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grand piano has crack
#2825493 03/11/19 04:11 PM
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bought an used boston grand piano from local store. within one week, there is a crack showing at the edge of the front side board.
[img]https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oPEi4kysFYIa_oS8ZFcKMbU39AnHQv7M/view?usp=sharing[/img]

called sales person and was told that it's not serious and can be repaired. but my friend said that that's not a good sign.

we're deciding whether we should return it or not. Any suggestion or opinion?

Last edited by iddit; 03/11/19 04:12 PM.
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Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2825559 03/11/19 06:35 PM
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It is probably due to the change in humidity from the showroom to your house. It is probably only cosmetic, but that does not mean that something else may show up. You have to decide what you want to do with it.


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Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2825578 03/11/19 07:17 PM
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For starters, I would get an in person professional opinion from someone who didn't sell me the piano, though that isn't free.

Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2825584 03/11/19 07:25 PM
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No ,just say no it must be returned. Hopefully the piano is not near any heat source.
Perhaps an exchange .,if it was me I would exchange for another brand altogether. I must say I have never heard of this with Boston pianos ! KawaI makes these do they not ?

Last edited by Lady Bird; 03/11/19 07:26 PM. Reason: Missing word
Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2825590 03/11/19 07:32 PM
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We returned a grey market Yamaha yu10 once .We got our RPT to write up a report about the piano .They took back the piano. We ended up paying for the move .
Rather lose something than live with fear that the piano is a possible
disaster !
Report back to us the outcome.

Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2825595 03/11/19 07:41 PM
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Well, looking at the photo of the crack, I certainly wouldn't like it either, not one bit. But it does look like something that could be repaired/fixed. I agree with dhull100 about having an independent piano tech or piano finish expert look at it and offer an opinion and then use that to help you make a decision.

This is a tough call. If you really like the way the piano sounds and plays, just keep it and have the crack repaired. Or, ask the piano store to compensate you for the defect in some way whether that be fixing the crack or offering you a partial refund on the purchase price.

Over the years I've learned that anything man-made can be fixed or replaced, unless it is a priceless, one-of-a-kind antique. smile

Good luck.

Rick



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Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2825609 03/11/19 08:23 PM
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Is it possible that this crack could be damage from the movers?

Looks to me like that crack is going across the grain rather than with the grain so it seems unlikely to be something related to humidity expansion or contraction. More likely the result of a blow or severe torque. But then while I do know something about wood boatbuilding and furniture making, I know very little about pianos.

Or maybe it was there before and someone managed to hide it well but the move got it opened up again?

Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2825618 03/11/19 08:53 PM
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The trouble is .,what else may Crack ? The soundboard ?I know nothing about the forces imposed on the wood of a piano but in Canada the price of Boston grands are extremely high .
You bought what you thought was a piano without a Crack.
This piano is new ,is it not ?If you do want an exchange for another
piano you need to act soon!
You deserve what you paid for .

Re: grand piano has crack
Lady Bird #2825643 03/11/19 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
The trouble is .,what else may Crack ? The soundboard ?I know nothing about the forces imposed on the wood of a piano but in Canada the price of Boston grands are extremely high .
You bought what you thought was a piano without a Crack.
This piano is new ,is it not ?If you do want an exchange for another
piano you need to act soon!
You deserve what you paid for .


I don't think it's a case of "what else may crack" because pianos don't normally do that. This could have been caused by mishandling during delivery, but this, too, is just speculation. The OP wrote that the piano was bought used from a local store, so it may not be a case of a straight exchange. It would be unlikely that a dealer would have another used piano of the same value. That doesn't preclude an exchange, but there might be a difference in value, so exchange of funds, either way, might also be involved in an exchange.

The owner will have to deal with the dealer while closely reading the fine print on the bill of sale about exchanges, returns and/or refunds.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: grand piano has crack
BruceD #2825655 03/11/19 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
The trouble is .,what else may Crack ? The soundboard ?I know nothing about the forces imposed on the wood of a piano but in Canada the price of Boston grands are extremely high .
You bought what you thought was a piano without a Crack.
This piano is new ,is it not ?If you do want an exchange for another
piano you need to act soon!
You deserve what you paid for .


