Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
Who's Online
132 registered (Anita Potter, anotherscott, accordeur, 42 invisible), 1634 Guests and 11 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#609302 - 02/04/09 09:08 AM Tuning Wound Strings
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
I experience two separate problems with tuning wound strings. There is what I call “random partials” in wound strings, where one test will show the string to be in tune and another will not. I also hear this aurally when a partial or two of one string will not match up with the partials of another in a unison and also in an octave. Then there is the change in iH in the lower bass. It is usually referred to as the iH increasing, but really it is just less of a decrease, or a change of iH slope. Whatever it may be called, it results in a greater difference in pitch from one octave type to another, and even worse multiple octave type to another.

What is working well for me is to tune 12:3 double octaves. The test is m10th – M6, is available all the way to A0, and can also be ghosted. I have been switching from 6:3 to 12:6 octaves when I hear that the single octaves don’t line up so well anymore. But now I’ve been starting them higher in the scale and my double octaves seem better for it. Of course, because of “random partials” some adjustments have to be made.

So what do other aural tuners do?
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

Top
(ad PTG 757) The Value of PTG Membership
The Value of a PTG Membership
#609303 - 02/04/09 10:55 AM Re: Tuning Wound Strings
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
I hear that though I am not an aural tuner. I do listen and when I hear the problems you mention, I measure all the different partials of the strings. In the case of a mismatched unison, I pick the string that fits the overall scheme the best and tune that properly. Then I make the wild string blend in the best.
In the other case, I go by the volume levels of the partials. I play and listen to what I think are the predominate ones and and tune to blend those the best.
What we hear as tuners can go out with the wash when the whole piano is played.
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

Top
#609304 - 02/04/09 11:05 AM Re: Tuning Wound Strings
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Keith:

Thanks for responding. I know just what you mean especially: "What we hear as tuners can go out with the wash when the whole piano is played."

Sometimes it seems best to mistune a bass note low in pitch to the point that none of the obvious partials quite line up, so that the ear doesn’t have an “anchor” to go by and everything sounds OK. The 12:3 double octave often does this for me.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

Top
#609305 - 02/04/09 11:48 AM Re: Tuning Wound Strings
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1533
Loc: Old Hangtown California
I tune an old C Bechstein - all of the wound bichords cannot be tuned aurally or with etd. They are just old and in need of replacement - not dirty or oxidized.
Example: tuning octaves out of temperament I tune right string of bichord to octave and P5 above and it fits nicely, then tune the unison, now the left string is beating with the P5 and octave above - there is no solution other than conpromise.
As for the lo bass I like to stay with one partial as I believe this will end up being more musical in the end. I will use the 6:3 all the way to A0 - generally just play the octave with my test intervals but also ghost the octave and the 6:3 is easy to hear. If in the lowest bass there are other higher partials that have more volume I will stretch to quiet them down and it usually works out ok.
Most of the time the fundamental in the lo bass is so ill-defined that it really does not matter where it ends up. The partials are more important as they will help make the tuning more musical.
I have never incorporated the double octave into my tunings. I rely more on the P5.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

Top
#609306 - 02/04/09 01:32 PM Re: Tuning Wound Strings
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Gene:

I understand what you are doing in the low bass. In the high bass are you tuning a compromise between the octave and the fifth?

You mentioned this problem with an old Beckstein. It is an old Chickering that brings this to my mind. A pianist complained that the bass was dead. Well, I wouldn’t call it dead, but I wouldn’t call it powerful either. I think the problem is that the bass has a confusing sound. So I am second guessing myself, wondering what I might have done differently. I wish I had started the 12:3 double octaves with the highest wound string. Oh well, next time.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

Top
#609307 - 02/04/09 02:53 PM Re: Tuning Wound Strings
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1533
Loc: Old Hangtown California
Jeff:
The P5 and octave usually agree much the same as a P5 in the temperament. I will always test the P5 to be certain it is slightly on the narrow side and this will usually provide adaquet stretch. It is a reliable guide. All bets are off however when I tune across the break.
I have always favored a pure 6:3 in the bass and will include the m3/M6 and M3/10 &17 as well as chromatics to help keep on track as sometimes the P5 can stretch things a bit too much by itself - but I have never been too narrow using it. I use it in the upper tenor/treble as well.

