Steinway does not sell or provide soundboards because each one must be custom fit to the exact dimensions of the piano cabinet. A lot of technicians would have opted to repair the crack. Usually the piano involved is older than your g2, and ribs have separated from the soundboard adjacent to the crack these must be reglued. Even then, a cracked plate can be repaired, by the right person, using the right materials but of all piano repairs, repairing a cracked plate is by far the most risky, due to the enormous tension from the strings.
A cracked pinblock can be replaced, and a cracked soundboard can certainly be repaired or replaced. According to french piano technician claude montal 18001865, in the third edition of his the art of tuning 1865, 1 in 1830 french piano maker ignaz pleyel 17571831 produced pianos with soundboards of mahogany veneer over spruce. In the grand piano, you may not like the tips of the screws showing when you. If you crack open the lid of either your grand or upright piano and look down, you will see a shiny piece of wood behind the iron plate that runs the. Cracks are not that problem because they are in the direction of the strings and not in crossed direction.
For this very reason a crack or check in a soundboard reduces the soundboards ability to amplify the vibrations of the strings only to the extent to which the crack reduces the vibrating area of the board. Piano restoration costs piano restoration pricing guide 2019. Soundboard replacement is not a requirement for most pianos but if your piano is lacking tone and resonance in the high treble or anywhere else, it may be time to replace your soundboard. Aug 10, 2010 piano soundboards are thin boards commonly made of spruce approximately 38. So if your piano does have cracks in the soundboard it means that some time in its past or present it has suffered absorbtion and subequent loss. Most soundboards will develop cracks in them due to humidity changes from year to year. When a crack develops, the spruce of the sound board warps and pulls away.
There are certain things you should know about soundboards. The piano arrived in the shop with decades of wear. Soundboards vary in size depending on how large the piano is. It is hot and dry in arizona which can cause cracks to occur in piano soundboards. He did inform us, however, that the soundboard within the piano appeared cracked and he wasnt sure that his tuning would hold very long. The answer is yeshowever, the change in the sound is.
At times of extremely low rh, it is also quite possible for. Use your vacuum to pull the dust off the cleaner each time it is withdrawn from the strings. A family friend has had one stored in his shop for about 4 years untouched and decided to ask. Our customers interested in what makes a good and enduring piano, as well as what kind of piano grand, baby grand or otherwise is worthy of restoration and rebuilding, often ask about the soundboard. Soundboard production and the spruce forests of north american. Welcome to estey piano piano rebuilding services piano. This occurs in the best of pianos, and the worst of pianos. On the back of it, it has one inch ribs which stabilize it by running against the grain of the sound board.
The soundboard is crowned near its center and is supported by numerous ribs underneath. Each and every piano cabinet is unique and different. I dont think there are rebuilders out there who are putting new sound boards in 30 year old yamaha g2 s. The only thing that i am bothered by are the 3 or 4 cracks in the soundboard. In the 1820s, viennese piano maker joseph brodmann 17631848 patented a triplelaminated soundboard. The soundboard is what amplifies the vibrations of the strings to a volume we can hear, if there are cracks then the vibrations are cut short or can be sent to the ribs or rim to make unwanted. One of the problems that comes up most frequently in buying a used piano is judging the significance of a cracked soundboard. The piano soundboard is a board that also stops vibrations. If the crack is small, but wide, it can be cleaned and a soundboard shim can be installed fairly simply. The soundboard, which is the large wooden board you can see from the back of an upright piano or from underneath a grand, has ribs glued on it to strengthen it. Dec 27, 2016 the significance of soundboard cracks on pianos. After that they filled the cracks, and put the soundboard back to convex shape.
