Thursday, April 30, 2009

Grand piano price list

LOCAL PRICELIST FOR GRAND PIANOS (WEST MALAYSIA)
CHALLEN/C.STEINBERT
Grand Pianos
RETAIL PRICE
Models
EBONY POLISH (E)
MAHOGANY / WALNUT POLISH (MW)
DG146D (4'8")
23,710 (E)
24,710 (MW)
DG152D (4'10")
26,000 (E)
27,000 (MW)
DG165D (5'4")
28,140 (E)
29,140 (MW)
DG185D (6')
32,860 (E)
33,860 (MW)
* Prices on all DG models are inclusive of Abel Hammers. Optional for other models and at RM500/- upcharge if required
HAILUN (China Top Brand Piano Manufacturer)
Grand Pianos
RETAIL PRICE
Models
HG-161 (5'4")
32,370

HG-178 (5'11")
36,510

HG-198 (6'5")
55,140

HG-218 (7'2")
82,465

PETROF (Czech Republic)
Grand Pianos
RETAIL PRICE
Models
PE V (5'3")
163,240

PE IV (5'8")
182,560

PE IV Chippendale (5'8")
194,570

PE III (6'4")
187,620

PE Pascat 210 (6'11")
252,140

PE Monsoon 237 (7'9")
276,290

WAGNER (Renner Type Action- China)
RETAIL PRICE
Grand Pianos
HG 151 Monarch (5')
30,710

HG 161 Monarch (5'4")
32,370

HG 178 Imperial (5'11")
36,510

HG 198 Imperial (6'5")
55,140


Terms & Condition





1. Deposit 50% of purchase price will be required order confirmation.
2. Balance 50% before delivery
3. The above prices subject to change with or without prior notice

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Upright piano retail price

LOCAL PRICELIST FOR GRAND PIANOS (WEST MALAYSIA)
CHALLEN/C.STEINBERT
Upright Piano
RETAIL PRICE

EBONY POLISH (E)
MAHOGANY / WALNUT POLISH (MW)
MP-109L (Beginner model)
RM8,090 (E)
RM8,370 (MW)
MP-112T (Beginner model)
RM8,530 (E)
RM8,810 (MW)
MP-112F (Beginner model)
RM8,740 (E)
RM9,030 (MW)
MP-118T (Beginner model)
RM9,140 (E)
RM9,430 (MW)
MP-122TD (Exam model)
RM9,840 (E)
RM10,130 (MW)
MP-122FD (Exam model)
RM10,060 (E)
RM10,340 (MW)
MP-125S* (Prof. Model)
RM10,790 (E)
RM11,070 (MW)
MP-132TD** (Prof. Model)
RM11,570 (E)
RM11,860 (MW)
MP-132FD** (Prof. Model)
RM11,790 (E)
RM12,070 (MW)
MP-U52SSD*** (Prof. Model)
RM14,190 (E)
RM14,470 (MW)
* - comes with Japanese Imadegawa hammers
** - comes with German Abel hammers and bass section terminated by agraffe.
***- comes wz German Abel hammers,European Ciresa Soundboard,sostenuto pedal and bass section teminated by agraffe.
Others comes with special Japanese felt hammers.
HAILUN (China Top Brand Piano Manufacturer)
Upright pianos
RETAIL PRICE
Models

HU-122 (48")
RM13,800

HU-125 (50")
RM15,110

PETROF (Czech Republic)
Upright Pianos
RETAIL PRICE
Models
PE 118 P1 (47")
RM46,680

PE 125 F1 (50")
RM50,840

PE 131 E1 (52")
RM70,340

PE 135 K1 (53")
RM85,940

WAGNER (Renner Type Action- China)
Upright pianos
RETAIL PRICE
Models
HL 122 Monarch (48")
RM13,420

HL 125 Imperial (50")
RM14,730

HL 128 Imperial (51")
RM16,040

HL 132 Concert (52")
RM21,660

YAMAHA/ KAWAI
Upright pianos
RETAIL PRICE
Models
EBONY POLISH

Yamaha U1
RM8,500

Kawai BL12
RM7,500

Terms & Condition





1. Deposit 50% of purchase price will be required order confirmation.
2. Balance 50% before delivery
3. The above prices subject to change with or without prior notice

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Piano Joke

C, E-flat and G go into a bar. The bartender says, "sorry, but we don't serve minors." So E-flat leaves, and C and G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, thefifth is diminished and G is out flat. F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough. D comes in and heads for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a second." Then A comes in, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor. Then the bartender notices B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and says, "Get out! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight." E-Flat comes back the next night in a three-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender says, "you're looking sharp tonight. Come on in, this could be a major development." Sure enough, E-flat soon takes off his suit and everything else, and is au natural. Eventually C sobers up and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. C is brought to trial, found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of D.S. without Coda at an upscale correctional facility!

Restoration process

1. Decision to go forward
Our excellent customer service begins with a follow up to a request by phone or e mail to consider piano restoration or repair. Options for more information include: a home or on site visit or review of detailed digital images sent. If the piano is out of town arrangements for an outstation technicians will come and inspect the piano. Potential customers are welcome to visit the Wagner Music workshop to see all processes prior to making a decision.
2. Transport to workshop
We offer our services locally and as a nationwide piano restoration company. When the decision to go forward is reached, professional movers/shippers are offered to the piano owner. Wagner Music provides the services removals in the West Malaysia, East Malaysia, Singapore and abroad areas.
Long distance shipping is quite easily arranged by any major carrier. It is important to insure any piano being moved for full insurance coverage. For such information the piano can be appraised prior to shipping. We strongly urge customers not to accept non professional piano movers.
3. Notation and breakdown
A complete set of technical notes is taken, documenting the original condition of the piano. Technical measurements useful in the rebuilding of the instrument include:
String height
Bearing
Key height and dip
Down and up weight of keys
Friction and action ratio
Plate orientation and many other important details
Original finish samples are carefully saved for reference
These notes are used for reference in the rebuilding process.
4. Belly repair and restoration
The belly includes the piano soundboard and ribs, pin block, strings, tuning pins, belly rail and plate (iron frame) and damper system. The belly system is of great importance to the piano. The soundboard is sometimes called the “soul” of the piano. As such we consider soundboard repair and conservation of great importance and relevance to our process. Two options are offered in belly restoration.

The first of which is to restore the existing soundboard. The second is to replace the board with a custom duplicate made by a prominent soundboard manufacturer. Determination of soundboard repairs is based on the existing “crown” (forward shape of the board…a diaphragmatic condition which allows the board to adequately move air in responce to string vibration and frequency transfer appropriately) and the amount of repair in terms of cracks, loose or flattened ribs, or other negative conditions. Many soundboards can be successfully repaired and remain effective following restoration.


5. The Finishing Process
After the piano has been carefully disassembled, each cabinet part is stamped with the piano serial number for secure identification. All cabinet parts are hand stripped, i.e., finishes are removed by application of a non-flammable finish remover. Our process does not ever include “dipping” of finishes for stripping purposes. We feel that the dipping method, while faster and more economical, causes problems--fine woods swell, veneers come loose and rich wood tones can distort and bleach. Piano rims are made of several layers of solid wood sheaths that are laminated together during a rim forming process when the piano is first made. Following construction of the rim a veneer surface is applied. This surface may be of mahogany, walnut, rosewood or other fine wood type and gives the piano its wood tone and appearance. Although some pieces or cabinet parts may be of solid wood construction, most parts of the piano are veneered. Sometimes veneers come loose or are damaged. All wood surfaces are carefully checked for proper adhesion and any possible damage prior to the staining and sealing process. Loose edges, chips, burns, water or other damage are repaired and the piano cabinet is made ready for the finishing process to follow.Grain filling: Grain filling is the first step in the finishing process. Grain filler is a thick paste intended to backfill wood pores, which will be the first step in a smooth and flush closed-pore final finish. Ultimately this finish became known as a "piano" finish in the wood finishing industry. Staining: Wood surfaces are stained to a custom wood tone or the classic ebony finish. Stains are sometimes applied in stages to allow for the desired wood tone and texture. Lacquer Sealer: Lacquer sealer coats are applied to seal the filler and stain and act as bond and barrier to the lacquer finish coats to follow.Lacquer Finish Coats: Final finish coats are applied. Wagner music lacquers are extremely high quality and custom blended for a fine piano finish.



