Melodeon.net Forums

Discussions => Instrument Design, Construction and Repair => Topic started by: j.b.c. on September 08, 2018, 08:20:50 AM

Title: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 08, 2018, 08:20:50 AM
I need to build a tuning bench.

I would be nice if members with tuning tables/benches could post pictures of their set up for inspiration.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on September 08, 2018, 09:20:49 AM
There's one on ebay
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PRO-Piano-accordion-melodeon-Tuning-table-Will-post-INTERNATIONAL/183412426798?hash=item2ab43b882e:g:Eg0AAOSw~p1bjB12
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Winston Smith on September 08, 2018, 10:05:09 AM
Here's mine. Not pretty, not elaborate and inexpensive.
Due to lack of space, it clamps onto my Workmate bench as and when needed. The right hand bellows is used for checking tuning off the blocks, and the left hand set are actual instrument bellows. There are much more functional ones about, I'm sure; but for the little, and rough, tuning I do to my own instruments this is "nigh enough for pit work" as they say around here.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Pete Dunk on September 08, 2018, 10:38:34 AM
See this thread (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,22597.0.html) on the second page of this board.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 08, 2018, 01:18:32 PM
There's one on ebay
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PRO-Piano-accordion-melodeon-Tuning-table-Will-post-INTERNATIONAL/183412426798?hash=item2ab43b882e:g:Eg0AAOSw~p1bjB12
I've seen that one several times and cannot really recommend it. It is important that for final tuning work, a tuning bench/bellows set-up allows for tuning with the reed blocks mounted in-situ in the instrument. As far as I can see, the one on e-bay does not do that. It only allows tuning individual reeds or tuning on the block outside the instrument. Despite whatever claims might be made in favour of it, neither of those methods will give you accurate results without faffing around with offset error corrections.

The set-up that Edward uses here (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,22799.msg272761.html#msg272761) is far superior and useful (not to mention cheaper!)
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 08, 2018, 02:40:11 PM
How does hanging the box off the workbench work in practice?
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Theo on September 08, 2018, 03:06:31 PM
There's one on ebay
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PRO-Piano-accordion-melodeon-Tuning-table-Will-post-INTERNATIONAL/183412426798?hash=item2ab43b882e:g:Eg0AAOSw~p1bjB12

A more fundamental problem with this one is the completely impractical fixture for holding individual reeds.  The deep tapered pocket that holds a reed plate will accommodate different width reed plates, but you then have to extract the reed plate before you can file the reed.  That would be terribly slow. Ok for occasional use, but not suitable for producing a whole set of custom reeds that j.b.c will be doing.  To call it a “PRO” tuning table is really a serious exaggeration. As a pro tuner I would not give it space in my workshop.

Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Winston Smith on September 08, 2018, 04:04:31 PM
"How does hanging the box off the workbench work in practice?"

Like me, it's simple!
One end of the box hangs by the bellows, which slide nicely onto chamfered bits of wood. The other end, with the newly tuned reeds just sits on the top (but without the bellows pins/screws in) and the bellows are worked up and down by hand to check the accuracy of the sound produced.
It's probably too slow a procedure for a professional to use, but I've all the time in the world (God willing!).
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 08, 2018, 04:21:57 PM
How does hanging the box off the workbench work in practice?

Following on from Edward's post:
Using the instrument's own bellows is going to give you the greatest accuracy of pitch because the internal dimensions and spacing of the bellows folds will be exactly those during real playing conditions.

The pitch of the reeds can be significantly affected by the proximity of objects within the bellows space, usually the bellows internal folds and the other reed blocks. That's why we say that final tuning must be done with the reed blocks in situ in the instrument.

Even with the set-up that Edward shows, there will still be minor changes of pitch once the bellows are firmly fixed in their playing position by bellows pins or screws, etc. This effect might be only approx ± 0.2 - 0.5 cents, usually not enough to be discernible by ear, but measurable with sensitive tuning meters nonetheless. The effect is almost certainly due to the change in rigidity of the whole set-up once the bellows are fixed in place.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Winston Smith on September 08, 2018, 04:41:22 PM
Steve is undoubtedly right about "rigidity". I find this when tuning individual reeds on my fixed bellows. I hold the reed against a suitable block for sounding, but it still needs further tuning once it's waxed in, and again when it's going into the screwed/pinned together instrument. Every change at every stage alters the tuning somewhat.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Pete Dunk on September 08, 2018, 06:44:57 PM
This thread sent me off sifting my way through various Youtube videos. I've read a lot of common sense about the pitch of a reed altering, sometimes drastically depending on its surroundings, mounting and so on. I call it common sense based on my own experience and observations which are almost exactly the same as those mentioned here.
Then I found this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4M0ArjmCAs). Is it possible to sound and tune a set of reeds in a more alien manner? I'll be very interested to hear comments from the people here who do a lot more tuning than I do.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 08, 2018, 07:23:59 PM
Then I found this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4M0ArjmCAs). Is it possible to sound and tune a set of reeds in a more alien manner? I'll be very interested to hear comments from the people here who do a lot more tuning than I do.
In my opinion, it's needlessly over-designed and over-engineered gadgetry. It suffers from the same major drawback as the previously discussed tuning table for sale on ebay: it doesn't allow you to tune the reeds in situ in the instrument. Except in this case there is a large diameter 'blowhole' which can be slotted in, while the main body of the instrument sits on top of its (closed) bellows - so, sort of in situ and hence marginally better than the Ebay version, but it can only be done with the bellows fully closed, so you don't get the various changes in bellows volume (capacity) to check the tuning against.

