Preserving the value
of first class grand pianos and uprights
Good pianos are something special. Playing music on a piano is joyful. You can hear and feel the care and attention the piano manufacturers in Germany have gone to piece together the wood, felt, leather and metal of a first class instrument – all raw materials from natural resources, but which react differently to climates and changes. It is therefore recommended to choose a suitable location for the instrument and to keep the climate within certain limits to avoid lasting damage to the instrument. As a general rule:
The correct location
Where one feels at home, a valuable musical instrument is well looked after. Normally, a grand piano or upright should not:
- be placed by windows.
- be exposed to direct sunlight.
- be located next to or above radiators or convectors.
- be placed directly above, below or before air vents
- be located against damp or cold exterior walls.
Normal room air is not damaging
The room shouldn’t be over ventilated at temperatures below zero or very wet weather. This can be damaging for the instrument. The damage increases with the level of ventilation of dry and moist air that leads to permanent changes in the climate of the room (for example quick heating of cold air).
The ideal room climate
A stable and ideal room climate is best for tonal stability, reducing negative influences on the playability, minimizing changes in tension in the sound board, looking after the wooden components of the sound producing portion and increasing the life span of the instrument. This is because wood and felt are natural materials. These materials react to changes in the relative humidity of the air. Changes in the humidity balance between wood and felt do not occur at the same time, having a negative effect on the tension in the sound producing portion and the hammer heads, on the method of playing, the voice, tone and intonation and quality of sound of the instrument.
The ideal relative humidity of the air in the room
should be between 40% and 60%. Changes between 35% and 70% are still acceptable. Larger changes lead to ever increasing and intense changes in the tone and playability of the instrument.
The ideal temperature of the air in a room is between 20° and 24° Celsius
Higher or lower temperatures are also not damaging, as long as the relative humidity is between 35% and 70%. Room temperatures below 10° Celsius should be avoided. Temperature shocks should be avoided in all cases (especially during transportation). Sudden and heavy changes in temperature, especially quick and extreme heating of a room at low outside temperatures should be avoided for the humidity of the air sinks very quickly. Should it be necessary, we recommend the installation of a piano life saver system. Your specialist dealer can provide further advice.