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#2303261 - 07/17/14 04:58 AM tune the bass strings of a baby grand?
Glisso Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/16/12
Posts: 2
I find it hard to choose how to tune the bass strings of a baby grand.
I feel very disappointed, and wondering if anyone has found any method.

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#2303333 - 07/17/14 11:11 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 158
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
What are you trying to do? The big problem is that SHORT bass strings remain SHORT no matter how you tune them, and short strings and a small soundboard make for a SMALL PIANO SOUND. Nothing you can do when tuning SHORT pianos makes them bigger. . .

Sorry, but if your problem is that the sound is too 'small' I can't help you. . .
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

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#2303347 - 07/17/14 11:39 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Glisso
I find it hard to choose how to tune the bass strings of a baby grand.
I feel very disappointed, and wondering if anyone has found any method.


Glisso:

Welcome Aboard!

Rather than tune bass strings to those an octave above (and often being unable to find a "best" place but rather a number of "less worse" places) I tune bass strings to the note an octave above AND a 12th (octave + fifth) above by playing all three notes at once. You need a tool than spans a 12th to do this. If a good place for the lower note cannot be found, the upper fifth is mistuned.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2303505 - 07/17/14 08:11 PM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: UnrightTooner]
michaelopolis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/12
Posts: 36
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
Originally Posted By: Glisso
I find it hard to choose how to tune the bass strings of a baby grand.
I feel very disappointed, and wondering if anyone has found any method.


Glisso:

Welcome Aboard!

Rather than tune bass strings to those an octave above (and often being unable to find a "best" place but rather a number of "less worse" places) I tune bass strings to the note an octave above AND a 12th (octave + fifth) above by playing all three notes at once. You need a tool than spans a 12th to do this. If a good place for the lower note cannot be found, the upper fifth is mistuned.


Jeff, Do you use such a tool ? would love to see a pic if so ? thanks ,michael

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#2303558 - 07/18/14 12:27 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1493
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Here are some procedures you can try. Good luck.

Virgil Smith advocated listening to the Natural Beat when tuning bass notes. He described this as a beating at the fundamental. Initially, the theory doesn't seem to support that there could be a beat at the fundamental of a bass octave, but that's the way I tune them. Listen to the lower note and try to eliminate any rolling there. That's about the best we can do.

The theory might be explained using difference tones; each neighbouring partial produces a difference tone equal to the fundamental. i.e. 5-4=4-3=3-2=1. Maybe when they are all cancelling as close as possible, the fundamental beat is reduced. Not sure.

You can try this too: Gently touch each bass string near the hammer strike point while playing. Listen for a partial induced. Try to induce the same partial in each chromatic note. Listen for the chromatic scale. Make a judgement as to the closeness of the scale produced to a good sounding chromatic scale.

Also, play each note melodically within a descending major scale, for example. Make an aural judgement on how close it sounds melodically.

One note: when tuning bass notes melodically vs harmonically, often they don't agree.

Finally, don't sweat it too much. They really were never meant to sound good.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2303577 - 07/18/14 01:28 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2496
Loc: Olympia, WA
On Monday I was hired to tune a Yamaha Cp70. They look like this:

As you can see it is VERY short. Really, the bass was impossible to tune. The difference between the 4:2 octave and the 6:3 was huge in the bottom octave. If you tuned a pure 6:3 the 4:2 would beat like crazy, so I decided to comprise and make them beat the same - which was about 3 beats per second! Even so, the lowest notes still sounded somewhat sharp to me when played melodically.

It's all about compromise!
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2303628 - 07/18/14 07:44 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
jim ialeggio Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 746
Loc: shirley, MA
2 pass tuning. On the second pass, tune the bass last after all tenor and treble unisons have been tuned and checked.

Tune bichords to the best compromise where, when held with the sostenuto all octaves, octave fifths double octaves double octave fifth and triple octaves sound similar and reasonably quiet.

Tune monochords with the sustain pedal engaged...all dampers up. Roll a multi octave chord (entire belly resonating)...octave, octave 5th, double 8ve, double 8ve 5th, triple 8ve, triple 8ve5th, etc. I often take this up to the 5th octave. Forget the beats. Listen to the point where the resonance of the entire instrument as a whole falls into place. From a relative perspective, this point of resonance will also be the most quiet point for all these multi- 8ve 8ve-5ths. On some pianos, at this quiet point, a musically audible M3rd or multi-8ve M3 will arise from the whole belly resonance.

I do this on all basses, small pianos as well as large.