As for 'testing the instrument' to see what the actual pitches are before any tuning takes place, the easiest and most accurate way to do that is with the instrument fully assembled and simply play it to an electronic tuner. No need for the fancy electrically driven bench.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: hickory-wind on September 08, 2018, 10:27:50 PM
Here is a video I published in 2014 of my ‘alien’ tuning table (well before the AKKO table was introduced I believe).
https://youtu.be/un-AvLaCenU (https://youtu.be/un-AvLaCenU)

My YouTube channel showing some of the hundreds of button accordions and concertinas I've tuned using it:
https://www.youtube.com/user/buttonboxbellinger/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/buttonboxbellinger/videos)

It can be used with single reedplate fixtures, reedblocks (single, double or triad chords) or full in-situ (without bellows).
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: hickory-wind on September 08, 2018, 10:35:07 PM
It can accurately and repeatably produce pressure and vacuum anywhere from a small, high pressure concertina to a large bellows low pressure piano accordion.

Extreme low pressure gage with jewel bearings accurately and repeatably displays pressure or vacuum.

Can be used to determine the lowest pressure where a reed will ‘speak’ greatly aiding setting the reed gap evenly across a set of reeds.

It can instantly switch from vacuum to pressure which not only can help diagnose valve problems but is an absolute joy to work with. It is very quiet with the blower in adjacent room.

I don’t think of it as ‘needlessly over-designed and over-engineered gadgetry’ but rather as an essential tuners tool and great time saver. But then again, I’m an engineer:)

Scott

BellingersButtonBoxes.com (http://BellingersButtonBoxes.com)
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Pete Dunk on September 08, 2018, 10:49:55 PM
Here is a video I published in 2014 of my ‘alien’ tuning table
I meant no offence and will make no further comment.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: hickory-wind on September 08, 2018, 11:11:07 PM
No offense taken. I've used bellows driven and blower driven tables and both, if used properly can produce excellent tuning. The bellows table has the further advantage of being fairly easily constructed and inexpensive. I use my air table daily though and don't regret the many hours I spent designing and building it.

Scott
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Winston Smith on September 09, 2018, 12:18:21 AM
I remember you posting that, and being very impressed with the amount of work it must have taken. I expect that using it is a source of great satisfaction to you.
"over-designed and over-engineered gadgetry" is certainly one way to look at such devices, and is a valid comment, IMHO. But as an innovation in tuning technology, it's also something to be immensely proud of! The fact that you still use it successfully is testament to its worth.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Conjunto Dave on September 09, 2018, 12:37:00 AM
Here's an interesting method of tuning I found on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M53lSHVUpUM

He's using a pump for an inflatable bed.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: diatonix on September 09, 2018, 09:16:01 AM
While they are excellent, necessary tools for raw-tuning individual reeds, using these devices for tuning reed blocks is a waste of time.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: syale on September 09, 2018, 12:33:29 PM
Here's an interesting method of tuning I found on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M53lSHVUpUM

He's using a pump for an inflatable bed.

What about the noise generated from the electric motor alone seen by the tuner?

Stephen
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: diatonix on September 09, 2018, 12:51:53 PM
Here's an interesting method of tuning I found on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M53lSHVUpUM

He's using a pump for an inflatable bed.

What about the noise generated from the electric motor alone seen by the tuner?

Stephen

I've seen many horrible "tuning" tutorials on YouTube, but this one really makes the hairs on my neck stand up. How anyone can take such acts of vandalism seriously is beyond me.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on September 09, 2018, 01:02:53 PM

I've seen many horrible "tuning" tutorials on YouTube, but this one really makes the hairs on my neck stand up. How anyone can take such vandalism seriously is beyond me.

At the risk of being accused of thread drift, but I think this is relevant and of interest:
What is your recommended method of tuning, Diatonix
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 09, 2018, 03:19:19 PM
such vandalism

That guy uses those garbage files like he is shining shoes.

 
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 09, 2018, 03:36:45 PM
How does hanging the box off the workbench work in practice?

Following on from Edward's post:
Using the instrument's own bellows is going to give you the greatest accuracy of pitch because the internal dimensions and spacing of the bellows folds will be exactly those during real playing conditions.

...

