Temperament is all about the relationship of strings/fingerings to each other, rather than an ideal temperament for a particular instrument.
As a cello player, your only limitations are what the open strings are tuned to initially.
To tune the Cello's open strings to perfect fifths (low to high):
Tune the C or fourth string to C -5.7 cents
Tune the G or third string to G -3.8 cents
Tune the D or second string to D -1.9 cents
Tune the A or first string to A 00.0 cents
The various temperaments have their advantages and disadvantages. The Pythagorean temperament features perfect 5ths, but its 3rds are not as good or "consonant" as the Just temperament, especially when playing in an ensemble
You tune your open strings to fifths, like other members of the violin family, but what happens when you start to finger the strings
Most string players view electronic tuners with disdain, simply because they offer a very poor resolution in Equal temperament. This is unusable for string tuning because at best, you can take a common "A" reference from them, and tune the beats out by ear
Those tuners do not offer any "scale practice" features.
Not so the Peterson, as it offers a much higher resolution/accuracy and a multitude of different ways to "place" the notes on a scale
, as you have no doubt discovered.
The more astute and savvy string players like yourself have seen the value of the VS-1 as a way to tune to pure fifths using the PYTH temperament in C.
The V-SAM, however, breaks the chains on temperament, allowing you to choose any one of 12 roots.
This means that it will instantly plot out a scale in the temperament of your choice and
the root of your choice, thereby granting you twelve temperaments where there was once just one
So if you and your ensemble wish to practice harmonising in the key of F# major for example, without having some horn player snigger in the backround (I´ve been there
), you can use the V-SAM to correct those intervals.
Generally, a melody or solo voice is played in Equal with adjusted fifths(read sharp
), whereas the rules of consonant harmony or ensemble playing dictate Just tempered flattened thirds (read flat
) and Pythagorean tempered fifths.
Your ear simply wants to hear beatless intevals, it doesn´t care what the rules are, but your instrument will dictate what is physically possible.
The trick is to be aware of these differences and to train your ear to react accordingly to train your fingers' movements with the help of the tuner.
Thats where the V-SAM comes in (the VS-1´s temperaments are rooted permanently in C)
In effect, the V-SAM is the first tuner to offer all temperaments with 12 adjustable roots.