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Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

  • 1.  Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Posted 08-16-2021 18:40
    Perhaps my technique
    Piano tuning technique for sharp angle at agraffes
    YouTube remove preview
    Piano tuning technique for sharp angle at agraffes
    Pianos such as Ibach and here Gors & Kallmann have a steep angle for the strings from the agraffes up to the tuning pins. When the strings are old in particu...
    View this on YouTube >

    breaks all the rules. I'm tuning by machine, relying on the exactitude of the machine rather than my ears for unisons and not setting the pin.

    Why? Because some makes of instrument and particularly with old metal fatigued strings present a sharp angle at the agraffe providing an insuperable friction point.

    With these instruments,
    - fine tuning is impossible and in that context setting the pin has no meaning,
    - a sensitive machine can do the job much more accurately than by ear (1 beat in 10 seconds perhaps)
    - the tuning has to be done in one go, going down to break the friction and pulling up in one go without stopping right up until . . . it's exactly on pitch.

    My experience with the instrument illustrated in the video is that it was last tuned by a tuner of a certain reputation and were I not to have been around would have caused another instrument to have gone to the scrapheap.

    Do others use the technique I'm using here? Are there alternatives?

    Best wishes

    David P

    ------------------------------
    David Pinnegar BSc ARCS
    Hammerwood Park, East Grinstead, Sussex, UK
    +44 1342 850594
    "High Definition" Tuning
    ------------------------------



  • 2.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-16-2021 21:33
    Use Jon Page's CBL and a technique that pulls up to the pitch rather than last and settle back down.

    ------------------------------
    David Love RPT
    www.davidlovepianos.com
    davidlovepianos@comcast.net
    415 407 8320
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-16-2021 21:58

    Agreed. When things get hairy, pull to pitch and not over.

    But I find no substitute for multiple passes, each with less motion than the one before.






  • 4.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-16-2021 21:48
    Hi David! (David P.)

    Thanks for that video! I have come across instances where this is obviously the best technique. My impression is that there is extra tension on the NSL that stays after the up-pull. It has worked for me & it's nice to see someone verify this. I've also had cases where the opposite happens: The pin "untwists" on the let-go and the NSL ends up with less tension, so the string goes flat. That's typically on pianos with different problems than the steep angle, but sometimes there is cross over. I think it depends on the condition of the pin block & probably other unseen factors. I made this video for a student about such a situation. I'd love it if you shared your thoughts or concerns with it. I am bending the pin much more than I'd normally advise, & also playing quite loudly. It's not the best technique, but I have found it to work in this type of situation. Fortunately, I don't have to go to this extreme all the time.

    https://youtu.be/rVXm1wz5PeU 

    Thanks,
    Maggie

    ------------------------------
    Maggie Jusiel, RPT
    Athens, WV
    (304)952-8615
    mags@timandmaggie.net
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-16-2021 21:56

    David, that's interesting to watch, but I disagree that it couldn't be done aurally.

    The critical part of your technique is that you treat each string exactly like all the other strings.

    In place of the electronic device, I would tune the first string exactly where I wanted, like you first going flat to release the friction, maybe not quite as far as you've been doing; then like you pulling up to pitch and stopping, not going over at all; then I'd pull the other two up to the first one as unisons.

    Then, because there is extra inequality still left in different lengths of the strings when the previous tuning is this unstable, I'd finish a pass, and then I'd start all over again. If left for a quarter or a half hour (while the rest of the piano is tuned), the inequality still there will move through so it can be heard. This time the differences would be minimal, and I would not move the wire down as far before pulling up. I'd barely move it down at all. Then I'd pull gingerly up to the exact pitch, paying especial attention to the final movement or pressure, to be sure they are all the same.

    Once it is very nearly concert level, I'd work on the unisons very carefully. The ones which were creamy and very firm and agreeable with each other I'd leave, but I'd micromanage the others. It's possible to repeatedly nudge the tuning pin without moving it far enough to hear a pitch change for each nudge, just repeatedly feeling the resistance of the tuning pin and then letting go the pressure; but with repeated but minimal pressure on the pin, all the same direction (usually up) the pitch will gradually get that last cent or half cent to go where it should; and it will be stable because the motion is so minimal.

