1. Can any piano be repaired?
Almost all piano can be repaired and bring back to life due to availability of spare parts like felts, strings, and leathers. With the quality of finishes and parts available most pianos can look and sound as good as when new.
2. What does is done during service of the piano?
Depending on the condition, repairs include the action, soundboard, tuning pins, conditioning of tuning pin block, replacing strings and also repairing and refurbishing of the action. We only repair or replace parts. Repairs are sometimes needed for the bridge or soundboard.
3. When does a piano need a new tuning pinblock and tuning pins?
When the tuning of a piano is not stable, it is usually due to the deterioration of the tuning pinblock. When the integrity of the tuning block is compromised due to time and fluctuation of temperature and humidity, the laminated pinblock will separate and lost their ability to hold the tuning pins securely. Replacing the tuning block is considered a major repair job. Sometimes we use less drastic measures to repair tuning instability.
4. Do we need to replace hammers?
Piano hammers are compressed felts that strike the strings to produce sound, due to constantly striking the strings causing it to wear. After long and heavy use, the hammers may wear out and need to be changed or sanded down. In heavy use the hammers will need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years.
If the hammers are grooved and not too heavily with enough felt, they may be sanded or filed back to shape and hardness.
When you have the hammers replaced, there are other work needed to be made to bring the piano back to its factory specification. Normally the shanks, flanges and knuckles need to be changed as well. When the piano gets a new set of hammers the action needs to be regulated and the hammers voiced.
5. When to restring the piano?
Restringing the piano means changing or replacing the complete set of strings including the bass and treble strings. A piano need to be restring when the string cannot hold the tone quality and resilience.
The duration of restringing depends on many factors, including how heavily the piano is used, the environment, the quality of the strings installed and the regular maintenance of the piano.
When you piano does not sound rich and deep with good resonant and the bass sound muffled or dead and the overall tone is missing, then it’s time to consider restringing.
Stings can only be stretched to a certain extend. After repeated tuning during its lifetime it loses its elasticity and will not vibrate like it used to when strike by the hammer. Rusty and oxidation can also shorten a string’s life. The copper winding in the bass string may gather dust and worse become loose which lead to poor bass quality. Then it’s time to consider restringing your piano. Sometime we can save cost by only changing the dead strings. This can only be a temporary measure as the budget does not allow a new set of strings.
Strings are also replaced when changing the piano’s tuning pin block. This is done because the strings need to be taken out when doing tuning pin block change. Sometime strings are also replaced when repairs are done to soundboard and the bridges which entails taking out all the strings.