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#2033075 - 02/14/13 03:33 PM Soundboard - replace or not  
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Jorge Andrade Offline
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All,

Just want to get your opinions on Soundboard replacement, do it or not (as oppose to shimming - bleaching the existing)? Mine has 3 open cracks, one in the center along the grain, from one side to the other and it's split open where you can see the floor, another small one in the treble section and one final one in between the two. I got underneath the piano and it looks like the board still has crown as I'm able to fit my finger under the board in the middle of the piano but not on the sides, I can see the separation is greater in the middle so, for my restoration job, should I have the board replaced or shimmed? What are the results, change in tone? All over the internet I get both extremes so it's hard to form an opinion. Oh and this is for my Bosie 290 1967. LMK, thanks.

Last edited by Jorge Andrade; 02/14/13 03:54 PM.
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#2033079 - 02/14/13 03:44 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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You need to have your piano evaluated by a rebuilder, in person. Replacing the sound board would be much more expensive, so if an appropriate repair can be made without replacement, that would probably be ideal. However, some would make the argument that a Bosie 290 is valuable enough of an instrument to warrant automatic replacement.

#2033089 - 02/14/13 04:06 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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Jorge Andrade Offline
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SORRY I did not express myself correctly, I'm trying to weigh in all my options as far as SHIMMING vs REPLACING the soundboard. Not whether I'm going to replace it or not, the issues will be taken care of one way or another but I'm really concerned with whether just shimming is good enough or if I change the board will the tone change dramatically, is it true that in Europe you're not legally allowed to put the manufacture's name on the piano if you replace the soundboard? Thanks.

#2033092 - 02/14/13 04:09 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: beethoven986]  
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True, but I should be able to form an educated opinion prior to shipping the piano to another state only to find out I'll need U$10k in addition to current quote so hence I'm trying to find out more info about it. I'll be posting pictures soon so everyone has a better idea.

Last edited by Jorge Andrade; 02/14/13 04:11 PM.
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#2033099 - 02/14/13 04:25 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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Originally Posted by Jorge Andrade
I'm really concerned with whether just shimming is good enough


It may or may not be. We'd need to see it and hear it.


Originally Posted by Jorge Andrade
or if I change the board will the tone change dramatically


It depends.

Originally Posted by Jorge Andrade
is it true that in Europe you're not legally allowed to put the manufacture's name on the piano if you replace the soundboard? Thanks.


No, people put non OEM parts in pianos all the time, same as with cars.... if I put a non OEM part on my Saab, it's still a Saab. That said, sound boards are replaced much less often in Europe.

#2033160 - 02/14/13 05:52 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: beethoven986]  
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Originally Posted by beethoven986
It may or may not be. We'd need to see it and hear it.


Originally Posted by beethoven986
It depends.


Can you offer some examples or scenarios, possibly instances that you ran into, I appreciate your input but I'm not sure that it helps me clarify my question, maybe after I post some pictures you'll be able to have a better idea.

#2033176 - 02/14/13 06:10 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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Supply Offline
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Jorge, you will get more valuable input from this list if you give more of a context.
Where are you located? (I suspect Europe?)
How long have you had the piano?
When did the cracks appear?

On such an instrument such as a 290, you want to make sure that if the soundboard is replaced, it is done by someone with good experience replacing boards, preferably on Bösendorfers. If no such workshop is available (which could easily be the case depending on where you are located) then it is a moot question of replacement vs shimming. You may want to return it to Bösendorfer if you choose to have the board replaced.

Many technicians feel that shimming is simply an aesthetic course of action, as the damage has been done to the whole soundboard, and the cracks are evidence of this. I have never seen a situation where shimming clearly resulted in an improvement of tone. Many times, a new crack appears right next to the shim after a few years.

#2033181 - 02/14/13 06:16 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Supply]  
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Jurgen,

He has written about this before. The piano is in Arizona.


Semipro Tech
#2033205 - 02/14/13 06:55 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BDB]  
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I'm actually located in Nevada but might as well call it Arizona as the weather condition is very similar.

My first inquiry was on recommendation for restorers, this post is specific on replacing soundboard vs shimming, yes I'm going to have a professional restorer work on my piano but as an educated adult, I feel that I'll be able to make a better decision if I understand the process and the pros and cons better, I've spoken with numerous professionals across the country and each one seems to have the one area they value or concentrate the most, in certain instances they differ greatly so I'm left in the middle trying to determine what the best outcome would be, in the end, I'm the one investing anywhere from U$25k to U$35k for the job so I want to make sure I have all the proper information at hand.



