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#2250429 - 03/22/14 11:12 AM New Strings
gsmonks Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/10
Posts: 638
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
How long does it take a new set of strings to settle in completely, and how often should I expect to have my piano tuned until they're broken in?

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#2250500 - 03/22/14 02:07 PM Re: New Strings [Re: gsmonks]
tannertuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Georgia, USA
Depends on how often you have it tuned. I would tune a newly strung piano at least 5 times before I released it to you, then after a month, then 2 months after that, then 3 months after that, then maybe again in another 3 months then every 6 months minimum for as long as you have the piano. Expect a minimum of 2 years to stabilize, just like a new piano.
Jeff Tanner
Piano Tuner-Technician; 30 years
Tanner Piano

#2250554 - 03/22/14 04:02 PM Re: New Strings [Re: gsmonks]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
agreed, now in moderate climate the piano can stay "playable" for one year, once the stabilization cycle have been done (1 month 2 month, 3 months etc)

pitch lower less and less, and at some point only seasonal variations change the tuning from dry season tuning to "humid season tuning", hence the advantage to have it tuned always at the same time of year, and by a tuner that knows how to anticipate the motion due to the seasons.

In a stable climate, I have seen pianos staying at pitch and "tuned" for many years, despite real playing each day. about 20% variations in HR in one of those places (old houses with wooden floors and natural stone walls, very good exchanges with outside, moderate heating during winter. (no electric heating)

A good piano (good scale, computed taking in account an even/progressive stretch of the wire) resist well to moderate changes once the strings have settle IMHO.

Living in a really moderate climate (when compared to some) I can witness of some situations like this. It can happen under generally humid climate and under generally dry climate as well certainly.

I tune each year an upright that is 30 years old, located at 100 meters from the Atlantic ocean. No heating in winter.

The piano needs a standard tuning, nothing special, no pitch raise, for instance.

PS Playing forcefully or having very hard hammers (or even bad regulation) will put the piano out of tune whatever the efforts and quality of the tuner are.

Edited by Olek (03/22/14 04:04 PM)
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills

#2250559 - 03/22/14 04:12 PM Re: New Strings [Re: gsmonks]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
See , how new strings are stretched (where ?), the pics date 1980 +-)
Grotrian Steinweg

strong push create a flatter strike line where the hammers will hit the strings and "age" a little the wire.

In our workshops the strings are massaged manually, with a hard wood piece. I was told "when it warms it is OK" . A tool is used where the body can push with some force while the hand moves the wooden piece up and down (upright piano)

if some indentation occur at the bridge at this occasion, it can even eventually provide a firmer contact wire/bridge and densify the wood under the string (better energy transmission, I was said ; proof : a metal plate installed at the bridge top reinforce the power).

The bridge pins are installed so the geometry is good with that small "channeling". All that in my opinion of course...

I heard some pretend nothing happens after the pin, but it does not sound totally reasonable to me.

Edited by Olek (03/22/14 04:20 PM)
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills

#2250728 - 03/22/14 10:30 PM Re: New Strings [Re: gsmonks]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2324
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
With an adequate tuning schedule-a set of new strings will take nearly three years to stop moving. If the stringing workmanship is bad-it will take much, much longer.
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

#2251507 - 03/24/14 05:23 PM Re: New Strings [Re: gsmonks]
gsmonks Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/10
Posts: 638
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Many thanks for all the info!

I have an old Armand (Heinzman stencil), serial # 979, that was rebuilt in 1976. It's still pretty much in tune with itself, although it's around 3/4 semitone flat overall. I sometimes wonder if it wasn't tuned to itself, rather than A440? By the look of it the strings are original.

Canadian-made pianos like it (Dominion, Bell, etc.) tend to get that characteristic thuddiness in the low range. I'm not expecting a new set of strings to banish that sound entirely, but I do want the sound to be more even: some notes are a bit dead-sounding, overall volume isn't uniform.

The hammers are still in good condition, no doubt because the old piano hasn't been played much. That said, I wonder how new-sounding 38-year-old felt can be expected to be?


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