I don't think it's a case of "what else may crack" because pianos don't normally do that. This could have been caused by mishandling during delivery, but this, too, is just speculation. The OP wrote that the piano was bought used from a local store, so it may not be a case of a straight exchange. It would be unlikely that a dealer would have another used piano of the same value. That doesn't preclude an exchange, but there might be a difference in value, so exchange of funds, either way, might also be involved in an exchange.

The owner will have to deal with the dealer while closely reading the fine print on the bill of sale about exchanges, returns and/or refunds.

Regards,

The cabinets do not normally crack either .So my mistake I thought it was new .

Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2825671 03/11/19 11:03 PM
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I have seen this same type of crack on brand new Steinways. It is most likely because the piano got banged hard during a move when it was on its side and the weight of the plate was forced towards the lid side and this stressed that joint enough to crack right through the veneer.

A careful inspection is due. One needs to inspect the beams, test the tightness of the plate screws that go into the rim, look for a cracked plate, look for rim damage in the action cavity, look at the action to see if it lifted up off the keybed and damaged the cheek blocks or was forced against the underside of the pin-block, look for any damage to the key-bed, and the trapwork.

Or it could still be solid enough that the damage is more cosmetic than significant. In that case the finish can be touched up.


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Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2826464 03/13/19 05:28 PM
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That side of the piano is unlikely to receive serious stress in a normal move. The fact that it appeared a week later argues (to me initially) that it is environment related. Unless it actually fell over in the truck I can't imagine what could cause that in a move. That said, if it did fall over in the truck there should be other telltale signs that an experienced forensic piano technician should be able to find.

At any rate, it needs to be reported, and then keep careful track of it to see if it is active (increasing).

Pwg


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Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2826547 03/13/19 09:31 PM
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The fact that the lid does not rest upon the little cushioning pad atop the right piano side also suggests an impact event. Or, poor original construction. Given that this is a Boston grand, I suspect that it was not originally in this condition.

Take a look at the underside of the lid where that little pad would touch. See if the pad has left any markings on the underside of the lid suggesting that, at one point in time, the lid did rest upon it. If it did, then the fact that it does not now rest on the pad requires explanation. Obviously, it suggests that the wood parts of the cabinet have moved in relation to each other. This would be a very bad thing.

Spend some time determining if the piano still retains its rectangular forms. Check the following:

1. the gap between the vertical face of the lid and the top of the fallboard/stretcher. If all is well with the piano, that gap should be the same all the way across the piano. If it increases or decreases from one end to the other, this requires explanation. I anticipate that it does change, given the gap between the piano top and the cushion pad.

2. Measure and compare the diagonals from the upper right corner of the right end to the lower left corner of the action cavity, and the opposite diagonal. If the piano case is still rectangular at the front, these diagonals will be equal. You may have to open the fallboard to get it out of the way of your measuring instrument. I do not know the level of perfection these pianos have when new, but, if those diagonals differ by more than 1/8 inch, I'd be concerned that something is amiss.

I would also look at every place where one piece of wood connects to another, same colored, piece of wood to see if there are cracks in the finish at the joint. A case made of multiple pieces, but, with one continuous coat of paint or finish may show cracks at the joints if the case has been subjected to unusual forces, such as a drop or collision, that caused it to temporarily deform out of its original shape.

I agree with the above advice to get independent inspection.

Good luck to you.


Ralph

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Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2826549 03/13/19 09:40 PM
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Wow, Ralphiano, you're a piano detective! That's some pretty vital information.

Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2826567 03/13/19 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by iddit
bought an used boston grand piano from local store. within one week, there is a crack showing at the edge of the front side board.
[img]https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oPEi4kysFYIa_oS8ZFcKMbU39AnHQv7M/view?usp=sharing[/img]

called sales person and was told that it's not serious and can be repaired. but my friend said that that's not a good sign.

we're deciding whether we should return it or not. Any suggestion or opinion?

I agree with your friend. All any of us can do is offer conjecture, but my gut feeling is that this was already repaired once before.

The crack in the veneer moves through two planes. The gap on the left surface is uniform in width, but the perpendicular part on the right is wider near the edge and tapers down to nothing on the right. This would seem to indicate that the rim flexed or twisted pretty significantly at some point.

I don't think a crack like this would manifest in just one week unless there was pre-existing damage. As Ralphiano suggested, there may be other indications of existing damage. Regardless...

