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#1409504 - 04/02/10 03:27 PM small cracks at bridge pins
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
I noticed a number of tiny cracks around the bridge pins in my new piano. You kind of need magnifying glasses to see them but I know there is a lot of stress on these pins.

Is this normal?

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#1409522 - 04/02/10 03:57 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
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Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3635
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
It is not normal or better yet appropriate.
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#1409537 - 04/02/10 04:26 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
KawaiRX7Dude Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 16
Loc: New Orleans, LA USA
I hope the piano is still under warranty. A similar thing happened to a piano I owned when I was younger and the whole bass bridge had to be rebuilt. I'd get a technician to look at it when possible.
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#1409539 - 04/02/10 04:28 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
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You should notify the dealer and request a warranty service call.
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#1409541 - 04/02/10 04:29 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
Is this the piano that was in the store for a long time? Curious what brand is it?

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#1409550 - 04/02/10 04:49 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: Mark...]
SeilerFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 746
What piano is this? Age? Size?

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#1409554 - 04/02/10 04:54 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: Mark...]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
Thanks for your expert advice.

This is a Petrof

I bought it new so yes, it must have been in the showroom many years.

I have had a piano technician inspect the instrument and he thought it was in good condition. At that time I did not know about these cracks. Later I checked the bridge because one or two notes are a bit harsh and I could not find the cause. I am not sure whether these cracks are related to that because these cracks are on more places while the harshness is just on a few notes.

I will contact him again with this photo.

BTW I have a question about a technical inspection as I had done on my piano. What could I expect from such an inspection? I expected the technician to inspect all kinds of details with glasses, pull out the keyboard for a good inspection, etc, but he mainly made some comments on the tuning.


Edited by wouter79 (04/02/10 05:04 PM)
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#1409751 - 04/02/10 10:57 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
Lushey1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 49
Loc: Melbourne-Australia
The cracks are in the bridge cap(only that hopefully).They are not a good sign and probably should have been picked up in the inspection.You may want to think about changing the piano over,

Ian
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#1410074 - 04/03/10 01:49 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: Lushey1]
Rich Galassini Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 8974
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Dear wouter,

This is a clear situation. A crack like that should be covered under warranty. Have the dealer look at this. Depending on the manufacturer and the location of the crack, the piano will either be repaired or replaced.

Keep us posted,
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rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#1410468 - 04/04/10 03:07 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: Rich Galassini]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
UPDATE

The dealer told me that it depends on whether it is a superficial crack or a crack throughout the entire bridge.

The dealer is coming next week to have a look at it in person.

A few questions:
1. To me these cracks look superficial, at this moment. Is my impression correct?
2. What makes these cracks particularly worrying? Will they grow over time? Will it change the sound of the piano already now? Does it cause problems with tuning? Or something else?
3. On the photo you can also see a small gap at the bottom of the pin, the pin does not seem to fit tight into the hole. Is that also a concern?
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#1410481 - 04/04/10 03:37 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
1.I'm not a bellyman but know enough as for obvious observations. I can confer with my bellyman tomorrow.
I don't think any bridge crack can be considered superficial because eventually it won't be superficial.

2.They (cracks) will grow over time because the bridge pins are moving because of the string tension. It will change the sound because it affects the side bearing and ?. It will affect the tuning because it is affecting the stability of the bridge pins.

3.The pins have moved already.


Edited by pianobroker (04/04/10 04:22 AM)
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#1410722 - 04/04/10 02:28 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: pianobroker]
Robert 45 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1115
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Hi wouter79,
If, as you claim, there are many of these cracks along the bridge where the bridge pins have been inserted, then it is a very serious defect in your piano.

Good piano tone is dependent on stable termination points on the bridge. Apart from unstable tuning, the sound of the piano may become feeble with buzzes and false beats.

I would insist on a new replacement piano, not a repair.

Let us know...

Very best of luck!

Robert.

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#1410790 - 04/04/10 04:31 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: Robert 45]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
Thanks for this feedback. I think this is very important in the process to come.

The small gaps under the pins, is that normal or is that already indication that the two upper pins also moved?

What should be the main argument to ask for a replacement piano instead of a repair (I suppose replacement is much more expensive)? Can I even ask for such replacement, even if the dealer says everything will be fine after repair?

Is there maybe something I should do? Like ordering an official test report on these pins? Can someone here provide such report (maybe based on photos that I can make?)

Also I bought this piano for the sound, can I require a possible replacement with a sound that I like or could I end up with a bad sounding piano in case of replacement?

"If, as you claim, there are many of these cracks along the bridge where the bridge pins have been inserted, then it is a very serious defect in your piano."

