I am a piano tuner and technician from Portland, Maine. I am following my father, Eric Peppe, in this pursuit.
Pianos go out of tune as humidity changes. Here in Maine (and New England in general), humidity is highly unpredictable: Constant small fluctuations in humidity mean your piano can go out of tune even more quickly than in other parts of the country which experience only major seasonal changes.
Getting your piano tuned regularly will keep it sounding the best that it can, and will also prevent it from shifting so far that it’s difficult to tune to concert pitch again. It is not always advisible to tune an old piano to concert pitch. Some recommend replacing the pin block or restringing the piano, which could cost thousands of dollars. However, I am very experienced with older pianos, and I will go to great lengths to tune them safely to tensions that will not damage them. If your piano is very out of tune, it may require a significant pitch adjustment.
Pianos that have not been tuned within the last six months or are particularly sensitive to humidity will often require a pitch raise or a pitch drop. This is especially true with older pianos. These adjustments are very rapid pre-tunings that bring the piano closer to concert pitch before the fine tuning. Unless the piano requires dramatic or time-consuming adjustments, I offer this at no additional cost.
I will install Dampp-Chaser Systems, but it is strongly preferable to have external humidity control in homes when it is possible (humidifiers and air conditioners). Humidity level, in the room the piano is kept, should be 42-45% year round. Especially humid or dry air can not only move the piano out of tune, but can even shorten the life of the piano and cause immediately obvious mechanical problems.
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