Patient: A 1986 Steinway D concert grand piano
Symptoms: Piano has difficulty staying in tune, despite repeated, frequent tunings
Diagnosis: Patient needs to have pinblock replaced.
At Cunningham Piano Company, we specialize in making sick pianos well again, thanks to our fully-equipped factory in Germantown and the expertise of piano artisans such as Jason Andino, our Director of Factory Operations.
The pinblock is made up of multiple layers of wood and designed to hold special pins that screw into precisely measured holes. The piano strings are wound around these pins, and the pitch of each string can be adjusted by turning the pin to tighten or loosen the string tension.
Over time, a pinblock can lose the grip needed to hold pins securely in place, resulting in string tension slippage and pianos that can’t stay in tune. When this happens, the only remedy is to replace the pinblock with a fresh piece of wood, carefully measured to fit the exact dimensions of the original piano.
In this video, you’ll see how Jason carefully opens up our sick patient by lifting out the cast-iron piano frame, followed by his surgical removal of the ailing pinblock, which will be replaced with a brand new one. Note how Jason carefully measures various areas throughout the process to ensure a perfect fit with the custom made replacement.