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How to care for your piano keys

How to care for your piano keys

Guidelines for cleaning your keys and preventing damage

Yamaha acoustic and digital piano key tops are made of synthetic materials which may react adversely to various cleaning and disinfecting agents. We advise the following practices for cleaning and protecting your keys:

  • Avoid cleaners (both liquid and saturated wipe-type cleaners) that contain harsh
    ingredients including alcohol (isopropyl), chlorine, ethanol, benzene, peroxide and
    salts. These ingredients contribute to discoloration and cracking.
  • If a player uses hand sanitizer that contains any of the above ingredients, please
    make sure their hands are completely dry before touching the keyboard.
  • Using a microfiber cloth dampened with lukearm water, with a small amount of
    dish soap, and wrung out enough that water does not drip on the keys. Wipe down
    the keys in a ‘toward the player’ motion.
  • Finally, using a third, dried microfiber cloth wipe down the keys in a ‘toward the
    player’ motion until all the keys are dry.
  • Keep the key cover closed at all times when the piano is not in use.
  • Cleaning your hands before playing is recommended and will ensure a high level
    of playability through the life of your piano.

Disclaimer: These recommendations do not guarantee disinfection of the keys, and many currently popular disinfectants may damage keytops over time.

Have questions or want to learn more about pianos?

Call 262-202-8250, email us, or stop in our store.

We would love to have you visit soon!

Service Hours

Monday-Friday: 8am – 6pm

Showroom Hours

Monday: 11am – 8pm
Wednesday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 1pm – 5pm
Appointments available other days and times

Address

12555 W. Wirth Street
Brookfield, WI 53005

Call

262-202-8250

Contact Dave or Brigitte Hulbert

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My Piano is too loud!

My Piano is too loud!

How can I simply make it sound softer?

Have you noticed that it is hard to have a conversation near a piano that is being played? If so, it is a good sign that you have a healthy piano! Pianos are intentionally designed to amplify the sound they produce. Saying that, there are a few things you can do to lessen the amount of volume the piano produces.

3 ways to soften a piano

Voicing. This term can also be defined as tone regulation. Piano technicians have the skill-set modify your pianos tone or voice by manipulating the felt in the hammer that strikes the string. Methods can be by needling, sanding, chemical application or a combination of these procedures. This method is the most expensive and permanent of these choices.

Environmental. Choosing to place rugs, plants, fabric furniture and fabric window treatments can go along way to absorb a significant amount of a piano’s volume output. The more flat surfaces the are in the room, such as walls, hardwood floors and window exist near the piano, the more the sound will bounce off of these surfaces, causing your piano to seem louder. Depending what items and how many are chosen in your room will translate to the cost of this method.

Adding Absorption. Consider lessening your piano’s volume before it leaves the piano by absorbing its sound. Back in the 1990’s, there was a surge in player pianos. I remember piano dealers at the time displayed them in various retail locations to show them off. One common place was in car showrooms. As you may imagine, there is usually a tile or cement floor w/ glass all around. How do you think those player grand pianos sounded in that environment? Similar to a packed school gymnasium! Very, very loud. To make the car salespersons and customers happier, foam was tightly stuffed underneath the piano.

Hulbert Piano - softening your piano sound

Today, that same solution is used but is now perfected. Special acoustical foam can be cut and friction-fitted between the back posts of a vertical piano or between the beams of a grand piano. Doing so can drop the overall volume by roughly 30%. Notice the photo of the acoustical foam fitted between the back posts of this tall upright piano. Not all areas need to be treated.

Hulbert Piano - Tips for your piano sound
Hulbert Piano - Tips for your piano sound quality

So if your piano is too loud for your taste, there are solutions that can work. Need help deciding which method or two to try? If so, we’ll be happy to give you our professional opinion during your next tuning appointment as we evaluate your piano and room.

Have questions or want to learn more about pianos?

Call 262-202-8250, email us, or stop in our store.

We would love to have you visit soon!

Service Hours

Monday-Friday: 8am – 6pm

Showroom Hours

Monday: 11am – 8pm
Wednesday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 1pm – 5pm
Appointments available other days and times

Address

12555 W. Wirth Street
Brookfield, WI 53005

Call

262-202-8250

Contact Dave or Brigitte Hulbert

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Why Are These Piano Keys Brown On The Sides?

