Anyone had a go at this?
Fun for all the family,
Wow, excellent fun, this!
I could reliably hear differences of .5625 Hz from 500 Hz (87th percentile) ... about 1.9 cents off at this range. So one eighth of test-takers could reliably hear differences of 1 cent, or even 0.5 cents, at 500 Hz!
I'd say an experienced concertina player could well have a legitimate desire for better than 1.5 cents tuning accuracy. But with real free reeds (instead of computer tone generators), there may well be a whole cent of variability in a given reed depending on how it's played ... so the question of precision in tuning is not necessarily reducible to a single number. Dave's 1.5 cent standard appears, by this, to be pretty good, for balancing idealism with reality. Not perfect, but in this case "pretty good" may be a perfectly fine goal ... for 500 Hz! I'd love to take this test in other octaves and see how the results compare.
The other thing this test doesn't get at is how well my ear can tell if a pitch is off when played simultaneously with another pitch - judging intervals such as octaves or fifths. I'd guess (from years of experience tuning reeds, though not from scientific testing) that I'm much better at this than at judging two consecutive pitches. Is there a test out there for this?...