Piano Repair, Restoration and Reinstatement
Four Good Reasons For Preserving Old Pianos or New pianos are excellent value so why have an old one repaired ?
- The instrument is an old family possession which brings back happy memories of the past.
- Antique and old pianos make the music of earlier times more meaningful. They have a different tonal value, touch and dynamics.
- Pianos designed and made in the past and fine hand craftsmanship blend easily with antique and older furniture or make a statement in modern interiors and deserve to be preserved.
- You find the instrument pleasing to see and play. It gives you a happy and warm feeling of satisfaction.
There are many more good reasons – value for money can be one.
The Care Of Your Piano In Your Home
- In order to keep modern pianos in good order tuning is essential at regular intervals of six or twelve months. Older pianos were made to be tuned with the change of the seasons, four times a year. Antique square and forte pianos may additionally require tuning before major events.
- When pianos are regularly tuned it may be possible for the tuner to resolve minor mechanical difficulties, occasional sticking keys, pedal adjustments – prior notice should be given when booking tuning so time can be allowed for the work which will be charged in additional to the tuning.
- Over time and use the regulation and adjustment of the keyboard, action and pedal system may loose precision and require more than in situ adjustments, eventually requiring major attention in our factory.
- We take a conservative or conservational approach to ensure that the original features and character of your instrument are retained and original materials are preserved as far as practical.
- Underfloor heating can be a particular problem for upright pianos, if it is possible to have a void area this is best particularly with older piano however if this is not possible please see "Piano Carpet" for protection from underfloor heating as well as extra soundproofing through floors and resistance from damp.
Bringing Your Piano Back To Life
As pianos age and wear takes place, owners notice that the tone looses clarity and is muffled or, quite frequently, becomes harsh and unmelodic in the tenor and treble.
- The keys may become uneven and worn.
- The action noisy and unresponsive.
- No longer a pleasure to play.
- The polished casework looks a little sad.
- “It never used to be like this”.
At this stage it is important to consider the various options, for instance :
- Instruments of high quality by Bechstein and other famous makers or distinctive, decorative and unusual design are frequently worth restoration.
- Pianos of lesser quality and value often cost more to bring back to good order than a new replacement made to suit modern living conditions including central heating.
- Another piano would be a better size, nicer to play, a different colour or design would be more suitable for the home.
- Pianos cannot be made bigger or smaller, most other things are possible but may not be practical. A piano that looks the right size for its surroundings is most likely to be musically best.
- Some pianos may be too fragile for extensive action work with the glue and wood becoming brittle.
Good Reasons For Major Work
- The instrument will not stand in tune and at pitch. It cannot be played with other instruments or singers. Restringing with new tuning pins and possibly a new tuning plank should be considered (new tuning plank additional). The soundboard assembly with bridges and bars has developed faults or joint failure. The cost of the work would be in the region of £2000-£5000 +
- The tone and touch is uneven, unresponsive or just does not work, the hammers and keys coverings may need replacing. Overhaul of the hammer and damper action, the keyboard and pedal system overhauling, followed by reassembly, regulation, tuning and toning. At a cost in the region of £2250-£6800 +
- The polished casework finish has deteriorated due to sun (fading), damp (veneers lifting) and general wear.
- Complete strip and re-polish in polyester £4000-£6000 +
- Strip and re-polished in the traditional hand finish £3000-£5000
- Restore, reinstate or improve existing polish where possible up to £2000 +
Factory Restoration - Repair - Rebuilding - Reinstatement
Over time and with use, plus general wear and tear even the finest instrument (grand or upright) require factory attention. The work required will fall into one or more of the following categories.
Restoration - Returning the instrument as close as possible to original condition and specification with replacement of the minimum new parts. (Otherwise known as maintaining authenticity)
Repair - Making good damage and deterioration due to age and wear with the most appropriate new components as required.
Rebuilding - Taking the instrument apart (extensive dismantling) and remaking to “look like new”.
Reinstatement – This usually occurs after major trauma or water damage in relation to insurance repairs. Returning the instrument as closely as possible to pre-incident condition.
After Completion of restoration, repairs or rebuilding the instrument will require regulation, the reassembly of the major mechanical component parts into the instrument and adjustment, especially of the action and keyboard to provide a uniform and pleasing touch.
- Tuning and toning bringing instrument to pitch C523.3 (A440) and adjustment of the hammers to provide an even and harmonious sound appropriate to the make and location in which the instrument is used.
- You may be fortunate and your piano will not require the costlier work, call and talk to us about it or fill in the e-mail enquiry form. Please do find the make, serial number, height and length, casework finish and list the faults which are a concern and if possible send photographs.
What Next? – preferably visit our factory and see what can be done to your piano.
Information we require to be able to advise you regarding the next step.
- Describe the situation via telephone or e-mail and also if possible send pictures, make and serial number so we can offer our best initial advice
- Should you wish to go forward we will suggest the instrument comes to our factory for inspection and a quotation. We will charge collection and redelivery with instruction to collect and supply you with a written quote for work needed as discussed once the piano is with us.
- We will consider your requirements, examine your instrument and provide a firm quotation for your consideration.
- Should you wish to proceed our terms of business are one third of the accepted quote with written instruction to proceed and the balance will be due in advice of completion, inspection and prior to redelivery.
- When the work is completed we hope you will be able to visit our factory, view and play your instrument prior to redelivery.
- Collection and delivery will only be arranged with specialist piano contractors and after work your instrument should arrive back in tune, playing well and looking good.