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Online Piano Ordering FAQ

When it comes to Ordering Acoustic/Digital Pianos Online, we have the answers you need!

Purchasing your first piano? Interested in restoring your old one? Confused about tuning? Just looking for more information? How do we ensure you get an instrument that suits your needs without prior play? 

Specifically with Online Sales, we have a large presence with Dealers, Individuals, Religous and Academic Institutions and more throughout the continental USA.

Many take advantage of the significant tax benifits and guaranteed lowest prices we can offer in our packages. We can offer exclusive and personalized online pricing and discounted shipping rates through our domestic network built up over 35 years!

Many Pianos over $3495 are eligible for free shipping!*

*(Free shipping applies to Tri-State Area Only ,  moves to other states may be negotiable up to 80% discount of the shipping fee) provide your zip code in the comments/chat to get the most accurate quote

Here are the Steps to get you started and open some options for online sale information and shipment ready stock that we currently have in our Queens, NY distribution warehouse. 

 

1) Please fill out the following form and submit

2) You will be contacted  by Email (or Phone if you prefer) by a technician, teacher, or salesman from our NYC location.

3) He or she will present some of the current Pianos we have on the floor (400+ Pianos total) based on your preferences and budget

 

To Match Your Preffered Tone : 

 - We will assist in choosing a suitable tone, we will use a studio condenser microphone to record the piano, some customers in the past prefer to send a youtube or audio clip of a Piano tone that they wish to have. Ex: BrightWarm ,or in the Middle.

- We will also record the volume of the piano at different distances and with the covers closed or open while we take it from Pianissimo (very soft) to Fortissimo (Very Loud)

 

To Match Your Preffered Touch/Key Weight (Recommended for Professional Players): 

If you are used to a brand of action (ex: Renner, Yamaha, Petrof etc) let us know and we will pair you with a piano of that make, or a piano with a similar action. To match your Ideal Key Weight, use the following guide , once you find it with the Coin Test then we will repeat the test in our facility using Gram Weights to get as close a match as possible. Keep in mind the weight can Vary. 

You can Measure your Pianos touchweight using the following (Source : http://www.pianofinders.com/educational/touchweight.htm)

 

How to measure Touchweight on your piano:

 

You dont need an expensive set of gram weights to measure your pianos touchweight. You can do it easily, and with as much accuracy, using common coins.

For this test, you will need a set of gram weights for measuring between one and 70 grams, or barring that, a set of pennies and/or other coins. Below are listed some of the Gram weights of commone US coins.

Using Coins Instead of Gram Weights
CoinWeight
penny (pre 1982)* 3 grams
penny (post 1982)* 2.5 grams
penny (1982)* May be either 2.5 or 3 grams
nickel 5 grams
dime 2.5 grams
quarter 5.5 grams

*Apparently some time in 1982, the US mint attempted to economize on the cost of making money by cutting the weight of its copper coins, effectively getting a free penny for every five minted.

 

Touchweight measurements are extremely useful for a number of reasons. For example, a person may be concerned whether the touch of a piano is too light or too heavy, or whether it is even and consistent from note to note, or whether the piano is giving them a good enough workout to build muscle strength. Finding out a what a pianos actual touchweight readings are can also help pinpoint problems and conditions that may exist somewhere deep in that labyrinth of 6 to 10 thousand moving parts called the action.

 

Gram weights sets are available from piano supply houses. However, most of them we tried had accuracy problems. Weighing them with a pharmacist's scale, we found them to be heavier than marked by as much as five grams per set. We solved this problem ultimately by drilling holes in the weights to remove some material.

 

How to perform the test: Get a dozen or so nickels. Tape a stack of 6 or 8 together (30 or 40 grams) and use the rest individually (5 grams apiece) for fine adjustment, along with a couple of dimes (2.5 each). You can also use pennies, but the weight will vary according to the date minted (consult chart, above). Using different combinations of all the coins should enable you to measure differences as small as ½ gram. For most purposes, however, an accuracy of within 2 or 3 grams should be adequate.

