Caring for your Steinway
The ABC of Proper Care
Wood and felt are highly sensitive to extreme changes in temperature and humidity. During the heating period a standard good-quality humidifier should be used to control and regulate humidity. The most favorable environment for your piano is a relative humidity ranging between 45% and 70% and a constant temperature of approximately 20˚C. Sudden fluctuations in temperature must be avoided as the tuning and regulation might be influenced negatively.
Use a slightly moistened, natural leather cloth to clean the keys. Make sure that no moisture trickles down the sides of the keys.
Choose a place with the right atmospheric conditions, preferably against the inside wall of a room and not close to windows, outside doors and radiators or heating outlets. Special supports for the castors protect your floor covering. When not in use, you should ensure that the top of your instrument is closed, to prevent dust collecting inside.
Regulation is the adjustment of the action and should be carried out at regular intervals, in order to ensure an optimal uniformity of touch and play. Even if ambient conditions are satisfactory, regulations should be carried out at regular intervals.
Very particular care is given to the manufacture of a Steinway, and repairs are very rarely necessary. if the need arises, however, do make sure that repair work is solely carried out by an authorized and skilled technician. It is essential that only originally packed Steinway spare parts are used.
If at all possible, we recommend a constant room temperature of 20˚C (see also "Ambient Conditions").
A Steinway requires expert care. You should leave all service, like cleaning, tuning, voicing, regulation or eventual repairs, in the hands of a skilled piano technician. We recommend that you consult your Steinway & Sons dealer for his advice when your piano requires service of any kind.
Irrespective of whether high polish or satin finish, your piano should only be wiped with a soft, dry piece of cloth or a slightly moistened leather cloth. We strongly advise you to refrain from using furniture polish as it contains waxes and in some cases silicone. Any later re-treatment of the surface will then be very expensive.
Remember the high value of your Steinway and only allow specialist carriers to transport your piano. Make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage.
The proper pitch (440 Hz = concert pitch a1) is set by stretching the strings. We recommend frequent tuning during the first year, as the material must adapt to the immense tension. It takes a year for tuning to "settle." Afterwards your piano should be tuned at least twice a year. The pitch should be kept at a constant level. When the pitch is frequently lowered or raised, the instrument is much less likely to remain in tune.
Please consult your piano dealer or our service department.
The character of each individual note is formed by pricking the hammer felt in a radial fashion. Voicing demands extensive expertise and should be left to the judgment of an authorized Steinway technician.
The surface of your piano is highly sensitive to sun, so make sure it is not affected by direct sunlight.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION RELATING TO GRAND PIANOS WITH DOUBLE WHEEL CASTERS AND BRAKES:
The casters allow easy movement and positioning of the grand piano. There is, however, a risk that the grand piano may move of its own accord if its casters are not locked by the brakes.
In the event of uncontrolled movement people may be injured or property damaged. It is therefore important to lock the casters of the grand piano using the brakes as soon as the instrument is in position, particularly after being transported.