Usually it takes about 1-1/4 to 2 hours depending on the need for a pitch adjustment. If repairs are needed it would take longer depending on the work involved..
Minor repairs are included in the tuning fee. If it's only one or two small items that take just a few minutes to fix there would be no charge. After examination we will let you know if a repair(s) is included in the tuning fee or if there would be an additional charge before we do the repair or adjustment.
What is a double tuning?
"Double tuning" is a term sometimes used to refer to a pitch raise (see below) combined with a tuning. Since the technician must actually go through and adjust all of the strings two times; once for the pitch raise and then again to tune the piano.
When a piano has been neglected for several years, the pitch of the piano (normally A440 cycles per second) can decrease from the wire (strings) being under constant tension and not tuned. In order for the tuning to be fairly stable after such neglect, the pitch must be set first by bringing it up to A440 after which it can be tuned. If the pitch raise is not done, the piano will not be as stable nor will it sound good. In fact it may sound even worse than it did before it was tuned. Raising the pitch is essential for stability in the tuning process.
A piano appraisal is useful for at least two reasons. First, if you have an expensive piano or one that would be hard to replace, such as an older piano that has been with the family a long time, having the value in writing for the insurance company will help you to recover your loss in some way if the instrument is damaged or destroyed. Another reason for an appraisal would be to have the value of the piano in writing for any prospective buyers to reference when considering your asking price.
There are at least two reasons for having a piano evaluated. The first is for the piano buyer's benefit. It's similar to the reason why a person would hire a mechanic to check out a used car before purchase. A piano technician can look for several things that a buyer may not be aware of that would decrease the value of the instrument and in some cases render it useless. It also gives the buyer a complete picture of the condition, as well as any repairs or adjustments that are needed. This puts the buyer in a position of knowledge to negotiate a fair price with the seller who probably also was not fully aware of the piano's true condition.
The second reason would be for the seller who, with the information at hand, is in a better position to sell the piano for its real value. With knowledge of the needed repairs or adjustments, the seller may choose to make them before the sale or inform the buyer of what is needed. This can deter any resentment on either side of the deal and actually be an advantage to the seller. When a buyer sees the honesty and frankness of the seller and that he went to the extent of having the evaluation, the buyer is put more at ease and is thankful to have this information before purchase. If they like the instrument, this information could 'seal the deal' as they say.
Another reason for an evaluation would be for the owners education. It lets them know the condition of the piano and what might be done in the future to improve its playability and value. This might be good for someone who has inherited a piano and needs to know what they have.
Yes. When a piano is being tuned by ear and even by machine it important that other noises do not interfere with the hearing process or the microphone picking up the piano sounds. Quietness is the important thing. There can be sounds but the volume needs to be low enough so the technician can do his work without distraction. Generally, the quieter it is, the better job the technician will be able to do.
The cleaning usually refers to just the inside of the string area on a grand piano which is called the "belly" of the piano. Everything you see there would be cleaned including: the tuning pin area under the music desk (where you set your sheet music), the strings themselves, assessable parts pf the soundboard (under the strings), the plate (big metal thingamajig holding the strings) and the inside rim around al of this. Cleaning and polishing the exterior and hardware can also be included.
No. You don't have to do any repairs that you don't feel like doing or can't afford. Any type of repairs to a piano including replacing or repairing broken strings will only improve how the machine (piano) functions and help it from becoming more broken or worn. Of course many repairs also improve the sound and playability of the piano too.
The string cover does what its name says. It covers the whole area where the strings are on a grand piano including the area under the music desk (where you set you sheet music)
The reason for a string cover is twofold. First, it keeps dust from settling on the strings, soundboard tuning pins and the whole belly area (inside where the strings are). Second, it helps to keep humidity from settling on all the above mentioned parts which would cause corrosion, rust and mildew.
A string cover, however, will not stop high humidity from destroying a piano. It is only a deterrent and should be combined with a humidity control system for better protection from damage caused by high humidity.
If those aren't available, we have some great tools designed by a piano technician in California to get under the strings and clean off the soundboard. Dust seems to like that area. You can either purchase a set from us or hire us to do the cleaning for you.
Humidity control or climate control helps to keep the humidity level in and around your piano at the correct level. This can help with tuning stability and deter the formation of corrosion, rust and mildew. With a complete system (in the northern areas where there are cold winters) it will add humidity as well, to keep the piano from getting too dry in the winter. See our Climate Control page for more details.