Best Piano Service Supplies for Hybrid and Electronic Repair

Kevin Busse Feb 09, 2024
167 People Read
Piano Technician's Guild Meeting

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. 

Tools for piano repairs are evolving, especially when considering the electronic components that are included with many of the digital hybrid pianos and piano player systems sold today.

As a piano tuner with years of experience in piano service, I have gathered a unique set of tools for more than just acoustic piano needs that any qualified piano technician could appreciate.

Whichever piano type it may be: player pianos, hybrid pianos, digital pianos, or pianos with other electronic components. Better tools suited to the job will improve job satisfaction as service providers.

Now, I share with you some of the most useful tools at affordable prices for minor repairs, specifically for pianos with electronic components.

I have included a link to each product for your convenience of shopping. Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have to make the most informed decision possible.

Which tools do you need to work on Hybrid, player, and digital pianos?

Recommended Supplies List for Hybrid Digital Piano Repair

headphones 1/4 inch jack

Headphones with stereo and ¼ inch jack adapter

Why is there no sound coming from the headphones?

Be sure to have a headphone jack adapter along with a cheap set of headphones because it may be the only crucial piece of equipment in order to fully connect and test the system.

While this piece of equipment is rather ordinary, it can be indispensable to convey to customers that it may in fact be their own headphones that need to be replaced.

UD-WL01

UD-WL01

What is the UD-WL01 used for?

This device is necessary to use a Disklavier for home use when there is no internet connection.

If a piano does not have this device, then quick access to the piano through a mobile device is impossible unless it is already connected to the home internet.

Wifi Nano Router

Tp-Link Nano Router

The TP-Link Nano Router is my favorite router for setting up internet for player piano systems in customers homes.

Read: 3 Best Ways to Connect a Yamaha Disklavier Piano to the Internet

Esinkin Bluetooth Adapter

Bluetooth Audio Reciever/Adapter

Logitech makes the exact same version. Selecting the right one for you depends on which brand you trust more.

This Bluetooth Audio Adapter is useful for Disklavier TV. I use this product for every single DKVTV installation and setup.

MD-BT01

MD-BT01

Useful for Connecting any midi-capable player piano to piano stream.

Available for use with My Music Recorder App which allows for Audio and Visual recordings of piano performances.

This device, along with the My Music Recorder App is one of the most seamless and impressive uses of piano player systems in my opinion.

I highly recommend trying it out and sharing with piano owners what all can be done with this simple device.

usb flash drives

USB Flash Drives

I never seem to have enough. Between getting misplaced or not spreading enough around inside my tool kit, car, and office, I always find myself digging for a simple USB flash drive.

Formatting in FAT 32 and a memory of 32 Gigabytes or less is essential. Some digital pianos do not operate well with USB Flash Drives with storage greater than 32 Gigabytes.

Do I need a USB flash drive for a Yamaha keyboard?

The most common reason for a USB Thumb Drive:

  • Software Updates

  • Record songs on the piano

  • Transferring player piano data before upgrade

*When upgrading to a DKC-900 from a Mark IV, customer data must be saved with a flash drive large enough to store all of the data.

Adapter

Universal Power Adapter

The QRS PNOscan requires the use of a power adapter like this, which is just one example in which this power adapter can be used.

Having interchangeable tips along with an switchable setting to determine how much voltage is running through the device will keep you ready to apply this power adapter to any QRS device that may require it.

I have recently seen old power adapters fail over the years, which is why it is important to carry a device like this to solve the problem for a customer on the same day.

50ft ethernet cable

Ethernet Cables 50 feet and 8 feet long

I always carry this cable and have used it twice so far.

This ethernet cable was able to prove that my router was problematic in one case, and it also proved that the home internet network was the problem in another case.

It is a complete relief to get down to the bottom of network issues, which is why I think it is important and useful to have one of these on hand.

While few houses have direct internet connections from the wall, it can be useful in edge cases.

small ethernet cable

Small ethernet cable

An ethernet Cable like this could come in handy for the customer who happens to have an ethernet wall outlet nearby.

Due to direct ethernet connections being the strongest available option for most player pianos, carry a couple of these smaller cables around to give away to a customer who can use it.

3 pronged power cord

3 pronged grounded and surge protected extension cord

One 3-plug power strip is the only power source addition that I have needed to completely install internet and Disklavier TV capabilities for Yamaha Enspire piano player systems.

Power strips with surge protection are preferable.

multimeter

Digital Multimeter

Occasionally, during diagnostics a digital multimeter is necessary to use before sending in a power supply or part for repair/replacement.

There are many resource videos available on YouTube videos to help with usage of this device.

I always find it useful to watch a refresher video on how to use it before calling piano technical support to help diagnosis the source problem.

Electronic Drill

DamppChaser Drill

This is my old drill for installing Piano Life Saver Systems.

While the drill works great, it doesn’t always fit in all tight spaces.

After a recommendation from my colleague Matthew Banks, I chose to get a new drill from Milwaukee Tools that is best suited for the job.

Small Drill

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Installation Drill

What’s the best drill for installing Dampp-Chaser / Piano LifeSaver Systems?

Thankfully, I have upgraded to an even smaller drill to reach any small location under the piano.

Attributes:

  • 4 Interchangeable drill tips

  • 2 quick-charge batteries

  • 1 Charging station

  • 1 Small power drill

Job satisfaction often comes down to having great tools. A large drill can be much more difficult to perform the work, which can be a source of frustration.

midi cable

Midi Cables

There are cases when swapping the midi cables can be useful to ensure that it is not the midi cables that are at fault.

