• 1.  CTS5 top two octave treble stretch offsets

    Posted 12 days ago

    This post is going to be anathema to many but intended to be of help rather than cause controversy. Some might accuse me of unprofessionalism of my approach and I'd probably fail PTG tuning exams . . . to which my answer is that people are liking what I do.

    I have no connexion with the promotion of the CTS5 tuner other than that I've found it extremely helpful, as have others. The display gives subtleties of information and in looking for the information below found a friend commenting, for instance, with regard to the instancy of its response: "I've found that with the CTS5 you can tell straight away if a string is at risk of breaking if moving the lever won't produce a change in pitch, in which case I stop immediately and then flatten by a long way. Your technique of moving the lever without stopping is invaluable for those sort of strings."

    For those who know my tuning style the following will make sense and be helpful buying the new model of the unit which has different stretch settings. For others, please just raise your eyebrows and consider me half daft.

    Perhaps some background to my tuning journey might help seeing how I've arrived at what might be some apparently bizarre solutions. When a child I watched our piano tuner and from whom I gathered a few tips, and I learned the use of the 1970s VISTA style tuner which I photographed on a PTG thread the other day. As a result I'm hooked into a very manual mode of ETD tuning which I like and which has influenced the partnership between ear and ETD guidance and measurement ever since. That tuner tuned the middle octave, and tuned all bass to the harmonics in that octave, thereby achieving simple but effective stretch. For the top three octaves, there were three fine control knobs for each of the three octaves, and one tuned the next octave to the 2nd partial of the preceding octave, so achieving a perfect stretch which modern apps do in a much more complicated way.

    Before I had access to a machine, for 20 years I tuned horribly in equal temperament now looking back with greater discernment at recordings done then. I tuned having plugged all the frequencies into a computer and then when getting to A5 switched it to 1762 and went up from there - possibly I might have done it at A4 881. This was interesting as it was purely prescriptive but gained people asking me how I tuned as they thought it sounded good.

    As a result my tuning journey has gone through differing styles, mechanically until around 2004, then with a Wittner tuner for a couple of years, through a period with Tunelab followed by the 1970s VISTA which I retuned to Kellner by adjusting the internal electronics and then CTS5 which I acquired in around 2015 and with which my tuning lever has had a good relationship ever since.

    The old model CTS5 has five prescribed stretches and I started using the middle stretch, then the stronger stretch and then the strongest as in concert I had heard the treble flat. I'd used the old VISTA technique of testing the octave to be tuned upon the 2nd partial of below, and the pure inharmonic octave measured and as perhaps one might tune by ear, sounded flat. Accordingly I went to the top stretch prescribed by the machine and have used it for all instruments ever since with good results. Anyone with the new version of the tuner might programme these offsets in and find good results.

    C#5 3.5

    D 4

    D# 4.5

    E 5

    F 5.5

    F# 6

    G 7

    G# 7.5

    A 8.5

    A# 9.5

    B 10.5

    C7 12

    C# 13.5

    D 15

    E 18

    F 20

    F# 22

    G 25

    G# 28

    A 32

    A# 36

    B 42

    C8 63 

    Listening by ear I'd like to go flatter than this and sometimes I hear the resonance to which perhaps I should be tuning but using this gives an acceptable and musical result without sounding flat.

    Yes - I can hear people saying "my app measures the Railsback curve" but this one-size fits all works for me without fuss and with total predictability. This may work as a result of a few tricks that I pull in other parts of the scale so it might not work as a general approach for general purposes for everyone but duets particularly are a good test and no-one yet has criticised my treble - 

    UKRAINE Charity fundraising concert - Mozart crying in Meantone - (pianos in unequal temperament)

    YouTube remove preview
    UKRAINE Charity fundraising concert - Mozart crying in Meantone - (pianos in unequal temperament)
    View this on YouTube >


    Sonnenlink Viennese dances & Brahms Hungarian dances and Dvorak Piano unequal temperament

    YouTube remove preview
    Sonnenlink Viennese dances & Brahms Hungarian dances and Dvorak Piano unequal temperament
    An evening of music at the Sonnenlink Bio Hotel https://mani-sonnenlink.com/ at Pyrgos near Stoupa in the Mani. The piano is tuned to unequal temperament which brings music to life more and projects in the amphitheatre.
    View this on YouTube >


    or in competition with orchestra 

    Nice Unequal Temperament Piano 2024

    YouTube remove preview
    Nice Unequal Temperament Piano 2024
    00:00 Introduction 02:33 Mozart 30:55 applause 33:13 Schumann 1:06:09 applause 1:10:32 Mozart 1:40:01 applause 1:43:43 October Equus 1:49:11 applause

    which was a tuning perforce done in less than an hour the day before enabled by the ETD and predictability of approach, and at a lower temperature.

    I hope that information about the machine and how I've come to use it might be of help to others. It's certainly enabled me to not only find good accuracy but speeded me up to cope with the most demanding of situations. 

    Best wishes

    David P

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

  • 2.  RE: CTS5 top two octave treble stretch offsets

    Posted 9 days ago
    Two people have asked me about the machine and treble offsets.

    The previous post gave C8 as +63 in error - it should have been +50

    Looking at the offsets on the new machine, they may be better. Pronounced 4 is

    C#5 4.6

    D 5.1

    D# 5.7

    E 6.3

    F 6.9

    F# 7.7

    G 8.5

    G# 9.4

    A 10.4

    A# 11.5

    B 12.7

    C7 14.1

    C# 15.6

    D 17.3

    E 19.1

    F 21.2

    F# 23.4

    G 26

    G# 28.8

    A 31.8

    A# 35.2

    B 38.9

    C8 43.1

    On the old machine which I use, the less pronounced stretch was 3 at C# going to 36 at C8 and I found that it tended to sound flat.

    Someone asked me where they could get the machine and https://www.vogel-scheer.de/en/tools/6-5-tuners/tuning-set-cts-5-c-with-power-supply-for-europe.html is what appears to be the best value source. Don't worry about Europe or UK plugs - the newer model is best run on rechargeable batteries. https://youtu.be/4d0YLryDOYU?t=50 is an example of where the display indicates the inharmonic 2nd partial. Apologies for the crickets buzzing away in that video.

    Best wishes

    David P

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