GX-6

Piano Sales

New and used pianos

Touchstone Pianos proudly represent and sell Kawai pianos in the northeast Victoria region. We also frequently have carefully selected traded-in and second-hand pianos that we have prepared for re-sale.

Our primary role in sales is to provide the piano best suited to the needs of the player, that represents good value for money, great re-sale value, and a long usable life. This is a critical difference between Touchstone Pianos and many other dealers. Our pianos are well prepared, backed up with warranty, and well above the standard of many other dealers. We care that the experience for you as the player is the best it can be.

Mark Bolsius, the owner, is a skilled piano technician, professional performer, and former piano teacher. Alastair McLean, Sales Manager, has been working in this business for seven years, and is also a professional musician. This is a fantastic combination of skills aimed at ensuring you make the best choice for your needs.

Honesty and real-world descriptions

Each piano listed for sale on our website and in-store is supported by an accurate description of the instrument, and a description of to whom the piano is best suited. We will not recommend a piano that is not capable of supporting high skill levels.

We firmly believe that a piano must be better than you are! As a player develops their technique and learns new skills, the piano must respond. There is nothing more frustrating than practicing on an instrument that will not respond to your skills; it has caused many students to stop lessons because they blame themselves, when so often it is the piano that is the culprit.

When you browse our listing, be sure to check that the piano is at least as good as, or better, than you.

Tuning & Pitch Adjustment

Tuning is the adjustment of the pitch of the strings in a piano, and the result is the correct relationship between all the notes of the instrument. Equally important in the art of tuning is to make the piano sound as nice for as long as possible – ie, stability. Tuning a piano can take up to two hours to complete.

Pianos are made from a combination of wood, metal, and modern composite materials, that respond daily and seasonally to various factors. Wood responds to moisture changes; steel and metals respond to temperature changes; and composite materials can change with both of these, but to a lesser extent. The problem is that all these changes are often separate to each other, which results in the tuning – or the balance of string tension – changing daily, even if the piano is unused. Most manufacturers recommend at least one tuning per year – more if the piano is used intensely or frequently.

A pitch adjustment may be required if the piano has undergone a large climatic shift, relocation, or simply not been tuned for a long time. As a result, it may take longer to achieve a stable tuning. The further the strings have to be moved in order to tune them, the more the tension on the strings is compromised. In these circumstances the tuning takes several passes, or tunings, in short succession. Occasionally a follow-up tuning sooner than usual is required, to consolidate the stability.

At Touchstone Pianos, this service is carried out by Mark Bolsius, a highly qualified tuner of over 30 years’ experience. Mark trained originally at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and has also completed additional training at the Steinway Concert Technician’s Academy in Hamburg in Germany, as well as technical accreditation with Kawai and Yamaha. He was the primary concert technician at the ANU School of Music in Canberra for many years.

Mark uses aural tuning techniques as well as a highly sophisticated electronic means to achieve the highest levels of accuracy and stability in his tuning – the best of both worlds.

Voicing

The sound, or tone quality a piano produces is a combination of many factors; soundboard construction and design, case design and materials, scaling, quality of construction – but none is more important than the hammer. The correct shape, density of the felt and how the hammer hits the string means that getting the hammer right can have a huge impact on the tone of the piano.

Voicing – the adjustment of the tone relating directly to the hammer – requires an adjustment of the hammer mechanism and matching it to the string. The process requires great skill, patience and dedication and involves filing the hammer to the correct shape, matching the hammer to the strings so that all the strings are struck at the same time, and finally needling the hammer to produce the right density in the hammer’s felt.

Mark Bolsius, the technican at Touchstone Pianos, has spent years garnering these skills and applies them to most pianos he works on as part of his holistic piano service approach. These skills and techniques can be applied to any piano in a variety of ways – a little needling each time the piano is tuned is fine, assuming the voicing and hammer shape is right. More can be done at an in-home service, where tired or heavily used hammers can be filed and needled to produce a better tone. When this is no longer possible, ie the hammers are too worn, replacement is the next option. (see Rebuilding)

In-home Servicing

The technician at Touchstone Pianos rarely does just a tuning. The piano has so much more going on inside that needs to be monitored and adjusted as required. So while you may have booked a tuning, we will often also adjust the complex playing mechanism to keep it operating properly, check and adjust the voicing or tone, and of course, attend to the tuning as well. So aside from the correct pitch, the feel and overall sound of the piano is maintained at optimum levels, making the experience for the player more broadly appealing and enjoyable – all within the cost of a tuning. We will not carry out any major work on your piano without your prior approval.

If there is anything that cannot be dealt with within the normal appointment schedule, an in-home service may be suggested, which can take up to a full day on an upright, or 1-1/2 days to 2 days on a grand piano.

The aim of an in-home service is to have the piano play as well as is possible with maximum dynamics, tone colour and overall musical expression.

If a piano has not been serviced properly, or the wear and tear is at a point where a normal scheduled tuning and service are insufficient to return the piano to optimum playing, an in-home service is recommended. This covers over 25 processes in an upright, and over 30 processes in a grand piano – remember, a piano has 88 keys and many of these procedures applies to each key – hence the long time frames.

Upright Piano In-Home Service: up to a full day

  • Remove action and keys from piano and clean all accessible areas
  • Return keys, align and regulate
  • File hammers to best shape, clean action and iron hammers
  • Return action mechanism to piano, regulate all action functions to optimum operation
  • Check and adjust pedal mechanism
  • Minor part replacement as required (single missing felts, bridle tapes etc)
  • Check hammer fitting to strings
  • Tune
  • Voice hammers for optimal desired tonal response

Grand Piano In-Home Service: 1 – 2 full days

  • Remove action and keys from piano and clean all accessible areas including soundboard, keybed and casework
  • Return keys, align and regulate
  • File hammers to best shape, clean action and iron hammers
  • Check and adjust damper and sostenuto systems
  • Return action mechanism to piano, regulate all action functions to optimum operation
  • Dry lubricate hammer rollers, capstans and pedal bushings
  • Check and adjust pedal lyre
  • Check hammer fitting to strings
  • Tune
  • Voice hammers for optimal desired tonal response

Please call the office on (03) 5721 3555 for a price indication.

Rebuilding