Finish Burnishing: Burnishing or “rubbing” of the final finish completes the refinishing process. After final curing, the final sprayed finish is meticulously hand sanded to a 2000 grit abrasive number. This process takes two to three days while finishers sand by hand from 600 grit to 2000 grit levels by hand and rub the fully sanded cabinet parts to their final luster with oils, pumice, rottenstone and ultrafine steel wools. This classic piano finish is only attainable by this method. A beautiful, softly glowing patina is the final result of the finishing process.
6. Keyboard Restoration
Piano keys rest upon a keyframe. The frame consists of a series of three rails and two complete sets of keypins. Piano keys pivot at the center rail keypin and travel to the bottom of their travel at the front rail keypin. The frame is the base for the keyset and as such is responsible for key level and shift during una corda play. It is the basis for power transfer and a desirable piano touch. The keyframe is carefully “bedded” to the keybed in a process of keyframe glide regulation and fitting of wood surfaces between the underside of the keyframe and the keybed.Cleaning and Re-felting of the Keyframe: The keyframe is cleaned and checked for proper integrity of all components including the slats and rails, glides and keypins. Keypins are made of metal and are a typical source in older pianos of unnecessary friction. Pins are polished to remove corrosion and dirt in a two stage process.High quality balance rail and front rail felts are installed. New keyfelts rest upon a series of paper and cardboard regulating punching.New backrail cloth is also installed at this time.Piano Keys: Piano keys are made of conifer or soft wood varieties; typical is sugar pine and some are spruce. The piano key is the vital link between pianist and piano. Although from the outside not much meets the eye beside the appearance of the keytop surface, inside the piano the key is acting as a long lever arm, balancing at the center rail (also known as balance rail) and engaging the piano action. Key travel is guided by the key button and front mortise, both of which have felt bushings installed. Key bushings are replaced and regulated as part of the rebuilding process. At the end of the key are the capstan and backcheck. Capstans are polished to reduce friction and backchecks are either re-conditioned or replaced.Keytops: These may be original ivory. If desired, Wagner music can restore original ivory keytops, repairing chips as needed and re-gluing ivory surfaces. If too many flaws exist in the ivory keytops we may recommend replacement with new quality synthetic coverings. Ebony or “sharp” keys are refinished in our custom ebony lacquer.
7. The Action:
The piano action consists of hammers, hammer shanks and flanges, repetitions or wippens and wippen flanges. These parts work together to bring the hammer to the string. Piano hammers are a major component of the sound of the piano. As such we use only the finest piano hammers including Steinway, Abel and Renner. There are other excellent choices. The repetition or wippen is a small but complex mechanism which act as the mechanical link between the key (brought into play by the capstan) and the hammer (engaged by the knuckle). Once the action parts have been installed they must be regulated.Action Regulation: Piano regulation is a lengthy process which includes many adjustments. All regulation adjustments are intended to optimize the touch or feel and response of the piano. Included in the regulation process are key easing, squaring, spacing, level and dip, alignment of wippen cushion to capstan, jack spacing and alignment of jack tender to let-off button and jack top surface to knuckle. Repetition lever height, repetition spring tension, hammer alignment to strings and hammer travel are adjusted.
Blow distance and key dip are regulated for best aftertouch. The regulation process includes work with the keybed and keyframe, keys, repetitions or wippens, hammers and the damper system. The entire process is one which is refined and repeated until the complex mechanisms of piano operate at peak efficiency.
A Wagner Music Technician inspects jack alignment to the knuckle and repetition spring tension for precise escapment and repetition. Each piano action is bench regulated and fully checked inside the piano cavity. Every regulation procedure must pass inspection for pp-ff dynamic expression and precise repetition.


Hammer Shaping and Voicing: New piano hammers require shaping and voicing. Shaping is a process of filing surface felts which are under tremendous pressure to remove the cupping shape which is a result of the manufacturing process. Shape contributes to sound. Voicing is a process of adjusting the tension of the hammer felts in order to allow the hammer to produce a full dynamic range and pleasing sound quality. This is done by needling, filing, ironing or lacquering the hammer felts. Successful voicing requires expertise.
8. Final Prep
Completion of the piano restoration process involves looking carefully at everything that has been done to date. This includes finishers checking the finish and performing a final burnishing and rub of the finish and polishing. Details of importance include a smooth and even finish and solid edges. Final assembly: A technician re-assembles all cabinet parts and installs beautifully re-plated brass or nickel hardware. Legs and pedal lyre are attached, pedals are regulated to the damper system. The name or “fall” board is carefully installed and all functions of the piano are fully tested. Tuning completes the process.
9. Return to Client
Wagner Music provides the guarantee to safely return the client’s piano safely. Our shop specialist witll supervises packing of the piano and we follow-up with the re-installation of the piano. Local return shipping can be arranged with Wagner staff and we are also able to recommend preferred piano movers.
10. Aftercare
We are keenly interested in the pianos that have been restored at Wagner Music Shop. Piano Technicians from our shop are available to our clients for follow-up tunings and regularly scheduled maintenance. Follow-up tuning and regular check-ups are suggested as good maintenance as recommended by Wagner Music Shop for the continued health of these fine instruments.

Piano cleaning

Pianos become dirty because of exposure to the atmosphere, indoor polution from cooking oils, smoke, pet dander, spills and other accidents. It is normal for a piano to need cleaning after some period of time.

A Chicago Piano Service Specialist will clean the soundboard, strings, keyboard, action, action cavity, cabinet, plate, tuning pin area and more.
Hammer felts are vacuumed, brushed and sometimes filed to restore a clean surface.
Light rust is removed from treble string surfaces.
The sounboard is cleaned with a gentle solution and soft clots are inserted between the strings to gain access to these hard-to-reach areas.
The tuning pin area is carefully brushed with soft bristles and vacuumed. The keyboard and action are retracted from grand pianos to expse the inner keybed cavity where debris collects for years.
The entire area is vacuumed brushed and thoroughly cleaned.
The exterior cabinet is cleaned and polished.

Dirty pianos can pose a health risk, as common allergens can collect for years: dust, mites, pet dander, smoke and mold. Some of these allergens become airborne as the piano is played, released into your home by the hammer striking the string.

Piano regulation

Regulation is the process of optimizing the piano action to provide the best response to our touch. In a sense regulation is the optimization of touch and tone. A piano that is out of proper regulation can have sluggish repetition, uneven tone, a deep and sloppy touch and an inability to play gently or softly. A fine regulation will result in an even touch whereby the piano action responds to the playing of the keys in a like manner throughout. Power and control is restored. We use words like aftertouch to describe the sensation at the end of the keystroke at the very moment of sound.

Our regulation procedure includes inspection and cleaning of the piano keyframe, keybed and action. Adjustments of key height, dip and level, key travel and spacing, hammer alignment, spacing and travel, all major action alignments, timing and synchronization of let-off and drop, repetition spring and repetition lever adjustments and a host of other fine alignment and related adjustments.

Regulation improves touch , tone and responsiveness of the piano and provides a positive musical experience

Piano tuning

Piano Tuning is a process and procedure which ultimately alters the pitch and timbre of our instrument. We use tuning as a means to positively change the intonation of the piano to best suit our standard of equal temperament and compliment the diatonic scale.

Because it has been determined that the equal tempered scale is the most acceptable configuration for our musical traditions, we have long designed our pianos to work best with this standard.

Piano tuning is therefore the physical manipulation and movement of the approximately 209 tuning pins which will in turn alter the tension of the wire which is attached to each tuning pin, in order to alter pitch, either higher (sharp) or lower (flat). Each note is “set” at a place which contributes to an overall formula for the distribution of frequencies and beat rates that we find most pleasing to our ear

Piano voicing

Voicing or tone regulation is the process of changing the character and timbre of the piano tone to make it more pleasing and even from note to note and throughout the range of the piano. Voicing includes preliminary regulation of the action, strings leveling and other fine adjustments and by working with the hammers.

Voicing can be done to change the character of a piano's sound to match individual tastes, or to increase or decrease the sound level of the instrument. Our goal in voicing is to produce a full, rich, clean and even voicing with excellent carry and sustain. We avoid bright or harsh over voicing and strive for a smooth bell like tonal quality with even progression of tone throughout the scale.

All pianos need voicing regulation at some time. Hammer felt is highly compressed. Over time distorations in the surface and throughout the hammer felt will cause changes to the sound of the piano. Wear is also a factor.

Among the techniques used in voicing:

Needling of hammer felt
Liquid infusion to the hammer felt for hardening purposes
Filing and shaping of the hammer felt
Ironing of hammer felt
Gentle steam exposure to surface felt of hammers
Action regulation adjustments

Piano accesorries

The Piano dics system allows your piano to remain fully functional as a traditional instrument, while adding computerized player functionality. An extensive library of piano classics, popular, jazz, sacred music, holiday music, show tunes, digitally remastered classics are all available for playback on your PianoDisc-enabled instrument.

Our technicians are certified by PianoDisc to install the system. The results are excellent. The unit is installed at our shop in approx. three days. In that time the piano is meticulously regulated mechanically, fitted with the new system and tested for 24 hours. prior to re-delivery to your home.

Regulation of your piano is an important consideration because the player system is actually working the keys and action of the piano. Optimum performance will only be possible when both the piano and the PianoDisc system are regulated and installed properly. For that reason PianoDisc only allows installation by qualifed professionals like CPS.


QRS Pianomation (21st Century's Player System)You don't have to play the piano to appreciate its music. The QRS Pianomation lets you insert a CD, play off the hard drive, hook up an MP3 and relax while the piano plays itself. It also features an orchestration option that lets you hear other instruments as well and allows the piano to play along as part of the band. Speakers underneath have adjustable volume controls that capture the subtle nuances of Mozart to provide soft dinner music or will rock loud with the party. You can also use it to record and play back what you just played. The QRS Pianomation can be fitted to most pianos and carries a five-year warranty on all parts and one-year warranty on labor. With the QRS Pianomation, all it takes to master music on your piano is to master the remote.
Please contact us for more details.

Dampp-ChaserHumidity is the number one enemy for a piano. If not held in check, it causes sticky keys, sluggish action, cracked soundboard, damaged pinblock, rusted strings, and rusted pins. The Dampp-Chaser climate control system utilizes a de-humidifier during the humid summer months and a humidifier during the dry winter months to maintain your piano at an average of 42% relative humidity as recommended by major piano manufacturers. It's all attached underneath where you can't see it and protects the life, the performance and the rich sound of your piano.
Installed out-of-sight inside the piano, the System combats both dry conditions and highly humid conditions, keeping the humidity level in the piano consistent continuously.

The PIANO LIFE SAVER SYSTEM . . .
Stabilizes pitch and permits tunings to hold much better and longer (the tuning will not go sharp or flat when the weather or room humidity changes)
Minimizes the expansion and contraction of action parts which provides optimum touch and predictable keyboard control
Prevents rust on the strings and metal parts
Minimizes felt deterioration, reducing the harsh tones that come from flattened hammer felt in low humidity or the muffled tones from swollen hammer felt in high humidity
Minimizes glue failure throughout the piano
Protects your piano's investment value year after year


SYSTEM COMPONENTS:
DEHUMIDIFIER: when humidity levels rise, it distributes moisture away from your piano using warm air currents
HUMIDISTAT: this is the brain of the System which senses whether the wooden parts of your piano are too moist or too dry and automatically switches the System to function as a Dehumidifier or Humidifier to protect your piano from damage caused by changes in humidity
HUMIDIFIER: moisturizes the dry wood of your piano when the humidity drops; a low water warning light indicates when the Humidifier needs additional water; refilling the Humidifier is simple and easy
3-LIGHT LED PANEL: features a green light marked POWER to indicate the System has electrical power and a yellow light marked WATER which blinks when the Humidifier needs water. If the System includes the optional Smart Heater Bar on the Humidifier tank, the red light marked PADS will blink when the pads are no longer wicking water indicating they should be replaced.
WATERING TUBE: allows you to provide water to the Humidifier when the yellow light on the 3-Light LED Panel indicates a need for water.