    In my experience, all the extra inequality in the different segments will manage to show through, minimally, for the second and third pass. Once those are removed, true stability can be achieved. This assumes, of course, that the tuning pins are not horribly jumpy, etc.

    Best of all would be to have a pianist about to perform on the instrument practice for an hour or two, to reveal any hidden flaws. One then removes those in the same way, and I find I can end up in a place worth being, however difficult the rendering and however unstable the previous tuning was.

    Of course it's always easier to follow my own work; and over time stability is not such an issue, but one can't always choose the circumstances.






  • 6.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-17-2021 07:32
    I have been doing something very similar to the fellow in David Pinnegar's video.  I agree that it can work as well aurally as with the machine.  While I have used the technique for pianos with rendering issues, I regularly use it for pianos with tight pins and often for just regular tuning.

    The tighter the tuning pins are, the further I drop the pitch going south.  I turn it until I can feel the tight pin unwinding its twist on itself.  Quick and steady movement south, then immediate start moving north.  I will have added twist to the pin as I reverse direction, and the pin will have to move far enough to allow the untwisting before you get to the target pitch, otherwise it will not be stable.  That I can feel the change in also.  By feel, I almost always know if I have missed the mark or will be on target before I do any test blows.  The important thing is that the movement has to be constant and the pressure on the pin from your hand remaining.  If your stop or slow down too much, then you will have to start over because the pin will not be stable, because too much friction is introduced.  As I come in, I am striking the note da-da-da-da-.

    I liken it to a helicopter flying in wartime.  The copter is bringing in casualties, and the base is under attack.  The helicopter comes in hot and fast until the last few seconds, then slows but does not stop until it drops in on a dime.  Do this a few thousand times and it becomes aural muscle memory.  It can be a very fast and efficient way to work, and I often use it in concert tunings with confidence.

    I know that the conventional wisdom states that large movements of pin will result in instability, but I use this technique in concert tunings where appropriate with confidence.  The pin drops in with no twist on its axis and does not move.

    Along the way the strings have been released from their binding points and are rendering while in motion.  So I guess one could say that you are killing two birds with one stone.

    ------------------------------
    William Truitt
    Bridgewater NH
    603-744-2277
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Posted 08-17-2021 08:33
    "I liken it to a helicopter flying in wartime.  The copter is bringing in casualties, and the base is under attack.  The helicopter comes in hot and fast until the last few seconds, then slows but does not stop until it drops in on a dime.  Do this a few thousand times and it becomes aural muscle memory.  It can be a very fast and efficient way to work, and I often use it in concert tunings with confidence.  "

    Yes - this is a really brilliant analogy. And as general practice there is merit in the concept. But my video is particularly about the very very small number of instruments one meets where worked-metal strings conspire with the sharp angle and therefore high resistance at the agraffe which prevent absolutely any fine tuning. On the video I deliberately included the first few where I stopped a shade sharp, and over the next few strings found the muscle memory or to whatever one might refer it, to get it spot on. 

    The reason for the video and drawing attention to it within our community is that the instrument had clearly been tuned before by someone unfamiliar with the technique who would be relying on conventional fine adjustment and conventional setting the pin. 

    It will be really interesting when I revisit this instrument in 6 months to a year's time to see the extent it's retained stability. I pride myself on stability -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADVOIAhqMAI not having been tuned for 11 months.

    Whilst writing this I'm listening to Maggie's wonderful video and advice on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVXm1wz5PeU and her emphasis on equalising the tension of the non speaking lengths. In the "helicopter landing technique" as William describes, the whole point is that whilst the string is moving, whilst one's pulling up that string having gone momentarily low to break all friction, the whole string so all tensioned lengths are in motion through the friction points and the changes of tension are therefore equalised.

    Perhaps therefore whilst being counter-intuitive, providing the pin is firmly in the hole and neither twisting nor wobbling, not stopping until it "drops in on a dime", takes all tensions to where they want to be without fine adjustment nor conventional concepts of setting the pin.

