Piano Tuning & Related Services
For most pianos, a piano tuning is just the beginning. Unlike with a car, where a “tune-up” will usually take care of a lot of little things, a piano tuning is typically solely focused on adjusting the 200+ strings on the side of the piano, so they’re all the correct pitch. We always include 15-25 minutes of extra time, as necessary, to make any small adjustments as necessary, but as you’ll soon read, there’s A LOT we can do to improve the playing experience a piano will give you. To keep it simple, we’ve organized our services into sections detailing how we can make your piano sound better, feel better, look better, and related services.
Even if you don’t buy a piano from us, we’re happy to come out and service your piano. We have the largest tuning team in the Chicagoland area that we know of, and we handle over 1,000 tuning and tech calls per year for our customers, most of whom already had a piano when they contacted us. As professionals, we never pressure you to upgrade or buy a piano from us.
All prices here are estimates – the final price is to be determined by the technician doing the work, once they see the condition of your piano. That being said, we hate unpleasant surprises as much as the next person, so we work hard to be consistent, fair, and so darn good that you want to recommend us to your friends!
Better Sounding – Piano Tuning
Our experienced tuner will adjust the tension for all 200+ strings, so that each is precisely the correct pitch. We use a combination of tuning-by-ear & specialized technology – an industry best-practice. A piano tuning costs $110- $165 (depending on condition & maintenance history). Additionally, we recommend tunings 1-2 times per year.
For a piano that’s played by a discerning pianist, tunings should be scheduled at 6 month intervals. For most players, tunings should be scheduled at least annually. Letting a piano go for long periods without professional services actually can cause problems and should be avoided. How long does a standard tuning take? A typical piano tuning takes about an hour and a half, depending on the tuner and the condition.
The hammers on the piano are individually adjusted to subtly increase or decrease brightness and other tonal characteristics. It won’t turn a Yamaha into a Bosendorfer, but it will round out any inconsistencies between the notes and generally customize the sound for you. The piano voicing will run about $95 – $150, after a fine tuning and hammer shaping. More over, additional regulation is extra.
Call 847-775-1988 to Chat With Our Team Today!
Better Feeling – Piano Regulation
As you can see, the action of the piano is fairly complicated, in order to give the player the best possible control and expressiveness. In a full regulation, we adjust 60-80 parts for all 88 keys in the action of the piano to make it as responsive and precise as possible. This can be a time-consuming and skilled process, requiring a wide array of tools and supplies.
Full Day “Bang for the Buck” Package
Tuning + Regulation for Only $399
This unique service is PERFECT if you’re playing on a piano that hasn’t had a thorough mechanical tune-up for at least 5-10 years (especially if you’re just getting the piano now). Our Shop Manager Julie Dodds spends full 7 hours at your home, doing the “best of” items on our full regulation checklist, to give you the best results for your dollar. Includes tuning. More time may be required, depending on the piano. Just $399 (plus small mileage charge).
Individual Regulation Jobs
These are just few of the items on our regulation checklist that we can do to fix specific problems on your piano. $75 per hour. (Or if you want to consider a fully-regulated piano, then feel free to browse our refurbished pianos).
|Clean & Vaccum Inside||Adjust Let-Off|
|Adjust Friction as Needed||Set Blow Distance|
|Lubricate Centerpins||Adjust Lost Motion|
|Shape Hammers||Adjust Backchecking|
|Level Key Height||Damper Adjustments|
|Adjust Key Dip||Pedal Adjustments|
|Polish Keypins||Other, As Needed|
My husband and I recently bought a c1940s Baldwin piano at an estate sale. We’d heard so many good things from our music friends about Family Piano Co. We absolutely loved the woman, Julie, who tuned our piano!! She was knowledgable, professional and really a sweetheart. She did not rush, even though we were probably the last appointment of the day. She answered our many questions, and volunteered some interesting facts about our piano. Thank you for sending her!Melanie H
I am highly satisfied with the tuning and repair I received for my very old piano. The technician was friendly, engaged, and knowledgeable and I could tell he loved pianos. I was very comfortable having him do the work, and the piano is in great shape months later!Donna I
They are very good, they came out and gave me tips on taking care of the piano. I use them once a year just before Christmas. He even gives me tips on the placement of the piano so it is not near heat and get the full effect of the sound.Rita S
Better Looking – Cosmetic Piano Case Repairs
Julie Dodds, our Shop Manager, is one of the best piano case repair people in the Midwest (in our humble opinion). Not only does she have an art degree, she has taken a wide variety of specialty classes on specific finishes, including working with polyster finishes, which is the “shiny finish” on most new pianos nowadays. She makes sure that every piano we sell looks as good as it can (typically, customers think the pianos look brand new!) We don’t promise miracles, but we can promise substantial improvement for a very reasonable rate – $75 per hour. Typically 1-3 “owies” takes 1-2 hours and a full case make-over takes 2-8 hours, depending. We don’t do a full refinish, which involves stripping all the finish off and re-doing the many layers of finish to make it look brand new.
- 1-3 Small Chips or Scratches is
- Full-Case Make-Over is
Typically $225+, Depending
- Repairing a Bench – Typically $75 – $120
- New Padded Benchtop – $150-$225
- Tie-on Bench Covers – $40 – $80
- New Bench – $200+
New set of white plastic keytops, grand or upright. $300 + mileage. We typically need to remove the keys for a few days, since it’s a pretty time-consuming project that is more efficient at our workshop.
The Tech Team
Owner, President & Technician
A piano and technician for over 25 years, Alice has worked with pretty much every piano out there. Kind and connected to the community, she loves working to “save every puppy.”
Shop Manager & Technician
Originally a customer, Julie has become an expert. She attends all of the conferences, learns all of the things and helps greatly.
