I have an old piano. Is it worth restoring?
Common question. Fair question too.
This is what I tell people: I see 3 ways you could take the question. Worth in the market, sentimental worth, and potential of the piano. As for market value, often times no. Unless it’s one of a few big names, your chances of selling it for the cost of a full restoration are slim. To justify going forward, you would need to value the piano in one or both of the other two areas:
Is the sentimental value strong enough to justify the cost? Sentimentally, that is a choice only you can make. I have had the privilege of connecting with some VERY meaningful legacies. Whether your piano story is grandiose or not, it still feels the way it does to you. And surprisingly, many people who have done business don’t think much about the name or market value. If it means something, that can be enough.
And lastly – will the effort to restore it be rewarded with a great sound? With the proper depth of care, I have heard the transformation, popular name or not. It is remarkable to hear the first tone speak after extensive work.
With a thorough assessment, I always give my honest opinion, reporting condition of component parts, and what it would take to partially or fully restore the instrument, as needed. I give a quote, and then it’s your call.
I have a piano that has not been tuned in a long time. How much will that cost?
I am often recommending full service on a neglected piano. This includes shaving the hammers to remove the grooves/flat spots, reveal fresh felt and round the surface of the hammers. This will last you several years with regular use. It also includes adjusting the intricate moving parts to spec so that the touch is where it ought to be. Lastly, tuning on a neglected piano is almost always a stretch tuning to bring it up to standard pitch and then a fine tuning from there. Usually done the same day. This all runs 369 if needed. I always check before I get started in case it is simpler.
I have a piano that was tuned 1-2 years ago. How much is tuning?
120 for a basic tuning. Adjustment of the moving parts and an assessment of the condition of the hammers is also recommended. Not always needed on maintained pianos. I can check for you though.