A best practice for troubleshooting equipment is to begin updating and replacing the least expensive equipment first.

As a general rule, try swapping the midi cables before swapping more expensive parts.

rca cables

RCA Cables

This is particularly useful for Disklavier TV setups, which is why there is a set of RCA cables are included in each Yamaha Essentials Kit distributed with all new Yamaha pianos with a Disklavier.

If you don’t have an Essentials Kit lying around, you must have a set of RCA cables in addition to the Bluetooth adapter.

Connect this between the piano and the bluetooth adapter to transmit the audio from the TV to the piano. (The mobile device first transmits the data to the TV via screen share).

Batteries

AAA & AA Batteries

Batteries can be particularly useful for remote controls.

It is always worth it to have a few so that it's possible to trouble shoot whether or not the remote just needs new batteries if a system isn't working properly.

QRS solenoid bumpers

QRS bumpers

Occasionally, if you hear that there is a knocking noise on any piano key coming from the solenoid of a QRS player system, remove the action to see if the bumper is still where it belongs.

Missing bumpers can be the cause of excess knocking noises during normal playback.

Excess lost motion can also be a consideration for too much extra noise, in which case some QRS installations can be calibrated via socket wrenches underneath individual solenoids. Please note that it should not be turned more than 1 or 2 times. If two or more rotations is necessary, it is better to instead adjust the solenoid rail more significantly against the chassis.

yamaha grayscales

Grayscales

Grayscales come in handy in a few different ways

  • Missing grayscale

  • Broken grayscale

  • Dirty grayscale

  • ill-fitting grayscale

In lieu of replacing the greyscale...

Often, I find that removing the original greyscale and fitting it back into place is sufficient to fix problems with properly sensing key motion.

Another common and useful remedy is to clean the original greyscale to fix errors with key sensing.

Hex Screw Driver Bit

Hex bit

Useful for Piano LifeSaver/Damppchaser installs. Many, if not all of the screws included in a Damppchaser kit have a hex head in addition to the phillips head.

Instead of screwing in these screws with a normal Phillips head, it is much easier to screw them in using a hex head instead.

The screw is much less likely to fall off of the tip of the drill with this hex bit.

Tubing Cutter

Rod/Tubing Cutter

Specifically useful for Piano LifeSaver/Damppchaser installations. The rods need to be customized/cut to the proper length for the beams of each piano.

It may help to have vice grips to hold the rod in place while spinning this device around to cut the tubing.

Sometimes, the task of cutting the tubing is time consuming, though it can be accomplished with your hands.

Right Angle Drill Adapter

Right Angle Attachment

Best for removing the key slip on digital pianos.

This attachment is an absolute life saver for nearly impossible to reach locations. It has come in handy multiple times, especially when working on digitals/hybrids.

Now, I always keep this attachment with me in my drill kit.

Clips

Clips and screws

A mix of bendable clips, sticky clamps, and screws are always good to have on-hand in order to do proper “housekeeping”/wiring for DKC-900 Installations and improving any unsightly wiring under customers pianos.

Keep wires, tubes, and electronics cleared from view by using as many of these as necessary. It is much better to use too many than too little.

zip ties and clipper

Zip ties w/ cutter

Zip ties, Zip ties, and more Zip ties (and a clipper) will help organize a majority of wires that should remain neatly kept and stationary.

Keep in mind, that some wires may not need zip ties, but instead bendable clips so that people have access to power cords for the piano as an example.

Forstner Bits

Countersink Drill Bit Set

Commonly used for Piano LifeSaver/Damppchaser Installations.

The interior of upright pianos may have a polyester finish on the inside of the cabinet which can be difficult to screw through.

Having a few countersink drill bits on hand makes it much easier to set the screw without cracking the interior polyester finish.


Bechstein Vario Tools

Bechstein Vario Digital System Screw Driver Roll

I use this tool set for installing Bechstein's version of a Silent System called the "Vario."

This sleek tool roll is made by Swiss Tools and provides most of the tools I'll need to have on hand.

The tool roll includes allan wrench heads for the tip of the screw driver in addition to phillips head and flat head.

Swiss Tools Screw Drivers

Magnetic Screw Driver Set

There are many more screws involved in the assembly of a digital as opposed to an acoustic piano.

This is why Magnetism is crucial when working with screws in a digital piano.

As you can see, this screw driver kit has enough magnetism to lift a screw, which is often helpful for when screws inevitably fall through the cracks.

Swiss tools screw drivers have a sophisticated feel to them and eliminate a extra ounces in your tool kit because of the interchangeable handle

Magnet and screw

Retractable Magnet

Having a magnet tool with extension capabilities is another critical tool to have.

Often, screws will come loose and drop down into the piano action, electronic keyboard, and especially digital hybrids.

This tool will make it possible to spend less time searching for missing screws.

Small Screw Driver

Small Screw Driver

One of my favorite screw drivers that proves its usefulness when taking apart a digital piano.

Often most screw drivers are too large to fit in the small crevices that are required to navigate through a hybrid/digital piano.

I find myself thankful to have this tool in my bag.

Related:

Explained: Yamaha UD-WL01 Wireless Lan Adapter for Piano

The Best Professional Piano Tuning Kit for a New Tuner

Expensive Cybtertuner App: Getting Started with iRCT Tuning

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only.