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#2157569 - 09/25/13 05:10 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
TomazP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Ucluelet, BC Canada
You begin with the best Steinway technician around, usually the one who looks after symphony/concert hall pianos. Invite him/her to appraise your instrument. If the work is doable, he'll/she'll ask you what you want, how you want it to sound. He/she gets to work; you leave. When he/she has finished the work, you play the instrument, he/she will make any minor adjustments that you request. You write the check. He/she goes home. You play a splendid example of the Steinway brand. Everyone is happy.

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#2157594 - 09/25/13 05:49 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TomazP]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 746
Loc: shirley, MA
TomazP,

thumb simple and to the point smile

Jim Ialeggio
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

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#2157603 - 09/25/13 06:13 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TomazP]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19640
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TomazP
You begin with the best Steinway technician around, usually the one who looks after symphony/concert hall pianos. Invite him/her to appraise your instrument. If the work is doable, he'll/she'll ask you what you want, how you want it to sound. He/she gets to work; you leave. When he/she has finished the work, you play the instrument, he/she will make any minor adjustments that you request. You write the check. He/she goes home. You play a splendid example of the Steinway brand. Everyone is happy.
Actually, I don't think this is the best way to work things out if a piano is having major voicing.

Unless the tech and pianist have done this before and are sure they understand each other completely, just telling the tech how you want the piano to sound and then leaving strikes me as a dangerous approach. Better for the pianist to stay around and listen to at least a few notes after they have been voiced to see if the tech "understood" what the pianist was after. Communicating about a piano's tone is quite complex.

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#2157622 - 09/25/13 06:53 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: pianoloverus]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: TomazP
You begin with the best Steinway technician around, usually the one who looks after symphony/concert hall pianos. Invite him/her to appraise your instrument. If the work is doable, he'll/she'll ask you what you want, how you want it to sound. He/she gets to work; you leave. When he/she has finished the work, you play the instrument, he/she will make any minor adjustments that you request. You write the check. He/she goes home. You play a splendid example of the Steinway brand. Everyone is happy.
Actually, I don't think this is the best way to work things out if a piano is having major voicing.

Unless the tech and pianist have done this before and are sure they understand each other completely, just telling the tech how you want the piano to sound and then leaving strikes me as a dangerous approach. Better for the pianist to stay around and listen to at least a few notes after they have been voiced to see if the tech "understood" what the pianist was after. Communicating about a piano's tone is quite complex.


I'm all for that. Also, what Ed wrote earlier about auditioning a technician is absolutely true.

Even when I'm working with a tech I know well, I usually hang around in the kitchen while they work to hear how it's going. I try not to make them self-conscious, but I really do want to know how it's going.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2157624 - 09/25/13 06:58 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
...and as to whether it's worth the money, I think it is even for the rank amateur.

Not many people can hear when the piano sounds not-so-great. But everyone can tell when the piano is in great shape. Nobody likes having a piano-shaped object in their living room that doesn't sound as impressive as it looks.

Ed,

1- Find a good tech. Get several bids.
2- Spend the money.

You won't be sorry!


Edited by laguna_greg (09/25/13 06:59 PM)
Edit Reason: i contradicted myself!
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2157678 - 09/25/13 09:40 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: BDB]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2408
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
My Dear BDB,
Since you claim to understand the physics better than me-why don't YOU take the following question and prove my understanding of the physics wrong.

Title: Describe and Account for the Angular Momentums Created When Piano Hammers of Differing Masses, Under Differing Accelerations, Excite a Taut Piano String and Relative Distribution of These Momentums into Noise and Tone.

Please note you will only need to use Newtonian Mechanics. However if you do discover Relativistic or Quantum effects in the course of your investigation you probably would be nominated for a Nobel Prize.

For myself I prefer to uncover testable theory for Dark Energy/Matter. Or The mechanism for communicating relative mass between bodies across space/time. Or How the mechanism behind con-joined particles functions across space/time.

Oh, lets get back to pianos! I have over thirty years experience adjusting hammer mass according to the musical function of a piano and have ample observation of the difference the hammer mass makes to the wear rate with use of a piano. Plus the old Steinways, Mason & Hamlin, Chickering, Bechstein, Bosendorfer and other makes had hammers lighter than most of what is available today. Just think how many times posters here have complained about how heavy the action became after new hammers were installed. But I suppose you just think I am engaging in "Advertising".
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2157691 - 09/25/13 10:06 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14261
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
It's too bad that things get into fighting here all the time.

Here's my own take on this, based on my experience:

For Steinway or any other make you don't always need a "Steinway technician" but rather a "very good technician"
They are not that hard to find when looking carefully.

Investing $ 2,500 appears a somewhat inflated price to me. I know of no piano of presumably premium quality needing this type work after only few years.

I've seen the "best of the best" including Steinway technicians in Germany doing phenomenal work in about a day or two. These masters were able to change things substantially - on site. Including refiling hammers,key-by-key regulation, tuning & voicing. A more realistic price for this is about $ 1000-1,500 tops.Onsite reconditioning is very common in Europe

Which gets me to the next point: careful when techs insist on taking actions into their own workshop: one can't alway fully monitor their work and certainly not time spent.

