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yonion Offline OP
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Hi All,
As you may know, we bought a new old stock Boston 178 PEII. And the dealer wasn't able to prepare it before delivery. They offered to send their piano tech to do the prep(regulation + voicing + tuning) several weeks later at my home and they said after several weeks, the piano will settle in the new environment and we will also know better how we want to voice or regulate the piano. They said the visit is normally about 3 hours long. We want to take full advantage of the opportunity and make the piano perform at its best. I am wondering how I can prepare for the piano tech's visit. Or do I need to prepare for anything? Will the piano tech just come and listen to the piano and fix any problems he found and make it sound good. Thanks!

Since the piano is so out of tune after it was delivered, I used the entropy tuner to tune the piano, I think it sounds better after the tuning. I used to tune the Baldwin Hamilton upright piano myself with the software. Compared with the Hamilton, the pitch can be tuned with a much smaller torque on (most of) the tuning pins on the Boston piano. Not sure whether it is good or bad.

Last edited by yonion; 10/04/21 03:59 PM.
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First thing: Do not tell the dealer’s technician you tuned it yourself. Don’t do anything but report regulation and voicing issues you noticed.

Congratulations on your new Boston.


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Some issues in regulation and voicing are must fixes and some are personal choices. For example, if certain notes stick out as much brighter/mellower than the adjacent notes this would be a must fix in regulation. Thinking the whole piano is too bright or too mellow is a personal choice. Same thing for regulation. If certain notes double strike or some dampers don't function that would be a must fix. If the whole piano plays too heavy that would be more of a personal choice. I would discuss with the dealer ahead of time what kind of regulation and voicing they are willing to do and proceed accordingly. They are not doing a full regulation or a full voicing because each of those could be as much as a full day's work. I suggest taking care of the most serious issues, if any, first.

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Actually, absolutely DO tell the dealer's technician you tuned it yourself. Also, let the technician know how out of tune it was after delivery, and what you found with the tuning pin torque compared to your Baldwin Hamilton. Ask if this is something you should be concerned about. How far out of tune was it after delivery? Was it just an overall "out of tune", or did some notes sound like three notes instead of one? The lower torque tuning pins and the piano being way out of tune could very well be related.


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yonion Offline OP
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Thanks! I believe the software use 440Hz and most of the keys are a bit lower than that, but the software doesn't tell how far away it is. The keys has different problems. For several keys, the two/three strings do not sound the same. Some keys has high pitch sound that was solved by the tuning. I don't think I broke anything during the tuning, I don't see why I should hide this from the piano tech, the piano wasn't performing after its delivery. For most keys, I only used a very small force to do the tuning. It felt easier and less tiring to tune this piano than tuning the Hamilton. I only have some difficulty for the last key (on the right), where my mic cannot pick up enough sound.

Last edited by yonion; 10/04/21 05:22 PM.
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I would methodically check the action of every key in every condition you can. See if the tone sounds consistent especially from one section of the piano to the next. I'd play each key at several volumes, each with and without the damper and sostenuto pedal (if you have one). Note if any keys seem stiff, of if the hammer bobbles, or anything that mechanically doesn't seem correct. Write this down for each key so you have a list. I wouldn't worry too much about the tuning, it will take several visits to get that stable anyway.


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Originally Posted by yonion
I don't think I broke anything during the tuning, I don't see why I should hide this from the piano tech, the piano wasn't performing after its delivery.

Please read your warranty agreement CAREFULLY. My warranty agreement specifically states that the warranty does not apply if 4. … the piano has been repaired or tuned by a person not authorized by the Estonia dealer.

The concern is that it is possible that you have voided the warranty by having tuned the piano yourself.

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yonion Offline OP
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Thanks for reminding. But, you really scared me. There is only a small brochure that comes with the piano. It said the recommended tuning regulation must be performed by a trained professional. But it did not mention any violation will void the warranty. I guess I am trained professional though by YouTube. But this is really against common sense. I feel every pianist should be allowed to tune the piano. And tuning is not repairing. It's like violinist tune their violin, you don't need a professional to do that for you.

Originally Posted by Sgisela
Originally Posted by yonion
I don't think I broke anything during the tuning, I don't see why I should hide this from the piano tech, the piano wasn't performing after its delivery.

Please read your warranty agreement CAREFULLY. My warranty agreement specifically states that the warranty does not apply if 4. … the piano has been repaired or tuned by a person not authorized by the Estonia dealer.

