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I live in Wash DC and pay $175 to tune my professional upright. I've paid a bit less but the tuner wasn't as good. Worth every penny to me, I'd pay whatever he charged. I only get my piano tuned once a year. It isn't that easy to find a good piano tuner nowadays.

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Curious...what else will $25 buy there in Indonesia for comparison? For instance, what would it cost to buy a very nice meal for a family of four at a very nice restaurant? (Assuming there is one there of course, which I'm sure there is).

Peter Grey Piano Doctor[/quote]

$25 here is 30 litres of gasoline, or few glasses of german beer & snack at Paulaner for one, or 70 hours of parking, or good japanese ramen/curry rice for four, or 7 cups of manual brew coffee at Starbucks, or 3 rolls of Ilford films😊
dinner for four at nice (not too fancy) restaurant is $50-70.

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Then I would say that $25 is quite low for the services of a good piano tech.

Thank you for this insight.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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As some of you know, my late wife grew up in Jakarta. Like many nations, Indonesia essentially has two economies: the traditional one, and the modern economy. That's an oversimplification, but there is great disparity in people's incomes.

You can spend a lot in Jakarta if you want to, but you don't have to. $25 for most piano tuners is probably a nice amount. And I think the reason that it costs more to tune a grand, here and some other places, is based on the premise that someone who owns a grand can probably afford to pay more.

Here's an interesting/fun video about what you can get for $10 in Jakarta.



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Very interesting. So does one pay taxes on this income in Indonesia? Have business overhead, etc. In the U.S. the self employed can basically look forward to "taking home" about 50% of what they earn after accounting for operating overhead, taxes, etc. (Assuming of course that they operate "by the book" so to speak).

What is it like tax wise over there?

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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I would presume so, but I don't know. (I never worked in Indonesia.)
Maybe benQF could say.


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I regularly pay $3-400 for a visit per piano by a concert tech who also does major concert halls. A visit includes tuning, some minor regulation and voicing. It typically takes 3 hours per piano to do a thorough job.

Every few years, I spend a couple of thousand to fully go through the actions and voicing.

I demand much from my technicians, and I pay accordingly.

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$10 in Jakarta is taxi fares for about 25 km - medium traffic jam, most office employees spend $2-4 for regular lunch, rather nice living cost is about $1k per month (for two, house rent excluded), if could manage not to live in Jakarta (retired or fully work from home) then it's much better to stay at other smaller (but much nicer & relax) cities where living cost could be much lower😊

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unfortunately piano tech isn't high-paid job here, I really doubt if any could exceed monthly income of $1-1.5k, they will pay income tax of 15% max.

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Ben,

Interesting again. I wonder if this due to simply not much demand for these services, or perhaps overabundance of tuners resulting in competition...or maybe some other factors...? Piano tuners (in general) historically are not very good business people.

What do you think? What can you add from your position on the ground?

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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I believe piano isn't really yet a major choice of instrument here, & most owner only tune once a year max - so practically no big business,
until about 20 years ago we only have dealers for new Yamaha & Kawai pianos, & they are not much bigger than several used piano specialists (they import used pianos) who also started introducing china brands for new pianos Pearl River, Ritmuller, also korean Kohler & Campbell for short period of time - till today these china/korean brands never really make it too good;
we never have specialists in restoring/rebuilding as Cunningham, only in early 2000 we have a dealer for S&S Boston Essex Petrof Samick, & in the last few years another for Fazioli Bluthner Irmler Estonia;
majority of people here started their 1st piano buying used 30-40 years old upright Yamaha/Kawai, price range mostly at $700-4k max ($4k for a 20-30 years old Yamaha U3), I hardly see anyone buying grand pianos unless having very big house - I may be one among very few having a 190 grand inside a small house, only the very rich will spend more than $15k for a piano, I know some big churches could afford brand new $100-200k S&S or Yamaha, but for personal use a very rare case to exceed $40-50k;
I remember 15 years ago found a $3k used Yamaha G3 for a very rich cousin (must remind him to tune it every year), at that time a brand new 125 Petrof upright was $15k.

But it's growing faster at least in the last 10 years, few months ago I tried a $150k Bluthner so definitely there's some potential😊

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I assume too that there is no organization for tuners/techs to be a part of, unless perhaps they are associated with a significant dealer...?

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Peter W. Grey, RPT
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I don't think there's any of such organization, my tech quite a senior one, used to work at the biggest used piano retailer/importer but now he's self employed, waiting time about 3-4 weeks I believe he's quite popular😁

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btw last night I checked with my cousin in Singapore, she's 55 a piano teacher for more than 30 years, few months ago got her Bachmann upright tuned for S$70 - so that's about US$50,
Singapore always considered as one of the expensive cities.

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Ben,

And I assume you are very happy with his work...yes?

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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I'm no expert just a casual player, got him by several friend/store's recommendations, some relatives now also use his service & they are happy, this guy practically return my little Zimmermann back to life so I'm very grateful,
if he charge $50 will still be very fine for me😁

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Fantastic!

As I said, historically, piano techs are not the best business people (this is a generalization), and typically undercharge for their services, not realizing their importance. It doesn't catch up with them until they are old and have no money and they can't figure out why. They didn't save anything because they had nothing to save because they didn't have the business acumen to price things accordingly.

Well anyway, you are happy and if he's happy...☺ But I certainly will not be moving to Indonesia anytime soon. 😁

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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I live in Rome, Italy.

I'm pretty sure that a regular price would be 80 euros, both for an upright and a grand. I suspect though that if I asked to voice the piano I would pay much more.

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Ben,

Just out of curiosity, if you had a plumbing problem, can you just call a plumbed and have him come fix it, or is it more involved than that there? If so, what (in general) would you need to pay to have a plumbing issue repaired?

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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Yes, the cost of living is quite odest, here, which is how I can do this:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3132860/piano-party-2022-bulgaria.html#Post3132860

An EU visitor can take home cigarettes and spitits sufficient to cover the airfare so actually make a profit on the visit!
'spitits' sounds interesting!
Ian


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2016 Blüthner Model A
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