The exterior finish was dark and faded, and the case was damaged in several places. The truth about pressure ridges david andersen pianos. The soundboard has a crown which is very important to. A piano s soundboard is one of the most important pieces on a piano. Jul 25, 2012 soundboard cracks can be very minimal. When an original soundboard needs restoration, we evaluate the board to ensure structural integrity, hand sand it and repair any damage utilizing our special methods. The case against repairing piano soundboard cracks part 1. A piano tuner is pleased to announce that we are adding the very popular squeegie type soundboard cleaners designed by bill spurlock to our growing line of spurlock specialty tools. Piano soundboard restoration is an exacting and timed honed process. Like the top of a stradivarius violin, the soundboard is the wood beneath all the strings and plate of the piano which gives it its unique quality of sound. Based in columbus, ohio our company stocks over 300 new and used pianos for sale including restored steinway pianos and german pianos such as bechstein and bosendorfer.
The heart and soul of your piano is its soundboard. Smaller cracks may not impact your pianos sound enough to warrant repair. Graymarket pianos and cracked soundboards pianobuyer. Crown, the slight upward arching of the soundboard is essential for good tone. The case against repairing piano soundboard cracks part 1 duration. Fire sucks moisture out of the airand your piano faster than you can say, my soundboard cracked. This is why so many pianos have separations and cracks in the soundboards but still sound good. Although soundboard cracks are not the death knell of a piano, they can cause buzzing and rattling that is unacceptable for a pianist. This can result in cracks and loose soundboard ribs. He used a router to cut out the length of the crack before filling it in. If the piano doesnt already have a damppchaser, i include one in my proposal. I dont think my piano is worth anythingthe soundboard is cracked.
In grand pianos, this condition is a little more serious mainly because of the visibility of the soundboard. The significance of soundboard cracks on pianos duration. A soundboard of a grand piano has a vast amount of pressure exerted on it. Solid spruce soundboards swell and shrink with seasonal changes in humidity and, over time, can develop cracks. Perhaps it looks less like a smooth, machined piece of carpentry and more like a freight pallet. So ultimately, does a cracked soundboard sound any different from one that isnt. You can trust bradfield piano for your soundboard repair and replacement needs. Since i am often asked whether grand pianos are a good investment especially in a period where everything seems to go up in value as interest rates are zero or even negative with so much money around chasing investments, i am sharing some facts and my thoughts with you. Nov 30, 2009 this photo was taken underneath a new name brand grand piano that was only 1month old when the 1layer solidspruce soundboard cracks were discovered by the owner in their home in phoenix, arizona. They are easy to maintain, and can be installed by your piano technician.
Whether you have a grand piano or an upright piano, fixing cracks is one of the most common soundboard repairs. If it were only a matter of loudly amplifying the sound produced when the hammers strike the strings, a metal plate would have been much more efficient. Oct 14, 2011 i have wanted a grand piano for as long as i can remember. Thats why its essential to conduct regular maintenance and repair of your soundboard. You may have heard probably from a new piano salesman that if the soundboard is cracked, the piano is ready to throw away. Because the piano s soundboard is made of thin sheets of wood, it is one of the most vulnerable parts of the piano. If the crack is small and doesnt buzz, theres no need to fix it. Cracks in the soundboard are common in older pianos and can cause buzzing, loss of volume, and poor sustain. Cracks in a piano soundboard are common and often are not sufficient reason to replace a soundboard. Cracks can be repaired, retaining the original soundboard. In the latter case the piano being a piece of furniture standing next to the heating, selling it to a dealer or restorer, you might get 5,000 eur for it and more because it is an original steinway then because it is still a great grand piano in order to get a good price for it on the used grand piano market, the restorer will have to. Soundboard is free from cracks and comes with a damp chaser to keep the soundboard in its proper environment all year round. Weve received so many requests for this item from customers who want keep their grand piano soundboard clean with these tool that reach all areas of the soundboard. It seems to hold pitch fine and actually sounds pretty good.
The issue of soundboard ridges and cracks is often misunderstood. Sometimes the soundboard of an old piano all the soundboards that sheila repurposes are at least 50 years old loses its crown andor has so many cracks in it, that repairs are impractical and installing a new soundboard is preferable. Piano soundboard steinway piano parts chupps piano. Ive played pianos over the years with cracks in the soundboard and they sounded fine. This can allow the soundboard to rattle against the loose rib as it vibrates. And just like a human heart, the soundboard of a steinway can be replaced by another one, but the essence of the piano s soul remains, and so does its indelible identity as a piano from whichever vintage or decade it came. A pianos soundboard is one of the most important pieces on a piano. For very dirty boards, use the cleaner to push a dampened cloth. I know that the piano is just junk to a serious pianist, but id like to try and repair it and have it tuned.
