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Regulating my grand piano - worth it?


alby

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I bought a grey market Yamaha G2 about 8 years ago for $10,000 AUD. It is about 35 years old. The piano technician that inspected it said that it was ok, but needed regulation which then he quoted $1,200.00.

 

I baulked at the price, but now am getting a lit bit frustrated by the action, squeaking and intermittent sticking of keys. I rang him up again, and he kept notes on the piano and said that it will now cost between $1800 to $2000 to regulate the piano and that it will take 3-4 weeks.

 

This piano technician was recommended by the Conservatorium of Music and is I think well regarded.

 

Does anyone have any experience in having their piano regulated and is it worth the expense?

 

regards

alby

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Three red flags; the price, the price increase sight unseen, and the time estimate. I've been out of the business for quite a while, but $2000 sounds a bit steep to me. Three to four weeks to do the work is just plain absurd. Inside of three days, one should be able to take any piano that doesn't need major repair and make it all that it can be.

 

You definitely want to have it tuned, regulated, and voiced by the right guy. I'm not convinced that this is the right guy. Find the best players you can and find out who they use.

 

For $2800 plus food and lodging, I'll come out of retirement, pay my air fare from the other side of the planet, and hook you up.

 

 

 

--wmp
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The price does seem high, but not by too much. $2000 AUD is $1763 USD. I spent almost that much regulating my grand, which was only 5 years old, not grey-market, and in decent shape to begin with. He even gave me homework to do a relatively simple but repetitive and time-consuming (expensive) part of the work myself. And yes it was a reputable technician, which is why he charges $90/hour (USD).

 

88 keys at $90/hour. If he spends 15 minutes on each note, that's $1980 !

 

It's definitely worth it to have a really nice piano! I think that price is in the ballpark, but it's probably good advice to get an estimate from a different tech.

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Do it, just get bids and even more important, check references. This is actually a case where you want to maximize quality, as it is something you won't have done very often. I've had mine done twice, first when I bought it (new) and again after 5 years of hard practice. You will notice the difference in playability and in sound. I've never regretted the investment, and I'm one of those idiotically miserly people who tend to mourn every penny I spend.
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Regulation is very time consuming and very expensive now days. Prices have risen. Just ask the Piano Tech Forum experts:

 

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/forums/3/1/Piano%20Tuner-Technicians%20Forum.html

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." 

Harry teaches jazz piano online using Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, or Google Meet.

 

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Regulation is very time consuming and very expensive now days. Prices have risen. Just ask the Piano Tech Forum experts:

 

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/forums/3/1/Piano%20Tuner-Technicians%20Forum.html

 

 

....And yet in a world where fewer people use real pianos and the economy downright blows, you'd think techs' prices would be MORE competitive.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Regulation is very time consuming and very expensive now days. Prices have risen. Just ask the Piano Tech Forum experts:

 

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/forums/3/1/Piano%20Tuner-Technicians%20Forum.html

 

 

....And yet in a world where fewer people use real pianos and the economy downright blows, you'd think techs' prices would be MORE competitive.

 

Though it might go a long way toward explaining why fewer and fewer venues have real pianos!

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I baulked at the price, but now am getting a lit bit frustrated by the action, squeaking and intermittent sticking of keys. I rang him up again, and he kept notes on the piano and said that it will now cost between $1800 to $2000 to regulate the piano and that it will take 3-4 weeks.

 

I'm not trying to 'blow-my-own-trumpet' here, but I've been a professional

 

piano tuner/technician for 28 years. I've got a lot of experience with working on top-quality instruments

 

in environments such as BBC/Independant UK TV companies, Orchestral/Opera productions etc......

 

so I'd like to think I know what I'm talking about!

 

 

What I'd say to your question is that the price does seem excessive.

 

A 'partial' regulation of the action (to remove the squeaks & stickiness) would only take a few hours.

 

(3 or 4 weeks is ridiculous) A 'full' regulation would take maybe a couple of days, so the asking-rate

 

does seem too much.

 

For that price you could pay for my flight to Oz, & I'd do the work for you :thu:.

 

 

John.

 

some stuff on myspace

 

Nord: StageEX-88, Electro2-73, Hammond: XK-1, Yamaha: XS7

Korg: M3-73 EXpanded, M50-88, X50, Roland: Juno D, Kurzweil: K2000vp.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi guys,

 

Just got my action back after the regulation.

 

The difference is unbelievable. The keys strike the strings much sooner than before. The dynamic range is much bigger, with more control. I can play rapid passages so much quicker. It is like worth 5 years of practise.

 

The tone is improved, and the sustain of the really high notes seems longer.

 

The sustain pedal is much more controlled. And no more squeaks!

 

Worth the $$, like having a brand new piano.

 

Regards

Alby

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Incredible. Great Alby, cool to hear. Nothing beats rediscovering something for the first time. That makes me want to get mine regulated. With the $$ it costs though, I figure if it ain't broke, maybe I shouldn't fix it.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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I've had my well worn Yamaha G1 regulated and and voiced a few times over the years. It makes a HUGE difference. I just had it voiced to suit my new studio and it's great. Bear in mind a G1 is a pretty crappy grand piano - bottom of the range.

www.dazzjazz.com

PhD in Jazz Organ Improvisation.

BMus (Hons) Jazz Piano.

1961 A100.Leslie 45 & 122. MAG P-2 Organ. Kawai K300J. Yamaha CP4. Moog Matriarch. KIWI-8P.

 

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Glad to hear you're piano is more satisfying to play now Alby. Nothing like a smooth playing instrument.

 

I just had the D regulated last week by this young girl who recently relocated here from NY. She was recommended to me by the new Steinway dealer in town. I guess she had done some work at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher.

 

She did a terrific job. Needled the hammers a bit ( it was getting a little "clangy" ) and regulated. Charged me $50 an hour. She also tuned although I don't think her tuning skills are quite has solid has my regular guy who's been around a long time.

 

The tuning was $150 and then she voiced for an hour or so. She came back in a few days and spent around 3 hrs. on the regulation---so the total for everything was $300 which I thought was very reasonable.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

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