Category Archives: Sheffield Piano Tuning

Upright action overhaul prices in 2024 (Sheffield piano tuner)

While the majority of work the Sheffield piano tuner carries out is piano tuning and minor repairs undertaken at the customer’s home, he also offers piano action renovations from his home workshop. With 10 years in the piano trade under his belt, he loves to apply his expertise and knowledge to bring a ratchety old mechanism back to life (one of the most rewarding parts of being a piano tuner). For this reason his prices are competitive compared to most. He will typically arrange 2-3 days for him to pick up the action, safely transport it to his home (in a soft cover) and work 10 hour days typically for 1-2 days. Current action overhauls include but are not limited to:

  • Complete re-pinning of all hammer flange centre pins – £300
  • A replacement of all action leathers with a high-quality synthetic alternative, plus the replacement of hammer butt felt – £330 (plus parts in the range of £30)
  • A replacement of all bridle tapes – £150 if glued, or £80 for clip-on option
  • A replacement of all jack springs – £200 (plus parts in the range of £30)
  • A replacement of all loop cords (common issue on Yamaha’s!) – £300
  • A replacement of all damper felt – £300 (plus parts)
  • A replacement of all damper springs – £250 (plus parts in the range of £60)

These issues in particular are the ones that tend to anticipate the breaking of corresponding parts in the future, so if you notice two or three dampers not working it’s better to replace everything at once rather than fixing the broken parts as and when (if you’re willing to spend the money in one go).

When replacing hammers the price can vary dramatically. If the new hammers differ from the originals in length and weight then additional regulation work may be required which can be very time consuming and costly. It’s always situational and something that’s better to discuss in person.

If this information seems difficult to follow, but sounds like something you might be interested in please ask the piano tuner to give you a run down of your piano action. You can see yourself its condition and how everything works, and may notice things that have bothered you in the past.

An upcoming holiday break (one week away from Sheffield piano tuning)

The Sheffield piano tuner has arranged a holiday break to Northumberland from the 21st to the 28th of May. Phones will still be open and emails will be replied to, but the piano tuner needs a well-earned rest from piano tuning for one week. If you decide to contact during  this time, the reply time may be longer but he will have access to his diary and phone all week, so arrangements can be made.

Going the extra mile with every piano tuning

What separates a merely “good” piano tuning from a first class piano tuning service? From my ten years in the Sheffield piano tuning trade it comes down to several key factors that all require a lot of attention and diligence. The three factors are:

  1. Equal temperament – the tuning of intervals in accordance with the equal tempered scale. Using the high-end piano tuning software Tunelab plus my own aural checks of the beat frequency of  intervals (fifths, fourths, octaves, major and minor thirds against their related sixths) I can achieve a first class equal tempered scale across the whole piano.
  2. Unisons – Eradicating the pulsing/beating from each note by fine tuning each string. This is one of my strongest areas as a piano tuner and its a good skill to be proficient in. A piano tuner who is strongly skilled at tuning unisons will achieve the purest tone from the piano, giving it the concert hall sound rather than a simply satisfactory sound.
  3. Stability – great piano tuning hammer technique and patience are the biggest factors in piano tuning stability. Achieving great stability is the reason a piano tuning can be so time consuming, taking up to ninety minutes or more to complete. The piano tuner must be certain that he or she leaves your home with the piano sounding great for another six months and that each note is securely in tune so that no call backs occur. Every piano tuner has their own way of setting the wrest pins that they achieve maximum stability – the position of hammer, tuning sharp then flat, moving the pin deep inside the wrest plank; all those are factors to consider. I have found best stability occurs when one hits the keys hard while moving the pin in tiny increments.

There are many other factors to consider, but a piano tuner who has taken care to become skilled in those three areas will have gone above and beyond the average. Being skilled is one thing, but being diligent on each every job (the right attitude to have) is equally important. The goal must be to ensure that every piano is brought to its very best.

Standard piano tuning verses a pitch raise – what’s the difference?

Sometimes a piano that has not been tuned in many years with require a bit of extra work to make sure it settles at concert pitch (A440). While a standard piano tuning is £50 for Sheffield customers and takes sixty to ninety minutes to complete, a pitch raise is £70 and usually takes two hours or more. The reason a pitch raise costs a little extra is because the piano is tuned twice – once slightly sharp so that when the wrest pins and the strings relax they flatten so that each note is roughly in tune. After that, the Sheffield piano tuner will perform a fine tuning to make sure the equal temperament, unisons and overall stability is at an extremely high standard. Due to the increased tension put on the piano, it must be tuned again fairly quickly (the Sheffield piano tuner recommends another tuning in three to six months, which will greatly aid the pianos stability). Pianos that have been tuned every six months eventually become so stable that each piano tuning is a ‘touch up’ rather than a full tuning.

Once the piano has been tuned, you will hear the Sheffield piano tuner playing a piece of music for a minute to test how well the piano plays on a musical level. After all, piano tuning and repairs are mechanical tasks, but having a piano that plays brilliantly is always the end goal.

Summer Piano Tuning – don’t forget the Sheffield Piano Tuner during the holidays!

Don’t forget to have your piano tuned this Summer. While you have some time off work and the kids are out of School, it might be the perfect time to devote some extra time to your hobbies. The Sheffield piano tuner is always open for business. Please remember, if your piano has not been tuned in a few years, it might need more work – £50 to £70 is the price of piano tuning depending on how sharp or flat its pitch is. For the best results your piano should be tuned twice a year, ensuring optimal stability and performance.

  • Richard, Piano Tuner Sheffield.

I’m not trying to be cynical

I’m not trying to be cynical, but I do wonder how long I can keep my “introductory offer” open. With rising living costs it’s getting quite difficult for the piano tuners of Yorkshire who are reluctant to charge more (one of the main reasons I became a piano tuner was to give people a good deal and a good service). My information and pricing on this website is up-to-date, but don’t be shocked if I have to put my prices up later in the year.

