Toning is the process to make a piano have a bright sound or a soft more mellow sound.
The two different sounds will depend on the size and acoustics of the room. It is also the process to achieve making the piano produce greater flexibility of tonal control.
The process is to push needles in to the felt which will soften the felt. The more forgiving hammer will in turn produce a softer sound. These processes can allow us to change the sound in different areas of the piano. As an example you might like your piano to have a softer sound in the bass and brighter sound at the top end. This work is usually done in the room by marrying the acoustics of the piano with the acoustics of the room. Often Half of the quality of the piano sound can be in the acoustics of the room, and consequently a piano may sound very good in one room and very bad in another.
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