Piano Tuning Anderson, SC

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Piano Strings Breaking?: High-Tension vs Low-Tension String Types

People sometimes ask, “Why are my strings breaking on my new piano?”  I played the same loudly-sustained Gospel music on my grandmother’s old spinet in Atlanta, and the strings never broke.”  Good question!

Some new pianos, made with softer piano soundboard rims (such as Philippine mahogany) are strung with high-tension strings, which are designed to bring out a brighter sound tone quality than low-tension strings can on the same piano.  The drawback (of high tension strings) is that the strings cannot vibrate as long, so the sound will sustain for a shorter period of time.  When the piano strings are played repetitively at a loud volume with the sustain pedal in constant use, the high tension strings cannot always hold up to this high impact, and thus tend to break.

On pianos made with harder piano soundboard rims (such as rock maple used on higher quality pianos) the quality of the tone is not easily absorbed by the soundboard rim.  Because of this,  the sound resonates better, so low-tension piano strings are able to produce a more desirable tone than they can in the softer wood rims.

Summary: If your high tension piano strings are breaking due to hard impact piano playing (combined with constant sustain pedal use), they can be replaced with low-tension piano strings.  These low-tension piano strings will be less likely to break, but might not sound as pleasant under lighter playing, if your piano soundboard rim is not hard wood.  Contact Piano Tuning Atlanta – by Charity 770-876-7340 (call or text) for more information as it pertains to your specific piano. Our piano tuner can help you decide what type of piano strings work best for you on your piano given your personal piano playing style.  Also, Contact us for a free quote for piano tuning.


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