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Recent Musical Instrument Repair Reviews in Theresa

  • A
    A-1 Piano Tuning
    Mark was extremely pleasant to deal with via e-mail and phone and did his best to accommodate us quickly, even though we were located two hours away from him.  He showed up on time and was very pleasant and professional and kept to the estimate that he had given us in advance for the job. Unfortunately Mark was difficult to find on the web and not yet listed on Angie's List so we contacted another piano tuning/repair company first which was not as pleasant an experience.    For anyone looking for piano tuning and piano repair services near Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls or even up into the Adirondacks (Lake George, Lake Pleasant, Speculator, etc.), we highly recommend Mark and A-1 Piano Tuning.  We intend to use him now for regular tunings.    
    - Cristina B.
  • C
    Adirondack Piano Services
    I decided to pay to have the antique Sterling upright piano in my parents' summer home refurbished and tuned as it had fallen into disrepair after 100 years of life (and at least 50 years with no tunings).  I thought this would make a nice gift to my parents and to my 7-year-old daughter who has started expressing interest in musical instruments.  When I searched for piano repair and tuning services near Long Lake, NY, nothing came up on Angie's List so I reverted to Google and did find one piano tuner in our area: Bruce Arnold of Adirondack Piano Service. From the beginning, dealing with Bruce via e-mail was not terribly pleasant.  I asked a few questions about costs and got only his hourly rate and a price quote for tunings.  Understandably it is hard to quote a piano repair job without seeing the piano, so I agreed to have him come over to examine the piano and give us a proper estimate. He said he would give us an estimate and it would cost $100 for his time if we chose not to have the repair done.  He showed up, disassembled the piano and got to work.  I asked if he thought it would be a one day job and he said he thought it would be.  We had also discussed doing some cosmetic work (re-attaching the ivories) but agreed that he would not do this until after the mechanical work had been approved and performed.  I left the house for about 2 hours to take our kids to swim lessons only to come home and find that Bruce had left, taking with him the action (the piano keys, mallets, etc.) and the loose ivories.  He didn't ask my parents for permission or give any kind of quote.  He just said it would be "2-3 weeks."  I e-mailed him a couple of days later asking what was going on and asking again for an estimate of the work and finally did get a quote of $1,000 for the job, if I sent him the rest of the replacement keytops.  I was fairly flabbergasted by this amount as I had assumed up until then that the job would be under $500 (an 8 hour day times $60/hour would be $480 - the max of a "1 day job"), but I decided that I probably would still get the work done.  But before approving it, I asked if he would include the 2 or 3 required tunings in that price.  What I got in response was a curt e-mail saying that the time had come for us to talk on the phone and he would cease all work until I called him.  At that point, I decided I did not want to do business with him any more, and began looking into other technicians in the area.  I found another piano tech in the area who said he would do the complete repair job, including 2 or 3 tunings (as required) for $750.   At that point (a few days after his previous e-mail), I got another e-mail from Bruce saying that he had completed the mechanical work and had also re-attached all 20 of the loose ivories (work that I had never approved).  I immediately e-mailed him and asked him to cease any additional work, particularly since I had not approved an estimate and he had said the job was on hold until I called.  At that point, since he had already done the work, I felt compelled to pay him for it, which cost me $650 plus tax, with no tuning, and only 20 of the 50 key tops reattached.  I asked to pay by credit card as his web site said "all major credit cards accepted" on every single page.  He said that this was a mistake by his web developer and I had to pay cash or check (he has since removed the credit card reference from most, but not all, pages on his web site). After the work was performed, the piano was quite a bit better, though a couple of the higher keys were still (are still)  "sticky."  The glued tops looked fine.  The tuning was not performed though (I didn't want to give this guy even more of my money), so the piano was still unplayable.  I had the rest of the work (tunings and key reattachment) completed by the second tech I contacted, which was a much more pleasant experience (we are reviewing him separately).  I realize part of the problem here was communication style - I prefer doing business via e-mail and Bruce prefers phone - but the fact is that he did work which I never approved and his prices are very high for the area.  One example is that he said he would charge me $10 per replacement ivory key top (plus labor).  A quick internet search turned up several places that sold these for $5 each, which was also the price quoted by the second tech.  I ended up getting 35 ivory keys in pretty nice shape from a scrapped piano for under $80 via an online auction.  Bruce's actual repair work seemed pretty decent (other than the sticky keys) and Bruce may very well do good piano tunings, but he won't do any of ours as our first experience with him will be our last.
    - Cristina B.
  • F
    Randy's Store
    I brought my guitar to this shop and left it for a fret job and setup.  A very pleasant young man named Frankie took careful notes of what needed to be done, and pointed out a sign on the shop's wall, with standard fees for fret work and labor.  The guitar needed (and still needs) a very standard procedure: the frets need to be sanded level, and then crowned.  (Guitar frets rise up over time due to changes in temperature and humidity.  Playing the instrument makes some frets flat or worn down in places.) When I picked up the guitar, it had exactly the same problems as when I left it.  High notes buzz, and are pinched-sounding.  It was easy to see  where some lower frets had been roughly filed, in a seemingly random way.  The filed frets were shiny and flat on top, with scratches from a file.  This is just wrong.  A real luthier measures, and then makes all the frets level.  Then they are crowned; which means each fret is re-shaped with a tool to restore the curved top. I can only assume that whoever did this job was either totally incompetent or impaired in some way. So my choice was to pay for the so-called "repair" and take the guitar, or leave it there for more abuse.  It had been there for several weeks already.  I took it.  When I called to complain, the owner and so-called luthier told me to bring it back.  I couldn't bear to do that; I love this guitar. Deeply disappointing experience.  Real fret jobs work wonders on a guitar.  This was just lousy, useless guitar abuse.
    - Bill S.
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Musical Instrument Repair Shops in Theresa

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