What is action regulation?
The action is a series of mechanical components that transfer energy from the keys of the piano to the strings. The three major components of the piano action are the keys, the whippen, and the shank and hammer. Together these components transfer the downward motion of a key to the upward motion of the hammer, which strikes the string and produces a tone. Action regulation is the manipulation of the components of each of these action parts to produce the most efficient and equal transfer of energy.
Common symptoms of a poorly regulated action are a difficulty playing softly, an inconsistency of touch, or certain keys functioning improperly (double-striking, blocking on the strings, etc.) An accurate and consistent action regulation is the single greatest factor that gives a piano a consistent touch, and gives the pianist confidence in how the keyboard will perform. An action regulation can take place in the home, over the course of a day, or the action can be taken to the shop for the regulation and/or replacement parts.
Every piano action has different needs, a Steinway built in the early 1900s, for example, probably requires certain parts be replaced due to use and age, while a Yamaha built in 1990 probably just needs a touch up of the regulation.
Due to this variety in demands there is no set price for action regulations, however, a complete regulation typically takes about ten hours, and my hourly rate is $100.