Archive for May, 2010

Press Release – Urlich Sauter

Monday, May 31st, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

To:   All Art,  Music and Community Editors, Piano Music Lovers

June 3rd and 4th  2010, San Diego: Come and Meet Carl Ulrich SauterMaster Piano Builder, Whose Family Name Still Appears On Pianos After 192 Years.

PianoSD.com is pleased to announce the visit to San Diego of the Sauter company’s owner and operator, Carl Ulrich Sauter.  Mr. Sauter’s name appears on every piano manufactured by the Sauter Pianoforte Manufactur Company which has the tradition of building pianos since 1819—the longest family owned piano company in the world.  “Its survival is owed to the instruments built with Tradition, Quality & Style.” describes Ric Overton of Piano SD. “Mr. Sauter is coming to insure the integrity of the Sauter name, his very own, in North America.”

Relatively new in San Diego, Sauter started with its young founder assisting in the building of pianos for Ludwig van Beethoven. Since then, the piano company has remained in the family, carried the family name and continued with its vast knowledge of piano style and construction throughout many decades.   While the oldest, it is also innovative.  By combining visual sophistication and unequal sound productions, Sauter is definitely a leader.

Sauter Pianos are known for their unique and superb designs.In the words of Carl Ulrich Sauter himself: “We just do not care about phony marketing strategies and target groups. We follow our dream to build the best upright or grand piano of the world and ensure that today there is a broad choice of real instruments that are far superior to the corporate cookie cutter manufacturers.”   Sauter pianos qualify in every way among the best-made pianos in the world.   Caring musicians select the brand for its sound qualities.

Ric Overton, owner of Piano SD, will host a public meeting for Mr. Sauter on June 3, and a chapter meeting of Piano Technical Guild on June 4.   “At PianoSD.com”, says Overton, “we strive to make people happy and make music fun. With a strong emphasis on music education, we want people to understand what they are buying and understand music. Our goal is to make PianoSD.com a place where Music, Education and the Arts come together, this is why we are delighted to host Mr. Sauter and have everyone meet the man who leads the oldest piano manufacturer that still operates under its family name.”

Contact Information

Ric Overton
Owner, PianoSD.com

Cross Country Shippers

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

I have had several calls about cross country shipping and what to do with the piano.  Hopefully, I might be able to give you some insight as to what we look at.

We do cross country moves in conjunction with another company that actually takes the piano from our storage facility here at PianoSD.com in Mission Valley in San Diego, Ca. and delivers it to the location that it is going to.  Here’s how it works:

You have a need to move your piano from here to another state or a distance that is further than our normal Southern California route.  Precision Piano Moving at www.precisionpianomoving.net goes and picks your piano up and brings it to our facility here.  We prearrange a pick up with a company called Walter Piano Transport out of Indiana.

Walter Piano  Transport guys are the only guys in the country that I would trust my most valuable possession (my piano) or (your piano)to travel a long distance. They blanket your piano carefully and secure it in their trailers that are designed to move pianos only.  They do not move cars, furniture or motorcycles, only pianos.  Thier website is www.WalterPianoTransport.com and the ladies are Hope and Tina and can most definitely answer your questions and take care of you.Moving the piano securely

Once they pick the piano up from our facility it is then carried either directly to its destination or to a piano moving service in your area where they can trust it to be offloaded and delivered in a timely and safe manner.

Moving in a long haul trailer that is packed with all types of furniture, and other belongings can be quite difficult on a piano particularly when the people that are moving are inexperienced.  Moving is never easy but especially when it comes to a piano.  All kinds of tragic stories come to the  office here about people getting pianos that have been scratched, damaged or harmed in some way.  The easiest, cheapest and best alternative is to hire a professional.

Local moves have certainly been addressed on our blog before but as a reminder PianoSD.com moves pianos in Southern California from Carlsbad, San Marcos, Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla and even as far north as Los Angeles. We move with a company that is called Precision Piano Moving at www.PrecisionPianoMoving.net they also work in tandem with our tuner Paul McCloud at Accutone Piano Tuning www.pianoservsd.com to tune the piano after delivery.  Walter Transport is our only choice on long distant moves at www.WalterPianoTransport.com

Stop by and see us sometime, we would love to meet you.

Ric Overton

Cleaning Your Piano

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Cleaning is never fun and easy but, it is something that must be done from time to time.

What we use in the store is a polish that is designed specifically for the high polish pianos.  Although the easiest and simplest way to do the cleaning is by using a very soft and lintless cloth like a cheesecloth or old soft T-shirt works wonders.  I say to dampen the cloth a little but only to the smallest extent and my adage is to wash your hands, rinse the soap off well and then dry them on the cloth that you are going to use to dust.  In other words very lightly damp.

Dust Bunnies

If your piano has a wood grain or a satin finish then do the same thing except be sure to wipe with the grain of the wood.  NEVER EVER use furniture polish to clean your piano.  It is not good for the piano and it will take a long time to get the residue off.

