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Piano Tuning and Piano Repair Services provided in Burlington, Mississauga, Oakville, Hamilton, Etobicoke, Stoney Creek, Dundas, Ancaster, Milton, Brampton, Streetsville, Port Credit and West End Toronto.


 

 


 

Piano Tuning Cost $100.00 Plus tax

Piano tuning involves adjusting the tension of the strings to correct the pitch of individual strings to a pleasing musical sound. This can be done aurally (by ear) or with the use of an electronic tuning device that gives the technician a visual gauge to let them know when the string is at pitch. Either way the final judgment is always done by ear and various aural checks are performed throughout to ensure the best tuning possible on that particular instrument.

A “Standard Tuning Service” is $100.00 plus tax and includes:

  1. Open Piano (top and bottom)
  2.  Visually Inspect
    1. Case
    2. Keys - condition
    3. Action - clean, working properly
    4. Strings - shinny, rusty, any broken
    5. Soundboard - major visible cracks
    6. Bridges - split, cracking, eye lash cracks, loose pins
    7. Back frame & Plate - solid
  3. Check and Tighten
    1. Bench Bolts
    2. Pinblock Bolts
    3. All accessible Plate Screws
  4. Check and Adjust Pedals
  5. Play Piano and check
    1. Tone
    2. Continuity
  6. Spot Check Tuning Pin tightness
  7. Check Pitch
  8. Check Temperature and Relative Humidity
  9. Record all information for customer piano history.
  10. Tune to A440 standard pitch

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Pitch Raise/Lower $50.00 Plus tax 


Once a piano falls too far below pitch it is necessary to perform a pitch raise before a fine tuning can be accomplished. In a nut shell a pitch raise is a rough tuning with the sole intention to get the piano close enough to A440 concert pitch to allow a fine tuning. There are three good reasons to keep your piano at the proper pitch.

 

1. Possibly the most important reason to keep your piano at the proper pitch is in the case when children are using the piano as a practice piano to learn how to play. If the piano is left to go flat and not brought back up to pitch the children will develop an improper sense of pitch and will most likely start singing flat as well. 

 

 2. A piano that is left to go flat and then tuned to itself will sound somewhat dull compared to a piano that will come to life when brought up to pitch. Also if the piano is to be played as accompaniment with other instruments or vocalists then the correct pitch is very important. 

 

3. Mechanically speaking, pianos are designed and engineered to be tuned to A440 concert pitch. When at the proper pitch there is approximately 20 tons of tension on the plate (harp) created from the strings. The piano's soundboard has a slight crown (bow) to it that helps to contribute to the tone of the instrument. When tuned to A440 all of the tension from the strings on the plate helps to keep the soundboard’s crown in place. A piano that is left un-tuned for many years can lose its crown and much of the rich tone with it.


What would cause my Piano to go flat requiring the need for a pitch raise? What can be done to prevent it?

 

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Upright and Grand Piano Regulation

Piano regulating is a matter of making numerous adjustments to the pianos action (the moving parts) to optimize the performance and tonal quality of the instrument.

 

When the piano was manufactured and delivered to the dealer, the piano was initially regulated (setup) to very exact specifications. This allows the piano’s action to play or repeat as fast as possible and also have as broad a dynamic range as possible. The ability to play very fast and very quietly or very loud, with even continuity and uniformity across the entire keyboard is a sign of a well-regulated instrument.

 

As a piano ages and especially under heavy use it begins to wear and show signs of being “out of regulation”. Being that a pianos action is made mostly of wood, felt and buckskin, these materials begin to wear and compress and require the need for adjustment. While moderate wear can be dealt with through making actual adjustments to the action, severe wear as seen on older instruments usually requires replacing felt or leather in which case the action would need to be overhauled or reconditioned.

 

Pricing for piano regulations would be quoted as required. For more detailed information click on the link Vertical Regulation or Grand Regulation. For a condensed version click on Vertical Regulation short version or Grand Regulation short version
 

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Piano Voicing


 

Piano voicing affects the actual character and tonal quality of sound. It is the final step in preparing a piano, after all repairs have been made, a complete regulation has been performed and the piano has been tuned to concert pitch. Only then will piano hammers be voiced.

