Originally posted by Rich Galassini:
At the price you have seen this is a fair repair. As already mentioned it is common to change the plate position to get downbearing as a board "flattens".
I am surprised by your answer. I have seen pianos rebuilt like this that need boards in five to ten years. I thought you would feel stronger about this.
It seems I misread the opening lines...I somehow got the impression the piano had already been purchased. That's what I get for skimming the opening.
If I were to make a service call on the folks who had already purchased a piano like this I probably would not raise any alarms unless there were other problems with the sale. If asked I would give my honest opinion. But, I'd still tell them to enjoy the piano and get the most out of it. Few things will kill the relationship between a pianist and a piano is the fear that itís about ready to fall apart. And there is that matter of good to outstanding sustain in the "treble" (wherever that may have been measured) which is usually the first area to give notice that the soundboard is in the process of giving up the ghost.
If I were called in to evaluate a piano in this condition prior to the sale I would explain the situation in as balanced a way as possible. In a nutshell, the piano sounds great now, but that may or may not last. The soundboard may continue working just fine for some time to come ó or it may not. Itís a gamble. If you win the toss youíll end up with a nice piano at a reasonable cost. If you lose the toss in five or ten years it is going to cost you an additional $x,xxx to make it right. (And, yes, this is more like what I should have said earlier.)
In general if the soundboard in a rebuilt piano is flat but does have string downbearing then the soundboard probably did have some crown before the piano was strung. Depending on how the soundboard assembly was crowned originally it may retain that crown for some years to come. Or it may not. Yes, the soundboard probably should have been replaced but this was probably a judgment call on the part of the rebuilder. Without know who that might have been it is impossible to tell whether or not a reasonable call was made.