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Topic Options
#2008480 - 01/03/13 11:16 AM How To Find An Experienced Tech for Grand Piano Regulation?
Tony722 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 2
On another thread, Kamin and beethoven986 noted:
Originally Posted By: Kamin

IMHO Do not call "a tech" but first find who to call, grand regulation is for experienced techs.

How do you go about finding "who to call"? Where do you start?

I apologize if this question should have been asked in a different forum, but if you would humor me, I would really appreciate hearing you experts that I highly respect weigh in on how to answer this question! That would be so valuable to me!


I have a ~90 year old Knabe in the Columbus, OH area that needs rehammering and regulating, and a Weber of the same vintage in the Spokane, WA area that will soon need the same thing done to it.

Edited by Tony722 (01/03/13 11:17 AM)

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#2008514 - 01/03/13 12:30 PM Re: How To Find An Experienced Tech for Grand Piano Regulation? [Re: Tony722]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2902
Loc: Olympia, WA
A good place to start is to find out who the most prestigious piano teachers are in the area and ask them.

I believe Alan McCoy is "the man" in Spokane.

Edited by rysowers (01/03/13 12:32 PM)
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA

#2008634 - 01/03/13 04:34 PM Re: How To Find An Experienced Tech for Grand Piano Regulation? [Re: Tony722]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1515
Loc: Tennessee
The most experienced and accomplished tech will be doing work for the most serious pianists. He/she will have a full schedule, a delay before your turn will come up, and will cost more than the average in your area. If you want to find out about the techs, ask the pianists, the pros know who to call. After you have several names from this market, you should meet them, somehow, and trust your intuition about who will work best with you.
The layman will rarely, if ever, know enough about the instrument to accurately judge the competence of a tech. Some charlatans do make such outrageous claims that all but the most stupid or ignorant customers sense trouble before they commit to something.
Good techs I know seem to be charging $100-150 per hour around the country, if that offers any guidance.

#2008664 - 01/03/13 05:42 PM Re: How To Find An Experienced Tech for Grand Piano Regulation? [Re: Tony722]
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 9230
Loc: France
One of the problem is that the best "finishers" prefer to tune, voice and do final steps of regulation, and they tenhd to leave the most basic jobs.

Possibly finding a shop who have at the same time the people that make the "pre regulation", level keyboards, space and place hammers, clean and lube everything, change centers, then pass the piano to a concert tech that will voice and make all the final job on it.

I noticed a tendency for the experienced voicers to avoid most of the basic job (and if they ask so much for the hour than if that part can be done by someone else this should be less expensive in the end)

The best teatchers certainly, but the best concert pianists also, and the house that provide pianos for concerts have generally a staff to take care of the instruments. Then not all rental concert pianos are the same quality... (ask the pianists)
Here in Europe the "Steinway trained" tech is a good guarantee, but generally speaking "Yamaha trained" (fully) technicians are also a very good reference.

Some technicians (me for instance) are not afraid to spend time on very basic operations, and repairs , even on old pianos, knowing in a few years I will have to repair them more in deep, but I know many concert techs does not want to spend 3 hours to level akeyboard, regulate the balance, clean the stack, etc. SO it may be a good idea to find a staff or a collaboration between a concert tech and others.

I bet you may ask by mail to some renowned pianists in your area, very probably some will be happy to give you an address...

A point I noticed also : I have seen Steinways repaired by Boesen workshops, and the opposite : both where a level under what they should be. Culture of the brandf is something that counts (for Bluethner, Bechstein, for instance, but for Yamaha's or Kawai also)

I have seen Steinways voiced like Boesendorfer, and Boesndorfer mounted with Steinway hammers... mistake in both case in my humble opinion.

For older pianos, some shops have a gift, generally based on someone that cherish older instruments, but this is really rare and not easy to find (with my apologies).

Possibly a visit by a good decent tech to evaluate what can be done, wand what are the possibilities offered by your pianos, could be the first thing to do.

If that person is a concert tuner and work a little on your piano, you will begin to hear what is inside, the difference is generally large even when the piano is old and tired. (concert tuners have generally nice tone references in the ear and they can in a relatively small time fight the main defects of tone, enlight what can be, and raise the musicality anyway in a really noticeable manner.

But ask him to be honest about what is worth, under your own circumstances , piano level and wishes...

Edited by Kamin (01/03/13 05:48 PM)
Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!

#2008737 - 01/03/13 08:59 PM Re: How To Find An Experienced Tech for Grand Piano Regulation? [Re: Tony722]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3352
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
If you are in the Spokane area as Ryan thinks- in addition to Alan there is Scott Colwes, Rita Fanger and some others I can't remember immediately. I suggest auditioning an example of their work on a piano similar to the one you own.
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com

#2008739 - 01/03/13 09:09 PM Re: How To Find An Experienced Tech for Grand Piano Regulation? [Re: Tony722]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3352
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Oh! I see both Columbus and Spokane. A 90 YO Knabe if it spent much of it in Columbus would probably show some bridge and pinblock weakness. All the old Knabes I have seen had flat-sawn bridge caps and/or roots and flat-sawn pin-blocks that are more prone to cracking from repeated exposure to humidity swings. Tone regulation may be premature before assessing overall condition.
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com

#2008835 - 01/04/13 03:43 AM Re: How To Find An Experienced Tech for Grand Piano Regulation? [Re: Tony722]
JohnSprung Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 2654
Loc: Reseda, California
Since you're here in the USA, try "Angie's List" -- I've found an excellent piano tech there, as well as service professionals of all kinds, from concrete contractors to eye surgeons.
-- J.S.

I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body.
Then I realized who was telling me this.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690


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