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!

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
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
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 Accessories
* 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
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#650737 - 06/11/07 04:10 PM is it true?
Margarita Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Maryland
Today I read this :
 Quote:
Piano tuners will also need to adapt to these changes. All pianos will be self-tuning, so income from tuning will decrease. However, pianos in tune 100% of the time will need to be voiced more frequently, and how hammers are made and voiced will need to change. It is not that today's pianos do not need voicing just as much, but when the strings are in perfect tune, any deterioration of the hammer becomes the limiting factor to sound quality. Piano tuners will finally be able to properly regulate and voice pianos instead of just tuning them; they can concentrate on the quality of the piano sound, instead of just getting rid of dissonances. Since the new generation of more accomplished pianists will be aurally more sophisticated, they will demand better sound and keyboard touch. The greatly increased number of pianos and their constant use will require an army of new piano technicians to regulate and repair them.
Do you think this is going to happen?
I took it from here:
http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book.php5?page=sect_01_04_06_04

Top
(ad PTG 568) Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps
Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps
#650738 - 06/11/07 05:12 PM Re: is it true?
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
There are pianos 100 years old that are being restored. The money is not going to be spent to make all pianos self tuning. The heated of the wire trick by electricity has it's flaws too. Would you rather pay extra for the self tuning capabilities and still have to pay a technician to service and upgrade that system or hire a tuner every 6 months. The cost would appear to work out the same.
I don't see it happening yet. It would seem that it would be applied to guitars first. There are far less strings involved.
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

Top
#650739 - 06/11/07 05:44 PM Re: is it true?
Mechanical Doll Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/07
Posts: 199
Loc: Garden State, USA
If you read through the site, I think it becomes clear that this is the opinion of one individual as opposed to the consensus of a group. It doesn't mean he's wrong, but it also does not make for a guaranteed outcome.

My 2¢ \:\)
_________________________
Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. ~Confucius

Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life. ~Jean Paul Richter

Top
#650740 - 06/11/07 07:29 PM Re: is it true?
CTPianotech Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 1473
Loc: CT
Don Gilmore has come up with a device that can be added during the manufacturing process to make the piano 'self tuning'

He is a member here, and goes by the name eromolignod

QRS music was going to manufacture this into their pianos, but haven't. It's been several years now, and none of these devices have been manufactured into their pianos, save I believe one prototype which Mr Gilmore owns.

More recently, he claims to have been very close with another manufacture to striking a deal, yet later expressed some frustration with them as well.
_________________________
Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
D-C installations, Player-Piano installations/service
Ritmuller/Pearl River

Top
#650741 - 06/11/07 08:25 PM Re: is it true?
rkw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/07
Posts: 141
Loc: Conway Arkansas 72034
Techs have been talking (or worrying) about this for decades. Can a machine be invented that knows how to effectively:

1. Set the pitch,
2. Set the strings,
3. Set the pins,
4. Tell when certain pins cannot be set properly and adjust technique accordingly, and
5. Employ technique to minimize string breakage?

What am I forgetting? Oh well. I just do not think that you can take the piano tuner/tech out of the equation and maintain good, stable tuning quality.

Unfortunately, some (perhaps many) piano owners do not know when a piano is really in tune and holding its tune. So such a machine, if developed, would still find its niche in the market whether it works properly or not. Consequently, tuning market share could drop.

However, I do agree with Keith that if such becomes available, a new opportunity will have been created, and the consumer will still pay the tech for some manner of related services.
_________________________
Bob, Retired Piano Technician
http://sites.google.com/site/sixfigurepianoservice/

Top
#650742 - 06/12/07 06:59 AM Re: is it true?
junmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 397
Loc: United Arab Emirates
It's not a threat to tuners. If you want to own such piano, how much would you be paying for it? Only a very small percentage of piano buyers will be able to afford it. The rest will go traditional.

JUNMER
_________________________
JUNMER
Piano tuner / Piano teacher
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
0097150-6543009
0097155-6543009

Top
#650743 - 06/12/07 07:41 AM Re: is it true?
rkw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/07
Posts: 141
Loc: Conway Arkansas 72034
Good point, junmer. It'll cost a bundle.
_________________________
Bob, Retired Piano Technician
http://sites.google.com/site/sixfigurepianoservice/

Top
#650744 - 06/12/07 08:46 AM Re: is it true?
Margarita Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Maryland
The price is not the point.
Because the same happened with the record players, the TV, the computers , the internet etc… First they were expensive then the price dropped and they became affordable.
I think the problem is somewhere else.
The people are not conscious enough about the need of tuning,
The programs in the music schools, the music teachers, the music books, the whole music education has to point the need of maintaining the piano regularly (like people maintain their cars, their houses, their …wives…) and the importance of the well tuned (regulated, voiced etc.) piano for the performer (sound, touch.) and the enjoinment of the music.
People treat the piano like a sofa…. The piano is something special, it brings you to another world, it adds magic to the everyday life.
And the tuning (the tuner) is part of this magic \:D

Top
#650745 - 06/12/07 11:03 AM Re: is it true?
eromlignod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 379
Loc: Kansas City
Hi guys:

I'm Don Gilmore, the inventor of the self-tuning piano. I guess I should update everyone on how it is going.