I presume the most practical workflow is to tune the outside reeds in-situ, and then to tune the inside reeds to the outside reeds individually.

Or maybe that is most practical for just the klunkers, as needed, which seem to be the inside reeds on my box.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Pete Dunk on September 09, 2018, 03:51:01 PM
At the risk of being accused of thread drift, but I think this is relevant and of interest:
What is your recommended method of tuning, Diatonix


Look through these videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/diatonix2/videos) for the answer to your question. You will also see a few beautiful boxes built by diatonix.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 09, 2018, 08:24:30 PM
I presume the most practical workflow is to tune the outside reeds in-situ, and then to tune the inside reeds to the outside reeds individually....
Not really. You tune both outside (push) and inside (pull) reeds in the same pass, both in situ in the instrument. Usually I tune the inside reed first and then its matching outside reed. This is because I generally use the Italian-style hook reed lifter (I personally prefer it, other people prefer the German style) which means going in under the outside reed, so I tune the outside reed second, after all disturbance caused by the reed lifter has finished.

Look through these videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/diatonix2/videos) for the answer to your question.
Specifically, this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdap-lYsKbw&frags=pl%2Cwn) shows tuning both the inside and outside reeds, using both types of reed lifter.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Andrius on September 09, 2018, 08:48:22 PM
Link to Photo album (https://photos.app.goo.gl/tb9ezcEKmOeMPRvf2): one of my folk groups - Folk group „Linago“ of Vytautas Magnus University is visiting folklore festival in Dusetos this spring.
There was presentation of our book (ethnic scores) and concert in festival.
After the festival we visited workshop of last Lithuanian maker of "Petersburg accordions" Mykolas Sipavičius (1925-2014)
There are 14 photos from the workshop (you must skip about 2/3 photos to reach them).
Lot of interesting equipment, turning table between them.
Man in white - son of the Master.

BTW I am playing violin together with my daughter in really lot of photos; and my son plays red Erica :)
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 10, 2018, 07:19:22 AM
This guy's bench is cool because it holds the reedblock horizontally, in a good position for working on it without moving it.

https://youtu.be/cpiz6g8oDoI?t=166

Afinação and Afina seem to be the good youtube search terms.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 10, 2018, 08:28:55 AM
This guy's bench is cool because it holds the reedblock horizontally, in a good position for working on it without moving it.

https://youtu.be/cpiz6g8oDoI?t=166

Afinação and Afina seem to be the good youtube search terms.

Yes - interesting and I can see it might be useful for approximate tuning. However, tuning with the block outside the instrument will usually result in a pitch which will be sharp of the target pitch. As we keep trying to say (but which seems to be largely ignored), the final tuning must be done with the reed blocks in situ in the instrument.

Further on in the video at about 5:28, he moves the treble end assembly to another bellows tuning bench which would give far more accurate results, especially if the tuning bench bellows was the same dimensions as the instrument bellows. This is a good set-up for tuning in situ. But in the video, he has removed two of the reed blocks first. That's going to give inaccurate results because the proximity effects of the other reed blocks on the tuning will be altered (i.e missing). You need to do the tuning with all the reed blocks in place, even though it might be a bit awkward to use the tuning tools in the restricted space. I can't really follow the language very well, so it's possible he is trying to demonstrate something else.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 10, 2018, 08:46:24 AM
I can't really follow the language very well, so it's possible he is trying to demonstrate something else.

You can turn on subtitles autotranslate.

He explains that at each step the airflow changes and it effects the tuning.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 10, 2018, 09:09:19 AM
I can't really follow the language very well, so it's possible he is trying to demonstrate something else.

You can turn on subtitles autotranslate.

He explains that at each step the airflow changes and it effects the tuning.
Thanks for the tip! However, the resulting translation of Portuguese into English is sometimes puzzling and occasionally hilarious. I can understand that reed blocks might translate as 'castles', and maybe air flow gets muddled up with 'water' flow. But I don't see how Iraq and Syria get incorporated :o. And as for 'armadillo voices'.... ;D

But he is making the point that final tuning must be done with everything in situ. I think the method he (sometimes?) uses is to make a note of the instrument tuning as received (the 'pre-tuning') and then calculates the offsets required to bring each reed into proper pitch. It is then possible to apply those offsets when tuning with the reed block outside the instrument, which should then get you somewhere close to the required pitch when the reed block is replaced in the instrument. I sometimes use this method myself with reeds that are otherwise very hard to get to. However, there will almost certainly be final adjustments needed which must be done in situ in the instrument. 
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Rob2Hook on September 10, 2018, 09:19:20 AM
I sometimes use this method myself with reeds that are otherwise very hard to get to. However, there will almost certainly be final adjustments needed which must be done in situ in the instrument.

It sounds like a feasible description of Hohner tuning - except that they don't...

