For Part 2 of this series, we take a look at the confusion caused by the many different terminologies being used to claim a piano has been reconditioned. We are frequently asked to help people navigate the marketplace. We will look at reconditioning, rebuilding and used/second hand terms and what to expect from each one.
Welcome to Part 2 of this informational series in which we aim to provide current and prospective players with the information they need to make the best piano purchase decisions. We are going to get straight into it below:
The biggest cause of confusion that we see is that customers believe reconditioning is rebuilding.
Used, or second hand pianos are pianos that are transferred between users without any restoration work taking place on them. You would usually find used/secondhand pianos on the private market or in retail stores that do not have a dedicated restoration space.
Rebuilding a piano is a complex and difficult task to undertake. Rebuilding usually refers to the iron frame, soundboard, plank and bridge components of the instrument as they are the core parts, without which the piano couldn’t begin to function as an instrument. This type of work would be unusual to see in Ireland as the cost of doing such serious structural work would make the retail price of the piano very high. To get a piano rebuilt and on the market below €3,000 would be impossible.
Reconditioning a piano isn’t as complex as rebuilding because you aren’t dealing with major structural issues. The reconditioning process involves restoration to the cabinet and the internal action. Cabinet work is straight forward, repair and refinish. An action overall could involve replacing where necessary the springs in the jacks and hammers, adding new tapes and felts, relaying chipped or discoloured key covers, facing the hammers, regulation to restore and improve the ‘play’ and string replacement.
Over our 50 years, we have sold roughly over 14,000 pianos. Of those 14,000 pianos we have chosen to restring about 50 of them and we would rarely come across a piano that required rebuilding that was economically viable. A properly reconditioned piano should last a life time with the proper maintenance and be wary of pianos being offered as rebuilt/used.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series.