#2033210 - 02/14/13 07:04 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Supply]  
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Jorge Andrade Offline
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Originally Posted by Supply
Jorge, you will get more valuable input from this list if you give more of a context.
Where are you located? (I suspect Europe?)
How long have you had the piano?
When did the cracks appear?


I live in Las Vegas - NV, the piano was located in Atlanta - GA. It went from a 80% RH to a 20% RH, I've had it since May of 2012. When the piano came to me, the largest crack was only a ridge, or stress mark on the board (probably caused by the high RH level in GA), it split open during the summer and then the other 2 appeared. Since I posted and you guys alerted me that I needed a better RH, I went out and bought a room humidifier that I have set at 40% (that particular room's natural RH is 25%), my end goal is around 50% but I'm raising the humidity slowly. I've taken the fallboard and music desk out and I keep the piano lid open for now so it can 'soak up' the humidity. Thanks.

#2033290 - 02/14/13 09:27 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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Hi Jorge,
If it were my instrument and I knew the recent history (which I do) I would start with some cost effective measures. You said that your installing a full room humidifier. I would let the room acclimate to the higher humidity and, over 4 to 6 months, measure soundboard responses by measuring any effect on the crown, soundboard crack size, increased (or not) sustain etc. If findings are positive but minimal I would install the large Dampp Chaser system to enhance the local improvements. If no improvements are measured with humidity introduction than I would shim the soundboard. I have had mild but positive results improving crown in trouble areas by slightly wedging the s-board from the bottom which opens the crack slightly more, make the shim repair, let the glue dry and cure (2 days), remove the wedges and inspect for crown improvement. The Bosey has a thick panel so I'm not sure if results will be dramatic but worth a try. I normally would restring doing this procedure but moving the existing music wire out of the way is a budget option. At least with these methods 10's of thousands of dollars are kept in the bank until repair scenarios reveal their worth.


David Chadwick RPT
Coshocton, Ohio
1931 Mason Hamlin AA
#2033300 - 02/14/13 09:45 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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David gives good advice. There are tons of inexpensive things that you can try that might make more difference than an expensive repair, and none of them would prevent you from doing the expensive repair if they do not work out.


Semipro Tech
#2033308 - 02/14/13 09:54 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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Steinway did an experiment where they created gaps in a soundboard and found that it did not affect the sound. Shimming the soundboard is therefore a cosmetic measure and has no effect on the performance of the piano.
David says he can slightly improve the crown, but your piano already has crown. I wouldn't worry about it until it's time to restring. In which case, shimming is not that big a deal. Just be sure to dry the board out thoroughly before shimming.


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#2033311 - 02/14/13 10:00 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BDB]  
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I believe you are unhappy with how the tone has changed since the move to NV-if I remember your earlier post correctly.

Do not worry abou rapidly increasing the humidity to the 45% level. The piano will react in three days.

Has the tone improved with the increase in humidity?


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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#2033319 - 02/14/13 10:07 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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adak Offline
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Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.

And don't they make pianos with carbon fiber soundboards nowadays?


Casio Privia PX-150

#2033320 - 02/14/13 10:08 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.

#2033328 - 02/14/13 10:15 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BoseEric]  
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Originally Posted by BoseEric
If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.


Just imagine trying to sell the piano later, about the soundboard: do you tell the truth or lie?

Last edited by adak; 02/14/13 10:16 PM.

Casio Privia PX-150

#2033343 - 02/14/13 10:29 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: adak]  
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Originally Posted by adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.

#2033348 - 02/14/13 10:33 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Ed Foote]  
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adak Offline
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Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?

Last edited by adak; 02/14/13 10:35 PM.

Casio Privia PX-150

#2033415 - 02/14/13 11:21 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]  
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I believe you are unhappy with how the tone has changed since the move to NV-if I remember your earlier post correctly.

Do not worry abou rapidly increasing the humidity to the 45% level. The piano will react in three days.

Has the tone improved with the increase in humidity?


I have a client that brought her Kawai console to Las Vegas from Hawaii. She went through several tech's complaining that the tone got worse with each tuner. From full and rich to weak and thin. I explained that the felt hammers are also affected by the arid environment. I did some light hammer filing, shallow voicing on the near crown and gently steamed the shoulders on the hammers. She was delighted with the results and I advised her that touch up hammer voicing might be needed yearly to maintain the tone to her liking. Perhaps Jorge's Bosey hammers would benefit from this if they haven't been over filed. Again, if it was mine and I was looking at $$$$ in repairs a refurbish of parts that would benefit from repair services and might give us pause for thought and make a better judgment when the time comes for factory repairs.