    Of course as we meet different pianos, different pianos are like different people and when my wife hears me answer the phone she often says "I bet you were speaking to a woman" as apparently I can be more polite - so likewise as we might greet people in different ways, the piano will present to us different requirements in our greetings with its pins and no one universal greeting or valediction will do. "Good morning" "Hi" "Hello" "Yo" "Bye" "Good Bye" "Good afternoon" (in that special tone of voice) "Ciao" or as not approved by my wife "Cheers" - and we will meet and greet often different types of pin or feel even within the same instrument.

    I often love Mark Cerisano's exhortations towards better tuning and better business, one of which recently was to be an arrogant tuner towards the instrument, not letting an instrument get the better of us. In that spirit I replied to someone "Kembles can be good but after so long neglect either it might be terrible or I might have to fight with it. If terrible I will tell you so and walk away. " The lady replied that it was last tuned 9 years ago and that it had been "resting" since saying "However, my view is that anything that has been "neglected" in your words, and "rested" in my words, requires much love & tenderness in it's treatment and definitely not to be fought with. Therefore, thank you but no thanks as this isn't my style of recovery treatment.

    Haha! Probably better not to do anything for that sort of person but hopefully both videos 
    might demonstrate to the uninitiated what we face in having to deal with non-ideal instruments.

    Certainly that steep-agraffe instrument was one in which "wrestling with" might be the appropriate terminology.

    Best wishes

    David P
    --
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    +44 1342 850594





  • 8.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-17-2021 21:39
    I also like the helicopter analogy, and love the Broadwood save!  The 2 ways I visualize David P's tuning technique are 1) The pin stays on the up-pull, keeping the tension high in the NSL, or 2) The tension is brought up SO high in the NSL on the up pull that when the pin is released, any lowering in tension still leaves it high. I don't know if either of these is close to accurate, but I do know this technique works with the right pianos. :-)

    ------------------------------
    Maggie Jusiel, RPT
    Athens, WV
    (304)952-8615
    mags@timandmaggie.net
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-18-2021 01:24
    David P., you might find that a stiffer tuning lever will facilitate your efforts.

    ------------------------------
    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-18-2021 08:51
    I would second the use of a lubricant such as CBL from Jon Page.

    BTW, I would be willing to speculate that those who are adamantly opposed to string bearing lubrication of any kind (and influencing others not to use it because it will ruin the piano) are probably secretly using it themselves, just not admitting to it.

    It has saved my sanity. I would not hesitate to use it in a case like this under discussion.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-18-2021 08:56
    Haha! That was awesome. Because of those adamantly against it, I am afraid to use it. I have used it twice so far, once with zero improvement (the above video) & once with significant improvement on an ancient Steinway with all original parts. Because of the latter, I've decided I will now use it in older pianos that I can't really hurt. I still don't have the confidence to use it on high end or newer pianos. If I learn more about it, that might change, but there is too much I still don't know about "creeping" on the strings. I do appreciate those who have educated me this far! I would be sorely tempted to use it on David P's Broadwood, for sure. ;-)

    ------------------------------
    Maggie Jusiel, RPT
    Athens, WV
    (304)952-8615
    mags@timandmaggie.net
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-19-2021 07:54
    Try this experiment on a piano with rusty strings, Maggie: apply CBL to the NSL of the agraffe. You’ll see right away how far the CBL reaches into the speaking length. Be sure to compare the sound before and after to judge whether or not the CBL “ruins the strings”. And always remember that more is often worse, not better, as the old commercial says “A little dab’ll do ya.”

    Bob Anderson, RPT
    Tucson, AZ




  • 13.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Posted 08-18-2021 09:04
    :-)

    Oh yes - this is the sort of instrument on which one can use lubricant and it won't make a blind bit of difference. Work-hardening (I assume) of the old strings at the agraffe and a kink or series of kinks that have been in position for years and neither lubrication nor a stiffer tuning lever will make a difference.

    On the Broadwood the bass strings jumped and pinged through the agraffes and I was frightened they'd break. I used lubricant on those and no difference either. For strings at the agraffe I use either a silicone oil or what's marketed in the UK as 3 in 1 machine oil. As long as it's not an oil that creeps along the strings I don't believe that its exact nature makes a difference.