The tuning of the bass notes in relation to their bass note neighbors is musically not that important. This because these lower notes are only used musically, chordally, in relation to the 3rd-6th octaves above, whose scaling, even on small instruments is at least similar to larger instruments.

I have no trouble getting reasonable to nice sounding, functional, musically useable small piano bass.

Jim Ialeggio



Edited by jim ialeggio (07/18/14 07:46 AM)
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
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#2303641 - 07/18/14 08:52 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: rysowers]
gynnis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/14
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida, Connecticut
That is one strange looking piano!
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#2303645 - 07/18/14 09:04 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: UnrightTooner]
Glisso Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/16/12
Posts: 2
Thank you Unright Tooner!
Do you use the Stopper Duodecima method?
He uses such an tool.

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#2303654 - 07/18/14 09:46 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
bellspiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 526
Loc: Boston, MA
Boy oh boy, Ryan, for me the challenge would have been taking the thing apart so I could tune it. Does the electric-powered rectangular solid on the top lift off? What is it, anyhow? And are there ordinary tuning pins?
_________________________
Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA

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#2303661 - 07/18/14 10:21 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: rysowers]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: rysowers
On Monday I was hired to tune a Yamaha Cp70. They look like this:

As you can see it is VERY short. Really, the bass was impossible to tune. The difference between the 4:2 octave and the 6:3 was huge in the bottom octave. If you tuned a pure 6:3 the 4:2 would beat like crazy, so I decided to comprise and make them beat the same - which was about 3 beats per second! Even so, the lowest notes still sounded somewhat sharp to me when played melodically.

It's all about compromise!



I have a graph an table in cts from Yamaha, if useful for the next time.

the basses when played does nor sound so off, but indeed o not compare with a piano
_________________________
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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#2303666 - 07/18/14 10:30 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 740
Loc: England
I've tuned Yamaha CP70s many times back in the 80s for popular bands and artists, and you simply have to do the best you can with the drastically false strings in the bass section. Re-stringing the bass makes no improvement .... I did it for Lindisfarne when they held their yearly Christmas concerts at Newcastle City Hall and Elton John when he did his show with Ray Cooper who as well as being on percussion, played along side on a couple of numbers accompanying Elton who used his normal Steinway D ... new strings were just as bad. Don't expect in tune bass sections on these ... it just isn't possible.

The bi-chord trebles tune quite nicely but the bass .... just get them as good as they'll let you.
_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 49 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)
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#2303953 - 07/19/14 08:08 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
They give -13cts to + 20cts on the factory tuning for CP70
_________________________
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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#2303966 - 07/19/14 09:07 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 740
Loc: England
Not sure how these factory tolerances make any sense when in my experience, all these CP70s have so much falseness in just abiut every individual bass string. - I would imagine even the very best ETD couldn't get a lock onto any single bass string to display its actual pitch. To my mind they must tend to 'run home to mama' thinking every individual bass string must be a nasty beating double unison. The only good thing I found about them was the ability to carry on tuning with the aid of headphones whilst get ins and sound checks were in progress at the same time as being booked to tune the horrible things.
_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 49 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com

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#2303984 - 07/19/14 10:24 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Yes I recall the ETD where totally lost. may be they give those cts table to use or be inserted in their ETD PT100 or others memory

I dont know what those ETD are listening to in the basses, so that table of frequencies may well be useless for that section.

I just noticed that the PT100 does not receive any help from stretching, also the tone often have a permanent vibrato used.
The ETD tuning was not really sounding good, by trying to match iH makes it not reasonable wink




Edited by Olek (07/19/14 10:26 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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#2303992 - 07/19/14 10:51 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
Gadzar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Mexico City
I've tuned one of these electrical pianos in my whole career as a piano tuner. Bitter experience.

Tuning the bass by ear was difficult, I couldn't find a suitable tuning. Using my ETD? Impossible, it can not identify the pitch, it gets lost.

I tried both, turned on and off. At first I thought it sounded better when off but it was only an illusion. When turned on it sounded bad.

I tuned the less offensive to my ears.

I hope I never have to tune one again!
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#2303995 - 07/19/14 11:11 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21916
Loc: Oakland
I have tuned those indoors and outdoors, with and without amplification. They make life interesting. The last one was a rare CP60, and the road manager said it had never sounded better.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2304474 - 07/20/14 04:28 PM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: bellspiano]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2496
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: bellspiano
Boy oh boy, Ryan, for me the challenge would have been taking the thing apart so I could tune it. Does the electric-powered rectangular solid on the top lift off? What is it, anyhow? And are there ordinary tuning pins?


