“While pianos generally fall into vertical and grand model categories, each manufacturer selects its own materials and utilizes its own unique scale and furniture designs. Every piano requires a different level of maintenance, depending upon the quality of materials used and the design and level of craftsmanship. Manufacturers can provide general advice on tuning frequency but your technician can give specific recommendations based upon your usage and locale.”
Here’s what some of the major piano manufacturers recommend:
Professional service is the key. In the first year, the National Piano Manufacturers Association recommends that you have your piano tuned four times. This is a period of environmental adjustment for a new instrument, and proper attention is important.
Chickering Grand Piano Restoration 2016
After the first year, the piano should be tuned at least twice each year, depending upon the frequency of use and atmospheric conditions. Contact Artisan Piano Services to schedule an appointment with our professional technicians to perform this service.
Artisan Piano Services has recently have been given the rare opportunity to do some restoration work on a truly classic instrument: an 1840’s Boisselot et fils piano. This period instrument is very rare, and it is an uncommon thing to be able to see one of these pianos, let alone work on one. Restoring this piano is a great thrill!
We will be doing a partial rebuild of the ACTION, including: recondition the action parts to proper working condition, possible re-pinning, replacing key-bushings and key-bed felt as necessary, surfacing the hammers, lubricating the knuckles, and doing a touch-up regulation and voicing. Included is new damper felt and damper regulation.
Artisan has also been commissioned to provide a full restoration of the BELLY: replacing the strings, tuning pins, and pinblock. We will repair and recondition soundboard and bridges, as well as refinish plate and replace the plate felt and recondition plate hardware.
Importantly, our technicians will provide numerous in-shop tunings before the project is completed, and another one when the piano is delivered to our customer.
Finally, to preserve the original beauty and integrity of the cabinet finish, we will simply touch up the case and re-install some loose decorative brass trim pieces.
HISTORY of the Boisselot & Fils
“Boisselot & Fils [i.e. & sons] was a French piano manufacturing company established in 1831 in Marseille, France, by Jean-Louis Boisselot and sons, Louis-Constantin and Xavier Boisselot. The rapid increase in the production capacity of the factory with 70 workers to 300 pianos per year from 1834 shows that father and son had prepared their plan carefully. The constant expansion led in 1848 with 150 workers for the production of about 400 pianos a year. Highlighting this success, he was awarded with a gold medal at the French Industrial Exposition of 1844 (the 10th Paris Industrial Exhibition). Among other innovations Boisselot presented for the first time at the exhibition a mechanism by which individual notes and sounds were identified as Tonhalte or sostenuto pedal today.” (Wikipedia for Boisselot & Fils)
According to Pianos Romantiques, “Marseille turned out to be a good choice for setting up a piano factory: salaries were lower than those of the Parisian rivals, cheap exotic wood was [close] to hand thanks to the importance of the town as a port, and there was easy access to important export markets: Italy, Spain, and the colonies via the Mediterranean.”
The famous pianist and composer Franz Liszt was a patron to the Boisselots. He owned and performed on a Boisselot Fils. According to Alan Walker, Liszt traveled in October-November 1844 in Spain with his lifelong friend, Louis Boisselot, for a series of concerts. “Liszt played on a Boisselot piano, a powerful instrument especially brought in from Marseille by Louis Boisselot, which accompanied him on his journey across the Iberian Peninsula.” (Franz Liszt: The virtuoso years, 1811-1847)
Finally – Enjoy a Chopin Nocturne performed on a 1842 Boisselot!
A labor of love: ‘Completely redoing a piano is kind of where my heart is’
We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to involve one of our customer’s family story in the feature, which really helped to illustrate how important it is to us to help our customers “Continue The Story” of music in their lives. “We’ve had this piano in our family for 91 years, and my mother is 91 years old coincidentally,” explained the owner of this beautiful piece of history. After all these year, the piano is being given to the original owner’s grandson as a wedding gift!
