Piano Tuning & Services

Dan is a piano technician and pianist who has been trained at the Steinway factory in New York and has 35 years of experience as a concert technician, and a university technician.

Here are just some of the services he now offers.

Tuning 

A master aural tuner for over 35 years, Dan also incorporates state-of-the-art electronic tuning to enhance the efficiency and musicality of the outcome. As the piano is being prepared for musical enjoyment during the tuning process, Dan uses these strategies to produce clarity, sustain and resonance in your piano. The combination of a well-trained ear and sophisticated electronics results in the best tuning possible.

Pianos require tuning every six months to one year. If it has been more than a year since your piano has been tuned, there may be an extra charge for a pitch correction. The cost to tune a regularly serviced piano is $135.

As time permits, Dan uses a “Full Service” approach to tuning. So if there are improvements that can be made in the tone, touch or cleanliness of the instrument, then that is often a part of the same service call.

Regulation 

Regulation is the adjustment of the action mechanism to compensate for the effects of dimensional changes in wood, cloth, leather, and felt caused by wear and humidity fluctuation. Precise regulation accomplishes 3 goals:

  • Optimal repetition (how many times can a note sound in one second)
  • Enhanced power and control (very important in pianissimo)
  • Evenness of feel from note to note.

There are over 9,000 parts in an action which require adjustments to critical tolerances to be able to respond to a pianist's every command.

For more info on regulation, please see ptg.org and search for regulation.

Action Rebuilding 

Custom high-performance action rebuilding and precision-touch design is a specialty at Skelley Piano. Over the years wear from usage begins to take its toll on even the finest pianos. Hammers become worn and harsh sounding, key felt bushings become loose and wobbly, and the instrument displays a lack of dynamic control and range. The craft of piano technology has advanced to the point where customizing the touch of an action can surpass its original performance, even if the piano is from a well-known maker. 

There are many reasons for this:

  • Working on the touch utilizes expertise that is not required of factory workers.
  • Action work is at the end of the assembly line. Production schedules necessitate completion even when there is more work to be done.
  • Recent research into leverage, weight, and friction in piano actions has created new paradigms in piano action performance. This has been pioneered by Darrell Fandrich of Fandrich and Sons Pianos and John Rhodes. Dan works closely with Darrell on his action rebuilds.

The modern grand piano action is made up of a complex series of arcs and levers that when viewed in precise terms of leverage, weight, friction and inertia, combine to make up the touch and feel for your particular piano. By analyzing these components it is now possible to change them in such a way as to duplicate the touch and feel of the finest German-made pianos. In his custom high performance action rebuilds, Dan uses the Fandrich Rhodes weight bench computer program for evaluating how an action is performing. Dan is one of the few technicians in Washington who has the equipment and experience to deliver this degree of accuracy in action rebuilding.

The cost of a custom action rebuild starts at $1,900

Voicing 

Most musicians rely on their technique and years of study to produce a beautiful tone. But for pianists it is different. Their tone quality is given to them by their piano and optimized and maintained by experienced piano technicians.

Most pianists think of voicing as inserting needles into the hammers to change the quality of tone. While this is true, there are few technicians that perform the necessary procedures prior to needling that prepare the piano to sing its sweetest.

All the strings must be seated on their bearing points, the hammers must be properly shaped and level at their apexes, and the hammers must be fitted to hit all 3 strings simultaneously. Correct hammer fitting promotes sustain, clarity, and tonal power. Steinway describes this process as "essential!"

In addition to string fitting and seating, and hammer shaping; the piano must be tuned and regulated. Then and only then begins the process of tone building by needling, steaming, ironing, or the use of chemical hardeners.

An experienced concert technician knows the exact placement and depth of the needle to achieve the intended result.

Much of Dan's voicing experience comes from years of working on Steinways and from all the training he has had at the Steinway factory in New York.

For more info on voicing, please go to ptg.org and search for voicing.

Reconditioning 

Another service that Dan is proud to offer and that few technicians are able to feature is the all-day piano reconditioning. In this process his voicing, tuning, regulation and repair skills are essential; but prioritizing each procedure is just as important because of time constraints. Speed, agility, and stamina all affect the outcome as well as an intuitive talent for knowing a piano's potential.

He has offered this service to the WSMTA Scholarship Fund at each of their conventions for the last 4 years. All teachers who have been awarded the service through their auction have been thrilled with the result. The cost is $600.

Hours

Open Saturday:
11:00 - 6:00

Sunday-Friday:
By appointment
Call: 253-320-3585

Contact

  • Address:

    2805 Bridgeport Way W
    University Place, WA 98466

  • Phone:
    (253) 565-6503
    (253) 320-3585
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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