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attention piano experts, techs, repairers,tuners alike-test your skills and knowledge


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can you tell me what can you hear from this audio sample and what do you think is wrong and needs to get fixed on this upright piano.



- first part is all 88 keys played up and down.

- second part is a section of the keyboard played up and down that doesn't sound right to me.

- third part is single notes in intervals of the section of the keyboard that doesn't sound right to me.


they are recorded consecutively into one audio mp3 file. it's a small file and not that long to listen to, so please give it a go.


the following pics are of the internal problems i see after pulling off the front cover of the piano.






- what could have caused this

- can this be repaired by a simple turn or snap into place

- can this easily be repaired by a technically minded person, though has never had any experience with pianos before

- is this a major fix up

- i do not think that it alters the notes or action of the key, so should i fix it or will it get worse


is there a service manual for pianos that you can download on the net

do most pianos mechanism work on the same principles and workings and if you have access to one piano service manual, it should pretty much be the same for all other pianos?



- are these hammers conditions any good still

- do i need to do anything to them

the string indents are alot more defined in real life than in the photo, but it looks ok to me though. the colour is still vibrant on the hammers.


i know this is not the appropriate way of finding out whats wrong with a piano and i am not expecting that the replies will be spot on but atleast it will give a ruff estimate to what the problems are and may save me some money down the line incase i come across a piano tech or repairer who may take advantage of my lack of knowledge about these things. also if some of the problems can be simple to fix, then i or someone i know will give it a try.


thanx to all the people that will participate in this.

watch this space

ine-kpro... (eye-yen-kay pro)



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Just listening to it, its out of tune of course, sounds like a few of the hammers are not hitting on all the strings, (the hammers are twisted or these felts are worn uneven) and there's some buzzing that could be caused by a number of different things - try to identify the source by listening. Its possible for a string to buzz internally. Didn't hear any damper problems, but only listened once and could have missed something.


A couple of texts I have are Fischer - Piano Tuning. and Wicks "The Family piano doctor". These are both useful without being difinitive.


Didn't get much out of the photos. Those "little green" things are your back-stops. While they should be aligned they are not the cause of your problems. As far as I could tell from the felts photo they are ok, but are any of those where the problem is?

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This unit is between 40" and 42" tall, typically called a console. Most often, more care is taken to make it a pretty piece of furniture than a decent instrument. The time to consult with a piano tech is before you make the mistake of acquiring one of these.


In addition to the size, the photos tell me this unit is brand new, or close to it. The hammers appear to be twisted to the right so that they'll hit all 3 strings. And yes, you have a few backchecks out of alignment. Both are indications of sloppy manufacturing. You could twist that one back check into place yourself, but the ones that only grab half the catcher should be handled by somebody who has the right tools for making precise bends in back check wires and a little experience using them. Back checks can be tricky.


The bass bridge in this unit is almost certainly beveled or chamfered, and not individually notched for each unison pair. This results in a left unison longer than the right. Untunable, even if the strings are scaled and wound to perfection. They aren't. As Byrdman suggested, some of your buzzes are loose windings. Sometimes this can be fixed by backing off the tension, removing the eye loop from the hitch pin and twisting the string 180, 360 or 540 degrees to tighten the winding. This increases the possibility of string breakage.


Other buzzes are clearly bridge pins. If the pin is in the right place (the notch or chamfer at the pin's center), you can often fix this sort of buzz by lightly tapping the string on the flat of the bridge at both bridge pins to seat the string firmly on the bridge. Use a brass punch so you don't nick the string. If the bridge is notched behind the bridge pin, there's no easy fix.


If you could get me to work on one of these, I'd recommend putting no more than 2X or 2.5X a normal tuning's $ into tuning, chasing buzzes and fixing the worst of the action problems. I'd more likely recommend selling it to somebody who appreciates it as furniture without putting a dime into tuning or repair. Even without the buzzes, I hear a harsh little piano with strings that are too short, struck by hammers that are too small and hard, a very lame sounding mid section with a very uneven transition between plain and wound strings. The difference between what it is and the best it can be isn't much. Beware of anybody who wants to do too much work on it.


Did I pass the test? Did I win anything?

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>> Nothing wrong with that piano.


...that a six pack if tuning fluid can't fix.


>> It's your material that's weak.


That too. Perhaps the black keys will be on the next release.


Hey Marky, please post something else. You're at 1499 and I want to see if your member is still platinum at 1500.

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Is it really a new piano? It certainly looked new but I found it hard to believe given the problems.


where did it come from?


BTW, wmp is right about what you can expect from a piano of this size, even in good condition. Seems to me they are designed for people who need somewhere to display photographs.

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Hey wait a minute, my piano's 42 inches. What's yours?


Markyboard congrats on retaining your platinum member. :thu:


Wmp, fantastically interesting synopsis! You do recall agreeing to be my personal piano tech, right? :)

"........! Try to make It..REAL! compared to what? ! ! ! " - BOPBEEPER
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