tuning a piano with all new strings

Posted by: flash45

tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/16/13 11:42 PM

Hi everyone. I was wondering how frequently I will have to have my piano tuned as it has been rebuilt (all new strings pinblock pins etc.) It was tuned before I got it, then I had it tuned 2mos later (early nov) as i noticed it was out of tune. It sounds good overall but I can hear some notes are slightly out (flat) and some of the unisons are not quite together (I hear waves or beats) I hope you understand what I mean..
Posted by: Supply

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/17/13 12:00 AM

A new piano from a store should be tuned 3 - 4 times the first year, 2 - 3 times the second year. (Individual manufacturers may have slightly different recommendations) A rebuilt piano often does not have the tuning stability, initially, as a piano from a factory. So you can count on even more tunings. However, there is great variability between rebuilders. Best to talk to your rebuilder as see what is considered normal for the work they turn out.

It is important to not let the pitch drop appreciably, so keep the tunings regular in the first few years. Personally, on restrung pianos of my own, I tune slightly above concert pitch for the first year at least - the piano will then gently settle to A-440.
good luck,.
Posted by: TunerJeff

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/17/13 12:23 AM

Jurgen knows what he's talking about!

Attention to tuning in the first year or two will pay longterm dividends in stability as your piano ages. When the piano has been well-trained and tuned from the get-go...they tend to be more solid and stable as the years go by.

Remember that you are stabilizing and 'conditioning' about 40,000 to 50,000 lbs. of string tension on the plate, soundboard, and frame. Tune it frequently in the first two years, and it will actually WANT to tune easily when the technician comes to service the piano...or so I have found after 30+ years of tuning. There is a real difference in the tuning of a well-maintained piano vs. one infrequently serviced. When tuned well during the first two years, they just know where they should go, and they tend to be more solid and reliable between tunings, too.

Every 3 or 4 months is not a bad idea at all!

Just sayin',
I am,
Posted by: Olek

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/17/13 02:38 AM

The japanese tuner said you learn the young piano to be in tune, as a young dog learns to be quiet.
Posted by: Bob

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/17/13 01:55 PM

The stabilty of a rebuilt piano will depend on the quality of the piano, and what the rebuilder does to stabilize the strings. My most recent rebuild, a Steinway A was a quick in home tuning, one month after delivery, however the strings had been on the piano about 6 months, and I'd tuned it 6 times during that time, in addition to other string stabilizing things such as seating at the bridge and hitch pin, tightening tuning pin coils, etc.

Jurgen's schedule is a good guide and it's important because experience has shown me that keeping a piano at pitch when new will lead to a more stable piano as it ages and it will handle humidity changes better. The piano "learns" what in tune is, and tends to want to stay there - for want of a better phrase.
Posted by: Olek

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/17/13 03:55 PM

It also takes some time before the attack of the note have that nice rebound expected.
When new the strings seem to send partials in all directions and the sound is not policed, even when tuned, the piano is a little harsh for some time.

Totally agreed on more tuning the first years , 2 years seem to be enough , but keeping the pitch with new strings is less easy (unless they have settle a few months in the rebuilder shop with adequate treatment, as said Bob)

ANd yes it pay in the long run I haave seen a piano staying "playeable" without real pitch drop, for years, (10 to be exact but the pitch was 438,5 at that moment) only after a good stabilisation the 3 first years (fine regulation and voicing inclueded) But it was a new piano from a factory, and possibly have been yet worked in the dealers workshop too

I was the first surprized
Posted by: Emmery

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/17/13 06:03 PM

Totally depends on how well the string was formed around the hitch pin and coiled on the pin. If it was put in a position that closely resembles what it will settle to in a year, the time to stabilize will significantly be reduced.
Posted by: Olek

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/18/13 04:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Emmery
Totally depends on how well the string was formed around the hitch pin and coiled on the pin. If it was put in a position that closely resembles what it will settle to in a year, the time to stabilize will significantly be reduced.


Around the bridge pins as well, while massaging/marking the bend too soon will make the tone loose some partials.
Posted by: Olek

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/18/13 05:04 AM

Originally Posted By: flash45
Hi everyone. I was wondering how frequently I will have to have my piano tuned as it has been rebuilt (all new strings pinblock pins etc.) It was tuned before I got it, then I had it tuned 2mos later (early nov) as i noticed it was out of tune. It sounds good overall but I can hear some notes are slightly out (flat) and some of the unisons are not quite together (I hear waves or beats) I hope you understand what I mean..


Just for the story I was called once to tune a S&S B that had new strings installed 16 months before, and was tuned once in the customer's place since then (and probably not much stabilized in the workshop)

The pianist (a professional) was planning a rehearseal with a violin and a cello (in fact they dd work yet for some hours)

The piano was 2 tones flat and all other the place, I even wondered how they could play any music on it.

After a pitch raise pass and a tuning it was just barely playeable for one afternoon.

The pinblock was not changed and it was visibly shot , I find 3-4 different pin size while tuning.

Just to witness how much some so (rare) called professional musicians can have mud in the ears, and be mean on paying a technician .

In the end he wanted to sell the piano but the pinblock have to be changed before (the original workshop did the job in correction of their precedent miss, so all finished well)

The conservatory I worked for at those time left all (but the exams) pianos 14 months without tuning (due to my job the pianos did hold enough ...)

And the music teatchers pretend to learn students how to listen wink













Posted by: rysowers

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/18/13 11:59 AM

When we return a restrung piano to a client we include the first 5 tunings with the job: 3 weeks, 2 months, 5 months, 8 months, one year.

We leave the piano at 444 for the first tuning, and plan on massaging all the strings down and accentuating the string bends at the 8 month tuning.

Make sure the coils are nice and tight around the tuning pins - sloppy coils don't help tuning stability.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/18/13 12:01 PM

And, Ryan gives them a free CAT Joy!!!!! LOL!
Posted by: flash45

Re: tuning a piano with all new strings - 01/18/13 03:18 PM

Thank you all very much! I had no idea that I would have to have my piano tuned so often for the first few years. The info regarding string placement and bend etc. is mind boggeling. I will have to talk to my tech. About this. I am not a prof. Musician but I love to play the piano and spent a lot of money (for me) for my piano so I want to do everything right.