Piano tuning is the adjustment of the strings to the exact point at which they will vibrate at the proper pitch. This is very skilled work also requiring the correct tools. Unfortunately, no matter how expertly a piano is tuned, atmospheric variations, particularly humidity, and the nature of the piano's construction constantly conspire to bring it off pitch.
Your Steinway piano has been designed and built so that in normal use and under normal conditions it should need only periodic tuning. You, however, are the final judge and should have the piano tuned as often as you think necessary. To put the matter of piano tuning into perspective, remember that a concert piano is tuned before every performance and a piano in a professional recording studio, where it is in constant use, is tuned 3 or 4 times each week as a matter of course.
Piano Tuning is an art practiced by skilled professionals and under no circumstances should anyone other than a professional be allowed to try to tune your Steinway piano.
Voicing & Tone Regulation
While a Steinway piano is tuned to a 440 pitch, this is an absolute reference points, piano voicing is to some extent a matter of preference. Some pianists prefer "bright" voicing while others prefer a mellower sound. Regardless of its original voicing, every piano will acquire a somewhat brighter tone with time, because the hammer felts will be compacted as they are thrown repeatedly against the strings.
Therefore, depending on your taste and the amount of use your piano gets, we suggest the piano be voiced when your ear tells you the time has come. Experience has taught us that a piano which receives normal use in the home will need to be voiced every 2 or 3 years.
Many people mistake piano tuning and piano voicing for one and the same process. The tonal quality of your piano is determined by the character of the felt covering of the hammers which strike the strings. With use, this felt becomes packed hard and the strings cut into the surface. The resulting tonal quality will be quite harsh.
In the process the resiliency of tile hammer felts is adjusted with special tools and then all notes are balanced so that the tone is uniform throughout the keyboard. This is obviously a job which demands special skills and should be attempted only by a professional piano technician.
The Steinway Accelerated Action® is one of your piano's patented features. It is the most sensitive and responsive action yet devised for the piano. In order to keep it as responsive as it was designed to be, it will from time to time require the attention of a professional piano technician. In normal use the action of your piano will eventually depart from the evenness which was established when it was originally regulated in our factory. The need for regulation is to a certain extent a function of the use which the piano gets.
Over a period of two to three years, the action of your piano will vary somewhat from the eveness established at the factory and will need regulation by a trained technician. The need for regulation is a reflection of the way that the piano is used. For reference, the action of a concert grand is regulated before every performance.
It goes without saying that the tone and action regulation are jobs for a specialist. Voicing and regulation are usually done at the same time. Once again, we recommend that you contact our service department for advice when you think your piano needs to be regulated.
The exterior of your piano is actually quite easy to keep clean. A clean piece of fine knit cloth, lightly dampened with plain water, is the most convenient and safe method for removing dust and finger marks that occur during normal use and play.
Waxing and polishing is not recommended, as this can lead to build-up that can only be removed by trained professionals. Wipe your piano’s keyboard frequently with a clean piece of soft cloth, very lightly dampened with plain water.
Never allow dampness to seep between the keys or down into the keybed—this can cause swelling and hamper the free play of the keys.
Also, never use solvents of any kind to clean either the black or the white keys of your piano—they can damage the fine finish of the keys.
Don’t put pots, vases, pictures, drinks or objects of any kind on top of the piano. The finish can be damaged by any foreign objects placed upon it. In addition, they can have a ruinous affect on the sound of the piano.
Liberal application of common sense in the care of your piano’s finish is the wise course, remembering that it is both a delicate instrument and a fine piece of furniture.
Piano Moving & Storage
The cardinal rule of piano-moving is never to try to do it yourself. A professional piano mover should be called for your piano — whether the move is up or down stairs or to a new home.
A piano is both heavy and delicately balanced. It simply cannot be regarded as another large piece of furniture. Only professional piano movers have the specialized skills, equipment and experience to do this job.
We recommend that you contact us for your piano moving needs. We can also help should you need to know the shipping volume or weight of your piano.
On rare occasions it may be necessary to leave your piano unattended in an unheated house. Should you be faced with this situation, we have the facilities to store you piano safely and properly.