Dr.Kafig’s Piano Tuning| Silver Spring Maryland

The number one item for caring for your piano-more than tuning it (for the recent tuning will suffer it this requirement is not met) is humidity control. The gross majority of my new clients either are completely unaware of this phenomenon or falsely believe that a sufficient amount of humidity is present in the room. Of course, we are referring to only winter months. Very often  clients will show me their non-digital humidity gauge that is off by as much as 40%. Either a color sensitive card or a digital device will suffice (digitals can be off, too, but normally not by very much). You may purchase a large size humidifier- one that will not require refilling several times a day. Place it a few feet from the piano. There are other means of humidity control. This may be discussed with your personal tuner. What happens when it gets too dry?  The pin-block (the wood structure that holds all of the tuning pins) contracts. The tuning pins become loose in the pin-block. The piano will not hold its tuning for very long – or worse yet, the piano becomes incapable of being tuned. Please make this your prime concern before you allow your piano (new or old) to be placed in your home. Of course, keep the piano a good distance from any heat duct or radiator.
An interesting problem arose just today (but this difficulty had arisen many times previously). A “climate-control” device had been installed in this lady’s refurbished Steinway upright a decade ago. She had religiously added water to the unit for the obvious purpose of humidifying her prize possession. I opened the bottom panel and discovered that the “pads” used to produce the humidity had become moldy and hard. It could therefore not absorb any water. She wondered why she almost never had to replenish it with water. In fact, the heater used to warm the pad was constantly “on.”  It added to the already existing warmth of the home. We found a solution to her problem. This could have seriously damaged her piano. Let us hope that she and many others like her employ a more alert piano technician. Incidentally, she also complained (and I fully agreed) that there was an awful noise emanating  from the sound-board. Behold— a part from the unit was touching the board.

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