Does Your Piano Need Regulation?

Does Your Piano Need Regulation?

When you hear the word regulation, your piano probably doesn’t pop into your mind. Regulations have to do with laws, rules, and behavior, not your piano. 

But regulation of a piano means to restore the action to its proper adjustment. The action is the mechanism which connects the keys to the hammers. The action is what takes place to connect the keys to the proper strings in order to create a sound. Does Your Piano Need Regulation?

Regulation involves adjusting hundreds of moving parts. Each has an important role in making your piano play and sound the way it does. If one part is missing, loose, or not working at its proper function, your piano will not be able to provide proper sound. When these parts are played, there is the potential of something going wrong. And if this process is allowed to continue, it can impact other parts throughout the piano. 

A piano technician understands the piano and knows how every part interacts together. 

Since the piano actions are made up of wood and felt, they are impacted by the surrounding environment. If there is a lot of humidity, these parts can swell and contract as the moisture levels change. But these levels aren’t as big as you might think. Tiny changes can have big impact. 

All aspects of the piano are tightly woven together to create sound. To regulate a piano means to change each of these positions, which have very tight clearances and adjustments overall. A technician may twist and turn fractional units at a time. And while it might not seem like a whole lot to you and me, to a technician and the piano he’s working with, it can be a lot. 

When was the last time your piano was regulated? If it’s been over ten years, your piano is in need of an adjustment. Parts wear out. Wires stretch. Felts deteriorate. Wood adjusts. And all of that creates a piano that doesn’t perform at its optimal level. 

Playing at a less than optimal level won’t provide you with the sound quality you need to “feel” the music. And that’s why most of us play – we choose to create an artistic sound. Even if it’s subtle, you know it. You feel it. And that can be the difference between playing and not playing.  

If you suspect something is wrong or if years have passed by and you haven’t had maintenance work performed on your piano, give us a call. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Piano Acoustics: Setting Up Your Room For Sound

Piano Acoustics: Setting Up Your Room For Sound

Buying a piano without considering the final room placement is similar to buying an expensive home theater and expecting quality sound in any room in the home. 

It’s not going to happen. 

Because sound is dependent upon acoustics, defined as the properties or qualities of a room that determine how the sound is transmitted to it. Piano Acoustics: Setting Up Your Room For Sound

Every room has an invisible foe; acoustic distortions that impact the sound quality in the room. They distort the sound you’re trying to hear by covering it up with other sounds already a part of the space. 

Sound bounces. It’s not a one-time impact. Any time you produce a sound, it reflects based on the direction of the sound produced and what materials it finds in the process. 

Place a grand piano with the lid opening to the wall. Now change it and have it opened to the center of the room. Hear the difference?

Everything in the room, everything in your piano’s surrounding area impacts the final sound produced. It filters it. It masks the details. It either creates clarity or mashes it up. 

In the ideal world, your goal is to make the acoustics disappear, so that you’re only hearing the pure sound coming from your piano. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to create that room in reality; different frequencies always come into play. 

But critical listening is a part of good placement. And that means every aspect of your room – floor, walls, ceiling – all have an impact on the final sounds you hear. 

Music studios work meticulously to create the right environment so perfect sound is the norm. They invest heavily in creating perfect balance: absorption, diffusion, and reverberation. This means covering all surface areas with the right amount of treatments and absorbers to create the perfect sound every time. 

Luckily, if your goal is to play and not to record, you have a little more leeway in the sound produced. 

Realize everything in your room impacts the end sound. Add a rug, and you’ll reduce volume. Add wall hangings, and you’ll change the voice. 

Also, remember that the “right” sound isn’t the same for everyone. Your ear is key. What sound the best for you?

The better it sounds, the more you’ll play. And ultimately that’s what matters most.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

It’s Time To Spring Clean Your Piano

It’s Time To Spring Clean Your Piano

Spring time is a time to throw open the windows and let the fresh air in. 

It’s a time for us to put away the bulky sweaters and extra blankets we needed in the heart of the winter. And as we begin to let the fresh air fill our homes with the first signs of spring, cleaning becomes ingrained as second nature. It’s Time To Spring Clean Your Piano

While spring cleaning was a way for people in olden times to get rid of the smoky residue that came from keeping the fires lit throughout the winter, a lot of that same tradition still harbors deep inside. We go beyond sweeping and vacuuming and opt for deep cleaning. 

Some things are obvious targets for spring cleaning – removing blankets from the bed or giving your air conditioner a tune up. But what about your piano? 

A little elbow grease can ensure your piano stays in great shape in the coming years, and continues to play beautiful music for years to come. 

Clean The Keys

How To Clean and Disinfect Piano Keys – properly maintaining your keys doesn’t mean you need harsh chemicals or special soaps.

What Are Piano Keys Made From – age is a determining factor. 

What About Digital

Common Problems With Digital Pianos And How To Repair Them – digital pianos don’t have the same mechanics as acoustic pianos. 

Tips For Cleaning Your Digital Piano – are digital piano keys different from acoustic piano keys?

Restore Your Piano

Safely Restoring Ivory Piano Keys – is it still acceptable to use ivory in today’s world?

Antique Piano Restoration – when it’s been in your family for generations, careful restoration is the only way to go. 

 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Repair, Recondition, Rebuild – What’s Your Piano?

Repair, Recondition, Rebuild – What’s Your Piano?

Looking to restore your piano? The words repair, recondition and rebuild are often used in conjunction with the process. While there is no precise definition of these jobs, some may contain elements of more than one. It’s therefore very important that you ask questions to determine the type of restoration work done on your piano or the one you are considering for purchase.Repair, Recondition, Rebuild – What’s Your Piano?

