Piano Tuning & Repair

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  • Piano tuner/repair

    (2 replies)

    Looking for a current recommendation for someone who can tune and troubleshoot a problematic key on our 130 year old Steinway grand upright.  

    You could reach out to Seth de Berry (http://www.deberrypiano.com/).

    Hello, I would highly recommend John Geist for your piano tuning.  And hopefully he could diagnose, if not fix, your problematic key.

    I found him on Yelp last year - https://yelp.to/BLS2puRHHnb - and he beautifully tuned our Yamaha baby grand at our Richmond home, making it sing again.  He is likely retiring soon, but hopefully available if you're interested.

    Good luck with your piano!


  • Piano Tuner?

    (6 replies)

    Hello!  I am looking for a piano tuner for my upright Steinway.  The last postings on this seem to be several years old, so I thought it was worth a new ask.  Many thanks!

    Our piano tuner is Brian Parker. He shows up on time and does a good job, as far as I can tell. (510) 849-0969

    Linda Kay

    We have used her for both straight forward tuning, and more complex jobs where the piano action has needed to be removed.  

    She is very responsive and professional.

    Linda Kay, RPT
    itune88 [at] comcast.net
    510-910-0283 c

    I've used Linda Kay  <itune88 [at] comcast.net> for the last several years.  I've been happy with her--I have a Baldwin upright that she has been able to decrease "brassiness" of tone, plus I LOVE she will do scheduling (and reminders) via email...

    Robert Soper is wonderful.  I'm a piano and singing teacher and he's taken great care of my piano for over 10 years.  I recommend him to all my students. Robert Soper Piano Tuner and Technician  510-841-6311

    Steve Benjamins is awesome.  He is a piano whisperer.  We were referred to him by a friend who is a concert pianist.  He rebuilt a 1918 piano for us, and the sound is incredible.  He has tuned it for us ever since.  925-451-2710.  

    I think very highly of Douglas Braak, who is an expert tuner and rebuilder. I have used him to: tune the piano at the church where we got married. Assess a potential piano for our family (not worth it - cracked sound board). We have also recommended him to friends, who also thought very highly of him. 415-255-4737

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions & Advice Related Pages

2010 - 2014 Reviews

June 2014

Does anyone have a recommendation for a piano turner? We have an early 1900's upright piano. K

Give Margie Williams a call. She has tuned my upright for several years, was able to tone down the Baldwin 'brassiness', and discovered something important two previous tuners had missed. Plus answers calls promptly. need to be in tune... (June 2015 Editor Note: Margie Williams is no longer accepting clients.)
I recommend the very talented John Geist www.geistpianotuning.com 415-491-0818 office. 415-725-4594 direct. Jason
I highly recommend Ruben Jackson at Jackson Piano Service. He's incredibly knowledgable, meticulous and thorough and does gorgeous tunings. http://www.jacksonpianoservice.com And you can check out his yelp reviews. fatsam
I had a really good experience with Margie Williams. She was knowledgeable and efficiently did the tuning of my elderly piano. She explained more work I could have done but didn't push me to hire her. Very nice person to deal with. She was recommended to me by another BPNer who has been using her for a long time and is happy with her work. (June 2015 Editor Note: Margie Williams is no longer accepting clients.)
We had great service from Callahan Piano (www.callahanpiano.com). Easy communication via email, on- time arrival, and great service from the tuner (who also appraised our piano, so took lots of pictures and prepared a good packet for our insurance company). They're in Oakland, but they came to us in Albany; I imagine they cover the entire East Bay. Shannon
Oct 2011

I am seeking recommendations for a good piano tuning firm/person/service. I have an antique upright. Kira

Steve Benjamins is your man. He was recommended by a friend who is a professional pianist; Steve has serviced her piano for 25 years. He recently restored and tuned an antique piano for us. He knows and loves pianos, and is a great guy. His number is (925) 451-2710. Leslie
May I recommend the best in the Bay Area? Callahan Piano Service www.callahanpiano.com They are the best in the bay area! anon
Edward Nenaydokh 415-349-4044. Russian conservatory trained, tunes by ear (not electronic tuner, unless the location is extremely noisy), resulting in a warm sound. He's tuned ours for about 5 years. anon
Sept 2011

I am looking for a good tuner for my old Steinway. Thanks. Jenifer

Call Larry Riley, 841-9991. He's been tuning my piano for 18 years. Mine's not a Steinway, but he has Steinway experience as well. Amy Herman
Steve Benjamins is your man. (925) 451-2710. He restores and tunes pianos, and is fabulous. He was recommended to me by a friend, a concert pianist who has had Steve tune and mantain her piano for 25+ years. He lovingly rebuilt our piano, hand-working pieces as needed, and then tuned it up. WOW! He knows and loves pianos, and is a great guy too. Tell him Leslie sent you. Leslie
I'd like to recommend Debbie Fier. She tunes pianos for the Berkeley Unified School District and has also tuned Holly Near's piano (how cool is that?). I haven't used her services because I don't have a piano but she is a musical prayer leader at the synagogue I belong to and I can attest to her professionalism, commitment to excellence and musicianship. Her website is www.debbiefier.com. Lisa Rothman
April 2010

