Contrary to popular belief, all pianos are not created equal. The sound of a piano can change over time if it is not properly maintained. Some new piano buyers are aware of turning schedules and how to properly clean their new instrument, but there is much more to the construction of a piano that meets the eye. When it comes to high end manufactured pianos, each piece is individually crafted and carefully fit to the piano in order to create the richest and most beautiful sound possible.
The sounding board is one of the most important parts – so much so that it is often referred to as the “voice” of the piano. Although all pianos are not created equal, in quality made grand pianos. The sounding boards are made of solid spruce or maple wood slats about 1/6 to 1/4 inch thick. The slats are assembled with special edge glue and laminated for durability. In order to receive the richest and more resonant sound from your piano, your sounding board must be crowned. Additionally, the crown must be well cared for in order to maintain the right string tension.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that because pianos are made of wood, they are extremely affected by fluctuations in humidity. Storing a piano in an area of high humidity can even result the sounding board or crown to crack. If the crown cracks and collapses, the piano will need extensive reconstruction. This is why I suggest pianos to be stored in dry, temperature controlled spaces. Additionally, be sure to inspect the crown for cracks and signs of wear any time you tune up your piano.
When purchasing used pianos, always check the quality of the sounding board and crown to ensure it is a worthy buy. Here at Cooper Music, however, you can rest assured that all of our pianos are assembled with some of the best materials in the industry. We understand that all pianos are not created equal and we strive to offer the best experiences to all of our customers.
For now, tell us a little bit about your own experience with piano sounding boards. What are some of the best and worst quality pianos you’ve encountered?