Use the same technique when wiping off your keys.  DO NOT use polish or cleaner of any kind EVER to clean your keys.  If they are ivory this is not good at all because in many cases it will cause the ivory to absorb the polish and the keys will simply come off.

Here’s the tricky part.  If you have a grand piano dust will inevitably get onto the soundboard of the piano (that piece of wood that is under the big metal plate) and if you are like me at all this will make you insane.  Please do not attempt to clean that yourself.  Call a certified technician which you can find at www.PTG.org and tell them you need to clean your soundboard and have your piano tuned.  Paul McCloud at Accutone Piano Tuning www.pianoservsd.com is the guy we use here at PianoSD.com in Mission Valley in San Diego, California.

If you live in a particular humid area of San Diego for example like Carlsbad or La Jolla, you will notice that the dust will “stick” to the soundboard a little more than if you live in a drier climate like Rancho Santa Fe or San Marcos.  In the cases that the climate is a little drier you will notice that the dust gets in quicker but is a little easier removed.  However, in either case please call a certified tech to come out to do the work at his next tuning, but, let him know when you set your appointment that your piano needs a thourough cleaning that way he is prepared.

If you need some polish that is designed specifically for the piano you can find it here at PianoSD.com.

Drop by and say hello sometime we would love to meet you.

Ric Overton

4 DAY MEMORIAL DAY SALE

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
Roiland Pianos,Bechstein Pianos, Pearl River Pianos save hundreds on these and more.

DONT MISS IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Real or Fake ?

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

I hear more than my share of talk about real or fake pianos.  Some people have actually commented that they don’t like fake pianos.  They were talking of course about digital pianos. 

Although there are certainly some arguments about accoustic vs. digital pianos, there are still people who would prefer accoustic pianos over digital pianos.  I recently had a discussion with a gentleman from Carlsbad who told me that he was convinced that the digital piano was a terrible thing to learn on – that is until he actually sat down and played one.  He was so overjoyed with the digital piano that he purchased one on the spot.

We have many piano teachers who are turning to digital now too.  Teachers are finding many ways to use digital that was never possible before.  You can record, use computer functions to help you compose, always in perfect pitch, automatic transpose, easily transportable, heat and humidity dont effect it at all, several voices to choose from which give you the capabilities to play and entire orchestra score with recording and really the list goes on.

 httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpnsZKmuO0Q

Of course, the accoustic piano will never disappear but, we are finding that more and more people are turning to digital pianos as an alternative for use with more demanding music that is being performed today.

The touch is very realistic and the sound is incredible.  I know when I was first introduced to the idea of digital piano I was not completely sold, however, once I understood the basics of how digitals operated I was just absolutley thrilled with the possibilities that the digital world opened to me. 

We have customers from many parts of  San Diego such as Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla and San Marcos that have become real fans of the Roland digital pianos because of thier realism in touch, tone and clarity of sound.  More information can be found at www.RolandUS.com

If you have any questions or comments feel free to let me know and I will try to help you.  Feel free to stop by our store located in the heart of Mission Valley in San Diego, California.

Stop by and see us we would love to meet you.

Ric Overton

Zack Zinser and Ric Overton LIVE At PianoSD.com

Monday, May 24th, 2010

We had a slight technical difficulty with our router during this performance from the wonderful Zack Zinser, so we cut the segment into 5 chunks that may be viewed here.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

A Guide: What Is Piano Voicing?

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about voicing on the piano.

When you purchase a new piano you will find nuances about your piano that make it individual.  The tone of the piano is generally the one thing that stands out immediately.  Perhaps you like a brighter sound or more mellow sound a full sound or more thin sound.  It all depends on you and your likes.  I happen to lean to a tone  that is round and full but at the same time a little more stable than the next person.

Generally, all of the things I have just spoken about can be dealt with through a process called voicing.  Voicing involves the shaping of hammers, and addressing the density of the felts on the hammers.  Hammers have an ideal shape.  Each hammer should strike each one of the strings in their particular set.  In other words, each note has either one, two or three strings.  When the hammer comes up to strike the string each string should be struck in order to hear the complete sound of the intended note.

The hardness of the hammers will have a huge effect on the tone as well.  Once we have been able to determine your taste then we must set the hardness of each hammer.  If the hammer is harder then we have to pin the hammer.  We use a device that actually goes into the hammer itself and then moved around a little to seperate the wools in the hammer and actually make it less dense to produce a more mellow tone.  If the hammer is softer then we have to iron the hammer making the wools more dense and creating a more bright sound.

Paul McCloud of Accutone Piano Tuning www.pianoservsd.com does a lot of voicing for us.  We want the piano to sound very good when the cusomter makes their initial trip into PianoSD.com in Mission Valley, San Diego, California.  After the sale if we need to make some changes then we can.  Its often hard to drive from La Jolla or Rancho Santa Fe to go through this process so we can actually do this in a persons home in a short amount of time.

