Tuned for Expression - Services

Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.

Tuning ~ Your piano is mostly comprised of wood, cast iron, and felt parts. The pieces of primary concern, when it comes to how well the tuning will hold, are the strings, the pin block, and the soundboard. The pin block and soundboard are both made of wood which will swell and shrink with increases and decreases in humidity and temperature. How often you play has some influence on the tuning, but not as much as the weather. In the summer your piano is more likely to lean towards the sharp side as the soundboard swells and puts more tension on the strings. In the winter the humidity decreases and so does the moisture content of your piano, relieving the tension on the strings and making them flat. This is why, in the majority of cases, it's best to have your piano tuned every 6 months. Here is what the manufacturers have to say about having you piano serveced:

Baldwin Piano Company

(also Chickering, Wurlitzer) Professional service is the key. In the first year, the National Piano Manufacturers Association recommends that you have your piano tuned four times. This is a period of environmental adjustment for a new instrument, and proper attention is important.

After the first year, the piano should be tuned at least twice each year, depending upon the frequency of use and atmospheric conditions. Contact the Piano Technicians Guild for a list of qualified technicians to perform this service.

Kawai Piano Company

Quality pianos demand quality care. Fine pianos require regular maintenance in three areas: tuning, action regulation and voicing. Tuning is usually required more often than the other service areas, but all three should be a part of any fine piano's maintenance.

Due to string stretching, settling, and the effects of climate, a new piano should receive at least four tunings in the first year. After that, the type of use and the location of the piano will dictate the number of tunings required, but Kawai recommends two tunings per year as a minimum.

Pearl River

Changes in temperature and humidity, the amount and type of use it gets, and the musical requirements of the owner will determine how often your Pearl River piano will need service.

In general, Pearl River recommends that your new piano be serviced four times the first year and twice a year by a qualified piano technician.

Samick

(also Knabe, Kohler & Campbell, Conover Cable, Bechstein & Sohmer)

The careful selection and installation of the highest quality tuning pins, string, and pinblock materials assures excellent stability. Regular service by a qualified technician will assure the continuing pleasure that comes only from a properly tuned and regulated piano.

We recommend two to three tunings the first year and a minimum of two tunings per year thereafter. Avoid placing your piano where it will be exposed to extreme heat or cold, moisture, or direct sunlight, all of which can cause unstable tuning, warpage, and finish damage.

Schimmel

Your Schimmel piano should be tuned and serviced only by qualified professionals. Questions regarding tuning can best be answered by your local piano technician.

As a rule, a brand new piano should, depending on its location and climatic conditions, be tuned two to three times in the first year or two. An instrument played often and intensively could require additional tunings.

Steinway & Sons

(also Boston & Essex)

Your Steinway piano was tuned many times before it left our factory. It was tuned to and should be maintained at A440 pitch. This is the internationally accepted standard and the standard for which all Steinway pianos are engineered.

Unfortunately, no matter how expertly a piano is tuned, atmospheric variations and the nature of the piano's construction constantly conspire to bring it off pitch.

Your Steinway has been designed and built so that in normal use and under normal conditions it should need only periodic tuning. We recommend that your technician be called at least three or four times a year. You, however, are the final judge and should have the piano tuned as often as you think necessary. To put the matter of tuning into perspective, remember that a concert piano is tuned before every performance, and a piano in a professional recording studio, where it is in constant use, is tuned three or four times each week as a matter of course.

Tuning is an art practiced by skilled professionals and under no circumstances should anyone other than a professional be allowed to tune your Steinway piano.

Yamaha Pianos

New pianos should be tuned a minimum of four times the first year to compensate for the normal settling that takes place. Subsequently, as a matter of standard maintenance, a piano should be tuned at least twice a year.

Of course, some musicians will choose to have their own piano tuned more often to satisfy their own personal musical requirements.

Young Chang America, Inc.

(also Pramberger & Bergmann)

Piano owners will receive optimum performance from their piano if it is properly serviced during its lifetime to compensate for the effects of environmental conditions and use.

Due to the natural elasticity in new piano strings, we recommend that your instrument be tuned two to four times the first year, twice the second year and a minimum of once per year thereafter. Of course, you may choose to have your piano tuned more or less often to satisfy your own personal requirements.


Regulation ~ Regulation is the adjustment of the mechanical aspects of the pianos to compensate for the effects of wear, the compacting and settling of cloth, felt, and buckskin, as well as dimensional changes in wood and wool parts due to changes in humidity.

The three systems involved in regulation are the action trapwork and damper system. The action is the mechanical part of the piano that transfers the motion of the fingers on the keys to the hammers that strike the strings. It is comprised of over 9,000 parts which require adjustment to critical tolerances to be able to respond to a pianist's every command. The trapwork is the assemblage of levers, dowels and springs that connects the pedals to the action affecting sustain and dynamics. The damper system is the mechanical part of the piano that stops the vibration of the string when you release the key and is controlled by the key and pedal systems.

Imagine driving your car for 20 years and never adding power steering fluid or replacing the tires, brake lines, or steering wheel cover. It simply wouldn't run smooth (if at all) and imagine how unenjoyable driving would be. Regulation is sort of like getting your car mainained and tuned up. It makes it run smoother and last longer.

For more information refer to the Piano Technicians Guild information at http://www.ptg.org/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/4DCGI/cms/review.html?Action=CMS_Document&DocID=59&MenuKey=Menu7