Action Regulation

RegulationThere are some 9000 working parts in a piano that need to be in the proper position and alignment for a piano to play well.  Keeping these parts adjusted and in good working order is essential to giving you control over the sound that is produced.

As time passes the felts, cloth, and leathers will settle, wear, and deteriorate.  Wood and wool parts will change in size and shape.  Metal parts will wear, become misaligned, or break.  These and other forces will conspire to not only degrade the performance of the instrument but can, if left unattended, cause more serious problems.  For some, even a new piano will need to have the regulation refined for a higher level of performance.  A good maintenance plan will include the regulation of the parts to keep your piano playing its best.  Schedule your regulation and begin to love the way your piano plays again.


Below are some answers to questions we hear frequently regarding regulating a piano. If you do not find the answer to your specific question, use the form below to submit a request.

FAQs about Regulation

1.  How often does a piano need to be regulated?

There are several factors that can contribute to the wear of your piano.

  • The intensity and number of hours the instrument is played
  • Environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity
  • Quality of the instrument’s design and construction
  • Demands/expectations of the performers

This list is only a few of the factors that can impact how often a piano will need to be regulated. By working with your technician you should be able to create a maintenance plan that includes periodic regulations that will keep your piano performing at its best and minimizing unnecessary wear.

2.  My technician says the action needs to be rebuilt.  Why can’t it just be regulated?

The weights and balances within the dynamics of the moving action parts are closely related to its design.  That is a fancy way of saying if the parts are worn, the piano may be harder to play and control.  No amount of adjusting can compensate for parts that are no longer capable of being in the right place with the proper leverage. In some cases, the original design may need to be addressed to compensate for issues that are causing problems.  Regardless of the level of work, there are times when the best choice is to update the parts of the action to give you the best long term value.


3.  What are the signs my piano needs regulation?

There are some very noticeable signs that could indicate your instrument needs regulation.

  • A lack of sensitivity or dynamic range.
  • Keys that are not level with each other throughout the instrument.
  • An uneven or inconsistent touch from one key to the next. (One note sounds loud and the next soft even when using the same touch.)
  • A change in the tone.
  • Legato passages that sound uneven.
  • Chords that sound muddled.
  • Subtle phrases that are not so subtle anymore.

These are a few of the more obvious signs. Your technician should be able to spot signs of wear when he inspects your instrument during a maintenance call.

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