Why Are These Piano Keys Brown On The Sides?

Padauk, a pleasant surprise!

While uncrating a special-ordered Polished Mahogany Mason & Hamlin Grand for a client, our eyes were drawn to the sharp keys that were not totally black in color as is customary. Mike Collins from the M&H piano factory located near Boston described the sharp key material as Padauk with no finish applied and topped w/ ebony.

Dave’s curiosity was peeked and wanting to know more about this awesome eye-catching wood. Here’s what he found starting with examples where this wood has been chosen to be used.

King Solomon chose stalwart padauk for the pillars of his temple. French Kings Louis XV and Louis XVI, 17th Century, had their royal woodworkers craft kingly cups and chalices out of Padauk. In the 18th Century, convicts sent to British penal colonies in the Andaman islands off Burma labored to supply the padauk sought by world craftsmen, including the famed Pullman Company of Chicago. They imported much of this exotically beautiful and durable “Andaman” padauk to panel railroad passenger cars in the 1850’s.

Most padauk trees look like elms, with large, spreading crowns reaching to a height of 120′. Averaging 7′ in girth, their trunks have smooth, yellow-tinted bark and often have no branches for the first 65’. The trees bear distinctive, round, inedible fruit banded by a flat wing that gives them a flying saucer-like appearance. With age and exposure to sunlight, it has a tendency to darken and turn to a deep maroon.

Padauk wood is as heavy, but stronger than oak which makes it a first-class furniture and cabinet wood, and is known for fine turnings, carvings, and used in various musical instruments. Because it has a high resistance to abrasion coupled with strength and beauty, the use of this wood in the application of the sharp keys is truly amazing.

Have questions or want to learn more about pianos?

Call 262-202-8250, email us, or stop in our store.

We would love to have you visit soon!

Service Hours

Monday-Friday: 8am – 6pm

Showroom Hours

Monday: 11am – 8pm
Wednesday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 1pm – 5pm
Appointments available other days and times

Address

12555 W. Wirth Street
Brookfield, WI 53005

Call

262-202-8250

Contact Dave or Brigitte Hulbert

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What makes a good piano go out of tune?

What makes a good piano go out of tune?

There are 2 primary things that can cause a good piano to go out of tune.

  1. How it was played. If a piano is played hard where the keys or the hammers all strike the strings harder then normal play that will cause it to go out of tune.
    But more then just playing the piano –
  2. The environment is probably the primary cause of having a good piano go out of tune. A concert instrument illustrates this on a stage. It may need to be tuned twice a day or three times a day. When Dave Hulbert services a very expensive concert brand it will be more out of tune then the same quality, same model in someone’s home that he might only service once a year. That is because the environment changes hourly from stage lights to overhead doors being opened up when it’s hot or cold or the humidity is higher or lower or the piano being moved from one area of the stage to off stage where it might be in a different controlled climate.

Have questions or want to learn more about pianos?

Call 262-202-8250, email us, or stop in our store.

We would love to have you visit soon!

Service Hours

Monday-Friday: 8am – 6pm

Showroom Hours

Monday: 11am – 8pm
Wednesday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 1pm – 5pm
Appointments available other days and times

Address

12555 W. Wirth Street
Brookfield, WI 53005

Call

262-202-8250

Contact Dave or Brigitte Hulbert

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What is the difference between a Vertical Piano and a Grand Piano?

What is the difference between a Vertical Piano and a Grand Piano?

Visually & the placement of the Grand Piano and the Vertical Piano is different.

Vertical pianos are usually put up against a wall and a Grand Piano is not put against the wall but has a lid that opens up toward the room. So one of the differences is visual in that they look different and the functions are different as well. The actions are different, where a vertical will have more springs in the piano. A grand action will have gravity, as its friend to help a little bit more so the sensitivity of playing a grand piano will afford more control then a vertical. Also the dampening system of a grand piano is more efficient because if you think about how the dampers and where they are placed they are right above where the hammer strikes the string. In a vertical they can’t be because they are both on the same side so that the hammer hits a string that is above the damper, which dampens the string. So a Grand Piano will dampen more efficiently. A Grand Piano action will also repeat better because of the gravity and the mechanism called escapement. So those are some of the differences in a technical way of a Grand Piano versus a Vertical Piano.

