“SERVICES & PRICES” (Abbreviated List With Pricing)

(1) PIANO TUNING ($90 in and around Fredericton)

(2) PITCH RAISING ($20 for a pitch raise or pitch lowering that exceeds 20 cents)

(3) REPAIRS ($40 an hour)

(4) ESTIMATES ($40 flat rate)

(5) REGULATION ($40 an hour)

(6) PIANO CLEANING ($40 an hour)

(7) INSTALLATION OF HUMIDITY SYSTEMS (Between $630 - $800)

(8) ADVICE and APPRAISALS ($50 if a visit to the piano is necessary)

(9) VOICING ($40 an hour)

(see matching number below in “Services & Prices” for (further explanation))

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SERVICES & PRICES (further explanation)

(1) PIANO TUNING ($90 in and around Fredericton)

-This price increases the farther I travel out of Fredericton (home-base).

-Piano tuning is the process of adjusting the sound intervals we hear as “in tune.” I tune the A above middle C to 440 Hz.(cycles per second). This is referred to as “concert pitch” or “standard pitch”. If I need to deviate from this standard, I will explain. I tune with the aid of a computer program designed specifically for pianos. I believe the computer to be an advantageous tool. I also use an app on my cell phone and my ears but mainly I use the computer program.

(2) PITCH RAISING ($20 for a pitch raise or pitch lowering that exceeds 20 cents)

-A deviation of this sort is generally caused by the instrument having been neglected or exposed to severe swings in relative humidity. Regular tuning and a stable environment will help a piano “stay in tune.” The computer program I use is extremely helpful in achieving the most stable tuning possible. Piano manufacturers generally recommend four tunings the first year of a piano's life and twice a year thereafter.

(3) REPAIRS ($40 per hour)

-This charge is for the time spent repairing only and the price of any parts is added to that.

-I can repair squeaks, clicks and buzzes. If one of the 9000 parts of your piano is broken or malfunctioning, I can repair or replace it. If there is a repair that is outside of my scope of work, I will try to refer you to a qualified person.

(4) ESTIMATES ($40 flat rate)

-I charge a service fee of $40 for a visit to your piano if you require a quote price which includes tuning plus repairs. IF after a few days you decide to hire me to tune and repair your piano at the quote I have previously supplied THEN I will return to you (by deducting from the invoice) $20 or half the price of the “estimate cost” as a reward for hiring me as your tech for the job. 

(5) REGULATION ($40 an hour)

-Quite frequently, if it is just a few alignment issues etc., I will not charge for these at all.

-“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.”

(6) PIANO CLEANING ($40 an hour)

-Pianos become dusty and dirty under the strings, around pins, in the action cavity and in the bottom part. I can vacuum and clean these areas as well as the case and keys. I offer this as an additional service.

(7) INSTALLATION OF HUMIDITY SYSTEMS (Between $630 - $750)

-I am a field representative for Dampp Chaser Systems and can install a system on your grand or upright piano that is designed to keep the relative humidity of the air within your piano at the ideal level of 42%. This protects your instrument from wide humidity swings and makes your tunings stable.

(8) ADVICE and APPRAISALS ($50 if a visit to the piano is necessary)

-I can help you find information to help you with the purchase of a new or used piano. I can accompany you to look at a piano and give you a technician’s opinion of its condition and needs. If you are unavailable, I can look at a piano and report back to you.

-I am qualified to give you my opinion of the value of your instrument. Whether you’re looking for an insurance value, replacement value or resale value, I can obtain the information you need.

(9) VOICING ($40 an hour)

-Voicing is the adjustment of a piano’s tone or quality of sound. Tone can be changed without affecting the pitch. A very “bright” piano can be mellowed and vice versa. Other tonal qualities can be adjusted. The degree of change possible depends upon the piano’s design and condition.

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Frequently Asked Questions (more in-depth answers)

How much does it cost to tune my piano? 

    My charge for tuning your piano will be $90 if you live in and around Fredericton. The price increases proportionately depending on how far you live out of the city. I throw in free of charge simple but helpful fixes like adjusting the dampers and pedals and I will check the piano bench for loose legs and tighten them if needed, etc.

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  If your piano has not been tuned and maintained regularly (at least once every 12 months) then it might require a “major pitch raise” (or pitch lowering). This applies to any piano that is 20 cents flat or lower (sharp or higher).

I charge an additional $20 to the price of the tuning for a major pitch raise. I charge extra for a major pitch raise because it takes me longer in that during the process of a major pitch raise sometimes I need to go through the piano three times then “fine-tune” it after all that.

Of course, any additional regulation adjustments or repairs and parts have a separate charge.

I will tune your piano to Standard “Concert” Pitch which is A440 unless I deem the strings are too rusty or fatigued. In such cases I will explain how in order to try to prevent string breakage I will tune it below standard pitch. If you agree I will proceed.

How much do you charge for a sticky key?

    For repairs on your piano in general I charge $40 per hour plus parts. The good thing about this is that I usually can get a lot done in an hour or less depending on the situation of course. “Most” of the time sticky keys just need some properly placed CLP which is a special cleaner and lubricant and the key is as good as new.

