One of the best qualities of a good piano is a rich, resonant bass. Over the years, your piano’s bass strings deteriorate, and so does that beautiful bass tone. Here’s a bit more information about bass strings, and what replacing them involves.
WHY DO PIANO STRINGS GO BAD?
Your piano’s strings, like other parts of the instrument, deteriorate with age and wear. The steel piano wire becomes brittle and susceptible to breaking. The copper loses tension. Dust collects in the very small crevices between the windings of strings.
HOW DO YOU GET NEW PIANO STRINGS?
Bass piano strings are not an off-the-rack item. The strings that are currently in your piano were made for your instrument. They have a specific gauge and length. Some pianos have more wound strings than others. Some well-known instruments such as Steinway & Sons pianos have a stringing scale, and you could have new strings made after a phone call. With other instruments, you’d have to send your old strings away so that the string maker could measure and duplicate those strings.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REPLACE PIANO STRINGS?
If there is a stringing scale for your instrument, new springs can be ordered right away without any work on the piano. Once they arrive, replacement is usually a same-day service. If there is no stringing scale, a technician will remove the strings from your piano and send them to the manufacturer.
ARE THERE OTHER REPAIRS THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE AT THE SAME TIME?
While the strings are off the instrument, a technician should inspect the condition of the soundboard, hammers and bass bridge when performing this service. However, there is one service that should be done when changing piano strings. You should replace the bass dampers. Over time these dampers will have conformed to the shape of the old strings, and new strings with old dampers will not provide the best sound quality.
You should also consider replacing the upper steel strings while you’re replacing the bass ones. Steel strings don’t deteriorate as much over time as the bass strings, though they can still rust and wear. Many piano owners figure that if they’re going to have the bass strings replaced, they might as well have the whole lot replaced.