Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly

Posted by: Lou

Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/07/02 03:28 PM

Hello,

I hope I'm not repeating a frequently asked question here. But, here goes.

I bought my first piano with in the past year. It's a 1981 Yamaha U3. When I first got it I of course got the obligitory first tunning and it was okay after that. Then with in about three or maybe four months I notice it sounded flat here and there in the keys.

So I asked my teacher if she could recommend someone that was really good. So she dropped a name and I made an appoinment.

This guy was absolutely great. He had perfect pitch as well as one of those little electronic tuner things.

After he left I felt like I had a totally different piano it was perfect all the way up and down the keyboards. We found that it was about 13 cents flat and then he did a double tunning. (a lot of familiarity to the 'cents' post I'm sorry \:o )

So that was about three months ago, and already I'm getting that not here and there sounding flat.

I have to confess something here though. \:\(
Unfortunately I don't have one of those hedonistic rooms to keep my instrument in like others. \:o

The tempature in my NYC apartment actually does swing a bit. It's warm in the days and then at night it gets cool. It is a noticable change, but it's not like 90 degrees to 55. (don't have a humidifier yet either I can never find any in the city that are of good quality)

So I'm thinking that that swing is causing it to lose it's tune. But some people I talk to completely disagree, others say that I'm dead on. So I thought I'd try the experts here ;\)

Anyone got any info.

Some people also suggested that since I just bought it used that it may have been one of those perfectly good piano's that just kind of sat around for many years and was never tuned, so it takes the piano a little longer to get used to the stress of the strings so it loses it's tune quicker.

The last time that the new piano tuner was there he looked the piano over and said it was a pretty good little piano and the the pin block looked pretty good as well.

So...???....
Posted by: JBryan

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/07/02 03:57 PM

I should think there would not be a lot of swinging going on in a room that was not hedonistic. :p

Seriously, if there are wide variations in temperature, that will effect the ability of the piano to stay in tune. Also, if you have to move the entire scale very far it will take some time and some retunings for it to stabilize and stay in tune.
Posted by: TomtheTuner

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/07/02 04:04 PM

Please look to the Home page for piano world and click on the link to Dampp-Chaser. Please please plesas get a comnplete System installed by a competent tech.This is the Only way you and your Yamaha have a fighting chanch. Trust me :p
Posted by: Lou

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/07/02 04:07 PM

I don't know about Damp Chaser I just heard so many things about it.

\:\(

But then again I could look at it the other way. My piano isn't exactly a Bosendorfer and I know I'm not going to keep it my whole life so maybe it is worth a shot.

Can anyone put to rest some common misconceptions about the Damp Chaser

\:D


(i know i'm overdoing the graemlins here but I can't help it I'm like liberaci with these things)
Posted by: TomtheTuner

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/07/02 04:14 PM

I have installed hundreds of systems. In Florida, and in Virginia. Here in Florida, we don't need the Humidifier part of the system as much as up north, but we do need the heating rod & the Humidistat. Just the un controlled rod is NOT a good Idea. The 1981 U3 is a heck of a fine instrument. once you get it stabelized you will never want to let it go
Posted by: SamLewisPiano.com

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/07/02 07:52 PM

I agree completely with Thomas. The U3 is a very good instrument, worth a DamppChaser. Dampp Chasers work!! And yes, your room is the problem. It sounds as if the piano is staying in tune longer than I would have guessed, given its circumstances. I have pro clients that like their pianos done monthly. In reality, it starts going out of tune within hours of the tuning, it's just that most people dont hear those small changes.........Sam
Posted by: pianoseed

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/08/02 12:41 AM

I agree with all of the above. Its a great piano. Take care of it.
Posted by: EricL

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/08/02 01:15 PM

It looks like I am the devil's advocate here. If I were you, I would go with Plan A first. Plan A is to do something to stabilize BOTH the temperature and humidity in the room where the piano is placed before going to Plan B, which is to install a DamppChaser system inside the piano.

Eric
Posted by: Lou

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/08/02 01:16 PM

I think that's where I'm headed to.

I'll give it some more time before going to the damp chaser
Posted by: TomtheTuner

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/08/02 09:11 PM

If your piano were a grand , I could almost aggree to trying to control the room environment before installing a Complete Dampp Chaser System. Because your piano is an upright, I feel that you are wasting money going with Plan A. :rolleyes:
Posted by: Chris W1

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/09/02 10:42 PM

Lou,

I aggree with everyone else, but it doesn't have to be Damp Chaser, so long as you can come up with a humidistat and wire it to any heat rod. Heat rods very similar to Damp Chaser are sold under other names. Moisturemaster is one you could try. Just check the wattage. I have 2 - 25 watt bars, while other, longer bars, come in near 50 watts, I think. The key may be that you don't want to go down to 10, or 15 and under power it.

You should also get a digital hygrometer. I was in a shop today that had a marvelous collection of pianos and saw no less than 3 of them all reading 40-42%RH. With it in the piano, you'll be able to grade what ever system you end up with. If its not doing the job, you may consider closing up gaps in lower fallboards, etc, with weatherstripping. That, alone, can enable your system to keep up with outside humidity above 70%.

If you need to combat dryness, first correct the room humidity, if econimically controlable. Otherwise, go with Damp Chaser.

Good luck,
Chris W
Posted by: TomtheTuner

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/10/02 10:50 AM

Moisture Master is out of business, kaput, gone. and were NEVER approved by UL. They are NOT recommended by the manufactuers. A properly installed Dampp-Chaser system is the ONLY thing besides a climate controled room that is recommended by the people who MAKE pianos :rolleyes:
Posted by: SamLewisPiano.com

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/10/02 01:03 PM

Thomas is right...........
Posted by: Lou

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/11/02 08:21 AM

Thanks all for the info. I went out and got a humidistat this weekend and monitored infor throughout the weekend.

It looks like it's about 70-73 degrees farenhight with 38-42 % humidity during the day.

And at night it's around 67-69 degrees with 33% humidity.

So it swings a bit. Now I have to find a humidifier. I don't think I'm ready for the damp chaser yet though it sounds like a viable option
Posted by: EricL

Re: Piano Loses Tune Quite quickly - 03/11/02 12:01 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Lou:
It looks like it's about 70-73 degrees farenhight with 38-42 % humidity during the day.

And at night it's around 67-69 degrees with 33% humidity.

So it swings a bit. [/b]


In my opinion, this small swing in temp and humidity is not the main cause of the problem. The fact that your piano often goes flat instead of just going out-of-tune (which may be flat or sharp) suggests to me that the soundboard (and/or other wood parts) of your piano is 'shrinking'. This is particularly the case if your piano is a grey market Yamaha.

There are of course other possibilities such as loose tuning pins (which is not likely because your tech should be able to identify this problem when he/she tunes the piano), or stress relaxation by the strings (again not likely because your piano is some twenty years old), or defective strings (if the same notes go flat everytime).

Eric