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Joined: Jun 2013
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What is the piano supply company preferred by piano tuners/technicians?

Thanks,
Mike


Technique is a means to an end, but if you don't have any, it's the end!
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Different suppliers have different products so I prefer to have them all available to me.


Professional Piano Technician serving the Tampa bay area. website: mckaigpianoservice.com
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In which country, Mike?

I second Bill's comments.

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Hey Bill
It looks like the OP is not a tech. Maybe knowing which supply houses will sell to mortals would be helpful.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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I didn't look caredfully enough; it looks like the OP is in Minnesota USA.

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I like Schaff but they don’t always have everything I need. My problem with them is they always charge me a minimum of $20 shipping even for a $10 order of felt punchings. So I have to plan my orders carefully with them. Maybe it’s their way of making sure orders meet a minimum value? Of course they only sell to the trade and you have to apply for an account.

I used to use Pacific Piano Supply a lot when I was more active. I could drive up there and shop and pick up my needs. I haven’t been up there for quite a while though.

For laymen, Howard’s Piano seems to be pretty good. Plus they produce a lot of videos to help out.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
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USA, I’m in Minneapolis. I am a player and I occasionally do easy maintenance like tuning unisons and other simple stuff. I always like to know the best dealers to buy from. Again, simple things like a good tuning hammer, mutes, etc. i have used Howard’s and Schaff’s in the past and they seemed fine for the basics.

Thanks,
Mike

Last edited by Gesualdo; 11/17/20 10:14 PM.

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I didn't realize you weren't a tech. Wholesale suppliers only sell to the trade. If you have a Schaff account though that will be your best bet.


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Mike, as Bill suggests above, I guess most of us get different things from different suppliers. You mention tuning levers. Increasingly, piano tools and materials are available on Ebay and Amazon, many from China. You do need to be careful about some of these tuning levers; some models seem to be OK, while others have a tip that simple won't fit on the pin properly (I;ve seen both, bought by individuals eager to learn some DIY piano work).

There are some smaller suppliers who produce high-quality tools, and who may not be trade-only. I think Charles Faulk may be in that category: www.faulkpiano.com and don't forget www.PianoSupplies.com

Last edited by David Boyce; 11/18/20 05:10 AM.
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Mike,

You may already know this but for the benefit of those who may not, piano parts and supplies are not like auto parts or refrigerator or machine parts where you give the serial number or year of purchase andvthey look up the part in a big book or database and give you the right (hopefully) part and you go home and screw it in, etc. No...piano parts, tools, and supplies have historically been sold only to trained "pros" (people in the business), who it is assumed KNOW how to apply these to the individual instrument. They rarely (if ever) come with instructions, can be highly variable (numerous styles, thicknesses, sizes, lengths, configurations, etc etc. The trained tuner/tech knows these variables (hopefully) and makes things work.

Many DIY'ers "expect" an instruction sheet so they can do it themselves and save money. It just doesn't happen that way in this business (as a rule). Of course today with the internet the "instructions" can often be found online, and if these are accurate and followed well, a decent result can be obtained. But too often things don't turn out so nice.

Piano supply companies know the customized and LONG history of the piano world and therefore do not want the DIY'er coming back and accusing them of selling them the wrong part(s) or tool or whatever when it doesn't seem to fit or work properly. So, they deal only with trained individuals who already understand the variables. Many of us who have been doing this a long time have seen examples of DIY stuff gone wrong and now we are asked to fix it, which generally translates into significantly higher cost than it would have been otherwise. To be honest we've also seen some DIY work that has been done quite well (but these seem to be outweighed by the poor examples). I'm not saying "don't do it yourself...call a pro". I'm simply explaining how and why the piano supply trade works in general. Yes, you can circumvent it if you want to.

Personally, I am a serious DIY'er as well. I will attempt to do nearly anything myself, but I also have learned there are limits to my ability, and certain things a pro needs to take care of for speed and safety. (My wife thinks I can do ANYTHING, but that just ain't true anymore 😉).

Hope this helps.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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Beautifully put, Mr Grey!

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I’ve been doing simple maintenance for 30 years and trust myself. I have the two best technicians in town who work on my piano and they have watched me do simple things to make sure I’m doing things properly. I passed the test. :-)

Thanks to everyone for you replies.

Mike

Last edited by Gesualdo; 11/18/20 11:43 AM.

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Mike,

You're the kind of guy I would trust handing the parts to! Others, I would not.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Thank you! :-)

Unrelated question: Piano World has added an “op” after my user name. Does anyone know what that means?

Last edited by Gesualdo; 11/18/20 12:09 PM.

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I think it means you started this thread, the original poster.
Nick


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Original Poster...right

That way we know who to keep track of if the thread expands into miles of discussion/debate (which it sometimes does). 😁 And hopefully find an amicable solution/answer to their issue.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

P.S. You're probably not a computer geek. I similarly did not know what that meant for quite a while. Had to look it up...along with LOL, ROFL, DAMHIK, YMMV etc etc. But my daughter knows all of this stuff...and more.

Last edited by P W Grey; 11/18/20 12:44 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8

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