Piano Life Saver Pianos are built to be robust but because most highquality instruments contain a lot of wood, they are susceptible to fluctuations in humidity. This causes tuning issues that can eventually lead to pitch instability. The felt hammers are similarly affected, resulting in uneven tone quality. High humidity will even rust steel piano strings. In worst-case scenarios, the soundboard may crack as glued joins become unstuck. These problems can be avoided by installing Piano Life Saver, a high-tech system from America’s DamppChaser Corporation that monitors humidity levels inside the piano. If humidity becomes too low it will activate a humidifier, while high humidity sets off a dehumidifier.
Piano Life Saver is a discreet, low-maintenance system that uses very little power. Available for both grand and upright pianos, it promises to maintain quality of tone and action, stop keys from rattling or becoming sluggish, and prevent long-term damage to the strings, pins, pinblock, bridge and soundboard. The system costs £388 for uprights, £422 for baby grands (up to 152cm) and £494 for medium grands (up to 182cm). Professional installation is required for warranty coverage – visit the website for details of technicians worldwide. pianolifesaver.com
Piano Isolators A surprisingly high percentage of the sound that comes out of a piano travels through the legs into the floor. This can ‘muddy’ the sound and become an annoyance to neighbours. Piano Isolators are designed to solve these issues by breaking the piano’s acoustic connection to the floor. Placing them under the legs of the piano makes it more responsive to the pianist’s touch as well as improving the instrument’s tone. By virtually eliminating vibrations being transmitted to the building, they are also very neighbour-friendly.
‘These isolators sweeten and clarify the sound of the instrument,’ says British pianist Stephen Hough. ‘Instead of a muddy confusion of carpet, wood and plaster I hear pure notes singing freely in the air. It’s a joy to have them under the castors of my pianos.’ The triangular design of Piano Isolators can accommodate all sizes of castor on pianos weighing up to 500kg. A set of three Piano Isolators from British manufacturer Townshend Audio costs £1,800. townshendaudio.com
Premium Piano Care Kit A piano is an expensive investment that every proud owner should cherish. Regular clearning maintains the aesthetic appeal of an instrument’s casework, as well as helping to avoid the keys becoming sticky or slippery. The Californian company Music Nomad produces a three-part Premium Piano Care Kit with everything you need to get your piano gleaming. The all-in-one cleaner, polish and wax can be used on semi- and high-gloss cases, while for matte cases, keys and digital pianos there is an anti-static spray formulated to avoid streaks or residue. These are supplemented by a high-quality microfibre dusting and polishing cloth used to restore surface finishes.
Music Nomad’s Premium Piano Care Kit is available via Amazon for £28.16. musicnomadcare.com
82 International Piano Guide to Instruments & Accessories www.international-piano.com