These then are the situations when $ 1,500 jobs become suddenly $ 2,500 or more. Sorry, not to offend.

Unfortunately happening lots in the industry..

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (09/25/13 10:11 PM)
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#2157711 - 09/25/13 10:36 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: Norbert]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 746
Loc: shirley, MA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
I've seen the "best of the best" including Steinway technicians in Germany doing phenomenal work in about a day or two. These masters were able to change things substantially - on site. Including refiling hammers,key-by-key regulation, tuning & voicing. A more realistic price for this is about $ 1000-1,500 tops.Onsite reconditioning is very common in Europe


Your quote describes normal regulation procedures. There are times when this is not enough, and extensive tone regulation procedures are required.

Specifically:

-filing the capo bar when the capo bar needs filing or adjustment because it wasn't none well at the factory...duplex noise right off the showroom floor
-repositioning the hammers because the generic 1 size fits all hammer positioning (especially with S&S)does not fit the as-built irregularities of the plate and case. These irregularities are very common in any piano, but especially in a new S&S piano.
-hammers hung to a common bore which will not allow either proper striking or checking because the plate height varies, sometimes upwards of 1/4" from the generic design.

Without a comprehensive tone regulation, a piano that has these issues will often be played, and the issues never resolved. The tonal consequences are often accepted...sometimes with nary a shrug and other times with some sadness and frustration...it depends on the pianist.

In any case, the above tone regulation is a premium service...but so are these pianos premium instruments. When spending 60-85K for a fine instrument, withholding normal and required "finishing" time to save what is, relatively speaking, a minor expense is an exercise in poor value.

Jim Ialeggio


Edited by jim ialeggio (09/25/13 10:38 PM)
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

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#2157765 - 09/26/13 01:27 AM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21904
Loc: Oakland
This may be a difference of opinion on what constitutes regulation and voicing and what are repairs of what might be manufacturing flaws.

If I am regulating and voicing a piano, my job is to get it playing properly and sounding even. It is not to bring it to some sort of ideal which may be different from the reason the owner bought the piano in the first place. So I have to do less work than I might possibly imagine, and bid anything else separately.

I did run across a Steinway L which had some pretty big flaws. The top hammers were hitting more capo bar than string. Moving them back made the black keys hit the fallboard. That required repositioning the hinges slightly. Even so, that was perhaps 15 minutes extra work, not $1000 worth.

In any case, it is my experience that the big money comes from making lots of people happier with their pianos, whether it is a Steinway grand or the old family upright. It comes from doing good, careful work efficiently and at reasonable prices, so that more people will get it done. Admittedly, I am not the best person to talk to about prices for work, but there are a lot of people that I have made a lot happier with their pianos for a lot less than $1000 plus the cost of tuning.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2157768 - 09/26/13 01:35 AM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14261
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Your quote describes normal regulation procedures. There are times when this is not enough, and extensive tone regulation procedures are required.



You're correct.

Extensive tone and regulation procedures were exactly what was once required on Chinese pianos of about 5-10 years ago.

If required today, even after years of heavy playing, I would drop the line on the spot.

Norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2157884 - 09/26/13 08:35 AM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
+1 - BDB

thumb
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2157959 - 09/26/13 10:48 AM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2408
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
If you purchase any new grand today. Play it five hours a day. In ten years the action will need new: hammers, hammer-shanks, key-bushings and attention to dampers, pedals and whippens.

If this same piano has hammers that are made from felt with decent elasticity in it; I can tone-regulate this action and piano for somewhere around the $2,500 level and it will not wear out for thirty years or maybe more played five hours a day.

As added benefits the touch will be faster and allow for more dynamic control, the tone will be more singing and colorful, and the treble will be far less "woody".

If you have to rebuild an action every ten years for serious pianists, they also must endure more frequent "break-in" episodes. Down-time equals increased ownership cost. Plus new parts don't come cheap.

It would be of real value to pianist's if manufacturers would pay attention to the leaders of piano technology by incorporating known and proven protocols to improve the musical utility of pianos. Durability could even become a provable selling point!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2157971 - 09/26/13 11:25 AM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
The OP was simply asking about "regulation and voicing" for his 10 year old S&S. He didn't ask how it could be souped up, customized, or altered.

BDB is arguing for the use of common sense, rather than a fantasy of spending the maximum amount of money to create a theoretically perfect piano.

Mr. McMorrow, have you played the OP's piano? Do you know what it needs?

Dream on - The piano owner doesn't need to. All he has to do is find a competent piano technician and request a "voicing and requlation" for his piano. Anything else is idle conjecture and not pertinent to the original question. At that point, the work is in the hands of the technician he has hired and your proposals are irrelevant to what he, and his technician, deem to be appropriate.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2157975 - 09/26/13 11:39 AM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2408
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
* Personal insults deleted *


Edited by BB Player (09/26/13 11:59 AM)
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2157998 - 09/26/13 12:17 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Thank you BB Player.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2159089 - 09/28/13 01:59 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2408
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Piano owners who are fully informed of their options can make a decision on what kind of piano services they desire. I think this forum is the place to describe options. Or is it just a place for posters who want to talk about pianos-but aren't actually responsible for performing services?