I had a contract with QRS/Story & Clark to develop and build the STP for several years. They basically sat on the technology and never developed it, ostensibly due to other projects and cash flow, and their contract has now expired. I also spent a year fooling around with Steinway, Petrof and Estonia, who, as with other manufacturers, want desperately to eat the pie, but don't want to help bake it.

So I have decided to take my final royalty payment from QRS and apply it to literally designing and building the production prototype myself (part of my final royalty was to give me a S&C Prelude grand which will be converted). Now that the ball is finally in my court, I have made leaps and bounds in the design and construction.

I have integrated all the electronics to a single, small circuit board that controls everything. This board is being soldered up right now and I expect it this week. I have coils coming for all the sustainer modules and will test them this week too. Hopefully by next week I'll be ready to re-string and get the whole thing going at once and start work trying to minimize the tuning time. Accuracy is not a concern as it is ungodly already.

I have decided that it would be a good idea to include all the bells and whistles in the prototype. It will have an LCD readout that allows the pianist to choose a temperament as well as a scale center (A440, A442, etc.). It will also have the option of allowing a field tuning where a technician can flip a switch (actually a key switch), tune the piano, then flip the switch back...the piano will now repeat this new tuning. Of course it will also have a "factory tuning", which is an actual manual tuning done at the factory and stored (in this case by my personal tech here in town). I may even include a remote control fob (which is easy to add), to appeal to the "gimmick" crowd.

There have been many improvements since it was originally publicized in the NY Times, NPR Radio, etc. I can't tell you all the new and different features until I apply for my second patent, but I will try to answer any questions you might have about the system. I hope to have it ready to show by the end of the summer and I'll be sure to post videos at that time.

Don A. Gilmore
Kansas City

Top
#650746 - 06/12/07 11:06 AM Re: is it true?
Margarita Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Maryland
What do you do to spread this? (it's related to my post above- the need of regular piano mentenance)
How do you "educate" the piano owners?

Top
#650747 - 06/12/07 11:24 AM Re: is it true?
Margarita Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Maryland
Don Gilmore, thank you for your updating!
Will be there some job for the tuners while people will use your pianos?

Top
#650748 - 06/12/07 11:55 AM Re: is it true?
eromlignod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 379
Loc: Kansas City
Hi Margarita:

New pianos are being manufactured at a rate now of about a million a year or so. They can last for over a hundred years. That gives you an idea of how many pianos are out there already. I would be tickled to death to put my system into even 1% of those new pianos. That gives you an idea of how long it would be until all pianos have the system (in other words: never).

The system itself will also require adjustment and service from time to time, just like any other device...and guess who's probably going to be doing the service!

Don
Kansas City

Top
#650749 - 06/12/07 01:14 PM Re: is it true?
junmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 397
Loc: United Arab Emirates
Since you have made the piano fully computerized, will it be the computer technicians who will do the regular service?

We only have tuning hammers & mutes.

JUNMER
_________________________
JUNMER
Piano tuner / Piano teacher
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
0097150-6543009
0097155-6543009

Top
#650750 - 06/12/07 01:49 PM Re: is it true?
eromlignod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 379
Loc: Kansas City
Actually I have tried as much as possible to make sure that it is tech-friendly. I realize that most techs are more of a craftsman than a computer-geek. I myself am a mechanical engineer by trade, so I too am resistant to nerd-oriented electronic gadgetry. I'm for keeping things simple.

For the most part I have made most components easily adjustable and/or replaceable.

If a sustainer isn't working, for example, it is simple to adjust it with a screwdriver. If it is faulty or damaged, then it can be removed and unplugged with a single screw and a new one plugged in. The adjustment is simple and mechanical and is similar to the adjustments that a tech already performs on the action parts.

There really isn't much to it. Though the LCD readout may seem high-tech, all you're really doing is picking a set of numbers that the system uses to tune by, as previously stored from an actual tuning. The tuning is produced by passing electricity through the string. You either have juice or you don't, so it should be relatively easy to troubleshoot.

All the system really is, is a device to record tunings and play them back.