 

Depress the right, or sustain pedal, and hold it down. Place about 50 grams worth of coins or weights on the end of the key. Do this carefully; dont inadvertently push down or you may get a false reading. With light rapping (see inset) the key should slowly start to go down. If it goes down too easily or quickly use fewer coins or weights. If it wont go down at all, or is really sluggish even with the thumping, use more. You are looking for a slow but steady downward motion. When youve found out just exactly how many coins it takes, add them all up and figure out the number of grams using the chart. Dont worry too much about getting it too exact the first few times. You will become more adept the more keys (and pianos) you test. The important thing is to use the same technique for each key (and piano). In other words, if you thump on one, thump on all of them, and with the same kind of thump.

 

Breaking inertia

Sometimes it take a little extra help to get the key moving to begin with. Many piano technicians, when measuring touchweight, will thump or rap the piano under the keybed with the fist or palm of the hand. Other technicians accomplish the same thing by playing a key near or next to the one being tested. This may seem to some people like "cheating" - yielding a reading that is actually a few grams less than what i really takes to depress the key. However, in real life piano playing the depressing of a key is usually accompanied by a wealth of vibration from strings, soundboard, pedals and other keys being played, so there may be legitimate reason for this practice.

 

A reading of 50 grams is about standard. Depending on the piano, however, it may be considerably more or less, anywhere from 30 to over 70 grams. Note that the key may not go all the way down. That's O.K. There are additional factors that come into play when the key is about halfway down, and we are not really concerned with them here.

 

Actions measuring an average of below 45 grams per note would likely be considered "light." Actions that "weigh off" at 55 grams or above are generally considered either "stiff" or "heavy." (And sometimes a little of both.) Both excessively light or excessively heavy actions will be more difficult to control than a properly weighted action. Sometimes a single piano will exhibit both conditions: a touchweight that is too light on some keys and too heavy on others. Consistency is important: a difference of more than a couple of grams between neighboring keys can be felt by most pianists.

 

Touchweight is usually measured with the sustain (or right) pedal depressed, to take the weight of the dampers out of the system. If you desire, you can also measure how much additional weight the damper system adds. (If you do, however, remember that the dampers do not come into play until the key is at about 1/2 of the way down, unless they are out of adjustment) But for now, keep your foot on the pedal.

 

You will need to test several keys to get a fairly good idea of where your pianos touchweight is, and, of course, the more keys you test, the more accurate your results will be. In our shop, we routinely weigh off every key for upweight (see below) as well as downweight. The two measurements are then used in formulas to help pinpoint problem areas.

 

 We then record close up videos of the action demonstrating its fluidity and responsiveness to your specficiations. 

This works better on Mass Produced pianos such as a Pramberger or Yamaha U1 as the actions are mass produces. This method of measuring a preffered touchweight works best if you are a professional player that is comparing against a a piano that you play very often.

Most customers will be satisfied with the even weight given on most Mass produced pianos, weight can always be adjusted by your piano technician.

 

Using these methods allow you to get a piano with your desired sound and feel delivered to you sight unseen! We have sold 100s of Pianos sight unseen, feel free to contact us and we will work with you!

 


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WHY BUY FROM FRANK & CAMILLE'S WEST?

WHY BUY FROM FRANK & CAMILLE'S WEST?

Frank & Camille’s West is the Tri-State Area’s premier piano store, restoration facility, and wholesale distribution location. We have been carrying on a tradition of excellence in the music industry and with our loyal customers for more than 35 years. Located in Queens and Westchester, we carry only the best, including Baldwin, Charles R. Walter, Knabe, Pramberger, Samick, and Seiler, and are home to the largest selection of remanufactured Steinway, Yamaha, and Kawai pianos.

If you’re looking for a piano, we guarantee you’ll find it with us at the lowest price. Our knowledgeable staff is well versed in all styles and brands on the market. We have grand pianos, upright pianos, digital pianos, and everything in between to fit any room and décor. Whether this is your first piano or just the latest, Frank & Camille’s West will offer you more than just a purchase—we will show you an entirely new buying experience, backed by experts committed to providing only the highest quality service to every single customer.

Visit our showroom today. Share in our passion for music. Discover the piano of your dreams.