You can buy an old antique piano for $400. I know because I just sold one. But how do you know if it is worth buying? Can it be repaired and can your child continue to learn? You need to know what to look for.
The wrestling board and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano look great. This is one of the best I have seen in this regard-there are no signs of damage or misuse of the pins, they all look original, they have not been hammered, there are no traces, they are not bent, and there are wrestling The planks show no signs of cracks or other damage. The soundboard (the largest piece of wood, behind the strings in the middle of the instrument) also has no cracks, and the strings look good. The action (moving part) works well on all notes, when you lift up the key or the damper pedal, the damper stops the sound of each note. A plastic key is missing, but it is easy to replace. The interior of most old pianos does not look so good.
Then, a few weeks later, I received a complaint from a very disappointed buyer:
“Hi, Margaret. After we delivered the piano, we got a piano tuner and I was really disappointed…it could not be tuned…when the tuner tried to tighten the pins When the time, they will immediately release, she said it’s not good at all…so we hired a piano. When these people came out to deliver the piano [new] They also said “No, that’s a cactus…”
But the piano is actually quite adjustable, and the internal operation is very good. In the end, after more suggestions from me, the buyer realized that he had found a very useful instrument.
The skill of the tuner is essential to maintain the “pitch” of the strings and the tuning needle. While living in the remote town of Karratha, I taught myself how to tune a very old piano in worse conditions than this. I also tuned some of the old pianos of several of my students. In all cases, it is difficult to keep them tuned for more than a few minutes, partly because of my poor tuning hammer (lever) technique. However, when a professional tuner came to town, he did a terrific job, and three rickety old pianos maintained good pitch for months.
If the piano has not been tuned for many years, it may need to be tuned several times to “reach the pitch”. It is impossible to know how effective it is, you can only try it and see how much adjustment it needs. There are tons of tension on the strings, and you have to wait for the tension to balance before you make another tuning. It may take several months to adjust and stabilize.
When he bought my Moore & Moore piano, I told him that it needs to be rehydrated (it needs more water or moisture in the wood). If the wrestling plank is dry, the pins will definitely loosen. In Karratha, we refilled all three old pianos, which made a big difference. The simple solution is to put a beaker of water on the bottom of the piano. The bigger the better, because people tend to forget them and eventually run out of water. It takes several weeks to produce results. This rehydration seems to have solved the movement problems of our two pianos. Some tuners don’t like water beakers, they think they can cause movement problems or rusty strings, so you should seek expert advice from professional technicians, but it works well for us. There are humidifiers/dehumidifiers specially made for pianos on the market.
Another inexpensive technique to aid in tuning is to hammer a pin into the wrestling plank. This is a standard remedy, but there is a limit to the number and frequency of striking pins. The pins on this old piano don’t seem to have been hammered at all, so this is still a viable option. For a skilled piano technician, this is definitely a job to avoid damaging the pins or wrestling the plank.
A more expensive technique is to replace the pins with larger pins (they come in different sizes), but this will be a difficult task, and it will be cheaper to buy another piano.
In the end, the buyer was very satisfied with his piano, which proved to be a very good instrument.