Tuning & Repair
Your modern piano has been specifically designed to be tuned to the international pitch standard of A=440. This means the A above middle C will vibrate at 440 cycles per second, or 440 Hz. However, the approximate 220 strings on your piano exert about 40,000 pounds of tension on the plate and frame, and about 600 pounds of downbearing on the bridges and soundboard. Seasonal changes in the humidity, as well as the normal continual decrease of static tension, cause all pianos to go out of tune.
Your piano will sound its best when it is tuned regularly and kept in proper playing condition. Changes in temperature and humidity, the amount and type of use it gets, and the musical requirements of the owner will determine how often a piano will need tuned. A piano should be tuned at least twice a year, and absolutely no less than once a year.
If your piano has gone without tuning for an extended period, it may have dropped far below the pitch at which it was designed to perform. It may require a procedure technician’s call a pitch raise. A pitch raise procedure is a quick, preliminary rough tuning of the entire piano, in order to stretch the strings and balance the tension on the soundboard and bridges of the piano. Depending on how long your piano has been neglected, it may require one or more pitch raise tunings, before your piano can receive a fine tuning.
Occasionally repairs will need to be made to the piano before a fine tuning can take place. This may include replacing previously broken strings, repairing broken hammers, easing sluggish keys, and general lubrication and cleaning. More serious repairs may include chemically treating a damaged pin block or bass bridge.
Regulation & Voicing
Your piano is a mechanical instrument made up of 9,000-14,000 parts. Periodically your piano will require the careful adjustments of most of these parts to ensure the best performance of your instrument. Regulation is the process of adjustments that will need to be made to compensate for the effects of wear, the compacting and settling of cloths and felts, and the dimensional changes in wood and wool parts due to fluctuations in humidity. Furthermore, over time felt hammers become grooved and compacted. Periodic voicing, or tone regulation, is necessary so that your piano will have an even and full tone throughout the entire scale.
Regulation and voicing are the careful adjustments required periodically to ensure evenness, touch, and speed in the piano’s action. You will find much more enjoyment in playing an instrument that is properly regulated.
Rebuilding & Refinishing
Regular piano service and periodic regulation can go a long way in compensating for minor wear, thus prolonging the life of a piano. Humidity control and string covers can add further preventative protection. However, over time leather and felt parts compact, wooden structures weaken and crack, glue joints fail, springs break, and the exterior furniture aspect of the piano loses its beauty.
Kanawha Piano offers full rebuilding services which may include the following: Disassembly of the instrument, repair or replacement of all worn action components, soundboard and bridge repairs, and complete restringing and refinishing of the entire piano. The objective is to make your piano look, sound, and respond like it did the day it left the factory, within reason. Please contact us if you have questions regarding the reconditioning of your piano.
Appraisals & Evaluations
We provide professional evaluations, purchase consultations, and insurance appraisals to our clients. You should never purchase or sell a used piano without first having it evaluated by a professional piano technician. With proper equipment, the interior structure can be inspected to ensure you are buying/selling a piano that is able to be tuned. Furthermore, you can rest easy knowing that costly repairs in the near future are avoided. Remember, there are over nine thousand parts in a piano! The furniture aspect of the instrument may be great, but does not alone constitute a piano in great condition.
Humidity fluctuations are the predominant reason that pianos go out of tune and develop various other symptoms that warrant repair and/or regulation. Dampp-Chaser humidity control systems are the most effective way to regulate and stabilize the humidity levels in the piano at their intended level of 45% relative humidity, causing pianos to play better, last longer, and stay in tune.
Use only a professional piano mover to move your piano. You will avoid injury to yourself, your instrument, and your home. We offer piano moving packaged with a standard tuning service at a discounted rate. Call us for a free quote over the phone.
Kanawha Piano Gallery offers in-store music lessons which include piano, guitar, and violin. Furthermore, we service pianos for over 40 highly recommended teachers who offer lessons in and around Charleston, Huntington, and Southern WV. Contact us today to locate a teacher in your area!