I spotted some 6 of these cracks in a quick scan. I probably missed a few. Don't know if that counts as "many" but it's not an isolated single pin that has this issue.

"I'm not a bellyman"... I do not understand this term, please explain?
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#1410819 - 04/04/10 05:14 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Bellyman! I don't have a protruding stomach as in downing a six pack every opprotunity. grin
A belly man is a person in the industry as for their expertise lies in addressing the soundboard,bridges,ribs etc.. Many many rebuilders are versatile and have this expertise as well.

If it is a new piano,you got two viable options. Have them recap the bridges to your satisfaction suppling you with a loaner in the meantime or a permanent replacement. Whether they commission someone in the states or send it back to ? who knows?
Good luck ! wink



Edited by pianobroker (04/04/10 05:15 PM)
_________________________
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#1410869 - 04/04/10 06:38 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: pianobroker]
master88er Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 789
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Your main concern should be to determine if there is movement caused by pressure on the bridge pin by the string. A crack likely means that there is movement, and I am surprised that the technician who inspected the piano for you (since he mentioned tuning as an issue) didn't search further. Most dealers would keep their stock tuned, and the fact that the instrument had a tuning issue could be a red flag for a technician.

Even if the piano were on a dealers floor for several years, you purchased a new piano and are entitled to have one free of flaws. Nearly every manufacturer covers manufacturing defects, and from the photo it appears that it should be covered. However, if it is simply the cap of the bridge, you would be entitled to have it repaired by the factory or their representative, not necessarily have the piano replaced. Most warranties allow the manufacturer to repair or replace at their discretion.

I would suggest that you hire a certified RPT in your area to inspect the piano for you, if for no other reason than to have a straightforward analysis of the issue. Additionally, if the RPT finds that you have little to worry about, and that a simple fix (such as epoxy) is warranted, you will sleep much easier.
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#1411148 - 04/05/10 02:59 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: master88er]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
"Most dealers would keep their stock tuned, and the fact that the instrument had a tuning issue could be a red flag for a technician."

It arrived very well tuned (in my ears, I'm not a tuning expert but my ears are good).
The technician inspected the piano within 3 weeks after delivery and then he already indicated the piano was in need for tuning.
The technician (and dealer too) told me that getting un-tuned is not unusual when the piano is moved. I also heard that on this forum.
The technician did tune two notes when he wanted to show me that the harsh notes were due to being not tuned properly. He did not report having problems with tuning these two notes.

But I do think he should have inspected the bridge more in detail and spotted the cracks.



"However, if it is simply the cap of the bridge, you would be entitled to have it repaired by the factory or their representative, not necessarily have the piano replaced. Most warranties allow the manufacturer to repair or replace at their discretion.
I would suggest that you hire a certified RPT in your area to inspect the piano for you, if for no other reason than to have a straightforward analysis of the issue. Additionally, if the RPT finds that you have little to worry about, and that a simple fix (such as epoxy) is warranted, you will sleep much easier."

Thanks, I suppose that this is what the dealer is targeting at. How can you see if this involves only the bridge cap and that the crack will not develop further?

And what about the small gaps below all the pins? Above was indicated that this allows the pins to move a little; would it be necessary to fix ALL pins?

I agree with the need for a good independent report from a technician... I probably have to find another technician.
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#1411161 - 04/05/10 03:36 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
If the piano was new, an epoxy repair is out of the question.
You do that when the cracks appear 50 years later.Not being aware of exactly the location of all these cracks,it is hard to make an exact assessment how one is gonna remedy this problem. By the way your cracks are in the bridge cap. If the cracks are confined to just the upper upper treble section,than they will most likely recap just that section. Now if they are all over,than recapping the entire bridge cap is alot more labour which will entail destringing,restringing etc. The domino effect comes about. What does one do pinblock wise in this case. Oversized pins when restringing the piano ? If the job gets to extensive than repair will not make sense unless they send it back to the factory. So....now you know a little more. If they do decide to subcontract the job out to a local independent,call me, I'll refer them to my bellyman who will notch those bridge caps better than the original. grin

Im curious, were those bridges vertically or horizontally laminated ?


Edited by pianobroker (04/05/10 03:39 AM)
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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#1411166 - 04/05/10 03:47 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
Robert 45 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1115
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Hello again wouter79,
It is very sensible of you to seek a range of opinions.
If you have found at least six cracks around the bridge pins it would seem that there was a problem with the wood used for the bridge capping. It may not have been properly seasoned.

It would be a major job to recap the bridge and your new piano would no longer be "new" after such an extensive repair. The strings would have to be removed and this could affect the stability of the tuning pins.
Liability would seem to lie squarely with the manufacturer and it is dealer who is the manufacturer's agent and he or she must take responsibility.