We have an antique concert upright piano (possibly circa 1910) that needs some work. Several keys have recently stopped working, and a few hammers have broken off. We are planning to move houses soon, so I would like to have someone come in and fix the broken keys, and clean and tune the piano after we move it. The new place will be in Oakland. Does anyone have any recommendations for a person to come in and fix and tune the piano? We are on a budget but have been saving for this for several months. Thank you in advance! Katie

A number of years ago when I needed help moving, tuning, and appraising a piano I had inherited, I asked all sorts of people for recommendations, and one name came up over and over. Callahan piano is clearly the best in the bay area (http://www.callahanpiano.com/) John Callahan is a great guy. He did my appraisal and tuning, taught me a lot about my new instrument, referred me to good movers, and gave me excellent advice about storage. You won't go wrong starting by asking them. Anne

2005 - 2009 Reviews

Nov 2009

can someone recommend a good piano tuner who isn't too expensive? jody

We really like our piano tuner. He's a nice guy, interesting, loves pianos, and his prices seem reasonable (though I admit I haven't done a lot of shopping around for this service). He restored our baby grand piano (we purchased it from him), so he's good at maintenance and restoration as well. He is: John Geist 415-491-0818 His wife, Becky, does most of his scheduling.
i had mine tuned by margie williams about 2 months ago, and she was great! she's one of two piano tuners for SFSU, and she knows her pianos! apparently, she also repairs/rebuilds them, something i may have to get done in the future. the piano was well-tuned, and i'm very picky because i have perfect pitch. we also geeked out a bit on pianos. (June 2015 Editor Note: Margie Williams is no longer accepting clients.) - happy player
Ray Landsberg was recommended to us by our piano teacher. He was great and, as I recall, very reasonable. The number I have for him is 536-1214. Burr
Oct 2009

I'm looking for a really good (but not super expensive) piano tuner for my old Baby Grand, and the most recent response in the archives is 4 years old. It's a beautiful piano but sadly has not been well cared for and probably needs work in addition to tuning. thanks! Out of Tune

Edward Nenaydokh 415-349-4044 (h) 415-298-5630 Tunes by ear, trained in former USSR. Be aware that pianos must be tuned pretty often, and if it hasn't been tuned in awhile it may take a few tunings to get it in pitch (because if they tune it too far in one session the strings may break). He is the second tuner we've used, and was less expensive and a better tuner than the first one we tried. anon
We really like our piano tuner. He's a nice guy, interesting, loves pianos, and his prices seem reasonable (though I admit I haven't done a lot of shopping around for this service). He restored our baby grand piano (we purchased it from him), so he's good at maintenance and restoration as well. He is: John Geist 415-491-0818 His wife, Becky, does most of his scheduling.
Callahan Piano Service 662 Arimo Avenue Oakland, CA 949610 www.callahanpiano.com (510) 835.8448 Family company. Been around for years.
August 2009

Can anyone recommend a piano turner that will come to Kensington? Deb

I would recommend Israel Stein, TEL: 510 558 0777 who is an outstanding tuner/technician, RPT. I am a concert pianist, teacher who uses him regularly not only as a tuner, but he voices, rebuilds, and gives his expert opinions on pianos that my students and others are considering for purchase. The evaluations are thorough, detailed and informative. Shirley Kirsten, M.A. concert pianist/teacher/Bay area
April 2009

I inherited a paino from my grandmother. I believe it needs tuning. Can you recommend anyone who can come to my house in Oakland for paino tuning? What is the typical cost for a tuning? LT

We have used Brian Parker Piano Service for a number of years to tune our funky old piano. He does a great job-- 510/849-0969 Julie A
John Callahan is a great piano tuner. If anything else is wrong with the piano such as sticking keys, he can fix it. His workshop did a beautiful job reconditioning my piano. He can be picky about which pianos he tunes, though. His phone number is 510 835-8448. Fiona H
Try Margie Williams. I got her name off of BPN. She's been doing tuning for at least 20 years; nice person, easy to talk to and doesn't lecture you. She's located in the Richmond Annex but will probably travel to Oakland. I'm delinquent in getting my piano tuned, but in 2007 it cost me $130. It may be more if your piano has not been tuned in a while. piano player (June 2015 Editor Note: Margie Williams is no longer accepting clients.)
I used to use a woman named Debbie Fier. She's been tuning piano for over 25 years. You can reach her at fierfly [at] earthlink.net or 535-2180. Nikole
June 2007

I would like to recommend a fantastic piano tuner!! Linda Kay, a local resident [Oakland] and very active in the local music world, is an excellent piano tuner and repairer. She completely restored my very old piano, when others had offered either little hope or had quoted very high prices. She does: Tuning, Voicing, Action Regulation, Reconditioning, Fire Damage Repair, Water Damage Repair, etc.. She is reliable, honest, friendly, practical, and has reasonable rates! She is also a registered member of the Piano Technicians Guild. 510-463-0313; Itune88 [at] comcast.net Sally G

