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Cost to replace soundboard on a 1900 Steinway? #1188277
04/27/09 11:06 AM
04/27/09 11:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4
Fort Walton Beach, FL
P
PWillie Offline OP
Junior Member
PWillie  Offline OP
Junior Member
P

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4
Fort Walton Beach, FL
I am selling a 1900 Steinway Model A-2 that was rebuilt about 25 years ago by Matt Grossman, then-president of the Memphis Piano Technicians Guild and current president of the Louisville Chapter. It still has the original soundboard.

A prospective buyer came to see the piano yesterday, and while he commented several times on its "sweet tone" and "great sound," he also declared the soundboard to be cracked. (Granted there are some small separations in the joints, however anyone but the most exacting purist would say that the tone is not affected.) The potential buyer said he would want to replace the soundboard and that would cost him about $10,000.

I understand that he is positioning himself for negotiation, but I'm wondering if anyone can give me a ballpark on what it would in fact cost to put a new soundboard on this model. Are effective repair options available that would preserve the original board? If so, what would they cost?

Thanks!

Paul

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Re: Cost to replace soundboard on a 1900 Steinway? [Re: PWillie] #1188304
04/27/09 11:30 AM
04/27/09 11:30 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,215
Old Hangtown California
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Gene Nelson Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gene Nelson  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,215
Old Hangtown California
Soundboard replacement usually will require some bridge work, restringing and finish work. While 10K sounds a bit on the high side you should ask the Steinway factory for an estimate and then a few other reputable rebuilding shops.
You will hear many opinions about 110 year old soundboards but mine would be to forget repairs and just replace it.-


RPT
PTG Member
Re: Cost to replace soundboard on a 1900 Steinway? [Re: PWillie] #1188331
04/27/09 11:58 AM
04/27/09 11:58 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member
pianobroker  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
Just addressing cracks in a soundboard as in shimming or ? for the most part is just cosmetic. Now if it is "off the rib" and the cracks are positioned in an area ex. under the bass bridge etc. I just change the board.
Technically though very controversial one changes a soundboard when their is a(negative)crown,downbearing issue contributing to "no sound". Of course the cellular structure of the wood deteriorating doesn't help matters. After all the piano is 100+ years old.Having had 40+ early 1900 Steinway A2,I've only not changed the soundboard on 2.

I would say that the prospective buyer has no intention at present to change the soundboard.You are right.It is a bargaining point as to negociating the price. After all if one was to change the soundboard, he would opt to change everything else.If that was the case he should just purchase a rebuildable "core" cost effectively and start from scratch.If one puts a new soundboard in a piano via a respectable rebuilder,one is not gonna salvage the remainder.

Just the soundboard by itself could be 5-10K though one can't just change the soundboard,bridges,ribs without addressing the remainder of the top end. (pinblock,strings,pins,agraffes,plate,damper felt etc)
You send me the old board, we will send you what we call a "board in a box" grin.




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