Bradshaw Piano Service
56 Berkshire Drive
Little Rock, AR. 72204
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L O O K
SEE: "The Third Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Piano" under "Our Services".
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AUGUST 31, 2020
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"The "Second" most important thing you can do for your piano besides tuning"..... Learn more about this procedure in "Our Services"
What is the "Third" most important thing you can do for your piano?
Find out what it is under "Our Services"
What is that?
Learn about it under "Our Services"
From Repair of Vintage Steinways to Free Advice,
Ask the Bradshaw’s
Below is a listing of services that Bradshaw Piano
Service can perform for you. If an evaluation is the logical first step, the
Bradshaw’s will come to the instrument and give you a Free evaluation, a formal
proposal and options as to what can be done.
Summary: Bradshaw Piano Service can do the high quality repairs the professional musicians speak to in
the "Recommendations" section. 81 years of experience makes a big difference. See the "Recommendations" section.
The “Second” most important
thing you can do for your piano besides tuning…….
Tuning is the most important procedure that can be done to a piano to improve the tone. However, the second most important procedure is one that some music professionals are not familiar with.
The Voicing procedure involves working with the 88 hammerhead felts to soften or harden the felt
to achieve the correct tonal quality for that particular instrument. This is not an unusual procedure. In fact, all major piano manufacturers suggest a Voicing procedure be performed every 5
years. If it has been longer than that for your instrument, it is overdue for a voicing procedure.
A piano, grand or vertical, can be perfectly in tune but still produce a “bright, brassy, tinny”
sound. Additional tuning will not remedy this. Voicing will soften the hammerhead felt fibers that have been packed and compacted over years of the hammers striking the strings.
The Voicing procedure involves several tasks;filing the 88 hammerhead felts, needling the felt with a tool to soften the compacted felt fibers and "fitting" the hammerheads to the 220 strings. Bringing the hammerhead felt back to the softer density it was when the instrument was new is the goal. Less dense felt translates into a more mellow and uniform tone. While working at the Baldwin Piano Factory in Conway, voicing and inspecting the voicing of the new Baldwin grands was my specialty. Just as it is now with my university artists, piano teachers and their students.
We look forward to voicing your instrument and making it sound correct again. The tone is still there; it just has to be brought out by a technician trained in more than just tuning. I consider it standard procedure when I prepare pianos for concerts to both tune and voice the piano. Voicing is just another part of the procedures required to bring out the best tonal quality an instrument has to offer.
If you have ever wondered if you could do more for your piano than just tuning, then you owe it to yourself to have a discussion with me concerning Voicing. Tuning and Voicing; the two most important and effective procedures to make your piano sound like it did when it was new and correct.
Call and we will discuss this necessary maintenance for your instrument. Certainly, the biggest
“bang for your dollar” next to tuning.
Barry and Phyllis Bradshaw
Bradshaw Piano Service, Inc.
The"Third" most important thing you can do for your piano......
Install a Damp-Chaser Climate Control System in the piano.
What is it?
The Damp-Chaser Climate Control System is an apparatus that is installed inside of your upright or grand piano. It consists of four major componets; a humidifier, two de-humidifiers and a humidistat. These all work together to maintain a stable 46% Relative Humidity (RH) throughout your piano, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Automatically, the humidistat senses if your home's air is not at the desired 46% RH. If it is higher than 46%, the humidistat automatically turns on the de-humidifier and runs until it reaches 46%, then turns off automatically. If the RH is lower than 46%, it automatically turns on the humidifier and runs it until reaching the desired 46% RH. This is all installed out of sight inside your piano. It does require plugging in, but runs on just 3 cents of electricity a day.
Why is the above important to my piano?
All pianos are made out of four major componets: wood, glue, felt and metal. All four of these componets are affected significantly by both high and low moisture levels inside the piano. High moisture levels, above 46%, contribute to sticky wooden keys, swollen felts causing playability problems and rusting of the 220+ strings. Low humidity levels contribute to wood parts, such as the piano soundboard, drying out and cracking, action parts and finished case parts cracking and glue joint failures throughout the piano. Pianos are engineered to be in a stable 44% to 48% RH environment. This system protects all of the above mentioned items from deterioration for the lifetime of the piano, all automatically, 24 / 7. BUT, the most important point is........
