Steinway Restoration Process

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AMERICA’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT STEINWAY REBUILDER

Concert Pianist Owned and Operated
Over 1,000 Steinway Pianos Rebuilt

Our modernized facility is home to our expert craftsmen who apply the most advanced techniques and materials to their trade. We bring worn “Golden Era” Steinways back to their full former glory, to a level of musical and artistic beauty that was for many years the piano standard of the world.

OUR REBUILDING PROCESS

Using the highest-quality parts and craftsmanship, closest to what Steinway used 100 years ago, we re-create heirloom Steinways with all of their former glory.

Each of our heirloom Steinways retains its original cast-iron harp, the source of the “soul” that defines the Golden Era Steinway.

Each of our heirloom Steinways retains its original cast-iron harp, the source of the “soul” that defines the Golden Era Steinway.

Our master craftsmen meticulously re-bronze and re-install these harps to assure that they look new and lend every bit of their intrinsic soul to the piano.

The 200 pound cast-iron harp is the heart of a piano. Steinway & Sons once manufactured magnificent cast-iron harps in their own New York foundry, but that foundry is long gone. Golden Era Steinways have those original NY foundry harps but new Steinway pianos do not. This is one of the reasons that new Steinways do not have the special Steinway “soul” that defines the Golden Era Steinway.

We drill our newly installed quarter-sawn, hard-rock maple pinblocks with the highest degree of precision to ensure that the tuning pins will maintain a properly tight and even grip for many years.

We drill our newly installed quarter-sawn, hard-rock maple pinblocks with the highest degree of precision to ensure that the tuning pins will maintain a properly tight and even grip for many years.

This insures that our rebuilt Steinways will hold a fine tune as well as or better than most other rebuilt pianos and even better than many new pianos.

The tuning pins are finely-scored steel pins that are set into holes that have been precisely drilled into the pinblock, a slab of wood laminate made from multiple layers of hard rock maple. The special pinblock construction makes it possible for the tuning pins to stay immobile and hold the strings perfectly tight for long periods even when the piano is played by a strong pianist. Our specialized equipment enables us to drill holes into the pinblock with a very high degree of precision. Improperly drilled tuning pin holes cause the pins to lose their grip over time and make the pianos lose their tune too quickly. The pinblock itself must be fit precisely tight to the case, to the stretcher and to the plate. Imperfectly fit pin blocks, found in many pianos restored by others, can cause disappointing tuning instability.

Our bridge pins are installed fully tight and stable enabling the sounds of the strings to be clean and pure.

Our bridge pins are installed fully tight and stable enabling the sounds of the strings to be clean and pure.

Bridges support the strings and transfer their vibration energy to the soundboard. Bridge caps must be made from wood that is strong enough to clamp the steel bridge pins and provide the most rigid and stable termination points for the strings. When the speaking length of a string terminates on a properly rigid and stable bridge pin, the sound of that string will be clean and pure. This specialized installation can be accomplished only by an experienced master craftsman; when a bridge pin is less than fully tight and stable, or if it has been installed at a less than optimal angle, the sound of the string will be impure.

The hard rock maple supplied to us by Bolduc yields bridge caps that are unmatched in purity and strength. Bridge pins set in this superior, rock-solid material provide perfect termination points,, which are essential for the tones of the strings to be steady and true. Steinways restored with other, lower cost bridge caps tend to produce tones that are imperfect and less stable.

Actions made by Renner are chosen by both Steinway Hamburg and ourselves. Highly sophisticated expertise is required to custom select just the right Renner parts for each Steinway piano.

Actions made by Renner are chosen by both Steinway Hamburg and ourselves. Highly sophisticated expertise is required to custom select just the right Renner parts for each Steinway piano.

The piano action is comprised of 88 separate machines that transfer the energy of the key strokes to the strings. Actions give the player the ability to achieve the desired volume, tonal effect, and repetition with each note. Each action assembly is comprised of a hammer, a shank, a flange and a complex wippen. It requires precise assembly and regulation for an action to provide a perfect keystroke. Actions made by Renner are unsurpassed in their precision and performance, which is why they are chosen by as well as by Steinway Hamburg.

Renner actions cost more, which is one reason that new Hamburg Steinway pianos cost more than new NY Steinway pianos. Also, because Renner makes many different action parts for Steinway pianos, highly sophisticated expertise is required to custom select just the right Renner parts for each Steinway piano, so many rebuilders elect not to use them. However, the extraordinary durability and precision of motion that can be achieved with Renner parts make them well worth the time, effort and expense.