Of course, this is not always the case and the flange pin will need to be replaced then I would charge a little more. If I tune your piano, I do not charge for minor adjustments and simple repairs (and I make many of them spontaneously when going through all the keys) unless I have to remove the “piano action” to repair it.

As I tune your piano key-by-key in the course of bringing it up to pitch I will find any sticky or sluggish keys on it and free them up on the spot.

What if I have broken strings on my piano?

    Most often, depending where the string breaks, I will be able to "splice" the string first. For splicing I charge $30 per string. I can replace any string but some strings need to be special made (I’m talking about Bass Strings) and therefore I would need to order them from a supplier. The cost is generally in the vicinity of $60-70 installed. For regular steel strings (not Bass Strings) the charge is $50 per string installed as I supply the string and install it also.

I have been told that I need new strings on my piano, how much does that cost?

    When restringing a piano there are two things to consider: 

    -First question: "Is the piano worth it?" If the piano is a high quality piano, it would be worth the expense.  If the piano has sentimental value then you have to consider whether it is worth the expense.  For instance, if the piano is an heirloom and is likely to be passed to other members of the family.
  
    -Second question to consider is: "Does it need both treble and bass strings to be replaced or does it just need the bass strings to be replaced?"  Bass strings become dead from temperature and humidity changes. They also collect dust in the windings. If your bass section strings sound have the sound of a dull thud (in the field we call this a “tubby” sound), more than likely the bass section needs to be replaced.  

    I recommend that the piano be completely restrung, both treble and bass strings as this will give a more beautiful sound to the piano.  The tuning pins are typically replaced at the time of restringing. The cost of a complete restringing on a piano will need to quoted per project.

What if I have broken hammers.  How can they be replaced?

    If a hammer breaks on your piano, save it. Do not toss it in the garbage as I will almost always use it again on your piano. It is best to place it somewhere inside the piano, as it will easily become lost, or you will forget where you put it.  
    
    I can usually repair the broken hammer in your home, but if not I will take the action out and bring it to my workshop and repair it.  Before I take the action out I will inform you as to the expense of repairing the action.

    If all the hammers need to be replaced, the cost will be quoted per project. It usually takes several weeks to replace hammers as each hammer is taken out of the action and is handled separately.

I have several Ivories missing and considering the ban on ivory, what can I do?

    I carry a supply of old ivories (and simulated plastic ivories) taken off old pianos that have been destroyed.  Most of the time I can match the coloring or aging of the ivory. I install and charge $10 a key top.

Is it possible to replace all the keytops on my piano?

    Yes, it is possible to replace the keytops on your piano. The new keytops will be of plastic, however, new keytops will greatly improve the look of your old piano. I will give you a quote as to the cost per project.

The last time my piano was tuned I was told that the tuning pins are loose. Is there anything that can be done for my piano?

There are several ways to tighten the tuning pins on your piano.

        1. The process of "gluing" the pins is the one I recommend. This process involves laying the vertical piano on its back (similar procedure for a grand only they are already laying flat) and applying very thin but also very potent CA glue on every tuning pin and let the very thin glue be gravity fed down the pins length where it hardens and causes the wood to swell around the pin. This is the cheapest way to correct the issue of loose tuning pins. I charge $220 which “includes” a tuning ($180 if no tuning is required). Please note that by performing this procedure on your piano this means the tuning pins will have good resistance for many years to come. The piano should hold its tune for at least 12 months now as opposed to tuning it every 2-4 months without this procedure.
        2. Also and more commonly although not nearly as productive I will glue them one at a time or in other words “as I find they need it” with the piano in upright position since pianos are so heavy. This procedure is adequate although not as good as number 1 above.
        3. There is another way to tighten the pins. When the piano is restrung and new pins are installed whereby the technician will replace the pins with a larger diameter pin.
        4. Another approach for the loose tuning pins is to replace them individually with a slightly larger diameter tuning pin.
        5. Also the loose pin(s) can be taken out and the hole lined with a 50mm cardboard and the tuning pin then screwed in with the cardboard acting as a gap filler hence causing resistance.

6. Another procedure includes “punching” the tuning pins into the tuning block a few millimeters so as to give the pins some resistance again.

Where is the  best place to put my piano in my home?

    It is preferable to place your piano on an inside wall. However, with modern houses that are insulated properly there should not be a problem placing the piano on an outside wall if no other wall is available.  

The piano should not be placed near any heat and A/C vents, or anywhere near moving air.  

    The piano should not be placed in a basement unless it has a dehumidifier or has a Piano Life Saver System installed in the piano.  If your piano needs a Piano Life Saver System, I am able to install the system you need after looking at the piano. I charge $630 to purchase and install this system in your piano ($675 if a tuning is required). This is a savings 15% (actually $45 savings) if your piano needs to be tuned as well.

Here is a video that will demonstrate and educate you as to the benefits of installing the Piano Life Saver System:

 

How long does it take to tune my piano?

    It usually takes about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to tune a piano. There are some considerations involving the amount of time to tune a piano like when was the last time it was tuned, etc.  If the piano needs minor repairs, the amount of time will increase. It will also take extra time if the piano's pitch is considerably lower than A-440. It takes extra time to do a pitch raise.

I hope this has been helpful.

Written by Duane Graves @ Duane's Piano Tuning & Technology