Please contact us for more details.

Piano moving

Our piano moving expertise will alleviate your worries about shipping your piano or other vintage piano to us and back. We have reliable contacts worldwide that specialize in moving pianos using advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment. They will professionally transport your instrument with the care it deserves. Let us handle the details for you. We work with trustworthy moving companies that are fully insured, specifically trained and highly experienced. You can count on us to restore your piano with excellence and make sure it leaves and returns safely to your home. If you are interested in moving your piano, contact us

Vintage piano advantages

A restored vintage piano provides an exceptional value for 2 reasons:
A restored vintage piano looks and sounds like new, but costs around half the price of a new one.
Vintage pianos (generally built 1942 and earlier) often represent superior quality material and craftsmanship contrary to the ones built today.
Vintage pianos were all hand made and greater attention was paid to craftsmanship and detail. They were constructed of solid, naturally seasoned wood and many had real ivory covered keyboards. They also featured elegant cabinets with beautiful veneers and sometimes, intricate engravings. In contrast, modern pianos are generally mass produced assembly style. Kilns are used to artificially season wood and construction often includes laminates and plastic parts.
However, just because a piano is old doesn’t mean it automatically qualifies as vintage. Even in 1942, quality was associated with certain brand names. So before you invest in restoration, be sure the piano is worth it. The most popular names include:
SteinwayMason & Hamlin BaldwinKnabeChickeringSohmer

Guideline to buy a used piano

Buying a used piano can be like buying a used car—there’s a lot to consider. And both require a version of checking under the hood. Although with a piano, you might find it a little tricky kicking the wheels.
Start by asking the owner questions. And locate the serial number. This will help you confirm facts.
Even when you know what you’re doing, there are still some things only a qualified piano technician can judge effectively. So feel free to print this checklist and use it when you’re looking. It assumes you know how to remove the outer case to look inside. But before you actually buy, have a qualified technician look it over too. That way you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
Beauty is More than Wood Deep
The piano you buy should appeal to your own sense of taste and fashion. Everyone is different. So ask yourself:
Do I like the style? Is it attractive? Will it fit the décor of my home?
Then look over the woodwork.
Make sure the finish is not marred or damaged.
Check the hardware. Are any pieces missing? Is everything fastened tightly?
Is the piano missing any casters? What condition are they in?
Does the bench match the piano? Are the legs tight? Does it feel sturdy?
A Fling with Strings
Strings are the source of sound. Their condition is important. First, look to see if any are missing. Then check for rust.
Strings that are slightly tarnished or a little rusty are okay. But a lot of rust, especially on the coils or at bearing spots will cause broken strings. On the other hand, too many new looking strings may suggest a problem with breaking strings too.
Name that Tune
With pianos, beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder. It’s also in the sound. A piano that’s been neglected can be expected to go flat. But if it’s way out of tune, it may also be a sign of loose turning pins. Only a technician will be able to tell you this for sure. In the mean time:
Do the tuning pins look uniform? Can you see if there are obvious replacements? If so, the pin block might be going bad.
There should be at least a 1/8” clearance between tuning pins coils and the pin block.
Signs of gummy stains may suggest the use of chemicals to temporarily tighten the tuning pins.
If you can remove the fallboard, look underneath the pin block for signs of cracking and splitting.

The Bridge Over Troubled Waters
The bass bridge is your biggest concern. It’s normal to have some hairline cracks around the bridge pins. But too many cracks will dislocate bridge pins and may represent the need for a new bridge or bridge cap.
A piano with a loose bass bridge will have a weaker tone on one end of the bass section.
Also check the treble bridge for serious cracking.
If the piano is very old, check wooden upper bearing point for cracks.

Does it Crack you up?
Ideally, you want a solid structure that’s free of cracks. Cracks suggest that the piano’s structural integrity has been compromised. This will lead to multiple problems.
Check the lid for cracks. Then check the legs and test the piano for rocking. Too much rocking is a warning sign.
Look for separations or splits in the bottom edge of the rim of a grand piano, or for a large crack in the back of the top horizontal beam of a vertical piano.
Look for cracks in the plate, both in the struts and in the tuning pin area. Although a cracked plate is rare, repairing it is costly and usually not guaranteed.

A Resounding Sound
Even though you may be unsure of your visual checks, all is not lost. Although it’s no guarantee, a clear, resonant sounding piano is a good sign.
Play all the keys from end to end, listening for evenness of tone across the keyboard. Are the bass notes clear and resonant? Is there any buzzing or rattling?
Don’t just be lucky, get plucky:Press down on a key that begins an octave above middle C. Hold it down and pluck one of the three strings of the note you’ve chosen. The sound should swell right after the pluck and soften as the string vibrates in a clearly audible tone for at least five seconds. If the sound stops in less than three seconds, the soundboard may impaired or the scale improperly designed.
Look for cracks in the soundboard. More than a few unrepaired cracks are a concern.
Wooden shims in cracks suggest the piano has been rebuilt. Make sure there aren’t new cracks next to the shims.
Make sure the soundboard is glued around the perimeter.
Make sure ribs are still firmly glued where they cross cracks.
Any measurable soundboard crown is a positive sign, but there are still some good sounding pianos that have no measurable crown.

It’s in the Details
The keys, hammers, action, damper and regulation get a lot of use. So it’s important to check them for wear and tear.
Keys to success
Are the key tops ivory or plastic? Are any key tops missing, chipped or damaged?
The keys themselves should be square and evenly spaced.
Physically manipulate each one checking for minimal wiggle. Too much left-right movement may indicate the need for new key bushings.

Melody to your ears
Test the keys by playing them for a normal sound. Note any that are sticking or sluggish. This may indicate there are some parts missing, broken, or unglued.
Then try playing them softly. If the action does not play consistently at a soft level, the action may need to be adjusted.
Play all notes staccato, except those with no dampers (upper 15-20 notes) They should cut off cleanly. If there’s a buzz or continued ringing, the dampers may need to be adjusted or replaced.
Check repetition on several keys by playing the key rapidly with alternating hands while pressing on the right pedal.

Where the action takes place
When checking inside look for consistent spacing and alignment of action parts.
If the piano was made before 1960 and has plastic action parts, don’t buy it unless the plastic parts are post 1960 replacements.
Check the hammers, dampers and other felt parts for moth damage.
Make sure the bridle straps on vertical pianos look in good shape and are in place.
Check hammers for depth of grooves, amount of felt and correct number of string dents. Hammers that wobble may indicate that string dents are misplace or unclear. A clicking noise or up and down movement may indicate loose hammer heads.

Pedal Power
Pedals add special emphasis and lend emotion. They add life to your music.
Right pedal: Dampers should move together when the right pedal is pressed down.
Middle pedal: The middle pedal sustains notes. When it activates a true sostenuto (sustains only the notes played when the pedal is pressed) on a vertical piano, the piano is probably a higher quality instrument. If it does not activate a sostenuto on a grand piano, the piano may be a lower quality instrument.
Left pedal: The left pedal moves hammers closer to strings to quiet the piano in verticals or shift the keyboard in grands. If the left pedal on a grand operates only the bass dampers, it often represents a lower quality instrument.

To test the sostenuto:
Press down on the right pedal to lift dampers, and then press down on the middle pedal. Keep it down while you release the right pedal. The dampers should remain raised.
Extra Points to Ponder
The lost motion compensator in vertical pianos keeps action in adjustment when the soft pedal is used. It usually indicates a better quality older piano.
Make sure the grand pedal lyre is not coming apart at the glue joints.
Also check to see that lyre braces are in place and the lyre feels secure when pedals are used.

Piano serial no



The serial number is typically a 5 or 6 digit number located on the harp of the piano. Look for the serial number in the locations marked with a . Once you find the serial number, feel free to contact us to assist you in finding out the year your piano was built.
Problems Finding the Serial Number?If you can't find your piano's serial number, feel free to send us photos of your piano and we will try to give you an approximate year for your piano.

Piano aid

Upright or vertical pianos are so named because their strings run in a vertical position contrary to grand pianos whose strings run in a horizontal position. The difference between the various types of verticals is based on their height measured from the floor to the top of the piano lid. The greater the height, the longer the strings. And longer strings produce better tonal quality. The standard width of an upright is 5 feet and the depth between 2 and 2 ½ feet. So, to leave room for the bench, you should allow for a space of 5 foot wide by 5 foot deep.

10 tips to keep your piano look and sound good

1. Dust your piano regularly. Nothing will upkeep your piano's beauty more than the simple use of a hand duster.
2. Keep the piano lid closed when not being used. This will prevent dust from getting inside the piano.
3. Do not place your piano next to a window or in direct sunlight. Overtime, sunlight will lighten and damage the finish.
4. Do not place your piano next to a heater. Again, a direct heat source does not aid in the longevity of your piano and causes it to go out of tune quicker.
5. When keys become dirty, clean them with a damp cloth then wipe quickly. Never apply any liquid directly onto the keys.
6. When entertaining guests, prop up the piano lid to prevent people from placing their beverages and plates on the piano. Round rings may appear that are removable only through professional refinishing. A piano is not to be used as a table.
7. Keep the humidity between forty and fifty percent in the room. Nothing will make a piano go out of tune faster than the fluctuation of humidity.
8. Tune your piano regularly. When the heat is initially turned on and off, this will cause the piano go out of tune. Ideally, your piano should be tuned twice a year, particularly with newly restored pianos.
9. Be careful what items you place on your piano, particularly avoiding plants. A piano is to be seen not covered.
10. Just because a piano may look old and sound bad does not mean it can’t look and sound beautiful again. Allow us at Lindeblad Piano to bring back its former beauty and give it another lifetime of use.