Just because a poster here is the loudest and most verbose does not confer expertise.

I am always ready to demonstrate what I advocate. I can give potential clients the names of my clients who have similar pianos that I care for.

I only know of one PW poster who has contacted me privately to "question" my credentials and "motives". Many posters have thanked me for my posts. I do find the "Junior High School Hall Monitor style" of one frequent poster here gauche!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2159090 - 09/28/13 02:03 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
TomazP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Ucluelet, BC Canada
Exactly!

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#2159120 - 09/28/13 02:59 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Though a moderator felt the need to censor and delete a posting, it is unfortunate that is no longer available for all to read as an example of truly juvenile behavior.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2159178 - 09/28/13 04:27 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2408
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Marty, you could ask the moderator to reinstate it.

My sarcasm was mild and my employ of a deprecatory sobriquet towards you was as well. You once accused me of calling you a bigot because I pointed out the discriminatory nature of one of your positions. You have never apologized for that excess. I never went running to the "hall monitor" on that. Bigot is a real insult my friend! And I never used the term towards you or any other PW poster! We should be adults and be responsible for our words.

It is your reaction to it that reflects upon you.

You do like to "Officiate" over the forum with an obviously improper sense of entitlement in my opinion and that is what my sarcasm delineated..

I do enjoy most of your posts, but I have every same right to disagree as you do.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2159188 - 09/28/13 04:45 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
You once accused me of calling you a bigot because I pointed out the discriminatory nature of one of your positions. You have never apologized for that excess.

Why would I apologize to someone who called me a bigot? I explained to you, in excruciating detail, why my comment wasn't bigotry. Your reaction was nothing more than another of your juvenile attempts to discredit my background, knowledge and experience.

Your replies in this thread are yet further examples.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2159193 - 09/28/13 05:03 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2408
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Marty,
The point is that I never called you a bigot. You claimed that my description of the discriminatory nature of your comment equaled calling you a bigot. I think you know the English language well enough to be fully aware of the distinction between to two.

Pointing out the discriminatory implications of a persons positions does not equal calling them a bigot.

I feel I am owed an apology for your insult. I am insulted you think I called you a bigot when I most definitely did no such thing.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2159212 - 09/28/13 05:42 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 393
Loc: France


Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Marty,
The point is that I never called you a bigot. You claimed that my description of the discriminatory nature of your comment equaled calling you a bigot. I think you know the English language well enough to be fully aware of the distinction between to two.

Pointing out the discriminatory implications of a persons positions does not equal calling them a bigot.

I feel I am owed an apology for your insult. I am insulted you think I called you a bigot when I most definitely did no such thing.


I must say that I have always found Marty's grasp of English to be quite exemplary. I expect that he even knows how to spell 'equalled'.

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#2159220 - 09/28/13 05:50 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: TheLoneliestMonk]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 393
Loc: France


Also, in your second paragraph, 'persons' is quite wrong for the possessive, you mean 'person's'.

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#2159846 - 09/29/13 09:29 PM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
hoola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 222
Loc: LA, USA
Dear Ed McMorrow, Dear Marty <-> Dear Marty, Dear Ed McMorrow

One good thing of this forum is it gives different points of view from different angles & perspectives, this is very helpful for piano lovers from different horizons with different objectives, budgets…

Therefore the more contradictory or constrast points of views are, the better.

I have one interesting experience to share:

I bought my Grotrian 6f3 new in Paris in 1991. The person who prepped my piano did a special prep: he used a cutter to thin all shanks of the treble section of my brand new Grotrian. He explained the reason in a mystic, transcendental vocabularies above my head that escaped my ears. As a mechanical engineer I worried about the force resistance of thinned shanks.

I then used technicians from 2 other prestigious piano dealers in Paris to tune my piano: Hanlet (exclusive importer of Steinway in France at that time, its technicians serve Steinways of most prestigious names in Paris) and Daniel Magne (exclusive importer of Bosendorfer in France at that time, and piano expert for Opera de Paris, author of a book about piano http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Magne/e/B001K7G0VK ). I asked them the reason why shanks were thinned by cutter. Technician from Hanlet smiled and said “the person who prepped your piano thinks that he can do better than Grotrian Steinweg”, Daniel Magne shrugged his shoulders and gave no answer.

Nearly 20 years later, I posted this same question on this forum twice. The first time: no answer, the 2nd time Del replied and explained the reason.

My lesson: all “experts” don’t think the same way, don’t have same knowledge, therefore it’s good to know different points of view. And a good answer can come very late.

=> Please don’t restrain your point of view even it goes again the whole world. This kind of Internet forum is the ideal place to speak out so people can learn different things to build their own judgement

Best regards

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#2160034 - 09/30/13 11:00 AM Re: Steinway voicing and regulation cost? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2408
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I agree with you Marty, Your discriminatory remarks were not bigotry. And I never used the term bigot to describe them! You accused me.
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