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How muchis action regulation? #2327232
09/13/14 07:00 PM
09/13/14 07:00 PM
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dcnm50 Offline OP
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I went to see a 10 years old Kawai RX-2 today with a RPT, who told me that it needed all keys regulation at a cost of $2500, the owner said this was the first time he heard such things. The tech also told me it needed a humidifier/dehumidifier which would cost another $600, and some false notes could be fixed by replacing some strings, as well as other minor issues.

My question is: how often this action regulation should be done? Do all of you do this by spending a few thousands dollars every 5-10 years?

I did read the info from RPT website, but still not sure about it.

http://www.ptg.org/Scripts/4Disapi...._Document&DocID=59&MenuKey=Menu7

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Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327237
09/13/14 07:07 PM
09/13/14 07:07 PM
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Philadelphia area
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Dave B Offline
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Its very possible the piano would need this attention.

Did you ask the owner if they serviced the piano regularly? If not, that might explain why the owner would say, "This was the first time they heard of such things."


Enjoy


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327245
09/13/14 07:29 PM
09/13/14 07:29 PM
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Seattle Area
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Markarian Offline
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That's about right for a full regulation. I can't overstate how much of a difference it can make in the experience of playing a decent instrument. However, I am kind of curious why a nice Kasai that's only ten years old would need this kind of work. I'd negotiate aggressively on price if it's found that wanting.


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: Dave B] #2327247
09/13/14 07:33 PM
09/13/14 07:33 PM
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dcnm50 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Dave B
Its very possible the piano would need this attention.

Did you ask the owner if they serviced the piano regularly? If not, that might explain why the owner would say, "This was the first time they heard of such things."


Enjoy


Yes, Dave, I did ask the owner, who said the piano was regularly tuned by tech about twice a year. He said he played it a lot since they bought it in 2005 until a year or two ago. But, no tech ever told him this issue and no one mentioned it needed full regulation.

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Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327250
09/13/14 07:44 PM
09/13/14 07:44 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Actually, I'm surprised by that quote. Then it makes me wonder a bit that a D-C system was 'pushed' at the same time. Did he/she even ask about the HVAC system in your home?

A very detailed regulation should only take about 8 hours, usually much less if there are no repairs or parts needed. Somehow, I think that $312.50 per hour is a bit much. The job, with my techs usually runs $500-$1,000 depending on how critical the results need to be.

Kawais are stable instruments and don't require the same "fussing" as do wooden action parts. A 10 y/o Kawai action should still be in decent shape and not require much attention at all.

Much depends on where you live as far as price is concerned. Your climate is the indicator if you need the D-C system or not.



Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: Minnesota Marty] #2327252
09/13/14 07:54 PM
09/13/14 07:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
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Qubec, Canada
accordeur Online content
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Actually, I'm surprised by that quote. Then it makes me wonder a bit that a D-C system was 'pushed' at the same time. Did he/she even ask about the HVAC system in your home?

A very detailed regulation should only take about 8 hours, usually much less if there are no repairs or parts needed. Somehow, I think that $312.50 per hour is a bit much. The job, with my techs usually runs $500-$1,000 depending on how critical the results need to be.

Kawais are stable instruments and don't require the same "fussing" as do wooden action parts. A 10 y/o Kawai action should still be in decent shape and not require much attention at all.

Much depends on where you live as far as price is concerned. Your climate is the indicator if you need the D-C system or not.



Excellent post.


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: Minnesota Marty] #2327258
09/13/14 08:11 PM
09/13/14 08:11 PM
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dcnm50 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Actually, I'm surprised by that quote. Then it makes me wonder a bit that a D-C system was 'pushed' at the same time. Did he/she even ask about the HVAC system in your home?

A very detailed regulation should only take about 8 hours, usually much less if there are no repairs or parts needed. Somehow, I think that $312.50 per hour is a bit much. The job, with my techs usually runs $500-$1,000 depending on how critical the results need to be.

Kawais are stable instruments and don't require the same "fussing" as do wooden action parts. A 10 y/o Kawai action should still be in decent shape and not require much attention at all.

Much depends on where you live as far as price is concerned. Your climate is the indicator if you need the D-C system or not.



Thanks, Marty, for detailed explanation.

When we talked about the D-C issue, the seller said he has whole house D-C, so he did not put it in this piano. The tech said it still needed one to get to "perfect" condition.

About the regulation, the tech said he felt many keys more or less do have the action issue, not too bad, but do need adjustment now, especially it was never done before. We are in East coast, mid-atlantic area. I did not ask him if $2500 was negotiable, not sure if I should ask.

Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: Minnesota Marty] #2327259
09/13/14 08:12 PM
09/13/14 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Actually, I'm surprised by that quote. Then it makes me wonder a bit that a D-C system was 'pushed' at the same time. Did he/she even ask about the HVAC system in your home?

A very detailed regulation should only take about 8 hours, usually much less if there are no repairs or parts needed. Somehow, I think that $312.50 per hour is a bit much. The job, with my techs usually runs $500-$1,000 depending on how critical the results need to be.

Kawais are stable instruments and don't require the same "fussing" as do wooden action parts. A 10 y/o Kawai action should still be in decent shape and not require much attention at all.

Much depends on where you live as far as price is concerned. Your climate is the indicator if you need the D-C system or not.



That was my suspicion as well but was waiting for someone with a more experience to state it. I'm planning on getting my action adjusted/regulated and my tuner has given a ballpark figure of about 6-8 hours of work and I think he charges about $120/hr.

I don't want to judge the RPT but he's sort of reminding me of a stereotypical auto mechanic who's trying to take advantage of someone who doesn't understand cars/pianos that well.

Re the DC system, I don't buy it. I've read some pretty convincing arguments here that they don't really work. Doesn't mean they don't, but I'm not convinced yet.

But maybe the RPT is trying to do you a favor by making up all these unnecessary repairs so you can use that to haggle a better price.

Or if the piano really is in that bad of shape, if the seller played the heck out of it, I'd skip it and look for one in newer condition.

Last edited by michaelha; 09/13/14 08:13 PM.
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: BornInTheUSA] #2327263
09/13/14 08:25 PM
09/13/14 08:25 PM
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dcnm50 Offline OP
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[quote=michaelha
That was my suspicion as well but was waiting for someone with a more experience to state it. I'm planning on getting my action adjusted/regulated and my tuner has given a ballpark figure of about 6-8 hours of work and I think he charges about $120/hr.

I don't want to judge the RPT but he's sort of reminding me of a stereotypical auto mechanic who's trying to take advantage of someone who doesn't understand cars/pianos that well.

Re the DC system, I don't buy it. I've read some pretty convincing arguments here that they don't really work. Doesn't mean they don't, but I'm not convinced yet.

But maybe the RPT is trying to do you a favor by making up all these unnecessary repairs so you can use that to haggle a better price.

Or if the piano really is in that bad of shape, if the seller played the heck out of it, I'd skip it and look for one in newer condition. [/quote]

No, Michael.

The piano looks really in good shape and the tech said he would scale it 7-8 out of 10, but he did repeatedly address this regulation issue to me, and said it already pass-due, it should be done now if I will buy it.

About the D-C, I guess I could live without it for now.

Thanks.

Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327264
09/13/14 08:36 PM
09/13/14 08:36 PM
Joined: May 2012
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Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

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dcnm50,

About the Dampp-Chaser system, it is the environment in your home which is of concern. It would be best to purchase a hygrometer and check out the conditions in your home. That is the only way to tell. Going from a controlled environment to one which is not can be damaging to any piano.

I think that what people are responding to is the quote given for the regulation. I would ask around and get a second opinion. Remember, and RPT means nothing more than the passing of basic tests in the Piano Technicians Guild. It is not the full measure of competency nor a guarantee of ethical behavior.

I think that we are all trying to be polite in underplaying our initial responses. Personally, mine was "Say What !!??? "


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: Minnesota Marty] #2327272
09/13/14 09:02 PM
09/13/14 09:02 PM
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dcnm50 Offline OP
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Understood, Marty. I will ask around other RPTs near my home about the charge. It is probably a good piano, and I don't want to easily pass on just for this issue.

The seller said his home had full-house humidifier, and our home is new, though we don't have such system installed.

I'd like you initial response....."say what", Ha Ha Ha.....

Also, thank you everyone for being nice/polite, ^-^.

Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327273
09/13/14 09:08 PM
09/13/14 09:08 PM
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Bulgaria
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I wonder if where your house is located has an effect on more than humidity. Perhaps the tech varies his/her prices according to area.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: PhilipInChina] #2327282
09/13/14 09:43 PM
09/13/14 09:43 PM
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dcnm50 Offline OP
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The tech checked the piano in the seller's house, not mine.

I am about 50 miles from the seller's house in Mid-Atlantic area. I am not sure if the humidity is the issue in this region, but I am not expert at all. In general, I don't feel too much humid, maybe just me.

Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327283
09/13/14 09:49 PM
09/13/14 09:49 PM
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Columbus, GA
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S. Phillips Offline
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Columbus, GA
Since the technician didn't discover any real problems, such as loose tuning pins or rib separations, I would buy the piano if you think the price is fair. Regulation is not an overwhelming mechanical issue and put in perspective, nothing bad will happen to the piano if the regulation is not done.