If I were in your shoes, I'd return the piano. If there was no indication of damage before you bought it, then you shouldn't be saddled with this (IMO).



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Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2826755 03/14/19 01:07 PM
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In my honest opinion, there are some pretty big jumps as to the cause or problem or to future risks. It's a finish-deep or perhaps veneer-deep crack on a satin ebony piano, the easiest finish to make a good repair. I've seen literally hundreds of grands with finish problems or repairs in that exact area because it is tight fit, irregular joint, and near where the fallboard is removed.

If it was an impact that caused it, the lid or lid hinges would show evidence...either marks from impact or bad alignment at the lock bar or bent hinges. Jumping to the idea of a bent frame or cracked plate based on this is 1/10,000. Other mechanical things would be knocked out of alignment - hammers, dampers. On a Boston, the stretcher is removable, meaning any large impact or becoming "not square" is easily seen by crooked gaps on either side.

The lid IS resting on the buttons. All that can be seen from the photo is the button and its reflection, not a gap. And regarding the fallboard/stretcher gap, on Boston pianos, it is fairly consistent, but that same advice would get you in serious trouble if looking at a Steinway and some other well regarded brands. That part of the fit is often gapped and irregular.

Of course it is fair to have it looked at, but the idea that it needs to be returned over what is minor, repairable cosmetic damage is a HUGE jump to conclusions.


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Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2826800 03/14/19 03:11 PM
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Iddit, I'm sorry you have seen your delight at receiving a handsome, new-to-you piano turn into such anxiety and fear, so soon and so suddenly.

You have just had the benefit of some of the best technical advice PW has to offer--- and, you have just encountered the limitation of what real help can be offered from distant writers on a website.

It's time to take some further action. I would suggest, [1] that you write a letter to the dealership explaining the problem, and including the very nice photo that you have shown us. Be sure to include the timeline, what the salesperson told you when you called before, and a copy of the invoice and receipt for payment (it must include the sale date, the invoice number, and the piano's serial number). Make a special effort to be pleasant--- including these pieces of information will convey the impression that you mean business. Take the time to look the paperwork over again, so you understand what it is telling you about the dealer's liability for defects. BTW, was the piano delivered by the store's employees, or by a different vendor?

When you call the store, be sure that you are speaking to the owner or the manager, and ask pleasantly when they would like to come over and have an in-person look at the damage. This call is the time to begin a written narrative of communications and actions between you and the store. Nothing especially fancy, just the date(s), persons involved, the gist of what was said or done.

Do you already have a piano technician? The first tuning after delivery will be due very soon, and it would be a good time for an inspection by a piano pro. If you do not know anyone locally, it might be useful to go to http://ptg.org, Piano Technicians' Guild. They will be able to give you some contacts for qualified techs in your area.

One last thing: are the cracks stable, or have they continued to open? Maybe another photo every week or so might tell you. If you are taking a set of photos of the inside of the case, be sure that you have a shot of the serial number. It is a more common mix-up with new pianos, but if the piano you played in the store seems very different when delivered, it's good to be able to find out if maybe it IS a different piano. And--- how does the piano play? You haven't said anything about this. Keys and pedals all work as they should? Piano sound nice to you?

Best of luck!

Clef


Clef

Re: grand piano has crack
PianoWorksATL #2826837 03/14/19 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
In my honest opinion, there are some pretty big jumps as to the cause or problem or to future risks.

I agree, and it’s real easy to get carried away and very concerned whenever we discover a problem with a piano. You should be concerned but take it step by step. I would first talk to my technician.

Quote
If it was an impact that caused it, the lid or lid hinges would show evidence...either marks from impact or bad alignment at the lock bar or bent hinges. Jumping to the idea of a bent frame or cracked plate based on this is 1/10,000.
Unfortunately I’ve seen movers drop a grand, and the hinges and some finish on the lid had the only damage. The piano didn’t even go out of tune... it’s been over a year now and the piano is awesome. It just needed some new hinges and finish repair.

Last edited by musicpassion; 03/14/19 05:03 PM.

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Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2826860 03/14/19 05:47 PM
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It can only be diagnosed in person. I've seen finish cracks (not on a piano) look alarmingly like serious cracks in the wood, deep too.

Re: grand piano has crack
iddit #2826979 03/14/19 10:38 PM
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Is the company that sold you the piano offering to repair it at their expense?
-chris


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