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#633099 - 03/08/03 04:34 PM Re: tuning devices
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
 Quote:

Originally posted by Rick Clark:
Will *anyone* here read that Scientific American article and turn this into an intelligent discussion, or are you all just going to chant your ETD mantras?[/b]
OK, Rick, I happened to read that article after I bought that issue years ago. So are you referring to the small "detuning" policy for unisons that extends their sustaining time a little?

Mark@pianosource.com

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#633100 - 03/08/03 05:33 PM Re: tuning devices
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
Mark,

I wouldn't quite put it in those terms, but that is the article. It has to do with the reflection of the wave through the string and board, phase cancellation as a result of those reflections, and how good ear tuners naturally "fudge" the unisons a bit by ear to get a good, rounded, smoothly progressing, pianistic dynamics envelope on each note, whereas tuning unisons electronically to the same frequency results in a more abbreviated, "deader" type sound.

Since when I hear a consumer complaint about how an ETD tuning came out, the phrase "dead sounding" (or some variation) is usually attached, I tend to think that this effect is significant to the listener/pianist.

Mind you, this is only one issue regarding why an ETD tuner needs to have a "tuner's ear" to understand what does or does not constitute a good tuning.... but since it is so well documented, accessible, and clearly explained, I thought it would be a good place to start, for those of the ETD "no ear tuning ability necessary" persuasion.

Also, I have been called a "dinosaur", and I assume that means "old, set in my ways, unable to change, and not keeping up with current knowledge". I wish to call out the opposition as to the extent of their knowledge and experience on this subject and see what they really know about it and whether they can successfully argue their position without resorting to ad hominem comments.

Regards,

Rick Clark
_________________________
Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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#633101 - 03/08/03 07:28 PM Re: tuning devices
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Rick, I have never experimented with what you are talking about but it makes sense. I have always tuned unisons by ear, and I thought everyone else did as well. I think I can get a unison in tune better/faster with my ear vs. a machine. I tune middle strings with the ETD, and unisons by ear.

Anyway, it would be interesting to setup a situation where you could tune a section of unisons with an ETD, and then the same section by ear on another piano, and see how close the ETD is. I would think that because of inharmonicity, the place where a unison will sound best is not necessarily where the machine wants it to be mathematically. This is basically what you were pointing to in your earler post yes?

KlavierBauer
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#633102 - 03/08/03 09:55 PM Re: tuning devices
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
 Quote:
Originally posted by KlavierBauer:
Rick, I have never experimented with what you are talking about but it makes sense. I have always tuned unisons by ear, and I thought everyone else did as well. I think I can get a unison in tune better/faster with my ear vs. a machine. I tune middle strings with the ETD, and unisons by ear.[/b]
KB and Rick- this also opened my eyes up. I assumed that in this discussion ETD tuning meant tuning one unison string by ETD and the rest to that string by ear. Does anyone out there really tune all 3 strings by ETD? Just for the record, from Day One 28 years ago, I have always tuned one string by ETD, and the rest of that unison by ear. I call that an ETD tuning. Have we been talking about different things here? Note to KB- any reason that you tune the middle string first? I have heard of it being done in all possible orders; just curious why you prefer middle string........Sam
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#633103 - 03/08/03 10:47 PM Re: tuning devices
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
Klavierbauer, no that's not what I meant, and I don't think it's what I said. It's not an inharmonicity issue, it's a wave phase cancellation issue that impacts the volume dynamics envelope of the note. The result is the ear tuned unisons do not have each string to the exact same frequency like the ETDs, but it is more musical and more "correct" than tuning each string to the same frequency.

"me", yes that is the article.

Sam, the ETD tuners I have watched did not do the unisons by ear, but rather by ETD, each string isolated in turn. They referred to the machine on every string. I guess I thought *that* is the usual way.

Regards,

Rick Clark
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Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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#633104 - 03/09/03 12:07 AM Re: tuning devices
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
Rick and all: well it took us a while to get to this point, by all of us assuming we knew what the other really meant. I would be interested in what others in this thread consider "ear" and "ETD" tuning. For me, "ear" is tuning without benefit of an ETD. My view of ETD tuning is using the ETD to tune no more than one string of any given unison. How about the rest of you ETDs on this thread- how do you do it? As much as I love my ETD, I cant imagine using it to tune 3 strings of a unison, for 1 reason: Speed ........Sam
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Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.

