Care and


Valuable tips for the care and maintenance of your Schimmel piano.

A striking statement of our company founder Wilhelm Schimmel was: "In the end, our instruments are only as good as the last service piano technician who worked on them". There is a lot of truth in this statement, because a high quality piano also needs a high quality after sales service and excellent care to be maintained.

For this reason, Schimmel instruments are sold worldwide exclusively through authorized dealers. We make it a condition that our authorized dealers also offer an excellent after sales service.

In addition, you can also make a valuable and important contribution to maintain the quality and value of your instrument. In the following, you will find useful tips for this. However, you should never do without the advice of your local authorized Schimmel dealer.

Touch and sound perception

The instrumental qualities of a piano are of decisive importance in deriving a sense of well-being from its use. The sound-producing mechanism of the instrument must however blend perfectly with the mechanical (touch) mechanism for reliability and dynamic response in performance applications. Energy flows in nature in an orderly, systematic manner, reproducing itself, returning to its source or becoming transformed. This can also be applied to the tonal aspects of the acoustic piano. The energy transmitted by the keys (force, speed and path of the key’s movement) is transferred to the moving hammers by means of the keyboard/ action mechanism. This energy is then conveyed to the strings by the impact of the hammers on the strings, setting the strings into vibration. The sound-producing mechanism of the instrument then amplifies the vibrations of the strings. Each individual string produces its own vibrational pattern, which adapts itself to those of the other strings, making its contribution to the enrichment of the overall sound pattern. Finally, the airborne sound waves, generated by the vibrating soundboard, upon reaching the ears are transformed into minute electrical signals that can be perceived by the brain.

Keyboard/action mechanism

Piano “touch” is what the pianist feels playing an acoustic grand or upright. The characteristics of perfect “touch” include the feeling of precision and suppleness, reliability from the softest pianissimo to the loudest fortissimo with passages involving rapid runs and fast repetition, proper touch weight, and much more.

Individual keys will be played millions of times over a period of years, particularly in the middle portion of the keyboard, resulting in natural wear and tear. However, the instrument will continue to play properly and efficiently as long as it is regularly serviced by a qualified piano technician and not exposed to humidity or temperature extremes.


The quality of the hammer heads is critical for dynamic keyboard response. The ideal hammer head must have flexible layers of felt and be properly shaped and expertly voiced to balance the internal stresses of the compressed felt for unlimited potential in musical expression and interpretation.

Frequent and/or energetic playing compresses the hammer felt, causing it to harden. The crown of the hammer will naturally become worn. Finally, variations in the extremes of relative humidity can affect the internal stresses of the hammer felt. Therefore, it is best to have the voicing touched up and the hammers filed from time to time by a qualified and professional piano technician.


Grands and uprights with castors can be relocated within a room by two or three strong people, slightly lifting the instrument to take some of the weight off the casters. Bare floors can be protected and the instrument can be moved more easily by using small pieces of carpet under the casters, allowing the instrument to be pushed while lifting somewhat to take some weight off the casters. Uprights without casters can be placed on pieces of carpeting and pushed along a bare floor. Otherwise, the instrument must be carried. Be careful never to tip over an upright while moving the instrument. Transporting a grand or upright from one floor to another or to a different building is a job for professional piano movers. Moving a grand or an upright piano requires sufficient personal strength and in most cases also experience, otherwise there is the danger of severe personal injury or damage to the instrument.


Good acoustic grands and uprights are reliable partners and offer a wealth of instrumental qualities. They are built with many natural, organic materials and parts that are affected by ambient temperature and humidity. These natural materials react in various ways to climatic conditions and changes.

Pianos should not be placed at or near a window, directly in front of a radiator, above a convector, directly above, below or in front of an air vent or register, or against a cold, moist outer wall. Exposure to direct sunlight is extremely detrimental to the finish of the cabinet.

