Services :: Regulation
A piano's regulation refers to the precise calibration of it's moving parts.
The piano maker designs a piano to conform to certain predetermined specifications. Such as,
- Key height above the key frame and amount of travel up and down
- Key travel until the action is engaged
- Action travel until the hammer is released
- Distance the hammer should travel under it's own inertia
- Distance the hammer will be from the string when "checked" by the action
- Scaling of the strings to form a smooth music scale
- Placement of bridges and the iron plate's pressure points to produce the best tone and sustain of a string
- Design of the soundboard - amount of crown, how it is attached along it's parameter, etc. to provide for the best amplification of the strings.
- How the pedal system will transfer it's motions to the action and other parts of the piano
This is a very simplified list of just a few aspects that need to be considered when the piano is designed. Within the action itself there are many, many different measurements to provide for the correct interaction between every part.
As a piano experiences use and the normal seasonal cycles of environmental changes the parts will slowly begin to lose their correct calibrated with each other. This is normal and expected in all pianos. While high quality pianos tend to lose their calibration slower than a lower quality instrument, nonetheless all pianos will reach a point at which the various parts no longer are within reasonable specifications.
A piano that is in need of regulation will usually exhibit a number of problems,
- Sluggish response
- Low quality tone and volume
- Difficulty to play with expression (especially faster pieces that require quick response, yet very slow pieces will also show problems)
- Notes not damping correctly or notes not playing clearly
- Uneven key heights
- Difficulty to play fast or soft pieces correctly
- Hammers not striking it's string(s) completely
- Hammers begin to strike the neighboring string
- Parts wearing quickly and/or unevenly
- Parts can begin breaking if bad regulation is ignored and allowed to continue
A badly regulated piano can quickly make piano playing discouraging and unpleasant. In fact, it is well agreed among music teachers, musicians, and technicians that learning to play the piano on a badly regulated piano is probably the best method to guarantee discouragement and abandonment of the lessons.
If in doubt about your piano's regulation, ask your Parks & Sons piano tuner/technician next time you have your piano tuned. Your Parks & Sons tuner/technician is always happy to discuss your piano's condition with you. A customer with questions shows an attentive customer. You can be assured of an informed discussion without the need to worry about being pushed towards unneeded or unwanted services.
If a customer decides that a piano regulation is the right choice to meet their needs, you will be given a detailed work schedule and a total cost for the work, in writing. This work schedule will outline what specifically will be done to your piano and the final total cost for the work. This paper should be kept for your records. Not only is Parks & Sons Piano Service's work is guaranteed, if problems occur during the warranted period Parks & Sons will take care of it, but if the piano is sold, proof that it had been regulated recently should allow the instrument to fetch a higher price on the market.