dolmetsch onlinekeyboard servicing

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Early keyboard servicing

Dolmetsch is much involved in the restoration of early keyboard instruments. Most recently we have worked on three square pianos as well as a number of modern harpsichords.

We are always happy to give you a quotation for work proposed with a detailed breakdown where this would be helpful. Where conservation is required suitable techniques and materials would be used and a detailed 'logging of condition and of work carried out' can be undertaken. It is surprisingly inexpensive to restore modern instruments which can be purchased at well below 'new instrument' prices making the whole operation a good route to owning what many see as a rather expensive item.

Keyboard instruments deteriorate through use. Indeed, even standing in a room unused, some loss in performance will occur. The common problems with early keyboard instruments are:

  • soundboard splits, detached bridges and hitchpin rails
  • breaking strings (replacement strings)
  • poor regulation, including loose tuning pins
  • plectra wear and breakage (replacement parts)
  • keybed wear and key stickiness, worn keytops, lost arcades, uneven key height
  • jack wear, jack noise or stiffness and twisted jack rail
  • noise from keyboard due to worn or compressed felt bushings
  • casework damage, fading or splitting veneer, damaged music stand, damaged stick, missing pedal rods, etc.

If you want any of this type work carried out you should contact:

Tim Bayliss
1 Swan Cottages
West Sussex
GU28 9HT
United Kingdom

tel: 01428 707520
tel: (from outside the U.K.) +44 1428 707520

no web site


Andy Durand
The Music Room Workshop
Prestwick Farm
Prestwick Lane

tel: 01428 656246
tel: (from outside the U.K.) +44 1428 656246

web site:

We want to thank Chris de Silva from Perth, Western Australia, for recommending

The Harpsichord Owner's Guide : A Manual for Buyers and Owners by Edward Kottick
published by The University of North Carolina Press
P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288, USA
ISBN 0-8078-4388-1

We also recommend the less extensive, but still very useful, online resource: Harpsichord Owner's Manual by David Jensen.

For those seeking information about clavichords, we thoroughly recommend Clavichord Tuning and Maintenance by Peter Bavington.

To maintain your precious keyboard instrument under difficult climatic conditions you could use DAMPP-CHASER.