Serving Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, and communities across the GTA. Below are frequently asked questions about our piano service. Contact us today if you don’t find what you’re looking for — we are here to help!
Click on each question below to read more:
How often should I have my piano tuned?
We recommend tuning your piano at least twice per year to balance humid, warm seasons with dry, cold ones. In Ontario, humidity changes can detune a piano’s overall pitch drastically in just 6 months — sometimes as much as 30¢. Piano strings will also very gradually detune the more it is played. Humidity effects plus the excitement of hammers on strings creates a strong case for maintaining a consistent tuning schedule throughout the year.
Learn more about our tuning services.
We just moved our piano — can it be tuned right away?
A piano needs to acclimate to a new environment after a move or else it will not hold a stable tuning. We recommend waiting at least 4 weeks before scheduling an appointment to ensure tuning stability. Don’t worry, if this is your first tuning with us, we will verify that you have had the piano in place a minimum of 4 weeks before confirming your appointment.
It’s been a few / many, many years since we last had our piano tuned…
Pianos see their overall pitch fluctuate gradually throughout the year. In colder, drier conditions the pitch drops (flat) whereas in warmer, humid conditions it raises (sharp). The culprit here is the soundboard exerting pressure on the strings and structural components, sending pitches up and down accordingly. On top of that, every subsequent year without proper tuning makes a piano flatter than the previous humidity cycle. These effects can only be reversed with a Pitch Raise Tuning where we bring all strings back up to concert pitch so they sound as fresh as a new piano.
Learn more about pitch raising.
How long does a piano tuning take?
A piano with a history of annual tunings will take approximately one hour to get back in tune. For a piano that has detuned over several years, it can require up to two hours. Strings and tuning-related components must not be compromised by rust, cracks or insufficient build quality in order for a tuning to stabilize.
Why tune a piano to A440Hz?
The standard pitch that Western musical instruments tune to is A440Hz, with all other notes tuned outward from and relative to it. Also called ‘concert pitch’, 440Hz is the ideal frequency for all well-engineered pianos. String scaling in pianos is rendered so that all notes will sing their best at concert pitch level, especially once tempered by a piano technician. A piano tuner will always insist on tuning your piano at A440Hz or else your piano’s tuning will be compromised and lack clarity, depth and character.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept almost all forms of payment: E-transfer, cash, cheque or credit card. If paying by credit card, you can do so via a ‘Pay Now’ button on your emailed invoice. E-transfers can be sent to our company email, which is also indicated on all invoices. All payments are due same-day unless otherwise indicated.
What is your cancellation policy?
To respect our technicians’ time and preparation for your piano’s service, as well as to respect other clients, we require 24 hours advance notice for any cancellations. Otherwise, the following cancellation charges will apply: 50% of the appointment fee for cancellations within 24 hours and the full cost of the tuning fee for not showing to an appointment.
Why is humidity control important?
Fluctuating humidity makes wood expand and contract, affecting tuning and structural integrity. The main culprit behind detuning is the piano’s soundboard. Under immense pressure, the piano soundboard acts as the transducer for excited piano strings, amplifying their vibrations to the piano’s characteristic sound.
Other damaging issues from uncontrolled climate include:
– Rusting strings, string bearing points, and tunings pins
– Cracking soundboard or pinblock
– Damage to glue joints, case and finish
– Plate damage and corrosion
Over time, any parts that can be affected by humidity will be. Signs become apparent very gradually, so it is best to commit to routine maintenance early on.
How effective are piano climate control systems?
When 40-45% room humidity cannot be maintained, as is often the case in schools, churches, concert venues, and busy homes, every fluctuation adds stress on your instrument. Piano climate control systems have perfected the art of balancing your piano’s internal climate so external factors do not affect it. This ensures the piano’s health indefinitely and provides a lifetime’s peace of mind.
Why consult a piano technician?
Buying a new or used piano can be a daunting task. Finding one that will last and meet your needs can end up downright infuriating when problems arise you have it moved in. With potential issues across more than 10,000 parts in a piano, it’s hazardous to commit to one without a warranty. If you have found a piano, don’t hesitate to let us help you make a decision. If you are selling or simply want an assessment/appraisal, we offer these as well.
Contact us today!
PIANO MAKES WE SERVICE
Steinway & Sons
Mason & Hamlin
Willis & Co.
Mason & Risch