David Chadwick RPT
Coshocton, Ohio
1931 Mason Hamlin AA
#2033429 - 02/14/13 11:49 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: adak]  
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Originally Posted by adak
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
Hmmmm, What would a digital be called during a power failure? 'Funny looking table? Boat anchor?


David L. Jenson
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Jenson's Piano Service
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#2033436 - 02/15/13 12:03 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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David Jenson Offline
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One subjective consideration would be the sound you have now. If the piano has punch, clarity, and sustain as it is now, it might not be so bad to keep the original sound board. It'll certainly be less expensive.


David L. Jenson
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Jenson's Piano Service
-----
#2033442 - 02/15/13 12:15 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: David Jenson]  
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Originally Posted by David Jenson
Originally Posted by adak
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
Hmmmm, What would a digital be called during a power failure? 'Funny looking table? Boat anchor?


If you are trying to be snarky I will let you know you can buy something called a UPS. They will run you about $50 and when the power goes out you can still play your piano all you want.

Last edited by adak; 02/15/13 12:16 AM.

Casio Privia PX-150

#2033443 - 02/15/13 12:16 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: adak]  
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beethoven986 Offline
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Originally Posted by adak
Originally Posted by David Jenson
Originally Posted by adak
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
Hmmmm, What would a digital be called during a power failure? 'Funny looking table? Boat anchor?


If you are trying to be snarky I will let you know you can buy something called a UPS. They will run you about $30 and when they power goes out you can still play your piano all you want.


You're the one who is suggesting that a digital piano can compete with a Boesendorfer Imperial..... confused

#2033444 - 02/15/13 12:17 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: BoseEric]  
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Originally Posted by BoseEric
If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.


You're joking, right?

#2033446 - 02/15/13 12:19 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: adak]  
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Originally Posted by adak
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
I think you are on the wrong forum.

#2033605 - 02/15/13 10:05 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Supply]  
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David Jenson Offline
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David Jenson  Offline
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Originally Posted by Supply
Originally Posted by adak
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by adak
Should have gotten a digital. No tuning or maintenance or repairs needed. I know I never need to buy an acoustic. digitals just keep on getting better and better.


Greetings,
A digital is not a piano.


Don't let your emotions blind you from the truth.

Did you also say the same thing about digital cameras 10 years ago?
I think you are on the wrong forum.
My thoughts exactly. Someone who's contemplating repairs of this magnitude will certainly not have any interest in switching to a digital approximation of a real piano.

This was a tread hijacking, and it wasn't nearly as sidesplittingly funny as my digressions are! laugh


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
#2033626 - 02/15/13 10:59 AM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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Larry Buck Offline
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Originally Posted by beethoven986
Originally Posted by BoseEric
If you have the soundboard replaced by anyone other than the factory, you will probably have a very nice, very large piano but you won't really have a Bosendorfer any more. If having a true Bosendorfer is important to you, I would explore every possibility to keep the current board (and bridges). If that is not reasonable, then consider replacement by the factory. Boy, that will be unbelievably expensive but you will still have a true Bosendorfer.


You're joking, right?


A Bosendorfer Sound Board is not the same as most of the others for several reasons.

Unless a rebuilder is specifically familiar with this installation, I might tend to agree with Eric.


"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

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#2033674 - 02/15/13 12:28 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Jorge Andrade]  
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Emmery Offline
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A digital piano is not the same as an acoustic for the person playing it and for the small nuances of control on tone. But sampled sounds on the better DP's are virtually exact "recordings" of acoustics, a single note or chord cannot be distinguished between the two on a blind test....period.

(David Jensen)..."Hmmmm, What would a digital be called during a power failure? 'Funny looking table? Boat anchor?"

Mine would be called a digital piano... it has batteries in it.

On the other hand, what would your 700 lb piano be called if you wanted to haul it out a couple hundred yards into the woods for a music foray with freinds? It would be called a hernia.

Last edited by Emmery; 02/15/13 12:33 PM.

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#2033692 - 02/15/13 01:12 PM Re: Soundboard - replace or not [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]  
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Jorge Andrade Offline
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I believe you are unhappy with how the tone has changed since the move to NV-if I remember your earlier post correctly.

Do not worry abou rapidly increasing the humidity to the 45% level. The piano will react in three days.

Has the tone improved with the increase in humidity?


You're correct Ed, the tone has changed dramatically since I first got the piano in May of last year. I placed a large humidifier a week ago in the piano room (large living room - 20 x 16 sq ft) and I've noticed the tone has improved a little bit, it sounds to me like the sustain has gotten better and the sound has gotten more polished, the differences are small but I can hear them, the touch is the same, except the keys are now a bit "claky", on my next service I'll have David regulate the action, it might have gotten off a bit.

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