Piano Tuning & Repair Services
 
  
Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd. is proud to offer piano tuning & repair services. Fred Safaei (RPT) is a qualified technician with more than 30 years of piano tuning and servicing experience. Fred is a well-known pianist, instructor and is consulted widely for his knowledge in music. He will take care of your piano not only as a technician but as a musician.

Like all things we care about, a piano needs regular maintenance to be at its best. The three components of musical performance that need to be adjusted periodically are pitch (by tuning and pitch raising), touch (by regulating) and tone (by voicing).  
Daily care of your piano ensures that it will be a family heirloom, or a concert pianist’s favorite. Humidity control and finish care are imperative to ensuring a long life for your piano.  If ignored or damaged, a piano may require more serious servicing, such as reconditioning or rebuilding, in order to be restored.

The need to tune and service a piano depends on how often it is used, where it is located, how old it is, and how it is cared for. Customizing the piano service plan is key. A piano located in your home compared to a grand piano in a concert hall obviously has very different servicing needs.

Fred Safaei, Registered Piano Technician, can help you care for your piano, regardless of its tuning and servicing needs, the type of piano, and its location (home, church, concert hall, music studio, etc). Fred will provide a complete description of your piano’s maintenance requirements before proceeding with its servicing, so that you are confident in the care it is receiving.

To help you better understand your piano’s maintenance requirements, the summaries below, based on the  Piano Technician Guild’s website, provide background information on the six types of servicing typical for a piano. 

Tuning

What do you hear?
  • Sounds off key or hollow (the pitch does not sound right)
  • There is no rich sound or tone
Reasons for Tuning
  •  To correct the sound / pitch
  • As part of a regular maintenance plan
  • An upcoming performance
  • A move to a new location
  • Seasonal changes in humidity
Service
Tuning is the most basic and frequent piano service. Ideally a piano is tuned 2 to 4 times a year.  Tuning is the adjustment of the tension of all of your piano's 220 (or more) strings to the correct pitch or frequency. This ensures that notes played in a musical interval (octaves, chords, etc.) will sound in harmony.
Because of Fred’s background as a pianist and piano instructor, he is able to use his ear as well as pitch instruments to ensure your piano is correctly tuned.

Regulation

What you hear / see
Your piano needs to be regulated when you notice a deterioration of its performance despite regular tuning. Things you may notice  include:
  • Sluggish notes
  • Unevenness
  • Poor legato touch / uneven touch
  • Chord playing where all the notes of the chord do not speak clearly
  • A gradual loss of subtlety in phrasing
  • An inability to execute quick passages or note repetitions evenly
  • Pedaling nuances are unobtainable
  • A lack of sensitivity
  • A decreased dynamic range
  • The keys are not level and are sticking
Why the deterioration?
  • The effects of wear
  • The compacting and settling of cloth, felt and buckskin
  • Dimensional changes in wooden and wool parts due to changes in humidity
​​​Reasons for Regulating
Regulation attends to the touch and uniform responsiveness of the pianist, and ensures that the piano is capable of producing a wide dynamic range.
Service
Regulation means adjusting the piano’s mechanical parts: the action, trapwork and damper systems. The mechanical parts cause strings to sound when keys are played and affect the sound through use of the pedals.

Pitch-Rasing

What you hear
  • Your piano does not sound its best
  • Its pitch does not match that of other instruments
Reasons
  •  A new piano’s strings stretch and settle
  • There is soundboard movement due to humidity variation
Service
 Fred will adjust the approximately 220 piano strings to their correct average tension levels.

Voicing

What you hear
  • Tone varies radically from note to note
  • You cannot achieve a range of tone (mellow to bright) at different volumes
  • The brilliance of the note is not present
  • The gradation of volume and tone over the range of the keyboard is off
  • Your piano sounds different than when you purchased it
  • You do not like the sound even after it has been tuned
  • The piano has lost its ability to play softly
Why the deterioration?
A piano's tone changes with use. As the hammers wear and compact, the tone often becomes too bright and harsh, robbing the pianist of the ability to produce a sweet sound. Aging of the piano's strings and structure also can diminish its tone.

Service
If the tone of the piano is unsatisfactory after tuning, Fred will inspect the action, hammers and strings. If these components are severely worn, major repairs may be required before an improved tone is possible. Voicing involves reshaping the hammers, the use of needles on the hammer felt and / or the application of special softeners or hardeners in order to produce the best sound.

Humidity Control

Pianos are made primarily of wood. However, being made of wood, your piano is greatly affected by humidity. Seasonal and daily changes in humidity cause wood parts to swell and shrink, affecting tuning stability and touch. Extreme swings in humidity can eventually cause wood to crack and glue joints to fail.
Other materials in your piano also are affected by changes in moisture content in the air. The felt and leather parts in your piano's action can change dimension, affecting regulation and friction, or stiffness of the touch. Very high humidity can create condensation on metal parts such as strings, tuning pins and hardware, eventually causing them to rust.
Fred can evaluate the environment in which your piano is located, and make recommendations on how to better care for the piano. Steps can include relocating the piano, making efforts to reduce direct sunlight and drafts, and inserting humidity control units.

Finish Care

Not only is a piano a wonderful instrument, in a home it is often a focal piece of furniture and on stage, the piano captures the attention of the audience by its grandeur and beauty. 
Caring for your piano requires maintaining its wood finish, ensuring it is in a complimentary climate, and cleaning its keys and pedals. While day-to-day care is straightforward, more advanced care is occasionally required, such as if coffee spills on the keys, the wood cracks due to humidity, or you want to remove old furniture polish.
Fred can assess the piano’s finish and either fix the problem or recommend a specialist. He can also discuss regular piano care so that your piano’s beauty lasts well into the future.