Protecting your investment

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Protecting your investment

As a Steinway factory trained voicing and regulating specialist, Willem has the knowledge to voice and regulate any piano. Tuning the piano is like adding gas and oil to the car. Regulating and voicing are like changing the oil and filter and lubing the ball joints. They should be done on a regular basis to keep the piano playing and sounding its best so that you will get the most enjoyment out of your piano, and to protect your investment. Together we can improve the piano’s pitch, touch and tone.

Each piano has its own characteristic, in the way it feels and the way it sounds. How the keys feel when the piano is played is referred to as the touch. The way the piano sounds is referred to as the tone.

 The Touch

On some pianos the keys are easy to play, while on other pianos the keys need a little extra push or force to play. An easy touch is not necessarily bad, and neither is a firm touch. It’s all a matter of personal taste. But if you don’t like the way the keys on your piano play, the piano can be adjusted with a process called regulating.

 Regulating

Regulating is an exacting art that requires patience and persistence where the technician makes approximately 20 – 25 adjustments on each key. For pianos that are played on a regular basis, it’s a process that should be done about every 5 or 6 years. However, there are times when regulating the action cannot be done because the parts are worn out from being played. An experienced piano technician should be able to make recommendations about what your piano needs.

The Tone

Just as the touch of the piano is unique for each piano, the same is true for the way the piano sounds, referred to as the tone. The tone of a piano is not the same as the tuning. Tuning is a process of adjusting all the strings so that they are in harmony with each other. While the tone of some pianos can be very mellow, the tone of other pianos can very bright. And just as a heavy touch is not good or bad, a bright sound is not bad, and neither is a mellow sound. Again, it’s all a matter of personal choice. To change the tone of a piano is a process called voicing

Voicing

Voicing is a process that makes the tone of all the notes sound the same. After the piano is tuned, the technician carefully listens to the tone of each note. The tone is then changed by a process of filing and/or sticking needles into the felt of the hammer, or adding lacquer or other solvent to the top of the hammers. Although voicing is usually done to a piano to assure that all the notes sounds the same, it is not intended to change the overall tone of the whole piano. In some instances, however, this can be done, but it is a difficult process, and should only be considered under extreme circumstances.

Voicing is a very exacting process, which takes a lot of skill and experience. While regulating your piano should be done once every 5 or 6 years, a piano should be voiced at least once every two or three years, depending on how much the instrument is played. But before the piano can be voiced, it needs to be regulated. The whole process can take up to 8 hours, depending on the overall quality of the piano and how long it has been since the piano was regulated and voiced.