Author Archives: Keith Alexander

Rebuilding Whippens

Recently much has been said about the proper definition of a rebuilt piano. The older parts do not have to be replaced but must come up to the standards set by the manufacturer for the new part. I would like to concentrate on one part frequently replaced by rebuilders – the whippen. There are several […]

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Pre-Voicing

When confronted by tone problems, many piano technicians seem overly anxious to find a quick remedy by using voicing needles or lacquer. Both needling and lacquering are important elements in the over-all voicing picture; a skilled technician must know when and how to use voicing needles, as well as how to prepare and use lacquer […]

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Concert Piano Preparation – part 2 (Conclusion)

The primary concerns in concert voicing are evenness (funny how often that word comes up in piano work, isn’t it?) and colour flexibility. By evenness, of course, I mean that notes should not stand out from their neighbours by being either too powerful and brilliant or too soft and mellow. By colour flexibility, I mean […]

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Concert Piano Preparation – part I

Most piano technicians have the opportunity to experience many different facets of piano work. While comparatively few of us actually specialize in tuning and preparation of fine concert instruments, I think most of us, at one time or another, are called on to perform this service. My first concert tuning experience came when I was […]

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Fine Tuning

I have completed my 30th year of tuning and general piano service and during all of that time it has been my aim to improve the quality of my work in any way possible. I believe most tuners have this same aim. I have been successful and my work has been acceptable to my customers […]

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Grand Regulation – part XXX

Step no46 Check string level / damper seating   Most technicians know that piano wire, even after being strung  and pulled up to tension, still retains a natural curve as a result of being reeled upon a spool during manufacturing. Because of this natural curve, the three strings (or two) which make a unison may […]

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Grand Regulation – part XXIX

Combined Steps no43 check damper lift from key (1/2 dip) & no44 check damper lift from lifter rail  The regulation of the damper levers involves checking for evenness of the levers for proper sostenuto tab adjustment, how high the levers are for proper damper lift from the keys, and how evenly the levers lift from […]

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Grand Regulation – part XXVIII

Step no 42: Check Damper Guide Rail, Ease or Rebush All of the felts in a piano eventually ear out with age or use. One of the more overlooked areas of wear is in the damper guide rail. Perhaps the reason the guide rail, and for that matter, the entire damper system, is overlooked is […]

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Grand Regulation – part XXVII

Step no41: Rebush / lube pedals and trapwork   This step is divided into two parts. Part I deals with the lyre and pedals. Part II concerns the trapwork. So important is the pedal / trapwork system that it should not be left unattended, ever. Each time a piano is serviced, whether it be for regular […]

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Grand Regulation – part XXVI

Step no39: Adjust Key Stop Rail    This step is certainly one of lesser importance, although it cannot be overlooked. The key stop rail has, in my opinion, two functions. The primary function, though rarely needed, is to keep the keys from falling off the key pins when the piano is put on its side […]

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