Piano care Tips and Advice

How often should I tune my piano?
A new store bought, or newly restored piano must adjust to its environment. As it settles the first year, it may need up to four or more tunings. We recommend twice a year after that. The change in humidity is what affects it the most. And this change is most dramatic during the change of seasons. So tune your piano when you turn the heat on in your home for the winter and again when you turn the heat off for spring.

What product should I use to polish my piano?
Your piano is more than a musical instrument; it’s a decorative piece of furniture that adds beauty and value to your home. Take care of it by keeping it clean. We recommend using OZ furniture polish that can be purchased at most hardware stores or Plush furniture polish that we carry in stock. Plush may be used on all shades of furniture. In addition, it…
Does not alter the original finished sheen of surfaces
Does not increase or change the gloss of any originally flat luster finishes and
Prevents fingerprint marks because it leaves no oily residue.

Is a cracked soundboard ruined?
To quote the vice-president of a world-renowned New York piano firm, "a crack in the soundboard does not amount to a hill of beans—so long as the ribs do not start coming loose." In other words, if the ribs are tight there is still the possibility of crown in the board and bearing over the bridges, no matter how many cracks it has. In actual experimental tests, this firm cut out as much as a two inch width of board, paralleling the grain (leaving the ribs intact, of course), with no appreciable loss of tone. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?” Written by John Travis
John Travis's credentials: John graduated from Murray State University as one of the 10 most outstanding seniors. He joined the National Association of Piano Tuners, became its president and went on to form the International Piano Technicians Guild, Inc. in 1958. Mr. Travis and Mr. Erroll P. Crowl, were the first co-presidents of the new organization that was founded by and for tuners.
He is a Craftsman member of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild and a member of the Past Presidents Club of that organization, which also elected him to the honorable Hall of Fame in 1976.

What’s the best way to clean piano keys?
Slightly dampen a clean cloth, add a little bit of soap and gently wipe the keys. Use small amounts of Spray Nine or 407 cleaner to take off remaining dirt or spots. But don’t apply any liquid directly on the keys. Apply it to the cloth and then wipe the keys.

How do I manage the humidity level?
Because pianos are comprised of wood, control over the humidity is essential to their performance. Otherwise the consequences can be damaging. Sticky keys, sluggish action, rusted strings, a cracked soundboard, a damaged pinblock, and rusted pins are just some of the results of uncontrolled humidity.
An effective solution is the presence of a humidifier during the winter months and a dehumidifier during the summer months. We highly recommend installing a Dampp-Chaser Climate Control System directly into your piano. It maintains your piano at an average of 42% relative humidity as recommended by major piano manufacturers. It promotes a greater tuning stability and prevents all the damages mention above.

Where should I position my piano?
The key to properly positioning your piano is keeping in mind that it is most highly affected and damaged by extreme swings of temperature. Therefore, place it near an inside wall and at least six feet away from heating vents, air conditioning vents, fireplace, and direct sunlight, which can cause sun bleach damage to the finish.

How can I whiten the ivories on my piano?
To whiten ivory, sand the ivory keys lightly with 150 grit sand paper, 220 grit sand paper, and then 400 grit sand paper. Then add a glossy finish by polishing them with auto body compound.

Animation on grand piano

video

Piano action restoration


The action is an intricate mechanism made from wood, felt, leather and metals. Its function is to take the energy of the key when depressed by the player into vibrations in the strings.
In order for the pianist to achieve satisfying results in playing the subtle nuances in music, the action must be in complete synchronization. This requires very close inspection of all action parts and a fine regulation of the mechanism by the technician.



New Hammers, Shanks & Flanges, Wippens, Dampers (felt) have been install

Replacing Keybushing Cloth and Key Taps.
Steinway and Renner piano parts.


Soundboard and pinblock restoration

Special attention goes into restoring the soundboard, if it be shimming and refinishing the original soundboard or replacing it with a new sitka spruce board.
The bridges function is primarily to transmit the sound of the strings to the soundboard, which is the amplifier. We use carefully selected hard rock maple in this process. In addition strings and tuning pins are installed. Only top quality strings drawn to international standards from the finest Swedish steel are used. Nickel plated tuning pins which are rust resistant, as well as beautiful, are used in the stringing process.
The pinblock is a very crucial part of the piano, in that it holds the tuning pins tight. At Piano Craft Company, multi-laminated pinblock material imported from Germany termed Delignit is selected.
Finally, the cast iron harp or frame is meticulously refinished which in the restoration industry is called reguilding.

Grand piano damper action



1. Damper felt
2. Damper body with wire attached
3. Hammer back check on its wire
4. Key rail cloth
5. Key felt cushion to operate damper
6. Pedal rail spring
7. Butt rail
8. Butt flange
9. Butt damp action stop capstan
10. Damper lever rail
11. Damper lever flange
12. Damper lever tensioner spring
13. Piano frame or mounting attachment
14. Damper lever stop rail
15. Damper lever
16. Sostenuto lip- Is caught by the sostenuto rod
17. Damper block- Receives damper wire
18. Damper block screw- Adjusts damper throw
19. Sostenuto rod from pedal
20. Sostenudo post
21. Lead weights to drop damper smartly
22. Frame for damper action


1. Jack
2. Key lever button
3. Balance rail
4. Key lever center pin
5. Center pin felt bushing
6. Jack adjustment button
7. Jack adjustment screw
8. Action metal frame
9. Hammer butt rail
10. Hammer butt- Usually resting on sand paper
11. Hammer butt stop screw- Stops rep. lever upward motion
12. Roller or knuckle
13. Butt stop screw
14. Repitition lever
15. Repetition lever spring with silk thread mounting
16. Repetition stop hook- Adjustable
17. Repitition lever adjustment screw
18. Spoon- Jack control
19. Jack spring with silk thread mounting
20. Wippen flange
21. Hammer rest rail
22. Hammer rest rail cushion
23. Repetition lever flange
24. Capstan
25. Hammer
26. Back check
27. Back check wire
28. Damper felt contact point
29. Back key rail cloth
30. Wippen
31. Jack button to adjust jack
32. Wippen rail

Upright diagram for drop action



1 KEY LEVER
2 FRONT BOARD (Key slip)
3 KEY TOP
4 FRONT RAIL PIN
5 FRONT RAIL FELT PUNCHING
6 KEY BUTTON
7 CENTER PIN
8 CENTER RAIL FELT PUNCHING
9 BACK KEY RAIL CLOTH
10 CAPSTAN
11 KEY BED
12 STICKER
13 STICKER RAIL WITH STABILIZER
14 WIPPEN
15 JACK SPRING
16 JACK
17 JACK ADJUSTMENT BUTTON
18 BRIDLE STRAP AND WIRE
19 BACK CHECK
20 BACK CHECK FELT
21 DAMPER OPERATING SPOON
22 WIRE
23 DAMPER LEVER
24 DAMPER FELT
25 HAMMER SPRING RAIL
WITH SPRING ATTACHED
26 HAMMER SHANK
27 HAMMER REST RAIL
28 HAMMER

29 HAMMER BUTT

Upright diagram



1 KEY LEVER
2 FRONT BOARD (Key slip)
3 KEY TOP
4 FRONT RAIL PIN
5 FRONT RAIL FELT PUNCHING
6 KEY BUTTON
7 CENTER PIN
8 CENTER RAIL FELT PUNCHING
9 BACK KEY RAIL CLOTH
10 CAPSTAN
11 KEY BED
12 STICKER
13 STICKER RAIL WITH STABILIZER
14 WIPPEN
15 JACK SPRING
16 JACK
17 JACK ADJUSTMENT BUTTON
18 BRIDLE STRAP AND WIRE
19 BACK CHECK
20 BACK CHECK FELT
21 DAMPER OPERATING SPOON
22 STRING (wire)
23 DAMPER LEVER
24 DAMPER FELT
25 HAMMER SPRING RAIL WITH SPRING ATTACHED
26 HAMMER SHANK
27 HAMMER REST RAIL
28 HAMMER

29 HAMMER BUTT

Introduction of piano care

The piano has over 200 strings and nearly 1000 moving parts, and you certainly do get your money's worth in that it covers seven octaves, but the piano is the ultimate mechanical jungle as an instrument.
The first piano was called a "virginal." It was very small, sat on a table, had about two octaves, and was plucked. Lousy, but it was a start. With time it turned into the harpsichord- vastly improved, more octaves, but it still was plucked. Plucking produces more of a twang.
The harpsichord eventually gave way to the piano forté. This is the piano as we know it, and its real "forté" is that it has a long decay (time it takes for a tone to die away), and the wires are struck by hammers, giving a much more pleasant sound.
From the virginal to the grand piano, every piano was a box laying on its back. Legs were eventually added to eliminate the problem we see in Schroeder's style, in "Peanuts," that is, sitting on the floor to play. It's hard on the lumbar, though we hear that Beethoven preferred this method!
The box on its back (grand piano) has two distinct advantages.
First- the hammers and dampers (See diagrams in the back of the book.) operate very naturally and simply by using gravity to the greatest advantage. This prevents a lot of maintenance.
DIAGRAMS OF PIANO ACTIONS
Please go have a look at the various piano actions so you know what we are talking about.
Second- Especially in the case of a modern grand piano, the box up on three legs has really got class-- especially with its lid open and a candle stick perched up on the desk.
However; with time, it became obvious to most folks that these boxes on their backs took over the living room unless you lived in Buckingham palace. In Amsterdam a grand piano can take up the whole first floor. The solution-- the upright "Grand." The word "Grand," on the name decal of old uprights in the past, was a gimmick to try to convince you that you really had a grand piano-- it was just conveniently shoved up on its end and over in the corner.
The problem with shoving the piano up against the wall was that they couldn't leave the keys along the side, or end, as with the traditional box-on-its-back. Leaving the keys on one side, grand style, presented the difficultly of trying to play the piano laying on the floor.
The solution was to put the keyboard on the side of the piano (where the top is on a grand piano). This was a trick, and it drove designers nuts for many years. Eventually some clever German invented the "vertical repeating action." It had a lot of bits and pieces poking and kicking around, but it worked great. Best of all, now we can all sit in the living room while Aunt Maudy plays Amazing Grace for us-- even sing along!
One day some frugal Fanny got teed off over the room taken up by her upright. She might have even been some crowned head in Austria. In any case, a designer went to work and shrunk the upright. The result was the console. It went over so well that he shrunk it again, and wallah-- the spinet.
The spinet is a runt of a thing, and the action is like the aging sailor-- his chest dropped into his drawers. (See the diagram of the spinet action at the end of the book.)
If you have one of these spinets, working on it will test your patience. It may help you to feel better to know that Queen Elizabeth II had to practice on one of the smallest spinets made- an Evanstatt. Nary a complaint I presume, and she played regally.
There was one curiosity in all of this evolution. It was the butterfly grand piano. It was very short and the top hinged like two wings right down the middle of the piano. Look for it in your nearest museum. If you have one, my condolences to you.
I must also mention the square grand. It was popular about 150 years ago before modern grands came into their own. It was a rectangular box on four legs with the key board along one side. If you have one, don't let your piano tuner's reaction discourage you-- they can usually be made to come back about 70%.