The differences in humidity, heat and sunlight can also techinically have an effect on the voicing of the piano too.  If you live in Carlsbad as opposed to San Marcos you may need to make a certain amount of allowances for that as well.  Only a technician can decide that for you.

The Standard of Excellence

In any case, voicing of your hammers should never ever be attempted by someone without experience so a qualified technician should be able to help you.  If you are in San Diego area I of course, would suggest Accutone Piano Tuning at www.pianoservsd.com of you can visit www.PTG.org to find a technician in your area.

Stop by the store sometime, we would love to meet you.

Ric Overton

Finding the one

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

I just read an article from www.PianoWorld.com that discussed finding the one.  The “one” of course being the piano of your dreams.  The one she found was an old piano that was in not so great of shape but the one that she really liked the best.

It is vitally important when you are choosing a piano that you find the one you love.  It may not meet the idea that you started with or what you had in mind when you started looking.  The name brand is far less important than the tone, touch and clarity you get when you play the piano of your dreams. 

Of course you have to look at the overall condition of the piano and have a piano technician like Paul McCloud at Accutone Piano Service www.pianoservsd.com go out and be sure there is nothing technically wrong with it.  The move is the second thing to consider which you can find a qualified piano mover through Precision Piano Moving www.precisionpianomoving.net .

Location is also an important thing.  If you live in La Jolla for example that is a little more humid than say Rancho Santa Fe.  Or if you are in Carlsbad as opposed to San Marcos you must be aware that humidity levels may need to be addressed. 

The most important thing to consider is whether or not you like the piano and the guy that is selling it to you.  If you love the piano-buy it. 

There are several questions you have to ask yourself BEFORE you buy the piano that you have been looking for.  We hope that you will feel welcome at PianoSD.com in Mission Valley in San Diego, to visit, ask questions and perhaps get a little education if you need it.  We always welcome those discussions about the piano.  We are all very passionate about the instrument and would lobe to be able to put a piano in your home or direct you to the right place to buy what you are looking for.

If you have any questions that I can help with please feel free to let me know or simply drop by the store sometime and say hello.  We would love to meet you.

Ric Overton

San Diego Cello Choir

Friday, May 21st, 2010

For several months the San Diego Cello Choir has been using the PianoSD Performance Hall.  I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed hearing them perfect thier craft.  It is such a joy to hear these fine musicians that travel as far as La Jolla,Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Carlsbad, Chula Vista and yes even some of the talent is from San Diego. 

Many of the folks that meet with us in Mission Valley are employees and members of the San Diego Opera as well as the San Diego Symphony and several other leading perfomance groups in San Diego.  Each week they join us for 2 -3 hours of rehearsal time as they work towards a goal of putting together a performance at a venue that has yet to be determined.

The San Diego Cello Choir

The San Diego Cello Choir

If you will look close you may recognize somme of these talented folks that are working hard to bring you a performance that you won’t soon forget.  Keep watching my blog and events for a time and place that you will have the pleasure of hearing these guys under the watchful eyes and skilled hands of William Zauscher.  If you have a chance, drop me a line and I will explain how you can either be a part of this group or perhaps simply get you in to hear a rehearsal.

Thank you to Tom Czwornog for bringing music in a different way to PianoSD.com and to the people of San Diego.

Drop by and see us sometime, we would love to meet you.

Ric Overton

Neat story about a customer of ours

Thursday, May 20th, 2010
I am (unfortunately) a lover of older uprights.  We recently took in an old piano that was from 1889 that was in really, really, bad shape at first glance. Waiting for the opportunity to go to the local dump, I took a shot at some new refinishing products, just to see how they worked and “low and behold” the finish under the black and grey exterior was an absolutely beautiful burled walnut.

I spent the next few days working on the finish while a tuner friend began to “try his hand” at the older action parts and such. It was more a labor of love and to gain some experience than anything else. After a few bucks in parts, the piano was sounding pretty good. By this time we had named the piano, you know guys have to name everything for some reason, Carla. The tech was leaving for a few days and I put a note on the piano that said “I’ll miss you while you’re gone” and signed the note “Carla”.

The next week a lady came in searching for a particular piano that we had in the back of the store, we went back and after playing the piano that she had come to see started to leave and noticed “Carla” over to the side. She immediately walked over to the piano, asked who Carla was and I explained that it was just a name we had made up as a joke and it stuck. She began to cry and told me that her twin sisters name was Carla and that she would buy the piano when we were finished with it.

After we delivered the piano and some months later the customer called to tell me that only a few days after she got the piano in her home she was diagnosed with cancer but, the piano had made her recovery so much easier because she felt and immediate attatchment to it.

Sometimes, its the unexpected surprise that makes it all worth while.

Ric Overton

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