Rob.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Conjunto Dave on September 10, 2018, 03:33:24 PM
The tuning of a Corona II Classic at Hohner Germany in 2006.
http://www.peterunbehauen.de/p/07tuNing.html

Credit to Peter Unbehauen for taking these photographs.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 10, 2018, 05:00:36 PM
The tuning of a Corona II Classic at Hohner Germany in 2006.
http://www.peterunbehauen.de/p/07tuNing.html

Credit to Peter Unbehauen for taking these photographs.

That's more like it.  (:)

The top photo shows one note being tested with the entire treble end of the melodeon being placed on the tuning bellows, which look to be of very similar dimensions to the instrument's own bellows. This will ensure a very close correspondence with the pitch of the note under actual playing conditions. 

The second photo shows an adjustment being made to a reed whilst it is in situ in the melodeon.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: diatonix on September 10, 2018, 05:38:32 PM
I really don't see the need for a tuning table when tuning reed blocks! There are absolutely no advantages whatsoever, on the contrary. I wish people would start understanding this, instead of praising youtube substitutes, however sophisticated they may be. What these guys are doing, is more easily, faster and more accurately and safely achieved with the blocks in situ. When tuning, one is (or should be!) always comparing  with neighboring reeds, constantly checking octaves and other intervals, very often using the register, if the box is equipped with one. This also means that the keyboard is a vital part of the process. Could someone explain to me how one is expected to tune a good, consequent tremolo without it, just to mention an example?
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Theo on September 10, 2018, 05:56:07 PM
For the task envisaged by the starter of this topic there will be a lot of pre-tuning work to get reeds close to the correct pitch.   A tuning table will be useful for that.  Also for someone just learning how to tune a tuning table makes access to the reeds a bit easier and you can more easily see what you are doing and how the tools work.     But I agree that tuning inside the instrument is essential.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: mselic on September 10, 2018, 10:04:21 PM
Recently I undertook a restoration project involving a Hohner HA114 in the rare key of A. All of the reeds were rusty, and the tuning was so far out that much of it was almost a semitone lower than it should have been.  The only option was to remove all the reeds, clean them, and then begin the task of tuning them back up to the correct pitch. Given the difficulty of working on these particular boxes, and the fact that most of the reeds needed to be raised in pitch (ie filing of reed tips), it made sense to begin the tuning process outside of the box using individual reedplates, an old reedblock, and a make-shift tuning bellows.

Since I didn’t know how far off the pitch of the reeds would be once installed back in the box, I tuned them perfectly on-pitch outside of the box as a starting point. However, once I had waxed all the reeds back in, I was quite surprised to discover the tuning of the reeds (according to my electronic tuner) had stayed the same! Everything was spot on, and there was only a little bit of adjustment needed here and there, and most of that was after a day or two. I used this same method on a few individual reedplates that needed to come out of another box for tuning (ie some of the pull note/higher piccolo reeds), only to discover once again that they didn’t need any adjustment once waxed back in place.  If there was a minute difference between the two readings, it was negligible. I’m sure this is not always the case, but it was in these particular instances.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Theo on September 10, 2018, 10:19:07 PM
That’s interesting.  I have to ask this.  When you say the pitches were “spot on” what was the tolerance you were working to?
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: mselic on September 11, 2018, 04:26:47 AM
That’s interesting.  I have to ask this.  When you say the pitches were “spot on” what was the tolerance you were working to?

Ok, “spot-on” is probably not the best phrase to use as it might mean different things to different people. I use a tuning app on my phone, and I believe that whatever difference there might have been in pitch inside and outside the instrument was definitely less than a cent. I guess the point I was trying to make was that I did not notice a difference either with my ear or with my tuner, but someone with more stringent tolerances may feel differently. I am curious now to investigate a little more closely, although for practical purposes (for me) I’m quite satisfied. Having said all that, I always tune with reeds in situ wherever possible.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 11, 2018, 07:25:00 AM
That’s interesting.  I have to ask this.  When you say the pitches were “spot on” what was the tolerance you were working to?

Ok, “spot-on” is probably not the best phrase to use as it might mean different things to different people. I use a tuning app on my phone, and I believe that whatever difference there might have been in pitch inside and outside the instrument was definitely less than a cent. I guess the point I was trying to make was that I did not notice a difference either with my ear or with my tuner, but someone with more stringent tolerances may feel differently. I am curious now to investigate a little more closely, although for practical purposes (for me) I’m quite satisfied. Having said all that, I always tune with reeds in situ wherever possible.

'Less than a cent' is indeed not very much and while most people's ears cannot distinguish that sort of difference in pitch, it can influence the tremolo beat rate between two sets of reeds, particularly on the highest notes and when you are trying to achieve a light tremolo, where a difference of say 0.5 - 1 cent can be critical. When adjusting tremolo rate it's always best to use one's ears anyway; fine tuning adjustments in this case can be 1 cent or less, for slow tremolo rates on the higher pitched reeds.

