The 3 T's to Good Piano Maintenance

Tuning is one aspect of the piano’s tone. It involves adjusting the piano’s approximately 220 strings to proper tension for the best musical sound. In order for the tuning to be stable the tuning pins and strings must be properly “set”. This skill requires proper training and takes many years of practice and experience. Manufacturers without exception recommend 2-3 tunings per year to compensate for seasonal changes in humidity.

Touch refers to the feel of the piano. The keys should feel smooth and consistent and have the right amount of resistance. There is felt between every moving part of the piano’s mechanism. As the felt compresses and

 

 

 

 

 

 

wears with time and use, the parts go out of adjustment. Each of the 88 notes has numerous adjustments to help compensate for wear in order to keep the piano’s action responsive.  Regulating refers to these adjustments.

Tone is the voice of the piano and is greatly affected by the condition of the felt hammers and how they relate to the strings. Harder hammers yield brighter, sharper tone while softer hammer result in mellower, warmer tone.

 

The most pleasant tone requires that the piano’s felt hammers have proper shape and resilience. Voicing refers to the manipulation of the tone by working with the hammers with special tools and techniques. Tone should be balanced between the different areas of the keyboard and should be very consistent from note to note.

OUR SERVICE PRICES
updated March 2017

Note: Before having your piano tuned, we highly recommend having a Dampp-Chaser humidity control system installed 3-5 weeks prior. This will insure that you get the most milage out of the tuning. Without humidity control, tuning can go out more quickly than you might think! Cost of basic systems is listed further down the page.
Read our Blog Post about humidity and tuning to learn more.

We offer scholarships for low income individuals or families. Email ryan@pianova.net and describe your situation. We want everyone to be able to afford an in-tune piano!

Mileage/Trip fee:
For pianos within a 20 mile radius of our business location (2302 State Ave NE, Olympia) there is no trip fee. Outside that range, the fee range is $1.25 - $1.65 per mile for the trip out, depending on overall distance. Trip fee can be shared by clients who schedule in the same area on the same day. Contact our office for more information.

2-Hour "Catch up" Service: $260  We recommend this service for most pianos that are very out of tune and/or have not received any other maintenance besides tuning for several years. The service will vary depending on the needs of the piano and the client. Even if the tuning is close, this appointment is great for pianos that have not had regulating and/or voicing maintained OR if the piano gets heavy use. May include minor repairs if time allows.

Basic Maintenance Service: $195 This appointment is for a piano that is moderately out of tune and is operating at close to its potential. In addition to fine tuning, a basic service often includes some combination of cleaning, voicing, and regulating. The goal is to keep your piano's touch and tone from deteriorating from age, use, and humidity changes.

Economy service: $159 Don't need a concert quality tuning? If you want a basic no-frills service and want to spend less, this can be a good option. This one-hour appointment will get your piano sounding better on a budget.

Estimate/Pre-purchase Check: $140 Having a piano inspected by a techncian prior to purchasing is wise. Often the inspection allows the buyer to negotiate a better price, which can more than cover the cost of the pre-purchase check. This is also a good option if you are wondering if your piano is worth fixing and want to know what it would take to bring out its potential. Note: Although we can give you a "ball park" idea of what a piano is worth, this is not a formal appraisal.

Appraisal: $260 An official appraisal includes a detailed inspection along with a written statment of value that is emailed to the client after the inspection. This is usually only done on high-value pianos such as Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, Bösendorfer, etc. Click HERE to see an excellent article on this subject.

The "All Day Service": $815 note: before scheduling an all day service the technician needs to see the piano. This can be done by scheduling a regular tuning or a pre-purchase check. This is a great way to make a major improvement in your piano's performance. This is typically a 9am-5pm appointment that allows us to take your piano to a new level of performance! Major voicing and regulating issues can be taken care of in addition to many types of repairs. If your piano is more than 20 years old and has not been well maintained, we highly recommend an all-day service.

Humidity Control System Installation: We highly recommend humidity control for pianos. We pride ourselves on our concert level tunings, but without humidity control, that fine work can be surprisingly temporary. Basic systems are less than the cost of 2 tunings and can dramatically improve your pianos ability to maintain a tuning.
Basic Upright System: $260 + tax
Basic Grand System (under 6'): $315 + tax .
Grands over 6': $390 )

 

 

 

IMPORTANT: BEFORE YOUR TECHNICIAN ARRIVES: 1. Make sure piano is away from direct air from heating vents.  2. Make sure piano is away from direct sunlight. These two factors can destroy a tuning surprisingly fast!  3. Be sure to write down any problem notes or sticky keys.  4. Clearing off the piano will facilitate access to the tuning pins and mechanism. It is not necessary to pull the piano out from the wall.   5. While absolute quiet is not necessary, we do appreciate a generally quiet environment in which to tune.

 

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Phone: 360/705-4160
ryan@pianova.net