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Who's the Best Steinway Restorer in My Area? #2750088
07/07/18 06:59 PM
07/07/18 06:59 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2
Somers, NY
K
KenWin Offline OP
Junior Member
KenWin  Offline OP
Junior Member
K
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2
Somers, NY
Hello All. I'm a new member. I hope you can help me out.

I'm very interested in restoring my 1923 Steinway M baby grand (ser. # 221183). It's been in my family for 3 generations, and it's time. Actually, it's well past time. My question is who are the best Steinway restorers in my geographic area (Northern Westchester, NY. About an hour north of NYC)? I've done a lot of research and it's all gotten quite confusing. Everyone *says* they can restore Steinways. Everyone *says* they're the best. Everyone *claims* to be experts. How is a civilian to know what's real or not?

I've, of course, considered sending my piano back to the Steinway Factory. It's only a little over an hour from where I live. Steinway says, "Your piano was born here, and this is where it should return." A good sales pitch! But I've also read a lot about how, although they are quite expensive, their quality may no longer be up to the standards they advertise them to be. Is that true? Not true?

I don't know if I care or I don't care about Steinway vs. "Stein-was". What I *DO* care about is that the restoration be done with the highest quality so that when the time comes I can pass the piano on to my daughter for a 4th generation. And, hopefully, after her, for several generations beyond.

I'd greatly appreciate any and all recommendations you may have. I would think anywhere in NYC Metro area should be OK (NY, NJ, or CT).

Thanks!

Last edited by KenWin; 07/07/18 07:06 PM.
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Re: Who's the Best Steinway Restorer in My Area? [Re: KenWin] #2750091
07/07/18 07:11 PM
07/07/18 07:11 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,464
Rehoboth Beach De. USA
Rich D. Offline
Gold Subscriber
Rich D.  Offline
Gold Subscriber
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,464
Rehoboth Beach De. USA
You may want to ask folks to send you a private PM rather than stating publicly who they may or may not recommend. I’ve heard good things about Steinway’s own restorations but I have not seen any personally. In New York, Faust Harrison and Cantabile Pianos come to mind as ones to search out.

Rich


Retired at the beach

Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"
Re: Who's the Best Steinway Restorer in My Area? [Re: KenWin] #2750094
07/07/18 07:28 PM
07/07/18 07:28 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,832
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
pianoloverus  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,832
New York City

There are a lot of rebuilders to consider: Cunningham, Faust Harrison, Klavierhaus, and Pianocraft are the ones I'm familiar with either personally or through PianoWorld. I also think it's better to ask for recommendations or non-recommendations via PM since people are more likely to be honest and direct.

If possible, you should try out some of their rebuilt Ms. At least call them and talk to them at length although I'm sure they will all sound very persuasive. If you know a tech you think is good and honest I would also suggest asking them.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 07/07/18 07:29 PM.
Re: Who's the Best Steinway Restorer in My Area? [Re: KenWin] #2750112
07/07/18 09:19 PM
07/07/18 09:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,786
Ann Arbor, MI
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member
jazzyprof  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,786
Ann Arbor, MI
In NYC I would certainly recommend Klavierhaus (http://klavierhaus.com/). I have played some of their rebuilt Steinways over the years and they were extraordinary.


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
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Re: Who's the Best Steinway Restorer in My Area? [Re: KenWin] #2750120
07/07/18 09:33 PM
07/07/18 09:33 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,315
Florida
cmb13 Offline
Silver Level
cmb13  Offline
Silver Level
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,315
Florida
I'm not all that knowledgeable about the subject, but when I visited Faust Harrison, I heard the sweetest sounding Steinway I've ever heard. It was also a golden age, but may have been an O. When the time comes, I may purchase from them. Worth a trip to Midtown.


Boston 118 PE

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Re: Who's the Best Steinway Restorer in My Area? [Re: KenWin] #2750124
07/07/18 10:19 PM
07/07/18 10:19 PM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 458
Rural UK
F
Fareham Offline
Full Member
Fareham  Offline
Full Member
F
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 458
Rural UK
I'm having my 1985 S&S 'D' refreshed with new action and hammers later this year. After a lot of research I've decided to use Abel 'Natural' hammers, trading power for depth / complexity of sound. There are US hammers that are their equal (some would say superior), and if you have a search in the piano tech's forum, you'll find plenty of talk about it all there.

I shall be using WNG action (part of Mason and Hamlin), as it uses modern materials, is lighter and stronger than the conventional one, and is far less prone to changes in temperature and humidity. Every tech. I've talked to who has used them says they would never use anything else again by personal choice.

Finally, you can have your piano optimized for evenness of touch and hence enhanced 'playability' using a technique called precision touch design, which will cost you around another $3k. I have every intention of spending the extra, since it really doess seem to make a piano one of those 'magical pianos' you just want to play. David Stanwood, the guy that started all this off, lives in Vineyard Haven MA, I believe (Google him) and he may well be worth having a chat with before you go much further with your project.

I would strongly suggest that you spend as much time as is needed to understand what's involved with a renovation, sice this is an exercise you're only ever going to do once. If you do, I'm sure you will find the restorer who is sympathetic to your needs and wants and in whom you are willing to put your trust. I don't think there is a 'right' answer to your question.


The English may not like music much, but they love the sound it makes ... Beecham
Re: Who's the Best Steinway Restorer in My Area? [Re: KenWin] #2750142
07/07/18 11:37 PM
07/07/18 11:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2
Somers, NY
K
KenWin Offline OP
Junior Member
KenWin  Offline OP
Junior Member
K
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2
Somers, NY
Message received! If anyone would like to PM me with their honest pros & cons, please feel free to do so.

Thanks for all of your messages so far. I really appreciate it.

Re: Who's the Best Steinway Restorer in My Area? [Re: KenWin] #2750156
07/08/18 02:48 AM
07/08/18 02:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,623
Philadelphia area
D
Dave B Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Dave B  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,623
Philadelphia area
Although I’m sure there are others, I can vouch for the quality work done at Cunningham Piano.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: Who's the Best Steinway Restorer in My Area? [Re: KenWin] #2750246
07/08/18 03:37 PM
07/08/18 03:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 15
Maine
L
LLW Offline
Junior Member
LLW  Offline
Junior Member
L
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 15
Maine
Hello KenWin,

I second Dave B's endorsement of Cunningham. I'm also sending you a PM.

-LLW

Re: Who's the Best Steinway Restorer in My Area? [Re: KenWin] #2750263
07/08/18 05:43 PM
07/08/18 05:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,899
R
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Rank Piano Amateur  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,899
I will join in and recommend Cunningham Piano in Philadelphia. Once the piano is being shipped, the extra distance to Philadelphia shouldn’t stop you from using them. Cunningham did a magnificent job on my uncle’s 1900 Steinway grand, so I am personally familiar with their work.

Last edited by Rank Piano Amateur; 07/08/18 05:44 PM.

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