Over 25 Years Experience
Over 10,000 Pianos Serviced
Over 100 Pianos Restored
We are gratefully trusted by:
TEACHERS Jennifer Bowman, Amy Yang, Dr. Ramona Allen, Jean Johansen-Kuehn, Mary Jane Clark, Dennis Williams, Jan Rowen-Music, Wolfgang Wortberg, Robert Jorgensen, Vickie Tobin, Dr. Merilyn Jacobson, Chip Schooler, Dan Schwartz, Keith Holder, Terry Shaw and others.
SCHOOLS St Martins University, South Puget Sound Community College, The Evergreen State College, Grays Harbor College, North Thurston Public Schools, Tumwater Public Schools, Olympia High School, Yelm Public Schools,Tuned-in Academy, Jamin' Music Studios, Sound Studios Olympia, and others.
CHURCHES United Churches of Olympia, Hope Community Church, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, St Martins Abbey, St. Marks Lutheran Church, Gospel Outreach, Littlerock Community Church, Olympia First Baptist and many others.
PIANO STORES Clinton's Music House, Prosser Piano & Organ, Classic Pianos, Portland Piano Company, Michelle's Piano.
Touch and tone matter as much as tuning.
A well voiced and regulated piano makes the keyboard feel alive under your fingers and the sound flow from your heart to your ears. A well voiced piano extends the life of a tuning. Even our basic service includes some touch or tone work.
Not all tunings are equal.
We use an advanced technique known as "Whole Tone, Open String Tuning". 80% of this is done strictly "by ear" using an array of traditional checks and cross checks to achieve the best sound. Technicians also vary in their ability to achieve stable tuning. An inexpensive tuning that doesn't last is not a good value.
Steinway & Sons stresses the importance of aural (by ear) tuning
"Developing piano tone is a mechanical and musical art. Solid aural tuning exercises and develops the musical ear, giving the technician a greater ability to master the methods used in tone building."
-From Steinway's World Wide Technical Guide
We are not piano snobs. We love the challenge of working on modest instruments including old upright pianos, spinets, and consoles that other technicians may shun. Often these are the pianos that benefit the most from high quality work.
OUR SERVICE RATES
Updated July 2023
Scroll down for more detailed descriptions.
$240 Basic Service
$300 Tuning & Maintenance.
$450 "Catch up” / Extended Service.
$150 Service call / Minor repair, i.e. sticky key, pedal squeak etc.
$195 In Person Consultation/Estimate/Pre-purchase check
We highly recommend Dampp-Chaser humidity control systems to help preserve the tuning. Without humidity control, tuning can go out more quickly than you might think! Cost of basic systems is listed further down the page.
Basic Service: $240
If you want a basic no-frills service and want to spend less, this can be a good option. This 90 minute appointment will get your piano sounding better on a budget. This includes a "pitch raise" if necessary Other technicians may charge for this: We include it. If time allows, we include some light tone work.
Tuning & Maintenance: $300
Keep it up!
In addition to fine tuning, a Tuning & Maintenance service includes significant touch and tone adjustments. Lubrication of mechanical parts, basic hammer resurfacing, and hammer to string mating are typically included. This can make a very noticeable improvement to your piano's tone. The goal is to keep your piano’s touch and tone from deteriorating from age, use, and humidity changes. This appointment typically takes 2 – 2.5 hours.
“Catch up” / Extended Service: $450
Begin the transformation
We recommend this service for most pianos that are very out of tune and/or have not received any other maintenance besides tuning for several years. The service will vary depending on the needs of the piano and the client. Even if the tuning is close, this appointment is great for pianos that have not had regulating and/or voicing maintained OR if the piano gets heavy use. May include minor repairs if time allows. This appointment typically takes 3 - 3.5 hours from beginning to end.
We have serviced piano from Bainbridge Island, down to Portland OR.
For pianos within a 15 mile radius of our business location (2302 State Ave NE, Olympia) there is no trip fee. Outside that range, the fee range is $1.50 – $2.00 per mile for the trip out, depending on overall distance. Trip fee can be shared by clients who schedule in the same area on the same day.
We have even been hired to check pianos out of state. Currently our fee is $1000/day plus expenses. Contact our office for more information.
$150 Service call / Minor repair
This is for the sticky key, pedal squeak etc. This is the minimum fee to have me come to your home to do a minor fix. If the repair turns out to be more than what can be covered by our minimum fee, I will give you an estimate and we can go from there. For example, while some pedal squeaks are a 5 minute fix, other times it can require substantial work such as removing the action from a spinet piano.
