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Repair, Regulation, and Voicing

What pleases a pianist is when the piano has good touch and tone and holds a tuning.
Wear and time changes the numerous adjustments and the condition of the wood, felt, and leather of the parts. The piano gradually changes. The action or mechanism, becomes less responsive and even. The piano can become more difficult to play. Notes won’t repeat as easy. It is harder to trill or play softly. There is a loss of power and control.

The tone changes as hammers wear and the strike point becomes flattened, grooved, and hardened. From a rich warm tone the piano becomes bright, harsh, and uneven.

What often happens is that the pianist adjusts to the gradual changes and loses sight of just how well the instrument could be playing.

Regulation of the action restores the touch and response of the piano close to what it was when new. As the key is depressed many things happen in the action. Parts need to be repaired, aligned, and adjusted.  Hammers are filed to restore the shape and are voiced to bring back a pleasing tone.

Often more has to be done than just regulation. The cloth and felt in the keys and action have worn out or eaten by moths. Action flanges become loose and parts wobble. Sometimes actions become stiff and sluggish. Often the wear has reached the point where hammers and action parts have to be replaced in order to restore good touch and tone.

Some pianos when purchased have a very bright tone. Often Asian instruments get a bad reputation as being too bright. People live with their pianos for years not knowing that the hammers can be voiced to a much more pleasant, richer, and warmer sound.

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