Posted by: damon4pianos | March 14, 2015

Piano Stabilization – First Priority!

piano-keyboard-keys-1183477Wood is a hydro-scopic material, that is, it absorbs moisture from the air of its own personal environment.  When the air is humid, wood expands and conversely, when dry, wood contracts.  A piano is 80% wood and 20% cast iron, steel, screws, felt and polymers.  All this wood is “under tremendous tension” due to glue-joints, laminating large wood planks for shaping and bending, back-post solid frame construction for load bearing capacity and, of course, the dignified solid wood soundboard to resound a quality rich tonal resonance for a “lifetime of musical enjoyment.”  The ideal humidity level for a piano is 45% moisture content in the room its in, however, this only exists in a “perfect world” which is practically unattainable so there are (2) important steps to ensure your piano will maintain stability while it remains in its original place and room of location.

FIRST:  “Let it acclimate 6 – 8 weeks BEFORE you have any service done!”  Having it tuned before acclimation (settling of all wood parts) is a waste of your money.  ALL acoustic pianos, i.e. their wood parts, expand and contract during this period so as the moisture in the wood IS EQUAL to the moisture in the room.  All these parts and under stress and tension which emphasizes that the settling process is of the utmost importance!  Once acclimation is completed, then, tuning is a must to stabilize your instrument, however, this is the first of (2) stabilizations that is needed THE FIRST YEAR ONLY!   The 1st tuning brings the piano up to pitch and acclimation is stabilized.

SECOND:  After the 1st tuning takes place, the tuning stability and tolerances need to be stabilized and this takes place (6) months following the “first tuning takes place.”  This second tuning and service ensures that your piano’s tuning stability is settled and tempered.  You only apply this – the first year and FIRST YEAR ONLY!  Your piano will then “literally sparkle” in terms of tone and touch!  By neglecting this 2nd stabilization “within the first year,” your piano will go out of tune every 6 – 7 months because its tension and tolerances has NEVER BEEN SETTLED AND CHECKED IN PLACE!  The 2nd stabilization ensures that your piano will stay in tune so much longer and when it starts to go “out of tune”, it does so evenly from top to bottom so as to lessen erratic stress on glue joints and tolerances!  From hence forth, you should tune your piano no less than “once every two years!”

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