 

As some people prefer a soft silky mellow sound, others appreciate a more brilliant sizzle and yet others prefer something somewhere in between. It is largely subjective and is most commonly performed on newer pianos to meet a specific customer's preference or on older instruments to restore some tone that has been lost through years of use. It is always done when hammers are replaced and when they are first installed at the factory on a new piano.

 

Piano hammers are covered in a very hard compressed felt. By adjusting the elasticity and resilience of the felt, by either making the felt harder by applying a lacquer mixture or softer by needling the felt, various degrees of tone may be achieved. Imagine striking a piano string with the end of a wooden pencil and then imagine striking it with the soft eraser on the end of a pencil and how the sound would differ. Well in a very crude sense, this is what is being achieved by manipulating the felt on the hammers. Piano voicing is an art unto itself. 

 

Voicing is billed at $65.00 per hour

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Piano Repairs

Minor piano repairs may be performed quickly during a piano tuning and would be charged a nominal fee, depending on the specific situation. For instance sometimes a sticking key can be resolved in a few minutes and might be gratis if done during a scheduled piano tuning.

Make sure when booking a piano tuning that any piano repairs needed are mentioned so that adequate time may be scheduled to allow for the piano repair.

A minimum $65.00 service charge is applicable if a piano tuning is not scheduled. Otherwise piano repairs are billed at $65.00 per hour in 15-minute increments.

Major piano repairs will be quoted on an individual basis based on time and materials required. Labour would be charged at $65.00 per hour. Parts and materials would be quoted as required.

 

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Piano Key Top Replacement

KEY RECOVERING BEFORE KEY RECOVERING DURING KEY RECOVERING DURING KEY RECOVERING AFTER
Replacing broken, missing and badly discoloured piano key tops involves removing the keys from the piano, removing the old key tops from the keys, preparing the piano key surface for the new key tops, adhering new key tops to keys and reinstalling the keys in the piano. This does not include levelling keys, replacing under key felt, setting key height or dip. Call for pricing.

 

For more detailed information click on the link Keytop Replacement . For a condensed version click on Keytop Replacement short version.
 


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Piano Key Bushing Replacement

This procedure is done on older pianos when the felt bushings in the piano keys have reached their maximum wear causing excessive sideways movement of the keys. It involves removing the keys from the piano, removing the old balance rail bushing and the old front rail bushings, gluing new felt in place, reinstalling the keys in the piano and easing the keys. Call for pricing.

 

For more detailed information click on the link Key Bushing Replacement . For a condensed version click on Key Bushing Replacement short version.
 


 

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Piano Climate/Humidity Control


Unfortunately our Canadian climate has a very adverse affect on the well being of our cherished pianos. We have all experienced the high humidity in summer months, which can cause our doors to stick and how the sticky door mysteriously disappears in the dryer winter months. The reason is that wood is a very porous material and it literally sucks up the excessive moisture in the air during high levels of humidity causing the wood to expand. It is this expansion that causes the sticky door and then the opposite happens in the dry winter months as the wood dries out and the door shrinks no longer sticking any more. 

 

Pianos are made almost entirely of wood and they are just as susceptible to this expansion and contraction as your doors are; only it’s the piano’s pitch that is affected as well.  This will make the tuning and piano unstable with the pitch going sharp in summer and flat in winter.

 

You may have well noticed some of your antique furniture literally falling apart at the joints. This you may have assumed was because the glue just got old and dried out when in fact it is actually caused by fatigue in the joint from years and years of the pressures and forces caused by all this expansion and contraction. All this expansion and contraction is extremely hard on the piano’s soundboard, the pinblock, the case, the action and the keys. It is the main cause for cracked soundboards and week pin blocks that will no longer hold the tuning pins tight enough to allow for a viable tuning. These can be extremely costly repairs to have done and in most cases with the older upright pianos it is not a viable repair and the pianos are sent off to the dump.

