Piano Tuning And Repair in San Diego

Charles Bordner, San Diego Piano Tuning

Hi.  I’m Charles Bordner, Owner of Piano Tuning San Diego.  I have been tuning pianos since High School.  Let’s just say that it’s been a few years :-)

I have tuned every make and model of piano from concert grands in universities and concert halls, to the humble studio piano in music studios, and pianos like yours at home.  I have rebuilt them, refinished them, moved them, repaired them.

I teach piano and perform on stage myself, so when I leave YOUR piano after a tuning, I will make sure that it sounds like a concert piano.  I know what to listen for, and how to make YOUR piano sound beautiful, gorgeous and simply wonderful.

Call me anytime.  I’ll be happy to answer any question you have about your piano.  If I don’t have the answer myself, I’ll make sure you get your answer.  My rates are reasonable.  Like hundreds of other piano owners throughout San Diego, I will make sure that you are happy with the price and the service.  (760) 277-5970.

Charles Border in Concert

San Diego (all areas) Piano Service (760) 277-5970

Robert & Lisa Hernandez, Rancho Penasquitos:

Yin Sun, Poway:



 Christine DeFrancisco, La Costa:




The climate of San Diego is as different in each area as the climates in different states vary from each other.  A piano in one area will retain its beauty and tone much better than if it were in another area.


Piano Tuning

Piano tuning, strictly speaking, is when a piano tuner “stretches” the strings so that they vibrate at the correct frequency, given their position on the piano.  A bass string, for example, will vibrate slower than a treble string, which must vibrate faster to produce a high pitch.  Grand piano tuning differs only in that the strings are usually longer, and not laid over each other, as they are in consoles or uprights.

Piano tuning repair, or piano repair, is when the piano technician not only stretches the strings, but also repairs a part of the piano, usually one of the movable parts, like a key, or a part of the piano action, which is what makes the hammers hit the strings. 

Piano damage can occur from something as simple as coffee spilled onto the keys, thereby swelling the felts under the keys and eventually making them hard, or when someone’s belt buckle accidently rubs against your piano’s finish, and leaves an unsightly “nick”.

FREE Estimate on your piano.  Call (760) 277-5970

Piano Regulation

Piano regulation is to the “action” of your piano what a tune-up is to your car’s engine.  Each key is made up of many moving parts, made either of wood, felt or metal, and it would be surprising if after some time, the wood, felt or metal did not become worn, scraped, bent or hardened.  So the piano technician diagnoses the problem, and either works with the parts already there, or replaces them and then adjusts them (“tunes them up”) to the specifications. 

Grand piano regulation is really different from console or upright regulation, because the action has to force the hammer UP, whereas the console or upright forces the hammer FORWARD.  It requires a different set of tools and skills to regulate a grand piano, and an experienced grand piano technician can bring life back into your grand piano whereas a lesser technician can usually only make it work right.  There is a difference, isn’t there?

Bordner Piano Craftsmanship

Piano Refinishing

Piano refinishing is absolutely, 100%, undeniably a job for professional piano refinishers.  That is, if you need your piano completely refinished.  If you need touch-up work done on your piano, a piano technician who has special skills in how to refinish a piano can be called.

Completely refinishing a piano is usually done when a piano is really old, really ugly, or both! 

Grand piano refinishing will almost always cost more, because it seems everyone simply expects a grand piano to be more beautiful than its smaller cousins, the console and upright.    So the cost to refinish a piano varies according to the type (grand or other), whether complete or partial, and other requirements, like decals, brass replacement and so forth.

Refinishing pianos is a specialty skill, and you would be wise to ask for pictures of work done to see if it’s the kind of work you want a particular piano refinisher to do on your piano.

San Diego Piano repair, regulation, finish touch-up (760) 277-5970

Piano Restoration

Steinway piano restoration, antique piano restoration, vintage piano restoration, baby grand piano restoration, classic piano restoration or grand piano restoration – whatever you want to call it, it all ends up with one question:


 “What, exactly, NEEDS to be restored?”

You see, restoration of a piano could mean restoring the pin block, or the strings, or the action, or the finish, or the brass hinges, or the soundboard, or the pedals.  Do they ALL need to restored?  Or only one or two of them?

In addition, one piano restorer would differ from other piano restorers on precisely WHAT needs to be done and why.  So, this begs the further question:

“Who is better at restoring pianos than others?”

And this is not even to mention what the CUSTOMER thinks he or she wants restored, or is willing to pay!

So, piano restoring is really a subjective issue.

Bordner Piano - For Your Steinway

Piano Rebuilding

Piano rebuilding, piano rebuild, grand piano rebuilding are similar terms, together meaning something similar to piano restoration.  But piano rebuilding implies more of a “ground up” type of work.

In other words, piano restoration MIGHT mean restoring everything in a piano.  But piano rebuilding ALWAYS means rebuilding everything from the ground up.

Piano rebuilders are the same breed as piano restorers.  They are artisans with electronic tools.  They are musicians with a scientific passion for tearing things apart (namely, pianos), and making them as close as possible to when they rolled off the factory floor.

This is the same kind of passion that antique car buffs pursue when they restore their 1957 chevy, or 1936 Ford, and drive down the freeway with a caravan of other car buffs, for all to see.

Except, piano rebuilders don’t drive down the freeway with their restored pianos.  Rather, they simply take pictures of their latest completed work of art, and kiss it goodbye before it is shipped back to the owner’s home.

A rebuilt piano can demand a much higher price than other pianos of the same model and age, not because of the man hours paid for piano refurbishing, but because of the visual beauty and the wonderful sound tone that was rescued from age and decay.

30 years professional piano tuning, regulation, repair experience, available throughout San Diego County (760) 277-5970

Don't Use Laurel & Hardy :-)

Piano Movers

Piano movers are another kind of breed in the piano business.  To do what they do, and to do it well, they have to actually LIKE moving pianos.  They have the piano moving equipment needed for moving piano.  They have the skills that any piano mover simply MUST have to ensure that your piano is not nicked, scratched, scraped or bruised. 

Piano movers aren’t piano technicians, although in my experience, every piano technician has had to move a piano or two at one time or another.  But piano moving, to do it well and to get paid well to do it, must be done many times during a week, and done well, to continue to receive referalls from piano stores and individual owners, for moving a piano.