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MMD > Archives > March 2012 > 2012.03.08 > 03Prev  Next

Tuning a Keyboardless Orchestrion
By Randy Hayno

I recently tuned my Weber Unika for a visiting group from MBSI.  My
tuner was moving his piano shop into a new building and couldn't spare
the time to come do it.

I normally do all my repairs and re-stringing, etc., and bring the
pianos up to pitch.  But then after I tune them, I call in the pro
and they always stay in tune much longer when the professional tuner
finishes with them.

I found it very awkward and difficult to tune the Weber Unika.  My
tuner has yet to see this piano and has probably never tuned a piano
without a keyboard.  Because the strings are separated much more than
at the keyboard due to the breaks between the sections, I found it
very hard to play an octave with one hand -- impossible in some places.
I had to get someone to help me.

I also found it really tough to play a note hard because you don't
strike down on a key but up on a whippen.  Needless to say, I tuned it
very softly and after I played the "William Tell Overture" roll, two
unisons were already out of tune and I had to pull the piano out and
touch it up.

My tuner uses an expensive electronic tuning device that calculates the
stretch so he probably won't have to play many octaves.

Does anyone who had experience with these type of orchestrions have
some advice or tips that I can give my tuner when he comes to tune this
piano?  I would greatly appreciate it.

This reminds me of the old Magnavox TV's with the works in the drawer.

Randy Hayno

(Message sent Thu 8 Mar 2012, 16:57:09 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  Keyboardless, Orchestrion, Tuning

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