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Ph: (519) 822 - 2451

354-C Elizabeth St.,
Guelph, ON
N1E 2X9

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What type of piano do I have?
Click here for information.

How Often Should a Piano be Tuned?
We recommend that a piano be tuned at least twice a year. During the tuning appointments, our technician will conduct a free piano maintenance inspection.
You can request a tuning appointment by calling us at
519-822-2451, or use our online work request form

Why Does My Piano Go Out Of Tune?
Here are some of the factors that can cause a piano to go out of tune:
Playing it - Although it is designed to maintain its pitch while being played, daily playing, or hard pounding will cause enough strain on the strings that it will pull it out of tune. You may or may not notice it, which is why it's good to have it tuned every 6 months.
Not playing it - Even a piano that sits untouched for periods of time will go out of tune. The piano is built to hold 18 - 20 tons of pressure when all the strings are pulled up to pitch. Natural forces of gravity alone are enough to pull a piano out of tune.
Humidity - As the moisture content in the piano changes from season to season due to humidity, the strings are stretched tighter in a humid environment, or allowed to relax in a drier climate. Humidity control devices on your piano can help decrease this change to the tuning, but a piano will still need regular attention (6 months - 1 year) to maintain proper pitch.
Moving a piano - This is a double whammy for any piano. The moving alone will affect tuning, but also being in a new environment can affect your pianos sound. A store or home from where a piano is purchased can have different temperature or humidity conditions that will affect the tuning. A piano that is just moved should be allowed to "acclimatize" to the new surroundings for a period of time. Once the piano "rests" from these changes, it can be tuned with best results for a longer-lasting tuning.
Temperature - Just as humid and non-humid environments affect your pianos tuning, so do warmer and cooler conditions. It is best to situate your piano where it won't be affected by direct sunlight, heat from a fireplace, or vents that can blow cold or warm air. In a well built home, putting a piano on an "outside" wall should not be a problem.

What is a "Pitch-Raise"?
If a piano has gone flat to a point where it measures A-438 or less, (Standard is A-440), your piano should have a pitch raise. This is a "quick" tuning that is necessary for different reasons. First, the pressure across the piano from top to bottom must be consistent in order for the strings to hold their pitch. Because of the way that your piano is built, an even pressure must be established at the proper pitch so that one string will not pull another string out of tune.
A pitch raise establishes an even "pull" on the piano and the individual strings so that a fine tuning will hold. Also, strings need to be "stretched" again once they have been allowed to go flat. A pitch raise pulls the strings up again or stretches them to a point where they will stay where they need to once a fine tuning is performed. A pitch raise is done quickly to accommodate both factors mentioned above and takes approximately 45 minutes to do. In some cases, a piano may need more than 1 pitch raise before it will hold a fine tune.

How Much Money Should I Spend on a Piano?
Spend as much as you can. You should spend as much on a piano as you would spend on a motor vehicle. A piano that cost under $2,000 is like a scooter - it will get you where you need to go but eventually you will want a smoother ride. A $25,000 upright piano is like a good motor bike and a $25,000 grand piano is like a well built sedan. A Steinway Concert Grand is like a stretch limousine. If you have between $2,000 and $10,000, you could probably purchase a good used piano. To make sure it is a very good one, put out the money to hire a technician to assess it for you just like you would have a mechanic assess a used car before you purchase it.

How Old is my Piano?
If you would like to know the age of your piano and information about the manufacturer, please contact us by phone with the the following information:
- your name and phone number
- piano manufacturer
- piano serial number
* * * You can also use our online work request form.

How Old is Too Old?
When buying a used piano, age is an important consideration. Well maintained, reconditioned or completely rebuilt pianos from the early 1900's can be wonderful instruments and are preferred by many pianists over brand new pianos. Before you spend a lot of money on an older piano, have it assessed by a piano technician.
You can request an assessment by calling us at
519-822-2451, or use our online work request form

Locating the Piano Serial Number
Upright
Lift the top lid, and look inside the piano and the number should be on the cast iron plate.
Grand
Either push the music shelf back or pull it forward and gently remove it. Look to see if the number is on the cast iron plate, between the tuning pins. If it is not there, prop up the lid and look inside around the edges or on the plate. In some cases, the serial number cannot be found without a technician taking the piano apart.

What are Good Makes of Pianos?
There are hundreds of different makes of pianos. Heintzman and Steinway are brands of pianos that most people will recognize. The name alone is not a guarantee of a piano's condition.
For example, we assessed a Heintzman Upright that had cracks in the sound board so large that we could see through them! Pin block replacement and sound board replacement are the most expensive tasks of the rebuilding process of a piano and are sometimes are not considered for an upright piano. We can fix them!
Before buying any make or model, the instrument should be assessed by a piano technician.
You can request an assessment by calling us at
519-822-2451, or use our online work request form

Is My Piano Worth Restoring?
In my travels as a piano tuner/ rebuilder over the past twenty years, I have found that some of the most incredible musical instruments (not to mention most beautiful furniture pieces) have been old upright pianos. However not all old pianos are worth restoring. The deciding factor needs to be based on the pianos potential as a musical instrument. Some older pianos are still great instruments, while others could be with some work. Sadly some will never be good pianos again, regardless of the amount of work done to them. To determine this requires an experienced piano rebuilder to assess the major components of instrument including the plate, soundboard, bridges, pinblock and action. Only after a thorough evaluation can we begin to discuss musical potential and cost of restoration and ultimately decide if there is good value in spending a sum of money on your piano.
For many people the primary motivation to restore their piano is to make it back into a beautiful piece of furniture again. Any piano can be restored aesthetically, no matter how badly the case is damaged. It is only a question of dollars. There is no question the upright pianos built at the turn of the century were some of the best ever built, particularly when it came to quality materials and craftsmanship. In many cases these old pianos can be restored to their original state for less than half the cost of a comparable new piano.