2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
74 members (brdwyguy, anotherscott, accordeur, 36251, antune, A. Lucato, adamcz, 16 invisible), 991 guests, and 477 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
M
MEKS Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
Hi Everyone,

To get my very old piano (+- 1920) tuned, I asked for a specialist. He told me that my piano strings had dropped down 3 notes. And that’s is a lot he told me. 1.5 notes is normal but 3 is much. So he tuned my piano, but 3 notes lower than normal.

He also said that it is risky to pull up the strings to the right tonality. Because the iron piano frame could collapse, caused by the string tension on the old piano frame.

The only solution would be to tune it up everyday for a bit a whole week and see if it would hold. So there is still a risk of collapsing. But therefore my piano need to be transported to his place which would cost a lot.

The piano is in very good condition regardless its age. I clean everything in and out the piano, replaced al springs and somme felt and lubricated every moving part in it. aswel as mechanic adjustments.

Is there a way that I could do that?

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263

The instrument will most likely require a pitch raise, then tuning in 14-21 days and then another tuning within 90 days. The timeline could possibly be shortened but we cannot hear the instrument nor inspect the framework here.

A piano does not require transport to a shop for pitch corrections.

Basically what has happened here is the technician chosen has taken money for straightening out a scale without improving the scale frequency which is a waste of your funding.

Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 253
B
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
B
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 253
I don't know your specifics but I suspect you could find a lot of experts that would disagree with your "expert" that thinks that raising the pitch slowly would be so much less risky than just raising the pitch on up.

About the only thing I might be a little careful about might be not getting one section of the scale at a much higher tension than another. The raising of the piano up to pitch would be done in steps but I see no reason to stretch that out over a week's time and a piano move to someone's shop. That should be able to be accomplished right where it is in a matter of an hour or two. (Yes, it will need some follow-up tuning in order for it to settle in to the normal pitch.)

I am a little cautious as you seem to have done a lot of the work on your piano yourself. Did I read correctly that you have replaced all of the strings already? That is typically one of the dangers in tuning an old piano that's dropped so far in pitch, string breakage. But if you've replaced them all, I rather doubt that that would be an issue for you.

Was there another reason that the "expert" was wanting to take the piano back to his shop? Does the piano have issues with the wooden framework that holds the metal plate? I have seen pianos where the framework of the piano behind the pinblock was seeing the glue joints failing and no longer supporting the pinblock area of the plate. Something like that could be an issue, and that might be an instance where a tech might want to take it back to their shop and fix that first, before trying to get the piano up to pitch. But none of us on the forum can see such a thing if it exists from here. Are there any bridge problems that need to be fixed? Those, too, are things that I really don't like doing in a customer's home if I can get the piano back to the shop. You haven't mentioned the condition of the soundboard but short of rattles and buzzes, that's probably an area most wouldn't want to touch, and that's probably best.

In your zealous efforts at lubrication, I do hope that you have not lubricated the tuning pins, assuming it has a typical metal pin in laminated wooden block setup. That would make the piano very difficult to bring up to pitch and expect it to stay put and in most cases would probably ruin the pinblock. Not saying you did, just something I wondered about when I read your post.

There could be other factors that you haven't mentioned that we can't anticipate that would change the way I might answer you. But those are the thoughts that came to mind when I read through your post.

Good luck!

Last edited by Bellyman; 01/04/15 11:09 AM.
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 29,978
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 29,978
First, I would confirm how low it is. There are plenty of places where you can get a pitch standard, usually A440, which is the A above middle C. Play the standard, and then play that A (or whatever note your standard is). If they are not the same pitch, play notes around that A until you find the closest one. That will tell you how far off you are.

Second, a piano will not collapse just because the pitch is raised, as long as it is not raised to an unusually high pitch above A440. Pianos start out at zero, and are raised to A440 or above very quickly. The worst that can happen would be that strings break, and a good tuner can minimize that risk. Pianos never need to be moved to a shop for tuning.

I second what has been said about lubrication. Unless you really, really know what you are doing, lubricating a piano is a bad thing to do.


Semipro Tech
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,667
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,667
Originally Posted by Bellyman
... Did I read correctly that you have replaced all of the strings already? ...

He said "springs". All-in-all, that's a pretty easy word transposition to make.


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
There are several points to check before pulling up a piano to standard pitch. In additión to structural and other issues mentioned above, I'll add the condition of the bridges (they may be opened, fissured), the condition of the pinblock and the grip in the tuning pins (they may loose and not hold the pull of the strings).

And the risk of cracking the iron plate, very unlikely if the back structure is fine, but possible.


Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 253
B
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
B
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 253
Originally Posted by David Jenson
Originally Posted by Bellyman
... Did I read correctly that you have replaced all of the strings already? ...

He said "springs". All-in-all, that's a pretty easy word transposition to make.


Oops!! You're right, I did make that mistake.

Hmmm... that opens up some more questions... I wonder what springs the OP was talking about? Hammer butt? Jack? Damper? Trapwork? Lots of ambition there, for sure. And I wondered what his reasoning was. Not saying he was wrong, just wonder what he might have been thinking.

Interesting. smile

Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
M
MEKS Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
Hi,

First of all thanks a lot for all the answers! I had a very bussy month, so I wasn't able to answer right away.
The springs I replaces were all the Hammer Butt and jack spring. Because they didn't had much tension left and some were broken. The Damper springs are still ok and didn't replace those. The lubrication I used was protek CLP and only lubricated the felt pivot points in the mechanics. It was necessary because the piano wasn't played for many years and the point didn't move as it should. So no tuning pins lubricated. And I replaced some felts. When I had to replace some felts I did all the same type felts for each note. My piano shop recommended me doing that. Btw The tuner was not related to the shop.

