Posts Tagged ‘Accutone Piano Tuning’

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

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

Piano Regulation

Monday, May 10th, 2010

In yesterday’s blog I discussed piano tuning, today I thought I might touch on regulating a piano.

Generally speaking, regulation has little to do with the tone of the piano but, more to do with the way the piano feels while you are playing it.  Each part of the piano is made of wood and wool/felt with some metal parts.  On occasion the metal part needs small amounts of dry lubricant which can be applied by a technician only to help the parts move more freely.

At PianoSD.com we employ Accutone Piano Service, Paul McCloud who is a certified technician and can do this type of  procedure where he takes each of the 88 keys and weighs them to be sure the down weight (the amount of weight it takes to push the piano key) is correct.  He also measures the up weight (the velocity the key returns to its correct position) and makes adjustments where necessary. This can be a very tedious process because the piano technician has to insure that each piece of the piano is free to move.  Dry lubricant has to be applied at the right pivot points in order to obtain the maximum benefits for the piano.

As I said in my opening that regulation will not change the tone of the piano although it may appear to if you had a completely unregulated piano to start with and the technician brings it back to its proper regulation.  Paul McCloud of Accutone Piano Service here in Mission Valley at PianoSD.com will take each key individually and begin the process of being sure that each key not only weighs the right weight but, also the keys are free to move up and down and the hammers are free to move and play.

A proper regulation should take a couple of days 8-12 hours to complete if it is in really bad condition but after that the piano will most likely fell better than the day it was delivered to your home.  It will feel much more balanced and almost alive.  You can reach Paul McCloud of Accutone Piano Tuning at www.pianoservsd.com.

If you have questions regarding piano regulation I would be glad to help you.

Stop by sometime we would love to meet you

Ric Overton

Tuning Your Piano

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

I have had several people ask about piano tuning and I wanted to make a couple of comments to help people understand what this is all about.

Tuning simply brings each of the strings to the right tension point in order to make the correct sound when struck by the hammer.  The piano has an average of 215 to 250 strings depending on the scale design of the manufacturer.  Each of these strings has to be touched or at the very least addressed by the tuner when he is in the tuning process.  At PianoSD we use Accutone Piano Tuning almost exclusively  http://pianoservsd.com/ .  Although we have many friends who are tuners  in the area, Paul McCloud is on staff  here at PianoSD.com in Mission Valley, San Diego, Ca.   During the tuning process and having to check that the hammers are at the right distance from the strings, the hammer strikes at the right spot on the strings, the tone, etc.  can take some time.  It would not be uncommon for a tuner to spend 2 to 3 hours tuning an average piano.

Although the climate, humdity, the time spent playing, etc. can have an affect on the sound, your piano should be tuned every six months.  Even if the piano is in near perfect conditions 24/7 365 days a year, the piano should never go longer than 9 – 12 months at the very most between tunings.

The up keep on the piano is not expensive in contrast to the enjoyment or value of the instrument. Most tuners charge between $100.00 to $125.00 to tune.  You should ask if they are members of the Piano Technicians Guild.  You can find these technicians at www.PTG.org and simply do a search for your area.

PianoSD.com offers tuning and moving services as well as many other piano services and would be glad to help recommend someone in your area.  If you need assistance with tuning or any other service please contact us here at PianoSD.

Piano tuning is as important to the life of your piano as regular maintenance is to the life and health of your car.  However, please remember the piano will last longer, maintain its value longer and be in your family longer than any car you will ever own.

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

Ric Overton

PianoSD.com Store

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