This is the fourth in a series of blog articles with advice from your Piano Tuner Wilmington DE regarding the importance of choosing a quality piano when you purchase your instrument. This article explains that one common problem of inexpensive pianos is that they generally do not stay in tune as well as a quality instrument.
To understand the process, some explanation of the piano design is required. Pianos have over 200 hundred strings, each with a tension of about 150 lbs. That multiplies out to a total tension of 30,000 lbs, or 15 tons. A wooden structure cannot maintain its structural integrity with that much force on it. Early pianos, with only a fraction of the modern tension, would fold up on themselves from the tension of the strings. To combat that problem, cast iron was added to the structure, to take up most of the force generated by the piano strings. Every modern piano has a full cast iron plate to reinforce the wooden structure, in an attempt to keep the instrument from flexing, so the instrument will stay in tune better.
If all the force were taken up by the cast iron plate, the piano would stay in tune better, but you would not be able to hear it more than five feet away. The reason a piano is so loud, is that a piano has a soundboard which amplifies the sound of the strings. In order to do that, the piano strings are attached to the soundboard via bridges. As a result, the wooden structure of the piano soundboard and supporting beams take up about 500 lbs. of the force. If the wooden structure is not carefully designed with the beams hefty enough, the piano will flex more with changes of temperature and humidity, and it will not stay in tune well. Additionally, cast iron does flex slightly, and cheaper and thinner cast iron plates will flex more than heavier ones.
All of this adds up when the piano needs to maintain 30,000 lbs. of tension in order to stay in tune. A quality instrument will hold a tuning far longer than an inexpensive one. During that time, the player will get a greater reward of beauty of sound, and will be more likely to practice for longer periods and make more progress in lessons.
Your piano tuner Wilmington DE is always happy to help you out with choosing an appropriate piano for your needs. Just give us a call. Besides serving the Delaware area, we also provide Wilmington piano tuning services in Philadelphia, Eastern Shore MD and Southern NJ. We’re ready to help you.