Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Who's Online Now
98 registered members (accordeur, Aceituna, Animisha, AlphaBravoCharlie, AlastairR, Antihero, Alex Hutor, 23 invisible), 1,763 guests, and 8 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Restoring: what keeps the sound? What kills it? #2893946
09/25/19 04:52 AM
09/25/19 04:52 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 48
B
Barly Offline OP
Full Member
Barly  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 48
If you like the sound of a pre-WW2 piano, maybe of some favourite make, what do oyu look for in terms of restoration?

After 80+ years, it can be rarely played and quite OK, but usually, they're simply worn, irregular sound for a number of reasons, maybe (irregularly) a very light touch and much more. On the other end of restoration, they may nearly be scratched out and then varnished in piano polyester.

I've heard the opinion that an old piano that has really been restored extensively will not sound any different from a Yamaha/Casio/silly insult of your choice, and that's basically what's in there now anyway.

How is that? Does restoration modernise the sound, and all that distinguishes the instrument from a modern piano is the looks and maybe the price?

Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items, digital piano dolly, music theme party goods
Re: Restoring: what keeps the sound? What kills it? [Re: Barly] #2894001
09/25/19 08:13 AM
09/25/19 08:13 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,646
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,646
New Hampshire
Barly,

There is restoration (which seeks to preserve as much of the original character of the instrument as reasonably possible), and then there is remanufactured (which basically discards everything original that moves and replaces it with current issue parts and applications).

IMO, there is an essential (unique) sound inherent in the original soundboard. If: 1) That essential sound is desired by the owner, and 2) they have "become one with it" through many years of personal usage, or 3) there is an emotional attachment to it, and 4) it is viably restorable with a reasonable degree of certainty, then my usual procedure is to apply everything I know (after 44 years) to get the most out if that board again (i.e. restore it).

If it is a true "basket case" though and there is no "attachment" to it, then IMO a new soundboard is in order. The piano WILL sound different with a new board. There is no argument there. Also, if the desire is to simply "get the most out of it" as possible, replacement is in order.

SS claims to "restore" their pianos in their "restoration" facility. This is a total (and typical) marketing tactic (i.e. non-truth), when in fact they literally throw away everything but the case and cast iron frame, and remanufacture the piano using all current issue materials. It is not restoration. There is nothing "wrong" with this other than that their use of the term "restoration" is misleading. If all new is what a person wants...fine. But if they are expecting respect to be paid toward the original character of the instrument they will be disappointed.

There are a variety of techniques that have been developed in the last 25-30 years to improve the prospects of a successful restoration. I would posit though that one restoration is about it, then replacement parts are in order the next time around.

This is just one opinion (not shared by all). I have had NUMEROUS smiles, tears, and otherwise happy faces upon seeing and hearing the treasured "restored" family piano. I also had (very early on in my career) where a TOTALLY remanufactured instrument did not meet the expectaions (memory) of the owner for certain reasons given above. That was a heart stopper, but it really made me think hard about this whole issue.

Finally, it must be remembered that the DESIGN lifespan of a piano is about 30-40 years. This is can absolute fact that is not disclosed to buyers. At that point major work should be being scheduled. Rarely does it though.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Restoring: what keeps the sound? What kills it? [Re: Barly] #2894008
09/25/19 08:30 AM
09/25/19 08:30 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 48
B
Barly Offline OP
Full Member
Barly  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 48
Thank you, very enlightening!

Would you say this lifespan of 30-40 years implies all parts, or mostly the more obvious parts, starting with the felts, and after those 40 years or more of normal usage and storage, it typically makes sense to restore only some things? Or is the soundboard among those, typically, and the Steinway way makes most sense, other than in name?

Re: Restoring: what keeps the sound? What kills it? [Re: Barly] #2894463
09/26/19 12:16 PM
09/26/19 12:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,646
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,646
New Hampshire
It's a lot like a car or boat. It depends on how many miles it's been driven, how hard, whether it was garaged or not, all maintenance routines followed or not, etc.

Some parts can still be retained and reconditioned if in acceptable condition. Parts under high stress 24/7/365 will deteriorate regardless such as the soundboard, bridges, pinblock, strings. These things are actually designed to fail (i.e. designed with a specific acceptable working life with eventual failure, e.g think rings, valves, brake pads, tires, fluids, etc.). If you push them beyond their acceptable limits there will be consequences (like it or not).

If you are OK with the performance of major high stress parts in the piano, you don't HAVE to replace them at 40 years (unless they are fully failing). But if you want NEW performance out of old parts, it ain't gonna happen. You will need to replace them (and do it WELL).

Hope that helps.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Restoring: what keeps the sound? What kills it? [Re: Barly] #2894526
09/26/19 04:09 PM
09/26/19 04:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 181
Vienna, Austria
O
OE1FEU Online content
Full Member
OE1FEU  Online Content
Full Member
O

Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 181
Vienna, Austria
When soundboard, bridges ans strings make identifiable weird noises, the origin of which can be clearly identified as coming from one of those three components, then a full restoration is in order, maybe including the dampers and the pin block, when it doesn't hold the tune. That is the point where you have to ask yourself whether the investment is worth it, i.e. will the result be what you hope for and is it still cheaper than a new piano of the same size and comparable quality.

However, I can testify to the fact that 80% of your comfortable feeling with a piano comes from the action, so focus on that, unless you have the identifiable problems as described above.

Replace the hammerheads, have the up- and downweight measured and regulated, capstans polished, bushings checked for best friction factor, key weight distribution checked, maybe lead replaced, whippens checked for adjustability and possible side noises. Back checks should do a really precise job. Have the best strike line for the hammers in the treble section checked, this can have a huge effect once it's moved from its original optimal point.

My 1886 Steinway B went from being a truly sad instrument in both sound and player feeling to being an exceptionally pleasant and powerful instrument without ever touching the 40 year old strings, badly repaired soundboard and small bridge cracks simply by getting a full overhaul of the action.

Rebuilding the action, including hammers, is the cheapest and most effective way of reviving a piano.

Re: Restoring: what keeps the sound? What kills it? [Re: Barly] #2894566
09/26/19 05:47 PM
09/26/19 05:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,646
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,646
New Hampshire
I can agree with that.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Restoring: what keeps the sound? What kills it? [Re: Barly] #2894635
09/26/19 09:25 PM
09/26/19 09:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,342
Seattle, WA USA
E
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Ed McMorrow, RPT  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
E

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,342
Seattle, WA USA
New piano hammers have in general become heavier over the last 100 years. This affects the sound and playability profoundly.

Lighter hammers allow for a wider dynamic range because they allow the leverage in the action to be higher and they rebound from the vibrating string faster and thus damp less during impact. These type of actions also endure use far better than the heavy hammered actions common today.

How long the soundboard and bridges endure is profoundly affected by how stable the humidity is in the room that houses the piano. If the humidity never varies, and is kept in a generally moderate range, the soundboard will last for many decades with no loss of tone.

I suggest you visit established rebuilders shops to audition their work since you have an preferance for older pianos. Some rebuilders do not stay true to the original design intent, others do. And still others expand on the original design intent to improve on it.


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

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Bechstein
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
PianoSupplies.com is Piano World's Online Store
Please visit our store today.
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Beyerdynamic DT-1990 or Sennheiser HD 660?
by johanibraaten. 11/14/19 06:05 AM
Bluetooth speakers
by dtrvno. 11/14/19 02:19 AM
What's Hot!!
Our August Newsletter is Out!
------------------
Mason & Hamlin Piano Factory Tour!

-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics195,081
Posts2,890,658
Members94,955
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1