Tips on care

Keytops should only be cleaned with a soft cloth. Avoid cleaning fluids that containing mineral spirits, alcohol or lacquer thinner. Unknown or chemically harsh furniture polishes and cleaners should be avoided. Polyester finishes are best dusted with a feather duster or a soft, non-fibrous cloth¹ using minimal pressure. All other types of finishes should be dusted with a soft, lint-free cloth. Furniture polish² can be used if necessary, provided it contains no aggressive cleaning fluids and/or abrasives. Your piano dealer can recommend the best polish for your piano. Metal parts should normally only be cleaned with a soft cloth. A premium quality brass metal polish² can be recommended by your authorized Schimmel dealer³.


¹ A soft chamois, slightly moistened with mild soapy water or diluted dishwashing detergent, is effective for removing smudges and fingerprints.

² Use only name-brand products and observe the instructions for use. Paste-type metal polishes are recommended

³ Strictly limit the cleaning procedure exclusively to metal parts as some metal cleaning products can damage the wood finish.


Consult experts

Wherever sound is produced, interfering sounds may occur. In most cases these are fairly easy to locate if the sound originates from the instrument or from another source in the room. Foreign bodies can occasionally fall into the instrument. Sometimes they can be removed by the piano owner, but often small objects such as coins, paper clips, etc. which have fallen into the instrument or the keyboard/action mechanism may impair the mechanical action or cause interfering sounds. The location of these sounds and/or removal of foreign bodies must be performed by an experienced piano technician. Liquids should under no circumstances be allowed to contact strings, pinblock, bridges, soundboard, or the keyboard/action assembly. The top and other horizontal surfaces of a grand or upright piano are not intended for use as a repository for drinking glasses, bottles and similar objects. Drinking glasses, bottles etc. should not be placed on the top or on other horizontal surfaces of a piano. If liquid should inadvertently spill into the instrument, consult a piano technician as to what measures should be taken. Cleaning of the keyboard/action mechanism, strings, soundboard areas, bridges and tuning pins should be carried out professionally.

Benches and accessories

Please keep in mind that an important prerequisite for good playing is correct and comfortable sitting. For this reason, fine piano benches are always a good investment.

Piano furniture and accessories are available from your dealer. These include a selection of piano benches and stools, accessories such as piano lamps, metronomes, caster cups and runners for protecting the keyboard and also protective piano covers.

twintone und Selbstspielinstrumente

A twintone Piano is basically a traditional acoustic grand or upright, additionally equipped with a built-in electronic digital piano that also blocks the normal acoustic sound, permitting quiet playing or practising at any time of the day or night. Standard jacks allow the use of headphones or other external active loudspeaker systems. AUDIO jacks allow the digital unit to be connected to external AUDIO sound systems. MIDI interfaces enable the user to connect with MIDI-capable electronic musical instruments and computers.

For further details, see the twintone owner's manual:


The right pedal (sustaining pedal) lifts all the dampers at once, permitting all the strings to vibrate freely (grands and uprights). The left pedal in grands is referred to as the una corda pedal, and in uprights referred to as the soft pedal. The grand una corda pedal causes the keyboard to shift slightly to the right, so that most of the hammers strike only two strings rather than three. The upright soft pedal moves the hammer rest rail slightly closer to the strings, reducing the hammer travel and power of string attack. In grands, the middle pedal activates the sostenuto mechanism and selectively sustains only the notes of keys that are first depressed and held depressed at the moment the pedal is engaged. In uprights with three pedals, depending on the model and execution, the middle pedal activates the twintone silencing function or the muffler rail. The muffling effect in uprights is achieved by a strip of felt that is lowered between the hammers and strings to reduce volume and accompanying overtones. With frequent use, the muffler felt will show natural signs of wear and must be repositioned once or twice and in the longer run also replaced by a piano technician.

Comfortable room climate

Pianos, like humans, are most comfortable and stable in a moderate ambient temperature and relative humidity. Average values considered to be comfortable may differ in temperature and relative humidity (shown in the graph). What human beings consider to be “comfortable” is also favourable for any good grand or upright piano.