However:
....Given the difficulty of working on these particular boxes, and the fact that most of the reeds needed to be raised in pitch (ie filing of reed tips), it made sense to begin the tuning process outside of the box using individual reedplates, an old reedblock, and a make-shift tuning bellows.

Since I didn’t know how far off the pitch of the reeds would be once installed back in the box, I tuned them perfectly on-pitch outside of the box as a starting point. However, once I had waxed all the reeds back in, I was quite surprised to discover the tuning of the reeds (according to my electronic tuner) had stayed the same! Everything was spot on, and there was only a little bit of adjustment needed here and there, and most of that was after a day or two. I used this same method on a few individual reedplates that needed to come out of another box for tuning (ie some of the pull note/higher piccolo reeds), only to discover once again that they didn’t need any adjustment once waxed back in place.  If there was a minute difference between the two readings, it was negligible. I’m sure this is not always the case, but it was in these particular instances.

So - you are not comparing like with like!
If I've understood you correctly, you have tuned the reeds by mounting them on an old reed block, brought them up to pitch outside the instrument, then transferred the reeds to the 'proper' reed block in the instrument and found the pitch to be the same, or very close to what was required. I think you have been lucky, purely by chance! ;). Even with similarly designed reed blocks, there will almost certainly be slight differences in the acoustic properties. In this case, I would postulate that those differences have been working in your favour!

Having said that, when working (sharpening) on the inside tiniest piccolo reeds where it could be injurious to attempt to use a reed lifter to pull the reed tongue through the reed plate slot, a safer method is to flip the reed plate temporarily in order to work on the reed and then flip it back afterwards. When doing this, I would determine the required tuning offset required first of all, then apply it to the flipped reed and hope that it remains the same offset when flipped back! Mind you - Diatonix (of this parish) reports that he is able to safely work on even the smallest reeds using a fine-scale German-type reed lifter. (:) See this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdap-lYsKbw&frags=pl%2Cwn) again.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: mselic on September 12, 2018, 05:38:40 AM
I’m sure you are right, Steve. I will play closer attention the next time I need to tune any reeds outside the box to see exactly what’s going on.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: mselic on September 12, 2018, 04:40:34 PM
Theo - may I ask to what tolerances you adhere to when tuning?
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Theo on September 12, 2018, 04:54:14 PM
My target is to get the pitch of the reed sounding inside the instrument to between 0.0 cents below to +0.5 cents above the nominal pitch. If I do a pretuning of the reeds on a reedblock on my tuning table I usually see the pitch inside the instrument is between 1 and 3 cents lower than on the tuning table.

Not many electronic tuners will let you read differences that small.  Peterson iStroboSoft which I use reads to 0.1cent.  Many of the free electronic tuner apps, and cheap hand held, or clip on devices show a green light for “in tune” with +/- 2 cents or even as much as +/-5 cents.
The best handheld I found was the Korg OT 120 which I used for several years, but the Peterson app beats it hands down.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: mselic on September 12, 2018, 05:22:29 PM
Thanks. The tuning app that use is called “Pitch”. It does show green within a particular range of tolerance, however at that point it will still show you how far off you are using Hz down to 0.1 Hz. Outside the green zone it gives readings in cents as well as Hz. I will check out your recommended tuner as well.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Gena Crisman on September 12, 2018, 05:36:45 PM
Peterson iStroboSoft which I use reads to 0.1cent.
I will check out your recommended tuner as well.

I recall reading some time ago that there may be significant differences between their software on iOS (apple phones and tablets) versus other (android et al) platforms, at least based on reviews I read when investigating the software a while ago - the situation may well have changed, but, it seemed to be the iOS version was far surperior and the android version kind of bad.

edit - so as not to appear nebulous, my information source was the concerningly large number of reviews for the app on the google play store (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.istrobosoft.tuner&hl=en_GB&showAllReviews=true) - many felt misled but often due to buying the app based on prior experience or friend recommendations coming from the iOS version. If you were to examine the features available on the Peterson website here: https://www.petersontuners.com/products/istrobosoft/ you can see that, as of current at least, basically every single one of the features is an iOS only in app purchase. My belief is that many who recommend this app on these forums do run it on an iPad tablet or iPhone, but, I'd be happy to be corrected because I have enough play store credit to just buy it outright. Generally tough, using it with an iOS device is probably the way to go, if you're able to.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Theo on September 12, 2018, 06:36:40 PM
Yes I use the Peterson app on iPad and iPhone, but I only occasionally use any of the in-app purchases.  Historic temperaments is the one I have used most, but it’s not terribly good because it still only uses a 12 tone scale, so for example in 1/4 comma meantime D# is the same as Eb, which is useless.
Also the Accordion tuning addon is also pretty much useless.  Having said that the basic app is truly excellent, and I can’t imagine needing to use anything else. 

Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Theo on September 12, 2018, 06:39:27 PM
Thanks. The tuning app that use is called “Pitch”. It does show green within a particular range of tolerance, however at that point it will still show you how far off you are using Hz down to 0.1 Hz. Outside the green zone it gives readings in cents as well as Hz. I will check out your recommended tuner as well.

