In today's assembly line world, there are experts who specialize in soundboard, pinblock, or bridge installations. Although these craftsmen do a good job installing specific parts of a piano, many, unfortunately, do not know about how the various parts of a piano fit together to create the marvelous sounds of a fine concert grand. Consequently, these ‘assembly line’ pianos produce only factory-quality sound. With us, we have a team of expert technicians that understand the holistic needs of the instrument. Our world-class rebuilders have the finesse, training and classical skill to recreate the rich sounds for years to come.
In our full-service rebuilding facility, we offer anywhere between touch ups to complete rebuilding and restoration. Contact us to schedule at in-home consultation.
Our master technician, Rudi Bartesch, still follows time-honored traditions of Old World masters, such as handpicking high quality wood of similar grain to ensure even tonal quality throughout the instrument. The installation of soundboards, pinblocks, bridgework, and the setting of the downbearing are all done by Rudi, who is a veritable legend in the restoration industry. In his spare time, Rudi likes to carve those wonderful ‘ice cream parlor’ legs that you see on some pianos throughout our website and in our store.
At Beethoven Pianos, we believe that the soundboard is the heart of the instrument. We take pride in the variety of soundboards that we offer. Our soundboards are made from hand-picked Sitka spruce, Bavarian Mountain spruce, and North American spruce. Because variations in the grain of spruce wood can dramatically affect the tonal quality of a piano, we carefully choose wood of similar grain and consistency. Yet, in spite of the quality of wood, a soundboard is only as good as its installation.
Refinishing a piano means the re-coating of the external case of the piano. This process can take the exterior of a dingy looking piano and turn it into a glossy and brand-new looking instrument.
In today's disposable consumer world, it's gratifying to know that a piano that was built fifty to one hundred years ago can be brought back to its original magnificent state. At Beethoven Pianos, we have worked hard to develop the team and gain the skill to able to complete such a task. Whether your piano needs a touch-up performed in your home, or if it requires a complete refinishing, our full service refinishing department has the equipment and expertise to revitalize your instrument.
What We Offer
We offer many methods to give a piano case a high-gloss, satin, lacquered, or other type of finish. For a smooth and shiny surface that looks like glass, or to give a piano case a hand-polished satin luster, we use a shellac glaze or protective natural beeswax over stained wood. These are just two of the many fine finishes utilized by our world-class artisans in the rebuilding process. We also specialize in period color matching and faux graining as our wood- working department can replicate any missing or damaged parts.
Typically, it takes about 12 to 14 weeks to fully refinish a grand piano. For a lacquer finish, an additional 2 to 3 weeks of drying time is required. The actual process of a refinishing begins by first removing the old finish and washing the case to get rid of any chemical residue. Second the piano is evaluated for any damages to the case and veneer, and, if necessary, repairs are made by our master woodworkers. Third, the case and parts are sanding down and prepared for staining and priming. Finally, the piano is sent to our refinishing department, which begins the painstaking process of spraying and sanding in between coats. The wood finishes receive a second stain (the toner) to even out the color and are then sealed again. If necessary, a third and final stain is applied. The final finish requires multiple coats to finish followed by machine polish and hand rubbing. All the metal parts installed in the piano are either nickel or re-polished brass.