John A. Tuttle wrote in 030105 MMDigest:
> Hi All, I'm the first to admit when I am wrong, and in the case of the
> QRS self-tuning piano, I was wrong about one point. I now understand
> that the tuning is done by the tuner and then that tuning is 'saved'
> in the memory chip. I stand corrected!
> Regarding the 95 degree (F) operating temperature, Ray Finch's comment
> made me laugh. As a cat owner, I know that "Wiggens" and "Dit-Da"
> prefer warm places, and since a cat's normal temperature is about 101
> degrees, 95 degrees would be quite inviting. So that means that I'll
> have to keep the piano closed up when it's not being used. Now consider
> that I have some 250 steel wires at an ambient temperature of, let's
> say, around 85-90 degrees. What is that going to do to the top of a
> grand piano? [ It surely will attract cats! :-> -- Robbie ]"
I too have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. I must confess I am
not really a cat person. I have owned dogs all my life. I have only
had casual acquaintances with the feline species. As such I did not
realize that cats would like such a warm place as a 95 degree heated
piano. Any dog would be over heated in a mater of minutes (NOT that I
let my dog on the piano, mind you! <grin>).
> Until reading Robbie's comment, I hadn't thought about the consequences
> of heating and cooling the wires repeatedly. I suppose that's why I
> asked the question, "How 'hot' is hot?" As I recall from high school
> science class, repeated heating and cooling of steel is what is done
> to harden the steel, as for swords and knives. Isn't that called
Sort of. Heating and then quickly cooling tempers the steel to make
it harder. Heating and then allowing the steel to cool (slowly) on its
own actually _softens_ the metal. Any time you see a blacksmith in a
western movie working horseshoes he always plunges the red hot horseshoe
in cold water -- not only because it makes for a good dramatic effect
but because hardens the horseshoe.
However, repeatedly heating piano strings to 95 degrees is not likely to
cause any problems as a piano can very well get to that temperature on
a hot summer day and then cool down to 60 degrees or less at night.
This brings up an interesting point. How will the piano stay in tune
on a hot summer day? (Or much less, how will the house stay cool with
this room heater disguised as a piano heating the room!?)
Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA)
[ I asked the piano tuners this question at the Sacramento Traditional
[ Jazz Festival. The festival owns 42 sturdy console pianos and most
[ of them broil outdoors in the afternoon heat and then cool dramatically
[ at night. The tuners said that, when they touch up the pianos each
[ morning before performances begin, the basic tuning pitch is unchanged
[ from 24 hours before, so the job is mostly to bring the unisons back
[ together after 12 or 14 hours continuous playing. I conclude that
[ these Everett console pianos withstand temperature cycling very well.
[ -- Robbie