Instrument factors

All stringed instruments have up to six factors which must be maintained to make good music. If you can get these principles into your head, you'll have it in a nut shell ;-)
1. A frame- Whether a violin or a piano, this holds the beast together as a unit so that it can be used over and over.
2. Strings- These vibrate and generate the tones.
3. Tension- This is set so that the instrument agrees with music theory and so that the volume is agreeable. The trick is to keep from rupturing the whole thing. An average piano holds up to 12 tons of tension.
4. Some way to agitate the strings- Whether hammers, a bow, or your "lil ol fangers."
5. Most stringed instruments have a box or sound board to amplify the sound.
6. Ornamentation- Esthetics in appearance demand a tassel from an Ethiopian masenko, engraving on a silver flute, and an expensive glossy finish on a piano. This factor has nothing to do with sound, but I defy you to find me a musical instrument that has not added esthetics. It points to the fact that making music is an art form.
A piano tuner's job security lies in the fact that all this tension in the instrument

Piano care

If there are pianos in heaven, what would they be like? I hope they would be in better condition than some I have seen. You can be sure that many of the pianos in homes today would not qualify for any celestial glory!
It is certain that pianos do need a certain degree of care and attention. Yet many homes in America have pianos that do not receive hardly any degree of care or attention. One reason for the lack of attention is a general lack of accurate knowledge about pianos and their special needs. Piano teachers and piano owners should be informed about principles of piano care.
"I don't understand why the piano is out of tune already. You just tuned it a few years ago!"

Factors affecting the intonation include changes in humidity (the piano goes sharp or flat in certain sections as the sound board expands and contracts) and the passage of time (piano wire loses its tension over time and the sound goes flat).

TUNING
Imagine a cozy home with the coals glowing brightly in the fireplace, a cheerful teapot humming happily on the stove, and a distraught, confused, houseplant adorned piano between.
Mama calls the piano tuner: "My husband wants to move the piano across the room, but I don't think that is economical. Don't you have to tune it when you move it? We just had it tuned only a few years ago!"
The piano tuner groans, "here we go again!' That is almost as bad as the oft heard: "It shouldn't need tuning, it is practically brand new!"
In spite of what you may have heard or done in the past, here is the straight fact about tuning frequency: Manufacturers of all sizes and qualities of pianos repeatedly tune them in the factory. Stores have the pianos tuned (or should to maintain pitch) about every three months. Manufacturers then recommend that the piano be tuned every three months the first year in the home or studio, then twice per year thereafter. Concert and recording studio pianos are tuned before every event.
In my years of tuning, I have found that a new piano that is reasonably well built and is in an adequate environment will become more stable with each tuning. The magic number seems to be six. After six tunings, most pianos will sound adequate for home use between annual tunings, whether the six tunings are done in two years as recommended or stretched out over several years.
Older pianos are harder to predict. A piano that has had regular tunings some time in its life may be able to maintain a reasonable pitch level even if neglected for several years. A piano that has not had regular tunings may be unable to hold any tuning. There is a simple soloution for such a piano: tune it regularly and often until it becomes stable enough to maintain its pitch and an acceptable tuning for a year. If the piano does not need a pitch raise, a tuning can be expected to last six to twelve months. If it does need a pitch raise, the frequency of the tunings needed depends on how much the pictch is raised and the tightness of the tuning pins. Changes in humidity may change the tuning the next day or week after the piano tuner is done.

I just bought a used piano. Could you tell me if I paid the right price?

RAISING THE PITCH
If the piano has not been tuned for several years, chances are it needs a pitch raise. The pitch raise is a simple procedure similar to that used in stringing a new piano in the factory. The tightness of all the strings is systematically raised, maintining a balance of tension in each section of the piano. The more the tension is changed, the more the piano setlles (strings stretching, soundboard and back flexing) and the sooner it needs to be tuned again.
A pitch raise of one fourth step (half of a half step) requires two procedures the first day. The tuner first raises the pitch (a quick tuning to raise and stabilize the tension of the strings). With the tension at the proper level, a tuning can then be done which may last for three to four months, followed by a tuning six months after that before the piano is ready for annual tunings.
A pitch raise of one half step (C sharp = C) requires two pitch raises and a tuning the first day, followed by tunings at intervals of three, six, and six months before the annual schedule can start. Pitch raises of one half step are very common. I have also raised many pianos one whole step and up to two, three and four whole steps. Have you ever heard a student say at a lesson, "it doesn't sound like that on my piano"? The poor piano probably needs a pitch raise! Another procedure used by some tuners is to raise the pitch on the first visit and return for a tuning after one month.
THE TUNING PROCEDURE
Piano tuning is a complex process that requires specialized training and a great deal of practice. It has been said that a novice needs to tune five hundred pianos before he understands what to listen for and one thousand more before he is working consistently. Piano owners don't need to know how to tune a piano, but can learn to communicate more intelligently with the tuner if they understand some of what he is doing.
The tuner manipulates a large number of steel pins that are driven tightly into a hardwood block (pin block or wrestplank), thus tightening or loosening the stiff wire strings.

The process is complicated by the fact that the wire passes over, under along side of, or through several friction points. As the tuning lever exerts or releases tension at the pin, the wire is tightened or loosened at each successive part of its length. The string is in tune when the speaking length (the part that vibrates when struck by the hammer) vibrates at the desired number of cycles per second (such as A=440 cycles per second).

The tuning is done when the string pitch is balanced against all the other strings of the piano and the pin and string are set. The pin is set when its position in the pin block is firmly established by manipulations of the tuning lever that take into consideration the tendency of the wood fibers to give and the steel pin to bend. The string is set when the tension is banced between the speaking and non-speaking segments. This process of establishing pitches and setting the pins and strings must be done for every string sometimes several times at each tuning.
The process begins by isolating one string per unison by inserting a felt strip between each set of strings. Most notes have two or three strings, and the tuner can adjust only one string at a time.
One string is set to a standard such as A = 440 vps, meaning that the string vibrates at 440 cycles per second. Tuners may use a tuning fork or an electronic device to establish the pitch of the first note. Other notes of the scale are balanced against that standard by the tuner using the skill of "relative pitch" to establish the pich and the hearing of "beat rates" to fine tune. Audible beats are created by interference of sound waves of the strings sounding together.
The tuner listens for these beats in unisons or in the harmonic partials of octaves, fifths, thirds, or other intervals, and adjusts them by tightening or loosening the wire at the tuning pin. Electronic strobes or computers are used by many tuners to verify the accuracy of some tunings.
Every string sounds harmonic partials in addition to the basic pitch. The stiffness of the wire contributes to "inharmonicity", the phenomenon of physics that makes a piano impossible to tune exactly to an organ or violin or even to another piano. The tuner "tempers" the scale and "stretches" the octaves to make the instrument sound in tune with itself as much as possible. The physical nature of the piano wire and the enormous range of the instrument make it impossible to eliminate beats. Even the finest tuner cannot eliminate all beats in the unisons, let alone the octaves and other intervals.
The tuner manipulates the beats to create the most harmonious sound possible. A smaller piano is even more difficult to tune because the shorter strings are stiffer and thus have less accurate harmonic partials and therefore greater inharmonicity. Many musicians can recognize beats in a note as a "vibrato" sound when unisons are not in tune, or string inharmonicity by hearing a "tinny" sound, especially in a piano with short strings.
Some people assume that a tuner would need "perfect pitch" to do such an enormous task. However, perfect pitch is a term used by musicians to describe their ability to memorize pitches for singing without an accompaniment. The tuner would be handicapped if he could not adjust his sense of pitch to each instrument.
In addition to tuning, the technician may judge the need to do any of thousands of other possible adjustments when the piano is tuned. Common simple jobs include adjusting pedal action, tightening loose screws, or adjusting action parts. These are discussed more fully in this chapter in the section on regulating the action.


TUNING FREQUENCY
"How often should a piano be tuned?" The obvious answer is, "as often as it needs it." In areas where the humidity varies seasonally, the pitch of the piano will do likewise. Most pianos in a consistently dry climate can expect to sound fairly good between annual tunings once they are stabilized by regular playing and tuning. Yes, regular playing can contribute to tuning stability if accompanied by regular tuning. The piano will go out of tune whether it is played or not. String stretching is only one of the factors that affects tuning stability. Tuning helps maintain the level of the pitch. If the pitch has to be raised, the tuning does not last as long.
HUMIDITY
The soundboard expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. Humidity change is the greatest factor causing tuning variations in a piano not suffering from the string stretching described above. Fortunately, a dry, stable climate, like many parts of the Southwest, is very favorable to piano stability and longevity. Unfortunately, the insidious swamp cooler, the water cooled air conditioner, takes its toll.
One summer I was called to the home of a fine piano teacher with a beautiful grand piano. I was embarrased and perturbed by the degree to which the piano had changed in the two or three months since I had last tuned it. The middle register was high, dampers and keys sticking, and nearly every note uncomfortably out of tune. I did not take long to discover the culprit: the swamp cooler!


