Kentaro's Piano Kare
Piano Tuning Service
Rates for tuning service - Current rate will contiune until the end of August, 2016.
The overall tuning services range from $80 to $125, except when more than one pass of pitch raise is necessary. The customer will be informed the total cost before I start tuning work. In the greater Ann Arbor or the metro Detroit area, no travel surcharge is applied. There is absolutely no “hidden” costs.
Fine tuning is applied when the starting pitch is less than 3 cents* off the target pitch (A4, A just above middle C, is 440Hz). A hybrid approach that utilizes aural techniques principally and an electronic tuning device as an aid is employed to create the most precise and harmonious tuning.
First time customers, and established customers with more than 13 months since the previous tuning: $100
Annual tuning for established customers (within 13 months of the previous tuning): $90
Biannual tuning for established customers (within 7 months of the previous tuning): $80
*Cent(s): The unit to measure musical intervals. An interval between two neighboring equal tempered semitones is 100 cents. An interval of an octave which consists of 12 semitone intervals is 1200 cents. When A4 is within 3 cents off the target pitch, 440Hz, it is between 439.25 and 440.75Hz. When A4 is 25 cents flat, it is 433.7Hz.
Minor Pitch Raise is applied when the starting pitch is less than 25 cents off from the target pitch. One pass of fine pitch adjustment followed by aural refinement is performed, for the same rate as fine tuning. As an option, one pass of coarse minor pitch raise followed by one pass of fine tuning can be perfoemed for an extra $25.
Major Pitch Raise is applied when the starting pitch is more than 25 cents off the target pitch. One pass of coarse pitch adjustment followed by one pass of fine tuning or minor pitch raise is performed for the rate of fine tuning plus additional $25 (e.g., for the first time customers, $100 plus $25=$125). In minor cases, the current pitch could be more than 50 cents flat. In such a case, more than one pass of major pitch raise could be necessary, at a rate of $25 per pass. The customer will be informed the total cost before tuning work starts.
Details of the tuning procedure
Before tuning, I first diagnose the piano’s current pitch by measuring the pitch of five sample notes (A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5) with an electronic device. Based on this assessment, I use one of the following three options to bring the piano to its target pitch and precisely adjust its tuning:
(A) Fine tuning
If the current pitch is within 3 cents of the target pitch, each string is directly tuned to the target pitch. In this tuning, a hybrid approach that utilizes aural techniques principally and an electronic tuning device as an aid is employed. First, I set equal temperament in a double octave (between A2 and A4). Then, I spread the temperament to remaining octaves using octave stretch that is appropriate to an individual piano. In the final step, I apply aural refinement to ensure that the piano as a whole is precisely tuned.
(B) Minor Pitch Raise
If the current pitch is more than 3 cents but less than 25 cents flat from the target pitch, a minor pitch raise is applied. In this procedure, each note is tuned to a higher pitch than the target pitch (overpull). When a string is pulled further to raise its pitch, it exerts more pressure on the bridge and the sound board. This increased pressure pushes down these component further, which reduces the string tension in turn. When other strings are also pulled to raise their pitches, their tensions get further smaller because these strings affect each other through the bridge and the sound board. Thus, after pitch raise completes, the string tension becomes smaller than the initial pitch that is set by pitch raise. Therefore, the overpull technique is necessary to compensate for this pitch drop. For a minor pitch raise, the degree of overpull is relatively small, which enables me to use an electronic tuning aid to make a fairly accurate prediction of pitch drop. This makes fine pitch adjustment possible within the same pass. After the completion of the pitch raise, I perform aural refinement to correct computation errors. This procedure typically produces excellent tuning within one pass. If you would like to request two passes of tuning for a superior result, one pass of coarse pitch adjustment followed by one pass of fine tuning can be performed for an extra $25.
(C) Major Pitch Raise
If the current pitch is more than 25 cents flat from the target pitch, I first perform one pass of coarse pitch adjustment. During a major pitch raise, I apply a relatively large amount of overpull. Errors in the pitch drop prediction are usually significant, making a second pass of tuning necessary. Depending on the condition of tuning after the major pitch raise, either a minor pitch raise (followed by aural refinement) or fine tuning is applied. An extra $25 is charged per additional tuning pass during a major pitch raise.