One other thing that I will try on wound bichord unisons that are difficult and tend to make me feel lost is: mute the left string and play the right with any interval - preferably a fast beating interval. Several intervals can be experimented with. - then move the mute to the right string and play the same interval. Is the beat speed the same with both strings? This will give me an idea of where the mismatch or missing partials are and help with compromise decisions. It also helps fine tune unisons that do not have problems. I have always had an easier go at matching fast beat speeds as opposed to tuning pure beatless anything.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

Top
#609308 - 02/05/09 07:46 AM Re: Tuning Wound Strings
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Gene:

Thanks for the clarification. I have read that some tuners tune beatless fifths in the upper bass, but I think this makes the octaves too busy. I suppose it depends on where the upper bass starts, too.

I think the selection of tuning faster beating, slower beating or non-beating intervals is a fascinating subject. For instance, when you do the math, the use of progressive 3rds or 10ths or 17ths (major or minor) in the bass is twice as accurate as progressive 7ths or 14ths or 21sts. A beatless octave does not really exist, but a beatless 12ths does. And I think it is easier to hear the difference between 5 and 5-1/2 bps than it is to hear the difference between 10 and 10-1/2 bps even if the ½ bps in each case equals 1 cent.

When I ghost the 12:3 double octave in the low bass I actually ghost the test. I listen to the beat rate of the M6 and then match it by pushing down on the m10, with out playing, and striking the 12th partial, which is in the 4th octave. It tunes the bottom octave better than anything I’ve tried, but sometimes I then need to make compromises in the next octave up.

[Edit:] On "muddy" sounding pianos the M6 test interval can be ghosted, too.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

Top
#609309 - 02/05/09 12:31 PM Re: Tuning Wound Strings
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1533
Loc: Old Hangtown California
I think the selection of tuning faster beating, slower beating or non-beating intervals is a fascinating subject.
_______________________________________________
It really is: And in my experience when slow and fast beating intervals are combined I get the best results. It does not matter weather I temper the fast and test with the slow or the opposite. It is the combination that gets the accuracy as both must agree.

On a side note: ever run across a piano that the lowest two or three notes are unusually sharp?
I think what happenes is that the previous tuner used an etd and not the ears - the etd picked up the wrong partial. Another example that ears must always be combined with etd.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

Top
#609310 - 02/05/09 12:53 PM Re: Tuning Wound Strings
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Gene:

Not like you mention, but not too long ago there was a console where the entire bass section was a number of hertz sharp of the tenor, but the tenor was also a number of hertz above A440. I have always experienced a pitch change affecting the tenor more. I can’t help but wonder if it was a relative of a tuning that I heard at a neighborhood concert. The tuning was fresh and the temperament was very equal, but the treble was uninteresting and the upper bass was so sharp that I cringed.

I don’t have an ETD for practical purposes, but I don’t think I want one at all. I would rather continue developing my ear. I keep thinking of analogies with GPS and marine navigation…
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

Top
#609311 - 02/05/09 06:06 PM Re: Tuning Wound Strings
David Jenson Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2200
Loc: Maine
"What we hear as tuners can go out with the wash when the whole piano is played." Keith Roberts
___________

'Exactly! It's interesting to discuss (sort of), but in the realm of getting the darn things to sound decent and work right, it's about the last 2% of the job.

'Interesting though. Don't get me wrong.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

Top
#609312 - 02/06/09 08:10 AM Re: Tuning Wound Strings
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
David, that is a very good point.

I do find myself grasping for a one-size-fits-all solution, but there isn’t any. What can be done is to use different tests to first determine what is going on, and then use them as standards to deviate from.

I think all dictionaries should have a picture of a piano under the word “compromise.”
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

Top

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
Christmas Header
Christmas Lights at Piano World Headquarters in Maine 2014
-------------------
The December Free Piano Newsletter
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai vs. Yamaha: what to choose
by SeeSharp
12/21/14 02:19 PM
Disklavier Pro Alternatives? C5X Value for money?
by bryan77
12/21/14 01:15 PM
piano sound is the result of more than just the hammer speed
by Keith D Kerman
12/21/14 01:05 PM
piano sound is the result of more than just the hammer speed
by Keith D Kerman
12/21/14 01:05 PM
country style piano
by seniormoment
12/21/14 12:42 PM
Forum Stats
77387 Members
42 Forums
160043 Topics
2350218 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission