Alex Fender © Fender Piano Services 2013 - 2019
Tel: 0800 233 5440 - Mobile: 07725 120137
Tuning is always carried out in the traditional way - by ear. I have never used an electronic device to tune a piano and never will!
Electronic tuners are not capable of hearing the harmonics in the same way that the human ear can.
Regulation is important to keep the mechanism (action) operating smoothly. Over time felt wears down creating ‘gaps’. These gaps need to be taken up by altering the position of the moving parts. There are more moving parts in a modern piano than there are in a car so it is necessary to ensure smooth operation to give the player the best experience possible.
Voicing is as important as tuning and regulation. The tone of each note needs to be the same so voicing is a process of altering each hammer to make every note even. Often, new pianos have a harsh sound due to the hardness of the hammer felt. Voicing is carried out to make the whole piano more mellow and pleasing to the ear. It is a skilled job and can often take a long time but really worth it in the end.
Re-shaping of the hammer heads is normally carried out on well played pianos. Over time the hammers bed in to the strings and deep grooves will be seen on the heads at the point of impact with the strings. Re-shaping is to remove the top layer of felt thus removing these grooves. This process can transform the sound of the piano.
You need your piano to sound at it’s best so I will always tune your piano to British Standard Pitch (A=440) where possible. Sometimes, if it has not been tuned for some years and requires the pitch raising to where it should be it will require an extra tuning a few weeks after the first to get it to stay on pitch.
From time to time something might break or stick, or perhaps on older pianos the felts have worn out. I offer the complete service from minor repairs that can be carried out in the home to complete action overhauls involving complete re-felting and replacement of worn out parts back in the workshop.
It’s quite rare for strings to break but when they do they can be replaced easily. The big bass strings are copper wound so have to be ordered to fit as they are ‘made to measure’. I carry a full stock of steel strings using only the top quality German Röslau piano wire.
Restoration or an overhaul of your piano is a cost effective option instead of buying a new one. Bear in mind that it is not a cheap option but will give the piano a new lease of life!
Restoration/overhaul involves replacing all the strings and tuning pins, cleaning and repairing soundboard and bridges, full action overhaul, new damper felts, pedal overhaul and many other parts serviced. There are options of new hammers, hammer re-covering or hammer re-shaping.
The piano must come into the workshop as it takes around 6 - 8 weeks to complete this major job.
Bechstein, Blüthner, Bösendorfer, Steinway, Yamaha, Kawai, Schimmel are the top names and nearly always worth restoring. Other makes require a bit more thought as to whether it’s worthwhile. It’s a good option for most grand pianos. The majority of upright pianos (apart from those names) need a bit of thought as it would cost as much as a newer piano. Of course, many pianos have great sentimental value and been in the family for years so I won’t dismiss an overhaul or restoration without discussing fully all the options first.