In contrast, the soundboard that translates their energy into a rich, resonant sound is made of wood. If you open up the lid of either your upright or grand piano and look down, you will see a shiny piece of wood that runs the down the back or the bottom of the instrument. Proper crafting of a pianos soundboard is one of the essential parts of the manufacturing or rebuilding process. A piano with a cracked soundboard should be carefully checked for rib separations before purchase. With proper maintenance and tuning, even a soundboard with cracks can be maintained for years. A cracked harp plate is an important issue, but in most cases can be remedied by new technologies in welding and mending. Used pianos will develop cracks after prolonged dry conditions. Center is the only facility in the world with the custom machinery and expertise required to truly restore a steinway piano. It can crack if not kept at consistent humidity levels. Pianos, soundboards, and us george bowers ministries. Piano soundboard steinway piano parts chupps piano service.
During restauration, they dried the piano down to 20 percent humidity, so that even some more cracks occured during that. This photo was taken underneath a new name brand grand piano that was only 1month old when the 1layer solidspruce soundboard cracks were discovered by the owner in their home in phoenix, arizona. Be careful of grand piano soundboard cracks, especially in arizona. While soundboard cracks are obviously undesirable, and in some cases can cause serious problems. Much more important is for a grand, that the soundboard does not start to hang down instead having a convex dome. Slight crack in soundboard which has been stable for the past 20 years. Once you get to the point where strings need to be removed, the labor charges go up. Fixing cracks in your soundboard whether you have a grand piano or an upright piano, fixing cracks is one of the most common soundboard repairs. The perfect materials for piano soundboard manufacturing. The more constant you can keep the humidity, the more stable you can keep your piano. The ribs run perpendicular to the grain of the soundboard, and therefore perpendicular to any cracks.
Since a grand piano s soundboard is horizontal, its obvious that if the piano lid is kept open, dust and grime will accumulate over time. Lindeblad mastercraftsmen have the time and experience to custom shape each soundboard to the manufacturers specifications, tapering it from the crown to the rim. It takes an experienced rebuilder to determine if a soundboard needs replacement. These small squeegees are made of brass with feltcovered blades. Four things you need to know about gray market pianos. Id like to have it tuned and learn to play it, however, it has a cracked sound board.
So youve noticed the soundboard of your piano has a crack or perhaps many cracks. Nashville piano rescue is full service and does make house calls on basic repairs, we also do piano cleaning, key top replacement, brass polishing, string replacement and full rebuilds. Years of vibration and climate changes can cause the soundboards pieces to split at the seams. To me, the rim is the soul and the soundboard is the heart. Repairing or replacing a pianos soundboard bradfield piano. Although soundboard cracks are not the death knell of a piano, they can cause buzzing and rattling that. Depending on where the crack is, the piano technician will usually have to loosen the tension on the strings directly over the.
The piano soundboard august 10, 2010 by piano emporium piano soundboards are thin boards commonly made of spruce approximately 38. Nominally, if the piano is worth it the scant information above, i would judge no, you remove the plate, widen the crack to a vshape, insert and glue a vshaped spruce strip and scrape not sand the repair level. Any piano with a little age on it will have a cracked soundboard, and any piano that is restored by any piano shop can have soundboard issues corrected and addressed properly. All who heard the piano gave kind comments on the sound, so it worked. The soundboard in any piano is exposed to humidity and other environmental swings during its lifetime. The old keytops were damaged or missing, the soundboard had several large cracks, and many of the action parts were worn out. Sometimes when the soundboard gets cracks in it, the ribs come unglued from it in places. The significance of soundboard cracks on pianos youtube. In order to produce yamahas signature tone, the design of the soundboard incorporates pressure and tension. Soundboard repair oxford piano service piano tuning. In december 2012,we purchased an old mehlin baby grand piano. This is an example of a significant crack in the soundboard of a small baby grand piano. Small cracks, especially cracks that form along the seams where the wood pieces are joined together, occur in most cases due to age. A new soundboard is custom tapered and fitted into the specific piano.
