Author Topic: Strobe tuners  (Read 5505 times)

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Strobe tuners
« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2017, 11:35:47 AM »
The final chapter of this story:  A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed a Peterson Autostrobe 490 from eBay.  (A bargain $196 BIN price for a like-new one with a Peterson soft case.  The seller bought it at a garage sale, didn't know how to test it and listed it for parts or repair.)

So far, I've used it to tune my Rhodes Piano Bass and my Vox Continental organ.  Both sound better than they ever have before. It's far more precise than the Korg needle-type chromatic tuner I had been using. It responds instantly to a tone, which in the case of the Rhodes and its wandering pitches, allows you to easily tune either to the initial strike or to let it ring out a bit if that's your preference.  It makes quick and precise work of tuning, and is as well-designed and easy-to-use as you'd expect from a company that has been manufacturing strobe tuners for decades.  Unlike the vintage Peterson tuners that are all over eBay, this is a current production model that, as the manual notes, will never need re-calibration "ever."  And there is something undeniably cool about watching the strobe wheels spin.

I probably would not have been willing to pay $700+ for a new 490 tuner and case. But I'm certain this new tool will help enhance my enjoyment of my instruments for many years.

Alan

« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 11:37:48 AM by alenhoff »
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

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1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline David Aubke

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Re: Strobe tuners
« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2017, 11:48:43 AM »
Congratulations.

How does it handle the extreme treble and bass notes? That's where most tuners I've tried start to lose track, especially on the last treble octave.
Dave Aubke
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Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Strobe tuners
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2017, 02:22:52 PM »
David:

To answer your questions, I tried it with my Rhodes 73. 

I put it in auto mode, in which you play a note and the tuner automatically recognizes it. That works perfectly in the top octave. In the lowest keys, the tuner can be a little slow to recognize the note.  (You may have to sustain the note or hit it twice to get it to identify and switch to that note. Once it identifies the note, it works perfectly.)  That's not really a problem, but if you don't like that, you can easily switch to manual mode when tuning those keys, and press the button corresponding to the key before tuning it. So, the short answer is that it works fine in the extreme octaves.

It has a nice feature that helps you tune the extreme notes:  by pressing a single button, you can change the motor speed, and display the tuning results in either a higher or lower strobe disc band.  This allows you to tune an extreme octave and have it displayed in a middle strobe band, which is easier to read.  (And if you have a need for it, it also expands the range of the tuner from its normal 8 octave range to 11 octaves.)

Pretty slick piece of gear...

Alan



Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline David Aubke

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Re: Strobe tuners
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2017, 02:25:17 PM »
Thanks. Sounds like you got a heck of a deal there.
Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

Offline cinnanon

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Re: Strobe tuners
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2017, 08:16:25 AM »
It has a nice feature that helps you tune the extreme notes:  by pressing a single button, you can change the motor speed, and display the tuning results in either a higher or lower strobe disc band. 

Which button does this? I have the 490-ST and didn't read the manual that closely, but this sounds nice!

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Strobe tuners
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2017, 10:37:38 AM »
To the left of the strobe window, there's a button that says "Display +2 - 1."  You can see it here:
 https://www.petersontuners.com/products/autoStrobe490st/
This button toggles between the values of "normal," +2 and -1.  By default, the tuner boots up in the normal mode, but if, say, you were a bass player, you could change the boot-up value to +2. Very handy feature.

By the way, the owner's manual is worth exploring. It's actually written in fairly conversational language.

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Strobe tuners
« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2017, 08:14:11 PM »
I finally got around to using my Peterson 490 to tune my '74 Rhodes Stage.  I thought it was already in good tune (using my Korg electronic tuner), but I ended up re-tuning most every key with the strobe tuner.  It now really has a "sparkle" to it.  It sounds wonderful.  To me, it's the difference between having a very nice-sounding piano and a great-sounding one.  It was easy to use, and it responds instantly, allowing me to let each note ring out a bit and tune to that, since I like to play with a lot of sustained notes. 

There are some people on this list who have enough experience, knowledge and great ears to tune a few notes and handle the rest by ear.  But for the rest of us, my experience is that using a mechanical strobe tuner can make a real difference.  I'm very pleased with the results I've gotten on four of my instruments.

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline EvanBingham

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Re: Strobe tuners
« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2017, 07:02:30 PM »
Used a verituner today on the rhodes and it came out great.  The device measures out the partials (harmonics) and matches the above notes as you tune from bass to treble.  You can choose to stretch the octave if you like, i just go with the default which might be a .2 cent stretch on the initial octave and it calculates the rest of the temperament from there.

One tuning question though...on C3 I had to push the spring all the way to the pickup side of the tine.  I can't tell any obvious tone differences but I bet there's something there I'm not hearing.  More importantly, is this normal?  If not is there a remedy?

Offline sean

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Re: Strobe tuners
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2017, 05:31:17 PM »
Evan,

If the tuning spring needs to be at the very end of the tine, then the tine is too short, or the tuning spring is smaller than ideal.

One millimeter too short makes a significant difference.

Examples of short tines:
http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=9647.msg53341#msg53341

Tine cutting chart:
http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=9647.msg53350#msg53350


Sean

Offline pnoboy

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Re: Strobe tuners
« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2017, 07:49:13 AM »
Really great topic on tuning.

I don't do stretch tuning on a Rhodes, as others have mentioned - the beating is much more apparent from a much simpler sound wave in comparison to an acoustic piano.  It may sound ultimately flat in the higher register in a band setting or with vocalists (reason for Fagen's stretch tuning), but if you play a stretch tuning Rhodes piano by itself - it honestly "sounds out of tune."

Boy, does it ever--been there, done that.