FAQs

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Q: How often should I have my piano tuned?
A: Preferably at least twice a year. If you want to get the most “in-tune” piano for your money, it makes sense to have your piano tuned in the beginning of the moist season (May or June, depending on the weather) and in the beginning of the dry season (November, depending on the weather). Once the soundboard absorbs or releases moisture it changes its crown therefore it can throw the strings out of tune. So it makes little sense for e.g. a late April tuning, since in June the pitch is going to change with humidity change. The lack of humidity always causes the pitch to drop. It is almost impossible with some pianos to keep them up to concert pitch (440-442 Hz) in a very dry environment if they are not tuned frequently. So the bottom line is, the frequency of the tunings depends on one’s expectations. Among my clients there are several professional pianists, who have their pianos tuned once a month or in some cases I tune the same piano every week. Or for e.g. a recording session the piano has to be checked out before every take. For those people who have “delicate or picky ears” and are piano aficionados I do recommend to have their pianos tuned at least four times a year.

Q: How do I take care of my piano?
A: There are many factors that can effect the condition of a piano:

  • Humidity

In the diverse climate of the US Northeast, to double the lifetime of a piano, it is necessary to humidify during the winter months, but to maintain a lower level of humidity during summer. The recommended relative level of humidity – that can be monitored even with an inexpensive hygrometer – should be kept between 45-55% yearlong. Depending on the location of the piano, the summer and winter readings will be higher on the shore than in the city, however, it is crucial to prevent fluctuation of humidity greater than 25% throughout the entire year. During winter the best is to use a cool mist humidifier, like MoistAir or Venta; during summer using the AC or a dehumidifier will help to withdraw moisture from the air.

  • Temperature and sunlight

Beside monitoring humidity, the piano greatly appreciates if it is kept in normal, constant temperature, as extreme heat or cold can damage it. Never put a piano next to window and AC/heating unit. Even direct sunlight can be harmful, it will fade the finish, and the key tops – regardless whether ivory or plastic – will crack and turn yellow.

  • Tuning and maintenance

Every piano should be tuned at least twice a year. Pianos under heavy use, will need tunings 3-4 times a year. New or rebuilt pianos require more frequent tunings, and pianos that are used for concerts or recordings must be tuned before every event. To maintain the highest quality of a piano it is equally important to have action and tone regulation, as well, at least once a year.

For more details on tuning and maintenance please click on “Services”.

Q: How do the rebuilt pianos hold their value? Or how pianos, in general hold their value?
A: Usually the value of a used piano is based on its brand name, its age and its condition. Brand new pianos are like brand new cars. Once you take a brand new Steinway home and try to sell it, you get 20-25% less than what you paid for.

In general, restored pianos – presumably they have been purchased at the right price – they hold their value much more stable than new pianos, assuming both kept in the right environment. You can damage or even annul the value of your piano if you don’t keep it in the proper environment! See above.

In case of a restored piano the only thing makes a difference between an old junk and a masterfully rebuilt, magnificent instrument is the craftsmanship, expertise, dedication and last but not least the parts installed in the piano. Dedicated restorers pick their pianos very carefully, don’t even buy pianos for rebuilding in case the piano has been damaged or seriously altered by former rebuilders.

Q: What is the age of my piano?
A: Every piano has a brand name and a serial number. The serial number – not the same as part numbers – identifies the year the piano was made. It is stamped either on the plate or on the pinblock, or on the soundboard. After locating this information you can call most of the piano restorers. They should have the Pierce “Piano Atlas” that lists every piano brand and serial number, and determines the age of all the pianos that were ever built.

Q: What is the resale value of my piano?
A: The value of a piano is based on three major factors:

  • brand
  • age
  • condition.

To determine the approximate value of your piano contact us to make an appointment for an appraisal.

Q: Can you fix the following problems like:

  • cracked soundboard, loose pinblock
  • sympathetic vibration = buzzing or rattling
  • sun damaged finish

A: Yes, these are all part of a rebuilding process. Please see related info or contact me.

Q: Can you fix the following problems like:

  • sticky keys
  • squeaky pedals
  • ringing dampers
  • chipped ivories or missing keytops

A: Yes, there are all problems that can be fixed on-site, either as part of reconditioning or maintenance.

Q: How do I move my piano?
A: Do NOT do it yourself!!! Even most of the regular (furniture) movers don’t have the equipment or the knowledge how to move a piano without damaging it. I receive lot of calls about repairing moving damages, like broken legs, scratched finish, in some cases movers even dropped the pianos…

I strongly recommend to call a professional piano mover, like Big and Gentle Movers (please find information under “Related”), so you can avoid damage (not just to your piano, but maybe even your home or building, or yourself…), aggravation and anxiety.

Q; Is financing available if I buy a piano from you?
A: Unfortunately, this option is currently not available, but you can contact all the major banks like Chase, Citibank, etc, for financing options.

Q: How should I clean the keys of my piano?