Piano tuning

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S Clark

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Piano tuning
« on: 10 Oct 2019, 03:19 am »
Has anyone here tuned a piano?  I got most of mine done, when I started breaking the low single wire strings. 
Advice?

FullRangeMan

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Re: Piano tuning
« Reply #1 on: 10 Oct 2019, 03:41 am »
Tuning in 432Hz  :thumb:

S Clark

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Re: Piano tuning
« Reply #2 on: 10 Oct 2019, 03:52 am »
I know I can tune a partial pitch down, but I like to play with recordings, so a 440 tuning is what I'll stay with.... unless I can't find another solution from someone with tuning experience. 

EkW

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Re: Piano tuning
« Reply #3 on: 10 Oct 2019, 04:59 am »
I've done a little tuning of my piano but usually just a touch up between real tunings. You might try searching through the technical discussion section in the pianoworld forum.
The book 'Pianos Inside Out' suggests checking for correct wire gauge first, then see if the V bar is grooved. If so, lubricate. If strings still break restring whole section or even the whole piano.  Maybe the strngs are just old and weak? Also, it is usually ok to have the bass strings a bit flat. Our sensitivity to tuning is weaker in the lowest octave.

Tone Depth

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Re: Piano tuning
« Reply #4 on: 10 Oct 2019, 05:28 am »
Spend the money on a registered piano technician and get the job done correctly.

S Clark

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Re: Piano tuning
« Reply #5 on: 10 Oct 2019, 05:49 am »
Yeah, I tried that first, but the guy I had used for years died, and there aren't that many other options nearby.

RoadTripper

Re: Piano tuning
« Reply #6 on: 10 Oct 2019, 01:42 pm »
I was a professional piano tuner, technician, rebuilder for many years until I switched careers. Tuned thousands of pianos. What kind of advice are you asking about? How to replace a bass string?

S Clark

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Re: Piano tuning
« Reply #7 on: 10 Oct 2019, 03:27 pm »
Let's start with why did I break two strings?  The first one you could chalk up to carelessness, but the second one I was approaching with great patience.  Should you bring it up to a point and let it rest?   Is a 440 tuning inadvisable for a piano that's been for 10+ years?

Although, at this point, I'll find a tuner, even if I have to pay a travel fee. 

RoadTripper

Re: Piano tuning
« Reply #8 on: 11 Oct 2019, 02:15 pm »
Sorry about the late reply. My laptop died. I would say it is more about the age of the piano. How old is it? Ten years without being tuned isn’t ridiculous. The tuner you hire is likely to break a few if your second (careful) break was at pitch. Bass string replacement isn’t cheap these days. And then there is the added cost of bringing those new bass strings back up to pitch after they sag and you can’t stand it anymore. Although you could probably touch those up yourself.

S Clark

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Re: Piano tuning
« Reply #9 on: 11 Oct 2019, 03:05 pm »
It's a little Chickering spinet, built about 1945.  So, by piano standards, it's not especially old.  It's not anything great, but it's tone is better than it should be.  I played for years on decent size grands, but I don't play enough now to justify the space. 
There is a place in Tennessee that offers bass strings at about $20 each, although I saw a you tube showing that you can splice a string that broke at the pin.  Ever done that?

RoadTripper

Re: Piano tuning
« Reply #10 on: 11 Oct 2019, 04:42 pm »
Oh yeah. That bass string splice is a lot of fun. Bring band-aids. That wire is really stiff, but it works. To pull off the splice, you will need new wire and that will be heavy gauge, to match, more or less. Using the existing wire that is still wrapped around the tuning pin  (and unwinding it some) will make that job even more ridiculous.

As for a 1945 Chickering, it's mostly about how much rust/corrosion has occurred to weaken the string. It's also possible that the wire has "fused" to the metal over which the string lies. You could loosen the wire enough to free each one up if you intend to keep tuning (or as just a test). But my guess is it's just a matter of the wire has gotten too compromised to handle the tension.