Len Hess Piano Service is a full service piano repair shop, no job is too big or small.
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Customer Hammer Installation
New Key Tops
Touch Weight Correction
Time can cause the piano’s action performance to decline. The warping of wood, compression of the felt, and other types of wear. A skilled technician can restore it to optimal precision. The process is Regulation. Regulation involves adjustments, from turning a screw to sanding down a wood surface. Brand new pianos may lose their regulation when moved to their new home.
The goal of regulation is to make the piano’s touch and sound consistent across all notes. Making the keys responsive to the rapid or subtle motions of the player. Allowing it to achieve the widest possible range of dynamics.
The most important adjustments include:
- Let-off: When the hammer disengages from the jack. Too much, it can be difficult to execute rapid trills, and powerful fortes. Too little, notes can get a pinched sound.
- Drop: How far the hammers fall back after let-off. This affects action responsiveness.
- Repetition springs in a grand piano allow a hammer to strike with minimal lifting of a key. Too springy, may cause double-strikes. Not springy enough, can make it difficult to repeat a note.
- Key weights control the inertia of the keys. A technician can adjust the weights in the keys to change how light or heavy the keys feel.
The goal is uniform tone quality across the piano. How often you play the piano, and the setting and preferences, factor how often to voice a piano.
The felt hammers of the piano tend to harden over time. Continuous impact causes the felt to become compressed. Hard hammers turn out a brighter tone quality, which can become harsh and undesirable. Piano technicians will soften hammers exploitation special tools known as voicing needles.
Over time, the strings can wear grooves into the surface of the hammers. once the grooves become deep enough, voicing cannot restore the piano’s tone. Now a technician will file the hammers, restoring their original ovoid form. At the expense of making them somewhat smaller, this method could repeat many times. Once there’s not enough felt left on the hammers you need to replace them.
Restoration and Rebuilding
Pianos have a limited lifetime, usually measured in decades. Yet, different parts have different lifetimes. On a well cared for instrument, hammers might last five years. The soundboard might last fifty years. Regular replacement of worn parts can extend a piano’s lifetime by decades. With a sound frame, some pianos last over 100 years. Even then sometimes the frame can be repaired.
Old, well used pianos can have some parts of the action and the frame in good shape. Piano technicians are able to restore an instrument by replacing many components. These include the strings, soundboard and ribs, pin-block, hammers, action, and bridges. Restoration means more replacement work than regular repair or maintenance. Rebuilding means even more intensive work than restoration. Yet, there is no precise definition of these terms.
Restoration is labor-intensive and expensive. Often done when the original piano is of high quality, or has historical or sentimental value.