    There are some instruments that simply present challenges.

    Best wishes

    David P
    --
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    +44 1342 850594





  • 14.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Member
    Posted 08-18-2021 09:40
    Its interesting how I have used John's CBL an found no relief whatsoever. So, I never bother with the stuff anymore. In chatting with John about why my experience was so different from his, and many other folks, he came up with the best explanation I can reasonably consider..which is....

    I use a really long lever. It's a custom, stiff, 15-1/2" Faulk, with a 5 deg head (works on 95% of my service victims-10 deg on the rest) and slender handle...not the bulbous type. John felt that the difference is, in the length of lever, and I think he's right. When I tune these horrible excrescences now,  I control movements of the lever with extreme precision, not using arm or large muscle movements or jerks, but lever my hand off the plate, very similar to what Maggie shows in her video. The 5 deg head keeps the lever and my hand quite close to the struts, which means losses in movement between hand, lever, and strut are kept to the absolute minimum. This means, I know with precision, where the pitch should have ended up given a particular move of the lever/pin. In these cases, when, inevitably, the string does not follow the appropriate pin rotational move up, I simply use the long lever to ease the string over the bearing to my target. Movements down are not trustworthy, as other have noted, in these high friction situations.

    After I'm done tuning these things, I make a note on my data sheet to never, ever, ever return to this beast...life is too short...I'd rather go sailing


    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Member
    Posted 08-18-2021 10:17
    I recall tuning an Ivers and Pond Grand that had a steep downward angle in the NSL . I do not recall any problems tuning it or needing to apply lubricants although maybe I will try finding my notes and look at pictures I took. At the same time I will look for notes on a Mehlin Violagrand which had unusual design features such as a plate that slanted upward at the tail end, Large graduated bridges with spaces under them and a cutout in the soundboard.

    I encounter many pianos here with rusty coils and sometimes rust at the bridge pins and agraffes. A brass brush can help as well as a very minute amount of Protek. I have not used CBL  but perhaps should consider having it in my kit. I have been looking for a supplier of bluing to put on piano strings. It seems to have done a great job on many verticals and prevented coil rust as well as string rust. Schaff carried it at one time but its not on their web site

    ------------------------------
    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-18-2021 10:03
    Let me add a couple of things to my helicopter post:

    I first started using this technique when tuning old duffer uprights with rusty pins who were fantastically low in pitch to lower my chances of breaking strings.

    I have the most control with this method when my forearm is resting on the stretcher and tops of the tuning pins.

    If I miss my target by a smidgen, that is recoverable with a micro-movement, but only with a smidgen

    ------------------------------
    William Truitt
    Bridgewater NH
    603-744-2277
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-18-2021 10:25
    So (in my experience) the "pinging" of the wire does not occur at the agraffe (99.5% of the time), but rather at cloth bearing in between the agraffe and tuning pin. What is actually happening is that the interface between wire and cloth has become "frozen" due to the intense pressure exerted here, and the cloth has acquired a mirror image of the corroded wire. The "ping" is coming from the short section of wire in between the pin and the cloth as the tension increase suddenly let's go. Then it continues to relentlessly ping back and forth because it is a rough surface underneath.

    The lubrication obviously reduces the friction improving the ability of the wire to slide without longing. I do not leave home without CBL.

    Pwg


    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-18-2021 10:32
    EDIT: This is to Peter...

    If you have time to watch part of my video, I'd love your opinion as to whether that piano might be in the .5% or if I'm experiencing an illusion. I've been assuming the agraffe because CBL had no effect. I wish I had thought of it at the time, but next time I'll put a mute on the agraffe. If the sound is coming from there, it should affect the volume &/or tone of the pop. I'll let people know in a few months! LOL

    ------------------------------
    Maggie Jusiel, RPT
    Athens, WV
    (304)952-8615
    mags@timandmaggie.net
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-19-2021 10:58
    Maggie,

    Im sitting here recovering from a hernia operation therefore the delay in responding.  I have looked at the beginning part of your vid.  What I see and hear is CLASSIC cloth bearing adhesion (as i.described). I can guarantee you that if you applied CBL along the length of the wire resting on the cloth, this problem will instantly (after one initial click) disappear for at least that tuning. Therefore I apply it initially top to bottom along the cloth area. (Only on a rare occasion do I continue to have any clicks...when I do I treat the specific piece of wire that is a pain in the neck).