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#633105 - 03/09/03 02:49 AM Re: tuning devices
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
I guess I still retain something of a pro-aural or ear tuning bias here because I don't trust the ETA's(like my Verituner) to provide me with a satisfactory sounding unison if I tune all the strings this way. But on a few occasions I have used the ETA for the unison tuning to help with false beats, I actually wasn't displeased with the result, so go figure.

Mark@pianosource.com

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#633106 - 03/09/03 03:15 AM Re: tuning devices
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Rick, sorry for miscommunicating. \:\)

My mind was going in two different directions. I was hypothesizing about inharmonicity, but referring to your comment about the same outcome (with different processes). I will try to find the article you mentioned so I can better understand what you're saying, although it makes sense. Not that it's the same thing, but we can see what different phasing in the sound envelope will do when a hammer doesn't hit all 3 strings squarely. I understand this is a different subject, but a similar principle I think. Two sign waves out of phase can do some funny things soundwise. Again, sorry for implying that you were talking about inharmonicity, I understand that you weren't. I sometimes have trouble communicating with this medium. \:\) I hope I didn't cause you to sigh and exclaim "He just doesn't get it!" *grin*

Sam: I tune the middle string first simply because I've always done it that way. I have a very efficient system of moving the mute when I tune that way, and can move from note to note very easily. I strip mute the piano with felt, tune middle strings, then pull the mute strip. Then with a rubber mute, I tune right, then left strings through the section. I tune one section at a time this way. Of course if the piano is severely out of tune, I will adjust methods accordingly. For example, setting the temperament section first, or pitch raising a section that is significantly flatter than the rest of the piano. But for the most part, I tune chromatically section by section.

KlavierBauer
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#633107 - 03/09/03 03:53 AM Re: tuning devices
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
I use the SAT to tune a single string and then tune the unison by ear excetp for octave 7 which I tune string by string and then check them by ear and by plucking each string. On very difficult pianos with lots of false beats I sometimes tune octaves 6 and 7 string by string with the SAT.
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pianoseed

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#633108 - 03/12/03 02:11 PM Re: tuning devices
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
I would like to apologize for calling the pro-aural anti-etd tuners dinosaurs. From now on I will refer you as "John Henry's." :p
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pianoseed

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#633109 - 03/12/03 02:39 PM Re: tuning devices
ejks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 175
Loc: Land of Lincoln
Thanks again to all who contributed. \:\) I have been considering taking the technology course from the school out in Oregon and this information is helpful. If anyone has any thoughts on that matter I'd love to hear those too. One just has to wade through the opinions but that's what this whole process is about. Thanks again.

Also to Thammer, thanks for the apology. I take that to mean you'll use proper names from now on. Lord only knows how many x's I've changed feet in my mouth! \:D
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People will tell you they know what they like but what they really mean is they like what they know.

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#633110 - 03/12/03 07:24 PM Re: tuning devices
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
thammer,

Does that mean you read the Scientifc American article?

But no one in this thread was ever "anti-ETD". It has just been said that aural tuning skills are important even if you use an ETD, and the ETD is just a tool in the arsenal.

I'm not sure about that "John Henry" reference, though- don't you think that is more appropriate for the restringers? Wham!

Regards,

Rick Clark
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Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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#633111 - 03/13/03 01:04 AM Re: tuning devices
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
Remember John Henry died with a hammer in his hand vowing not to let the steam drill beat him. Aural tuners vow not to let etd's beat them, to no avail. \:\(
_________________________
pianoseed

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#633112 - 03/13/03 01:09 PM Re: tuning devices
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
I see. So you are still attempting to ridicule some of the finest tuners in the world.

Regards,

Rick Clark
_________________________
Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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#633113 - 03/13/03 01:46 PM Re: tuning devices
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/26/01
Posts: 915
Loc: Boston
 Quote:
But no one in this thread was ever "anti-ETD". It has just been said that aural tuning skills are important even if you use an ETD, and the ETD is just a tool in the arsenal.
Yes, but perhaps it is more specifically coming down to what extent someone needs to be familiar with the aural method before a high measure of success can be achieved with an ETD. In past ETD threads, here and on the PTG site I believe, the majority of ETD users have always done unisons aurally after the first string and time was the reason. Also, in a past PTG thread I remember reading a poll on how many tuners deliberately tune unisons imperfect. The response was again a majority stating their aim was pure beatlessness and, if they could get there, perfection. I haven't read the Sci Am link, but intend to when I can get the time.

