Tips for using the Professional
You may be delighted by the idea of being able to tune without flagpoling, but you’ll soon discover that some judicious pin tilting is a necessary part of piano tuning. Keep in mind that a tuning pin does most of its tilting when you first apply force. The more force you apply, the more the pin resists moving, so trying to tilt the pin farther generally has very little effect.
Don’t worry too much about the potentially destructive consequences of gentle tilting. Remember that all piano tuners, everywhere, using conventional tuning hammers, have always flagpoled every pin they have turned. Piano design seems to have evolved to accommodate this small amount of tilting.
Generally speaking, the tighter the tuning pins, the freer the bearing points, and the shorter the front strings, the less you’ll need to tilt pins. This means that you’ll probably find yourself tilting pins less in the bass than in the treble, and less in new pianos than in old ones.
If you set the pin like most tuners--going flat, then sharp, then settling to pitch--you'll probably find that it's easier to get a feel for a pin if you refrain from tilting during the first two steps, and tilt the pin only when you need some extra help settling the string to pitch.
You'll appreciate the Professional especially when you want to touch up a string. If the pin is in a stable position, but the string is a little sharp or flat, the clean feel of the Professional allows you to turn the pin precisely to its correct position. You can then bring the string into tune without further turning, simply by twisting the pin and, if necessary, tilting it.
Keep in mind:
--Always grip the handle, not the shank.
This insures that when you push on the handle, the result is a pure turning force on the pin.
--Always carry an L-lever.
While the Professional fits onto virtually every pin on every grand, there are exceptions, such as the last few bass pins on Yamaha grands and pins close to the capo in the high treble of large grands with wide plate webbing. You'll need to use a conventional L-lever to reach those pins.
When you're tuning a vertical with a large overhanging lid, you may prefer to use a an L-lever rather than leaning the lid against a wall or removing it entirely in order to make room for the Professional.
In addition, you'll find it useful to have a small, lightweight conventional hammer for pitch adjusting (when you want to move rapidly from pin to pin) and for those non-tuning jobs for which L-levers are so handy: making string repairs, adjusting glides, seating strings, spacing grand jacks, releasing vertical action brackets, etc.
For all those reasons, you should always carry an L-lever when using the Professional in the field (the Utility makes an ideal companion).