Normal airing has no negative effect on an acoustic piano. However, in the case of outside temperatures below freezing or extremely moist outside conditions, airing should be limited, as any prolonged air draughts from airing may damage the instrument.

The ideal ambient relative humidity is between 40 % and 60 %. The tolerable limit is between 35 % and 70 %. Fluctuations exceeding these limits can adversely affect the tuning stability and playability of the instrument.

The ideal temperature range is 21° to 24° centigrade (70° to 75° Fahrenheit). Room temperatures exceeding these limits will not usually result in damage to the instrument, providing the relative humidity of the air is kept within the range of 35 % to 70 %. Frequent changes in temperature and relative humidity should be kept to a minimum. In cases where the room climate can fluctuate beyond the comfortable conditions explained above or even be subject to sudden or extreme changes, we strongly recommend the installation of a Dampp-Chaser Piano Life Saver System. Ask your dealer for more information or visit

As a simple basic rule

Any change in temperature in a room always causes a change in relative humidity - it follows:

increasing room temperature (heating up) = decreasing relative humidity ; wood and felt dry out and shrink

decreasing room temperature (cooling off) = increasing relative humidity ; wood and felt swell up with moisture

Changes in temperature and humidity

For grands and uprights a stable room climate is advantageous in many ways, because wood, felt and leather are hygroscopic by nature: expanding with humidity and contracting with the lack of humidity. Prudent attention to ambient climatic conditions (the swings of temperature and relative humidity) can reduce extensive repairs and service to your instrument, improve the tuning stability, minimize changes of internal tension in the soundboard and other wooden components and preserve and stabilize the instrument over the years.

All changes in room temperature result in a corresponding change in the relative air humidity. Significant, repeated and longer lasting changes of room temperature should be minimized or avoided. Sudden and drastic changes in temperature, especially if repeated over longer periods of time, cause the relative levels of humidity in the room to fluctuate drastically unless otherwise controlled and are detrimental to the instrument and may void the warranty. Room temperatures below 10 °C (50 °F) should be avoided. It is also important that pianos are not exposed to extreme temperature or humidity changes (especially in and after transport).

Control of relative humidity

Relative humidity can easily be measured and monitored using modern digital measuring devices, which are available from electronics stores or your piano technician.


Neither Schimmel, its agents, successors and assigns, nor its authorized dealers, their successors and assigns, is, are or shall be in any way responsible for any damage to the piano of any kind whatsoever, direct or consequential, caused by or resulting from frequent fluctuations of relative humidity beyond comfortable levels as described, or from longer lasting extremes of too high or too low relative humidity.

Piano Life Saver System

The Dampp-Chaser Piano Life Saver System has proved to be a most effective climate control system for grand and upright pianos, especially in situations where it is otherwise difficult to maintain a uniform degree of humidity throughout all four seasons. The system is installed underneath the soundboard and behind the keyboard and action in grands, and in front of the soundboard and below the keyboard in uprights. Continuous alternating dehumidifying and humidifying mechanisms help to minimize wide fluctuations in relative humidity that would otherwise have an adverse effect on the sensitive areas of the piano (soundboard, keyboard, action) and degrade playability, and tuning stability.

The “Humidistat” is the brain of the system which senses whether the wooden parts of your piano are too moist or too dry and automatically switches the system to function as a “dehumidifier” or “humidifier” to protect your piano from damage caused by changes in humidity. The “dehumidifier” averts moisture from your piano through warm air currents, and the “humidifier” moisturizes the dry wood of your piano when the humidity drops.

As a rule, the continuous operation of a correctly installed system ensures an ideal relative humidity range for the instrument, regardless of fluctuations in room climate. For more detailed information, consult your dealer or

Heating and air condition systems

The greater the influence of the building insulation, heating and ventilation and air-conditioning systems, the smaller the influence of the outside temperature and humidity is on the room climate. This is however a very complex subject that cannot be explained in a few words; for detailed information, it is best to consult an expert. All forms of heating reduce the moisture content in the air, resulting in a decrease of relative humidity.

