Pitch Raising

jpiesik@arinc.com jpiesik@arinc.com
Fri, 07 Jun 1996 09:37:58 -0400

    I'm curious how you all do pitch raises.

    I've always been taught that the pitch can be brought up, and the piano
    tuned, all in one sitting - that's what I do.  Assuming that the piano
    is not more than about 100c flat (most all neglected pianos are never
    flatter than this, unless it's a birdcage or some such PSO) I bring the
    pitch up in 2 passes or less.  I use the Accu-Tuner pitch raise
    function (what a wonderful tool).  The condition of the piano and the
    amount of flatness determines what approach I take and how many passes
    I will do to restore it back to A440.  After the pitch raise(s) I tune
    it.  All this is done within the course of about 2 - 2 1/2 hours, max.

    When I'm through I tell the client that it's wise to retune in 4-8 weeks
    after the piano has had a chance to settle at its newly restored tension
    and to help "lock in" the tuning.  I use the "teeth and braces and
    retainer" analogy:  [When braces are removed the teeth still retain a
    memory.  In order to keep the teeth from moving back to their original
    positions a retainer is used to help "lock them in."]  Thus, I state
    that the follow-up tuning in 4-8 weeks is analogous to the retainer for

    When I return to retune a previously pitch-raised piano within 4-8 weeks
    I find different results.  Sometimes the piano has really shifted around
    and it's a good thing that I'm back doing a follow-up tuning.  Other
    times I find that the piano is holding great - right where I left it -
    and that the follow-up tuning may not have been necessary.  I realize
    that many factors can affect what happens in between the pitch raise and
    my return follow-up tuning:  condition and quality of the piano, the
    amount and severity of usage, humidity fluctuations, movement of the
    piano, how well I originally tuned it, etc.

    I ask all this to verify my procedures for pitch raising and to assure
    myself that I'm treating my clients in the most fair and honest way
    possible.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


    John Piesik
    San Diego Chapter PTG

    P.S.  I charge a flat rate for EACH pitch raise on TOP of my flat rate
    for the tuning.

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