Myth: A Crack in the Soundboard Means my Piano is Ruined.

Fact: While a crack in the soundboard can be a problem such as when the panel comes unglued from the ribs. Most soundboards have cracks within a few years after manufacture… you just don’t see them yet.

A single crack or gap is usually nothing to worry about, even several can pretty meaningless. If however you start getting more than 5 or 6 your soundboard is probably also losing its crown which will adversely affect the sustain and volume your piano will have.

The only pianos which don’t develop cracks in their soundboards are those with very flimsy frames which allow the soundboard to expand and contract without cracking and laminate soundboard (plywood).

A crack in the pin block is a much more serious matter. Now the piano will not stay in tune. Can you tell if there is a potential problem in the pin block?

Andrew Remillard

Myth #1: Moving a Piano Causes it to Go Out of Tune

Fact: If moving caused your piano to go out of tune, you have some very serious problems. Climate change is the primary cause for a piano to need tuning. If you moved your piano from the shadows of a room to the southern window, your piano will promptly go out of tune. It wasn’t because you moved it per se, but because you moved it into the sun! The sun is rumored to have some impact on temperature and humidity.

Back in the days when I did a lot of event rentals it was our common practice to tune a piano before it is sent out. This gave us a chance to make sure the pitch was still close to where it belonged and since the pianos were often tuned weekly this was rarely a concern. After the piano was delivered and set up, myself or one of my staff tuners would tune the piano again after the piano was given a chance to warm up or cool off depending on the temperature of the truck. We rarely did more than touch up a few strings, we did this on site tuning more for the sake of the customer than the needs of the piano.

More later on why a piano goes out of tune and why you can still need to tune it every day.

Andrew Remillard