How does all of this affect tuning stablity?
75% of the reason a piano goes out of tune is because of RH swings over the course of a year. The amount of playing affects it, but only 10% to 15%. 75% of the reason is because the wooden soundboard to which all 220 strings are attached, swells in the summer with higher humidities in the home. In the winter, the soundboard contracts, moving all the strings back with it. This physical, in and out movement of the soundboard puts more tension on the strings in summer and less in winter. This causes the strings to actually move from where the piano tuner placed them when he last tuned it. Physically moving the strings, thus changing their tension. Changing the tension on the strings is exactly what a tuner does when he tunes a piano. Humidity swings cause this movement of the strings to happen on their own.
How to remedy this problem?
The Damp Chaser Climate Control System brings the air inside the piano to a 46% RH and keeps it there, 24/7, automatically, for the lifetime of the piano. With the soundboard kept at a constant 46% RH, it does not move. It does not physically expand or contract after the tuner leaves. With the soundboard now staying stable and not moving, the strings do not move from where the tuner puts them when he tunes it. Therefore, the piano stays in tune much longer. All the while, protecting wooden action parts, keys, glue joints and metal strings from failure due to cracking or rusting. The piano wil now stay in tune optimumly. Less tuning, less servicing. No repairs for cracking parts due to dryness, no repair due to rust, swollen felts and sticky wooden keys. Here in Arkansas, RH in the winter can get down to as low as 15% in your home. Summertime levels can easily hit 75%. This system controls the humidity in the piano, no matter what the RH is in the rest of your home. This 60% swing of RH over the course of a year, explains why piano tuners have an occupation!
What do I do now?
I will personallycome to your home and install it. It is a 4 hour operation to install, set up and calibrate. It comes with a 5 Year Parts and Labor Warranty. You cannot be out any money for 5 years. I have installed over 200 systems over the past 25 years. It is ideal for universities, schools, individuals and churches with humidity problems that cannot be controlled consistently all week or all year. I installed one in a university performance stage grand piano 22 years ago and it is still going strong. Speaking as a 41 year experienced piano technician, they do exactly as described above. It protects all your piano componets from the problems high and low humidity cause. Nearly zero maintenance on your part. I service it when I tune your piano. It runs automatically, 24/7. It's a high quality system, endorsed by numerous piano manufactuers. Bottom line; your piano will stay in tune better and longer while being protected from extremes in humidity over the year.
The System installed is: $1,095. FREE: "$180 VALUE PIANO TUNING WITH PURCHASE" FREE! Allow a lead time of 2-3 weeks for shipment and installation. Have you ever wondered what else you could do for your piano besides tuning? This is a lasting, high quality choice.
Call and I will personally answer any questions you have!
Call: Barry Bradshaw, Owner /Technician: Cell: 501-733-9995 Office: 501-733-3211
GOOGLE: Bradshaw Piano Service
PIANO ACTION REGULATION……....What is that?
Piano action regulation is something that I work with every day as a piano technician. Unfortunately, the vast majority of pianos have never had anything other than tuning, since the piano was new. Many times that means 10, 20, 30 years or more. The majority of piano owners are not aware that a piano requires more than just tuning. That is because most piano tuners are piano tuners only. Most piano tuners do not bring up or explain piano action regulation because they have not been trained in it.
WHY HAVE MY PIANO ACTION REGULATED?
The main reason is written in EVERY piano brand’s Owner’s Manual; they ALL mention the need for action regulation every 3-5 years. Steinway says every 3-5 years, Baldwin says every 5 years, Yamaha says every 5 years, Kawai says every 5 years, Bosendorfer 3 years. The Steinway at the Arkansas Symphony is regulated once a year, sometimes more often than that. If you have owned your piano for more than 5 years and it has not had an action regulation, it is overdue by your own brand’s recommendations. Tuning has nothing to do with the physical adjustments done to the action mechanisms that occur in an action regulation procedure.