Why so cheap? £45 for a Sheffield Piano Tuning is below the going rate

I know what you’re thinking. £45 for a piano tuning in Sheffield seems under-priced, so there must be hidden charges included. Well, the only time a ‘hidden’ charge might apply is if I were to turn up and find that the piano needs a pitch raise rather than a standard piano tuning to tune it to concert pitch – in those instances I charge £45 for the first tuning, and then £20 for a second two weeks after the first. That isn’t just me; every piano tuner will charge extra for a pitch raise (every piano tuner I’ve heard of at least), and most like to break it up into two visits two weeks apart to ensure the best result in terms of tuning stability.

For the £45 you get two hours of my labour – which includes a full piano tuning and any minor piano repairs that can be done within that time. This is usually enough to ensure a piano is fully functional/operational. It’s then up to the customer to decide if they’d like to spend more on extra action parts or on some of the finer points of piano regulation that might take it up a level in terms of its performance (not so much its sound – that will have been taken care of during the piano tuning).

I hope I’ve done my 10,000 hours of piano tuning and repairs by now. From what I’ve observed, a good tuning and a basic set up of the action will leave the majority of piano tuning customers very happy indeed. There are certain players (usually in possession of high-end pianos) who may desire something a little more extensive, such as voicing/toning the hammers to achieve a certain sound (typically a brighter or a warmer tone). Generally speaking, if someone has looked after their piano and had it tuned & serviced regularly, I’ll spend about an hour to an hour and a half on the piano tuning plus a little time making any adjustments to compensate for one or two worn action parts. If it’s an older piano and the action is showing more severe signs of wear, I’ll suggest replacing action parts if it’s cost effective to do so and if such a decision would greatly improve its playability and performance.

I’m glad that, even with rising living costs, I can continue to give people in the Sheffield area a good deal on piano tuning. It’s a business model that has worked quite well over the years, and helps me get a few new customers each week, plus my round of regulars. I work in other cities and towns, as mentioned across this website, but travel costs have to be taken into consideration on those trips (although my prices are still competitive even then). If a customer can book me in with a neighbour at the same time I’ll sometimes offer a discount as well, depending on the location.

  • Richard, Sheffield Piano Tuner.

After the Sheffield piano tuning service I always forget? Piano Cleaning

Whenever I’m cheerfully tuning pianos in Sheffield, Rotherham, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Barnsley, Scarborough, Driffield, Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Nottingham, Hull and Manchester (not to mentions the little villages and towns I manage on a regular basis) – what do I often neglect to mention? Piano cleaning.

In most instances, such a lapse of memory is forgivable as the customer will bring it up with me as I first arrive at their home. Sometimes, however, If a piano is particularly dusty and they haven’t mentioned it I’ll take the initiative and politely ask the piano tuning customer if they’d like me to give the action, frame, key bed and the cabinet a thorough dusting and remove any cobwebs or excess dirt with a hoover before the piano tuning. If the dust has made its way into the action this will be even more crucial as too much dust can hinder its performance.

I’ve had some delightful results cleaning the keys with my Cory Care Product ‘Key Brite’ solution, which whitens all ivory, plastic or ebony keys with quick and efficient results, leaving them almost as bright and shiny as new. Most customers are very satisfied with the improvement.

If you have a grand piano that needs cleaning (the soundboards of many older grands can be covered in soot from old chimneys) it can be a little more laborious as a special tool is needed to get between the strings in order to clean it – and this tool only cleans a small section of the board at a time. Alas, hoovers are never powerful enough to suck up the dust from the soundboard (that would be much quicker if it were possible). A strong leaf blower might work, but I don’t have such items in stock – such an item wouldn’t fit in my well-stocked Seat.

Dust doesn’t have much of an affect on the sound of the piano, but it can be visually unappealing and its wise to remove the build up before it gets into the mechanism – if it’s bothering you I’m more than happy to discuss cleaning options before or after your piano tuning booking.

Once a piano has passed its final cleaning inspection, a product I sometimes like to use is Cory’s piano polish. Works really well on the finish of most modern uprights and grands

I could write all day about piano cleaning, just as I could with my Sheffield piano tuning blogs. Fortunately I’ll leave you with the essentials. I have an upcoming blog post about ‘Piano Maintenance’ which will give you the piano tuning customer some advice on how to maintain the piano’s aesthetics, its tuning stability and how to extend its lifespan so you can enjoy playing and looking at it for many years to come.

Dear customer, what are your thoughts on this website?

Earlier this morning I had a fruitful discussion with a clever person working in the field of Web Design. I’ve asked them for guidance hoping they can make this website more marketable, more aesthetically-pleasing and more business-like. Many of the pages on this website have not been changed since 2014, though I’m quite happy with the way my details are presented and they all remain relevant and accurate. For me, the design and the layout seem a bit dated and in need of a revamp, but my brain tends not to focus on those things so I’ve procrastinated. I’m more of a pragmatic, “give me the facts” type of person, and given my short attention span I like the writing to be concise and to the point, and I feel I’ve largely succeeded.

What were your impressions when you found this website? Did it improve your knowledge of the piano and the role of the piano tuner and their skills? Was it interesting enough to hold your attention beyond getting my number/email for piano tuning? Or did it just do the job? Perhaps you can let me know when I’m round to tune your piano in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Worksop or any of the localities I travel to farther afield.

Piano tuning can seem dull compared to other topics, but if piano-playing is a big part of your life you would do well to learn what the piano tuner is doing (it might help you feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth!). If you live in Sheffield like me, we may have shared the same experiences, so my ‘diary’ posts may also be relatable.