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#1 hielandman

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:23 AM

I have been looking at tuners with the intent of purchasing one for concertina tuning, and came across this one: Turbo Tuner ST-122 Chromatic Strobe Tuner, currently on ebay, Item number: 230100617. Does anyone out there have any experience with this tuner, or from looking at it's specs, feel that this would/would not be a good tuner for tuning concertina reeds? This is supposedly a true strobe tuner, and it is very reasonably priced, even for a virtual strobe. I would appreciate any and all opinions on this subject, thanks,
Don

#2 Paul Read

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:04 AM

I've removed my comments because I thought you meant an old strobe tuner. The price does look very good.

Edited by Paul Read, 08 March 2007 - 11:12 AM.


#3 Paul Read

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 01:32 PM

I just took a good look through the specs on this and it looks pretty good. The main concern I would have for concertina tuning is how easy and fast it would be to assess how many cents a reed is out by. I have been looking for a back-up for my Peterson so I am going to get one on the 30-day trial and report back.

#4 hielandman

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 02:22 PM

Thanks Paul, I think I am going to do the same.

#5 david robertson

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 06:17 AM

It's not clear (to me, at least) from the description whether this device displays the error in cents. This is not vital if you're tuning a fiddle, say, but it is an essential feature for "difference tuning" a concertina, where you're trying to allow for the variation between the reed in and out of the instrument. I look forward to reports from you triallists!
By the way, if anyone wants to buy a Korg OT 12 orchestral tuner cheap, I've got one virtually unused, mainly because it doesn't display the error in cents!
Regards,
David

#6 Dana Johnson

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 04:00 PM

It's not clear (to me, at least) from the description whether this device displays the error in cents. This is not vital if you're tuning a fiddle, say, but it is an essential feature for "difference tuning" a concertina, where you're trying to allow for the variation between the reed in and out of the instrument. I look forward to reports from you triallists!
By the way, if anyone wants to buy a Korg OT 12 orchestral tuner cheap, I've got one virtually unused, mainly because it doesn't display the error in cents!
Regards,
David

Does anyone know if Korg ever made a replacement for it's Mastertune MT 1200? They discontinued that, but I found mine quite handy and pretty versatile. Has a coarse and fine cents scale, Pitch adjustment if desired, auto and manual note selection to help with the low notes.
Dana

#7 hielandman

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 04:15 PM

I emailed Turbo tuners(twice), and this is what they told me. The first time I asked if the tuner was suitable for concertina/accordian reed tuning, the second time was to ask them if the tuner displayed the cents, as brought up earlier in the thread. These are the replies:

answer to first question- " The Turbo Tuner works very well for tuning accordion reeds. We have sold several units for this purpose so far, and from what I have heard, they worked out very well. "

answer to second question-"Don,

When using a strobe tuner to measure a note, you sound the note, then adjust the cents offset of the tuner until the pattern in the ring of LEDs is stationary.

On the Turbo Tuner, this is done with the CENTS+ and CENTS- buttons. These buttons change the cents offset in .1 cent increments, and this value is shown on the display along with the note.

You can also configure the tuner to show the frequency in Hertz if you so desire.

For more information on this, here is a link to our on-line users manual that describes this feature:

http://www.turbo-tun...anual.htm#cents "

Unfortunately, I am rather ignorant of all this technology, and I am not sure exactly what he is saying. Does this answer the question posed by David about whether or not this shows the cents off? I guess I'll go to the link and see if that clears this up. Take care all,
Don

#8 ragtimer

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 11:08 PM

I emailed Turbo tuners(twice), and this is what they told me.

When using a strobe tuner to measure a note, you sound the note, then adjust the cents offset of the tuner until the pattern in the ring of LEDs is stationary.

On the Turbo Tuner, this is done with the CENTS+ and CENTS- buttons. These buttons change the cents offset in .1 cent increments, and this value is shown on the display along with the note.

