Frequently asked questions:

Why should I rebuild my piano rather than buy a new one?

First of all, not all old instruments warrant restoration. I am up front about assessing your piano and advising on how you would best spend your piano budget.

Second, it costs less to restore an older high-quality grand piano than it does to buy a new grand piano that is comparable.

Is a rebuilt piano as good as a new piano?

In my opinion, a restored older instrument is superior in several ways to most new pianos.

The majority of today's pianos are mass-produced in the Pacific Rim and China. Unfortunately the wood is not seasoned well enough to hold up to the extreme humidity swings in the Midwest. In the future, as these pianos age, they will not be rebuildable like older pianos are.

Restored pianos hold their value better than most new instruments.

The soundboard, pinblock and action parts in my restored pianos are made of materials that are solid and seasoned to last. A restored piano, well taken care of, will last 75 years. In fact, most of these older quality instruments could be rebuilt a second time, 75 years from now, and still be the instrument they are today.

In the contemporary manufacturing process certain parameters must be met to attain acceptable results for each piano. This eliminates the opportunity to own a stunning and unique instrument. Working on a piano from beginning to end, by hand, gives me an opportunity to work with the variables of each piece of wood or felt in order to achieve excellence.

Can you help me locate a piano suitable for rebuilding?

I have access to a nationwide network of piano wholesalers. If you seek a certain make, model or case style we can initiate a search.

What does a complete restoration cost?

The price depends upon the extent of the work to be done. The work needed to restore an instrument can range from $8,000 to $24,000.

How will the piano be moved?

Moving an instrument within the Twin Cities area can be arranged through the piano movers I routinely use, or a customer may make his or her own arrangements for moving. Occasionally I can pick up a piano myself. I do rebuild instruments from across the country. It is not prohibitively expensive to arrange interstate moves.

Do you refinish the case?

Refinishing services are available but are done in a different facility. There is an additional charge for the move to the refinisher.

How might I get an estimate or a bid?

We will be best served discussing this on the phone. Typically I will discuss your piano's needs with your local technician, particularly if you are at a distance. Click here to visit my contact page.

How long will I be without my piano?

You should allow 6-8 weeks for work on your instrument. Having the piano refinished adds another 5-6 weeks to the undertaking. Pianos are not brought into the shop until work can be started.

Do you work on upright pianos or only grand pianos?

Generally upright pianos don't warrant the expense of restoration. Not every grand piano is worth the investment either.

Do you sell pianos?

Occasionally. I don’t seek them out, but there are circumstances in which I am connected to instruments of value and deserve rebuilding and restoration. Primarily, however, my business is restoring pianos for others, not for resale. You can contact me for more information.

Do you buy used pianos?

Occasionally. Grands only.

There is a crack in the soundboard of my piano. What do you do about that?

A crack in the soundboard does not necessarily mean that the soundboard needs to be replaced. What is important is that the ribs are secured to the soundboard and the soundboard is securely glued to the inner rim of the piano. If the board has lost its crown or is broken in many places, it will warrant replacing. I will personally assess the condition.

My piano will not hold a tune, does it need to be rebuilt?

Chances are the pinblock has failed. There is a friction hold on the tuning pins, which are held in place by a cross-laminated maple block. After years of string pull, the pins pull forward and slip. If the rest of the instrument is healthy, I can just replace the pinblock and restring.

The touch on the piano is too light (or too heavy), what can you do about that?

This can be a result of several things: poor regulation, improper key leading, too much or too little friction in the action centers, worn felt or bushing or poor design. Once these issues are addressed the action will respond as it should. We can talk about compromises to make an action lighter or heavier.

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