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Another way to skin the cat

  • 1.  Another way to skin the cat

    Posted 11-24-2018 22:59
    This is a Louis Zwicky console from Denmark.The tuning pins are mounted vertically necessitating at 90º bearing point for the strings. Rendering was problematic as one might expect, I didn't use a lubricant but probably should have. The rendering problem seemed to get worse as the string sizes got smaller, the bass wasn't too bad. Adding to the difficulty to setting the pins is that although the pins are basically laid out like a grand, the strings are going toward you rather than away from you so the leverage is reversed vis a vis the lever and pins. That was pretty disorienting, it probably would have helped if I could tune left handed which I cannot.
    The piano soundedLL like it hadn't been tuned in a couple of generations, a single pass tuning took a long time. It was so bad that the young lady, who's only been playing for 6 months had been practicing with headphones on so she couldn't hear it just so she could work on finger technique. She's actually pretty good already considering. 
    This isn't the first unusual Danish piano I've run into, they're an inventive people.

    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI


  • 2.  RE: Another way to skin the cat

    Posted 11-24-2018 23:09
    They are fun to tune Steven! Since I tune upright pianos left handed and grand pianos right handed, I was uncertain how to proceed the first time I encountered it!

    Several of us have posted about this piano but under a different title (I believe).

    One thing I have found over several years is that they always seem to require a minor pitch change - up or down.

    I'm not sure if it is due to the plate (Aluminum? Magnesium?).

    The unisons sounded very clear to me in the piano I service.


    Paul Brown, RPT
    Piano Technicians Guild
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Email: pres@ptg.org

  • 3.  RE: Another way to skin the cat

    Posted 11-25-2018 01:06
    Hi Steve

    I tuned one of those pianos, too, but this one was in Cokedale, Colorado, a very small town of 250 people in the mountains near Trinidad, Co. The last place I would have expected to see there. But just what you experienced, hard to tune.

    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789

  • 4.  RE: Another way to skin the cat

    Posted 11-25-2018 07:48
    For alleviating rendering issues, I have developed something I call Counter Bearing Lube (CBL). I've been using it for a few years and it does a fantastic job. This is the first time I've mentioned it. CBL also is a general purpose CLP and does not discolor counter bearing felt. Please contact me privately.


    Jon Page