Piano repair and servicing in Greater Manchester
If your piano is sounding sour or any parts need replacing, get in touch with EMS Piano in Greater Manchester. I have over 40 years of experience in repairing all types of pianos.
Ems Piano Repairs Manchester have over forty years experience repairing and maintaining pianos. We can help you with the following:
Few pianos are well-maintained. Perhaps surprisingly, this can even apply in the piano showroom or on the concert platform, as few new instruments receive the recommended pre-delivery preparation, and people are reluctant to complain, even if they know what is wrong. Mainly, however, neglect and/or incompetent servicing is most prevalent in domestic pianos. Tuning is only one part of desirable preparation. Each instrument should be considered on its own merits, and some require many more repairs than others. But there is a vast difference between something not working at all, which should be obvious to anybody, and pianos which are worn, poorly designed, incorrectly adjusted or inadequately prepared from new.
The correct maintenance of a decent acoustic piano does not need to be so expensive. A simple action repair, such as freeing a sticking note, can be done when the piano is tuned. If no new parts are required and the time taken on it does not exceed 5 minutes, there is not normally any extra charge. Improvements to the response can cost from as little as £50 for an upright, or £100 for a grand (plus tuning costs), but this cannot be assessed without detailed inspection. When you call emspiano to do a tuning, this inspection is free of charge and done by default prior to starting work (time permitting), so that any extras can be discussed with you before proceeding.
It has been found that the touch of most pianos is sluggish. Sometimes even an expert pianist will miss this, or incorrectly attribute it. A piano action which is incorrectly set up will have excessive friction when in operation, which makes it harder to play; felts are also being quickly worn out. Rather than getting this sorted, people often blame themselves for poor musicianship. This is so unfair! Ems Piano Repairs Manchester can correct these faults, and your piano will be transformed! So contact us today!
As with any equipment with mechanical parts (there are about 5,000 in your piano), things occasionally break. Unlike electronic keyboards, acoustic piano parts can usually be repaired, refelted or replaced even if the manufacturer is no longer around. The cost is assessed on inspection, as the dismantling of one part can sometimes cause an issue elsewhere. EMS Piano aims to leave your piano free of issues, so that which needs repair is usually done, unless there is too much to do for on-site repair to be possible.
The Effects of Wear - Refelting
Several clients have recently taken advantage of the cash crisis in schools, to obtain an old school piano, usually in light oak, for a relatively low price. The faults discovered on these pianos can be extensive, as the actions are often worn out. It should be expected that the cost of completely refelting a piano action will run into several hundred pounds, as the work takes many days [current price - £160 per day, plus parts] in the workshop. One piano was found recently, to have been used for spare parts, so that 9 complete assemblies were missing. Sadly, we don’t have a piano manufacturing base in this country any more, so appropriate spare parts are more difficult to obtain than they used to be. But some school pianos were made in the 1980’s to a high standard, and if the case is acceptable, this could be a cheaper option than buying new.
Every piano requires inspection before the cost can be estimated. The ‘engine’ of the piano, which we call the action, has to be brought to our works to go ‘on the bench’. A standard compass piano has 88 notes, and each note has at least 3 or 4 moving parts which may need refelting. There is dismantling and reassembly to be done, as well as the work itself.
Additionally, the keys may need rebushing and/or recovering, so the cost of all this work can reach thousands of pounds. The main thing is that the piano is worth the cost of the repair. So it is important to advise caution.
In a domestic piano, the original strings should last about 40 years, unless excessive playing has worn them out. So ideally, any piano made before 1985 should now be restrung.
In practice however, the type of pianos that are worth restringing are usually those by top class manufacturers from the 1920’s. The prior storage and usage are critical, but if you see a piano by Steinway, Bechstein, Bluthner, Grotrian Steinweg, or Bosendorfer from this vintage, it may be worth restoration including restringing. But please bear in mind that the cost of the work will likely exceed £4,000. At best, you might end up with an instrument worth around £7,500 where the cost of a new piano of similar make being at least double that amount. A detailed inspection and assessment is essential however, as it takes great skill and experience to get the sums right.
Complete Overhaul or Restoration
There is a cost to piano overhauls on the other hand, for which some people are unprepared, and therefore at best, postpone. The response of emspiano to this problem, is to increase productivity as far as possible, and to avoid more time-consuming jobs unless these are unavoidable and specific instructions are received. When it is considered that a complete overhaul may cost more than the price of a new piano, this perhaps becomes understandable.
If you feel attached to particular piano, perhaps because it is a family heirloom, then a complete overhaul may be the only way to have a worthwhile musical instrument without causing offence. The instrument still has to have a basic quality about its design and manufacture, but the question of added monetary value has to be ignored. The focus is rather on added musical usefulness. There is a certain effort which goes into playing a piano; as it is, your efforts may be nearly fruitless, but a fully restored instrument will respond and give pleasure. When it is considered that a restoration should give at least another 30 years of life to your piano, the investment is in the pianist as much as the piano.
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