Estimate/Pre-purchase Check: $195
Having a piano inspected by a technician prior to purchasing is wise. Often the inspection allows the buyer to negotiate a better price, which can more than cover the cost of the pre-purchase check. This is also a good option if you are wondering if your piano is worth fixing and want to know what it would take to bring out its potential. Note: Although we can give you a “ball park” idea of what a piano is worth, this is not a formal appraisal.
An official appraisal includes a detailed inspection along with a written statement of value that is emailed to the client after the inspection. This is usually only done on high-value pianos such as Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, Bösendorfer, etc. Click HERE to see an excellent article on this subject.
The “All Day Service” $1050
Note: before scheduling an all day service the technician needs to see the piano. This can be done by scheduling a regular tuning or a pre-purchase check. This is a great way to make a major improvement in your piano’s performance. This is typically a 9am-5pm appointment that allows us to take your piano to a new level of performance! Major voicing and regulating issues can be taken care of in addition to many types of repairs. If your piano is more than 20 years old and has not been well maintained, we highly recommend an all-day service.
Humidity Control System Installation:
We highly recommend humidity control for pianos. We pride ourselves on our concert level tunings, but without humidity control, that fine work can be surprisingly temporary. Basic systems are less than the cost of 2 tunings and can dramatically improve your pianos ability to maintain a tuning.
MADE IN THE USA!
Basic Upright System: $395 + tax
Basic System for grands under 6′: $440 + tax
Grands over 6′: $525 + tax
WHO WE ARE
In July 2023 Ryan was an instructor at the Annual Piano Technicians Guild Conference in Arlington Virginia where he delivered two, 3-hour presentations on voicing and regulating pianos. This is his third year as an instructor at the Annual PTG Convention.
Ryan Sowers has had a lifetime love affair with the piano starting at 5 years of age when he started lessons. He became fascinated with piano technology in college and passed his piano technician guild exams in 1994 becoming an RPT (Registered Piano Technician) at the age of 25. In 1997 he became a certified tuning examiner for the guild. In order to qualify for examiner training an applicant must demonstrate the ability to tune a piano in the 90th percentile with no electronic aids.
Ryan has completed 5-day company seminars with both Yamaha and Kawai. He has taken 5 trips to the Steinway factory in New York completing 130 hours of training in tuning, voicing, regulating and concert prep of Steinway pianos.
Additionally he has attended two 5-day Steinway seminars at Oberlin Conservatory.
He has also attended dozens of PTG sponsored seminars and workshops since joining the guild in 1992.
In 2001 Ryan's wife, Jean, took a sabbatical from her job at the Timberland Regional Library to help with the steadily growing business. Jean manages the customer service, scheduling, finances, and project management of our little company.
In the summer of 2021 Ryan was honored to present four 90-minute lectures on voicing and regulating at the annual Piano Technicians Conference in Orlando Florida. He is delighted to be an instructor at the 2022 conference in Anaheim CA.
Jean & Ryan at the 2023 PTG Conference in Arlington, Virginia
Ryan was Jessica's personal piano technician for several years when she lived in the Pacific NW. His piano work can be heard on two of Jessica's albums: Songs for a New Century (2008) and Touch (recorded live at the Triple Door in 2010)
“Thank you so much for the magnificent work on the piano. I’ve never heard it sound/play that well. It was like a different piano…it was spectacular.”
- Charlie Albright, Steinway Artist
“Just as there are piano players and then there are fine pianists, there are likewise piano tuners and then there are fine piano technicians. A piano tuner tunes the piano, often with a digital device. A great technician has the ear of a true musician. A great technician makes the piano sing to its optimal level, opening artistic pathways for the musician.
After Ryan works on my piano, I feel as if it almost plays itself. He opens the instrument up to all of its sonic capabilities. He gets it to SING!”
-Jessica Williams, Artist, Composer and
2-time Grammy nominee.
Ryan began working with Charlie Albright when he was about 7 years old and already a well-known prodigy. In 2009 Charlie asked that Ryan select and prepare a new Steinway concert grand for Centralia college named "The Charlie Albright Piano" in his honor. The piano can be heard on Charlie's debut album "Vivace" (2011)
"Ryan of Pianova has been my primary piano technician since 2009. He and his wife Jean are a fantastic team and they work hard to make sure the pianos are right and the scheduling is easy. Ryan is a Steinway certified technician with excellent ears. We have been working on a unique project for the past 6 months with my pianos and he has been so flexible with my requests. Highly recommended!"
-Jennifer Bowman, Pianist, Composer, Educator, and Graduate of the Julliard School.
Since 2010 it has been a privilege and a challenge working with one of the Puget Sound's iconic piano educators, Dr. Merilyn Jacobson. Her historic Puyallup home is the residence of her two Steinways: a seven foot model B, and a nine foot concert grand model D. Working to "Dr. J's" high standards has made me a better technician.