A Steinway grand piano has a well-deserved reputation for quality and performance. Many pianists, concert halls and piano dealers trust and recommend the Steinway line of grand pianos to serious musicians looking to make a purchase to last a lifetime. Steinway pianos hold their value for decades because of the solid construction that goes into each one.
But, like all items made from natural materials, pianos age over time and eventually may fall into disrepair. In fact, how often have you come across a once great Steinway only to pluck a few keys and find it horribly out of tune or with other damage? We have all heard these stories from friends or come across these pianos ourselves. It’s sad to see such a marvelous instrument rot away. Can anything be done?
Fortunately, something can be done to save and restore a neglected Steinway grand piano and return it to it’s natural beauty and quality. Cooper Piano has decades of experience restoring and rebuilding top name pianos like Steinway, saving them from the garbage heap and returning them to the world of music.
Some question the need for restoration entirely. After all, there are plenty of high quality, new grand pianos on the market including new Steinway grand pianos. The time, cost and effort that goes into piano restoration may seem unnecessary when you can have a new grand piano delivered to your home today if you wish. But there are several reasons why you should consider calling a piano restoration specialist before calling the trash company.
First, a piano may hold sentimental value. Families often pass pianos down through the generations and a grandmother, uncle or sibling might not have taken very good care of their heirloom. Piano restoration can breathe new life into a family treasure so future generations can enjoy it as much as previous generations.
Some musicians also prefer older pianos to brand new pianos. Wood that has aged can have a different tonal quality than brand new pianos. While it is certainly a matter of preference, there is something to be said for the warmth and richness of sound a restored piano can produce.
There is also the matter of cost. A brand new Steinway grand piano represents a major capital investment. If the cost of a new Steinway is out of reach, a restored Steinway might be more affordable. That is not always the case — it all depends on the extent of restoration work needed — but you may be able to finally afford the Steinway you’ve always wanted if you choose to restore an older piano.
The restoration process is as unique as each and every piano. Some pianos need extensive repair while others need just one or two key pieces fixed. Restoration can include:
Creating and replacing the original soundboard;
Creating and replacing the original pinblock;
Repairing cracks, loose or flattened ribs;
Cleaning and re-felting of the keyframe;
Regulating the action;
Hammer shaping and voicing;
And repairs to the piano’s finish and exterior.
A Steinway grand piano is a treasure that should not sit in squalor and disrepair. It is too fine of an instrument. Thankfully, those horror stories of pianos hidden under dust covers, languishing in a damp garage or wasting away in a basement can turn into fairy tales with piano restoration. We invite you to share your own piano "rags to riches" story.