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#631193 - 08/26/08 07:59 AM Restoration of a 1911 Steinway Vertegrand  
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 5
ewong Offline
Junior Member
ewong  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 5
I recently had my 1911 Steinway upright piano restored. The following work was done.

Refinish case - satin laquer in ebony
Replace deed fallboard
Buff keys, repair chip ivories
New dampers
New hammers
New Bass strings
New Bridle straps
New bass tuning pins
Recap bass bridge
Plate pedals
Tune and regulate
Clean hardware and keybed
Pickup and delivery

Questions:
1. I am not quite sure what expectations I should have for a piano this old after restoration. From your experience, do piano this age still sound good after restoration? I find that the sound is not very clean (what I meant was sound still lingers after the note is released from pressing). Also, the tone is not as bright and nice as other pianos.

2. Does Steinway sell parts for piano this old? I was told by my technician that Steinway doesn't carry these parts anymore and these have to be ordered from different suppliers.

3. Is this considered major restoration and based on what was done, what is a reasonable amount for parts and labour?

I play piano but do not have much knowledge on the technical part. Thanks very much for your help.

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#631194 - 08/26/08 08:12 AM Re: Restoration of a 1911 Steinway Vertegrand  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,537
BDB Offline
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BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,537
Oakland
1. Replacing the bass strings on a piano this old just emphasizes the fact that the treble strings are gone. Springs in the action wear out, too, and those were not replaced. Without seeing the rest of the piano, I cannot say how good the work on it was, but those are warning signs.

2. No, Steinway does not make parts other than hammers.

3. What you got was mostly cosmetic. It is like painting a house and fixing a few things when the foundation is crumbling.


Semipro Tech
#631195 - 08/26/08 10:20 AM Re: Restoration of a 1911 Steinway Vertegrand  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,010
Keith Roberts Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Keith Roberts  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,010
Murphys, Ca
The dampers need to be adjusted properly to shut the note off. Or it could be that the pedal adjustment is too tight.

The treble should have been restrung too. In my opinion


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca
#631196 - 08/26/08 06:57 PM Re: Restoration of a 1911 Steinway Vertegrand  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,715
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Rod Verhnjak  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,715
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Quote
Originally posted by ewong:

Questions:
1.From your experience, do piano this age still sound good after restoration? I find that the sound is not very clean (what I meant was sound still lingers after the note is released from pressing). Also, the tone is not as bright and nice as other pianos.

2. Does Steinway sell parts for piano this old? I was told by my technician that Steinway doesn't carry these parts anymore and these have to be ordered from different suppliers.

3. Is this considered major restoration and based on what was done, what is a reasonable amount for parts and labour?
Question #1

These pianos can and do sound very good after a proper restoration. The dampers are tricky on these Steinways and done properly they work very well. The tone is dependent and many factors one being the choice of hammer.

Question #2
Steinway does not sell action parts for these actions. Only one manufacture I know of makes these parts an they are available from most piano part suppliers. The parts are manufactured in Japan and are an exact duplicate of the originals.

Question #3

I would not consider your description as a major restoration.

Whenever we restore these Steinway actions we change all the action parts. Often these parts are in poor shape and have friction problems that lubricaton does not remedy for long term.

I am just finishing up this action. It was restored a few years ago somewhere else. All they did was install new hammers on the old parts. After many attempts by a technician to fix the sticky parts the customer decided to stat over with us. We are in the process of installing a new action. We have seen this problem many times where the parts have verdigris and nothing will fix it long term except new parts.

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Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

www.pianoman.ca
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#631197 - 08/29/08 01:05 PM Re: Restoration of a 1911 Steinway Vertegrand  
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 5
ewong Offline
Junior Member
ewong  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 5
Thanks all the information. I spoke to my tech again voicing my concern about the lingering sound and the tone quality. He said as some parts are new, I need to play more for the piano to work properly. He will come back next week for a tuning and adjustment. I asked again about the need to restring the treble strings and he insisted that they are still good. Will the sound quality improve after playing and adjustment?

The interior of my piano does not look like the pictures you posted. Mine still looks old and metal parts tarnished.

Again, I do not know what expectations should I have for restoring this piano. I did think my piano should look like the one in the pictures you posted. However, as my tech said some parts are still good and did not get replaced, it just doesn't sound or look what I expected.

Is there anything else I should do at this time for my piano?

Thanks.

#631198 - 08/29/08 01:42 PM Re: Restoration of a 1911 Steinway Vertegrand  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,715
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Rod Verhnjak  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,715
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Work with your technician. Have him/her adjust the action and see what the outcome is.

What I do/doing most likely costs a whole lot more than what you paid and the results may be diffrent.

I hope it all works out and in the end you are pleased.


Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

www.pianoman.ca
Verhnjak Pianos Facebook


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