How much will it cost to rebuild my piano?
The piano will have to be evaluated individually in order to accurately estimate the cost for rebuild. Here are the different types of rebuilds we offer and what's often done.
Full Rebuild (Basic Rebuild plus the following)
Performance Enhancement / Redesign work
Fully rebuilt 1887 Mathushek square grand. This piano was passed down the generations and the grandson had me rebuild it. It took me nearly 3 months to rebuild it but the results were spectacular. This piano will last many more generations.
Custom Hammer replacement
Hammer replacement is one of the most critical areas for good tone production. It's where the rubber meets the road and the level of work is instantly recognizable both in touch and tone. Because of that, this is one of the areas that I put more time paying attention to the details than the norm. When I replace a set of hammers, here's a summary of what's done.
- With a gram gauge, I weight the downweight on your action to get an idea of how far off it is from spec. I then weight your old set of hammers to get an idea on what each hammer originally would have weighed.
- I take these measurements and taper each hammer so that their weight is consistent one to another and of course taper down from heavier in the bass to lighter weight in the treble. This level of detail gives a very even touch when the job is done. It'll also ensure a standard 52 grams of downweight in the bass tapering to around 48 grams in the treble. The common complaint with hammer replacement is that it can also make the touch too heavy or uneven. Taking the extra step as I explained above prevents this common occurrence.
- Rather than ordering bored (drilled) hammers, I order hammers that are not bored. I take an angle gauge and measure the angle of each string and bore each hammer so that each hammer follows the angle of the string it strikes. Hammers that come bored from the hammer factory don't come out like this.
- I also do my own job rounding the tails. I round each tail with the optimum profile radius so that back checking is improved even from factory standards. As a result, roughening the tails is not needed so the backchecks no longer wear out like they used to.
- I also hand shape the tails to the shape of a duck bill. Creating this shape takes extra time but improves backchecking considerably.
- When I glue the new hammers on, I have a system to follow the factory strike point. However, from about F5 and above, I digress and find the optimum strike point through trial and error before I fully glue on the hammers. This level of detail helps bring about the optimum tone possible in those upper notes. I also use hot hide glue to glue on the new hammers. This makes hammer removal possible should it be needed later on.
- Once the new hammers are installed, I regulate the action. The new hammers are going to be slightly heavier to compensate for the felt that was removed when the originals were previously sanded down to remove the groves . Also, the new hammers are going to have more felt at the crown. These changes makes it necessary to regulate the action in order for it to work well and be responsive.