Atlanta Piano Tuner Home Page
Welcome to the website for
Atlanta Piano Tuner.
very familiar with the idiosyncrasies peculiar to the various
brands, sizes and types of pianos, since we have repaired many of them.
At Atlanta Piano Tuner, we have decades of experience in Vintage /
Antique Piano repair and Rebuilding, the most difficult element of piano
repair there is. There is simply no other company in the city that has
more personal, hands on experience with rebuilt vintage pianos, period.
There was no 'happening' along to
a piano business for my part as a young adult or older. My father was a master
craftsman and the piano business is the trade I've been associated
with since a child. I am not a piano
tuner who repairs pianos occasionally, and you probably wouldn't believe
me if I told you how long I've been plying this trade. Growing up, I met
or knew many of Atlanta's "old timer" piano technicians that have been in this
city since the 50's/60's as they were employed by
my father, trained
by my father, or shared in business relationships as they were advancing
this magnificent craft, as was our family.
I am a piano craftsman,
an artisan, with decades of experience in
piano rebuilding and repair... not to mention a concert quality piano
tuner, and I love my trade. Take a moment, and look around.
I hope you find what you are looking for from the links above. If you do not, let me know.
Incidentally, all the instruments you see on this website were
"hands-on" experiences. I'm going to toss a couple questions below that people ask me
you will find a lot more on the Piano Info (Frequently Asked Questions)
page. Have fun reading, and may you be
favored by God richly!
Piano Rebuilding for grand pianos and vertical
pianos (upright, studio, console or spinet) involves removing all worn
components to repair or replace them. In regard to piano
refinishing, we fastidiously remove all worn finish and replace it with the
very best of what is available today restoring like new functionality
and renewing the aesthetic... or as close as is physically plausible to
like new functionality and appearance. When Atlanta Piano Tuner
rebuilds a piano, we truly rebuild your vintage instrument with an eye
to preserving it as an antique that has been restored. see more on
piano rebuilding ...
Piano Repair/refurbishment is when we are seeking to further the piano's longevity when
interest or budget will not permit a piano rebuilding. With the
old world tricks we know, we can (many times) enhance functionality for
years if necessary to parts that may have seemed past the point of 'no
return'. see more on
When we tune pianos our primary concern is music. In our
opinion piano tuning cost and accuracy harmonize when you sit down to
play a piano we have tuned. A piano tuning done well will minister
to the spirit of the player as they play. see more on
The inimitable Grand Piano is the standard of acoustic pianos.
Beauty in functionality, beauty when it's sitting quietly in a room.
strong recommendation to the person with the desire or means to treat
themselves to the best is to settle for nothing less. The
repetition lever in the action of a grand piano sets it apart from any
upright/vertical piano ever made. This lever catches a portion of
the grand piano's action, enabling extremely fast (and controlled)
repetition of the notes. While this is not a 'make it or break it'
scenario for most piano players, what will translate to every one
regardless of expertise or experience in playing, is that
this is the most
accurate reproduction of the touch used to play a piano. Sostenuto
capability is another feature of better quality grand pianos. This
allows a piano player to only sustain a select number of notes
simultaneously without sustaining all the rest; this is useful in complex
compositions. The grand piano is also the most aesthetically
appealing piano, but they do have a tendency to 'take over' a smaller
I've said this before, and I'll say it again, There are many fine
quality upright, studio, console and spinet pianos that will pass the
touch test of the discriminating player. Grand pianos are
simply the best, and I mean nothing else to be inferred here. The
addition of a piano-types segment merely answers a question posed many
times over in my travels as a piano man. back to top
Square Grand Piano
Square Grand Pianos are the grandfathers of the modern piano. You
know what is amazing about pianos? In this era of human history of
technological advances like mechanization, for over one hundred years
the piano stands virtually alone being made the same way. The
first pianos were an advance technologically from harpsichords.
Harpsichords, while they are a keyboard instrument (Bach primarily
played harpsichords), can not impart the control over 'dynamic range'
that a piano offers. Bartolommeo Cristofori (1655-1731) introduced
the Piano-Forte (we've since shortened the name to piano) exhibiting an
' that forever revolutionized music. The piano
emulates/reproduces the firm to soft touch of the player from forte/loud
sound to piano/soft sound. Whereas the harpsichord plucked the
wire, the escapement mechanism offered nearly infinite control over how
loudly or softly the piano's wires were struck. Hence the trivia
answer that the piano is not a string instrument, but is a percussion
instrument. Did you know that?
The first, 'primitive' pianos were very short lived. Leather
wrapped hammers wore out in a few years. Leather hinges in the
mechanism suffered the same fate. Long and gangly mechanical parts
were extremely difficult or impossible to adjust (I know, I've rebuilt
many 'squares'). Engineering shortfalls left inherent limitations
in the first pianos.
