I was recently called to take a look at a Yamaha digital piano that had several dead notes in the middle of the keyboard. Right where it’s played the most! Other notes in that range were intermittent. Sometimes they would play other times they wouldn’t.
The client was very frustrated with it and asked me to diagnose and repair it if it wasn’t too expensive. My standard bench fee is $75 and includes the diagnosis and recommendations for repair, but does not include the cost of parts or additional labor for the repairs.
I let her know that brand new keyboards can be purchased for $300 and up and asked her to consider that option if the repairs necessary exceeded that.
It was decided to proceed with the bench diagnosis and after removing 48 different screws I was able to open the case and start testing. Thankfully the screws were different sizes and different colors so keeping track of where they went was no problem!
With the piano taken apart I was able to see considerable amounts of dust had found there way into the contacts and that area of the keyboard contacts showed considerable wear and tear.
Cleaning the contacts with alcohol improved the situation but I was still suspicious of the wear and tear on the rubber contacts in that area of the keyboard. Yamaha allows the contacts to be moved so I switched the contact pad from the highest octave that gets the least use, to the middle octave that had the missing notes.
That additional measure paid off, all notes now worked perfectly and there was no need to buy any parts or make further repairs.
I completed reassembly and retested to make sure all the notes still worked.
1 hour on the bench, 96 screws (48 x 2 for taking apart and putting back together) and some rubbing alcohol.
Total cost to the client was $75 plus tax (NY State taxes everything!)
Sometimes a problem that seems catastrophic turns out to be an easy fix. I wish they were all that simple!
If your keyboard, synthesizer, organ or amplifier isn’t working right drop me a line. For a $75 bench fee I can let you know what it will take to make repairs and sometimes all it takes is some rubbing alcohol and a bit of patience!