It has been said that music is the gate way to the soul.
The memories made making music on the piano, singing along with loved ones; these moments are among the most powerful in the human experience. The family’s treasured piano, a conduit which conveys the pianist’s emotions is partly immortal. However, some of its charm, power and beauty will fade overtime.
While the rim and cast iron plate can last hundreds of years, the action, finish, strings, dampers, hardware, etc. may need to be refinished, reconditioned or in some cases replaced. If the piano has been kept in a proper climate and well maintained, major work may not be needed for 50 years or more.
The piano’s cabinet, most conspicuously shows age and wear. We start by completely disassembling the piano. Every bolt, nut and screw are removed and catalog. This meticulous process is done with painstaking attention to detail.
Each removable and fixed cabinet piece is disassembled and completely stripped to bare wood, using a unique chemical process. After sufficient time has passed, the DPS team will begin to refinish your piano in the color or stain of your choosing, completely returning the piano back to its former beauty.
The cast iron plate is also removed during the deconstruction phase. It is sand blasted, to remove every particle of original coloring. It is then re-bronzed in either the manufacturer’s chosen finish or can be modernized with silver finishing, if you so desire.
The piano’s action is comprised of over 8000 individual parts. Depending on usage and how much life remains, we may recommend reconditioning or replacing the movement.
Reconditioning primarily consist of reshaping the piano’s hammers, a complete action regulation and freeing up any parts that bind due to a lack of lubrication, physical expansion and so on. Only a small number of individual components may be replaced, with the vast majority remaining original.
Replacing a piano’s action is needed when the wear is so severe, the movement is beyond reconditioning. In the case of Steinway (especially Steinway!), Bösendorfer, Bechstein, Bluthner, Sauter, Grotrian, Fazioli and other heirloom quality brands it is absolutely critical to use 100% authentic componentry.
The most popular piano manufacturer we are commissioned to restore is a Steinway. It is absolutely imperative to utilize 100% official Steinway componentry when replacing the action, dampers, strings, tuning pins or any other original component that will not be rejuvenated in the reconditioning process.
Resale value can only be maintained if your Steinway was rebuilt using genuine Steinway parts. It is for this reason DPS of Tampa Bay will only use 100% Steinway components on your family’s piano and all pianos we repair, recondition, rebuild or restore.
The piano’s pinblock is a multi laminated component that is comprised of several layers of hardwood. Its job is to hold the tuning pin in place. Overtime, the clockwise and anti clockwise motion of the pins wear down the pinblock’s ability to securely hold the tuning pin in place.
When this happens, the piano is untunable. Some piano rebuilders in Tampa, St Pete and Clearwater might recommend driving new, oversized pins into the pinblock. This is a cheaper alternative to replacement and could provide servral years of tuning stability.
However, Dave’s Piano Showroom recommends replacing the pinblock, in conjunction with a complete rebuild. The added cost is microscopic to the scope of work to be performed, but the end result will be significantly more desirable and much longer lasting.
The soundboard is the speaker of the piano. It produces nearly 100% of the audible tone. The soundboard starts its life off curved, like the top of a violin. But unlike a violin the piano is under immense tension. When the strings are tightened to pitch, roughly 40,000-50,000 pounds of tension is exerted on the piano. This is why hundreds of pounds of cast iron exists in a piano’s design; simply to offset these incredibly high down bearing forces.
This down bearing force causes the soundboard to lose its needed curvature overtime. To the listener, this loss of crown equates to a reduction in the piano’s tonal or decibel production, by up to 70%! Carefully guarded techniques are performed to recrown the piano’s soundboard, returning its voice back to it’s original function.
In many cases the piano’s soundboard will develop cracks along the grain. Careful shimming with like spruce wood, sanding, refinishing and recrowning often times will restore the piano’s former voice.
In instances where cracks, damage, age or wear is too severe; fashioning a new soundboard from spruce planks, by the DPS team will offer guaranteed results. This is an expensive process and is only utilized when all other measures have been exhausted.
Pins | Strings | Dampers | Hardware
Once the cabinet has been stripped and refinished, the action reconditioned or replaced, the soundboard and pinblock mended; the final touches begin.
In the case Steinway piano rebuilding, Dave’s Piano Showroom of Tampa Bay obtains 100% genuine Steinway pins, strings and dampers. The pins are driven into the pinblock to an exacting degree. Then new Steinway piano strings are installed. The acquisition of Steinway dampers is the last steps before, no fewer than six tunings are performed over a four week period.
Turn Around Time
Or as we like to say “turning back the time” as we are essentially returning the piano to an era where it looked, sounded and played its best.
Rebuilding a piano takes time. We collectively refuse to rush any details. The entire DPS team suffers from a collective case of perfectionism. This starts at the very top with Dave and his passion flows to the piano movers, finish strippers, action regulators, and permeates the entire project team. This equates to a three to twelve month completion time schedule, based on the size and scope of the restoration.
Every Steinway & Sons, restoration, rebuilding or recondition comes with a beautiful display card, of authenticity from Dave’s Piano Showroom of Tampa Bay.
For a period of 5 years from re-delivery, your Steinway piano will be covered with an all inclusive part and labor warranty to protect your treasured investment.
Are you looking to rebuild or recondition a European piano such as a Bechstein, Bluthner, Bösendorfer, or any other quality brand? DPS can help and will offer a 5 year part and labor warranty to safe guard your investment.
Thank you for trusting and choosing DPS! We will not let you down and will work tirelessly to earn your admiration, respect and referrals in our dedication to uncompromising quality materials and workmanship.