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#3155417 09/11/21 01:45 PM
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Brahms4 Offline OP
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Hi,
My neighbour wants to give away his old (unplayed/untuned for a long time) piano, and the primary school I work at are looking for a piano to replace a damaged one, but it must be concert pitch.

I took a quick look at the piano and it was about a whole step flat on all the notes I tried.

Is there any chance that a piano like that can be successfully brought up to concert pitch? My gut instinct is no, but as I am playing fairy Godmother here I'm trying to be optimistic! All I know about the piano is that it has a metal frame (according to my neighbour).

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If it is that flat, the piano is trash. If you want confirmation, post photos.

I get pianos for schools and other organizations off Craigslist. There are plenty of free ones, and many are new enough to be worth taking.


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More information is needed. Brand, size, age etc.

Yes, pianos can be brought up to pitch successfully, but there is always a possibility of things going wrong during the process...

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Agreed

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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I do large pitch raises all the time, and most go just fine. It depends on the age and condition of the strings.

How old is the piano? I’d have a tech assess the piano. Often, rarely tuned pianos are neglected in other ways. Often, schools are the final resting place for unwanted pianos, so some unfortunate tech will have to deal with it. Maybe find out who tunes for the school or district and get them involved?

There are other issues to consider besides a pitch raise. Maybe the pinblock is shot. This is not a time to use your gut instinct.

Last edited by Scott Cole, RPT; 09/16/21 09:41 AM.
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If you guys run into a piano like a Chickering with International pitch A=435 on the plate, do you take it up to 440? I've done it, piano doesn't seem to mind one bit.

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It all depends. I have done it, but my rule of thumb for stopping is 3 string breaks...then I reassess the situation. Gotta remember that the design lifespan has always been 30-40 years.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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I pitch raise old pianos day in and day out, regardless of what may be stamped on the plate about pitch (it usually isn’t). I very rarely break strings.

My practice is to:
-Always warn the customer about the possibility and the cost. CYA.
-carefully examine the strings. Are they corroded? Was the piano ever restrung?
-are there any spliced or replaced strings?
-consider string rendering—are the strings traveling smoothly, or getting stuck under the pressure bar?
-lower pitch first before raising.
-are bridal straps broken? You can’t remove the action for wire install unless they are fixed.
-ask the customer if the piano has to be at 440. Is it being used with other instruments?

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👍

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Brahms4 Offline OP
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Thanks! I won't pursue it.

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Just as well. It is too much risk for a piano donation. Too many people want to avoid dumping fees by donating to organizations instead. That just transfers the costs to the organization.


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Tuning one later this week not tuned in 40 yrs I'm told. These people must be tone deaf.


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