Design Driven Restoration ™
You may encounter many terms as you search for answers about what to do with your old piano. They include repair, refurbish, rehab, remanufacture, redesign, restore, replicate; the list goes on, but what do they really mean and how do you know what is best course of action.
Piano restoration may be distinguished by three basic approaches. The first approach is piano refurbishing, whereby the piano is repaired using as much of the original piano and parts as possible. While this may be appropriate for historical instruments, it is rarely a good idea even for the budget conscience and the outcome will most likely be a disappointment.
The second approach is restoration by replication and is the most common. Here the work is generally more extensive and an attempt is made to restore the instrument by replicating and replacing various components with new ones. The downside is that no effort is placed on examining whether the design was correct in the first place; or assuming the design was correct, it is very unlikely that new parts have the exact same qualities as the original. A classic example would be replacing old hammers with new ones. Even if the new hammers are made by same manufacturer as your piano, they may have such contrasting qualities as the originals as to cause tonal and touch-weight problems. The same applies to rib dimensions and soundboard construction methods. It is imperative to understand the sum of the parts as well as the individual components if we are going to have a controlled and successful outcome.

At Absolute Piano, we have developed an approach of Design-Driven Restoration™. This process begins with a thorough examination and analysis of the original design; nothing is assumed nor taken for granted. Careful measurements are taken and entered into custom built programs that help us to understand the intention of the original makers. We then work with our clients to achieve a desired outcome, relying on both the mastery of traditional techniques and an understanding of piano design and innovation to reach this goal. There are always improvements that can be incorporated into a rebuilt piano. If the design is sound, the extent of deviation from the original might be moderate or even non-existent. In other cases, major design changes may be executed to make an ordinary piano extraordinary. This does not mean that every piano is a candidate for such extensive work, but it does indeed present more options and possibilities. It really all comes down to you, our client, having all the options.

It really all comes down to you, our client, having all the options.

Understanding the Piano Restoration Process

To understand the restoration process, let us begin by observing the four major components of the piano:
The Structure
The Action
Damper System
Case Refinish


Piano Restoration

Design Driven Restoration ™










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