What is considered a pitch raise for you?

Posted by: PeterGriffin

What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/02/14 07:04 PM

How much cents below pitch does a piano have to be for you to consider tuning it a pitch raise?
Posted by: Tim Sullivan

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/02/14 07:45 PM

I almost always do two passes, so I don't know if my response is all that useful. I consider a pitch raise to be about 10 cents in the bass. If it's ten cents flat or sharp in the tenor, I just give that section a quick adjustment before I start to tune.
When I come across a piano that's really flat (like 70+ cemts or more), then I do three passes; one very quick by ear, then one with Tunelab in overpull mode, then one more by ear.
I strongly recommend two passes if the piano is overall more than about 10-15 cents flat.
The trick is to get through that first pass as quickly as possible. Every tuning will benefit from two passes.
Quick, rough tuning is almost as much of a skill as fine tuning.
Tim
Posted by: Mark Cerisano, RPT

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/02/14 08:16 PM

Generally if A4Fork beats at or faster than 7bps you may have to retune some sections.

I use a P4 window for precision and almost always have to deal with a pitch raise or drop around octaves six and seven.

P4 test:
M3<M10<M17<M6
Example
C#3F3<C#3F4<C#3F5<C#3A#3 (tempered 12th, =C#3A#3 for a pure 12th)

The octave and double octave has to fit between the P4 and that's pretty tight.
For consistent P4's, you get consistent M10's and M17's.
Also, and this is where the pitch raise comes in, I often find the top note of the double octave has drifted, and then I have to retune it.
Posted by: showard

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/02/14 08:34 PM

In general, if the piano is more than about 7 cents flat I will do a pitch raise. Though sometimes I'll only find the middle section to be about 10 cents flat and the rest fairly close. In these cases I'll run through the middle section to bring it close then go through the fine tuning. We've had so much cold weather this winter here in Wisconsin I'm finding that I'm leaving some of the pianos 10 cents flat or so as it's been so dry I know that the pitch is going to go up when the weather warms up. This avoids having to bring it up in pitch and then back down when I go to tune at the end of summer.
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/02/14 09:54 PM

'Depends on the kind of day I'm having, and the financial status of the customer. (I'm kidding ... mostly.) Borderline cases are a judgement call.
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/03/14 08:39 AM

Here around Chicago, just about every tuning is a pitch raise/lower!

With the reality of the measured/calculated overpull available in most of the electronic tuning devices ending up so close to at pitch after one pass, why wouldn't I treat everything as a pitch raise? Even a piano with all the notes a few cents off either way is going to end up off pitch if you just aim at "in tune" one time through.

I just assume two passes for everything and move along...

Ron Koval
Posted by: anrpiano

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/03/14 08:48 AM

Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Here around Chicago, just about every tuning is a pitch raise/lower!

With the reality of the measured/calculated overpull available in most of the electronic tuning devices ending up so close to at pitch after one pass, why wouldn't I treat everything as a pitch raise? Even a piano with all the notes a few cents off either way is going to end up off pitch if you just aim at "in tune" one time through.

I just assume two passes for everything and move along...

Ron Koval


Ron is dead on. In my early years I would hear these discussions on Ptech about whether or not to tell the customer/charge/or even do a pitch raise. I never saw a piano which didn't have some significant pitch adjustment needs at the very least in the tenor. I just factored it into my normal service call and went on my way for 30 years. On those rare occasions when things are pretty close, I have few minutes to chase capstans or let off or anything else which catches my fancy.
Posted by: Mark Cerisano, RPT

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/03/14 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: showard
In general, if the piano is more than about 7 cents flat I will do a pitch raise. Though sometimes I'll only find the middle section to be about 10 cents flat and the rest fairly close. In these cases I'll run through the middle section to bring it close then go through the fine tuning. We've had so much cold weather this winter here in Wisconsin I'm finding that I'm leaving some of the pianos 10 cents flat or so as it's been so dry I know that the pitch is going to go up when the weather warms up. This avoids having to bring it up in pitch and then back down when I go to tune at the end of summer.


This has always confused me. If one does not tune to A440 exactly each time, don't you end up having to retune the treble and bass each time?
Posted by: Mark Cerisano, RPT

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/03/14 03:17 PM

Originally Posted By: RonTuner


I just assume two passes for everything and move along...

Ron Koval


With the P4 test, I end up with a "come along kids" approach that makes my one pass a little longer, but catches the drifters. It works for me.
Posted by: DavidWB

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/03/14 03:29 PM

I too almost always do what I think of as a preparatory passóone or more, as neededóbefore doing the fine tuning. I want most all of the strings within a couple of cents of target before the final pass. If the deviation is greater than that, I do bring the strings in line as needed. Sometimes only scattered notes or a certain section needs correction. Other times, of course, three passes (or even four) are necessary to prepare the piano for the fine tuning.

I find that the preparation saves time on the fine tuning, and the resulting tuning is going to be more stable for the customer.

A nice thing I've found is that, because of how varied the need for preparation can be, beyond a base rate for the fine tuning, I have a lot of flexibility to charge what I feel is appropriate for what I do for the preparation. When a new customer asks what I charge, I tell them the base fee for the fine tuning and explain that usually the piano will need preparation for the fine tuning, and the charge for that varies according to what I need to do. I then tell them what the high end, "worst case" could be.
Posted by: 88Key_PianoPlayer

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/05/14 07:37 PM

So is my idea of "if the fork and A sound like a chord (2 separate notes), it needs a pitch raise" a little too lenient?
Posted by: Tunewerk

Re: What is considered a pitch raise for you? - 03/06/14 09:58 AM

Any more than about 8c at 440 (~ 2Hz).

Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano
This has always confused me. If one does not tune to A440 exactly each time, don't you end up having to retune the treble and bass each time?


I agree.

Having maintained pianos in many cases where I've returned to them on a regular basis over time, I don't think this is a good method any longer.

Initially, I thought it made sense: the soundboard is rising and falling, so shouldn't we put less stress on the piano by tuning the midpoint?

What I've found is that in most cases the strings lose tension in a pocket in the middle, while the more supported (less mobile) areas of the soundboard tend to remain stable. Every piano has a unique signature of how it loses tension - but always starting in the center. So, the treble (above C6 or so) and the bass (below C2 or so), tend to remain stable.

If the tension is not recharged in the center pocket, then the treble and bass will begin to lose tension gradually and soon the piano will require a more drastic pitch raise. Conversely, if the extremes of the piano are corrected to the center pitch, the need for a more drastic pitch raise will be created later.

Over periods of soundboard movement, the strings do gradually lose tension. The piano cannot be modeled as a sine, but more accurately as a sine following a downward curve (with respect to net tension over time).