DEAGAN PRECISION TUNING BAR

Here is another J.C. Deagan item that I bought on eBay to repair and restore.  This is called a "Precision Tuning Bar" and was used by piano tuners in the 1930's to aid them in tuning pianos and other stringed instruments.

This particular bar provides a perfect A=440 note, which is the tuning standard for musical pitch, also known as "Concert Pitch."  This is the sound the A above middle C on a properly tuned piano should make.  A perfect A should have an audio frequency of 440 Hz, and this note is then used to calibrate the rest of the notes on pianos, violins, etc.

The tuning bar is mounted on a resonance box which is also equipped with a dampening mechanism to silence the note.  In this case the tuning bar was badly rusted and the resonance box could use a new paint job.  It took several hours of diligent cleaning and polishing to salvage the metal bar, and gallons of elbow grease.  Afterwards I was still not completely satisfied with my work but it would have to do.  Sometimes deterioration on metal leaves permanent stains that cannot be removed without scraping down the metal itself, and this, I assumed, would damage the integrity of the bar.

In the end, however, I am pretty pleased with the final result.


7 comments:

Kittybacon said...

Actually, any loss of metal, corrosion, mass, or otherwise can change the pitch.

the misplacedmtnman said...

Don't change that pee-ahtch, bee-ahtch!!

Anonymous said...

can you tell me how much did you paid for it? I saw a complete one and in a good shape but I have no idea where to start the "negotiation".

the misplacedmtnman said...

This particular tuning bar was in very bad shape, so of course I got it very cheap - - about twenty bucks or so. I have bought others in better condition for thirty or forty dollars, but I wouldn't pay much more than that. They are fairly common, especially the "A" and the "C," and pop up on Ebay all the time. I also have a "B-flat" and tried to win an "F" but lost the auction.

Anonymous said...

thank you for your comments.In fact, I am not a musical instruments fan. I was looking for a bell and I discovered this pitch. After all, I got the bell and I got the pitch too. Val.

Anonymous said...

There is a beautiful A-440 Deagan on Ebay right now starting at 99 bucks I think, looks to be in wonderful condition.

Bradley Klein said...

I think that what you are calling, "a dampening mechanism to silence the note", is actually the striker that sounds the A note. It should strike the bar when released, but at rest it should allow the bar to resonate. At least that is my suspicion.