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Tuning:

Tuning is the core of our business.

We pitch the piano at standard pitch: The A in the middle of the piano is set to 440 cycles per second.

Your ears and mine determine when the piano sounds good. After fifteen years of using a tuning fork and the naked ear we accepted the assistance of an electronic tuning aid (computer). When the computer says it is right, then our ears go into fine tune mode to give a tuning, pleasing to the ear and verifiable by the numbers.

How often should I tune? The tuning your mother or grandmother had done, when you were a child does not qualify your piano as being up to date. We recommend tuning twice a year to counteract the swings of humidity as our seasons change, damp in summer, dry in winter.

Call for pricing. 304-737-3674

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Maintenance:

Over the years the piano gets worn. Hammers are cut by the strings, felt throughout the action compresses. Consequently you feel looseness and hear rattles. The piano will not repeat fast and is hard to play quietly. All this can creep up, unnoticed until someone points it out. We “tune up” the piano by carefully manipulating many points of adjustment throughout the action. In the business, we call this regulation.

The wood deteriorates, too. We offer climate control for the piano. Dampp-Chaser is our supplier for humidity control. D-C’s system goes inside or underneath to keep the humidity stable. This keeps the wood of the sounding board supple and musical. If you care about the piano, this is for you.

We are able to remove dust from the piano. Beyond that, to address dust constantly and effortlessly we offer string covers for grand pianos . A string cover is made of wool and fits inside the piano to protect against sudden changes of temperature as well as dust control.

The finish of your piano is maintained by simply wiping with a dry cloth, damp cloth or quickly washing with mild soap. An oil polish is acceptable, not wax. For high polish finishes use water with a very clean, soft cloth.

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Information from the Piano Technicians Guild:

Why Do Pianos Need Tuning?

“If I move my piano to another room, does it need to be re-tuned? My grandmother had a fine old upright that she never got tuned. Why does my piano need regular tuning? Back home we always kept a jar of water in the bottom of the piano. Does this help keep the piano in tune? How often does my piano need tuning?” Piano technicians hear these questions every day. Tuning is the most frequent and important type of piano maintenance, but it’s often the least understood. Here we’ll look at why pianos go out of tune and how you can help yours stay in better tune between visits from your technician.

First, new pianos are a special case; their pitch drops quickly for the first few years as the new strings stretch and wood parts settle. It’s very important that a new piano be maintained at proper pitch (A-440) during this period, so the string tension and piano structure can reach stable equilibrium. Most manufacturers recommend three to four tunings the first year, and at least two annually after that.

Aside from this initial settling, seasonal change is the primary reason pianos go out of tune. To understand why, you must realize that the piano’s main acoustical structure, the soundboard, is made of wood (typically 3/8-inch thick Sitka spruce). And while the wooden soundboards produce a wonderful sound, they also react constantly to weather. As humidity goes up, a soundboard swells, increasing its crowned shape and stretching the piano’s strings to a higher pitch. During dry times, the soundboard flattens out, lowering tension on he strings and causing the pitch to drop.

Unfortunately, the strings don’t change pitch equally. Those near the soundboard’s edge move the least, and those near the center move the most. So, unless it’s in a hermetically sealed chamber, every piano is constantly going out of tune!

The good news is there are some simple things you can do to keep your piano sounding sweet and harmonious between regular service appointments. Although it’s impossible to prevent every minor variation in indoor climate, you can often improve conditions for your piano.

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Does A Piano Need Tuning After It’s Moved?

It depends. The piano is a complex instrument, with over too individual strings and thousands of moving parts. Each string must be painstakingly adjusted to put the piano in tune. Even the tiniest change in a string’s tension can be heard by a practiced ear.

You might think, then, that trucking a piano down the highway or even rolling down a hall could “knock it out of tune.” However, pianos are actually quite tough. They’re built to withstand up to 20 tons of string tension and decades of heavy usage, so the physical movement of a piano usually has very little effect on its tuning or other adjustments.

It’s the climate change associated with the move, rather than the actually move itself, that makes pianos go out of tune. A substantial difference in humidity between its previous location and its new home will change the shape of the piano’s soundboard, changing tension on the strings.

For instance, a well-tuned piano moved fifty miles from a heated, dry apartment to a cool, humid home will sound fine immediately after the move. But a week later, after adjusting to the higher humidity, the piano will sound out of tune. Even moving a piano from one room to another in the same building can affect it if heating or air-conditioning patterns are different.

An exception is the vertical piano. Because they have four casters (grands have three), they occasionally flex enough to distort there tuning pattern immediately if moved to an uneven floor. Moving the piano back to a flat surface will return the tuning to normal. This is most noticeable with light built spinets and consoles, and can occur simply by moving the piano a few inches if one caster rolls off the carpeting or into a low spot on the floor.

So, do you have to tune your piano after moving it? Pianos need periodic tuning anyway, whether they are moved or not, so it’s likely that a piano that has just been moved was already due for tuning before the move. If so, it’s best to let the piano adjust to its new environment for a week or two, then have it tuned. On the other hand, if the piano had been recently tuned before the move, you might just hold off and see how the piano sounds after a few weeks. If the climate of the new location is similar to the old, your piano will probably sound fine until its next regular service date.

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Do You Hate Your Piano?

“Yes, because it plays wrong notes.” Sorry, I cannot help you directly with this problem, but I can make the piano obey your fingers better, and thus make it easier to play right notes. You may hate your piano because the pressure required to make one note play differs from the one next to it. Also other differences in the action of the keys make them respond randomly different from note to note. New tools help me analyze the piano note by note and adjust out anomalies, standardize and synchronize motions that make the keys uniform in touch, giving your control. You will now like your friendlier piano.