Is there a Standard for Piano Regulation?

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Welcome to I’m Robert Estrin. The question today is, “Is there a standard for piano regulation?” The gut reaction, you’re probably all thinking is, of course, there must be a standard for piano regulation. I know this involves many precise measurements. I’ve got news for you, though. I’ve been around piano technicians my entire life. Some of my best friends are piano technicians! As a matter of fact, many of them, and I certainly depend upon them. Here’s the funny thing. I don’t care how great a piano technician is. Once they get done with a piano, you take another piano technician and they look at the work, how the regulation was performed, and they usually respond something like this, “Oh yeah, this is good, but I would take it down a little bit, and maybe a little bit higher, over here.” Everybody’s got their own ideas!

Is there a standard? Well, yes and no. Here’s the standard.

Yamaha has their specifications, for piano regulation. Steinway has theirs. There are little differences. There are some universals, certainly, but there are nuances of differences. Naturally, different pianos have slightly different geometry from one another. So, you can’t necessarily regulate every piano exactly the same. But perhaps even more significant is:

Every technician has slightly different ideas about regulation.

But I think the real key is this. Some pianos can be taken to a higher level of regulation than others. If things are really precise on a piano, you can take it to the edge of closeness where you know it’s still going to work and get optimal performance. But sometimes compromises are necessary. As a matter of fact, it’s typical that there are going to be some compromises in regulation because there’s no such thing as a perfect piano. You get something that has the best combination of power, speed, repetition fluency, control, and there are different ideas as to how to achieve that.

So, even though there’s a lot that piano technicians will agree upon, they all seem to have their own little nuances and preferences as to how things should be measured. Now, I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of comments on this one because there are technicians out there who may feel differently. I want to hear from you in the comments here in YouTube, and you can always contact us here at Once again, we’re your Online Piano Store, providing good information. That’s why we bring these videos to you! So, if you have suggestions for future videos, keep them coming in and they’ll always be more for you, and you’re welcome to subscribe. Thanks again, Robert Estrin, here at Living Pianos.