Piano Tuning and Maintenance
Our piano service centre offers tuning appointments in Singapore. Our piano servicing is not limited to Steinway pianos alone – we will undertake piano tuning and other forms of piano servicing on any make of piano.
All of our piano tuning technicians are Steinway-trained and tune regularly for rehearsals, concerts, recording sessions, festivals, churches, music colleges and in private homes. We are confident therefore that we can provide the best quality technicians to attend to both piano tuning and to the minor technical piano servicing work that your piano may require from time to time.
This refers to the regulation of the action of your piano. The mechanism that transmits the pressure of your finger on the key to the hammer which strikes the string is called the action. This is a very sensitive mechanism which needs regulating to maintain the proper relation of each part with the other. A tuning technician can undertake minor regulation work such as individual sticking or stiff notes at the time of tuning, by prior arrangement.
Minor Technical Repairs
Our tuning technicians are also qualified to undertake minor technical repairs or maintenance such as broken strings, removal of foreign objects such as pencils from the action, minor toning or regulation work and internal cleaning. Please contact us for major repairs and maintenance.
If your piano has broken strings, please mention this when you book your piano tuning. The thin wire strings in the treble (the upper end) are easily replaceable. Our tuners carry reels of this wire in varying gauges with them. The copper-wound strings in the bass (the lower end) have to be specially made to order and will therefore take longer to replace. These are thicker and are less likely to break than those in the treble.
A lot of people can mistake the process of toning with tuning. The tonal quality of your grand or upright piano is down to the character of the felt that cover the hammers that strike the strings. With regular use of your piano felt becomes compressed hard and this causes the strings to cut into the surface. This causes the tonal quality to become quite harsh as a result. This problem can be resolved with an operation called voicing. Our tuners can undertake some voicing at the same time as tuning, by prior arrangement.
From time to time dust may build up inside your piano. You may also occasionally experience problems with pests. Our technicians can advise you about this. We are happy to carry out the cleaning of the inside of your piano for you by prior arrangement. The process takes from approximately half to one hour.
Examinations for Valuation or for Repair
If you wish to have your piano valued for insurance or probate purposes we can send a tuner to carry out the examination. Please note that we are unable to advise you on the spot. The examination report is sent to our Service Centre who will then contact you in writing. If you would like a quote for major servicing work carried out to your Steinway piano, we can send a technician to fill out a report upon which our service centre will base their written quote to you for the work necessary. The charge for carrying out this examination will be refunded to you when the work goes ahead.
We operate a contract system whereby signing a contract for 2 or more tunings per year will gain you a discount on each piano tuning. We also offer a discount for tuning multiple pianos at one address and tuning package for other brand pianos. Please contact the service centre for further information about our prices and contract system.
Professional Acoustic Consultation
Create the perfect environment for your Steinway to display its superb harmonics and tonal qualities. Our partnering Professional Acoustic Consultants will work with you in a coordinated effort to provide accurate and concise resolutions to controlling sounds of the everyday environment. Be it enhancing the acoustical environment or special rooms, minimizing noise pollution or improving auditory sound perception, Alpha Acoustics will strive to provide an optimum acoustic solution, tailored to your vision of the perfect piano space.
The typical process would first involve a meeting to understand your requirements and the Steinway you have selected. This will be complemented with a site inspection to understand the current acoustic environment (or a review of the intended space if its currently under construction), after which our consultants will prepare a proposal on the appropriate treatment(s) which will bridge the gap between the current acoustic environment and the optimal acoustic environment for your Steinway. Validation of the final acoustic environment is achieved objectively via acoustic measurements and a room data sheet with the acoustic parameters of your room will be presented for your reference. Our team can also prepare on request 3D Acoustic modelling of the spaces for detailed pattern of reverberation, echoes, focusing, absorption and sound scattering as well as presentation of sound files of auralized spaces (3D modelling) with various treatment options for exquisite acoustics, cost optimisation and architectural excellence.
One of the consideration when selecting a grand piano is the size. A 9ft Concert Grand in a 15’x15’ room is as out of place as a 45’’ vertical piano on the stage of Carnegie Hall. A good general rule is that if you will be selecting a piano for its tonal quality and harmonic richness, you will want to get the largest instrument possible for the room. Since every room is acoustically different, it is hard to establish a rule of thumb for everyone. However, in an effort to simplify matters, it is generally best if a room is at least four times the size of the instrument. When trying to plan your room and visualize the piano in, contact us to arrange for a complimentary sizing consultation.
Caring for your Steinway
Wood and felt are highly sensitive to extreme changes in temperature and humidity. During the heating period a standard good-quality humidifier should be used to control and regulate humidity. The most favourable environment for your piano is a relative humidity ranging between 45% and 70% and a constant temperature of approximately 20°C. Sudden fluctuations in temperature must be avoided as the tuning and regulation might be influenced negatively.
Use a slightly moistened, natural leather cloth to clean the keys. Make sure that no moisture trickles down the sides of the keys.
Choose a place with the right atmospheric conditions, preferably against the inside wall of a room and not close to windows, outside doors and radiators or heating outlets. Special supports for the castors protect your floor covering. When not in use, you should ensure that the top of your instrument is closed, to prevent dust collecting inside.
Regulation is the adjustment of the action and should be carried out at regular intervals, in order to ensure an optimal uniformity of touch and play. Even if ambient conditions are satisfactory, regulations should be carried out at regular intervals.
Very particular care is given to the manufacture of a Steinway, and repairs are very rarely necessary. However, if the need arises, do make sure that repair work is solely carried out by an authorised and skilled technician. It is essential that only originally packed Steinway spare parts are used.
If at all possible, we recommend a constant room temperature of 20°C (see also “Ambient Conditions”).
A Steinway requires expert care. You should leave all service, like cleaning, tuning, voicing, regulation or eventual repairs, in the skilled hands of an authorized Steinway technician, otherwise you will lose your right to claim under warranty.
Irrespective of whether high polish or satin finish, your piano should only be wiped with a soft, dry piece of cloth or a slightly moistened leather cloth. We strongly advise you to refrain from using furniture polish as it contains waxes and in some cases silicone. Any later re-treatment of the surface will then be very expensive.
Remember the high value of your Steinway and only allow specialist carriers to transport your piano. Make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage.
The proper pitch (440 Hz = concert pitch a1) is set by stretching the strings. We recommend frequent tuning during the first year, as the material must adapt to the immense tension. It takes a year for tuning to “settle.” Afterwards your piano should be tuned at least twice a year. The pitch should be kept at a constant level. When the pitch is frequently lowered or raised, the instrument is much less likely to remain in tune.
The character of each individual note is formed by pricking the hammer felt in a radial fashion. Voicing demands extensive expertise and should be left to the judgment of an authorised Steinway technician.
The surface of your piano is highly sensitive to sun, so make sure it is not affected by direct sunlight.
Important information relating to grand pianos with double wheel casters and brakes:
The casters allow easy movement and positioning of the grand piano. There is, however, a risk that the grand piano may move of its own accord if its casters are not locked by the brakes.
In the event of uncontrolled movement people may be injured or property damaged. It is therefore important to lock the casters of the grand piano using the brakes as soon as the instrument is in position, particularly after being transported.
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