Early that Fall the cooler was turned off. Within two weeks I returned to tune it. The pitch had already been restored to normal, the keys and dampers worked well and the overall sound was already much improved. If you experience problems that you suspect may be associated with unusual changes in humidity in the home, ask your tuner about and in-piano humidifier and de-humidifier along with a humidistat to control which unit is in operation.
"Don't you have to tune the piano when you move it?" Moving a piano usually results in changes in temperature and humidity. Since these change year around anyway, you tune the piano when you move it and also when you don't. After a major move, wait a few weeks before tuning to allow the piano to settle.
"Don't put the piano by an outside wall." Good advice if you have poor insulation or a bay window. In most homes today, any wall is as safe as another, or as dangerous. Protect the piano from sunlight, heater vents, cold air, hot air, moist air, dry air. That is the rule.
TUNING PINS
I have restored pianos that have slid down stairways, fallen out of pickup trucks and suffered through home fires. However, the worst I have seen is caused by the least dramatic enemy: drying out. The worst examples of this I saw in Washington State. Pianos would come from the wet side of the mountains (Seattle) to the dry side (Wenatchee) and just fall apart. The keys and hammers get loose and rattle. The cabinet and finish crack and peel. The tuning pins get so loose that the piano cannot be tuned. More than once I have had to declare such a piano "dead". In New Mexico and West Texas, such severity is less often seen. Then, it is most often with a piano that has come from a more humid place. Each state has different conditions affecting tuning pin tightness. Piano owners should consult with experienced piano tuners for the advice most appropriate for their situation.


Tuning pins are made of blued or chromed steel. They are driven into a laminated block of hard rock maple. They are held tight by friction like a nail. As the wood expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity the block can lose its grip on the pins. There are two solutions to this problems. Repinning and restringing is expensive, but the most permanent solution because of the larger pins used. Since it is a permanet solution, it is advisable for a high value instrument. Many people choose the other alternative. For less than the cost of a tuning, the block can be treated. The chemical swells the wood and causes the wood to grip tighter on the pins. In most cases. This treatment is adequate for several years.

SOUNDBOARDS
"Make sure there are no cracks in the soundboard", is mis-advice often given to piano buyers. This should better read, "...no cracks in the pin block". The soundboard can serve its special function with any number of cracks. The string passes its vibration through the bridge to the soundboard. The soundboard acts like a hgh fidelity amplifier. Mostly the sound you hear when you play the piano is the sound of the soundboard vibrating, not the strings themselves. In this, the piano operates exactly the same as the violin, guitar and all string instruments. Have you ever heard an electric guitar that was not plugged in? With no amplifier (or soundboard), strings make very little sound.
The piano soundboard is a sheet of wood about 1/4 inch thick. It is crowned toward the strings, so that there is a downbearing pressure from the strings on the bridges. The highest quality boards are of close grained spruce or mahoganey. Some are laminated to prevent cracking or warping. You can tell when an older piano loses the crown of the soundboard, as it will have a longer after-ring that cannot be stopped with the dampers.
Certain cracks associated with the soundboard can cause trouble. If the soundboard is separated fron the rim, it will vibrate. If the cracks separate the board from the ribs, it will rattle. If the cracks separate the board from the bridge, "dead" spots will occur in the tone of certain notes of the scale. These dead tones can be individual, or affect an entire section. Many modern pianos have soundboards consisting of threee laminations designed to never crack, split or warp. However, these laminatins have been known to separate, causing a very annouying buzz. All these conditions are repairable. Some require only a little first aid. Others are major. If you hear annoying rattles or buzzes that do not stop when you take the lamp off the piano, call the tuner for an evaluation.


STRINGS
Many times I have heard people tell me that the last tuner "would not raise the pitch because the strings might break". Most often I then did the pitch raise without problem. String breakage is no more serious on a piano than on any other string instrument. If a string breaks, we simply replace it or repair it.
String breakage becomes serious only when a large number of strings break in any section of the piano. For example, strings may break is a certain section of the bass only, or just of a certain section of the treble. Sometimes it is strings of all the same gauge. In many of these cases, the solution is a relatively inexpensive replacement of the poor section. Complete restringing is usually indicated when the strings break and the pins are also loose.

THE ACTION
Proper functioning of the piano depends on the coordination of almost fifty different action parts for each of the eighty-eight notes, including the keys, hammers, dampers, etc. Among the thousands of parts involved, there are almost one thousand friction points. Each part, moving or static, must be adjusted to match the others. "Action regulating" is a process that includes repairing, renewing, and bringing each of these into a tolerance of one thousandth of an inch for the purpose of providing the player with consistent, controlled "touch".
Some manufacturers suggest that although a concert instrument is regulated for every performance, a home piano that gets normal use should have the action regulated every two or three years. Some researchers suggest that over ninety percent of the pianos never receive this type of care, resulting in the touch being one of the most frustrating factors in piano playing. Tuning is also a struggle when the action is not regulated.
Some tuners will struggle with "first aid" adjustments of parts that do not work, feeling that a customer might balk at the suggestion of an expensive regulation job. The twenty or thirty steps that must be done for each key can take eight ot twelve hours of concetrated effort charged at an hourly rate. A piano that is regulated every few years, however, may require much less time to maintain excellent touch.
To give an idea of the complexity of the process, note the steps from a checklist for regulating a vertical piano: Remove action, tighten all screws, reshape hammers, clean piano and action, make necessary repairs, align and tighten regulation rail, align damper lift rod, travel hammers, space hammers to strings, space and square backchecks, space and square keys, set hammer stroke, regularte key capstans and key height, level white keys, then sharp keys, regulate hammer letoff, white key dip, hammer checking, sharp key dip, dampers to damper lift rod, sustaning pedal to damper lift rod, damper spoons, soft pedal, and bridle tapes.
Piano players may notice the need for action regulation when the tone is not even from one note to the next, the overall touch is too light or too stiff, individual notes do not respond quickly or damp properly, or keys are sticking.
Since each piano and piano player are different, setting the action to the "regulated" standards may not provide the desired results. For fine adjustments, the player may cooperate in the action regulation by playing the piano for a few days between each set of procedures by the technician. Many problems can be solved with patience, others may require a different piano!
Voicing is an advanced procedure for adjusting the tone of a well reuglated and tuned piano. it involves additional string to hammer regulating, hardening hammers by removing layers of felt or by chemicals, or softening hammers by carefully calculated and controlled jabs with needles, and even adjustments to the strings.
The main object of voicing is finding a note with an acceptable tone, and adjusting the hammers and action of the other notes so the tone is even in all ranges of playing dynamics. Some piano players request that a technician try to "voice down" the overall bright tone of a piano, or to brighten a piano with dull tone. Sometimes these effects may be achieved by moving the piano to a different part of the room in order to change the relative position of walls, carpetting, or other physical features that affect room acoustics.


THE CABINET
Almost all piano exteriors are made of furniture quality veneered hardwoods. Many manufacturers use panels that have a pressboard core. More expensive pianos may be entirely of hardwoods, including the core of the finely veneered panels. The cabinet does not contribute to the sound of the piano, just the appearance. Builders provide a variety of furniture styles to meet the needs of interior decoration.
Most manufacturers recommend that no wax or polish be used on the protective lacquer finish that protects the wood. Waxes can build up, and some polishes can actually tear down the chemicals in the finish. A dry or even a damp cloth is all that will be usually needed to care for both the finish of the cabinet and the keytops.
Many people use a commercial scratch cover for first aid of nicks and scratches. These products may make the job of the refinisher more difficult if you later decide to have a professional touch up job. "Touch up" is a difficult fine art practiced by some refinishers.

Refinishing a piano is a time consuming process of stripping and respraying that costs many hundreds of dollars. Be sure that your refinisher has eperience with pianos. If you decide to refinsh a piano yourself, consult with your tuner for advice on which parts of the piano should be dissassembled. Novices have been known to just paint over everything, sometimes painting shut the very panels that have to be opened for tuning.
Piano benches do not last as long as pianos. Common repairs include tightening leg bolts, replacing hinge screws and lid props, repairing bottoms damaged by too many books, and touching up gouges and scratches. Bear in mind that it may be less trouble to order a new bench than sit on a dangerous one.
Cabinet interiors are not accessible to piano owners, but they are easily invaded by dust, pencils, pennies, and a myriad of interesting small objects. These objects can slow or even stop a key from working. In addition to having your piano tuned, it is wise to establish an interval with your tuner for periodic cleaning of the interior. This may vary from a few to many years, depending on conditions in your area. Do not attempt to remove actions to retrieve objects. It is cheaper to pay a tuner to clean your piano than to repair broken hammershanks or twisted return springs caused by an over-enthusiastic do-it-yourselfer.

MOVING
"Only two men? The last time we moved this monster, my husband had six of his biggest friends help!" The truth is, that is exactly why she called the movers this time. More damage is caused to pianos by well intentioned musclemen than anything else. If you are ever tempted to try the job on your own, follow this checklist:
1. Protecting the woodwork. Wrap the piano to protect the edges from bumping against doorways and walls. Cover the soundboard (the back) to reduce the rate of heat loss and gain, and to protect from humidity. Don't get it wet or hot.
2. Securing loose parts. Many older pianos have parts missing that were intended to hold a lid, key cover or kick board in place. Be sure that nothing is going to fall off.
3. Setting on the dolly. The best policy in lifting is, never lift both ends of the piano at once. One mover pulls down on the end while the other lifts the opposite end. The same procedure makes lifting into a truck or onto a stairway easy.
4. Securing to the truck. Too many major repairs are due to pianos falling out of trucks. Do not assume, just because the piano seems large and bulky, that it is stable. The piano is not well balanced. It will tip very easily. Tie it down so that it cannot tip or slide in any direction.