Have questions or want to learn more about pianos?

Call 262-202-8250, email us, or stop in our store.

We would love to have you visit soon!

Service Hours

Monday-Friday: 8am – 6pm

Showroom Hours

Monday: 11am – 8pm
Wednesday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 1pm – 5pm
Appointments available other days and times

Address

12555 W. Wirth Street
Brookfield, WI 53005

Call

262-202-8250

Contact Dave or Brigitte Hulbert

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Interesting Piano Facts

Interesting Piano Facts

What is the difference between a Vertical Piano and a Grand Piano?

Visually & the placement of these pianos are different.

Vertical pianos are usually put up against a wall and a Grand Piano is not put against the wall but has a lid that opens up toward the room. So one of the differences is visual in that they look different and the functions are different as well. The actions are different, where a vertical will have more springs in the piano. A grand action will have gravity, as its friend to help a little bit more so the sensitivity of playing a grand piano will afford more control then a vertical. Also the dampening system of a grand piano is more efficient because if you think about how the dampers and where they are placed they are right above where the hammer strikes the string. In a vertical they can’t be because they are both on the same side so that the hammer hits a string that is above the damper, which dampens the string. So a Grand Piano will dampen more efficiently. A Grand Piano action will also repeat better because of the gravity and the mechanism called escapement. So those are some of the differences in a technical way of a Grand Piano versus a Vertical Piano.

Have questions or want to learn more about this process?

Call 262-202-8250, email us, or stop in our store.

We would love to have you visit soon!

Service Hours

Monday-Friday: 8am – 6pm

Showroom Hours

Monday: 11am – 8pm
Wednesday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 1pm – 5pm
Appointments available other days and times

Address

12555 W. Wirth Street
Brookfield, WI 53005

Call

262-202-8250

Contact Dave or Brigitte Hulbert

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Choosing Your Dream Piano

Choosing Your Dream Piano

Your Dream Piano

There are a number of things to consider when choosing a new piano.

Purchasing a piano for your family can create a lifetime of enjoyment and intellectual stimulation. Before you spend money for either a new or used piano, a little preparation is helpful so that you purchase a piano that is appropriate for your needs and will insure your family’s musical success.

The first step in choosing a piano involves establishing your musical and furniture needs to fulfill your dreams. A piano will provide elegance, sophistication and beauty to your home, so you want an instrument that will play properly and compliment your home’s decor.

Musically, you need to select a piano that has the key touch and musical tone that you like. Try out many pianos. When you play each one, discover which piano keyboard has the touch most responsive to your fingers. Listen to many pianos to discover which tone is most appealing. Additionally, view different cabinet and finish styles so you can select a piano that is attractive in your home.

We would love to have you visit soon!

Service Hours

Monday-Friday: 8am – 6pm

Showroom Hours

Monday: 11am – 8pm
Wednesday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 1pm – 5pm
Appointments available other days and times

Address

12555 W. Wirth Street
Brookfield, WI 53005

Call

262-202-8250

Contact Dave or Brigitte Hulbert

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Summer Piano Care

Summer Piano Care

The lazy, hazy crazy days of summer are finally here!

We all love summer, but did you know that heat and humidity can wreak havoc on your piano? Here are some quick tips to protect your piano from summer’s foes…..

  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Avoid placing drinks on the piano (this is always bad!)
  • On humid days, turn on A/C
  • Install a humidity control system
  • Always keep the forced air fan on for circulation

We would love to have you visit soon!

Service Hours

Monday-Friday: 8am – 6pm

Showroom Hours

Monday: 11am – 8pm
Wednesday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday: 1pm – 5pm
Appointments available other days and times

Address

12555 W. Wirth Street
Brookfield, WI 53005

Call

262-202-8250

Contact Dave or Brigitte Hulbert

15 + 10 =

You must fill out the addition to process this form.