    Do not "soak" the area, but apply enough to affect all of the wire on the counterbearing area. Yes...you will see it migrate into the speaking length. This is absolutely not a problem. Those who say so are fear-mongering (show me PROOF of adverse effect and I will change my mind). I also apply it on the agraffes at the same time.

    In the bass area I do the same, however perhaps a little more judiciously, but still enough to affect all the wire resting on the cloth.  Migration is not a problem unless you REALLY overdo it (or get sloppy and squirt it into a tuning pin hole which is just plain dumb).  A little will migrate toward the windings. Again, show me proof of adverse effect and I might alter my approach.

    Now, notice that pinging or clicking does not occur in the capo section (more proof that the issue is in the cloth). Other rendering issues occur there, but no ponging. I still apply it up there and on the felt. If the wire is very corroded it may stick to the felt underneath so no harm in applying there anyway.

    I'm sure someone will have some issues with some of this, however I can dogmatically say that I have proven to myself that it works as intended and has made my tuning life far more enjoyable and predictable. No situation worries me anymore.

    I will watch the remainder of your vid shortly.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Posted 08-19-2021 13:18
    I absolutely agree with Peter! However, I've tried CBL and it didn't work too well for me so I went back to CLP by Protek (Sorry Jon 🙄).

    ------------------------------
    "That Tuning Guy"
    Scott Kerns
    www.thattuningguy.com
    PianoMeter, TuneLab & OnlyPure user
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-19-2021 13:39
    Scott,

    Interesting that CBL did not seem to work for you. I used Protek for years (and of course it works), but I found CBL to work better and last longer. But I have no objection to Protek by any means. The point is you need to lube (AS THEY GET OLDER) these cloth counterbearings.

    However I would not use silicone due to its creepability. That, I believe, has been long established fact.  Jon Page has checked (AFAIK) with the makers of his ingredients and established that they do not creep any further than you can see where it's gone.

    I still have Protek. Sometimes it lubes flange bushings better than CBL, but neither is permanent.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-19-2021 13:35
    Bob & Peter - Thanks for the feedback. All I can tell you is that I've tried all the above with no effect. If it wasn't so bad, I might not have tried it, but I did. I've been tuning this piano for several years and have tried the things you've suggested over the past 2 or 3 years with tunings every 6 months. Nothing matters. That doesn't necessarily mean your diagnosis is wrong, it just means that if you are correct, this particular piano is resistant to the cure.

    On a side note, I'm remembering a piano that had popping at many of the tuning pins. That was quite a different problem that required a different tuning technique altogether (the shakey-jerk style). There were 3 pins that were unusually tight. One had already been broken (just below the wood line) by the previous tuner. I replaced that one but was very nervous about the other 2 that were far too tight to move without breaking. I asked one of my peeps for advice and I did the unthinkable: I put lubricant right around the pin where you'd normally apply CA glue. It worked beautifully and those pins have been perfect since then, around 4 years ago (tuning every 6 months). Crazy, right?!? The other pins have gotten slightly better just from regular tunings and me working them a bit. It hadn't been tuned in a long time before that pin was broken right before I got there. ;-)

    I'm typing too much again...lol

    ------------------------------
    Maggie Jusiel, RPT
    Athens, WV
    (304)952-8615
    mags@timandmaggie.net
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-19-2021 14:20
    Maggie,

    So...I just watched the rest of your video. It's pretty good. Here are my comments based on what I can recall:

    If you applied lube to those counterbearings and it had no effect, I can only surmise that something else has seriously contaminated it. My first thought would be that the glue used to adhere it to the underlying fiberboard (assuming it's there) wicked too far into the cloth, hardening it, and now you have wire on glue rather than wire on cloth (but that's just a first guess).