Feb 2007

We just had our baby grand piano tuned by Linda Kay, owner of Accent on Tuning. She did a WONDERFUL job (even with kids running around in the background!). The piano sounds amazing. I highly recommend her. She also does voicing, repair, rebuilding, and restoration & has over thiry years of experience. She is a registered piano technician of the Piano Technician's Guild. Her number is 510-463-0313 and her email is itune88 [at] comcast.net. Meredith

March 2006

Hello: I live in San Francisco and have an antique piano, vintage 1900 or so, that has been sitting in a garage for 2 years and is badly in need of tuning. Can anyone recommend someone who is in SF or who will come to the SF Mission District to tune my piano? Thanks Joann

Hi, We bought a piano about the same age as yours from piano tuner John Geist. He is located in Marin, but he comes to San Francisco to tune our piano. We're quite happy with him. (415) 491-0818 Lisa
I'd like to recommend an excellent piano tuner - Linda Kay of Accent on Tuning. She's got over 30 years experience as a registered piano technician and charges reasonable rates. She also does repairs, rebuilding, etc. Contact Linda at (510) 463-0313; itune88 [at] comcast.net Martha
July 2005

We are looking for a good but not too expensive piano tuner for our upright Yamaha piano (that was formerly my grandmother's). I looked in the archive and the postings were old or out of this area. Any recommendations or past experiences would be great. Also - what is the average cost for someone to come to your house to tune? Thanks.

Call Piedmont Piano Company on Piedmont Ave in Oakland.
We have our piano tuned by Margie Williams, The Well-Tempered Tuner. She also adjusted the voice on our piano, toning down its brightness. I definitely recommend her. Her card says she does piano tuning, voicing, repair, rebuilding, appraisals. Erin (June 2015 Editor Note: Margie Williams is no longer accepting clients.)
We have used Bruce De Benedictus 763-4657 for several years and have been happy with him. He can tune pianos even with kid sounds in the background. We have paid about $90 for tuning an upright, but you might check on his fees since that was a year and a half ago. Liz D.

2004 & Earlier

July 2004

We are looking for a good piano teacher in the Lafayette area for a 10 year old boy (beginner). We also need a piano tuner. Thanks! Anon

If you're still looking for a piano tuner, my dad (based in Walnut Creek) is a piano tuner and technician. He's a nice guy (perhaps I'm a bit biased) and I don't know his rates but I bet they're reasonable. In addition to tuning, he can make repairs from replacing a broken string to completely rebuilding a piano. There's more info on his web site at http://www.3rdbase.com/tuningfork/, or you can call him at (925) 939-2475. Jeni

I have a wonderful baby grand that will need major reconditioning (probably replacing all the rusty strings, repairing the mechanism, damage to the case, tuning etc) when it arrives in our shipment early next year. It would be great to get a recommendation for someone good and reliable who can do this so that I can get it booked in in advance (and perhaps have a playable piano again one day). Fiona

Recommendation for a piano technician: Mark Schecter is my piano tuner/technician. I'm a former technician myself, so I'm very picky. He has many years of experience and will give you the straight scoop on your piano - how much re-conditioning it really needs. His number is 510-530-8064. Whoever you end up hiring, make sure they are a member of the Piano Technician's Guild. Shari
I have used Gordon's in Albany for a couple of pianos and been very happy. He tunes pianos but mostly does major rebuilds in his shop on San Pablo. He looks like a biker, but has a great ability taught to him by his dad (Gordon). Daniel
I haven't seen any responses to the request for recommendations about Piano Reconditioning/Repair, so I'd like to recommend the Calhoun brothers of Piedmont Piano in Piedmont. They do tuning and minor repairs themselves, and when we had our antique upright completely refinished a few years ago they were able to recommend someone who did a fabulous job. They're in the phone book. S. Martin

For a piano tuner, I highly recommend Larry Riley. 841.9991.
Jennifer (3/00)


a good piano tuner: Jerry Raz, Allegro Piano Svc . in berkeley 526-9294 He also does repairs -- Ginger

I have used these folks once, but I have friends who have sworn by them for years. Callahan Piano Services 510-835-8448 Full-service house call including tuning to A440: $135 for first time customers $105 for repeat customers within 2 years of last tuning -- Dawn
I recommend Christina Chute, piano tuner and classical musician. Call Stay Tuned Piano Tuning Services at 234-2866. -- Sarah
The ex-wife of an ex-piano tuner recommended two tuners to me: Chris Johnson of Oakland and Sheldon Smith of Berkeley (he tunes the pianos at Hertz Hall--he's a Steinway specialist). I contacted both of them. Chris Johnson wants to do a very, very thorough job....and charges accordingly. Sheldon Smith was charging only $85 per hr. but he seemed to feel that my Baldwin wasn't good enough for him and he recommended Lawrence Riley (841-9991) who charged $90 for a tuning and who seemed to be competent when I used him. -- Xanthippe