5. Protecting enroute. Wrap it. Don't let the breezes blow on it. Keep it dry. Jarring may cause a piano with loose pins to become untuned. The piano has many thousands of delicate parts that can be easily broken. Be careful.
6. Moving in. Avoid heater and air vents, sunlight, and drafts when considering where to place the piano in the home. Consider the need for humidity controls in the piano if the new location is much drier or more humid than the last.
7. Selecting a tuner. Follow the recommendation of a reputable dealer or teacher. If such advise is not available, consider a tuner who has been certified reliable by the Piano Technician's Guild. Tune after wiaint two to four weeks for the piano to adjust to its new environment.
8. Cabinet repairs. If needed, call a refinishing shop and inquire about an expert in "touch-up". Not all refinishers have this special skill.
9. Action, string and soundboard repairs. Ask the tuner before he comes if he is equipped for such repairs. Not all tuners are technicians, not all technicians are rebuilders.
10. Your next move. Now you are experienced and probably know how much a mover can help. Be sure that you ask if the mover is experienced and equipped for piano moving. Ask your tuner's advice at each end of the move.
The piano is an exciting musical instrument, a valuable music education tool. The tuner shares part of the great and important responsibility to encourage the students' progress along with teachers, parents, and dealers. This responsibility includes giving them proper advice in the care and keeping of the piano. Maybe pianos in heaven won't need as much care as those here, but many of our pianos could sound much more heavenly with proper care.

Piano care

If there are pianos in heaven, what would they be like? I hope they would be in better condition than some I have seen. You can be sure that many of the pianos in homes today would not qualify for any celestial glory!
It is certain that pianos do need a certain degree of care and attention. Yet many homes in America have pianos that do not receive hardly any degree of care or attention. One reason for the lack of attention is a general lack of accurate knowledge about pianos and their special needs. Piano teachers and piano owners should be informed about principles of piano care.
"I don't understand why the piano is out of tune already. You just tuned it a few years ago!"

Factors affecting the intonation include changes in humidity (the piano goes sharp or flat in certain sections as the sound board expands and contracts) and the passage of time (piano wire loses its tension over time and the sound goes flat).

TUNING
Imagine a cozy home with the coals glowing brightly in the fireplace, a cheerful teapot humming happily on the stove, and a distraught, confused, houseplant adorned piano between.
Mama calls the piano tuner: "My husband wants to move the piano across the room, but I don't think that is economical. Don't you have to tune it when you move it? We just had it tuned only a few years ago!"
The piano tuner groans, "here we go again!' That is almost as bad as the oft heard: "It shouldn't need tuning, it is practically brand new!"
In spite of what you may have heard or done in the past, here is the straight fact about tuning frequency: Manufacturers of all sizes and qualities of pianos repeatedly tune them in the factory. Stores have the pianos tuned (or should to maintain pitch) about every three months. Manufacturers then recommend that the piano be tuned every three months the first year in the home or studio, then twice per year thereafter. Concert and recording studio pianos are tuned before every event.
In my years of tuning, I have found that a new piano that is reasonably well built and is in an adequate environment will become more stable with each tuning. The magic number seems to be six. After six tunings, most pianos will sound adequate for home use between annual tunings, whether the six tunings are done in two years as recommended or stretched out over several years.
Older pianos are harder to predict. A piano that has had regular tunings some time in its life may be able to maintain a reasonable pitch level even if neglected for several years. A piano that has not had regular tunings may be unable to hold any tuning. There is a simple soloution for such a piano: tune it regularly and often until it becomes stable enough to maintain its pitch and an acceptable tuning for a year. If the piano does not need a pitch raise, a tuning can be expected to last six to twelve months. If it does need a pitch raise, the frequency of the tunings needed depends on how much the pictch is raised and the tightness of the tuning pins. Changes in humidity may change the tuning the next day or week after the piano tuner is done.

I just bought a used piano. Could you tell me if I paid the right price?

RAISING THE PITCH
If the piano has not been tuned for several years, chances are it needs a pitch raise. The pitch raise is a simple procedure similar to that used in stringing a new piano in the factory. The tightness of all the strings is systematically raised, maintining a balance of tension in each section of the piano. The more the tension is changed, the more the piano setlles (strings stretching, soundboard and back flexing) and the sooner it needs to be tuned again.
A pitch raise of one fourth step (half of a half step) requires two procedures the first day. The tuner first raises the pitch (a quick tuning to raise and stabilize the tension of the strings). With the tension at the proper level, a tuning can then be done which may last for three to four months, followed by a tuning six months after that before the piano is ready for annual tunings.
A pitch raise of one half step (C sharp = C) requires two pitch raises and a tuning the first day, followed by tunings at intervals of three, six, and six months before the annual schedule can start. Pitch raises of one half step are very common. I have also raised many pianos one whole step and up to two, three and four whole steps. Have you ever heard a student say at a lesson, "it doesn't sound like that on my piano"? The poor piano probably needs a pitch raise! Another procedure used by some tuners is to raise the pitch on the first visit and return for a tuning after one month.
THE TUNING PROCEDURE
Piano tuning is a complex process that requires specialized training and a great deal of practice. It has been said that a novice needs to tune five hundred pianos before he understands what to listen for and one thousand more before he is working consistently. Piano owners don't need to know how to tune a piano, but can learn to communicate more intelligently with the tuner if they understand some of what he is doing.
The tuner manipulates a large number of steel pins that are driven tightly into a hardwood block (pin block or wrestplank), thus tightening or loosening the stiff wire strings.

The process is complicated by the fact that the wire passes over, under along side of, or through several friction points. As the tuning lever exerts or releases tension at the pin, the wire is tightened or loosened at each successive part of its length. The string is in tune when the speaking length (the part that vibrates when struck by the hammer) vibrates at the desired number of cycles per second (such as A=440 cycles per second).

The tuning is done when the string pitch is balanced against all the other strings of the piano and the pin and string are set. The pin is set when its position in the pin block is firmly established by manipulations of the tuning lever that take into consideration the tendency of the wood fibers to give and the steel pin to bend. The string is set when the tension is banced between the speaking and non-speaking segments. This process of establishing pitches and setting the pins and strings must be done for every string sometimes several times at each tuning.
The process begins by isolating one string per unison by inserting a felt strip between each set of strings. Most notes have two or three strings, and the tuner can adjust only one string at a time.
One string is set to a standard such as A = 440 vps, meaning that the string vibrates at 440 cycles per second. Tuners may use a tuning fork or an electronic device to establish the pitch of the first note. Other notes of the scale are balanced against that standard by the tuner using the skill of "relative pitch" to establish the pich and the hearing of "beat rates" to fine tune. Audible beats are created by interference of sound waves of the strings sounding together.
The tuner listens for these beats in unisons or in the harmonic partials of octaves, fifths, thirds, or other intervals, and adjusts them by tightening or loosening the wire at the tuning pin. Electronic strobes or computers are used by many tuners to verify the accuracy of some tunings.
Every string sounds harmonic partials in addition to the basic pitch. The stiffness of the wire contributes to "inharmonicity", the phenomenon of physics that makes a piano impossible to tune exactly to an organ or violin or even to another piano. The tuner "tempers" the scale and "stretches" the octaves to make the instrument sound in tune with itself as much as possible. The physical nature of the piano wire and the enormous range of the instrument make it impossible to eliminate beats. Even the finest tuner cannot eliminate all beats in the unisons, let alone the octaves and other intervals.
The tuner manipulates the beats to create the most harmonious sound possible. A smaller piano is even more difficult to tune because the shorter strings are stiffer and thus have less accurate harmonic partials and therefore greater inharmonicity. Many musicians can recognize beats in a note as a "vibrato" sound when unisons are not in tune, or string inharmonicity by hearing a "tinny" sound, especially in a piano with short strings.
Some people assume that a tuner would need "perfect pitch" to do such an enormous task. However, perfect pitch is a term used by musicians to describe their ability to memorize pitches for singing without an accompaniment. The tuner would be handicapped if he could not adjust his sense of pitch to each instrument.
In addition to tuning, the technician may judge the need to do any of thousands of other possible adjustments when the piano is tuned. Common simple jobs include adjusting pedal action, tightening loose screws, or adjusting action parts. These are discussed more fully in this chapter in the section on regulating the action.


TUNING FREQUENCY
"How often should a piano be tuned?" The obvious answer is, "as often as it needs it." In areas where the humidity varies seasonally, the pitch of the piano will do likewise. Most pianos in a consistently dry climate can expect to sound fairly good between annual tunings once they are stabilized by regular playing and tuning. Yes, regular playing can contribute to tuning stability if accompanied by regular tuning. The piano will go out of tune whether it is played or not. String stretching is only one of the factors that affects tuning stability. Tuning helps maintain the level of the pitch. If the pitch has to be raised, the tuning does not last as long.
HUMIDITY
The soundboard expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. Humidity change is the greatest factor causing tuning variations in a piano not suffering from the string stretching described above. Fortunately, a dry, stable climate, like many parts of the Southwest, is very favorable to piano stability and longevity. Unfortunately, the insidious swamp cooler, the water cooled air conditioner, takes its toll.
One summer I was called to the home of a fine piano teacher with a beautiful grand piano. I was embarrased and perturbed by the degree to which the piano had changed in the two or three months since I had last tuned it. The middle register was high, dampers and keys sticking, and nearly every note uncomfortably out of tune. I did not take long to discover the culprit: the swamp cooler!


Early that Fall the cooler was turned off. Within two weeks I returned to tune it. The pitch had already been restored to normal, the keys and dampers worked well and the overall sound was already much improved. If you experience problems that you suspect may be associated with unusual changes in humidity in the home, ask your tuner about and in-piano humidifier and de-humidifier along with a humidistat to control which unit is in operation.
"Don't you have to tune the piano when you move it?" Moving a piano usually results in changes in temperature and humidity. Since these change year around anyway, you tune the piano when you move it and also when you don't. After a major move, wait a few weeks before tuning to allow the piano to settle.
"Don't put the piano by an outside wall." Good advice if you have poor insulation or a bay window. In most homes today, any wall is as safe as another, or as dangerous. Protect the piano from sunlight, heater vents, cold air, hot air, moist air, dry air. That is the rule.
TUNING PINS
I have restored pianos that have slid down stairways, fallen out of pickup trucks and suffered through home fires. However, the worst I have seen is caused by the least dramatic enemy: drying out. The worst examples of this I saw in Washington State. Pianos would come from the wet side of the mountains (Seattle) to the dry side (Wenatchee) and just fall apart. The keys and hammers get loose and rattle. The cabinet and finish crack and peel. The tuning pins get so loose that the piano cannot be tuned. More than once I have had to declare such a piano "dead". In New Mexico and West Texas, such severity is less often seen. Then, it is most often with a piano that has come from a more humid place. Each state has different conditions affecting tuning pin tightness. Piano owners should consult with experienced piano tuners for the advice most appropriate for their situation.