If, Rick, you are suggesting some lack of phase that comes from a *very* slow beat as the goal, my question would be don't you also notice a reduction in sustain once the notes begin to be tuned in this manner? I try and keep in mind that sounds in opposite phase cancel one another. That's how noice cancelation devises work. As such, I am not convinced that anything other than pure unisons are the what to strive for.

Sorry for not reading the article. Our S&S B arrived home this morning and I am here at work itching to go home and tune the 7 month old strings. I brought them up from a half step flat on Sunday at the incredibly dry environs of the refinisher. Now, its at home in 50%RH with 4 go-bars I cobbed together and placed between the floor and the ribs. I am hopeful that what was very little crown will be prevented from possibly going negative. Laugh, if you want to.

Chris W1
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Amateur At Large

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#633114 - 03/15/03 02:08 AM Re: tuning devices
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
Rick, Get a sense of humor! \:D
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pianoseed

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#633115 - 05/11/03 09:28 AM Re: tuning devices
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
Sorry to bring this up again, but I need a little advise. I have a Peterson strobe tuner which I bought used several years ago. I would like to get a new tuner and am thinking about the Sat III or the Verituner. Could I get some opinions about these two or if there are any other recommendations? Thanks.
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#633116 - 05/11/03 10:43 AM Re: tuning devices
TomtheTuner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Melbourne, Florida USA
Ralph, I don't know the Veri-Tuner at all BUT,,,, I DO know the SAT 3 and it is awesome!!!!

It is a very stable and dependable piece of technology. The Battery will last for a week, the thing can take rough handling,and it does NOT take up much space. It is worth every penny of its price. I really like the ways that you can tweek each piano to account for differences in inharmonicity. The only other alternative I can mention would be the RCT on the HAND-HELD Platform
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#633117 - 05/11/03 11:16 AM Re: tuning devices
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
Thanks Thomas. I think the Sat III is probably the industry standard. The VeriTuner advertises the ability to "listen" to multiple partials. I don't know if this would help or just confuse things for me. I have seen the Sat III but never the Verituner. Unfortunatetly I haven't seen the RCT but have heard good things. The Sat III is probably the safe choice since this has been around for a while.
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Do or do not. There is no try.

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#633118 - 05/12/03 01:32 PM Re: tuning devices
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
Does anyone know if any of these ETDs will listen to intervals and determine if there are an appropriate number of beats? It sure would help if it could determine if major and minor thirds, fourths and fifths and properly "out of tune".
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#633119 - 05/12/03 01:52 PM Re: tuning devices
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/26/01
Posts: 915
Loc: Boston
Ralph,

Any ETD that has temperment settings should be steering you for the beat rates of your choice. TuneLabs defaults to equal temperment and, by so doing, should achieve the 3 beat/5 seconds fifths, etc. If you don't like that, the software comes with mean(?) tone and all that other stuff.

FYI, Robert Scott's TuneLabs also measures up to the 6th/7th partials and, I believe, will function on a pocket PC. Check out Bill Spurlocks new tuning pin mount for these devices:

http://www.spurlocktools.com/id63.htm

From the pic, it looks like it the RCT works on pocket PC's, as well.

Chris
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Amateur At Large

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#633120 - 05/12/03 03:11 PM Re: tuning devices
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
That sounds great Chris. I'm going to give Tunelab a try. I believe they offer a free download. I just received my Steinway B back after a total rebuild. It took 14 months, but the results are marvelous. I can't keep my hands off the piano, but I like to keep it in tune (who doesn't). I don't mind taking a tuning hammer to it every week or so just for a few touch up areas. After a while, I've found one begins to know a specific piano and all the "trouble" areas. I knew where they were before the rebuild, but haven't found any since. Still, every piano has it's own personality and I think, in time, I'll be able to tune it better and more often than someone else. Thanks again.
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