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Piano Regulation

A Successful Piano Regulation Is an Improvement That Can Be Simultaneously Felt and Heard

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What is piano regulation?

A piano regulation is the meticulous adjustment of each and every moving part of a piano action that transfers the motion of a player’s fingers to the strings of a piano.  Everything is regulated from the travel of a depressed key to the force of the strike of the hammer to a string.  A successful regulation requires extensive skill and experience partly because the process must remain consistent and uniform from one key to the next.  It always involves removing the piano action to be worked on in my shop.  Regulation also involves specialized tools, meticulous measurements, an extremely sensitive touch and very acute vision.

Why does a piano need to be periodically regulated?

Of the 12,000+ parts that make up a piano, most of them are within the piano action.  That’s not surprising since there are 88 keys involved on most pianos.  The action parts are primarily made of wood, felt, leather, wool, paper, and sometimes rubber and plastic.  These parts change shape and size, shrink, compress, break, wear down and wear out – due to humidity, ageing, initial quality and general use.

How do I know if my piano needs a complete regulation?

The following are symptoms of a piano that needs a regulation:

  • There is a different feel or touch between notes

  • There is a loss of playing with power (loudness)

  • There is a loss of playing very softly

  • Notes are slow to respond

  • Notes do not repeat rapidly

  • Hammers occasionally double-strike the strings

  • Some keys appear to depress farther than others

  • There is lost motion between pressing the key and getting

    • the hammer to respond

  • There is an inconsistent dampening of notes

What does a piano regulation cost?

A complete piano regulation is priced by the job and not by the hour and it will vary from one piano to the next, depending on many factors.   The cost will also be considerably higher for a grand than a vertical piano due to its increased complexity.  And, of course, a verbal estimate will be provided before any work is performed.

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