Tuning pins are made of blued or chromed steel. They are driven into a laminated block of hard rock maple. They are held tight by friction like a nail. As the wood expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity the block can lose its grip on the pins. There are two solutions to this problems. Repinning and restringing is expensive, but the most permanent solution because of the larger pins used. Since it is a permanet solution, it is advisable for a high value instrument. Many people choose the other alternative. For less than the cost of a tuning, the block can be treated. The chemical swells the wood and causes the wood to grip tighter on the pins. In most cases. This treatment is adequate for several years.

SOUNDBOARDS
"Make sure there are no cracks in the soundboard", is mis-advice often given to piano buyers. This should better read, "...no cracks in the pin block". The soundboard can serve its special function with any number of cracks. The string passes its vibration through the bridge to the soundboard. The soundboard acts like a hgh fidelity amplifier. Mostly the sound you hear when you play the piano is the sound of the soundboard vibrating, not the strings themselves. In this, the piano operates exactly the same as the violin, guitar and all string instruments. Have you ever heard an electric guitar that was not plugged in? With no amplifier (or soundboard), strings make very little sound.
The piano soundboard is a sheet of wood about 1/4 inch thick. It is crowned toward the strings, so that there is a downbearing pressure from the strings on the bridges. The highest quality boards are of close grained spruce or mahoganey. Some are laminated to prevent cracking or warping. You can tell when an older piano loses the crown of the soundboard, as it will have a longer after-ring that cannot be stopped with the dampers.
Certain cracks associated with the soundboard can cause trouble. If the soundboard is separated fron the rim, it will vibrate. If the cracks separate the board from the ribs, it will rattle. If the cracks separate the board from the bridge, "dead" spots will occur in the tone of certain notes of the scale. These dead tones can be individual, or affect an entire section. Many modern pianos have soundboards consisting of threee laminations designed to never crack, split or warp. However, these laminatins have been known to separate, causing a very annouying buzz. All these conditions are repairable. Some require only a little first aid. Others are major. If you hear annoying rattles or buzzes that do not stop when you take the lamp off the piano, call the tuner for an evaluation.


STRINGS
Many times I have heard people tell me that the last tuner "would not raise the pitch because the strings might break". Most often I then did the pitch raise without problem. String breakage is no more serious on a piano than on any other string instrument. If a string breaks, we simply replace it or repair it.
String breakage becomes serious only when a large number of strings break in any section of the piano. For example, strings may break is a certain section of the bass only, or just of a certain section of the treble. Sometimes it is strings of all the same gauge. In many of these cases, the solution is a relatively inexpensive replacement of the poor section. Complete restringing is usually indicated when the strings break and the pins are also loose.

THE ACTION
Proper functioning of the piano depends on the coordination of almost fifty different action parts for each of the eighty-eight notes, including the keys, hammers, dampers, etc. Among the thousands of parts involved, there are almost one thousand friction points. Each part, moving or static, must be adjusted to match the others. "Action regulating" is a process that includes repairing, renewing, and bringing each of these into a tolerance of one thousandth of an inch for the purpose of providing the player with consistent, controlled "touch".
Some manufacturers suggest that although a concert instrument is regulated for every performance, a home piano that gets normal use should have the action regulated every two or three years. Some researchers suggest that over ninety percent of the pianos never receive this type of care, resulting in the touch being one of the most frustrating factors in piano playing. Tuning is also a struggle when the action is not regulated.
Some tuners will struggle with "first aid" adjustments of parts that do not work, feeling that a customer might balk at the suggestion of an expensive regulation job. The twenty or thirty steps that must be done for each key can take eight ot twelve hours of concetrated effort charged at an hourly rate. A piano that is regulated every few years, however, may require much less time to maintain excellent touch.
To give an idea of the complexity of the process, note the steps from a checklist for regulating a vertical piano: Remove action, tighten all screws, reshape hammers, clean piano and action, make necessary repairs, align and tighten regulation rail, align damper lift rod, travel hammers, space hammers to strings, space and square backchecks, space and square keys, set hammer stroke, regularte key capstans and key height, level white keys, then sharp keys, regulate hammer letoff, white key dip, hammer checking, sharp key dip, dampers to damper lift rod, sustaning pedal to damper lift rod, damper spoons, soft pedal, and bridle tapes.
Piano players may notice the need for action regulation when the tone is not even from one note to the next, the overall touch is too light or too stiff, individual notes do not respond quickly or damp properly, or keys are sticking.
Since each piano and piano player are different, setting the action to the "regulated" standards may not provide the desired results. For fine adjustments, the player may cooperate in the action regulation by playing the piano for a few days between each set of procedures by the technician. Many problems can be solved with patience, others may require a different piano!
Voicing is an advanced procedure for adjusting the tone of a well reuglated and tuned piano. it involves additional string to hammer regulating, hardening hammers by removing layers of felt or by chemicals, or softening hammers by carefully calculated and controlled jabs with needles, and even adjustments to the strings.
The main object of voicing is finding a note with an acceptable tone, and adjusting the hammers and action of the other notes so the tone is even in all ranges of playing dynamics. Some piano players request that a technician try to "voice down" the overall bright tone of a piano, or to brighten a piano with dull tone. Sometimes these effects may be achieved by moving the piano to a different part of the room in order to change the relative position of walls, carpetting, or other physical features that affect room acoustics.


THE CABINET
Almost all piano exteriors are made of furniture quality veneered hardwoods. Many manufacturers use panels that have a pressboard core. More expensive pianos may be entirely of hardwoods, including the core of the finely veneered panels. The cabinet does not contribute to the sound of the piano, just the appearance. Builders provide a variety of furniture styles to meet the needs of interior decoration.
Most manufacturers recommend that no wax or polish be used on the protective lacquer finish that protects the wood. Waxes can build up, and some polishes can actually tear down the chemicals in the finish. A dry or even a damp cloth is all that will be usually needed to care for both the finish of the cabinet and the keytops.
Many people use a commercial scratch cover for first aid of nicks and scratches. These products may make the job of the refinisher more difficult if you later decide to have a professional touch up job. "Touch up" is a difficult fine art practiced by some refinishers.

Refinishing a piano is a time consuming process of stripping and respraying that costs many hundreds of dollars. Be sure that your refinisher has eperience with pianos. If you decide to refinsh a piano yourself, consult with your tuner for advice on which parts of the piano should be dissassembled. Novices have been known to just paint over everything, sometimes painting shut the very panels that have to be opened for tuning.
Piano benches do not last as long as pianos. Common repairs include tightening leg bolts, replacing hinge screws and lid props, repairing bottoms damaged by too many books, and touching up gouges and scratches. Bear in mind that it may be less trouble to order a new bench than sit on a dangerous one.
Cabinet interiors are not accessible to piano owners, but they are easily invaded by dust, pencils, pennies, and a myriad of interesting small objects. These objects can slow or even stop a key from working. In addition to having your piano tuned, it is wise to establish an interval with your tuner for periodic cleaning of the interior. This may vary from a few to many years, depending on conditions in your area. Do not attempt to remove actions to retrieve objects. It is cheaper to pay a tuner to clean your piano than to repair broken hammershanks or twisted return springs caused by an over-enthusiastic do-it-yourselfer.

MOVING
"Only two men? The last time we moved this monster, my husband had six of his biggest friends help!" The truth is, that is exactly why she called the movers this time. More damage is caused to pianos by well intentioned musclemen than anything else. If you are ever tempted to try the job on your own, follow this checklist:
1. Protecting the woodwork. Wrap the piano to protect the edges from bumping against doorways and walls. Cover the soundboard (the back) to reduce the rate of heat loss and gain, and to protect from humidity. Don't get it wet or hot.
2. Securing loose parts. Many older pianos have parts missing that were intended to hold a lid, key cover or kick board in place. Be sure that nothing is going to fall off.
3. Setting on the dolly. The best policy in lifting is, never lift both ends of the piano at once. One mover pulls down on the end while the other lifts the opposite end. The same procedure makes lifting into a truck or onto a stairway easy.
4. Securing to the truck. Too many major repairs are due to pianos falling out of trucks. Do not assume, just because the piano seems large and bulky, that it is stable. The piano is not well balanced. It will tip very easily. Tie it down so that it cannot tip or slide in any direction.


5. Protecting enroute. Wrap it. Don't let the breezes blow on it. Keep it dry. Jarring may cause a piano with loose pins to become untuned. The piano has many thousands of delicate parts that can be easily broken. Be careful.
6. Moving in. Avoid heater and air vents, sunlight, and drafts when considering where to place the piano in the home. Consider the need for humidity controls in the piano if the new location is much drier or more humid than the last.
7. Selecting a tuner. Follow the recommendation of a reputable dealer or teacher. If such advise is not available, consider a tuner who has been certified reliable by the Piano Technician's Guild. Tune after wiaint two to four weeks for the piano to adjust to its new environment.
8. Cabinet repairs. If needed, call a refinishing shop and inquire about an expert in "touch-up". Not all refinishers have this special skill.
9. Action, string and soundboard repairs. Ask the tuner before he comes if he is equipped for such repairs. Not all tuners are technicians, not all technicians are rebuilders.
10. Your next move. Now you are experienced and probably know how much a mover can help. Be sure that you ask if the mover is experienced and equipped for piano moving. Ask your tuner's advice at each end of the move.
The piano is an exciting musical instrument, a valuable music education tool. The tuner shares part of the great and important responsibility to encourage the students' progress along with teachers, parents, and dealers. This responsibility includes giving them proper advice in the care and keeping of the piano. Maybe pianos in heaven won't need as much care as those here, but many of our pianos could sound much more heavenly with proper care.