Wild Strings

Joseph Alkana jfa19@nwlink.com
Sat, 01 Jun 1996 11:15:06 -0700

At 03:19 PM 5/31/96 -0600, you wrote:
>    I tuned a 1990 GS-70 on a concert stage last night.  I initially thought
>    it would be a pleasant experience - it wasn't.  The pinblock was as
>    mushy as a bowl of overcooked canned peas, and several treble strings in
>    the capo section beat (on their very own, individually) like a wild
>    banshee.
>    I spent much more time than I had planned struggling to obtain clean
>    unisons.  I didn't have much luck in the treble.
>    Are these typical characteristics of this new 7'5" $30K piano model?
>    What, if anything, could be done to improve the situation?  I guess my
>    real question is:  Is there a method or trick to tuning clean unisons
>    among wild strings?  Is it even possible?
>    Thanks for the inputs!!
>    John Piesik
>    San Diego Chapter PTG
>I have had only limited experience with this piano model.Two, to be exact.
Both were very tunable as far as the pin block was concerned. The first GS
70 I serviced had come from a very dry air-conditioned environment and the
pins were a little loose. I didn't measure with my torque wrench, just
gut-checked. When I re-tuned in 6 months the change was very noticable in
the feel. My opinion is that the new environment simply added more moisture
to the block and tightened up the grip of the pins. Since you mentioned a
stage setting for the tuning I was wondering if the building's
air-conditioning had been checked. Do you carry a hygrometer? Does the
history of the previous tunings (if available) indicate a severe change from
its initial placement in the building and are there now fluctuations of the
tuning that are out of the "normal" for your area? Do you use an Accu-Tuner
to take readings for historical purposes?

The second GS 70 I worked on had a horrible upper end as far as false beats.
My investigation told me the piano had never been properly "prepped" at the
dealer. Just floor tuned and delivered right out of the box.The customer was
not a player and had a poor ear for the false beats. He was unwilling to
invest in his piano a few dollars more to clean up this and a host of other
problems, which I felt were fixable. I did work on a couple of notes to
demonstrate what could be done, but he just hmmmmmed and said 'Oh, maybe
next time'. All I did was seat the strings on the bridge and wiggle the
string on the capo bar left and right and lift the string from the duplex
side  with a string hook. I assume that's basic stuff for most new piano
preparation that you people already know. What I failed to do was properly
communicate the need for piano basic service and the needs of the piano on a
mainenance basis. PTG literature is available to help in this area, but I
failed to make it available to the customer. Now the customer has moved away.

Hope this rambling is of some benefit

Joseph Alkana RPT

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