0.1Hz is just a touch under .5cents,  so it’s getting close!
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Pete Dunk on September 12, 2018, 09:00:34 PM
Several years before the emergence of the IOS app I was given a Peterson StroboFlip as a very expensive present, I was blown away by the accuracy of this piece of hardware when fitted with a highly directional dynamic microphone like a Shure SM57, the inbuilt condenser mic was pretty iffy to be fair. A couple of years later I got an iPhone 4 and shortly thereafter discovered the iStroboSoft app costing just a few pounds, well under a tenner. There is no comparison between the two, the app using the inbuilt mic on the iPhone and later the huge display of the iPad is vastly superior to my magnificent but sadly outdated hardware.

Android v IOS is another debate but basically if the app is developed in the US then IOS wins hands down!

Edit: typo, what else!
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 13, 2018, 06:23:28 AM
I've got an older Peterson strobo-tuner in guitar pedalboard format.  Its OK.  It is sensitive to string tension.  A freshly struck string on a string instrument goes sharp because of the increased tension. 

I haven't played around with reeds enough to understand if they go sharper or flatter with increased volume?

I've found the opensource software tunertime to be much superior. ==> http://galexander.org/software/tunertime/

It is super-fast reading and accurate to a tiny fraction of a cent.

It is also a *free* android app.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.galexander.tunertime&hl=en

Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 13, 2018, 07:28:01 AM
I haven't played around with reeds enough to understand if they go sharper or flatter with increased volume?

Free reeds tend to go flat with increased bellows air pressure. The effect is most marked if the reed tip gap is a bit on the narrow side of optimum, when increased pressure may cause the reed to choke off completely.

The other effect you will notice is with the larger lower-pitched reeds, generally about B3 or lower, especially if they have a weighted tip. These tend to start flat (typically around 1 - 3 cents) and then rise to a proper stable pitch after a second or so. The larger and longer the reed, the more noticeable is this transient effect. As you might expect, it can be particularly annoying on those big low bass reeds. To compensate for this, human tuners (myself included) may deliberately tune the reed so its stable pitch is 1 - 2 cents sharp.

All reed tuning is a compromise. The art comes in understanding how to minimise the effects so that the result sounds good, even to a discerning and sensitive ear.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: hickory-wind on September 14, 2018, 04:49:44 AM

0.1Hz is just a touch under .5cents,  so it’s getting close!

True around A440 only.

Here are some examples:
@A2(110Hz)    0.1Hz=1.57 cents
@A3(220Hz)    0.1Hz=0.79 cents
@A4(440Hz)  0.1Hz=0.39 cents
@A5(880Hz)    0.1Hz=0.20 cents
@A6(1760Hz)  0.1Hz=0.10 cents
@A7(3520Hz)  0.1Hz=0.05 cents

For the curious a formula to calculate cents between two frequencies in Excel is cents=LOG(F1/F2,2)*1200 where F1 is the first frequency and F2 is the second.

Scott
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: RogerT on September 14, 2018, 07:48:41 AM
Just think though...before electronic tuning, tuners had reference reeds and their ears (:)
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 14, 2018, 08:35:03 AM
For the curious a formula to calculate cents between two frequencies in Excel is cents=LOG(F1/F2,2)*1200 where F1 is the first frequency and F2 is the second.

Yes, that is the correct Excel syntax, but for further clarification here is the formula in 'ordinary' maths.
To convert frequency difference to cents difference:
cdiff = 1200 × log2 (f2 / f1)

or, if using logs to base 10:
cdiff = 1200 × 3.322038403 x log10 (f2 / f1)
            
Note that if f1 is assigned to a standard frequency, e.g. the Equal Temperament value (say), then if f2 is greater than f1, the cents difference will be positive, i.e. sharper than f1.
Conversely, if f2 is less than f1, the cents difference will be negative, i.e. flatter than f1.

This is useful to know if it is desired to calculate the required cents offsets either side of ET for 'Dedic' Viennese tuning.
It may look complicated for a non-user, but as Scott has indicated, it is easy to set up an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the cents offsets required for any desired amount of tremolo between the two reeds. The only additional information you need would be a table of frequencies of all the notes in ET. Here's one such table (http://pages.mtu.edu/~suits/notefreqs.html).
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 14, 2018, 09:11:28 AM
Just think though...before electronic tuning, tuners had reference reeds and their ears (:)

Mr. Danker from Brazil has some wonderful YouTube videos.

In this one he demonstates the pre-electronic tuning table ==> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCVTf4UoP-M

The waxing spoon ==> https://youtu.be/qTAoa7ftxYk
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 14, 2018, 10:23:01 AM
The waxing spoon ==> https://youtu.be/qTAoa7ftxYk

This is not good working practice.  :o

First of all, heating the wax over an open flame as shown on the video runs a real risk of fire, which could easily escalate into something more serious, as there are other wax 'cubes' in close proximity underneath the flame lamp. One drop of burning wax could ignite the others.

