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(800) 738-8633 (800) RE-TUNED

The Largest Piano Tuning and Service Organization in the Western United States Exceeding Your Expectations Since 1976

  • An association of piano technicians, working under the guidance of Shawn Skylark, a highly acclaimed concert tuner with over 36 years of experience
  • The only piano service to offer a money-back, 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Whatever type of piano you have, whatever level of service you require, we have the right technician for you!
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New Piano Information

Why Does a New Piano Need Tuning?

For anyone who is new to the world of pianos, it is sometimes surprising to learn how much service a new piano requires. Most of the time when we buy something new it arrives in perfect condition, and we expect that to last for a while before we have to invest any more money into it's maintenance or repair. Pianos are the opposite. A new piano requires much more care and service when it is new. If it receives proper care in it's early years of use, it will remain in better condition, and stay in tune better for years to come, and is likely to require less frequent tuning in the future.

Why is this? Because pianos use tightly stretched steel wires to generate their tone, and each one of these strings is under about 200 lbs. of tension! Once the string is pulled tight it immediately begins to stretch, slowly reducing it's tension and lowering it's frequency, or pitch. It will keep dropping in pitch, but less so as it's tension is lowered, until it is tuned again. The process of tuning and stretching usually takes about six to eight tunings before the new strings are fully stretched out. At that point we say the piano is stable, and will stay in tune much longer. So, if a new piano is tuned only once per year it may take up to six years or longer before the piano actually tends to stay in tune!

It is for this reason that almost all manufacturers recommend that new pianos be tuned at least twice per year, and most recommend three or four times the first year. The more you tune a piano in the first two years, the better it will sound for the rest of it's "life."

I Just Bought a New Piano; Do I Need To Use the Tuner My Dealer Assigns?

That depends. Almost all new piano dealers include in the sale price all or part of the cost of a tuning and service in your home after the piano is delivered. This is prudent, because so many pianos arrive in the customer's home and soon develop normal but annoying problems as the piano adjusts to the new environment. Also, they know that the tuning is likely to drift badly, and so to keep the customers happy they make sure that a technician goes out to tune the piano and make any normal repairs and adjustments.

Many times the tuner they send is excellent and well qualified, but not always. Sometimes this job goes to the "lowest bidder," the inexperienced tuner looking for practice or tuners who for other reasons cannot keep busy with private clients, and who will charge the store considerably less than the going rate. This was one of the problems we tried to solve with the our dealers. By personally guaranteeing the quality of service the tuners provided they could control costs while remaining confident that their customers were getting VIP service.

If you would like us to handle your first service on your new piano, just give us a call and we will contact your dealer to see if we can arrange it. Most dealers are happy to use an "outside" technician if the customers requests it.

Why Does My New Piano Have Sticky Keys?

The mechanism, or action, of your piano is made of wood. The parts that move do so in a collar of felt (bushing) or with some kind of felt cushion. Both wood and felt tend to pick up moisture from the air and can swell, causing the new parts to get a little tight. This is the most common problem in new pianos. It is very easy to fix and in no way indicates any serious defect. It's just one of the things new pianos sometimes do.

If you press a key down and it comes back up slowly, or just stays down, that is what is generally called a "sticky" key. Every part that moves in the piano has an optimum "fit." If it is too loose the mechanism can be noisy and hard to control, but if any of the moving parts has too much friction the key will be slow. Often it is just the actual key, and sometimes the cause is deeper in the action. Sometimes this is a warranty issue, if the factory failed to properly fit the parts, but usually it is a normal part of piano "acclimating." Only a trained technician can tell the difference, and only a technician who is recognized by the manufacturer will usually be allowed to make a warranty claim. The good news is that these are almost always simple problems that stay fixed once they are addressed.

Why Does My New Piano Have a "Ringing" Sound?

When you play a key and lift your finger, the note stops because a felt pad is pressed against the string, assisted either by gravity or springs. These pads are known as dampers. It is not unusual for the dampers to need adjusting to properly fit the strings, and if they are misaligned they will let some tone "leak" through. Often in new grands the wires that support the damper heads are too tight in the guide felt. This too is common, but easy to fix.

Occasionally a client will describe a "ringing" in the bass strings. especially when they are hit hard. Sometimes these frequencies are coming form harmonics that are a normal part of the tone, but not always desirable. A good technician should be able to quickly identify this source of "ringing." Usually it cannot be completely eliminated, but sometimes it can be reduced.

Why Does My New Piano Have a "Buzzing" Sound On Some Keys?

A piano puts out a great deal of energy when played. Any part of the cabinet, or metal parts, (hinges, etc.) can vibrate if loose, and often in new pianos the cabinet is also settling as a result of changing average humidity. Once the loose part is located and tightened the buzz goes away. Sometimes it is coming form debris inside the piano which can be located and removed, and occasionally the buzz is coming from a source outside the piano; a window pane or picture frame glass on a nearby shelf, for example! Very rarely, there is some structural defect, such as a loose sound board, which in a new piano would be a warranty issue. Only an experienced technician can best determine the cause and remedy.

We Specialize in:
  • Bosendorfer
  • Steinway
  • Petrof
  • Schimmel
  • Yamaha