Don
Kansas City

Top
#650751 - 06/12/07 11:08 PM Re: is it true?
rkw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/07
Posts: 141
Loc: Conway Arkansas 72034
Thanks, Don, for this info. Sounds fascinating. Look forward to seeing the real thing in action one day.
_________________________
Bob, Retired Piano Technician
http://sites.google.com/site/sixfigurepianoservice/

Top
#650752 - 06/15/07 05:11 AM Re: is it true?
Ben G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 42
Loc: Los Angeles,CA
Eromlignod:

How does this device set the pins, and how does it exert sufficient force to turn them? Also if we're talking about newer pianos the pitch drop over a short time is substantial. How does electricity raise the pitch enough to be up to 440 etc. B
_________________________
Studio TUNER, technician and consultant with 30yrs exp. Part time broker. (323)666-4007

Top
#650753 - 06/15/07 06:19 AM Re: is it true?
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
I read about this somewhere a while ago, some magazine or other I think - it`s exciting to have the inventor here!

your idea is ingenious - how do you stop the temperature in the cabinet creeping up really high?
_________________________
Will

Top
#650754 - 06/15/07 11:08 AM Re: is it true?
eromlignod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 379
Loc: Kansas City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ben G:
Eromlignod:

How does this device set the pins, and how does it exert sufficient force to turn them? Also if we're talking about newer pianos the pitch drop over a short time is substantial. How does electricity raise the pitch enough to be up to 440 etc. B [/b]
Hi Ben:

It doesn't. The pins don't even come into play. There are no moving parts to this system and the pins are never turned, or even touched.

A small amount of electrical current is passed through the string. The string is made of steel, which has resistance, so it will get warm if current is passed through it. When steel gets warm, it expands. When a string expands, its tension decreases. Lower tension means lower pitch.

The piano is tuned by hand at the factory while the strings are warm. So in the field, they can be warmed even more, or allowed to cool, to tune the string. So, you can see, actually the piano is sharp when the system is switched off. So you are flattening the strings to pitch when it is on.

The temperatures involved are only about body temperature or so.

Don
Kansas City

Top
#650755 - 06/15/07 11:24 AM Re: is it true?
eromlignod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 379
Loc: Kansas City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Fraggle:
I read about this somewhere a while ago, some magazine or other I think - it`s exciting to have the inventor here!

your idea is ingenious - how do you stop the temperature in the cabinet creeping up really high? [/b]
Hi Will:

I'll try to answer your question without getting too arcane in my details.

Each string must be maintained at a specific temperature to remain perfectly in tune. This means that heat is added (by electrical current) to the string at a rate that equalizes how much heat it is losing by naturally trying to cool to room temperature. So if its surroundings are cold, it takes more current to maintain it at temperature. Likewise, a higher ambient temperature requires less current. It's true that an ordinary heating element will get hotter if confined, but in our case, the element temperature is being thermostatically controlled, so string temperature is maintained regardless of conditions.

The string is constantly being maintained at a temperature *greater* than its surroundings. So the temperature of the surrounding air must always be less than that of the warmest string, which is limited to a safe range.

I hope I answered your question.

Don
Kansas City

Top
#650756 - 06/15/07 12:03 PM Re: is it true?
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
I guess people who do like to get arcane in the details can read the patent . \:D
_________________________
No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!

Top
#650757 - 06/15/07 01:48 PM Re: is it true?
Ben G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 42
Loc: Los Angeles,CA
Eromlignod:

I still have two questions.
1. How does this devise compensate for the substantial drop in pitch that occurs with newer piano wire? and
2. How much electric power is used to maintain all the string warmth?

Sorry if I seem a little skeptical here. B
_________________________
Studio TUNER, technician and consultant with 30yrs exp. Part time broker. (323)666-4007

Top
#650758 - 06/15/07 02:21 PM Re: is it true?
eromlignod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 379
Loc: Kansas City
Hi Ben:

The power consumption is directly proportionate to the tuning range: the more range you want, the more juice it takes.

Theoretically you can have any range you want...just feed it more watts. But practically, you are limited by how much power is commonly available from a household outlet.

The amount of power it consumes obviously depends on how far it is out of tune. The worst case would be when all the strings are all at full flattening power and that is what the power supply is sized for, though the piano will probably never use that much in normal operation.

The prototype's power supply can provide up to 1500 watts. This is about the same as an ordinary steam iron. This should provide a tuning range of about 50 or 60 cents for all strings.

Don
Kansas City

Top
#650759 - 06/15/07 05:50 PM Re: is it true?
junmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 397
Loc: United Arab Emirates
Is your system installed in a piano of your choice exclusively at your factory or can it be installed by anybody on any piano? How much is the price?