Secondly, using this method, it is difficult to judge the correct and consistent temperature of the molten wax. Judging by the smoking of the wax in the spoon and the dark colour of the solidified wax around the reeds, he has got the wax too hot and it is starting to carbonise (burn!). This can lead to premature brittleness of the wax seal and its consequent failure.

Lastly, some form of fume extraction or other ventilation should be used if you plan on doing much waxing, other than fixing the occasional reed.

Here's how it should be done (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjGaLwqrtOs&frags=pl%2Cwn): video of Diatonix (of this forum) using a waxing spoon and wax heated in an electric melting pot. Note the pale yellow and even consistency of the melt and the lack of smoke!
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 14, 2018, 10:35:43 AM
The waxing spoon ==> https://youtu.be/qTAoa7ftxYk

This is not good working practice.  :o



Apparently, Mr Danker is a generational accordion builder whose workshop has been in the family for over 60 years.

I have personally had the misfortune of burning a workshop to the ground, with the resultant loss of decades of investment and ...

Some things don't give you 2nd chances.  That said, I suppose Mr. Danker knows quite well what he is doing.  If you listen carefully you can hear roosters crowing in the background.

And ... if you thought that was scary ... watch him recycle wax ==> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3QXfTkNeaQ

All very relaxed.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: RogerT on September 14, 2018, 01:57:49 PM
I know of one tuner who uses a keyboard to sound the desired note, as a substitute for the reference reeds on old tuning tables. The point is, he is comparing pitches with his ears rather than by watching a readout on an electronic tuner. You need a reference pitch, obviously, but all the other related reeds e.g. octaves and beating + or - reeds can/could be tuned by ear. And also moving up and down in octaves (like you do when tuning a piano) can/might be done by ear (once you have your tuning scheme sorted, that is). Having said that, I watched a tuner at work in the Bulgari factory and he was all strobe tunered up, so to speak. But it was the bass end of a PA with a freebase/stradella converter, so ..erm...there were a lot of reeds, some at peculiar angles.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Steve_freereeder on September 14, 2018, 04:21:37 PM
I know of one tuner who uses a keyboard to sound the desired note, as a substitute for the reference reeds on old tuning tables. The point is, he is comparing pitches with his ears rather than by watching a readout on an electronic tuner. You need a reference pitch, obviously, but all the other related reeds e.g. octaves and beating + or - reeds can/could be tuned by ear. And also moving up and down in octaves (like you do when tuning a piano) can/might be done by ear (once you have your tuning scheme sorted, that is). ...
When working to Dedic/Viennese tuning, you can't easily tune octaves by ear because, on the individual reed banks, the M+ reeds 'octaves' and M- reeds 'octaves' are not true octaves apart. It's only when you combine the sound of the M+ and M- reeds that the perceived pitch kicks in and perceived octaves become true.

Example of octaves of note A, for a constant 4 Hz tremolo:

Octave    M- freq    M+ freq    Perceived pitch freq
A2          108 Hz     112 Hz        110 Hz
A3          218 Hz     222 Hz        220 Hz
A4          438 Hz     442 Hz        440 Hz
A5          878 Hz     882 Hz        880 Hz
A6          1758 Hz   1762 Hz      1760 Hz

Notice how the successive octave frequencies of the individual M- and M+ reeds are not exactly double the previous frequency, and hence will not sound 'in tune', and hence will be difficult, if not impossible, to determine by ear.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 14, 2018, 08:07:45 PM
With string instruments inharmonicity is an issue for octaves. ==> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inharmonicity

The tuner I recommended upthread can stretch octaves to combat this problem.  It is critical to address this issue for piano tuning.

Inharmicity occurs wherever overtones are prevalent, when the overtones of the vibrating elements do not align with the theoretical ideal.

The sooner I build a tuning bench the sooner I can make my own experience in this matter.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Theo on September 14, 2018, 08:16:01 PM
Inharmonicity is not usually a problem with free reeds.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: j.b.c. on September 14, 2018, 08:35:40 PM
Inharmonicity is not usually a problem with free reeds.

How is this possible if the tuning of the reed is influenced by its surrounding cabinet?