Michael Collin joined Family Piano Co about a month after it opened. He quickly and efficiently solves our customers problems, helping their piano sound its best.
Andrew has learned his trade not only from Alice, but his extensive work at Northwestern University and through work with the local Piano Technicians Guild.
An experience copier repair specialist, Paul has worked on a wide variety of electronic components for decades. He also loves to play bass with his band.
A hardworker and a quick learner, Suzie helps us prepare the pianos for the showroom floor.
A great teacher of folk instruments, Clayton cheerfully helps the tech team out with anything they need help with!
Digital Piano Repair
There have been a stunning number of digital piano and keyboard models over the years, all a little bit different from each other (which makes getting parts and technical manuals challenging, to say the least!). Overall, they’ve collectively gotten better and better over the years, with fewer maintenance and repair problems. Yet, when there’s a sticky key, or a couple buttons don’t work, these digital pianos have gotten more and more complicated to take apart. So often times, in order to properly diagnose and quote an accurate repair estimate, we need to spend most of an hour taking an instrument apart. Typically, it’s most economical to fix all the issues we find at the same time, rather than putting it together and taking it apart later.
Our Electronics Technician, Paul Durand, has decades of experience professionally working on a wide range of electronics, including copiers, amps, and now within the last few years, digital pianos. Working with the rest of our piano tech team, he has solved some impressively complicated problems for our clients and made sure each and everyone has been satisfied with his work.
- $35 if you bring it to us
- $75 if he goes to your home
- 100% is applied to final repair bill
- Yamaha, including Clavinova
- Others (just takes a little longer to get parts and technical service manuals, etc)
- $65 / hour if you bring it to us
- $75 / hour if he goes to your home
- Plus materials (typically need to be ordered)
- If he can’t fix it, there is no charge.
- Typical turn-around time is 3+ business days
This was a really fun project we did for one of our clients. He loved to fiddle with the latest technology and his new wife wanted a beautiful piano for their new home that would match all of their new furniture. So we found a piano in our storage that internally was pretty dead, but otherwise looked nice. We removed all the strings and the cast-iron plate, to make it as light as a desk and enough of the wood, so the slab-style stage piano could easily slide into the front. He runs the sound through some nice monitor speakers.
If you’re interested in converting a piano (either one that you own or would like to pick one from us), please contact us to discuss a custom project like this.
An Acoustic Piano – with Headphones! And Augmented Sound!
Did you know that we can essentially install headphone jacks on a “real” piano that currently doesn’t have a lick of electronic components, so that only the player can hear it? Basically, we install a bar that can be switched into place, so it blocks the hammers from quite striking the string, preventing any noise. Then, we install a sensor under each and every key, which connects to slim computer unit under the keys, which has the power of a high-end digital. Finally, you can just plug in headphones! Ta-da!
Rather than plug the sensors into headphones, you can also plug them into external speakers, which can supplement and augment the sound of your totally acoustic piano. This combination of acoustic + digital sound is amazing!
We can install a number of similar products from different manufacturers, so contact us for details. Pricing for labor and parts typically runs about $2,400, depending on final configuration, less if it’s bundled with a piano purchased from us at time of sale.
Other Piano Products & Services
Major Rebuilding / Refinishing
If you want to replace a soundboard and/or take on other extensive rebuild projects, we can make recommendations to companies that specialize in this, based on your piano, needs, location, timeline, and budget.
Player Piano Systems
Give us a call if you’re interested in a piano that plays itself. We can discuss the differences between the major systems – PianoDisc, QRS, Disklavier, Piano Force, Spirio, and more – and help you work either with us or the company that best fits your needs.
Silent Piano Systems
Related to player pianos and often installed in conjunction with a player system, these sophisticated “silent piano” products allow you to play a totally acoustic piano with headphones! Furthermore, you can augment your acoustic piano sound with external speakers. We can install this on 95% of most modern pianos.
This is a specialized humidifer / dehumidifer built specifically for your piano to increase tuning stability, especially for pianos with fluctuating temperature / humidity issues, like in churches and institutions. $450 uprights / $550 grands
On most upright pianos, we can install a switch to flip a piece of felt between the hammers and the strings, to reduce volume by about 50%. Typically runs about $250 for parts & labor, so significantly more affordable than an entire “silent piano” installation. Grands require a different, more extensive product.
“Slow Close” Fallboard Mechanisms
Ideally, your piano came with a “slow close” mechanism, to prevent the key cover from slamming on anyone’s hands. If this is a frequent problem, then there are some pretty decent products on Amazon that you can install yourself!
We work with a variety of suppliers, including Benchworld.com, to get you the best matching piano bench at the best prices. Due to wholesale pricing, we can typically sell a bench to you for less than what’s listed on their sites.
Proudly, we are a certifed House of Troy vendor and offer very competitive pricing. Please note that due to the very wide variety of styles possible to order, that we don’t stock very many lamps in-house.
“Slow Close” Grand Lid Mechanisms
Would you like to be able to close your grand lid with just one finger? With this Lid Assist system, you can! This standard feature on Hailun grands can be installed on most other grand pianos. Call for more details!
We exclusively use and recommend Kevin’s Piano Moving – 847-395-7048. Often you’ll need to leave a voicemail (they’re out moving a lot!), but they’ll take good care of you.
Music Teacher Recommendations
We try to have a relationship with all the music teachers we can, especially with piano teachers. Call us at 847-775-1988 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your specific needs & location and we can help.
Since they are pretty different on the inside than acoustic or digital pianos, we do not deal in organs or accordions. However, we can make recommendations to the right professional for you.
The Best Reviewed Piano Store in Chicagoland
Our valued clients have given us the most 5-Star Reviews of any piano retailer in the greater Chicagoland area.