You just have to remove a few screws to flip up the portion of the lid that is covering the tuning pins. Yep, ordinary tuning pins in there.

I enjoyed tuning it - it was much quicker than a regular tuning - no trichords and not a full 88 notes.

In regards to the curve shown in the manual - It pretty much looks like a standard Railsback curve. Those numbers don't flatten the bass enough for my ears.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2304708 - 07/21/14 07:24 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 758
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Getting back to baby grand bass tuning, I place a high priority on ensuring that chromatic descending 10th/17th progressions do not remain too rapid in the bottom two octaves. Just a nice slow lazy waver for the 17th way down low always seems to constrain the bass to a good stretch, baby or otherwise. To me it is very distracting and comical to hear quick beat vibrations in the bass caused by over-stretching octaves.


Edited by Chris Leslie (07/21/14 07:29 AM)
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2304721 - 07/21/14 08:18 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Chris Leslie]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
Getting back to baby grand bass tuning, I place a high priority on ensuring that chromatic descending 10th/17th progressions do not remain too rapid in the bottom two octaves. Just a nice slow lazy waver for the 17th way down low always seems to constrain the bass to a good stretch, baby or otherwise. To me it is very distracting and comical to hear quick beat vibrations in the bass caused by over-stretching octaves.



You are absolutely right.
I think small grands is where we can referred to a theoretical moderate rails back curve.

I never had real trouble with cp70.
But the manager never told me he never did sound so nice before wink
_________________________
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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#2304775 - 07/21/14 10:30 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: rysowers]
bellspiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 526
Loc: Boston, MA
Thanks, Ryan -- I am very reassured by your explanation. Nevertheless, sooner you than me!
_________________________
Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA

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#2304796 - 07/21/14 11:00 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: rysowers]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: rysowers
Originally Posted By: bellspiano
Boy oh boy, Ryan, for me the challenge would have been taking the thing apart so I could tune it. Does the electric-powered rectangular solid on the top lift off? What is it, anyhow? And are there ordinary tuning pins?


You just have to remove a few screws to flip up the portion of the lid that is covering the tuning pins. Yep, ordinary tuning pins in there.

I enjoyed tuning it - it was much quicker than a regular tuning - no trichords and not a full 88 notes.

In regards to the curve shown in the manual - It pretty much looks like a standard Railsback curve. Those numbers don't flatten the bass enough for my ears.


As I said I have no idea what partial those cases figure refer to.
It is possible that this is for the 4th partial in basses.
_________________________
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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#2305061 - 07/21/14 08:14 PM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: Glisso]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: michaelopolis
.....
Jeff, Do you use such a tool ? would love to see a pic if so ? thanks ,michael


Originally Posted By: Glisso
Thank you Unright Tooner!
Do you use the Stopper Duodecima method?
He uses such an tool.


Here are pictures of the "spanner" that I made and use. I strive for pure 3:1 12th with plain wires and the most resonant octave and 12th with wound strings.

If you want to know how this might compare with what Mr. Stopper does, you should ask him. smile







_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2305337 - 07/22/14 12:24 PM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: UnrightTooner]
michaelopolis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/12
Posts: 36
Thanks Jeff, Do you find you use it a lot ?

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#2305357 - 07/22/14 12:45 PM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: michaelopolis]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: michaelopolis
Thanks Jeff, Do you find you use it a lot ?


The only time I don't use it is tuning the temperament and unisons. Well, unless I am doing a pitch raise...
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2305486 - 07/22/14 03:51 PM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: UnrightTooner]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner

Here are pictures of the "spanner" that I made and use. I strive for pure 3:1 12th with plain wires and the most resonant octave and 12th with wound strings.


That is quite clever!
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
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#2306316 - 07/24/14 07:15 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: SMHaley]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: SMHaley
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner

Here are pictures of the "spanner" that I made and use. I strive for pure 3:1 12th with plain wires and the most resonant octave and 12th with wound strings.


That is quite clever!


Not really. See, I started out trying to make a boomerang...
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2306335 - 07/24/14 08:23 AM Re: tune the bass strings of a baby grand? [Re: UnrightTooner]
michaelopolis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/12
Posts: 36
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
Originally Posted By: SMHaley
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner

Here are pictures of the "spanner" that I made and use. I strive for pure 3:1 12th with plain wires and the most resonant octave and 12th with wound strings.


That is quite clever!


Not really. See, I started out trying to make a boomerang...


Haha, its nice when you make discoveries through accidents sometimes, must have a go at making one of these, just need to get the measurements of a keyboard at my next appointment.

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