Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rebuilding Pianos: Why should I?

From the 1880's, pianos were very much in demand.

The industry became very competitive, with a determination for quality and longevity. Emerging from this high standard came the world's greatest pianos. To this day, most expensive pianos are still made in the traditional way: handcrafted with solid wood, fine veneers, lacquer finishes, and precision quality parts.

During the depression, sales of manufactured goods, such as cars, radios, and pianos dropped dramatically and so did quality of these products. Manufacturers suffered huge losses and had to be much more competitive to stay in business. With the advent of World War II the piano industry was damaged even further.

Pianos that were constructed before the depression era can be restored and made like new, both mechanically and cosmetically. Lacquer, unlike the tough polyester finishes of today's pianos, can be stripped and successfully refinished. Spruce sound boards and bridges can easily be repaired or replaced. New original action parts of most known brands are available. A skilled technician can re-assemble, fine regulate and voice the piano to achieve perfection. If all components are properly addressed you can achieve the re-birth of a great classic piano.

A re-manufactured piano offers the consumer a superior product at tremendous savings. It is economically feasible to re-manufacture most good quality grand pianos. There are many factors why a piano should not restored, therefore consumer should always consult qualified rebuilder. However consideration must be given to the fact that upright pianos might have received less care than grands and  been damaged or neglected. Therefore it is estimated that approximately 2% of the upright pianos are in good playable condition, 18% are worth re-manufacturing and 80% should be replaced or used as they are. A well made vintage piano properly restored by professionals, can be enjoyed for several decades and will out last many of the new pianos made today. In fact many new pianos made today will be not be worth rebuilding in the future. We are already experiencing this today with pianos that were made about 20 or 30 years ago. It is cheaper to replace them, than rebuild them. That rule does not apply to all new pianos. There are some excellent pianos made today that will offer more than one life.