PIANO TUNING, REPAIR & RESTORATION
Tuning is the most basic kind of piano maintenance, that means adjusting the tension of each of the more than two hundred piano strings, using a tuning hammer (or lever) to turn the tuning pins in order to make each string produce the exact sound we need. Tuning is only the operation defined above, and does not include repairs and adjustments.
The most important factor causing pianos to go out of tune is the change in humidity and temperature, affecting all pianos, good and bad, new and old, played and un-played.
Although all pianos go out of tune, some of the cheaper spinets or very old pianos have weak structures that actually twist slightly from season to season or even while the pianos are being tuned, or weak tuning pins that do not hold the tension of the strings. These pianos go out of tune chaotically, in addition to showing large seasonal variations in pitch.
How often you have the piano tuned will depend on the piano quality, the changes in humidity and temperature and also on your ear and on your budget, but it should be a minimum of every year and ideally every six months.
Action parts need periodic adjustment to compensate for wear and changes in atmospheric conditions. Making these adjustments is called regulating. Most new and rebuilt pianos will need to be regulated to some extent within six months to a year of purchase because of initial settling of cloth parts. Thereafter, frequency of regulation will depend on the amount of use. A piano in the home played an hour a day might need a full regulation only once every five to ten years, whereas one played all day by a professional might benefit by a full regulation every year.
Dust inevitably collects inside a piano no matter what and, some times, it doesn’t let the moving parts to work freely. When a technician removes the outer case parts, during regular servicing, it's a good time to dust some of their less accessible spots.
Cleaning the piano action and under the keys on both verticals and grands, should be left to a piano technician. In most cases, once every few years will be often enough.
Tune up Cost
The cost of a piano tuning is currently $100.00 (Some very old pianos where removing the dampers is necessary, like the square grands, have an extra charge)
The cost could be $160.00 if a "double tuning" (a rough tuning followed by a fine tuning) is required to compensate for large seasonal variations in pitch, or if for some other reason the piano was not at standard pitch.
New pianos (or pianos that have been restrung) may need to be tuned more frequently the first year or so as the new strings continue to stretch.
A full regulation of a vertical piano action in good basic condition costs $300.00 A grand piano regulation $450.00 Some adjustments, such as hammer voicing, are not included in the standard list of regulating procedures.
Cleaning and lubrication Cost
Some pianos, like the spinets and consoles from the 60s and 70s, could have and extra cost because of the difficulty of removing the mechanism.
An inspection is required to estimate the cost of any other repair or restoration.