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Re: grand piano has crack [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2827069
03/15/19 07:13 AM
03/15/19 07:13 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,540
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Online content
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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. 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.


Well said Sam and my thoughts exactly. Have the piano looked at, and of course look for any other possible issues, but the likely remedy is to ask the dealer to repair it and place a note on your file that this happened. This way their service department will have this in mind in the very unlikely event that there is a future issue.

Good luck,


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Re: grand piano has crack [Re: iddit] #2827138
03/15/19 11:16 AM
03/15/19 11:16 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,274
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Seattle, WA USA
The piano may have been "repaired" since the damage and the visual cracks are reappearing becuase the plate is no longer firmly held so even the mild side to side swaying of the moving truck allowed the crack to form again.

The advice to have the piano "CAREFULLY" inspected still stands.

The luan "mahogany" many asian pianos use for rims is very weak in holding the plate screws.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: grand piano has crack [Re: iddit] #2827218
03/15/19 02:32 PM
03/15/19 02:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,780
Atlanta, GA
PianoWorksATL Offline
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Ed, the situation you are describing is one of a salvage piano, not a used piano. The finish crack appears to be recent, and nothing suggests it was previously repaired. That idea supports your fairly extreme scenario of possible, not reasonable or probable. Loose screws and swaying plates?

I, too, have seen some horror stories that get fairly extreme, but the in every memory that I have, the story begin with "the piano just didn't sound/play right...." and more than one area of concern. Those stories tell of rabbit holes.

I know no more than others here unless the OP chooses to share more, but I'm afraid that people are scaring this new member unnecessarily rather than presenting what is likely and prudent. If there becomes more information or evidence of something extreme, then we can advise what to check and where.

For the OP, if you want to feel better about your piano, hire an independent technician to look for evidence of any pre-existing damage. This service is likely to cost no more than a tuning and should give you real peace of mind. It's far easier to make a minor repair than it is to return and start shopping for another comparable used piano all over again.

FWIW, if you go to any university teaching studio or stage piano that has been used for even a few years, you are likely to see several instances of physical damage, cracks, etc. that are far more greater than this. Then look at the pianos that are 20+ years old and cringe at the condition of the exterior. We never presume the plate is cracked or the frame is bent when still in use. Those are 2 of the things we look for before buying an old and worn piano for rebuilding, pianos that don't even have square corners anymore anywhere because they've been roughly handles so many times, and even then, that type of extreme damage is fairly rare.


Sam Bennett
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Re: grand piano has crack [Re: iddit] #2827351
03/15/19 10:09 PM
03/15/19 10:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,274
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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The OP was asking if the piano is at risk of being defective, that is how I read their motive for posting here.

I stand by my advice. The prudent course is to have an independent Tech evaluate the piano to determine if the crack is a sign of more serious damage that has been "patched" over.

The odds are good that the crack is a mild defect, but why take the chance it is a serious problem.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: grand piano has crack [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2827567
03/16/19 01:42 PM
03/16/19 01:42 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,220
Scotland
Beemer Offline
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Scotland
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
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.

I have to agree with Ed. See how the corner the front panel exhibits slight damage that extends to the crack. I suspect that in transport the piano was tilted, and possibly dropped, onto a trolley's edge and the whole weight of the piano was applied to the sculpted right member.
Ian


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2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: grand piano has crack [Re: iddit] #2828357
03/18/19 04:17 PM
03/18/19 04:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,398
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Retsacnal Online content

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Hopefully the OP has gotten this resolved. Perhaps it's no big deal, as some folks above have said, especially those who trade in pianos and see many more of them than most of us do. OTOH, for an owner who doesn't see many, I can understand how this would be alarming.

I still think there's more than meets the eye here. The finish isn't just cracked. There is also a gap in one dimension, and a tear in the other. Think about plate tectonics. It's one thing for a fault to appear (crack), it's altogether another for the fault to gap open (different kind of internal force). That may sound like a crazy analogy, but there are layers on the piano: finish, veneer, rim. The finish is relatively thin, and stuck to the veneer; it may crack, but won't move apart unless the veneer to which it's affixed moves too.

And with all due respect to Sam, I also think the lid is not sitting on the button. You can see the reflection of the white wall behind the piano in the underside of the lid. The white reflection is on both sides of the button, and goes "through" the button. That's not an optical illusion. I think we see the button, the button's reflection, and the reflection of the wall through the unclosed gap. That said, it's not necessarily indicative of a problem in the rim (perhaps the lid is warped).

Anyway, not to be alarmist, but if it were me, I wouldn't be comfortable with just repairing the finish. As easy as that might be, it would not address whatever's going on inside the layers of wood that has caused the surface to crack. I don't think a crack like that is going to appear without some sort of internal forces acting upon the surface. It may be an issue that can be lived with, but there's something going on under the surface.

This piano hasn't been in the OP's home long enough to stabilize and merit a tuning yet. A crack shouldn't happen that fast (IMO).



"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
P E R F O R M A N C E over p r o v e n a n c e

Re: grand piano has crack [Re: Retsacnal] #2828493
03/19/19 12:27 AM
03/19/19 12:27 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 631
Arkansas
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supersport Offline
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I would like to see the crack from different angle. I have no expertise whatsoever but curiosity drives an interest. It almost looks like it was struck on the opposite end and the stretcher was driven into the side.


David



Re: grand piano has crack [Re: iddit] #2828640
03/19/19 11:23 AM
03/19/19 11:23 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,780
Atlanta, GA
PianoWorksATL Offline
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Atlanta, GA
I liken this conversation to returning a used car because the bumper is crooked. Of course, it's worth being inspected, but the assumption is that the car must have been in a front end collision rather than the minor issue that can be seen.

The discussion of the image is more amusing to me. The point of contact cannot be seen in the image, but the reflection of the wall does not really suggest a gap. There is too much white in the room and lighting is from the side, giving extra reflections. If there was a gap and a reflection, I would expect the shadow of the button to be seen, not just the reflection.

I also know there are no other buttons on the Boston lid or lockbar, so while not conclusive, I feel the white gap is more of the wall reflecting around the edge at the low angle of the shot. I can reproduce this image if given time. wink


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
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Re: grand piano has crack [Re: iddit] #2828853
03/19/19 11:20 PM
03/19/19 11:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,398
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Retsacnal Online content

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Extending the used car bumper analogy, I'd say it's more like the bumper was straight when the car was purchased, and then after sitting in its new garage for a couple of days one end of the bumper started drooping. I say that because what I infer from the original post is that there was no crack in the showroom, but the crack manifest only a few days after delivery.

Perhaps a better analogy would be to say that after sitting in the new garage for a few days, a chunk of Bondo fell off the fender! sick



"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
P E R F O R M A N C E over p r o v e n a n c e

Re: grand piano has crack [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2828854
03/19/19 11:23 PM
03/19/19 11:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,398
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Retsacnal Online content

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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
I can reproduce this image if given time. wink

Great! Can't wait to see it. thumb



"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
P E R F O R M A N C E over p r o v e n a n c e

Re: grand piano has crack [Re: iddit] #2828870
03/20/19 12:27 AM
03/20/19 12:27 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,398
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Retsacnal Online content

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btw, the OP's profile says they haven't been back since making the post, so we may never know the end of this saga. frown



"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
P E R F O R M A N C E over p r o v e n a n c e

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