Although remarkably durable, pianos are subject to deterioration with time and use. Felt wears, strings break, wooden structures weaken and crack, and the exterior finish loses its beauty. Regular service and periodic action regulation can compensate for much of this, but heavy or extended use can eventually cause severe deterioration.
Because it happens so gradually, this wear often goes unnoticed, leaving many pianos operating far below their potential.
The process of restoring such instruments to excellent condition is variously described as restoration, rebuilding, or reconditioning. Because the meaning of these words is frequently misunderstood (due in large part to their misuse by piano tuners and technicians), we present here the terms and their definitions as given by the Piano Technicians Guild:
Reconditioning is the process of putting a piano back in good working condition by cleaning, repairing, and adjusting for best performance, with parts replacement only when necessary. Reconditioning does not involve replacing major components such as the soundboard, bridges, pinblock, and most action parts.
Rebuilding involves complete disassembly, inspection, and repair as necessary, including replacement of all worn, damaged or deteriorated parts. The piano is then reassembled, tested, and adjusted to the same or similar tolerances as new.
Generally speaking, because of the cost, only the very highest quality, high-end pianos are candidates for rebuilding. But any piano with light to moderate wear will benefit from reconditioning.
At Domeny’s Piano Service, while we do not offer rebuilding services, we are proud to offer a complete line of piano reconditioning services.
PIANO RECONDITIONING SERVICES
You would be amazed at the difference that can be accomplished in a few hours of intense, focused work. Pianos that are functioning at 50 to 60% of their performance potential can be transformed into pianos that are functioning at 90% or better. And this transformation is not short-lived! The improvements that are achieved last for years!
Please understand, reconditioning does not mean resurrecting dead pianos. If your piano is 100 years old and completely worn out, it needs to be either rebuilt (if it is worth rebuilding), donated to a museum, kept as a piece of furniture (not a musical instrument), or appropriately disposed of. But if your piano is not too old and still has some life left in it, wonders can be achieved through the process of reconditioning.
We can take a piano that has slowly deteriorated over the years and transform it into a piano that feels and sounds like new.
Exactly what is needed on any given piano will depend on several factors, including the age of the piano, the type of use it has received, its overall condition, and its past service history.