"Having been a piano teacher in Calgary for many years, I am frequently asked to recommend a “good tuner” and I happily pass on Mark’s business card, knowing my pupils' pianos will be in good hands."
Over time, especially if a piano is used frequently, it will be necessary to make adjustments to the action and trapwork (pedals). Felt, cloth and leather parts wear and change the specifications for proper action regulation. Wood can also shrink and swell depending on humidity which is a frequent cause of sticky keys, squeaks and clicks. Sometimes parts just wear out. To insure peak performance, in addition to tuning your piano will need occasional work to compensate for this wear and tear.
GST will be added to all fees listed here.
Tuning – I use a combination of electronic and aural tuning techniques to achieve maximum tuning stability and great tone.
Fee: $110 for a standard tuning in Calgary or Okotoks. The price for tuning outside of town is dependent on the location. Please contact me to discuss the fee for your area.
Reconditioning - When complete rebuilding is not feasible, reconditioning can be a great alternative. An action reconditioning involves removing the action and taking it to my shop. There I take it apart, thoroughly clean it, reshape the hammers to remove the grooves left from hitting the strings, and lubricate all moving parts. After the hammers are reshaped, it is possible to line them up to the strings properly. This is a great opportunity to make little adjustments and repairs that can greatly extend the life of your piano.
Action Reconditioning –$400.00 and up
Keytop replacement -- $400.00 and up
Key rebushing -- $400.00 and up
Pitch Raise – If a piano has gone without tuning for an extended period, its pitch may have dropped far below A- 440. This means that each of its approximately 220 strings needs to be tightened considerably, adding tremendous additional tension to the piano's structure. The problem is that as each string is tightened, the additional load causes the pitch of previously adjusted strings to change. Thus it is impossible to make a substantial change in pitch and end up with a fine, accurate tuning in one step. Instead, a process called "pitch raising" must first be done, in which all strings are raised to their correct average tension levels. Only then can the piano be accurately tuned. In other words, accurate tuning is only possible when all strings are close to their proper tension that only small further changes are needed during tuning. These small changes then do not disturb the tuning of other strings.
Fee: additional $40 to $60
Regulating – Regulation is the adjustment of the mechanical aspects of the piano to compensate for the effects of wear, the compacting and settling of cloth, felt, and buckskin, as well as dimensional changes in wood and wool parts due to changes in humidity.
The three systems involved in regulation are the action, trapwork and damper system. The action is the mechanical part of the piano that transfers the motion of the fingers on the keys to the hammers that strike the strings. It is comprised of over 9,000 parts which require adjustment to critical tolerances to be able to respond to a pianist's every command. The trapwork is the assemblage of levers, dowels and springs that connects the pedals to the action affecting sustain and dynamics. The damper system is the mechanical part of the piano that stops the vibration of the string when you release the key and is controlled by the key and pedal systems.
Major regulation: $400 and up
Voicing – Voicing is the adjustment of a piano's tone or quality of sound. Tone can be changed without affecting the pitch. For example, turning the bass or treble knobs on your stereo changes the tone but does not alter the notes the musician recorded. A skilled piano technician can voice a piano to change its tonal personality from mellow to bright or robust to delicate. The degree of change possible depends upon the piano's design and condition.
Voicing: $80 and up
Rebuilding – Rebuilding involves complete disassembly, inspection, and repair as necessary, including replacement of worn, damaged, or deteriorated parts. The piano is then reassembled, tested, and adjusted to the same or similar tolerances as when it was new.
Complete rebuilding includes the entire piano structure – including soundboard, bridges, pinblock, and strings – as well as the action, keyboard, and case refinishing.
Partial rebuilding includes only one or two of these areas – for example rebuilding of the action and structure, but not case refinishing.
Rebuilding restores the piano to its original condition or better. Such comprehensive work is usually most practical for high-quality instruments where maximum performance and longevity are required.
The cost depends on the amount and complexity of the work required.
Refinishing – I have extensive refinishing experience. Here are some examples of pianos I have restored and/or refinished. Please contact me for pricing. See the Photo Gallery for examples of my work.
Dampp-Chaser Piano Life Saver Automatic Humidity Control System Installation – With the Calgary area being a very dry and inhospitable place for pianos, an internal humidity system is an excellent way to prolong the life of your piano and protect your investment. Please contact me for pricing. See the Dampp-Chaser website for details about this product.