A piano will go through many changes as weather and seasonal changes bring in cold and warmth. I havent had any issues with cracking at the repair site. The components are installed out of sight, inside the case of a vertical piano or under the soundboard of a grand. Years of vibration and climate changes can cause the soundboard s pieces to split at the seams. For this reason, a crack in the soundboard reduces the soundboard s ability to amplify the vibrations of the strings only in relation to how much of the surface area the crack reduces the vibrating area of the board.
Soundboard cracks can be repaired with shims if there are only a few small cracks but is not advisable for a soundboard with many cracks. Spruce soundboard shims glued into routeredout cracks. Upright plates are cleaned and regilded, and soundboards are cleaned and clearcoated. Cracks in the soundboard, like this one in a baldwin baby grand, usually arent a cause for any undue distress. So long, in fact, as the structure of the soundboard remains solid, with ribs and bridges adhering correctly to the surface of the soundboard, and with the entire periphery rigidly fastened into the frame of the piano, the question of cracks is utterly unimportant.
One of the main pieces of a piano is the soundboard. When a piano is restrung it is normal for the soundboard cracks to be filled with spruce shims. How to fix a soundboard crack on a grand piano brigham larson. Nearly all soundboards will crack at some point over the life of the piano. Feb 07, 2012 so youve noticed the soundboard of your piano has a crackor perhaps many cracks. Some soundboard cracks can produce unwanted buzzes and oddball sounds. Soundboards must be perfectly balanced to eliminate any sound interference.
Soundboard cracks demystified south jersey piano service. If the piano sounds good to you and the price is right and everything else checks out, the crack might not be a reason to reject the piano. A solid soundboard is commonly used in piano soundboard construction. Soundboard cracks, splits in the bridges, rusty strings, etc. I cant count the number of times someone has said to me. So even if there are 10, 20 cracks, it will not change the sound, or only almost unaudible. It could indicate other conditions, see below, or it could be the normal separation spruce does when it is glued to ribs and fixed at the edges. The photo above shows the bright, attractive and clean soundboard of a very nice new petrof grand piano. The sound board is a five eighths inch thick wooden board in the back of the piano.
Cracks and rib separations are usually repaired at the same time the piano is restrung. Epoxy soundboard crack repair pianotech piano technicians guild. A piano tuner came and whipped it into shape in short order. Nov 01, 20 does a cracked soundboard mean my piano is ruined.
Piano technician bryce mckay recently fixed a crack in the soundboard of a grand piano we are restoring. Good technology and craftsmanship have always been a part of building a steinway piano. Spurlock soundboard cleaner set howard piano industries. Any separation of a rib from the soundboard at a crack is a potential source of buzzing noises. I am asked often about soundboard cracks, and often by people that have heard its a death sentence for the piano, or that it means the piano cant be tuned. An atmosphere thats too dry can crack the beautiful wood on your. The deal was struck, the piano was purchased and donated, and it was moved onto the worship platform at our church. Kurt weissman of grand purpose piano is restoring this steinway m and in the process of making extensive soundboard repairs. The crack was huge and look like the grand canyon running the length of the soundboard parallel to the bridge. A crack or separation in a piano soundboard is of little consequence as long as it doesnt rattle. Soundboard cracks are glued and set as needed, and bridge repairs are made as needed. How to fix a soundboard crack on a grand piano brigham. Soundboards in grand pianos are very visible especially when the top lid is propped in the open position. At yamaha, we recognize the fact that since the soundboard is made out of wood,it will always be subject to the effects of fluctuations in relative humidity rh.1419 625 269 876 1185 1355 1273 273 103 167 533 879 1458 160 1311 885 1581 93 1231 365 965 925 130 942 1554 693 1002 491 1261 61 1370 653 64 1246 196 852 1311 335 1441 1201