After a good regulation, the action will be more responsive and the tone will be nicer. The hammers probably need filing and voicing but the tech is probably including that in the price. Once you get it in your home, you can get other estimates. It is very possible that action work could be done a little at a time or in partial stages rather than all at once.

Once you get the piano in regulation I recommend that you have the tech do action touch up at every tuning much like a concert technician would do if they are maintaining a concert grand. This doesn't cost much and will keep it sounding and feeling very good.

I would wait on the DC system until you have established that you need it. Buy a hygrometer and put it in the room with the piano and note the changes. I much prefer a whole house approach and if keeping the air conditioning on in the summer and adding some humidity in the winter keeps it between 40 and 60% you probably can easily go without the DC unit.





Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.pianoperfectllc.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: S. Phillips] #2327292
09/13/14 10:09 PM
09/13/14 10:09 PM
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dcnm50 Offline OP
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Thanks a lot, Sally.

As a piano laymen, I cannot completely understand these technical terms, but I will print it out to show other techs.

The tech said there was only one or two loose tuning pins which need to be replaced, and a few other minor issues that would cost a few hundreds dollars here and there. Yes, there is no major problems.

OK, here comes the most important question: what would be the fair price for 2004 Kawai RX-2 that was probably heavily played for 7-8 years until about a year ago (presumably regularly tuned), with the issues above? 7K? 8K? 9K? 10K? I don't think I would go beyond $10,000.

Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327293
09/13/14 10:10 PM
09/13/14 10:10 PM
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Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Sally's post is good. I will add that service prices can vary with the cost of living in a particular market. If the keys are being re-bushed along with reshaping hammers and regulating, the fee is not out of line at all.

I like the de-humidifier part of the Damp Chaser system if you put enough wattage in and mount the rods along the beams rather than under. That way the heat gets up near the board when humidity rises. Wood takes on humidity about five times as fast as it will loose moisture-so having the heaters with the control can really help flatten out humidity spikes. I don't like the hot water bucket. Room humidifier or whole house systems work much better.


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Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327306
09/13/14 11:07 PM
09/13/14 11:07 PM
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Oakland
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I would get another opinion on this piano. It sounds like this tech is padding the bill, but if he is not, a 10-year-old piano that has loose pins is not one that I would recommend. I would not diagnose "only one or two loose tuning pins which need to be replaced" without tuning the entire piano, and I would not tune the piano on an inspection.


Semipro Tech
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: BDB] #2327308
09/13/14 11:30 PM
09/13/14 11:30 PM
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BDB, this tech spent about an hour to tune the most of the piano until the sell had guest coming over for dinner, and I suggested him to just stop there. He said it was overall a good piano(7-8 out of 10), and told me about full regulation issue, climate control system ($600), sound false beats (need to replace strings, about $75 each, the more, the cheaper) and one loose tuning, interior cleaning issue ($150).

He said he's been working piano tech for 40+ years, a very nice gentleman, looks very knowledge and honest. I have enough reasons to respect him, even this is my first time to meet him.

Before this full regulation thing, I am almost ready to jump for it. Now, please me know, if I should pass it just because one loose tuning for a 10 years old piano?

I simply wanted him to do the general inspection, but he said he could only find the problem after he dose tuning, so I let him go on.

BTW, please, everyone, what price is fair? 7-10K?

Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327309
09/13/14 11:36 PM
09/13/14 11:36 PM
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Oakland
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Pass on it. If what you are saying is true, it has too many problems to bother with, no matter what the price.


Semipro Tech
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: BDB] #2327310
09/13/14 11:48 PM
09/13/14 11:48 PM
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BDB, you probably can tell that I am hesitating to let it go....I might get it for around 8k, so if I spend another (let's say) 2k for most of these issues excluding DC, plus moving and others, I am looking at $11000 for a 2004 Kawai RX-2, it is impossible to get it from any dealer across the states.

Another thing I have to tell you, the seller has posted it for 9 months and over 900+ views, it does make me wondering why it stays there for such a long time. I bet someone already check it out before....guessing of course.

To be honest, I don't know what to do.

Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327314
09/14/14 12:19 AM
09/14/14 12:19 AM
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Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

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May I suggest that you have another inspection by a different tech.

If that piano has been well kept, a pin block shouldn't be failing after 10 years. If it had regular tunings up until a year ago, it should not have been so out of tune that an inspection would have been impossible. Did the tuning sound that bad to you?

Personally, I'm not sure if the info you have been given by the tech has been accurate. If it is accurate, those are too many red flags for a 10 y/o Kawai. Are the sellers the original owners? Have you verified the serial number to confirm the age of the piano?

One of two things seems to be a dog. Without a second inspection, it is impossible to tell which.

