The difference between refurbishing & restoration is often confusing to customers, since the terms are often used casually and even interchangeably. They are very different in their scope and extensiveness in the work done. Essentially,
Restoration (or “rebuilding”) involves major “open heart surgery” and is usually justifiable only on instruments of above-average monetary or sentimental value. Typically a “rebuilt” piano has a new pinblock, strings, dampers, hammers, often other action parts. The case (furniture) has usually been refinished, including the soundboard and plate.
Every piano we sell goes through our rigorous refurbishing process. If you are interested in more than just a tuning, please contact us. There are several levels to which we can get your piano (listed from most affordable to most thorough):
Christmas Carol Level – can be tuned, although it might not hold it well. Can be played, but the action is not conducive for anything beyond basic “Christmas Carols.” This is an affordable option for families who only play the piano a few times per year. Almost any piano can be brought up to this level.
Student Level – can be tuned and the action is smooth & consistent for beginner to intermediate players. This is a big step up from Christmas Carol level, which is much more precise to make sure students don’t give up, blaming themselves for the piano’s mechanical or tonal issues.
Advanced Student / Teacher Level – holds a tuning well, but is also tuned more often. The action is very smooth and consistent — often-times adjusted for the preferences of the player. The piano needs to be able to “repeat” or play very quickly, which often requires it to be a higher-end upright or a grand piano.
Performance Level – the highest level of possible excellence. The piano is usually tuned many times per year, before major performances. The action is consistently optimized for repetition, touch, sound, and more, with much work sometimes going into individual notes, if necessary. Almost always a grand or large concert grand.
If you have a piano of extreme sentimental value or a high-end grand that could benefit from a full restoration job, please contact us. We work with several spectacular rebuilders, with whom we coordinate specific jobs, in addition to any work we would do on your piano. Although the rebuilding process requires many weeks of hard work, the results can be astounding.