I work with a team of associated specialists in soundboard installation, keyboard restoration and cabinet refinishing when I rebuild a piano. During my 30 years as a technican-restorer I have learned who is the very best in their fields and have developed an understanding with them about exactly what I want from my pianos.
Only the very best materials and replacement parts are used; some from the original makers, some from the best suppliers from the U.S., Germany and Japan.
After the soundboard and cabinet work is done the piano comes to me and I do all of the action work and I set up, regulate and voice the piano completing the job. In my mind using the very best artisan in each field is the path to the finest piano restoration.
Many of the clients who come to me for a restoration job ask the same question. How do I know that my Steinway or Mason & Hamlin piano will play like it should, like it did when it was new? How will it sound like a Steinway or Mason & Hamlin if you change the original parts?
None of us has played a 100 year old piano when it was new but we do know how they were meant to play by studying every aspect of the old instruments, reading everything printed on the subject and studying with the artisans who had direct contact with these great pianos, all of which I have done.
Knowledge of the principles behind these pianos and respect for those principles assures that their inherent nature will be restored not altered or redesigned.
It is however a more nuanced subject than that. These pianos went through a tumultuous evolution in a very short time at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries leaving us with many significant differences in pianos of the same maker and same model. There is however a definite common thread of genius in all of them.
This gives you the player, some choices in how you would like the piano to sound and play.
We, the rebuilders have flexibility in what we can offer you concerning "touch and tone". Earlier pianos could have had a heavier or lighter touch than what we consider normal today. We can give you the touch you like without venturing outside the parameters prescribed by the original principals.
Excellent replacement parts are available today for all the best vintage instruments. By choosing correctly from among the many available parts we can assure the optimal action geometry and hence, just the touch you want.