Tuning can be tailored to specific tastes. For 1 row instruments, tuning can be equal or just temperament. For 2 or more row instruments Scott’s preference is to use equal temperament since cross row possibilities sound better with that tuning. For 2 voice instruments he uses Viennese style tuning where one voice is above the standard pitch and the other voice is an equal distance below the standard pitch. The beat frequency (with both reeds sounding) ranges from around 2 hertz for the lowest notes on the treble side to 5 hertz on the highest notes. This results in a mild tremolo that is not ‘dry’ but still less ‘wet’ than standard Hohner tuning. Three, four and more voices require a different strategy depending on 'stop' or 'switch' options but can be customized to your desired taste.
The tuning workshop has a variety of digital tuners and accordion specific tuning software for precise tuning of treble, bass and chord reeds. Scott has developed fixtures and jigs for coarse tuning individual reeds on their reedplates.
Fine tuning occurs after attachment to the reedblocks and/or instrument soundboard. Custom tuning can include ‘mapping’ (capture and printout) of existing historical instruments. Tuning can be performed at today’s standard A = 440Hz or at other reference frequencies. Typical activities include:
• Tuning entire instrument (all reeds)
• Spot tuning specific reeds
• Retuning instrument to concert A=440Hz reference frequency
• Maintaining historical tunings (non 440Hz)
• Equal or Just temperaments
• Fixing buzzing or non-sounding reeds
• Balancing sound thresholds (minimum pressure at which note first responds)
• Troubleshooting warbling or bad sounding notes
If you plan to travel near Rochester, New York, USA you are welcome to stop by. Please send a message on the About/Contact page to make an appointment.