JUNMER
_________________________
JUNMER
Piano tuner / Piano teacher
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
0097150-6543009
0097155-6543009

Top
#650760 - 06/15/07 06:12 PM Re: is it true?
eromlignod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 379
Loc: Kansas City
It's not out yet. It was supposed to come out on Story & Clark Prelude grands in 2005, but as I mentioned, QRS never got around to it (though they still had to pay me minimum royalties).

I have designed it as a universal kit for any piano, but the installation is a little tricky. Ideally it would be installed at the piano factory, but it could also be installed in the field by an experienced tech.

Once I have completed the final prototype (in a couple of months) I will be looking for a company to manufacture, or possibly even install, the kits. The big problem with installation is that a piano has to be shipped to the installation facility and stored while it awaits conversion. If I got an order for 500 of them in a month, I'd have to unload and store 500 pianos, then reload and ship them when they're done...ugh!

The price will depend on sales and on margin. The more units that can be made at a time, the lower the cost (this is particularly true of electronic items). Whoever the main manufacturer is will decide what kind of profit margin the market can bear. I have no way to know what the demand will be like. I'm assuming it will be brisk at the beginning and taper off after a while. How "brisk", I don't know.

If they sell like hotcakes, I could see them selling for as little as $500; maybe lower. Only time will tell.

Don
Kansas City

Top
#650761 - 06/17/07 03:20 AM Re: is it true?
Ben G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 42
Loc: Los Angeles,CA
Hi Don:

Perhaps your device would be used best in conjunction with an occasional ear tuning to keep the strings tight enough at room temperature so the power consumption would be kept at a minimum. I'd be very curious to see one of your devices in action.

Thanks for the info
Ben G
_________________________
Studio TUNER, technician and consultant with 30yrs exp. Part time broker. (323)666-4007

Top
#650762 - 06/17/07 07:40 AM Re: is it true?
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
@Don

I understand - the power you supply to the strings is never greater than the dissipation of the system at the operating temperature.
_________________________
Will

Top
#650763 - 06/17/07 09:22 PM Re: is it true?
Mark Fontana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/04
Posts: 158
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
 Quote:
Originally posted by eromlignod:
The amount of power it consumes obviously depends on how far it is out of tune. The worst case would be when all the strings are all at full flattening power and that is what the power supply is sized for, though the piano will probably never use that much in normal operation.

The prototype's power supply can provide up to 1500 watts. This is about the same as an ordinary steam iron. This should provide a tuning range of about 50 or 60 cents for all strings.
Don, for this to be commercially viable, I think the 24/7 average power consumption will need to be 100 Watts or fewer (comparable to what a Dampp-Chaser consumes). What sort of numbers are you seeing from your prototype?

At 1.5kW, the system would cost over $1000 per year to operate, just for the electricity. That is also quite a lot of heat to dissipate in one room- like running a hair dryer 24/7! That would be enough to affect one's heating/cooling expenses.

At 200 Watts, it would cost about $140 annually for the electricity. I'd feel a little environmentally irresponsible using even that much power just to keep the piano in tune 24/7. But a system that only uses power when making adjustments and is otherwise turned off would be very attractive.

Top
#650764 - 06/18/07 09:30 AM Re: is it true?
eromlignod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 379
Loc: Kansas City
Mark:

The system only functions while it is turned on. You switch it off when you are done playing (or it switches itself off automatically if no playing is sensed for ten minutes).

Using my local electricity rates, it would cost 32 cents to practice for three hours.

Don
Kansas City

Top
#650765 - 06/18/07 02:00 PM Re: is it true?
Mark Fontana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/04
Posts: 158
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Ah, that changes things a lot, thanks for clarifying. I assumed it had to be on 24/7 because it seemed like adding and removing extra string tension for all the notes at once on short notice might adversely affect the piano.

Top
#650766 - 06/18/07 03:30 PM Re: is it true?
eromlignod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 379
Loc: Kansas City
Mark:

No, I've never really had any trouble with changing the tensions. You have to remember that when you turn it off, it doesn't take *all* the tension out of the strings, like if you were re-stringing it (I have talked to people who have thought this). It just goes a little sharp when the strings cool to room temperature.

Don
Kansas City

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
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) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
What to look for in a keyboard
by Tikki56
10/01/14 06:30 PM
Christmas duets for Student and Teacher
by Purpl3keys
10/01/14 06:24 PM
The Steinway S in 1936
by Rich Galassini
10/01/14 06:21 PM
Yamaha CP5
by Synner
10/01/14 05:43 PM
Vice grip needle nose threaded bolt dimensions
by Olek
10/01/14 05:10 PM
Who's Online
128 registered (36251, A Guy, accordeur, ajames, 44 invisible), 1381 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76396 Members
42 Forums
157934 Topics
2319407 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

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