Unfortunately, I am rather ignorant of all this technology, and I am not sure exactly what he is saying. Does this answer the question posed by David about whether or not this shows the cents off? I guess I'll go to the link and see if that clears this up. Take care all,
Don


What they are saying is: THis device works the same as the good old Conn genuine strobe tuners, where you keep sounding the note, and twist the pitch-offset knob until the pattern holds steady. Then read the cents sharp or flat off the knob scale. I do this all the time when tuning my crank "monkey" organs. The only difference in this digital device is that you push and hold buttons, rather than twist a knob.

But no, you can't just sound the note and expect the cents offset to show up on its own.

As someone mentioned last year, this can be a big inconvenience if you need both hands to sound the note and can't spare one to tweak the offset knob. It also requires the offset knob to be nicely calibrated in cents so you can read it afterwards (which the digital unit under discussion apparently does down to 0.1 cent, excellent).

I have a nice Korg digital tuner that reads cents offset directly, but its readings tend to jitter around, eeven during a steady tone from an organ or tina. So for serious work I use my good old Conn, which uses vacuum tubes to drive the strobe motor. "Digital" is how I play my tina :P --Mike K.

#9 d.elliott

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 03:16 AM

I keep looking an new meter options, not that there is anything wrong with mine, but it will need replacing/ upgrading one day.

I think that people get obsessed by finite degrees of accuracy, +/- 0.01 of a cent OH -WOW, big deal! but the ear cannot distinguish +/- 1 cent. and who can file a reed to that level of precision on a trial and error basis? Tuning a concertina is not like tuning a violin where you can turn an infinitely variable knob until the error goes away!

What is more important are:

Range: a Bass goes down to 43.6 Hz (F1) a piccolo 4186.0 Hz C8, and especially the sensitivity of the microphone/ pick up at these extremes.

Stability and visual clarity of the display: the ability to give a steady readout at any point along the range, I like an analogue 'reed' -out ( :rolleyes: ) because the needle damping helps with this. I also like the analogue display because it is both numeric and positional, as you 'nudge' a reading closer to a target value

Hands free operation: as stated by others, concertinas are two handed to sound, as are some tuning rig set ups

Precision/ repeatability, even under battery power. some meters drift as batteries decay, I always work off a transformer, unless away from my base

Accuracy through out the range, appropriate accuracy and consistency.

In engineering we establish tolerances and choose then calibrate instrumentation to be consistent to the precision and accuracy levels appropriate and required. Would a nail manufacturer producing 4 ins nails ship to +/- 0.0005 of an inch? or even have the capability (in-line) to discriminate at this precision?

hope that this will help any would-be 'meter maids!' sorry Beatles :ph34r:

Dave

Edited by d.elliott, 10 March 2007 - 03:21 AM.


#10 Dave Prebble

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 05:58 AM

Hi Dave,

Fully agree with your post. Keep it simple !

My preference is for an analogue needle meter (as large as possible) and I back this up with a digital display 'needle' meter which also displays cents. This backup allows for a regular calibration check between the two and helps to sort out some of the strange anomalies that occur whilst tuning .... such as a particular meter insisting on latching onto an overtone produced by the reed rather than the fundamental frequency and thus giving false values.

Both are Seiko tuners - one modern and the other 20 or so years old - If one of them were to pack up on me I would hope it would not be the old one.

Mssrs Wheatstone, Lachenal & Jeffries would wonder what we were all fussing on about.
Their men worked by tuning to a reference reed and with final tuning dependant on the skill, judgement and the ear of the man.

Tuning to 'the nth degree' of accuracy is a pretty pointless exercise that will only result in frayed tempers and a whole heap of iron filings round your feet as you alternate between filing the root and tip of the reed in the pursuit of some imaginary excellence....which btw disappears as soon as the instrument is played with slightly more or less bellows pressure causing some note values to vary (possibly by up to several cents for bass notes) anyway during the course of a playing a tune.

I reckon that strobes belong to the world of the 'music lovers' that frequent Discos and Raves ... or whatever they call them these days... :lol:

Dave Prebble

#11 Paul Read

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 07:32 AM

I follow the same process as Ragtimer. Use a good old Seiko to get in the ballpark then get a more accurate reading on the Peterson. This works fine for me and the way I tune doesn't give me any problem with the 'no-hands' issue.

