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#2295484 06/26/14 07:47 PM
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How many people have had trouble finding a good piano technician?

I did a little research and found out that new piano sales in the US in 2007 was about the same as during the depression, and had been steadily declining since about 1978. http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/uspiano.htm

I wonder if this has affected how easy or hard it is to find a technician in one's geographical area.

Last edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT; 06/26/14 07:52 PM.
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In my immediate geographic area we have approximately half a dozen technicians that can do top quality tuning and maintenance (regulation, replace a string, and so on). In addition several of them are top quality piano rebuilders.

There are also technicians who do poor work. I've seen some shockingly bad work.


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My tech is affiliated with the well respected shop where we got the pianos. No trick to it.


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Hi Mark,

I think it's hard to find a good piano tech. I once called a RPT I thought would be excellent. His tuning was impeccable, but his regulation work was next to useless. Most of all, we didn't like his grumpy attitude even though we were polite and nice with him. We felt he didn't like his work anymore or maybe that our baby grand wasn't "good enough" for him or something.

I never called a tech again, bought some tools and I'm now tuning/regulating the piano myself. My partner is a pianist too and she's happy with the work I do.

Also, about your link, I saw those statistics before. I think it's interesting to see that despite uprights sales going down and being partially "replaced" by digital pianos, grand pianos sales remain much more stable.

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I think its hard to find a good piano tech. Many of the very good ones don't sound too eager to take on a new client. Just as importantly, its hard to find one you can trust.


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I don't think that the number of new piano sales is necessarily a good guide to the ability of piano techs to earn a living in their field. In a recession, or any time when money becomes tight, people who have pianos are going to cut back on tunings, etc., irrespective of whether the pianos are new or not.

A further note on the numerical trends in the OP: I would bet that sales have declined a whole lot since 2007. The so-called great recession really got underway in 2008, which has to have caused a radical decline since then.

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Bosendorff,

Good for you. How did you learn? Do you use an ETD? I bet a lot of piano owners are wondering the same thing you did; could I learn to do this myself?


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Originally Posted by Grandman
I think its hard to find a good piano tech. Many of the very good ones don't sound too eager to take on a new client. Just as importantly, its hard to find one you can trust.


Being in San Francisco Bay Area, there are good piano tech around but my problem is mine appears to be too busy to take care of ordinary folks like me. I have worked with him for just over three years. I like to have my piano serviced 4 or 5 times a year and usually schedule for appointment several weeks in advance but often my excellent tech just could not afford the time. I was bumped off his schedule rather abruptly recently when Murray Perahia came to town; then last week he was tuning for San Francisco Symphony and could not make it to my home. Now I am hoping to see him next week, keeping my fingers crossed.


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I've had a number of good techs when I lived in the Washington, D.C. Area. After moving to the Delaware shore not so much. Finally found a great young tech and rebuilder ( Bennett School Grad) in Denton Md which is about 40 miles away.

Rich


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Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Good for you. How did you learn? Do you use an ETD? I bet a lot of piano owners are wondering the same thing you did; could I learn to do this myself?

I'm "self-taught" and use TuneLab. I can't tune a temperament aurally, but I use my ears to tune the wound strings, etc.

I wouldn't recommend it to other owners though, unless they are meticulous, careful and patient. But if I can do it, I'm sure others can too.

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Third time's the charm for me here in Central Jersey. The first really wasn't good, and the second tuner I tried made the first one look great...

The tuner I use now is extremely professional and knowledgable. Only person I will let tune my Walter now.



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Originally Posted by Bosendorff
I never called a tech again, bought some tools and I'm now tuning/regulating the piano myself. My partner is a pianist too and she's happy with the work I do.
Good for you! That is exactly how and why I started--it was never intended to be such a epic quest; I was just trying to help.

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I found my tuner on Angie's List. Turns out he was a student of the same tech I took a course from about 45 years ago.

I'll do some regulation and repair myself, but I leave the tuning to Matthew. The consequences of getting on the wrong pin and breaking a string make it not worth the risk. On a smaller, more common piano I might chance it. Not on the 1929 Knabe concert grand.



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There's only two real piano technicians who have ever set foot in my house and touched any of my pianos. The first was the local RPT, a nice guy whom I've purchased some piano wire and asked for advice a time or two... he inspected one of my pianos that was up for sale for an interested buyer.

The second was a concert piano technician I met here on Piano World, Sally Phillips. Wow, what a piano technician! I got her to tune my C7 and check some of my own work that I had done on it. She was complementary on some things and critical on others, but that is why I called her.

I knew she was special when she told me that she had tuned for several very well known performing artist and celebrities over the years. In fact, she made me feel like a celebrity!

I honestly don't think they get any better than Sally Phillips! smile

Rick


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I found my RPT through my first piano teacher. A classically trained pianist himself, I not only get first class tuning and whatever else is needed, I also get a mini-concert as he tries it out! Somehow, it never sounds like that when I play laugh


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