From The Blog Of Ric Overton...

A Guide: What Is Piano Voicing?

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

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