Piano Re-conditioning.

General discussion about piano makes, problems with pianos, or just seeking advice.

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Lexusuk
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Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by Lexusuk » 26 May 2010, 14:27

I am planning to buy a Grey Yamaha U1 in the next few weeks and have been visiting various piano retailers in the north of england for the last month or so looking for a good piano. Since this is my first Acoustic piano purchase I have been doing as much research as possible to avoid any costly mistakes.

I'm really after more information about piano re-conditioning. The majority of used Yamaha's in the UK are Japanese imports and therefore will likely have undergone a service/recondition of some kind. What sort of things should I be looking for in a good piano? Are there any tell tale signs of a bad piano? What questions should I be asking to ensure that the relevant work has been carried out?

I recently had the opportunity to visit a workshop of a piano seller and witnessed the level of work which went in to the pianos sold there. The action of the keyboard had been removed, all loop chords were replaced, hammers were re-voiced, keyboard re-leveled, all case work had been re-polished and re-painted if required, all keys removed and re-painted if required, soundboard checked for cracks/damage, strings replaced if required (usually bass strings) and generally cleaned throughout. Does this sound like the full service that you would expect from a good piano re-conditioner or are there other things that should be checked too?

vernon
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by vernon » 26 May 2010, 23:09

interesting to know what "re-painting of case and keys" entails
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

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Lexusuk
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by Lexusuk » 27 May 2010, 17:47

I have to say that did ring alarm bells. In the workshop there were several pianos stripped down and masked up as if they were to be "re-sprayed". Not knowing anything about the re-finishing of casework I couldn't really say if it was being done properly. Are the panels of a piano actually painted and the laquered over the top? Or are they finished via another method?

Also aren't keys supposed to be re-done with the ivorite key tops if they require re-finishing?
Last edited by Lexusuk on 28 May 2010, 00:02, edited 1 time in total.

vernon
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by vernon » 27 May 2010, 18:35

ther's no paint in a piano
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

Any fool can make a piano-- it needs a tuner to put the music in it

www.lochnesspianos.co.uk

Lexusuk
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by Lexusuk » 28 May 2010, 00:02

I really don't trust anyone with a second hand Yamaha upright right now. :(

I live in Sheffield, I have £3k to £4k to spend on a piano. Can anyone recommend anyone to buy from in the area? There are pianos in a couple of high street retailers I am looking at but it's difficult to trust anyone to sell me something worth while. I love the Yamaha U1 I just don't want to spend money on one that is badly re-conditioned. Help!

D.J.Smith
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by D.J.Smith » 28 May 2010, 08:50

Polyester is a sprayed-on finish, cut and polished.Many people would call it paint.

Lexusuk
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by Lexusuk » 28 May 2010, 16:47

Yeah that sounds like what they were doing.

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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by mdw » 28 May 2010, 17:18

Lexusuk wrote: I love the Yamaha U1 I just don't want to spend money on one that is badly re-conditioned.
I suggest you buy a new piano then. Grey market Yams vary so much and its so easy to make a pile of junk look like a new piano externaly that unless you know what youare looking for you could well get stiched up.

Lexusuk
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by Lexusuk » 29 May 2010, 16:14

Sadly buying new isn't really an option due to the cost involved.

Couldn't I get a piano tuner/technican to come and have a look at it for me? Anyone recommend someone reputable in Manchester?

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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by vernon » 31 May 2010, 22:54

you said you have £k-4 to spend. For that you can get a superlative new Kawai. Phone kawais for nearest stockist and try them. Don't mess about with grey Yamahas
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

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sussexpianos
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by sussexpianos » 01 Jun 2010, 15:43

The prices of imported yamaha pianos are increasing all the time as the x-change rate isn't great. The dealers(like me) are having trouble sourcing good Yamaha pianos at sensable prices. Some dealers are getting older and not in good condition pianos to keep costs down, so the prices remain keen but the pianos are older.
In regards to painting(or repairing casework), polyester is licenced so not many people can spray the stuff, some repairs can be done with 2pk black spray which when cut back and burnished, looks good but not as good as the original polyester.
I would look at new Perzina pianos or Irlmer if unsure about secondhand. Kawai pianos are very good but the prices are near Yamaha so if your looking for a 121 size secondhand then either try and get a young imported Yamaha U1 or new Perzina 121( which I was told is a very good copy!)
A piano tuner is the "Unseen artist". www.sussexpianos.co.uk
Members of the PTA & I.M.I.T., MIA and Trading Standards Approved. C&G qualified and N&S Diploma. PTD(Precision Touch Design) Technician.

Lexusuk
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by Lexusuk » 10 Jun 2010, 11:40

Thanks for all your advice.

I think I am going to go with the YUS1 at the higher cost. It's the only one I have tried that sounded and felt 'right'. I found small issues with all of the others i played (uneven tone, heavy/sluggish action, badly grooved hammers, yellowing of the keys, bad casework.....the list goes on). I think within a few minutes of playing you can tell if a piano is poor or not, sadly most of them are in the poor/medium category. I've exhausted Manchester, Derby and Leeds now playing every U1 i could find. Just need to get a day off work to get through to Manc to complete now!

Lexusuk
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by Lexusuk » 17 Jun 2010, 23:30

Just purchased the YUS1 (1981) from Forsyths in Manchester. Arrives in 1 Week! It is just fantastic!

Image

Managed to negotiate a great deal in the end.

Model V
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Re: Piano Re-conditioning.

Post by Model V » 19 Jun 2010, 17:40

Forsyth's seconded. Big range too.

MV

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