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#2686890 11/03/17 03:38 PM
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Jason74 Offline OP
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Hi all,

I'm a long time lurker and occasional contributor to these boards. As many of you know, I have a Yamaha YUS5, which I've had for a few years now, and have been very happy with. However, I've struggled to find the right technician to look after it. The guy I used for years moved away from the industry, and I've tried three or four people since. All have been OK, but I haven't found someone who I'm really comfortable with.And certainly none of them have got the piano to sound quite as impressive as it did when it first arrived in my house having been prepped by Will Venables.

Does anyone who lives any where near London have a suggestion of someone who I should try ?. Any help would be much appreciated

Many thanks

Jason

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No experienced professional will respond to an open casting call, especially one worded quite like this one. I would mistrust any that did.
Have Venables’ come out and spend a day on it. Sounds like that’s what it is due for anyway. They may know someone who knows how to (and might be willing to) handle this situation.


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


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Amanda has a great solution.

Have Venables come out and spend some time with the piano. After a few years of play the organic parts within the action (felt, leather, etc.) compress a bit giving us what is called "lost motion". The parts do not interact with each other as they did when new. This is easily regulated.

Also some light voicing might be due.

Good luck,


Rich Galassini
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Jason74 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by rXd
No experienced professional will respond to an open casting call, especially one worded quite like this one. I would mistrust any that did.
Have Venables’ come out and spend a day on it. Sounds like that’s what it is due for anyway. They may know someone who knows how to (and might be willing to) handle this situation.


Thanks for that. To be honest, this wasn't intended as a "casting call" so apologies if that's how it came across.tI'd never put out that kind of call, for the very reasons you state (and if I was going to do something like that, I'd put it in the tuner technicians forum).

The original post was looking for piano owners who have technicians they are happy with to make recommendations. In an ideal world, I would like Venables to come out and spend some time on it, but distance is understandably prohibitive from their point of view (I'm the best part of 100 miles away), so I'm trying to find someone as good as them to look after the piano for me . . . .a tough ask it would appear.

Last edited by Jason74; 11/05/17 05:59 AM.
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Don't know if this would be of any help or where abouts you are in London?, but I recently bought a very nice old piano from Handel Pianos in Sunningdale Berkshire (I believe they cover the London area).

They did a good job setting my Bosendorfer 170, and also a lovely french polish on it. Maybe if they are local you could try them?, or if not they maybe able to recommend someone near you.

Sorry, I forgot to say they deal in new Yamahas as well as some other top brands like Bechstein and Bosendorfer. I should also add i visited the Venables showroom a couple of times, so I know how well set up their pianos are.

Last edited by DavidDorset; 11/05/17 06:25 AM.
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Your exact situation is more commonplace than you might think so don’t take any of this personally.

As I have said, and was repeated far more diplomatically and in more detail from 3,000 miles away, your piano will need some servicing. You have fond memories of your piano at it’s most perfect but that was some years ago.

Venables maintains a network of the finest technicians that can cover all but the most remote locations. They can repeat the servicing that your piano had all those years ago, possibly even by the very same person. How perfect would that be? Even though people change, pianos change, memories change. ....
Fine piano technicians are travelling the country and beyond all the time. It’s all available to you.

It will take a whole day, maybe two, your piano is no longer brand new. There will be travel and possibly overnight expenses. Yes, not inexpensive, but far less than you might have spent on your car in the same time period no matter how far you drove it, and a protection of all you have vested in your piano, emotionally and monetarily.

Of course, you may continue to go round in circles.


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


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Originally Posted by rXd
Venables maintains a network of the finest technicians that can cover all but the most remote locations.


Do they?, I thought they were mainly just sales with an excellent initial set-up, apologies if I'm wrong. I doubt Will Venanles would come out himself to service the piano, but sure they might be able to recommend someone in the area if those avenues haven't already been used.

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Jason74 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by rXd
Your exact situation is more commonplace than you might think so don’t take any of this personally.

As I have said, and was repeated far more diplomatically and in more detail from 3,000 miles away, your piano will need some servicing. You have fond memories of your piano at it’s most perfect but that was some years ago.

