Posts Tagged ‘www.PTG.org’

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

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

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