Frank's Piano Tuning & Repair

Expert Piano Technician with more than 35 Years Experience

Piano Strings


Piano Strings can become corroded and dirty over time.  I have seen many old pianos that had strings so old that they sounded dead.  In other words, there would be sort of a low humming sound in the tone.  Some people might describe it as a “tubby sound”.

Having many years experience with pianos, I can detect when strings start to lose their brilliance and their resonance.  Proper tone in a bass note is lively and fresh sounding.  It has good sustain and rich tone.

The type of hammer felt also affects tone as well.  Badly worn out hammer felt makes string sound dead as well.

When I find a piano in need of strings, there are a couple of options to consider.  First, is the piano worth keeping and investing time and money?  If so, the first option and best option is to simply replace the whole set of bass strings.  Some pianos have a set of bass strings that are “steel wound” instead of the typical “copper wound’ strings.  Steel would strings are no longer available for replacement.  But copper wound strings sound much better and last longer.  Copper wound strings are also very expensive today due to copper prices being high priced.

Sometimes, another option instead of replacing the whole set of strings, the old ones can be cleaned and reattached after being twisted a couple of times because it often regains its tone again.  Of course, broken string will need to be replaced.

Piano strings come in many different sizes and are often sent away to be duplicated when replacing old ones.  A piano that receives new strings must also receive other repairs at times, such as larger tuning pins, bass bring repair or replacement, and other repairs that affect tone transfer from the strings.

When strings have a buzzing sound, it may not be the strings; it could be a cracked soundboard.  If it is the string, it could be a loose winding, which mean it will need to be replaced.

May 8, 2012 - Posted by | Piano Repair

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