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#1168121 - 03/24/09 04:54 PM Keep Piano in good condition?  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19
EmilyA Offline
Junior Member
EmilyA  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19
Hi,
What is the best advice on keeping the resale value of a Stienway Grand piano high?

In terms of amount of use it gets, being played frequetly, moderately, a little, or not at all? Specifically, what are the best ways to keep hammers and strings, felts, etc. in the best condition possible in terms of a pure investment.

Thanks E.




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#1168150 - 03/24/09 05:32 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: EmilyA]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15
PianoRestorer Offline
Junior Member
PianoRestorer  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15
Dorset, UK
There is little market for resale of Steinways in the UK, not sure what it is like in US?

There is a UK regular piano auction in London and they list price what the instruments reached in price, and at the moment it is very low.

Play the piano as little as possible keep an eye on the humidity or dryness of the room its in keeping it away from heat sources and especially the sun, buy a cover for it to keep the light of the finish, as all finishes fade over the years. We french polish instruments all the time and I am still amazed how many people don't heed our warnings and put their newly polished piano in a bay window with the sun streaming down on it every day and wonder why the finish is dulling and fading! Anybody who has had a colour photo on display in direct sunlight will know how quickly the sun can bleach colour, and wood stain is no different.

#1168200 - 03/24/09 06:47 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: PianoRestorer]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,292
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Ron Alexander  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,292
North Carolina
The best way to keep the hammers, strings, etc looking brand new is to make sure the humidity remains as constant as possible. Get a cover. Cover the piano up, and forbid anyone to touch it. It the changing weather conditions and playing that takes a toll on the piano after 80 years or so!!!!


-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician
#1168257 - 03/24/09 08:58 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: Ron Alexander]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15
PianoRestorer Offline
Junior Member
PianoRestorer  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15
Dorset, UK
So many clients would say to me "should I play the piano to keep it in tune" great rumor to spread around to get more regular tunings.

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#1168273 - 03/24/09 09:42 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: PianoRestorer]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,292
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Ron Alexander  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,292
North Carolina
Normal playing, or lack of playing does little to nothing to make a piano go "out of tune."
Atmospheric conditions is the culprit. Humidity. Major chances in temperature is too, but to a lesser degree.

To seriously answer the question you ask.
-Control humidity conditons as much as possible.
-Keep liquids away from the piano, this includes candles.
-Keep it at Standard pitch through regular tunings.
-Have it voiced and regulated as needed.
-Have the inside, action, and soundboard of the piano cleaned periodically by a technician.
-Keep the finish clean and do everything possible to avoid scratches to the finish.

I'm sure there are other things, but I'll give others a chance to chime in.


-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician
#1168283 - 03/24/09 10:05 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: Ron Alexander]  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,010
Keith Roberts Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Keith Roberts  Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,010
Murphys, Ca
Get a string cover. A wool string cover will keep the board looking brand new. No need for dusting and the wool will act to stabilize the humidity in the piano. It keeps it drier. People have had a 15% reduction in humdity at the soundboard with a string cover. That brings 65% down to 50%. I guess that's why they make wool luggage for the tropics. Your clothes don't get wet.
It must have something to do with why wool keeps you warm even if you get wet.

Cory cleaning products. You can order their piano kits specifically for your finish.


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca
#1168290 - 03/24/09 10:13 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: Keith Roberts]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,548
BDB Offline
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BDB  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,548
Oakland
Find a good tech and follow his or her advice.


Semipro Tech
#1168481 - 03/25/09 09:10 AM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: BDB]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19
EmilyA Offline
Junior Member
EmilyA  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19
Thanks for the great info, greatly appreciated.

I have one other question, how do you pick a good piano tech? We've had one who totally ruined the sound of the piano, and another who brought it back to a beautiful sound.

Unfortuneately, the good one has moved and so we may not be able to get him.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Emily

#1168497 - 03/25/09 09:38 AM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: EmilyA]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15
PianoRestorer Offline
Junior Member
PianoRestorer  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15
Dorset, UK
Its very difficult for clients to pick a good piano tech, go for word and mouth, ask around, local schools, musical societies. The trouble is even if a piano tech has been to a college and achieved diploma etc, this still is no sure bet!

Experience is what your looking for really, long established firm.

#1168775 - 03/25/09 04:55 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: PianoRestorer]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
One good source for good piano technicians is the Piano technicians Guild.

http://ptg.org/


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1168800 - 03/25/09 05:42 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 277
Seneca Offline
Full Member
Seneca  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 277
Portland, OR
Emily--

Sorry you had a bad experience with a piano tuner. I agree with Jerry Groot, the piano technicians website is a good source of names.

When we moved to Portland, I wandered into the local Steinway dealership and asked the first sales person who walked up if any of their tuners took on outside jobs. She gave me a name and he's done good work on my (non-Steinway) piano.

I'm sure you could do that at any piano dealership that carries high quality instruments. The advantage of a Steinway dealer is that those pianos arrive at the dealership with the expectation that they will require considerable prep work (not to open a can of worms, but different manufacturers have different standards in that regard), and since Steinways, as delivered to customers, are supposed to be in outstanding condition, the technicians who work at a Steinway dealership tend to be competent.

Also, in my experience, most piano dealers tend to be nice to piano owners, even piano owners not currently in the market for a new piano.

#1168809 - 03/25/09 06:09 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: Seneca]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 342
James Senior Offline
Full Member
James Senior  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 342
England
Personally I don't think it's a good idea to not play an instrument at all.
I don't know what everyone else thinks, but I get the impression that pianos which see no use at all are more susceptable to sticking action parts and moths.
No use at all is usually accompanied with neglect.

#1168931 - 03/25/09 11:03 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: James Senior]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,548
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,548
Oakland
A piano that is not played is not a piano. It is a piece of furniture. A rather impractical one, at that.


Semipro Tech
#1170425 - 03/28/09 04:44 PM Re: Keep Piano in good condition? [Re: BDB]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19
EmilyA Offline
Junior Member
EmilyA  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19
Okay, thanks again, I have a couple places too look for piano techs now.

"pianos which see no use at all are more susceptable to sticking action parts and moths.
No use at all is usually accompanied with neglect."

Yep yep yep....so true. I keep trying to get my brother to get it tuned.....

I have had a disagreement with my brother about the 'no or little play' to 'needs to be played' argument.

He also worries that if I strike the keys with great force it will damage or wear it down......

I think I will check out stores that sell Steinways, or tuners who advertise working on Steineways, and check the other link given as well.

If anyone else has any good arguments for playing the piano a little bit, or a moderate amount of time, I'd be interested in hearing them as well.

Thanks,
Emily


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