Piano tuning involves precise adjustments to the tension of each string. The pitch of strings are not simply matched to a standard set of pitches. The tuner listens to the inharmonicity that is unique to each individual acoustic piano and assesses the interaction among notes. A slight variation may be applied from the theoretical standard to make each particular instrument sound its best.
A pitch-raise is an pre-tuning pass to restore proper string tension so the piano can be tuned to concert pitch pitch (A = 440 cycles per second). This may be necessary for a piano that has not been tuned for an extended time or has been subjected to environmental fluctuations such as temperature and humidity. Following a pitch-raise, the instrument can be fine tuned.
Customers often use the phrase "sticky keys" to indicate that some keys respond or reset slowly or even thats some keys don't play at all. This can be caused by a number of issues including wood swelling, restricted key movement, hammer alignment, sticky or broken flanges, bridle straps, regulation, or the result of objects dropped into the piano.
Regulation is making fine adjustments to the key mechanism for the best "feel and response". This involves adjusting up to nine parameters for each note including proper key travel, hammer travel, let-off distance, backchecks, dampers, and repetition levers.
Voicing, also referred to as tone regulation. It is the art of adjusting the tone quality for the desired amount of brilliance, mellowness allowing the musicians proper "control and power". This is done by adjusting the hardness / density of the hammers to achieve a desired tonality.Note that a piano must be regulated and tuned prior to voicing. Otherwise, the voicing process may be fooled by differences in sound from note-to-note that are actually due to tuning or key response rather than voicing.
Repair, replace, or adjust to correct issues impacting the response and playability of the instrument. Cabinet work may include cosmetics, loose legs, squeaks, rattles, and general cleaning of the piano.
Reconditioning / Rebuilding
Can include both mechanical and cosmetic enhancement to revitalize the instrument via repair and/or replacement of components.
Piano Evaluation orPre-Purchase Evaluation
Evaluation of the condition of a piano is commonly done prior to a purchase or sale of a used instrument. This may uncover a number of recommended repairs and is is highly recommended prior to obtaining a used piano (including the "free piano") to avoid a heavy moving task only to find out an instrument needs costly to repairs.
Installation of a “Dampp-Chaser” system to automatically control the humidity in the piano. This system manages both excess moisture and dryness. This helps to stabilize tuning and environmental issues with the many wooden parts. This system is highly recommended for quality instruments.
Piano hammers affect the tonal quality of a piano. Over time and use they become grooved and flattened from striking the strings. Depending on the condition of the hammers, filing and reshaping can be a reasonable alternative to replacement. When hammers are replaced there are several options regarding materials and weight. Once replaced, regulation process is needed to adjust key parameters for optimal response with the new hammers.
Technician skills for piano tuning and service Include:
•Fine tuning•Key leveling & key repairs•Pedal adjustment•Key response (regulation)•Tone regulation (voicing)•Replacing hammers, dampers, strings•Action felt replacement•Humidity control system