Repair usually refers to fixing broken parts, such as a broken hammer, an improperly working pedal, or a broken string. Repair may not involve upgrading the condition of the instrument, rather it fixes a specific part on the piano and brings it back into working condition.

Reconditioning involves upgrading the entire piano, but with as little replacement of parts as possible. To recondition an upright might include resurfacing the hammer felt, and twisting the strings to improve the tone. However, the term reconditioning can vary greatly between technicians. Some would consider partial replacement of hammers, strings or tuning pins to be reconditioning, while others would look at that as a partial rebuild.

Rebuilding is considered the most complete of all levels. Rebuilding means putting the piano back to “like new” condition. Restringing the piano, replacing the pinblock, as well as repairing or replacing the soundboard would all be a part of a rebuild. Replacing hammer heads, damper felts, and key bushings would also be a part of a rebuild. It could also include refinishing the wood casing.

There is crossover between the terms all the time. There is no substitute for requesting a detailed description of all work done on a piano before you except work performed.

If you are considering purchasing a rebuilt piano, the rebuilder’s experience should be one of the main deciding factors. Keep in mind that the skills required for rebuilding a soundboard may be different from those installing a new set of hammers. Mastering each skill associated with the internal workings of a piano can take years.

Many rebuilders rely on a variety of technicians to complete a job. They may contract out portions to different people that have special expertise. Collaboration is often the best way to recreate a piano’s original sound from the ground up. But make sure you know whom your are contracting work from and who will be responsible for correcting problems should they arise.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Do Men Or Women Play Piano More?

Do Men Or Women Play Piano More?

Head back in time throughout the history of the piano and you’ll find it to be predominantly male. No surprises there, right?

While men of high status were encouraged to increase their cultural activities by getting degrees and learning to play the piano, women were refining their cooking skills and learning how to be proper wives. Therefore you’ll find a lack of women pianists prior to the 20th century.Do Men Or Women Play Piano More?

Then things began to change.

Women began taking up the piano and soon were making names for themselves across the platform. But like many industries, the further up you get, the more successful men are over women. When you look at the music world, male pianists outnumber female pianists four to one. When men choose to follow their musical inclination, they do well in the musical world.

But is there a difference between the way men and women play? Is there an inherent difference that causes one to be better than the other? With a lot of research behind us, the answer isn’t what you would think.

When it comes to the differences, the way we play or the ability to create music has little to do with if we are male or female, instead, has to do with our size.

Playing the piano isn’t just a “finger touching the keys” action. Instead, to play the piano, it takes the work of your entire body, from your height and weight, to the size of your hands.

A large man with a wide hand reach can play larger chords more effortlessly. A small woman with a short hand reach will put more into her body movements, use her forearms more to create a similar sound.

So in many cases it would seem that a person with a smaller body size and a shorter hand reach would be at a disadvantage. And in some cases that may be so. However, like all activities, it depends on the passion within as much as it does the physical approach.

Some of the best female pianists barely reach five feet tall. Yet watching their performance will quickly show you just how talented they are.

You approach piano playing from within. What you desire to produce comes from the way you approach it. And when the desire is there, anything is possible.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

The Difference Between High End and Low End Digital Pianos

The Difference Between High End and Low End Digital Pianos

Considering purchasing a digital piano? They can make a great addition to your home for a variety of reasons. They are:The Difference Between High End and Low End Digital Pianos

  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to store
  • Easy to transport
  • No tuning required

And if you live in a small space, they allow you the convenience of being able to play quietly whenever you desire, then tuck it away until you’re ready to play another day.

All great reasons to buy. Yet now comes the important question: Do you purchase a high end or low end digital piano?

A lot goes into making that final decision. You can start by discovering why you want a digital piano in the first place.

  • Are you brand new to playing the piano?
  • What are your goals?
  • What is your budget?

And of course the biggest question of all: What are the differences between high end and low end digital pianos?

Digital pianos don’t use the string/hammer concept to make sound like their acoustic counterparts. Instead, digital pianos use samples to generate sound. So each manufacturer of a digital piano spends its time and energy recording sounds and placing them into their final production digital pianos. That difference is where quality comes into play. They must record each sound at different volume levels and then arrange them to make the appropriate sound, depending on how a player presses the key. This process is called modeling. And it’s what separates high end from low end digital pianos.

High end pianos will have more precision in the modeling process. The manufacturer will have paid a lot more attention to the details of successfully emulating the interaction between different strings, different notes. This means it will have a richer, fuller sound, and be closer to the sound an acoustic piano produces.

But of course that isn’t the only difference. It also comes down to the feel of the piano. And arguably so, a professional piano player will tell you this is one area that matters most. Acoustic piano keys are weighted, using a particular mechanism to produce the sound when a key is pressed. When pressed, a felt-hammer is used to press different amounts of pressure to the strings in order to produce different sounds. This “feel” comes through loud and clear on an acoustical. It’s also what separates high end from low end digital pianos.

High end pianos emulate this. Low end digitals will only use a spring and a graded hammer system to produce the same key resistance, which means resistance will only go so far. High end digitals use a replicated piano mechanism that is far superior, and does a great job at transferring skill level from acoustic to digital.

While these are the primary differences, they are by no means all. Yet sound quality is ultimately the most important thing. How its produced, and how its amplified. High end digital pianos will also put more focus in on the speaker system. What you hear is what you’ll remember. So they spend the extra time creating acoustic soundboards and advanced speaker systems that will provide you with a high quality sound. You’ll also increasingly find more opportunity and marked differences in the features, everything from input/output technology, to different sounds and options for production.

If your goal is to become the best piano player you can, investing in a high end digital piano can give you more opportunity to create better music. And when you have better equipment, better sound, you’ll automatically have more desire. Stop by today to find out what equipment is right for you.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172