day and more in order to keep it useable with electronics and electrophonics.

By not allowing the piano to float in pitch with the seasons, you are effectively more than doubling the range of pitch drift. The time the piano actually spends at or useably near 440. (or the local pitch standard) is reduced by more than half.
_________________________
Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.
Eschew obfuscation.



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#2181518 - 11/13/13 10:28 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: rXd]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1944
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: rxd
Locking the piano down at precisely 440 every time you tune it in the name of perfection is doing nobody any favours unless you are tuning it every day and more in order to keep it useable with electronics and electrophonics.

By not allowing the piano to float in pitch with the seasons, you are effectively more than doubling the range of pitch drift. The time the piano actually spends at or useably near 440. (or the local pitch standard) is reduced by more than half.



True. Doesn't contribute much to stability either. (A lesson some of us learn the hard way.)
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas

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#2181543 - 11/13/13 11:08 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: David Boyce]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3379
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: David Boyce
Quote:
make unisons as crystal clear as a bell.


Since when were bells ever crystal clear? They're full of strange harmonics, some so much so that you can hardly tell the fundamental!


Very true. I teach handbells. In theory they ring at the fundamental and the 12th, but in practice you can hear them beating, some very much more than others, some so differently that they affect the chord.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2181714 - 11/13/13 03:47 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: rXd]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2454
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Rxd, can you explain this a bit more....as an ETD user only, it's always set at 440 when I go to tune the piano. Is this not a good thing for stability etc?

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#2181878 - 11/13/13 06:33 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2541
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
I believe rxd is referring to it being exactly on A440, +/- 0.0 cents. A virtual impossibility, really.

And, as Jeff said earlier, stability matters.
_________________________
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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#2181920 - 11/13/13 08:27 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]
David Boyce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 436
Loc: Scotland
Quote:
Very true. I teach handbells. In theory they ring at the fundamental and the 12th, but in practice you can hear them beating, some very much more than others, some so differently that they affect the chord.


And yet there is this persistent piano metaphor of the piano with the 'wonderful, clear, bell-like tone"! One wonders where it came from...

Incidentally, well done for teaching handbells - a charming sound. Though if a piano really sounded like bells, I don't think anyone would buy it!

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#2181964 - 11/13/13 10:29 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2705
Loc: Olympia, WA
As L.A. technician extraordinaire David Anderson once said - "My life became so much better when I gave up striving for perfection and settled for excellence!"

Striving for perfection in piano work puts you on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spectrum. Pianos are not perfect - distortions such as false beats, time constraints, quality of piano etc all force compromise. It is best to clearly understand what constitutes a professional quality job. Spending time making things "perfect" may not serve the client well.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2182002 - 11/13/13 11:11 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: rysowers]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2541
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: rysowers
As L.A. technician extraordinaire David Anderson once said - "My life became so much better when I gave up striving for perfection and settled for excellence!"

Striving for perfection in piano work puts you on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spectrum. Pianos are not perfect - distortions such as false beats, time constraints, quality of piano etc all force compromise. It is best to clearly understand what constitutes a professional quality job. Spending time making things "perfect" may not serve the client well.


But, but ,but!

Aren't we all at least a little OCD?

wink
_________________________
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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#2182034 - 11/13/13 11:48 PM Re: Perfection... [Re: Gary Fowler]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1882
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I do not teach to hear perfection in my course. I find the strain to be counter productive.

I explain the goal, tuning A4 to be exactly 440Hz for example, but I am very clear that what we try to do is identify when we have not attained that goal, and then try to improve.

This leaves perfection, or rather, the striving for perfection, out of the equation, yet the striving for perfection, still the goal.

My belief is that, striving for perfection can lead to frustration and then quiting. While striving for improvement keeps us moving towards perfection.

And what is perfection?

Perfection is when one can no longer hear any room for improvement. Yet, the sensitivity of one's hearing may not be as precise as the sensitivity of another's, or of one's own hearing in the future.

I use the following analogies to explain how one acheives perfection, without striving for it.

Imagine making a snowball; a perfectly round snowball, with no bumps or edges. One would hold the snow ball in one's hands and roll it about, every now and then rubbing off some bump or edge that makes it not round. And in the end, acheive the perfectly round snowball, without trying to make it round, but rather, trying to make it not bumpy.

Or consider a room with a very bright spot light shining down from the ceiling onto a spot on the floor. Imagine that spot is perfection; you want to be there. What happens when you stare at the spot light, trying to figure out where it is shining? Of course, you go blind. Now imagine that instead of looking for the light, you mearly walk about the room, and try to keep away from the shadows. Eventually you find yourself in the spot light, without ever try to be there; you were simply trying to stay out of the shadows.

We use many techniques like this, including the technique of tuning within windows, to allow a more attainable result gauged to the student's present ability, which allows for improvement at the student's own speed.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2182162 - 11/14/13 08:18 AM Re: Perfection... [Re: OperaTenor]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: rysowers
As L.A. technician extraordinaire David Anderson once said - "My life became so much better when I gave up striving for perfection and settled for excellence!"

Striving for perfection in piano work puts you on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spectrum. Pianos are not perfect - distortions such as false beats, time constraints, quality of piano etc all force compromise. It is best to clearly understand what constitutes a professional quality job. Spending time making things "perfect" may not serve the client well.


But, but ,but!

Aren't we all at least a little OCD?

wink


I'm definately not OCD....I"m CDO. Its similar to OCD, but all the letters are in alphabetical order...LIKE THEY SHOULD BE.

There is perfection with tuning to strive for but its not to do with the piano. When your done, its nice to hear the customer say "Perfect, exactly what I wanted".
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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