"WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY PIANO?"

We are asked quite frequently, "What is wrong with my piano?".Since the instrument is really quite internally complex, it is hard to answer that question without actually pointing out the problem or problems. The following photos with their captions will show the many of the things that can be "wrong" with a piano. Perhaps some of these things can help you to know what is "wrong" with your particular piano.

 

Worn or Broken Hammers

If a depressed key makes a poor sound, or no sound at all, it could be due to worn or broken hammers.An extreme example is shown here.

 

Loose Tuning Pins

If your piano will not stay in tune for long, it could be because the tuning pins are too loose in the pinblock. This means that the piano should be restrung using larger tuning pins or by replacing the pinblock..

Sticking Keys, One Possibility

There are many reasons why keys might stick. One very common reason is objects or debris between or underneath the keys. Here, a mouse had made a nest underneath the keys.

Pedals Squeak or Won't Work

Usually, some minor adjustments may be made to correct a squeaky pedal. However, if the pedal will not work, it's possible that some of the trap-work has broken or become disconnected. Little squeaks can be easily corrected by using graphite or common dishwashing liquid.

Action Doesn't Respond Properly

Over years of use, a piano's internal felts will begin to wear and become compressed or accumulate a coating of verdigris on the many pins that the action components swing around. If the instrument has been exposed to moisture or humidity, these pins and their flanges will need to be replaced and the action must then be regulated.

Moth-Eaten Damper Felt

Here's another reason to replace old felts. Piano felt is made of wool. Moth larvae eat holes in the wool parts, deteriorating them quickly. The new felt components we install are treated to be moth-resistant.

Rusty Strings

Exposure of a piano to moisture or humidity causes its steel strings to rust and possibly break. Also, the rust scale affects the way strings vibrate and subsequently sound.Here, we rubbed a business card on the strings and it came away rusty. These strings must be replaced.

Discolored or Loose Veneer

Loose or discolored veneer is a sign that the piano has been exposed to water. This may cause pieces of the veneer to break off. It will need to be reglued.If the damage is significant the case should then be stripped and refinished.

What's That Buzz?

If the piano's ribs, shown here between the main supports, become detached from the soundboard, it can cause a buzzing sound. The ribs will need to be reattached, the soundboard will have to be "recrowned" and any cracks in the soundboard should be repaired.

Sticking Keys, Another Possiblilty

Here, it can be seen that that this piano's keys were exposed to moisture. The balance rail pins(the pins that the keys move on) are corroded, and the bushings in the keys have swelled and hardened. The keys could no longer move freely on their pins.The keys will require re-bushing and possibly pin replacement.

Chipped, Discolored, or Missing Keytops

Many old pianos still have most or all of their genuine ivory keytops. Discolored ivories can be scraped and polished, leaving them almost as beautiful as new. Missing ivories can often be matched and replaced. Remember, ivory is basically bone and a little color is o.k. If it is not, they can be replaced with all new plastic keytops.

 

It's Ugly!

If the finish is crackled and the veneer is broken and no amount of rubbing or polishing seems to help, your piano needs to be stripped and refinished. It's amazing, but this piano has a lovely Striated African Mahogany veneer. It came out just great!

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