Dave P is right that 0.1 cents tuning doesn't mean a lot when you can change the pitch significantly just by pushing harder. The only concern I have is that these less accurate tuners can leave you with one reed 3 cents sharp and onother 3 cents flat i.e. 6 cents apart. A lot of people will notice that difference (not me, I suspect). I think the point on this strobe tuner is that, if it easy enough to use, it is more accuracy for the same money.

This topic comes up every so often and I suspect it's an issue on which there will always be av ariety of opinions

Edited by Paul Read, 10 March 2007 - 07:36 AM.


#12 d.elliott

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 04:00 PM

I checked on my reference notes on this topic from way back,

75% of people can detect that there is a differnce between two steady tones when that difference is somewhere between 3.5 to 5 cents in the mid- frequency range. At higher and lower audible frequencies the difference has to be greater to be detected. Training and experience can give the ability to discriminate at the 3.5 end but they cannot say which tone is sharper or flatter than the other.

As music in play is a mixture of rapidly changing complex tones of very short duration then in reality 5 cents is more than accurate enough.

When I tune I work on the principle that the instrument's owner is a fiddler, has perfect pitch and will sit and play comparative notes, listening intently. He/she will pick out beats and chords. So the maximim tolerance I allow myself is ..... Shhhh secret, Ok, strictly no more than +/- 2 cents, most of the time I am within half that, mid range. Below middle C I tend to drift sharp by a cent or two or three as I know that the note will flatten when played with gusto.

The instrument's design and construction needs to descriminate with precision at 20% of the single increment of scale. It should be accurate to 0.2 cents if you are working in single cent steps. (basic rules of engineering calibration still apply!)

Dave

#13 Paul Read

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 05:27 PM

So the maximim tolerance I allow myself is ..... Shhhh secret, Ok, strictly no more than +/- 2 cents, most of the time I am within half that, mid range. Below middle C I tend to drift sharp by a cent or two or three as I know that the note will flatten when played with gusto.

The instrument's design and construction needs to descriminate with precision at 20% of the single increment of scale. It should be accurate to 0.2 cents if you are working in single cent steps. (basic rules of engineering calibration still apply!)

Dave


Interesting, I allow the same tolerance (well, 1.8 cents but only to be a bit less than 2!). I'm a civil engineer; we don't usually work as accurately as you mechanicals :ph34r:

Edited by Paul Read, 10 March 2007 - 05:27 PM.


#14 d.elliott

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 04:19 AM

Paul,

my younger work associates tend to think of me as clockwork, rather than mechanical!

I think that the +/- 2 cents, or there abouts, is a good rule of thumb, which I based on a lot of reading around when I first got more fully engaged in the repair side of things.

When I talked about shading sharp, I anchor the bottom limit onto nominal 0, and move the tolerance band to sharp, ie -0/ +4cents, (or +5, subject to how the reeds perform on my tuning rig)

Do you still use slump tests for checking bellows leaks?

Dave

#15 Paul Read

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 08:03 AM

Paul,

Do you still use slump tests for checking bellows leaks?

Dave


Not only that, filling the bellows with a good 30 MPa concrete mix cures the leak every time :)

Edited by Paul Read, 11 March 2007 - 08:04 AM.


#16 Dave Prebble

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 08:07 AM

Paul,

Do you still use slump tests for checking bellows leaks?

Dave


Not only that, filling the bellows with a good 30 MPa concrete mix cures the leak every time :)


....and you have to play the box in a cube testing rig :lol:

Dave

#17 d.elliott

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 11:32 AM

and in America I suppose your 're-bar', would be a 're-measure', which brings us nicely back to neasurement! but are we still on topic?

Dave

#18 d.elliott

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 11:32 AM

and in America I suppose your 're-bar', would be a 're-measure', which brings us nicely back to neasurement! but are we still on topic?

Dave




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