We replace all of the strings and pins by hand and use only the finest custom-dimensioned, hand-wound bass strings.

We replace all of the strings and pins by hand and use only the finest custom-dimensioned, hand-wound bass strings.

A piano’s 200+ wire strings are anchored into the pinblock by individual steel pins. Brass agraffes (which we take great care to polish) guide the strings to and from the tuning pins. The bass range strings are coiled with the highest quality copper wire. The most powerful, best sounding, highest quality bass strings are produced by a hand-winding process that carefully and precisely crafts each string, one at a time. Expensive hand-wound bass strings are not used by all rebuilders. Less costly machine-wound bass strings often found in other rebuilt pianos and even some new pianos don’t produce the dramatic depth of bass sound that typifies our rebuilt Steinways.

An exact fit of the carved soundboard to the inner cabinet rim, which our master craftsmen go to great lengths to achieve in every piano we rebuild, contributes to the pure tone in our pianos.

An exact fit of the carved soundboard to the inner cabinet rim, which our master craftsmen go to great lengths to achieve in every piano we rebuild, contributes to the pure tone in our pianos.

It is essential for maximum sound projection as an imprecise fit causes the sound to be weak and muffled. White spruce is the preferred soundboard material for practically every high-end piano manufacturer, and for us. Our soundboard material, supplied by the renowned Bolduc Company, comes from Adirondack eastern white spruce trees, the finest in North America. Careful culling and seasoning of this wood yields premium soundboard material with unsurpassed tonal quality and durability. Steinways restored with other, lower cost soundboards do not perform as well as pianos that have soundboards made from premium white spruce.

Our “like new” hand-rubbed lacquer finishes are the result of significant time and effort, and the superior result is clear to see.

Our “like new” hand-rubbed lacquer finishes are the result of significant time and effort, and the superior result is clear to see.

With a quality not found in other rebuilt pianos, our refinished piano cases have a rich, satin luster that compliments every other fine detail in our pianos. The rich finish is magnificent and fully worth the extra effort it takes to achieve.

Piano cabinets are constructed from strong hardwood laminates that are often veneered with attractive wood species such as mahogany or walnut. Cabinets lacking attractive veneers are made ebony (black). In our refinishing process, the cabinet, lid and legs are carefully repaired and smoothed and then coated with multiple layers of lacquer, which is carefully hand-sanded. The final lacquer coat is meticulously hand-rubbed to a rich satin luster. No other rebuilder invests the time and effort that we do to achieve the truly beautiful appearance that makes our restored Steinway pianos stand out from all the rest.

The craftsmen who install and calibrate the actions and dampers in our rebuilt Steinways are the most highly trained and experienced in the industry.

The craftsmen who install and calibrate the actions and dampers in our rebuilt Steinways are the most highly trained and experienced in the industry.

Our professional concert tuners, who ensure that our pianos are exquisitely tuned and voiced are invaluable in creating the most exhilarating concert-ready pianos.

Steinways have thousands of moving parts and require optimal calibration to keep them playing perfectly. The performance of a single key requires a dozen adjustments- alterations to the key height, key weight, let-off, drop, and back-check. It takes years of training to master just the basics of damper and action regulation. Our action and damper masters have the highest levels of training and experience as well as a dedication to achievement that stands them well beyond the norm. Beyond the moving parts, each hammer is “voiced” for optimal tonal qualities such as timbre and brilliance. Concert quality voicing requires a highly trained ear and many years of experience. The professional tuners who ensure that our pianos are exquisitely tuned and voiced are invaluable in creating the best possible, concert-ready instruments.

America`s Largest Independent Steinway Rebuilder

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Heirloom Steinways

20_Year_Warranty

Uncompromising Quality for 40 Years

20-Year Warranty

The Steinways we rebuilt 20 years ago are as good today as the day they were rebuilt.  Remarkably, for the 40 years that we have been in business we have not had a single substantial warranty claim!  Compare this to the record of Steinway & Sons- according to their last financial statements their warranty claim expenses averaged over $1 million per year.

BEFORE & AFTER

TAKE CAUTION WITH REBUILT STEINWAYS

Caution Rebuilt Steinway Piano

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