The concern is that it is possible that you have voided the warranty by having tuned the piano yourself.

Last edited by yonion; 10/04/21 08:03 PM.
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In the US, the warrantor must prove that the service caused the problem to be repaired under warranty. However, it may take a lawsuit to force the warrantor to do so, which is probably not worth it for either party.


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Make a list of adverse things you notice while playing the piano. Say if you dislike or like the overall tone quality.

I don't see how a decent job of preparation can be done on a new piano without about a day to check everything out such as hammer/string spacing, screw tightening, phasing of unisons to hammer strike, general regulation, solid tuning and needle voicing as needed.

Last edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT; 10/04/21 10:04 PM.

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Originally Posted by yonion
I guess I am trained professional though by YouTube. But this is really against common sense. I feel every pianist should be allowed to tune the piano.

Although you own your own piano, this is not the logical argument I would use or admit to, should a related concern arise for which you require warranty assistance...

With regard to the visit, just note anything you don't like about the piano and see if that can be communicated to the technician in advance of their visit, so the allot enough time to do the work and bring the appropriate tools. If memory serves, those Baldwin pin blocks have something of a reputation for feeling (sometimes) excessively tight, which is not necessarily ideal when it comes to fine tuning. In the interest of full disclosure, I don't service many Baldwin Hamilton studios, though.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
If memory serves, those Baldwin pin blocks have something of a reputation for feeling (sometimes) excessively tight, which is not necessarily ideal when it comes to fine tuning. In the interest of full disclosure, I don't service many Baldwin Hamilton studios, though.

I think the OP had an old Baldwin Hamilton studio and now has a lightly used 2016 Boston 178 — so the work voicing/regulation, etc would be for the Boston 178.

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Well they say you should put out cookies and milk, but I don't remember if it's for a visit from Santa or a piano tuner.

But wouldn't it make sense that a grand piano requires higher torque to tune than an upright? To get the same fundamental frequency with longer string you need higher tension (and possibly lighter/lower gauge string).


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Sgisela - I was commenting on the OP’s perception that the pinblock feels different on the two pianos.

Cygnus - No. The manner in which the pinblock is drilled, the tuning pins used, how the strings slide across the bearing points, whether a tuning pin bushing is used, and the design of the pinblock itself are much more influential to the feel of tuning than the string tension in the scale design.


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Originally Posted by yonion
Thanks! I believe the software use 440Hz and most of the keys are a bit lower than that, but the software doesn't tell how far away it is. The keys has different problems. For several keys, the two/three strings do not sound the same. Some keys has high pitch sound that was solved by the tuning. I don't think I broke anything during the tuning, I don't see why I should hide this from the piano tech, the piano wasn't performing after its delivery. For most keys, I only used a very small force to do the tuning. It felt easier and less tiring to tune this piano than tuning the Hamilton. I only have some difficulty for the last key (on the right), where my mic cannot pick up enough sound.

I suggested a way to avoid any argument about who did what to the piano. I learned never tell the shop what I tried to get the truck running there for repair.

“I did some tuning on my own piano” brings up long arguments about unlicensed amateurs giving piano technician’s a bad name.


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Originally Posted by yonion
For several keys, the two/three strings do not sound the same. Some keys has high pitch sound that was solved by the tuning. .

If some unisons where way off, it could be a sign of low pin torque on them needing them hammered in some to the block. But since you tuned the piano how did the pins feel? I'd ask the tech to address any loose pins.

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Ok so I read it wrong -for some reason I thought OP said it took less effort to tune the upright. Maybe the similar sounding names threw me off, Baldwin, Boston? ha


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BTW OP, congrats on your new Boston, that's a great piano in a nice size! I played a few Bostons (the 178, and the one below, which I think is 163?), and they were really nice instruments.


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I would discuss the really important issues first with the technician.For myself that would be a careful discussion about the torque of the pins,and tuning stability of the piano. Ask the question is there a problem with loose tuning pins on this piano? Of course a new piano will need a number of tunings to settle down.(we do know that)

I would not mention anything about tuning the piano after delivery.You need a good relationship with the dealers technicians.

After you have had this discussion then mention other aspects of regulation you would need the technician to work on.

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Yonion,
If the piano was out of tune when you played it at the dealers premises why did you not insist in it being at least tuned before delivery. In general pianos tuned and properly transported from a dealer to your home will not go out of tune during the transport. Entropy has not been supported with updates for a long time and I suggest you try PianoMeter.


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