The good news is that most pianos can be repaired. It is very rare that we come across an instrument where repair is either not possible or economically unfeasible. This spinet was in a house fire and is an example of one I would recommend not repairing.
What is involved in repairing my piano?
Pianos have a lot of moving parts and a piano repair can include anything from fixing a ‘stuck key’ to rebuilding an entire instrument. We have rebuilt pianos as old as 120 years.
A simple repair can be done during a tuning service call, depending upon the nature of the problem. More complex problems require bringing the action or piano to the shop.
Sometimes the work costs more than the piano is worth. This is a spinet action; it is very labor intensive to work on for such a small, inexpensive piano.
I typically do an evaluation during a tuning, and discuss any immediate or future work you might want to do on your piano.
My Minimum Service Charge is $75. This covers a quick touch-up, an evaluation of repairs, or a service call for repairs that doesn't include a tuning.
What is Piano Regulation?
Regulation is the process of adjusting the action, keyboard, and pedals to work correctly. These are subtle adjustments of the 35-plus parts per key needs to be even and smooth so that the piano will sound and play its best.
Pianos need to be regulated regularly to perform well. Imbalances in regulation are caused by normal wear and climatic fluctuations. These cause a piano a “typical” amount of wear and tear indicating a need for a regulation every 5 to 10 years.
This is what it looks like to replace the center pins (the small hinge pins at each joint) on a grand. It takes about 15 minutes per pin; there are about 5 centerpins per key.
Regulation involves repinning as needed, as well as replacement of parts, aligning, leveling, shaping, and regulating a dozen other specifications throughout the action.
A full regulation ranges anywhere from $2000 to $3000, and parts can sometimes be done incrementally if desired. This particular Steinway had some sluggish keys, so the owner opted to fix only the worst ones. That kind of work is an hourly cost of $75/hour.
Have you recently acquired a piano?
If you are considering a new-to-you piano, please give me a call. I can evaluate the piano you are considering and help make sure you get a great piano for your investment.
I can best check and evaluate your piano while tuning it. Then we can discuss any issues or repairs needed more thoroughly.