Besides following your brand’s factory recommendations, the most important reason to have the procedure performed is that you paid 100% of your dollars to get 100% of a piano. When an action is out of regulation after 5 years, you are losing, conservatively, 5% of the volume, tone, touch, power, repetition capabilities and dynamic control of forte and pianissimo volumes. 10 years; 10%, 15 years; 15% and so on. If your piano is 30 years old and has never been regulated other than at the factory 30 years ago, you are only getting 70% of what your piano CAN STILL give; If only it were regulated.
WHAT DOES AN ACTION REGULATION ENTAIL?
If your brakes were only giving you 70% of their stopping power, you would take them to have them adjusted or regulated. Most pianists and piano students don’t realize they are not getting the optimal response and tone that they once did years ago. It is such a gradual deterioration, most people don’t realize what they are missing. When they play a newer piano that is “in” regulation, they just think that their piano is old and the new one is a better piano. That is definitely not the correct assumption. A competent piano technician can determine very quickly what is out of adjustment and how far out it is. Piano action mechanisms have 12 adjustments (regulations) that have to be performed on each of the 88 notes. That is a total of 1,056 adjustments to make a Yamaha have the Yamaha feel and tone; to make a Kawai have the Kawai touch and tone; to make a Steinway have the Steinway touch and tone. All of that correct tone, touch, volume power, repetition capability and dynamic control is lost when the liaison between your fingers and the strings; the action mechanism, is compromised due to felts packing on keys, wear on action parts, hammerhead felt wear and hammerhead felt compaction.
WHAT EXACTLY IS IT?
The action regulation procedure can take place in your home without moving the piano. It can be performed on a mobile workbench we set up beside your piano. It is usually a 6 hour procedure that is noiseless for the most part. It involves the adjustments listed below to adjust regulation screws, bolts, felts, wires on the piano action mechanisms and keys. All adjustments, dimensions and measurements are brought back to the factory specifications for your piano’s brand. Each brand is different. We at Bradshaw Piano Service, have the Service Manuals for each brand, model and style of piano to bring it back to new and correct specifications.
Set hammerhead blow distance on 88 hammerheads
Set hammerhead drop distance on 88 hammerheads
Set hammerhead height distance on 88 hammerheads
Set letoff on 88 hammerheads
Set back-check checkoff height on 88 backchecks
Set repetition spring strength on 88 whippens
Set correct jack to repetition height on 88 whippens
Set jack to knuckle distance on 88 whippens
Set 3/8” or correct key dip on 88 keys
Set key after touch on 88 keys
Set key height on 88 keys
Set key frame bedding on action key frame
This will enable the piano action mechanism to play at the optimum efficiency it was engineered and designed to do on the blueprints and at the factory before it was shipped. On performance pianos, at the Symphony, these pianos are always asked to perform at 100%. Anything less is unacceptable by the artist that may have traveled, literally, thousands of miles to perform for two hours. That is what an action regulation is; a concert preparation procedure to make the stage piano, or your piano, perform at 100% concert level performance; to perform at it’s optimum level of performance. Bringing a piano back from 30 years of unknowing or neglect to “concert ready” will give the piano 30% more of all the good things it has to offer in tone, touch, feel, sound, repetition, volume, etc.
WHAT TO DO NOW?
The correct tone, touch, power, repetition, volume, clarity, dynamic control; its all still there in your piano. It just needs to be brought out again by someone trained in piano regulation. Phyllis Bradshaw and I were not just Baldwin factory trained piano technicians. As the Quality Control Managers for the Baldwin Piano Factory in Conway, we both WERE the Trainers for the factory. For a combined 40+ years. Our Quality Department was responsible for the training of all new hires at the factory. We did re-current training of all 300 employees by direct one on one departmental training. We at Bradshaw Piano Service know piano action regulation because; we taught it at the Baldwin Grand Factory for 40+ years. That was our job description at the factory; in house recurrent training, new hire training and all-encompassing grand piano quality standards from tuning to regulation to finish.
Have us come to your home to give you a "FREE Technical Evaluation of your piano.
See our website:
See under the “Recommendations” section, concert pianists, peer piano technicians, Steinway owners and individuals speak to my piano regulation expertise and their personal experience with me.
Barry Bradshaw, Owner and
Bradshaw Piano Service, Inc.
501-733-9995 My Cell
501-733-3211 Office – Phyllis Bradshaw