 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!  Here is what you can do!

 

A climate control system is available by Dampp-Chaser called The Piano Life Saver, which is designed to constantly monitor and maintain the relative humidity (R.H.) inside your piano to remain at 42% R.H. that not only will stabilize the pitch of your piano avoiding the need for a pitch raise but will also extend the life and improve the quality and performance of the instrument for years to come, not to mention your enjoyment which after all is why we do this. Protect your investment and get all you can from your most cherished possession. Call for pricing. 

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Purchase Advice $65.00

The purpose here is not to advise or tell you "what" to buy but to prevent you from buying a PSO (piano shaped object). I have come to many people's homes to tune a piano that they had recently purchased only to have the unfortunate task of having to inform them that the piano they just bought is not tuneable and that the repairs needed would far exceed the value of the instrument after the repairs are completed.

 

Unless you are buying a piano from a Retail Piano Dealer which would come with a warranty or if you are buying through a private sale and you are "ABSOLUTELY" certain that the piano is in "playable" and "tuneable" condition, it is otherwise advisable to have someone with some degree of technical knowledge of pianos have a look at the instrument before you commit to making a purchase. In most cases if it's too good to be true, most likely it is and you need to proceed with caution and this sage old advice applies to pianos as much as anything else.

 

The first thing that should set off a red flag is "how does the piano sound". If it sounds horrible most likely it is and don't think or be told that all it needs is a good tuning. No Retail Piano Dealer would ever sell any pianos at all if they didn't have them periodically tuned and I have tuned pianos for private individuals who are intending to sell the instrument and they want it sound nice for when a perspective buyer comes to have a look and play the instrument. So you need to ask why the piano was not tuned. Just because it might "look" nice doesn't mean much. A piano that is only slightly out of tune is not a big red flag, but one that sounds nasty, probably sounds like that because there are some underlying problem(s).

 

As I first stated I won't tell you what to buy, but I will tell you what "NOT" to buy. Once you have decided that you are interested in a particular piano that is for sale we can arrange a convenient time to meet and I will inspect the piano and offer my opinion. I offer no warranty or call back if you do chose to purchase the instrument. That is solely between you and the seller. My only objective here is to prevent you from buying a piano that is no longer a musical instrument.

 

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Brass Rail Repair

 

Upright pianos built in the early part of the last century which has brass rails and flanges are now often having problems which need repair. For a complete explanation click the link Brass Rail PDF. For a condensed shorter version click Brass Rail Short Version PDF. Call for pricing.

 

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Bridle Strap Replacement

 

In an upright piano, bridle straps are leather straps that connect the hammer butt to the whippen assembly. Their main function is to keep these parts properly in place when the action is removed from the piano to make a repair. If these straps are broken which is most often the case on many older pianos, it makes reinstalling the action back into the piano a very difficult thing which can lead to parts being damaged. For a more complete detailed explanation click on the link Bridle Strap replacement. For a more condensed explanation click the link Bridle Strap replacement short version. Call for pricing.

 

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Cleaning inside your piano $100.00

One of the most overlooked areas is cleaning inside your piano. While this can done by the owner, it is really best left for a qualified professional to avoid any unfortunate mishaps. A thorough cleaning involves removing all case parts opening up both the top and bottom of the piano. The pianos' action is removed and taken outside to be blown out clean with an air compressor. Over the years dust accumulates inside the working parts of the action and can actually cause the leather and felt parts to prematurely wear. The damper rod is lubricated before the action is returned to the piano. The keysticks are removed and the keybed is cleaned and thoroughly vacuumed. The amount of dust and dirt that accumulates beneath the keys over the years is really unbelievable. Click on this link clean beneath the keys to see for yourself. As the pianist plays the piano, the down pressure of depressing a key causes the dust and dirt to fly up between the keys into the air in front of the person playing. If you suffer from allergies to dust this can cause sneezing and discomfort. The keytops are cleaned and the keypins are lubricated before the keysticks are returned to the piano. The entire top and bottom of the piano is thoroughly vacuumed before the case parts are returned and the piano is closed up. This service does not include cleaning or polishing the outside case, dealing only with the sensitive areas inside the piano.

