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Meticulous Piano Restoration in Colorado 
Ah, piano restoration!  The romance of bringing an old, tired, worn out, vintage piano back to brand-new condition!  Your piano has around 11,000 intricate and complicated parts.  As the decades pass and time takes its toll, parts wear out and the piano is no longer enjoyable to play.  Often, an instrument becomes simply unplayable.  I delight in patiently and carefully restoring vintage pianos of all makes and ages to new or better-than-new condition.
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Sadly, there are many piano shops out there that just throw new parts in pianos, without the understanding needed to really make those new parts function well, and the result is a lot of money spent, and a piano that plays worse than before!   When the work is done by a skilled, meticulous and educated piano craftsman, however, the results are extremely gratifying, adding decades of music-making ability to the instrument, and significantly increasing the piano's value. 
To schedule a free estimate and appraisal of your piano to determine it's potential for restoration, please contact me.
Read on below the slide show to learn more about our beautiful piano restorations.

Piano Restoration Process

There are few things more satisfying than taking an old, worn out piano that looks and sounds terrible and bringing it back to vibrant life as a beautiful piece of furniture and an inspiring musical instrument!  In a full restoration, your piano is completely disassembled, repaired, and then put back together with the utmost care, repairing or replacing parts where necessary.  

The goal is that your piano will look and sound the way it did when it first came out of the factory - or better!

The first step in the piano restoration process is to carefully disassemble the piano.  Many measurements are taken and copious notes are made about the various elements of the piano's design, features, etc. I also take a lot of pictures so that original elements are well-documented. 
Next, the 230 strings, after having been carefully measured for length, diameter, tension, etc., are carefully removed.  Each of the 230 strings is under an average of around 170 lbs of tension.  The combined tension of all the strings on the frame of the piano is a whopping 38,000 pounds on most pianos, so removing the old strings is done gradually and carefully, gently easing the tremendous tension one string at a time until the last string is loosened and removed.
Now that the strings are out of the way, the gold harp, which is solid cast iron and weighs 300-400 pounds is carefully hoisted out of the piano.  Now the soundboard is free of obstruction, and work on it can begin. The soundboard and bridges are either repaired or replaced, then sanded and refinished with beautiful clear lacquer.  The pinblock is repaired or replaced. 
The gold harp is cleaned and refinished in rich gold lacquer, matching the original color.  It is then hand-lettered, just as it was originally.  All the hardware (screws, hinges, pedals, etc.) is removed, cleaned and re-plated.  Then the 230 bright new strings and tuning pins are installed.  Each string is wound by hand onto a tuning pin, the tuning pins hammered into its hole in the pinblock, and the string gradually tightened until it is at the correct tension of around 170 pounds.   

Meanwhile, the outside body of your piano is being refinished to restore the original rich depth of sheen and beauty to the grain.  This is a complex, laborious and multi-step process.  Few shops seem to know how to do this authentically, to the same standard it was done originally in the factory.  Too many pianos come out of restoration or refinishing shops looking, well, "refinished", rather than brand new.  If the piano simply looks utterly brand new and you can't tell that it was refinished, then the work was done properly and to the original high factory standard. 
Next, the various moving parts in the piano, called the "action", are restored or replaced as is necessary to insure the best tone and touch possible.  This can involve replacing the hammers and hammer shanks, the whippens, the damper levers and felts, the various cushioning felts in the action, etc.  There are about 5,000 parts in a typical piano action, and every one receives attention.
Once the action has been restored and all the new parts are in place, the piano will likely play quite terribly. New parts does not automatically a nice piano make!  To make the piano play as smoothly and responsively as possible, the action must be adjusted in a three-day process called "regulating". 
At this point, the piano will have a nice, smooth touch, but the tone is usually still uneven, thin and brittle, even though brand new hammers are installed.  A process called "voicing" is now required to make the tone rich, full, warm and lyrical.  Voicing involves working with the hammers and strings, and to some degree the action itself.  
The result: your piano looks as good, sounds as good and feels as good under the fingers as the day it was made!  And, instead of being destined to sit forlornly in a corner of the room because it's unplayable, it will now bring decades of musical joy to those who are fortunate enough to play it! 
The results of a careful piano restoration are tremendously gratifying, which is why so many piano owners prefer to restore their vintage or heirloom piano rather than replace it with a new piano that has little character of family history.
To find out more about restoring your piano, to schedule an estimate or to commission your piano for restoration, contact us via email, or call 303-641-8863.  

Piano restoration in Boulder and Denver, CO, for vintage Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, Bosendorfer, Bechstein and other fine brands.  We can also have your piano shipped here from anywhere in the country or the world.