    Shakey shakey ☺ technique...thats a good way to handle it. I have used a similar routine under high friction conditions. What I do now (and what I would do in your circumstance there) is to bring the wire to just a smidgen above (as you showed) and then put physical pressure on the wire to nudge it into place (I have a small dowel on the end of my 1" rubber mute wire which I just flip over and press on, or stroke, the wire to encourage it to move the last little bit into tune...Eric Schandell uses a pencil eraser to do the same).

    Now this does not ALWAYS work, but it is my first attempt to deal with it. Sometimes it goes too far and I need to nudge it up as you do. It is sometimes a back and forth thing as you well know...very frustrating (but not something I've had to deal with in a long time).

    Flagpoling: the fact is that flagpoling (pin bending/flexing) HAS TO HAPPEN due to the fact that you have 150-230 lbs of tension pulling on the pins and the pins cannot resist this without bending slightly. So from the day the piano is strung, the pins are BENT. Once again the flagpoling scare is another fake news item that certain tuners use to scare competitors and make themselves look superior. I believe you already have this figured out. Don't be intimidated. Of course literal pin bending that physically bends the pin and distorts it is a no-no.

    I think you've developed good technique. Keep up the good work.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Member
    Posted 08-19-2021 14:57
    This is so interesting.  I don't question the reports of others experiences re that the lube makes things much easier.  But it is a significant discrepancy in experience.

    It seems like both Maggie I, and now Scott, find no benefit from the lube. I have tried both Protek and CBL. I have doused the front felt bearing segments, have doused the capo contact and agraffe holes on both sides, and nada. Maggie and I have what looks like almost identical lever technique, and it also looks like she's using a long lever too. I see how she is encouraging the string to render. I do a similar thing. From what I remember of Scott's posts, I think he uses a Long Fujan as well (if I have that right). I think Jon's thought that the flagpoling leverage the long lever allows is involved here.

    On the other hand, for those whose experience with the lube is positive, I'm betting their technique has a large component of impulses and jerking of some sort, which with lube, may do for the string, what long lever leverage does for those of us who use leverage. That is, they both are a way to break the string free of static friction.



    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-19-2021 15:27
    Jim,

    Yes, you may have a point there as my technique is largely (but not universally) of an "impulse" style (and sometimes actual impact). I generally like a shorter lever.

    What I am puzzled by is why there is a discrepancy in the effectiveness of lube on problematic pianos. This does not make sense to me with the experience I've had with it. I will admit though that on a small minority of pianos it made "little" difference.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-19-2021 16:13
    Jim & Peter - This is a reminder that my experience with this is limited to only 2 pianos. The other piano didn't pop but had terrible rendering issues. The lube made a huge difference and I used my regular, slow pull method without any trouble once things were moving. I suppose that puts me at a 50% success rate. LOL!  I've been too afraid to try it on anything else...yet. ;-)

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    Maggie Jusiel, RPT
    Athens, WV
    (304)952-8615
    mags@timandmaggie.net
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  • 27.  RE: Tuning instruments with steep angles at the agraffes

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 08-19-2021 16:27
    I haven't used CPL but from all reports it works as good or better than the ProTek I have used a lot. Significant rust is not uncommon where I am and I primarily use it on NSLs for that reason to insure against breakage. You can't prove a negative but it seems to me that on the rare occasion a string breaks on me it is on a piano that I didn't pretreat.
    As far as problematic pianos, I haven't found that lube helps very much. I haven't tried John's technique of exercising the string with a dowel, but it looks like a good idea I'll have to try. It would be great if we could really figure out what the cause(s) are. The sustained "tinging" sound seems to be associated with agraffes, the clicks and ticks I don't know, perhaps it is sticking to the felt as someone mentioned. I've run into problems on pianos that are not so old that the strings would be extremely fatigued. I don't believe that really steep angles are a direct cause as I tune some pianos with really steep inclines that are easy to tune and hold their tunings exceptionally well such as this Knabe. Most of the rendering problems I've run into have been on pianos without any remarkable features in the front NSL sections.

    someone did a very nice rebuild on this piano about 30 years ago, I always look forward to tuning it annually



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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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