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MMD > Archives > January 2001 > 2001.01.31 > 07Prev  Next

Calculating Piano Stringing Scale
By Al Pebworth

Years ago I calculated the wire size and tension for restringing
a Wurlitzer player piano.  I was using a Radio Shack Model 1 computer,
so that gives an idea of the date.

I measured the vibrating length of each string, and the wire size,
entering each into the program.  This gave me the present total tension
on the plate.  Then, using the present tension as the tension desired,
I ran the program to determine what size wire to put on in order to
have an equal tension scale.  It produced the results, and I strung the
piano accordingly.

It happened that the next week, the dean of the local Piano Tuning Guild
stopped in for a visit.  I told him what I had done, and asked what he
would have done in the same case.  He slowly stood up, walked over to
the piano, and extending his finger said "Well, I'd start with 12-1/2
to here, then go to 13 1/2 to here, ..."  Get the picture?

He did not miss my scaling by more than one note going up the entire
scale.  I guess you call that "Experience!"  He did say that it was the
best sounding Wurlitzer he had heard.  Yes, I believe that rescaling
_can_ make for a better sounding piano.

Al Pebworth - Pebworth's Player Piano Center

(Message sent Wed 31 Jan 2001, 13:20:20 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Calculating, Piano, Scale, Stringing

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