One would think that the Helmholtz effect of the cabinet shifting the pitch of the reed is the very definition of inharmonicity.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: RogerT on September 14, 2018, 08:51:11 PM
"When working to Dedic/Viennese tuning, you can't easily tune octaves by ear becausE.."
Yes of course you are right. However, how would a tuner achieve Viennese style tuning, with M- and M+ reeds, before strobe tuners? Maybe start with two M0 reeds and flatten/sharpen equally,  by comparing to a third M0 Reed?
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: malcolmbebb on September 14, 2018, 09:08:39 PM
One might suggest that most cabinets don't have walls that are constantly moving in and out and changing their shape. And on the reed block side, the distances are very small compared to the sound wavelength and the air pressure constantly changing, so setting up a resonance might be tricky.
The volume of air in the cabinet is being controlled and varied by the bellows to an extent far in excess of the effect of the sound waves.
Of course it all depends on the wood...
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Winston Smith on September 16, 2018, 08:54:39 AM
And the other Melnetters were astonished at the pure simplicity of Kimric's tuning bench.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Anahata on September 16, 2018, 11:08:18 AM
One would think that the Helmholtz effect of the cabinet shifting the pitch of the reed is the very definition of inharmonicity.

Not at all. Inharmonicity means the harmonics are not exact integer multiples of the the fundamental, and effects that shift the pitch of the reed shift all the harmonics in step with the fundamental. In pianos, inharmonicity is caused by end effects: the effective length of the string is not the physical length, and the effective length for the second harmonic, for example, is not exactly half the effective length for the fundamental.

The real reason why free reed instruments don't have this problem is that the sound that you normally hear comes from the airflow being chopped by the reed alternately obscuring and opening the slot. The harmonics of the sound that you hear are caused by the chopping of the airflow not being sinusoidal (presumably more like a soft edged  square wave) and they are exactly in step with the fundamental.

If you press the reed block to your ears and ping a reed, you will hear the harmonics of the reed's vibration itself, and there's a good chance that they will not be in tune with the fundamental, but those out-of-tune harmonics have very little influence on the chopped-air waveform that you hear normally.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: robotmay on September 17, 2018, 04:00:34 PM
Currently I'm tuning at my desk entirely inside the melodeon, which is not exactly a very time-efficient way of doing it, although whilst I've been learning it has been rather good to do the entire process in the simplest way possible. Hoping to eventually have a space where I can set something up, and I'd love to experiment with various electronic doodads, mostly because I'm a programmer and that just sounds like even more fun ;D

Here is a video I published in 2014 of my ‘alien’ tuning table (well before the AKKO table was introduced I believe).
https://youtu.be/un-AvLaCenU (https://youtu.be/un-AvLaCenU)

My YouTube channel showing some of the hundreds of button accordions and concertinas I've tuned using it:
https://www.youtube.com/user/buttonboxbellinger/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/buttonboxbellinger/videos)

It can be used with single reedplate fixtures, reedblocks (single, double or triad chords) or full in-situ (without bellows).

I was thinking about this sort of system just a few weeks ago, and this looks really tidy. I also love the look of that gimball-desk-vice you've got on your worktop. I have a small vice like that but I can't adjust the angle; that thing looks really handy!
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: hickory-wind on September 17, 2018, 05:13:07 PM

I was thinking about this sort of system just a few weeks ago, and this looks really tidy. I also love the look of that gimball-desk-vice you've got on your worktop. I have a small vice like that but I can't adjust the angle; that thing looks really handy!

I have another swivel vise for waxing. I lined some angle aluminum with felt and mounted it to a low profile version of the vise.  This allows 360 rotation and more than +/- 50 degrees of tilt so I can position the reedblock any way I like while waxing the reedplates. Usually I tack-wax all reedplates in place with a little dab top and bottom. I then check all reeds (blow & suck) on my air table to make sure all reeds are sounding and all valves (inner and outer) are functioning before going back and final waxing. I'm attaching a photo from the top. You can see the tack-wax dab on the top of the reedplates. This photo looks like a staged photo for my website since the two open cavities still have the old wax not scraped off... not my normal procedure.

Scott
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: hickory-wind on September 18, 2018, 03:38:11 AM
Here is my next generation waxing jig showing the universal base. Also visible are my wax sticks (I made a split mold for casting) waxing iron and high velocity German fume extraction so I don't breathe the nasty wax fumes.

Scott

BellingersButtonBoxes.com (http://BellingersButtonBoxes.com)
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on September 18, 2018, 06:08:40 AM
Scott, is that a slice of Salami to the left in the top picture ?  8)
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: RogerT on September 18, 2018, 07:26:32 AM
I’m really old school when it comes to waxing. I’ve got one of Carini's wax pots and a very long spoon like the one Charlie sells. I hold the block so I can move it around and cause the wax to flow. And a very bright light so I can see what I’m doing (:)  I don’t generally have salami on the bench. Biscuits have been known to be present sometimes.
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Winston Smith on September 18, 2018, 07:41:37 AM
Serious thread drift here, but I'm sure that members would be interested to see our favourite bookbinder taking his first driving lesson, he's hardly changed, has he?
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Pete Dunk on September 18, 2018, 08:03:27 AM
Scott, is that a slice of Salami to the left in the top picture ?  8)

Looks like a pan scourer to me. ;)
Title: Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
Post by: Theo on September 18, 2018, 08:20:44 AM
[[ADMIN]]

Salami, pan scouters, driving lessons?  This topic has run off the road!