Radiators are generally installed under windows. Although some of the heat is radiated directly, most of it is provided by convection. Pianos should never be placed directly in front of a radiator. Convectors are generally installed along walls or in floors, and the heat is provided almost exclusively by convection. Pianos should never be placed in front of or above such a unit. Forced air systems generate a continuous draught of air below, above or in front of the air outlets. This draught of air always has an extremely detrimental effect on a piano. Never place a grand or upright piano directly in front of, below or above an air outlet.

Underfloor heating systems produce a relatively gentle, uniform air circulation in the room with extremely low heating temperatures. Properly designed and operated underfloor heating systems generate comfortable levels of air temperature (approx. 21° to 24° Celsius respectively 70° to 75° Fahrenheit). Under such conditions, this type of underfloor heating with the upstream of warm air generally does not have an adverse effect on a grand piano. With upright pianos, a thermal insulation pad may be helpful if placed between the floor and the bottom board of the instrument. If in doubt, consult your dealer or an expert in underfloor heating systems. Humidifying systems are a good idea if persistent and continuous low humidity is a factor, but these must have the appropriate dimensions for the room in question and must operate reliably. Evaporative coolers can be especially detrimental to a piano if the ambient relative humidity is not kept in check. With central air conditioning systems humidifying and dehumidifying the air, it is important to monitor and control the relative humidity of the air in the room. Aim at maintaining a constant level of humidity, preferably between 40 % and 60 % relative humidity.


Always dispose of electrical and electronic components (twintone, self play mechanisms, lights, Damp Chaser Systems, MIDI etc.) according to applicable national, state and local regulations. You may find additional information from your dealer.

Safety instructions

Grands, uprights and piano benches are not intended to be used by children for gymnastic exercise nor should they be used as a stepladder. Top lids (grands and uprights) including proper positioning of the lid props must be opened and closed with care. Children and adults with limited physical strength or abilities should not open or close top lids by themselves without assistance. When bringing adjustable bench tops up and down, fingers should never get underneath the bench top or into the adjusting mechanism. If new benches come with separate legs, these must be assembled must be done with care, making sure all assembly screws are correctly utilized and tightened.


All safety instructions, advice and recommendations given on this page are based on many years of experience.

Nevertheless, neither Schimmel, its agents, successors nor assigns shall be in any way responsible for any direct, indirect or consequential damages, personal injuries or loss of value, damage, malfunction of the instrument resulting from performing, handling, transporting or using the instrument or parts as advised on this page. This includes but is not limited to improper use or handling of the instrument or parts thereof, as for example “lids”, “fallboards”, “piano benches” and “electric lights”, from “moving or relocation” from “improper or lacking maintenance work”, from improper use or handling or disposal of such electric or electronic devices as, but not limited to, twintone components, Player Systems, Dampp-Chaser Units, or other similar devices.

Recommended service

The recommended piano service procedures depend on the duration and intensity of piano use, personal standards for tuning and voicing, how much or how hard the instrument is used and the climatic conditions the instrument is exposed to over time. The same is true for extended service work not specifically listed. The following recommendations are general rules and can in no way replace the individual advice of your piano technician.

All service procedures should be performed exclusively by qualified and experienced piano technicians. Unqualified service personnel can inflict additional problems that may result in damage to the instrument or components thereof and may void the warranty.

Manufacture year and serial number

The age of your instrument can be determined using the serial number. As the serial numbers cannot always be assigned chronologically due to the different manufacturing processes of the individual models, the age can only be narrowed down approximately using our search function and can sometimes deviate considerably from the year given here. Therefore, the information on our website search function is without guarantee.

Enter the number range corresponding to the serial number of your instrument to find out the year of manufacture:

Download brochure

All the information listed here can also be downloaded in summarized form in our brochure "care and maintenance" in the download area:
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