I think the soundboard is in good condition. No cracks everything still glued together like it should be. the piano sounds nice. No vibrations or sound board resonances. Also no rusty parts or cracks in the soundboard .

I think I'll be doing the pitch rise myself. Going to the piano shop in 2h and buy myself tuning tools. Got some freeware software application to tune pianos. Yes I double checked the pitch and it really is 3 notes to low frown . So I'll be very car full in doing so. After the pitch rize I'll ask an other tuner to check everything double and let him do minor correction if necessary. Already checked some tuning tutorials to get some extra info.

Ones again thanks a lot for the info and feedback! I'll keep you guys up to date!

Last edited by MEKS; 01/19/15 06:30 AM.
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,219
E
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,219
Originally Posted by MEKS

I think I'll be doing the pitch rise myself. Going to the piano shop in 2h and buy myself tuning tools. Got some freeware software application to tune pianos. Yes I double checked the pitch and it really is 3 notes to low


I don't know why, but I just had a vision of my stringing kit float through my head…

(wear eye protection to raise pitch, at least, that is what my friend "Squint" sez.)

Last edited by Ed Foote; 01/19/15 09:43 AM.
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,667
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,667
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by MEKS

I think I'll be doing the pitch rise myself. Going to the piano shop in 2h and buy myself tuning tools. Got some freeware software application to tune pianos. Yes I double checked the pitch and it really is 3 notes to low


I don't know why, but I just had a vision of my stringing kit float through my head…

(wear eye protection to raise pitch, at least, that is what my friend "Squint" sez.)

Ha ha! 'Same here.

"Squint" was right!


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 431
J
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
J
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 431
Let us know how it goes, I just pitch raised my piano which was a whole note flat and broke 2 strings in 4th octave. Not a huge deal, really.

Last edited by JoeThePro; 01/19/15 11:00 AM.
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
M
MEKS Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
Hi,
I just finished, a couple of minutes ago, to pitch raise all strings of my piano. The piano shop specialist told me I could pitch raise the whole piano 3 notes up in one turn. He askt me how old my piano was (+-1920) . I don't know way but he said "In that case don't worry to pitch raise 3 tones in one turn. The piano strings will drop a bit after a day or 2. Then Pitch raise them up again, and again until it stays, then tune perfectly." He also said that it could be possible that some strings would break.

Result: - 2 stings broke ( B0 and one of B2)
- first tuned strings dropped already 1/2 note
- Piano did't collapsed xD for now

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 864
B
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
B
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 864
This whole thread puzzles me. What is meant by the pitch being off by "three notes"? Or, perhaps, as the OP says later, "three tones"? I could understand "three half-steps," or even that "my A4 key was sounding at the pitch of F#4" -- but I have no idea what is going on with this piano in the first place, how far off pitch it is, what words the assessing tech used -- the way I was taught, talking about a "note" or a "tone" doesn't tell me anything in terms of absolute or relative pitch. I would very much appreciate some of the tech commenters here explaining what they understand about the piano's condition.


Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,277
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,277
I'm thinking the same thing as Dorrie! I'm especially confused by this quote:
Quote
1.5 notes is normal but 3 is much. So he tuned my piano, but 3 notes lower than normal.


Since when is finding a piano 1.5 notes flat "normal"? Is something getting lost in translation?

Anyways, it sounds like the OP is trudging forward. What could possibly go wrong?


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
M
MEKS Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
[img:center][/img] [img:center]https://www.dropbox.com/s/b2f0hs0ne8xqp81/20150126_161715.jpg?dl=0[/img]

Cracks appearing at the tuning pins only on the middel section. Is this the end of my piano ? : (

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 29,978
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 29,978
It is possibly only damage to the surface veneer of the pin block. Only tuning will tell.


Semipro Tech
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
M
MEKS Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
Ok so I keep on tuning ? I don't have anything to lose because it already start cracking the surface. Otherwise I will need to replace the pin block i guess ?

Worst case scenario: I need to replace the pin block. Can I reuse the strings and pins ?

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,131
S
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,131
Originally Posted by MEKS
Ok so I keep on tuning ? I don't have anything to lose because it already start cracking the surface. Otherwise I will need to replace the pin block i guess ?

Worst case scenario: I need to replace the pin block. Can I reuse the strings and pins ?


There is usually no savings in materials and certainly not time by attempting to reuse old, worn out, stuff. If the bass strings are in good condition (doubtful) those could be saved, but generally the best practice is to replace and restring.


PTG Associate
AIO Regular Member
ASCAP
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Director, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional
AA Music Arts 2001, BM Organ, Choral 2005


Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
M
MEKS Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by BDB
It is possibly only damage to the surface veneer of the pin block. Only tuning will tell.


You might be right!
I removed some of the cracked surface and the block seems to be still ok.

I'll keep you updated!

[img:center]https://www.dropbox.com/s/8n40hjmldxny2hb/20150126_172354.jpg?dl=0[/img]

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,277
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,277
I agree with BDB - you don't know if it will be a tuning problem unless you try.

I have successfully tuned quite a few pianos that other technicians said were untunable because of such and such crack or other problem.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai upright shortage in Canada?
by DeeZee - 09/19/21 05:55 PM
Korg SV-1 Sustain Pedal problem
by Herwiberde - 09/19/21 02:46 PM
JoJo Siwa's Baldwin grand
by ShiroKuro - 09/19/21 01:50 PM
Opinions on the CA49 for classical piano music only ?
by GaiaImpact - 09/19/21 01:16 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics209,192
Posts3,133,587
Members102,770
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5