After weeks of refinishing, re-stringing, regulating the action, tuning and all manner of detailed attentions – we were privileged to have the whole family present for the unveiling. It was such a thrill to see how happy they are will their newly restored piano.
For more than 10 years we have serviced families, schools, students, teachers and professional musicians in telling their story of music in the world. In addition to our local piano tuning, repair, evaluation and appraisal work, we have a growing number of customers from all over the United States for piano rebuilding, refinishing and restoration. We just started work on a 115-year-old piano that was shipped to us from the United Kingdom!
Artisan Piano Services is pleased to provide support this year for Pianos In The Park. Our very own Josh Mayfield has gone to several of the locations to tune and repair some of the various pianos. Click hereto see an video about the development of this exciting arts and culture project!
Our customers often ask us why their piano seems to go out of tune when the weather changes. According to the Piano Technicians Guild:
“Because your piano contains materials such as wood and felt, it is subject to change with climatic conditions. Extreme swings from hot to cold or dry to wet cause its materials to swell and contract, affecting tone, pitch, and action response or touch.
You can reduce the severity of these effects by placing your piano near a wall away from windows or doors that are opened frequently. Avoid heating and air conditioning vents, fireplaces and areas which receive direct sunlight. Your piano will perform best under consistent conditions neither too wet nor dry, optimally at a temperature of 68 degrees F and 42 percent relative humidity.”
Because Artisan Piano Services is always looking for ways to better serve our customers – We are pleased to announce that our customers can now schedule appointments online for piano tuning, repair, cleaning, appraisals or to estimate a full piano restoration!
Just press the button at the top right of every page of our website to be taken to an easy to use form. Our friendly staff will follow up with you right away!
To be sure – You can still just call or email us anytime!
The home office of Artisan Piano Services has been located for a number of years at
3030 SE 10th Avenue, Portland OR 97202.
Before The Remodel
From here our office staff has been able schedule piano tunings, repairs, cleanings and appraisals.
Preparing the New Space
It has served us well, but it has become increasingly cramped for our needs. Over time it became clear that we needed more space for our technicians to spread out and make room for more repair work.
The New Doorway
In October this year we were given the opportunity to enlarge our office and piano workshop area by almost 3 times its original size. Notice the sliding French doors made by David Hayes!
We were able to knock out the wall to the office and open up the other space for our workshop.
We now have four new work benches and a staging area for our customers to be able see their newly completed rebuilt and restored pianos.
From our remodeled office we are able to coordinate the activities of all of our piano technicians in both our Portland, Oregon and Bellevue, Washington locations, and better serve the needs of our customers with piano repair needs.
Welcome to our new Office and Workshop!
Come by and see what we’ve done to the place – We’ll have coffee ready for you!
In May this year, Artisan Piano Services opened its second location in Bellevue, Washington. Sometimes companies expand to new locations after long planning and preparation. Other times opportunities present themselves in unexpected ways. For us, that unanticipated blessing came to us in the person of Josh Mayfield.
Joshua Mayfield, a native of Bellevue, WA, comes to Artisan with a wide array of skills and technical abilities, having been trained by some of the Pacific Northwest’s industry leading technicians. Josh had his own piano servicing business, but was looking for an opportunity to serve more people throughout the Puget Sound region and to become part of and grow with a stable company in the industry.
Joshua has shown himself to be a true asset to our team with his love of pianos and working with people. He has always loved the piano because it blends music and mechanics in such a unique way. Joshua and his wife, Amanda, are true Pacific Northwest outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy a wide array of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, and biking.
After six months now, our Bellevue locations is beginning to grow in significant ways, and provides Artisan Piano Services’ outstanding customer service to Seattle, Kirkland, and as far as Tacoma, Washington.
With the unveiling of the new Artisan Piano Services Blog we want to celebrate over the next several weeks some of the new and exciting things that have happened in 2014.
At the beginning of 2014 we welcomed two exceptional piano technicians as new team members in our Portland, Oregon location: Michael Turano and Jonathan Valentine. Both of them are graduates of the North Bennet Street School of Piano Technology (NBSS) in Boston, MA. Both are Registered Piano Technicians (RPT) with the Piano Technicians Guild, and quickly became important to our success this year.
