Conrad Piano Service (520)784-1549

Robert Conrad, Registered Piano Tuner/Technician, Tucson, AZ

Mapping A3: Procedures

This procedure is for pianos whose 4th A4 Number is generally less than 2.0 c.  When the 4th A4 number is less than 2.0 c.,  the prime octave's 2:1 can be either expanded or contracted - based on what the prime 5ths dictate - and still remain less than 3.0 c. wide.  Most of the time on these pianos, the prime 4:2 octave will be either wide or pure. Continue reading

Mapping A3

This system uses the relationships of the prime octave (A3/A4) to the prime 5ths (A3/E4 & D4/A4) to determine the ideal widths for both the prime octave and the prime 5ths.   This relationship will be found using the A4 Numbers the 4th A4 Number, and 'Templates'. Continue reading

The 4th A4 Number

The '4th A4 Number' is the width of the prime's 2:1 after it has been tuned as a pure 4:2. Knowing this 4th A4 number from the very beginning lets me know immediately what I'm going to be dealing with on that particular piano. Continue reading

Balancing the Prime 5ths

Balancing the prime 5ths involves tweaking the shape of the prime octave 'curve' by slightly raising or lowering the mid point of the prime octave curve, while leaving A3 and A4 unmoved. Since using D#4 is not practical to be used as a mapping note, D4 and E4 are used instead.  D#4 can easily be placed between the settings of D4 and E4. Being able to apply this tweak to the tuning is a unique feature of this system of mapping with templates and then using the LC Spreadsheet to create the tuning. Continue reading

The Prime 5ths

The prime 5ths are used to determine the best prime octave width for the particular piano being mapped and eventually tuned. When the widths of the prime 5ths are added together, when that total is -3.0, the prime octave width is about right. Continue reading

Mapping the Treble with Templates

Our system uses the 4th partials from A0 - A4, and the first partials (fundamentals) from A#4 - C8. This partial arrangement makes mapping the treble very straightforward and easy. As in aural tuning, we use previously tuned reference notes from the lower half of the piano. A5 is the first 'treble' note to map. Using information from the A4 Numbers and some quick measuring and tuning of A5 using A3 and A4, a guess can be made at the location for both A5 and A6. A template is then selected as a starting point for mapping the treble. As the locations for both A5 and A6 are refined and notated, templates with the new settings are used to check the tunings for A5 and A6 as well as the Ds and Es in the 5th and 6th octaves. Continue reading

Mapping A0

Mapping A0 can be done any number of ways. It can be mapped however you like, but just like A1, once you have it where you want it, it's location must be measured using it's 4th partial, since the LC Spreadsheet uses the 4th partials for A0 - A4. Continue reading


Template: A gauge, pattern, or mold (such as a thin plate or board) used as a guide to the form of a piece being made; an overlay; something that establishes or serves as a pattern. Continue reading

Partial Changes: Partial Change Errors, Partial Locations, and Partials Used

Because we can't use the same partials to tune A0 and C8, there must be at least one partial change in every tuning software system. All tuning software systems contain partial 'changes'. Whenever the software switches from one partial to another during the course of the tuning, an error at that partial change is very likely. Since every partial change is a potential tuning issue, the fewer partial changes the better. The higher partials are less reliable then the lower partials. Continue reading

Download Tunings

To make them easily available, these download tunings are in both .SAT and Excel file formats. Also included is a Header Sheet in Excel form, which contains the piano mfg, and model, and the settings for each 'A' on the tuning. Continue reading

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