How much did you pay for the inspection? Or, were you told that the inspection would be free if you agreed to use his services in the future?

These are all things to think about.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: Minnesota Marty] #2327320
09/14/14 01:01 AM
09/14/14 01:01 AM
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dcnm50 Offline OP
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Thank you, Marty, for nice suggestion.

I paid $150, he almost did all the tuning for about 1 hour 10 mins.

I completely respect your advice about having second rot to check it, but I am really not sure if I should spend another $150 .

The seller is original owner with paperwork. I have verified the serial number that is made in 2004.

You all are right....too many things to worry. I think I would cool off for a few days.

Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327329
09/14/14 01:56 AM
09/14/14 01:56 AM
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I want to endorse the idea of having a 2nd tech look at this piano (assuming that you're still interested). Sadly, there are people in the world who are so desperate to make a buck that they will lie to you about a piano in the hopes that they can convince you to pay them to do a lot of work that it either doesn't need, or that far exceeds its value. Read here about my 1st experience with an RPT. Since you have already hired them for their "expertise," they seek to exploit your trust to their own advantage, and that may be the case here.

dcnm50, I also want to encourage you to be a little more specific about where you're located. It will help people here make recommendations about trusted techs who could help you, but also because I have a really funny feeling about this. You say mid Atlantic region, but if we're talking about Maryland, I'd really like to know it. This guy's MO sounds strangely familiar to me.


if you're content with A V E R A G E . . . then just do what everyone else does
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327347
09/14/14 03:35 AM
09/14/14 03:35 AM
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Arkansas
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supersport Online content
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Hi,

You need to confirm the age exactly and when it was first sold since the Kawai warranty is 10 years and might come into play if it has loose tuning pins.


David



Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: supersport] #2327389
09/14/14 09:28 AM
09/14/14 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by supersport
Hi,

You need to confirm the age exactly and when it was first sold since the Kawai warranty is 10 years and might come into play if it has loose tuning pins.


Hi, Dave,

I did confirm it was made in 2004 by its serial number. It was sold in 2005, the seller has original paperwork from dealer, looks like invoice (pink paper), but without selling price on it. I also asked him to contact Kawai about the full regulation next week, and let me know the result.

Thanks.

Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: Retsacnal] #2327391
09/14/14 09:35 AM
09/14/14 09:35 AM
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dcnm50 Offline OP
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Retsacnal,

Just sent you a PM about location.

Yes, it is in MD.

Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327396
09/14/14 09:56 AM
09/14/14 09:56 AM
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Columbus, GA
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S. Phillips Offline
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The amount of work done in regulating is directly related to the amount of playing and maintenance that a piano has had. The folks at Kawai won't be able to help much in this regard unless they can inspect the piano personally. There is no way of telling how many hours the technician will need to do the work because every piano will change in regulation depending on the wear of the action. A home piano that is played several hours a week will need much less than a practice room piano that is played 12 hours a day.

If the piano action needs repining, hammer filing, key rebushing etc it may take three times as long as a piano that simply needs be touch up regulated. No one at Kawai will be able to predict these conditions so there is really no set price for service. Basically it takes as long as it takes given the skill and experience of the technician. Most skilled technicians will charge somewhere around $120 per hour or more depending on the general prices in the market. This job could take as few as 5-8 hours or 20+.

Here is my article on regulation which may serve to clarify some of your questions.
http://www.pianobuyer.com/PDFarchive/2012_PerformanceQualityPianos.pdf



Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.pianoperfectllc.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327434
09/14/14 11:45 AM
09/14/14 11:45 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 586
Arkansas
S
supersport Online content
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supersport  Online Content
500 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 586
Arkansas
I really wasn't referencing the regulation since that would be a normal maintenance item but if the pin block is failing would or could that be a warranty issue?


David



Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327511
09/14/14 06:42 PM
09/14/14 06:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,395
SouthWest Michigan
R
Roger Ransom Offline
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Roger Ransom  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
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SouthWest Michigan
How does it feel, play and sound. Are the keys pretty even and feel about alike? Do the notes sound pretty even? Are there a bunch of sticky keys? Etc.

It also matters how critical you are and how well you play (I don't know you). Maybe ask someone else that plays give it a try and see what they think.

You may not immediately need a big regulation. If it's not too bad maybe you should take it home and just play it until YOU think it needs a lot of adjustments.


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Re: How muchis action regulation? [Re: dcnm50] #2327518
09/14/14 06:56 PM
09/14/14 06:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 607
Los Angeles
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Gatsbee13 Offline
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Gatsbee13  Offline
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Los Angeles
since were on the topic of regulation.. how much would it roughly cost for a complete regulation of an upright.. mine is a Charles Walter console (43")

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