Landis Piano Service: Piano Tuning - Piano Repair - Piano Restoration

Serving musicians and the performing arts community of Southeastern Pennsylvania since 1978
Piano Services
Piano Tuning and Pitch Raising
Piano TuningEach piano is made primarily of wood, and is adversely affected by changes in climate, especially humidity fluctuations. These changes in humidity result in the swelling and contracting of the soundboard, (which is made of spruce wood), that in turn causes increases or decreases in string tension. The end result being, as the string tension changes, so does the tuning of the piano. To compensate for these changes, pianos which are played on a regular basis should be tuned at least twice per year. These regular tunings adjust for the changes in string tension which have occurred over the previous 6 months. Keep in mind, when you are learning to play the piano, you are training your ears as well as your fingers. So it is extremely important, even for beginners, to be hearing the correct pitches. Remember, keeping your piano in tune not only preserves the integrity of your instrument, but also makes playing a more enjoyable experience.

If a piano has gone without tuning for an extended period, its pitch may have dropped far below A- 440. This means that each of its approximately 220 strings needs to be tightened considerably, adding tremendous additional tension to the piano's structure. The problem is that as each string is tightened, the additional load causes the pitch of previously adjusted strings to change. Thus it is impossible to make a substantial change in pitch and end up with a fine, accurate tuning in one step. Instead, a process called "pitch raising" must first be done, in which all strings are raised to their correct average tension levels. (Likewise, when a piano's pitch is higher than standard, a pitch lowering procedure must be done to reduce string tensions to approximately correct levels.) Only then can the piano be accurately tuned. In other words, accurate tuning is only possible when all strings are so close to their proper tension that only small further changes are needed during tuning. These small changes then do not disturb the tuning of other strings.

Piano Repair, Regulation, and Voicing
RegulationRepair: Because pianos are a collection of hundreds of moving parts, many of which are made of wood or felt, sometimes you may have a note or notes that no longer function or respond as they should. This could be a result of humidity conditions, old worn parts, or something as simple as a loose glue joint. In many instances these malfunctions are minor, but should be attended to before further damage occurs. I have heard many times that a note may not have functioned for quite sometime, but the customer did not want to be a bother. If your piano is not playing properly it should be attended to. That is what we as technicians do and we are happy to repair even the smallest of issues.

Regulation: As a conscientious piano owner, you probably have your piano tuned regularly. You may, however, notice a deterioration of its performance despite regular tuning. It's important to note that tuning is only the adjustment of the system of strings and pins that determines the pitch of each string. Your piano also requires a periodic servicing called regulation. Regulation is the adjustment of the mechanical aspects of the pianos to compensate for the effects of wear, the compacting and settling of cloth, felt, and buckskin, as well as dimensional changes in wood and wool parts due to changes in humidity.

Voicing: Every piano has its own unique sound. Although the original design establishes the basic character of your piano's tone, it is sometimes possible to modify it to better suit your taste or restore its original tone if it has deteriorated with age. The process of modifying a piano's tone is called voicing. Voicing is the adjustment of a piano's tone or quality of sound. Tone can be changed without affecting the pitch. For example, turning the bass or treble knobs on your stereo changes the tone but does not alter the notes the musician recorded. It is important to note that the degree of change possible depends upon the piano's design and condition.

Piano Appraisals
Appraisals Whether you are selling a piano, buying a piano, or are in need of an appraisal for insurance purposes, I can provide you with an accurate evaluation of your instrument. It is important to remember when purchasing a used instrument, that there are things that can cause a piano to be unusable or very expensive to repair. Pianos do have a lifespan, therefore some instruments are not worthwhile repairing. So make sure that the investment you are making in an instrument will provide you with years of service and be musically satisfying before you purchase it.

Piano Restoration
Restoration Piano restoration can involve the replacement or extensive repair of one or more aspects of the pianos structure. From rebuilding of the action (all the moving parts in the pianos mechanism, hammers etc.), to restringing, to case work, it is possible to restore an old quality instrument to its original condition, adding years of life and enjoyment to a piano that no longer plays or sounds like it did when new.

Pinblocks and soundboards can be replaced as well, but are usually done only on finer quality grand pianos, as this involves considerable work and expense. Although I do not do my own case refinishing, Keim’s Refinishing in the Boyertown area offers the finest quality in refinishing, and I am happy to recommend him for all of your refinishing needs.

Not every piano is worth the cost of restoration. Quality of instruments varied greatly in the past, just as they do today. So, care should be taken to make sure that the cost of restoration does not eclipse the value of the piano. Careful evaluation of the instrument is needed to determine whether the piano is a candidate for restoration, or needs repairs instead.

Dampp Chaser Humidity Control Systems Sales and Installation
Dampp ChaserThe Piano Life Saver is a piano humidity control system. It keeps your piano on pitch and prevents damage from climate and environmental effects, giving you professional performance level tonal quality and keyboard control. Piano technicians and major piano manufacturers recommend installing the Piano Life Saver System to protect your piano’s internal parts, improve keyboard control, and maintain tuning stability. The System keeps piano humidity levels consistent by activating the Dehumidifier during highly humid conditions, and when the environment gets too dry, the Humidifier replaces moisture inside the piano.

The System is truly a lifesaver for piano maintenance, tuning, and combating dry or humid conditions that cause costly damage to your piano. Protect your investment by having our piano climate control system installed out of sight, inside your piano. Professional installation is required for warranty coverage and I am proud to be certified by Dampp Chaser as a Field Expert.
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