At Fifth Octave, we know that every piano restoration job is uniquely different and comes with its own challenges as well as solutions.
When you sit down at a piano, it may be easy to see some external signs of wear. Some of the most common ones include:
- Broken or chipped keys
- Keys that don’t experience proper action
- Problems with muffled or fuzzy sound
- Problems with foot pedals
For instance, you know that when you press down on a key, there’s supposed to be a particular type of action based on the mechanical leverage that the piano is designed on. You can tell if keys are unresponsive that there’s a problem inside the piano. But that really only scratches the surface of what it takes to restore one of these grand, complex instruments.
Inside the piano, there are all sorts of moving parts made of different materials that play different roles. One easy example is the strings of the piano. The strings play a pretty simple role – extending action to the hammers. However, problems with strings are not usually easy to see when you’re sitting down at the piano.
Solutions require getting into the guts of the piano and making the right choices. We often say that a 100 year old piano usually needs new strings. That’s just one example of our recommendations to customers when they really want to make a piano play well and look good again
Soundboard cracks and bridge repairs are other essential parts of reconditioning a piano to its original functionality.
Then there’s also the frame and cabinet of the piano. One of the things that our customers often think about a lot is walking the balance between cosmetic and functional restoration. In other words, you want your piano to look great, and you want it to play great, too. But there are more complex decisions to be made in terms of repair and restoration.
At Fifth Octave, we enjoy working through these issues with our customers and coming up with a unique program to get your piano in good condition. We fully educate our clients as we work with them, so that they know what’s going on before we dig into the insides of their pianos. We’ve found that this kind of education and transparency is absolutely critical – shops that just go ahead and work and charge often experience problems because customers don’t really understand what’s happening, and they can become understandably upset if they aren’t informed about the process.
We take customer service seriously – and we love what we do! Piano restoration done properly is a joy – for the shop and for the owner. It’s a labor of love, and when you see the way your piano has been carefully reconditioned and restored, you’ll see why we love our job!