Piano Lifesaver System

Piano Lifesaver System

The Dampp-Chaser Piano Lifesaver system is an all-in-one humidity control solution for pianos. Pictured are three different stages of the installation: 1. All components installed. 2. All wires tied and secured neatly out of the way. 3. Undercover installed. This not only helps protect and "seal" the humidity and temperature levels inside the piano, but also neatly covers up the entire system without affecting the sound at all.This church piano was having major problems with tuning stability due to temperature and humidity fluctuations in the church. It's no magic bullet, but this system should make a big difference! #pixlr...
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Cleaning matters

Cleaning matters

Cleaning the soundboard and plate of a grand piano can make a huge cosmetic difference! It won't make the piano look new again (at least, don't count on it), but if you have a grand piano and like to leave the lid open, make sure you stay on top of cleaning. General purpose, non-abrasive cleaners are fine for the metal plate. The soundboard is a little trickier to clean if you don't have special equipment to get under the strings, so you may want to talk to your technician about that at your annual appointment. This piano was nearly a century old, and it might have been that long since it was cleaned. There was about an eighth of an inch of dust on the soundboard! ...
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Quality tools for quality work

Quality tools for quality work

It's important to recognize when you hire someone to work on your piano (or anything you own) that the fee or hourly rate you pay encapsulates the entire amount needed to run the business and offer you the service. There are significant cost overheads involved in any business; self-employment and in-home services are certainly no exception One of the biggest cost overheads in piano work is tools. In order to work efficiently and quickly, at a high level of quality, while minimizing the risk of any damage to your piano, there are a number of specialized tools that piano technicians carry. One of the most important is the tuning lever, or "tuning hammer." This Fujan tuning lever is not cheap, but it is one of the best investments I've made. With a carbon fiber shaft and precision machined head, it gives the best possible grip and torque on tuning pins. And since I have to adjust about 230 tuning pins on every...
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Key Leveling, Squaring, and Spacing

Key Leveling, Squaring, and Spacing

Key level, squaring, and spacing: three areas that few pianists notice unless they are very poorly regulated. But all three areas dramatically affect the feel and function of the keyboard. Adding to the fun on this keyboard were a few loose keytops that had not been glued well when they were replaced. Taking care of your piano keyboard is one of the most visible and important cosmetic aspects of the instrument, but it also will make it much more enjoyable to play! ...
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Two different solutions for old, dead hammers

Two different solutions for old, dead hammers

Top: before and after hammer reshaping. This can't make the hammers new again, but can restore some of the tone, even out the sound, and improve sustain. In this case, it was a helpful measure on an old piano where replacing hammers wasn't currently in the budget. In a perfect world, this should be done every few years on all hammers, especially on high quality or heavily used instruments. Bottom: new hammers on a 100-year-old upright. This is the ideal solution for this age instrument, where the original hammers really have nothing left to give. Many people do not realize that hammer quality and maintenance are some of the biggest factors in the tone quality of a piano! They are worth everything you put into them. ...
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Pitch raise

This piano was more than a half step flat! Tuning something this poorly maintained is not much fun, but the task is made much easier by an ETD (Electronic Tuning Device). If you watch the display carefully, you can see, as well as hear, each of the three strings rise in pitch until they are all at the target pitch. Customers often ask about the difference between tuning by ear (aurally) vs. using an electronic device. Some people hold to strong positions one way or the other. At the end of the day, the quality of the tuning is what matters! I use both methods, but I tend toward mostly aural for fine tuning quality instruments, and mostly electronic for a first-pass pitch raise like this, where all you can expect is to get it in the ballpark. ...
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Ben Patterson, RPT

Ben Patterson, RPT

I'm happy to announce that I am now a Registered Piano Technician (RPT) with the Piano Technicians Guild! It has been my pleasure to professionally service pianos for the last eight years. This year, I chose to join the Piano Technicians Guild and complete their certification process. The PTG is the foremost organization in the USA for piano technician certification, networking, and professional development, and I am happy to now be a professional part of it. For more information about the PTG, check out their website! www.ptg.org In the meantime, I'll be continuing to expand South Jersey Piano Service. I'll also try to get back to regular social media updates! ...
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Dampp-Chaser Piano Lifesaver system

Dampp-Chaser Piano Lifesaver system

This piano is a 45-year-old Steinway upright, which only seems half its age thanks to this Dampp-Chaser humidity control system. The Dampp-Chaser "Piano Lifesaver" system is a humidity control system designed specifically for pianos. It truly is a lifesaver, particularly for pianos in churches, schools, and other institutions where the climate is not controlled as consistently as a home. I highly recommend the system for any instrument, and especially for church and school instruments. It can't resurrect an already dead piano (sorry), but it will help to significantly preserve the life of your instrument! If you'd like to read more about humidity control, visit: http://www.sjpianoservice.com/humidity_control.htm ...
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