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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on March 14, 2004
Art Reblitz should be on the Christmas card list of many a piano technician for writing this book.
In its pages you will find coverage of just about every aspect of piano tuning, repair and rebuilding- all presented in an easy to understand and follow format.
From repinning flanges to setting temperaments, from fitting and drilling a new pinblock to proper let-off distance, it's all here.
A number of years ago I decided to try my hand at rebuilding a player piano that I had come across. After searching for a good book on the subject, i came across Reblitz's book on Player Piano Rebuilding, and in the book he emphasized the importance of restoring the piano to as good a performace level as possible, as even the best restored player action could not make an old delapidated clunker sound good. So I bought the book I'm speaking of now, and it opened a whole new world and insight into the instrument.
Now mind you, I had never had any personal instruction, nor had I taken any correspondance course, but by using the advice and instructions put forth in the book I was able to disassemble the piano, completely restring it, hang new hammers, install new action parts and felts, install new key covers, reassemble the piano and regulate the action to near perfection. And having been a professional pianist for 24 years, I think I know what a well- performing piano feels like.
Now, years after my first player piano, I am a proud member of the Piano Technicins Guild, and tune actively on a part-time basis. And I still refer back to the book on ocassion.
In all, I'd say I owe a lot to the knowledge I have gleaned from the pages of this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to enter the field of piano repair and tuning. Lots of solid material, great illustration and pictures, and many words of wisdom.
The only thing that I could humbly add to Reblitz's book is this advice: read, read, read- study the material- apply the knowledge patiently and meticulously. To study is to learn, so carefully apply what you get from the book and you WILL be able to do.
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on March 13, 2004
This is a well-written, straightforward text in the best tradition of introductory hobby and industrial-arts books. Illustrations and explanations are clear, the organization is logical, and all terminology is properly defined.
But this book is more than an instruction manual. It is written clearly, yet thoughtfully. We learn of the author's passion for his instruments, his affectionate humor at the hoary myths and legends that surround the piano business, and his intense desire that old 'trade secrets' finally be revealed.
I am a beginning piano student and an inveterate disassembler of mechanisms, hence my interest. I read the book--skimming it at first, as I tend to do, then digesting the high points and ultimately absorbing the important details. My courage progressed with my knowledge, and much to my surprise I recently succeeded in removing and improving the action of a mistreated baby-grand piano of my acquaintance.
But even non-tinkerers can benefit from Mr Reblitz' book. He discusses not only the instruments' works, but the instruments themselves: construction, design philosophies, and styles. All of the advertising claims cast into the gilt piano plate ("Capo d'Astro Bar") are explained here. The reader, thus empowered, can enter any piano showroom and fear no salesman.
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on April 30, 2002
I purchased this book several years ago subsequent to acquiring a 1919 Howard baby grand. This fantastic book enabled me to do some minor examinations and repairs, and gave me a much better appreciation for those truly skilled piano rebuilders out there.
If you've ever wondered just what an upright or grand piano action really did, or why all those levers, pinioned joints, felt pads, etc. needed to be there, or what that third pedal is for, this is the book to own. The piano is the last great analog machine out there, and I hope it remains with us for generations to come.
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on January 12, 2000
As the owner of a Piano Service Company, I highly recommend this book to everyone from the beginning student or the professional piano technician to the general consumer who wants to know how a piano works! It will teach you everything you need to know. Wonderful pictures and detailed instruction.
Once you've studied the book, if you want to tackle some minor repairs by yourself, buy your piano parts & tools online, at Piano Showcase -
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on August 18, 1999
I had a dead key on my piano and one that is often played. I didn't want to pay a specialist for such a small repair so i bought this book here. And it worked! In less than one hour, i found the right chapters, learn how to remove the action bridge, repair my key, rebuild the whole thing and gazoo! It plays as new. Now, I can't wait to do the tuning myself. I won't pay for no more overpriced technician.
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on October 14, 1998
An excellent authoritative source on repairing pianos - from simple tuning and cleaning to complete ground-up restoration. Written in clear, easy to read prose with hundreds of illustrations and diagrams. Has enough detailed theory to help the reader readily understand the reasons behind the repairs.
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on September 29, 1999
Having bought a piano - way out of tune - and being interested in knowing how things work, I found this a fascinating book. The author seems to have managed to put several lifetime's wisdom into one easily readable volume.
But don't kid yourself that one quick read will make you an expert piano tuner - "there is no better way to improving your tuning efficiency than to tune several different pianos a day, five or six days a week" is one of the author's tips.
After several days of work [plus the aid of an electronic frequency meter accurate to 1 in 10**6], I have improved my piano somewhat but it is still way off what a professional tuner would achieve in a couple of hours.
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on September 15, 2000
This 6-star book is an encyclopaedia of piano repair/rebuilding/tuning. Without any previous knowledge of piano mechanics, I have managed to repair an old disintegrated German upright piano (ca.1900-1910) following Mr.Reblitz's instructions. I've found answers to all of my questions there. No "empty" paragraphs. Frankly, if I myself wrote such a book, I would feel that I lived my life not in vain.
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on November 17, 2001
My 2 stars rating doesn't mean that Reblitz's book is not good; in fact, it's a perfectly fine and authoritative book if---and I stress IF---you are already a professional technician with an understanding of piano tuning and its many intracasies. Reblitz makes the mistake so many knowledgeable writers make, that is, he explains concepts and ideas as if you, the customer, were already in the know. In fact, I think many have traditionally confused the encyclopedia-like character of this book with it being a good teaching aid but it's much overrated in this department. In fact, I found the instructions to being often overly complicated, sometimes vague, incomplete, and not very emphatetic to the reader, as a student. In short, buy this book if you want a professional referecence. But spend your money on a correspondence, or other course if you really want to learn piano tuning.
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on September 19, 2014
very good book for an over all knowledge about the subject. only thing needs to improve is the clearness of the pictures. also, some texty parts will be more clear if added some more pictures.
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