1926 Steinway M

This piano was completely rebuilt in 2017.  It was first built in 1926. It's now playing and looking better than ever.

This particular client in BC had been on the hunt for a quality grand piano for some time. As a serious musician, he had resigned himself to finding the best used factory-built piano he could find. It's just that – fortunately, or unfortunately – he had played and fallen in love with the touch and sound of a Steinway. But the new ones were simply well beyond his budget.

After some repeated discussions between us, the client considered the possibility of buying a used Steinway and having it rebuilt. After months of searching, a possible option nearby became available. The question: was it any good? (There is a wild spectrum of good to not-so-good vintage and used pianos out there.) We came and did a thorough professional assessment. Turns out this was a good one. It was purchased in fall 2016, and then shipped to our workshop. We provided various options from partial to complete rebuilding. The client determined he wanted it to play like a new piano. We priced out the options, he decided to do a full rebuild, and we jumped in. 

The result? A piano that looks amazing, holds vintage appeal, and plays as well as the finest new Steinways. The overall cost was less than one-third that of new (with the finest parts available used), while the appraised value is two-thirds that of new. Not just a great investment, but the piano of a lifetime for an accomplished pianist. We were so pleased to be involved and to have such a satisfied customer.

1856 Hagspiel

This piano went through a full restoration over a period of 3 years (1994-1997).  It was in extremely bad shape as it was brought over from England, after spending most of its life there.  After a couple winters in Edmonton there were many cracks in the soundboard and the pinblock. The lid had dried and warped to the point that the front flap, when folder back, sat at a 30 degree angle!  The piano was hopelessly un-tuneable and the action did not function at all...but I like a challenge!  Over the years I've transformed many instruments with sentimental value to their owners.

Baldwin L

My experiences tuning this next piano goes back many years.  In fact, it goes back to when the young man you see in the following video was only a twinkle in his Dad's eye!  You see, the piano was a wedding gift for his Mother from his Father.  They married and over the years had 4 children.  
Matthew as it turned out was a born musician!  Over the years he played the living daylights out of this instrument practicing passionately for many hours.  Recently, he graduated with a performance degree from the University of Victoria and continues to pursue further education towards his goal of being a concert pianist.
Although this piano is not really old by piano standards, it could be compared to a 10 year old car that has a million miles on it!
Strings had been breaking over the past few years.  The hammers had already been re-shaped and the piano had been regulated in the past.  In short, there were aspects of the piano that needed to be rebuilt.  
So "Baldy," as it is affectionately called, was shipped to our shop during the last year of Matthew's university degree.
This rebuild project also afforded the opportunity to make some enhancements or "optimize" the piano to a higher level than it had ever been during its life so far.  I will be blogging about some of the more technical aspects of the "optimization" of this piano in the days ahead.
The piano is back home now.  Matthew's mom is also excited and motivated to get back into some lessons that she began all those years ago!