The next era, the Victorian era, saw engineering step up with
mechanisms that were superior to the primitive piano. While the mechanisms still
needed some enhancements (I've also rebuilt a fair number of these),
this era's piano was the first piano with enough stability to support
the nearly twenty tons of tension exerted on the piano's structure at
A435 (the first standard pitch). Leather wrapped hammers gave way
to felt padded hammers. Archaic mechanisms were replaced with
adjustable mechanisms utilizing metal hinge pins (or action 'centers')
inserted into felt bushings. It is also fascinating to watch the
piano's history and see how engineering as a science has evolved as
principles of nature were noticed, studied and then an advancement was
A few decades before the turn of the century we see the square grand
piano lose prominence in the industry and finally slip into obsolescence
as a new era (and the modern piano) came on the scene.
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Studio (48" measured vertically), and Upright Pianos (51" vertically and
higher) are quite similar overall. Both types of piano have direct
blow actions. This type of action receives a direct strike from a
piano key that extends under the piano's action mechanism. The
studio piano and upright piano (also called vertical) have the longest
key length of any vertical class piano. This translates to the
best control over the dynamic range of any class of piano except the
grand piano. These verticals also boast the greatest structural
integrity, superior in strength to console and spinet pianos, as well as
longer piano wire lengths. The result of longer wires, and
stronger frame produces greater piano tuning stability and increased
resonance. Also in the rare vintage upright piano one may find the
inclusion of a sostenuto rail. Sostenuto functions won't mean much
to a novice player, but for complex musical compositions sostenuto is a
tremendous enhancement for playing a piano. back to
Console pianos, performance-wise, are preferable to own over spinet
pianos in that these are the smallest class of piano that contain a
'direct blow' action mechanism. In layman's terms a direct blow
action imparts greater control to the piano player over a piano's
dynamic range. Dynamic range is another way of expressing the
balancing between loud playing and soft playing from which piano's
derived their name. Originally pianos were call Piano-forte, which
translates from Latin into soft-loud. Console pianos also have
more resonant, longer wires than spinet pianos (anywhere from 4" and
up). One item that is noteworthy regarding both spinet and some
console pianos is the existence a decorative leg technically referred to
as a 'detached' leg. This references the leg's detachment from the
lower part of the piano's case. This leg provides no lateral
movement stability to the piano, and many times if I assess the risk to
the leg to be enough in the course of moving these pianos, I'll remove
these legs prior to moving. back to top
Spinet pianos are most commonly characterized by their size. They
range in height from around 33" to nearly 40". In technical
terminology they are 'drop-action' pianos or more correctly indirect
blow (action style) pianos. The piano key pulls a 'sticker' (strip
of wood) that provides an indirect strike to the string via the action's
components. They may be small in stature, but are complete pianos
providing complex escapement action mechanisms, key lengths from just
under a foot to nearly a foot and a half, an 'over-strung' type scale
design to the piano wires, and lastly (but certainly not least) over
fifteen tons of tension on the structure of the piano at A440.
Higher grade spinet pianos boast comparable tuning stability to larger
class pianos, with little loss of sound resonance. A downside to
spinet pianos (the lower quality ones) is inherent dissonance in the
bass wires, and diminished resonance in the treble wires. Some
also argue that because of the shorter key length, there is diminished
dynamic range capability, a characteristic very important to define an
acoustic piano from what is available electronically. In
comparison to an electronic keyboard, there is no similarity technically
other than that they both have keys. By far, most informed piano
teachers will strongly recommend a spinet over an electronic keyboard if
an individual's primary concern is balancing between budget and not
compromising what an acoustic piano can provide to a novice player.
Because they are the smallest of pianos, they are typically more
affordable to own, not to mention easier to move. If you have
limited living conditions (space challenged), or you move frequently,
this might be your best choice for an acoustic piano.
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Pump Organs still remain as an old favorite style of organ, even though
their more modern (electronic) sisters have been replaced by the digital
keyboard... at least for the residential owner. I am also certain
that 150 years ago no one thought of pump organs in terms of aerobic
machines, but if you currently own or have ever played one you know exactly what I
Pump organs utilize all pneumatic functions to produce sound and vibrato.
Ingenious minds invented interesting additions like 'octave coupling'
(where with the pull of a knob you get five to ten extra fingers... lol).
Pump organs are exquisite pieces aesthetically, and working properly can
be a lot of fun to play. Other ingenious additions to a pump organ's
vibrato (what gives Susan
Boyle her appeal), and methods of simulating horns or woodwinds through
the reed system, swells to increase volume, multitudinous ways (a lot)
to uniquely manufacture the stop panels (I've rebuilt dozens of pump
organs and never cease to be amazed at this factoid) and the most
intricately hand carved cabinetry you'll ever see in a piece of
furniture. These pieces are a must have for any antique collector to
complete a collection.
If you traveled back in time to this country's foundational years where
most church pastors were itinerate, you'd see them traveling with their
trusty pump organ strapped to the back of their buggy as they traversed the
countryside. If you have a pump organ, do you know its history?
I'd love to hear some stories... back to top
New York Piano Tuner
Piano Tuning, Repair, Appraisal, Antique pianos restoration. Free
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Long Island, Westchester.
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