 

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Hammer Reshaping 

 

After years of use, the felt on the pianos hammers begin to develop cuts and grooves that are caused by the hammers striking the strings. In extreme cases as found on most old pianos that have not had proper attention to the hammers, the strike point is badly misshaped and has become flattened instead of rounded. Once these grooves get to be about 2mm deep, the pianos' tone will begin to suffer. To restore the hammers back to their original shape, the felt is filed taking extreme care to remove only the least amount of felt required to restore the hammers' original shape and strike point. For a more complete explanation, click on the link Hammer Shaping. For a more condensed version click the link Hammer Shaping short version. Call for pricing.

 

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C.A. Glue Loose Tuning Pins

 

Unfortunately living in Canada can be extremely hard on our pianos. One of the worst enemies to the longevity of your piano is the wild swings in temperature and humidity that we experience through the changing seasons of the Canadian climate. The best prevention for the damage that is caused is to have a Dampp-Chaser climate control system installed to stop and prevent any further deterioration from occurring. Once the problem has reached a state that visible damage has occurred then there is a very good chance that other damages you cannot see but one that you will hear has also happened. The pin block in a piano is an integral part of the tuning system that ensures your piano will stay in tune. Once it has become damaged due to the extreme fluctuation of humidity the tuning pins become too loose to stay where the piano tuner sets them during a tuning. When your piano will no longer stay in tune as long as it should or is no longer even tuneable then most likely the pin block in your piano has become compromised. In a perfect world the pin block would be replaced and the piano would once again live to sing another song for years to come. Unfortunately replacing a pinblock in most pianos is not economically viable and would far exceed the value of the instrument. In this case a more economical cure is to use a treatment of C.A. Glue (cyanoacrylate) on the tuning pins to restore the necessary friction they require to stay where the piano tuner puts them while tuning your piano. For a more complete explanation click on the link C.A.Glue. For a more condensed version click on the link C.A.Glue short version. Call for pricing.

 

 

 

 

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Refelting the Key Bed 

 

Beneath the keys on your piano are many specially designed pieces of felt ment to perform various functions such as keep the keys quiet during play, set the key height, key dip and perfectly level the keys across the entire keyboard. Over time especially with heavy use these felts become compressed causing the key height, dip and level to go out of specification. This can cause notes to bobble (double strike) when played, not repeat when needed to, play unevenly and make controlling the dynamic range of the piano very difficult especially when playing pianisimo (quietly). Most older vintage pianos require the felts to be replaced. A sure sign that your piano is in need of this maintenance is badly out of level keys. For a more complete explanation click on the link Refelting the Key Bed. For a more condensed version click on the link Refelting the Key Bed short version. Call for pricing. 

 

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Bass String Replacement  

 

One of the alluring charms of a beatiful sounding piano is the full rich vibrant sound of the bass register. The bass register adds a depth of full rich tones to the piano that can make a real difference in your musical enjoyment and experience. Over the years many pianos loose this charm as the bass strings become less vibrant and often become what we refer to as `tubby sounding``. During the manufacturing process bass strings are wrapped in copper and over the course of time these copper windings loose some of their tension resulting in loss of tone. Additionally the small creases between the copper windings become filled with small particles of dirt and dust that further cause this loss of tone. At this point the bass strings need replacement. For a more complete explanation click on the link Bass String Replacement. For a more condensed version click on the link Bass String Replacement short version. Call for pricing.

 

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Maintenance for Vintage Upright Pianos  

 

For ideas and suggestions on what can be done to maintain and or improve your vintage upright piano and a complete explanation click on the link Vintage Upright Piano. For a more condensed version click on the link Vintage Upright Piano short version. Call for pricing.

 

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Maintenance for your Parlor Grand Piano

 

For ideas and suggestions on what can be done to maintain and or improve your parlor grand piano and a complete explanation click on the link Parlor Grand Piano. For a more condensed version click on the link Parlor Grand Piano short version. Call for pricing.

 

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