Should you have your piano delivered in its box?

The idea of a new, special, long-awaited item finally arriving at your doorstep is exciting, especially when you’ve invested a lot in researching and buying what’s inside. Watching the box open up and knowing that you’re the first person to lay eyes inside can be deeply satisfying – and for something like as unique as an upright or grand piano, seeing it come out of the box can help to calm any nerves you might have about where the piano has really come from.

Precisely because pianos are unique instruments, though, they need to be set up by professionals before they’re ready for use. Watching the box come off your new fridge or lounge is one thing, but you wouldn’t accept delivery of a new car that had come straight from the factory – and similarly, there are good reasons to expect your piano to go through the right checks before the carriers ring your doorbell on the big day.

First off, pianos leave the factory with standardised settings and tuning, and then travel thousands of kilometres across sea and land before they get to you. As it moves through different climates and conditions, and as the ships and trucks that carry it traverse waves and driveways and speed humps, the piano’s regulation and tuning will slip, little by little. In a perfect world, we’d have expert technicians prepare our pianos before they leave the warehouse so that your first moments with it aren’t overshadowed by keys that feel a bit sticky, or a temperament that falls away too much in the bass.

There’s another reason: what if the box has been dropped somewhere along the line? Perhaps the most disappointing situation is your unboxing the piano, eyes shining with excitement, to find a chip taken out of the finish. Having the piano unboxed by professionals before delivery gives us a chance to inspect the piano and make sure that it’s in the kind of condition you expect to receive from us – it’s a final step in a long chain of quality control.

And from a purely pragmatic point of view, perhaps the most compelling argument is this: we require our retailers to follow a stringent list of checks before delivering your piano to you, and we don’t activate your warranty until that checklist has been followed through and signed by a technician.

Pianos aren’t ready to play when they come out of the box – that’s why we have the systems in place that we do. If you’re worried about the provenance of your piano, feel free to give us a call with the serial number, and we can help. On the whole, though, the risk of insisting that it be delivered in its box far outweighs that Christmas-morning excitement, and really sets the scene for the piano to perform at its very best over the long term.

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