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The first step in adjusting the tone of a piano is to complete a piano action regulation of the mechanical systems. Along with other strong benefits, regulation will make sure all of the hammers are aligned with all of the strings.
Once the mechanical parts are in proper order, all the registers of the keyboard will have a similar touch. Soft passages can be played softly, and loud passages loudly. This would then check action regulation off the list and it can now be voiced!
Each piano has a particular sound or tone that makes it unique. Some pianos sound “warm”, others “bright”. The unique sound of a each individual piano is set by the piano’s design, but it changes over time.
As the piano is played, the felts on the hammers become compacted or string-cut giving the piano a harsh sound and the piano’s tone becomes unpleasant.
During voicing, the felts on the hammers are the primary focus. Moderately worn or string-cut felts can be reshaped with sandpaper.
If the sound is too loud or bright, or the sound dies too quickly, then the felts may be too hard and compacted. The piano technician can fix this issue by softening them.
If the sound is too weak or mellow, the felts may be too soft and need hardening. In this case the piano technician can complete as well.
When the overall sound is correct, each note is individually voiced to make each one sound like its neighbors.
A piano that is properly tuned, regulated, and voiced is not only a joy to play, it also is a better instrument for refining one’s playing technique.