Thanks to all for your comments.
I saw this post long ago but declined at first to comment for several reasons. One of those is that the Golden Hammer award is PTG's highest honor, indeed, but that award, in spite of its title, does not go to nor imply that the recipient is one of the world's most highly skilled tuners. Of course, some of those who have received it do fit that description. Very often, it is granted to a technician who has given his entire adult life to the Piano Technology profession in a variety of ways but only at the near end, end, or even after the end of that person's life. It has been granted to technicians who were never at all known for their tuning skills.
If you were to ask some of them, they might give you the same advice that a few other people have given you. Study a variety of materials, find out what works best for you and go with that. The article I wrote 10 years ago was designed specifically
to help technicians who had used methods far more commonly known but had met with failure. Being that it is 10 years old, it should be updated but you have already found where it could and should be. I will get to that when I have the time.
The University technician whom you speak of apparently has had a problem with cumulative errors when attempting to use the temperament sequence that Steinway factory technicians use. Most of the technicians at the Steinway dealership and Concert & Artist services department in New York City, Steinway Hall, probably use it too.
It is logical to draw the conclusion that the method used by technicians of the world's premier and most iconic manufacturer would be the method to adopt. You asked that question in a previous post and I gave you a long answer as to why it is really only appropriate for technicians under those circumstances to use. Nearly anyone else who tries to use it will get results that are far from what is intended and desirable.
I made three more videos today when I had the opportunity to tune a nice Steinway. I, in fact, tune lots of Steinway pianos. Two of them just today. The first was a very old one and not suitable for such a video but the second one was.
Last week, someone on another thread mentioned something about having watched a technician tune a Steinway model B in 45 minutes and the results were less than desirable. In the last ten days, I have tuned 10 Steinway model B pianos (an average of 1 per day) and I got every one of them done in 45 minutes or so. Of course, I have custom ETD programs for those pianos and I use those programs to work efficiently. There were several more Steinway pianos within the last 10 days and several more on my schedule for this week. However, I would never even consider
using the temperament sequence that Steinway factory tuners use!
You could be of great service to us all if you have a Smart phone that can make short videos. If you do, you could ask that university technician to tune only the temperament octave (in this case, A3-A4). If he will do that with a muting strip in as you see that I do, so much the better but if he prefers to tune the whole unison as he proceeds, that is OK too.
What we all want to know are the results he gets using that method. We want to try to identify
the problem and find a solution for it. So, when you can arrange it, have the technician tune the temperament octave only, and record it with your Smart phone by playing (most importantly), chromatic Major Thirds (M3) at an andante
tempo (about one full second for each). Then play Major Sixths. You may also play all 4ths & 5ths. You may also play, M3 & M6's in combinations. You may also play the "inside M3 and outside M6" combinations if you know them. You may also play pairs of Contiguous Major Thirds, (CM3's).
Today, I recorded first the Steinway piano as I found it, with open strings. Then (in the second, short video) I recorded the temperament octave with muting strips in. I was really hoping to find the kind of error I have often identified but I did not. Perhaps a trace of it but not enough to really say, "There it is".
In the third and longer video, I show how I would attempt to tune ET using only 4ths & 5ths. I did not try to purposefully create the kind of commonly made error I have often found. I tried my best to tune as many other technicians would using that kind of sequence. The results were really better than I expected.
It is perhaps good that they were, so I would not be accused of causing that kind of error on purpose, just to be deceitful or further some kind of perceived agenda. The results, as they were, would have passed the PTG tuning exam but shown some errors. The results may have actually fallen in the "superior" range with a score of 90%. They did not exhibit any particular trend towards the Reverse Well (RW) error I have identified. If anything, the trend was more like that of Well Temperament (WT) but still falling into the Quasi ET category.
I can and I will, at some point, make a video (without any trickery or condescension) that will show how and why so many technicians make the RW error. But maybe you will be able to have the university technician show that before I have the opportunity to do so.
I noticed that the results for a 4ths & 5ths sequence could be improved, in particular when the chain of CM3's that resulted was incorrect. Therefore, on a second attempt, I corrected the CM3's and used the sequence I proposed. The results were much improved, to the point where after only the completion of the sequence (but making no attempt to correct any further any small errors), the temperament generated by the "Up a 3rd..." sequence would have passed the PTG tuning exam at a perfect 100% or possibly still showing one small error and receive a score of 98%. In the case of the latter, a few, very small adjustments would have perfected it.
It is often said that "A picture is better than a thousand words". So, please do show the university technician the videos I made in previous days and those I made today. My website also has some videos that show just how to construct the initial set of CM3's.
To construct first a set of CM3's is admittedly difficult. However, I often consider it worth while to get the most difficult part of any job done first. It will often make the rest of the job easier. This holds true for constructing an Equal Temperament. "Get the CM3's right first and the rest will be easy and could hardly go very wrong".http://youtu.be/naMP--VIlPQhttp://youtu.be/kGeVocJE-_Qhttp://youtu.be/ohX0TIYS1L4
P.S. Kees, as time may permit you, please provide beat rate figures for all temperaments (including the "as found"). I think your graph was excellent. The "glaring error" in it was that you did not get all the colors right for the Holiday season! Everybody
knows they should be green, red and gold!
This time, if you can, leave out the WT bar since it would not be relevant (except if you find a trace of RW in the "as found" temperament. What I heard in that playing of temperament was that every M3 was a bit fast. To me, it was obvious that the whole octave had been stretched out since the last time it was tuned but there was no particular RW pattern except perhaps just a hint of it.
Of particular relevance would be to show the results of 4ths & 5ths tuning, then the results of CM3 first tuning followed by the "Up a 3rd..." sequence directly against theoretical ET.
P.P.S.S. In case anyone wonders, after tuning the two attempts at ET, I went on to run my custom program for the EBVT III for a Steinway Model L/O because the customer hired me specifically to do that. I finished that in the usual 45 minutes and went on to tune the Blüthner grand that was also in the room in the same temperament at the same pitch. I live in an area where people do commonly request a WT, so that is the way I normally tune any piano.