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4 responses

  1. i’m thinking of buying a Petrof upright grand. appreciate any comments on quality and ease of maintenance (eg. does it do well in the tropics etc). I tried it and it sounds absoultely beautiful — better than a Schimmel and Seiler.

    • Hi,

      Apologies for the slow reply.

      There will be no problems taking care of the piano in the tropics, as long as you do the right thing for it, i.e., keep it in a climate-controlled environment. There is very little difference in action construction between brands of uprights, and indeed between brands of grand pianos (with one or two exceptions). So a competent piano tech will be able to handle just about any brand of piano.

      Hope you managed to secure the Petrof!

      /Ben

  2. Hi,
    Want to know more about keeping it in a climate-controlled environment. Do you mean in an air-con room or installing a piano lifesaver system?

    • By climate-controlled I mean using some means of keeping the RH as close to 60% as possible, and with as little variation as possible. Occasional swings to 70 are fine, as are swings down to 50%

      I write in a couple of posts about how I do it, which is to keep all my doors and windows closed, and using the aircon in dehumidify mode (its the one that looks like a water droplet on your aircon remote controller). I see RH swings down to about 50% and up to about 70%. But mostly its around 55-65%. In case you didn’t know, the dehumdify mode in just about all aircons targets 60% RH. In reality the RH drops lower than that because the fan coil is usually located high up on the wall, where the warmer, moisture air is. So 60% up there means something lower down at human level. The air temperature will drop to about 2-3 degC below outside temperature. This is very comfortable. The compressor will switch off (leaving only the fan running) once it reaches the target RH level. And then on again when the RH rises above its triggering threshold.

      Using the aircon to dehumidify is much better than using a standalone dehumidifier. With the latter you have to empty the water collection tank when its full, and the air temperature rises a few degrees. Makes the room very stuffy and unpleasant.

      But keeping your windows and doors closed may not be an option for you, so you will have to find something which works for you.

      Using the piano lifesaver system is a waste of money. Only Yamaha sells it, and you end up paying $$$ for what essentially is a heater bar because the humidifier function will never turn on in the tropics. And the heater bar is really not good for pianos in general (though some technicians would disagree).

      Actually, pianos are very hardy things. Even if you don’t do what I do, things should generally be OK as long as there is a lot of ventilation (such as running a fan) around the piano so that damp air is cleared away. Opening the piano while playing helps too. When I was shopping around for a grand piano I asked Fazioli under what RH conditions their warranty would still be valid. The surprising answer is (from memory) around 75%.

      However, if you live near the coast or a wooded area you will want to seriously consider using my method (i.e., closed doors and windows).

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