Most frequent questions and answers

My soundboard has cracks, does this affect the piano?

The repairs will depend on where the crack is. If its running across the full length of the soundboard and if the crack prepositions it will affect the sound. Luckily, this is a problem that we are able to fix. 

My Piano is Locked, can you help me open it?

We are available to help even for the smallest jobs. A small travelling fee will be required in order for us to attend to the matter. 

The hammer shank on my piano has snapped will you be able to fix this? Also do I have to pay a lot of money?

The hammer can be repaired in situ. On the other hand, the cost depends on the severity of the damage. 

what do I need to open the files ?

Our Piano tuner is able to fix this problem within an hour. However, the cost depends on how long it will take them to fix it. 

My piano has distorted and uneven tone?

This can be due to a number of reasons. It can be that the hammers are misaligned, this is basically when the hammers are not hitting all the strings in the note. it can also be a regulation issue or uneven hardness or shape of the hammer.

Why is there a difference in tone in the tenor / bass break point?

The tenor/bass break point in pianos tells you a lot about the quality of a piano. In some pianos the tone usually changes around this area becoming dry and metallic which can be unpleasant to the ear almost sounding like two different pianos. This would normally be manufacture issue which usually can not be rectified by toning, tuning or regulation. However each piano is judged on its own merits.

How often should I tune my piano?

If you do not tune your piano regularly, ideally every 6 or twelve months you run the risk of the pitch dropping. Bringing it back to pitch can prove to be costly and you run the risk of breaking strings especially on older pianos.

Does underfloor heating damage or affect my piano?

Underfloor heating is the worst enemy for grand pianos especially, its leads to cracked soundboard and pin block. switching it off where the piano is or putting a heat resistant mat is advised. It also affects uprights but central heating directly affects upright pianos.

Is it important to regulate my piano?

This is a great subject. Having a piano regulated can greatly improve the touch, making it more responsive especially when playing gently. Most times you will have a piano that is in tune but not pleasurable to play. A piano that is well regulated will give you more control. You will be able to play different variations and get a response from the piano without having to press hard to get a response. There is a difference between response and resistance when it comes to the touch on a piano. You need the necessary amount of resistance to give you the sense of pressing something, but this can be archived without compromising how well the piano responds.  

In some cases you will have an uneven touch on the keyboard. This will be evident through some notes being heavier that the rest, some responding more that others. This usually creates the frustration of missing certain notes when playing a piece due to lack of repetition and response.  

Regulation also goes a long in improving the tone of the piano by having the hammers hitting the strings at the right distance, angle, having the hammers getting to the right distance to the strings before returning to playing position, the force needed to move the hammer and many other factors that would influence the movement of the hammer and the downward movement of the keys.

It is therefore very important to have your piano regulated in order to get the best results and a more pleasurable playing experience. 

The tone on my piano is weak, muffled and not clean?

Muffled, weak tone can be something as simple as having hammers refaced or toning (even in old pianos). Due to prolonged playing the hammers on a piano become indented or flattened losing the right strike angle and point.

In the first instance the hammers can be refaced, this is basically reshaping the hammer head. Refacing has the advantage that you retain the original tone of the piano without changing it. In some cases the hammers are so flattened that they need to be replaced, this cane be done and will improve the tone on the piano. The right size and weight hammers need to be used otherwise this will affect not only the tone but touch as well altering the character of the piano.

It is possible to get back that sweet, crisp and beautiful tone on your piano. An assessment will be able to confirm what needs doing.

I have sticky keys on my piano?

Sticky notes in pianos can be a result of anything, a quick solution could  be as simple as pressing it down and moving it sideways gently with minimum force. Always advised to ask a tuner / technician to resolve any problems though. Piano keys are made of wood so when there is change in weather this usually causes expansion or contraction in the keys.

When the keys expand they end up rubbing against each other causing them to stick. Hammer alignment can also cause them to rub against each other causing them to stick. In some cases it will be a regulation or a mechanical fault. An assessment of the piano will be able to confirm what the problem is. 

Does moving a piano get it out of tune?

This might come as a shock but the actual move does not get the piano out of tune. What gets a piano out of tune in a moving situation is the change in environment. Pianos are very sensitive to change in environment because they has a lot of wood parts which will either contract or expand depending on the environment. You need to wait for at least 6-8 weeks to allow the piano to settle into its new environment before having it tuned. If a piano is being used for a concert or event, having it tuned on site is best.

When do I decide its time to restring my piano?

This decision can come down to one of many factors. In older pianos that have not been restored; when repairing the sound board for example it makes sense to restring at this point because the repair process involves de-stringing the piano in order to reach the sound board. 

If you have many broken strings that do not justify just replacing the broken ones, it might be best to consider restringing the piano. This would likely be the best approach especially if the majority of broken strings are in the bass/tenor section.

Is my piano worth restoring?

The decision to restore/recondition your piano compared to buying a new piano can be very difficult. There are factors that we can discuss with you depending on the make and model of your old piano; and the extend of wear. Unfortunately it might not ultimately come down to one factor but a combination of different things.

The first question is usually what do you want to achieve? Do you want a piece of furniture?, do you want a musical instrument?, an investment?, or an inheritance to pass on to your family? Having established this the decision easier. The next question would be how much you want to spend on bringing your piano back to life?, and how much would you be willing to spend on a new piano? The crucial thing to establish at this point is, how much your piano will cost to restore / recondition? What the end value it would have after. It is important to get a comprehensive report on your piano from a piano tuner / technician. The report should contain expected results after restoring / reconditioning your piano. At this point it is almost clear what is more viable.

How long does it take to tune a piano?

 A standard tuning which applies to a regularly tuned piano at concert pitch (A440) takes about 1    hour. However a piano that is not regularly tuned and requires a pitch raise & tune will take about 1 and half hours.