Tuning is the heart and soul of piano service and performance. Essential for producing beautiful music, tuning adjusts the tension on the wires to achieve the desired pitch. The piano was designed and built to be tuned at A440 pitch.
No matter how expertly a piano is tuned, atmospheric variations and the nature of the piano’s high tension construction conspire constantly to bring it off pitch. Most pianos in the home require tuning a minimum of two times per year.
Tuning does not address mechanical repairs or adjustments to the piano’s action.
When a piano hammer strikes the strings, the felt becomes compressed, and also wears away slowly over thousands of repetitions. Voicing is the process of addressing these changes in the hammer surface and interior in order to create and maintain beauty. There are many facets of voicing, including shaping the hammer, sanding the surface, inserting needles, using heat or steam, and in some rare cases, using chemical treatments to harden or soften the hammers. All of these are advanced skills that only trained professionals should do to the piano. Voicing may be performed to meet the artist’s personal preference.
Repair refers specifically to fixing things that are broken or damaged in the piano. Some repairs are simply a fact of life, such as replacing a broken string. Like all stringed instruments, strings break from use. At other times, parts break in the action due to wear, or atmospheric conditions such as extreme dryness. Pianos can have parts such as a bridge or pinblock separate for the same reasons and need repair. Even losses from abuse, spills or accidents can often be repaired.
If you are selecting and buying a piano, you are making a choice that may endure for generations. It is my policy to listen carefully when someone is searching for the right piano. The need may range from entry level to concert grade.
I will help you to find the right piano for you. The world of used pianos is difficult to navigate. I do my best to provide high quality, beautiful sounding instruments in outstanding condition, at fair prices. The pianos I select for sale range across the spectrum from beginner to professional.
If I do not have a piano that meets your needs in stock, I will be happy to locate one. One of my specialties is finding the vintage 20th century Steinway that you may be seeking.
In our shop or in your home, repairs to your piano are performed to the highest standard possible. The goal is to take each piano to the maximum level of performance possible, so that the piano may give joy for years to come. Sometimes, a full rebuilding is needed in order to meet that standard.
Rebuilding is a word used in the piano industry to mean that every component has been repaired, restored, or replaced in order to put the piano at like-new specifications. This process includes soundboard repair or replacement, new pinblock, tuning pins and strings, new action parts and hammers, and full treatment to all functioning parts such as pedals and cabinet hardware.
Many people use the words "refurbish" or "restore" to refer to "partial rebuilding". Care must be taken when contracting work on your piano to obtain a clear and detailed description of what work is being done, and at what cost.
Pianos must be kept in a climate controlled environment, which means that both temperature and humidity are regulated. Our facility maintains 42% relative humidity at 72 degrees. The pianos are monitored several times per day, seven days per week. Both short-term and long-term storage are available.
Whether you are getting new floors, or have had a fire or flood, storing the piano in an environment designed specifically for pianos will protect your treasured instrument.
The process of maintaining the correct adjustments in the piano’s action is called Regulation. Often overlooked, maintenance to the piano’s action (the moving parts inside the piano, including the keys, hammers, levers, springs, dampers, etc.) is critical for enjoyment of the piano, study, and for performance. As important as tuning is for ear training and beauty, having a properly regulated action is even more important for success. A poorly regulated action will cause non-repetition, (notes that don’t play), poor dynamic range, ( difficult or impossible to play softly), loss of power and speed, and above all, frustration and fatigue, causing the musician or student to lose interest in playing or practice.
If you or your child are experiencing these problems, ask your piano technician if regulating the piano will help. With normal use, every piano will require regulation in the first five years of life, and at intervals thereafter determined by how much and how hard it is played.
A well regulated piano is sensitive, reliable, responsive and a joy to play.
A piano is a thing of beauty both inside and outside. Just like the inside of the piano, the exterior will need care and attention. Selecting a refinisher or finish specialist who understands the unique requirements for properly handling pianos is very important for your piano’s health.
Sadly, some pianos suffer extreme stress while they are refinished. Over the last three decades, I have built a relationship based on excellence with a professional furniture refinisher who treats a piano like a musical instrument. While in his care, it is fully insured, never “dipped”, and is protected from climate stress.
Above all, the finish work is of the highest quality. I am intimately involved in every step of the refinishing process from color and sheen selection, type of finish applied, to installation of hardware and assembly.
See Gallery for photos of Refinished Pianos.
Quick response is imperative in the case of fire, water exposure, or other disaster. If addressed correctly and quickly, and removed from the damage-inducing environment, it is possible to save a piano that would be lost due to inaction. Even smoke odor, and other losses associated with fire can often be corrected if treated soon enough. Disaster and Recovery Mitigation Protocol