Although rebuilding a piano may seem expensive, it may be an attractive,
cost-effective alternative to purchasing a new grand piano. A piano
manufactured 50 or more years ago represents a high water shed mark
in the history of the manufacturing of pianos. If a highly-qualified
RPT replaces your piano's key components and refinishes its external
case parts, your rebuilt piano will offer far greater integrity,
better sound and perform at a higher level than an inexpensive new
you own an old Steinway, Mason & Hamlin or other premium brand
piano, rebuilding is always an attractive option. A "complete
rebuild" includes the top section, action and case.
Rebuilding a Steinway might cost between $20K - $40K, and purchasing
a comparable new piano might cost between $45K - $90K. These premium
pianos are as valuable as gold so it's well worth the investment
to rebuild them.
If you own a lower-priced grand piano, there is an alternative
that will allow you to enjoy a "rejuvenated" instrument
at a reasonable cost. A "partial rebuild" allows
you to retain your original soundboard. This represents a
terrific alternative to the costly purchase of a new grand piano.
You will find that sentiment often influences your decision. If
you would like to preserve the past or are attached to an old piano,
rebuilding is a terrific option that you should explore.
Whether you consider a complete or partial rebuild, the process
should begin with a thorough appraisal, quote and comparison with
other available options.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR REBUILDING YOUR PIANO
The rebuilding of a piano can be viewed in three sections: the
top section, action and case.
The key components of the top section are the pin block, plate,
sound board and bridges. Pianocraftman recommends that you
always get the pin block replaced in an older piano. Relying on
a 75 or100 year old piece of wood to withstand the tremendous force
of 18-20 tons that is imposed by a piano's steel stings is risky,
at best, and not considered a viable, long-term alternative.
The soundboard is one of the largest pieces of wood in your
piano. More than 400 pounds of force bear down on the piano's soundboard
24 hours a day, seven days a week.
When a soundboard is repaired for cracks, it will not only
be aesthetically beautiful, but will also provide acceptable performance
in years to come. This is a much less expensive option than replacement.
When a soundboard is replaced, you'll be giving new life back to
your piano. Superior soundboard materials that are available today
as well as new methods in replacement techniques will restore your
piano's original sound, tone and power.
Bridges are structures that transfer the sound from the piano's
strings to the soundboard. A faulty or failing bridge can result
in poor tone, lack of power and/or excessive false beating strings
that make the piano sound "out of tune." Sometimes a bridge
can be repaired and other times it may require a new bridge cap.
The bridge is a "make or break" component in the quality
of a piano's sound.
Advances in piano technology have resulted in the availability of
high-quality action parts that will duplicate the manufacturer's
original design and feel of the piano. In fact, due to these modern
manufacturing methods, the performance and feel of your piano will
greatly improve. After a piano has been properly regulated by an
RPT, you will notice no appreciable difference in sound or performance
between a rebuilt and a new piano.
Your piano's case or cabinet is what captures everyone's attention
when they first enter a room. Whether refinished in black or natural
wood, your piano will look like new. The most expensive finish is
a filled finish, which is commonly known as "piano finish."
Less expensive finishes such as the "open pore or furniture
finish" are viable options. In fact, many clients prefer this
finish because of its appearance and feel.
Rebuilding is a lengthy process that demands that a highly qualified
technician and the client are completely aware of each other's concerns,
schedules and desires. A well-done rebuild will add decades more
life to your prized instrument.