Rebuilding the vintage grand piano is a great way to take a peek at history. Piano rebuilders are always intrigued by how "they" did it then, and since there are no comprehensive texts on the subject, the rebuilder looks at old design and compares it to the pianos of today. Many grand pianos from the 1880s to the 1920s were made with the focus on great craftsmanship and innovation.They were built with the premise that quality was the ideal and compromise was not even considered. These instruments were constructed with the latest in technology, the finest woods from old growth trees, and they are now being rebuilt to serve families, schools, churches, colleges, and universities.
Cost Efficient & Ecologically Sound.
Not only is it cost efficient to rebuild, it's a sound ecological way to preserve old growth forests and reduce the impact on the environment. Rebuilding older pianos uses less wood, doesn't require chemicals for new glues, and saves the energy that it takes to build new instruments.
Rebuilding & Evaluating The Vintage Grand Piano.
Rebuilding can be defined as refinishing the piano's cabinet, replacing the soundboard and recapping the bridges, installing new dampers & underlevers, installing a new pinblock with pins, wire & agraffes and new hammers & shanks with repetitions. It can further mean adding new ivory keytops, enhancing the existing design to fix scale problems and action issues, or simple things such as using leather and felt instead of plastics and rubber.
A thorough evaluation needs to be made to see if the older grand piano is structurally sound and can be rebuilt. Items of importance are:
- The piano's rim structure should be intact with most laminations being maple.
- The piano's leg structure and keybed should be solid and be able to support the piano.
- The soundboard and bridge system should be a good design or it can be redesigned to be more musical. (see variable rib soundboard design).
- The damper system should be intact or a new damper tray and levers are installed.
- The plate (harp) should be solid with no cracks and the string bearing angles should be within reasonable parameters.
- The piano's action should have an acceptable action ratio and an acceptable Downweight DW and Upweight UW.
- The pedal system should be of good design or improved for better response.
Options and Costs.
There are many options when rebuilding pianos and St. Piano Rebuilders looks at each instrument and client on an individual basis: Some colleges, universities, & churches just need action work or restringing on high-use instruments, other clients clearly want complete rebuilds where the cabinet is refinished and the instrument's interior is completely rebuilt. The following prices are a baseline for instruments in good shape without structural issues. Almost every issue can be accommodated, so please don't hesitate to call and ask. 813.234.1141
For high-use instruments, restringing on existing pinblock $ 2,750.00
With new pinblock add $ 950.00
For same above, new hammers & shanks, keys rebushed,
regulation, w/High Performance Weigh-Off $ 3,875.00
5'- 6' grand pianos with existing soundboard $15,875.00
Up to 6' grand pianos with new soundboards $24,750.00
7' grand pianos with new soundboard $26,750.00
9' grand pianos with new soundboard $29,750.00
New grand piano keys (add to above rebuilding costs) $ 5,500.00
Upright pianos with existing soundboard $12,875.00
With new soundboard $17,875.00
Upright piano finishes in Satin only.
Specialty jobs such as wrapping old upright cabinets around new pianos to preserve historical features will be priced according to the new type of piano purchased.
Estimates are $105 for the Tampa Bay Area and travel is added for outlying areas.
All parts and labor are guaranteed for 1 year on partial rebuild work.
All parts and labor are guaranteed for 5 years on rebuilds with new soundboards.
Moving fees are extra, please call Precision Moving at 813.554.3288.