Venables maintains a network of the finest technicians that can cover all but the most remote locations. They can repeat the servicing that your piano had all those years ago, possibly even by the very same person. How perfect would that be? Even though people change, pianos change, memories change. ....
Fine piano technicians are travelling the country and beyond all the time. It’s all available to you.

It will take a whole day, maybe two, your piano is no longer brand new. There will be travel and possibly overnight expenses. Yes, not inexpensive, but far less than you might have spent on your car in the same time period no matter how far you drove it, and a protection of all you have vested in your piano, emotionally and monetarily.

Of course, you may continue to go round in circles.


I actually don't disagree with much of this at all. The piano is actually only three years old, but of course that's long enough for it to need some proper work beyond just tuning..But I'm certainly not averse to spending the time and money to keep it tip top. My piano does after all have huge importance to me. My family apart, music is one of my two great passions in life (despite my being a truly awful pianist!). On a practical level, the piano is (apart from houses) the most expensive thing i've ever bought, and by a distance the most valuable thing I own. And on a sentimental level, it was (although I did the searching and chose it) a gift from my Mum not that long before she died, as she wanted me to have a really nice piano.

So from a utility, investment, and sentimental point of view, the piano is important. I'm happy to spend money keeping it as good as it can be. All I need is to find someone to take on the job who is going to do it well. I was spoiled for many years in that I had a truly fabulous tech who used to get my old grey market U1 sounding better than it had any right to. He's left the business now and has proved hard to replace. You're perhaps right that going back to Venables and finding out who covers this part of the world for them would be a good start

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All professional tuners are familiar with this scenario.

I recently retired from being that one in a million tuner to far too many people. I’m not boasting because there must be a million of us out there, just like me. Each tuner on this forum holds that esteem with more clients than they might think. It’s not something you find out until the few years after you attempt to retire and as they try to replace you. I restrict my practice to conservatoire work and helping out with scheduled concert tunings. .....the organisation of my work is looked after by others. I just turn up, in gardening clothes if I choose.
I recommended some of my highly respected colleagues to my abandoned clients. It was embarrassing for me because they were also labelled inadequate. Where does one manage to find more than one’s share of inadequate tuners?

This story became more and more recognisable with every sentence.
Most fine pianos are handed down through families one way or another. Few of them these days get much in the way of maintenance that the original owner might have expected. Many become a bit of an encumbrance to the inheriting family. That’s often how fine pianos come onto the market.
Some of the ancient tuning departments in London carried out contracts to tune pianos four times a year with money left specifically for that purpose in a legacy. This is just an interesting byway.

2-5 years from purchase is an ideal settling period before servicing. I mention Venables because they are still in business, know your piano and seem to have a similar emotional value to you as your tuner did. Will himself just might feel ready for a road or rail trip. “Restore to last reset point” might be the most comfortable way of moving on.

A regular experienced tuner establishes a chain of connected fine tunings over the years so that a piano gets more and more stable as time rolls on. Sometimes to where it can miss some tunings with little ill effect. An inexperienced tuner may break that chain by totally altering the established pattern of tunings. Possibly by following some misguided “new” tuning fad as interminably promoted on forums. Electronic tuners often unnecessarily re-invent the wheel this way. The operative rarely gets to really understand the subtle pitch migrations of each piano over time.

Good luck.


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


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It has been a while since this was first posted, but if the OP is still looking for a technician, I know of Christopher Lee. He works with Robert Morley and Co. I first got in touch with him over one of those cool pianos they manufactured. He is in Lo don and his email is Chris200179@hotmail.com.

Good luck,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Company
Visit one of our four locations
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Jason74 Offline OP
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Thanks for that Rich .The Morley connection is certainly encouraging. It's a place i'm a big fan of, and very nearly bought a Bechstein from there not long before I got my Yamaha (the piano was truly beautiful, but I ultimately just couldn't justify the price to myself). It's the right part of town for me too, I've alsohad a couple of good recommendations via PMs so I'm confident I can find the right tech. Thanks so much to everyone who's replied, I really appreciate it


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