Micahel Turano comes to us from Windsor, CA, having been highly recommended by his professors at the North Bennet School, which he finished in 2013. Michael is a fantastic technician, who loves the complexity of the inner workings of pianos. Michael is always surprising us with his wide range of interest which includes everything from weaving and Scottish country dancing to volunteering at Guide Dogs for the Blind in his spare time.
Jonathan Valentine is an accomplished Classical Concert Pianist from Bayport, NY. He is a gifted technician who loves to bring pianos back to life, and enjoys seeing the passion people have for music. His attention to detail and inherent understanding of the customers’ needs and wants have made him an incredibly valuable addition to our team. Along with a love of playing the piano, Jonathan also appreciates the great outdoors and has recently taken up rock-climbing and bouldering.
To learn about the rest of the team, visit “Our Team” on our website!
"Price was very reasonable, great service, and the piano that I was previously told was un-tunable, sounds fantastic."
"I confidently recommend Artisan Pianos to all of my students for their piano tuning and repair needs."
"My piano now sounds like new again! I would highly recommend this company to everyone."
"Artisan Piano Services not only has great service, they have very professional and friendly staff and piano technicians."
"These folks are great! They communicate clearly, return your calls promptly, and always show up when they say they will."
"I highly recommend them! The technicians are prompt, courteous and do excellent work!"
"I was amazed by his experience and professionalism. They have been tuning our piano since."
"My experience with Artisan was outstanding. Got an appointment right away and the tech arrived on schedule."
"Highly recommend this company. Very happy with their work."
"Fantastic, prompt service, willing to travel, and extremely reasonable rates! "
"Their business practices are exquisite, extremely professional, on schedule, meticulous, and very personable. Highly recommended!"
"I give Artisan Piano Services a big "5" rating”."
"Artisan Piano Services offers the finest quality customer service and piano care. David is a truly gifted technician and is entirely invested in both his service and his customers. The staff at Artisan is kind and prompt, always making me feel valued. I cannot say enough about these great people. I would recommend them to anyone and will continue to use their services for years to come."
"These folks really know what they're doing. And they are honest and professional in all regards."
"Every tech that comes is pleasant, punctual, efficient, and totally knowledgeable and my piano sounds better than ever."
Tom Grant – Legendary Portland Pianist
"Prompt and courteous- it doesn’t get any better!"
Robert Huffman, Principal Pianist- The Portland Ballet
"Artisan Piano Services has been repairing and tuning our piano for years and always provides professional, cheerful service. "
Karen D. – West Linn OR
"Our piano had some problems for many years and we've been looking for a technicians' help. "
Jay & Julie Chiang – NW Portland
"Very professional, prompt and thorough!"
John Kemp (Founder) Hawksview Cellars – Sherwood OR
"Honest and generous, a pleasure to work with."
Charles – NW Portland
"An old world degree of craftsmanship."
James Beaton – Music Director-Storm Large, Keyboards-Everclear, Jeff Trott
"I highly recommend David Hayes as a piano technician. His knowledge and skill are beyond compare! "
Gaye Rumsey-Riggs – Music Educator-Piano Teacher
"The Portland Symphonic Girlchoir appreciates the professionalism, high quality workmanship, and timely communication of Artisan Piano Services."
Roberta Q. Jackson, Founding Artistic & Executive Director for the Portland Symphonic Girlchoir
"I picked Artisan Piano Services to tune my piano based on Angie's List so I had an idea about what to expect."
"We've had Artisan Piano Services out to tune our piano twice."
"Artisan Piano Services offers the finest quality customer service and piano care."
"Our small grand piano had lived in Iowa for 2 years, where there are huge changes in indoor humidity from summer to winter--not good for pianos."
"My experience with Artisan Piano Services was outstanding."
"David Hayes of Artisan Pianos has tuned and maintained the pianos of my teaching studio since 2009."