You bought your piano as a new piano and you are the unfortunate victim in this saga. It is legitimate for you to assert your rights as the purchaser.

All the best!

Robert.

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#1411584 - 04/05/10 04:06 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: Robert 45]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
Thanks again for the extensive replies. I am happy to receive this amount of detail feedback from you all.

"If the piano was new, an epoxy repair is out of the question. You do that when the cracks appear 50 years later."

Why is this out of the question?

And, are others here also against using epoxy to fix cracks on a new piano (and why)?

"Not being aware of exactly the location of all these cracks,it is hard to make an exact assessment how one is gonna remedy this problem."

I will shoot some more details and post including their location when my camera is recharged. The crack above is at the B3, right below the central C4.

" By the way your cracks are in the bridge cap."

What is the "bridge cap"? "cap" suggests me a separate part but the bridge looks to me like a solid piece of wood, no laminations? Only on the treble section there seems to be a separate "cap".

"The strings would have to be removed and this could affect the stability of the tuning pins. "

I was not aware of this. So do I understand right that if they have to remove the strings they will harm the integrity of my entire piano?

Now people here seem to have ruled out both recapping and using epoxy. Then is there any repair method left?
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#1411593 - 04/05/10 04:12 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
"Im curious, were those bridges vertically or horizontally laminated ?"

I can not see any laminations. I will post a larger photo later, maybe you can see or maybe there is no lamination at all?
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#1411722 - 04/05/10 07:22 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1227
Loc: London
If this is a new piano, I would have thought that this was a warranty matter. If it were my piano, I would want it replaced, not repaired.

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#1411740 - 04/05/10 07:50 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: master88er]
Dale Fox Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1052
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Originally Posted By: master88er
Your main concern should be to determine if there is movement caused by pressure on the bridge pin by the string. A crack likely means that there is movement, and I am surprised that the technician who inspected the piano for you (since he mentioned tuning as an issue) didn't search further. Most dealers would keep their stock tuned, and the fact that the instrument had a tuning issue could be a red flag for a technician.

Even if the piano were on a dealers floor for several years, you purchased a new piano and are entitled to have one free of flaws. Nearly every manufacturer covers manufacturing defects, and from the photo it appears that it should be covered. However, if it is simply the cap of the bridge, you would be entitled to have it repaired by the factory or their representative, not necessarily have the piano replaced. Most warranties allow the manufacturer to repair or replace at their discretion.

I would suggest that you hire a certified RPT in your area to inspect the piano for you, if for no other reason than to have a straightforward analysis of the issue. Additionally, if the RPT finds that you have little to worry about, and that a simple fix (such as epoxy) is warranted, you will sleep much easier.



I find this to be the most reasonable reply concerning your piano.

Russell represents some very high quality pianos and understands the warranty world very well.

I may be mistaken but I believe the last Petrof I had in the shop for repair had a solid, un-laminated bridge with a cap only at the high treble section. It also had a fair amount of small surface cracking but as it was getting a new soundboard and new bridge caps that was not a major concern. That particular piano started it's career in Taiwan then went to St Louis and then Arizona and finally Sacramento. I dare any bridge capping or soundboard to survive those humidity extremes untouched.
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Registered Piano Technician
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#1411958 - 04/06/10 02:40 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: Dale Fox]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
Here is a photo of the bridge, the higher registers but not the highest part. I don't see lamination here

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#1411961 - 04/06/10 02:42 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
There seems no bridge cap, so would that imply that these cracks will be growing over time?
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#1412047 - 04/06/10 07:57 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
mikewu99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 314
Loc: Audubon, PA
Originally Posted By: wouter79
"If the piano was new, an epoxy repair is out of the question. You do that when the cracks appear 50 years later."

Why is this out of the question?

And, are others here also against using epoxy to fix cracks on a new piano (and why)?

While the epoxy repair may stabilize the cracks and fix the pins from moving, the repair would not be invisible and you would have a cosmetically defective piano. This will have a negative impact on the value of the piano. Potential buyers would see evidence of a repair done to an almost new piano. Add to this the fact that said repair is typically done to older pianos to extend their life before rebuilding (extrapolating here a bit from pianobroker's post) and a significant number of potential buyers will be scared away. Any time you reduce the potential pool of buyers you are negatively impacting the value.

You take enough of a depreciation hit once you bring a new piano home. Even though you may never dream of selling your piano, there is no reason to take the additional hit to its value due to this defect.

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#1412075 - 04/06/10 09:07 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: mikewu99]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10335
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: mikewu99
Originally Posted By: wouter79
"If the piano was new, an epoxy repair is out of the question. You do that when the cracks appear 50 years later."

Why is this out of the question?

And, are others here also against using epoxy to fix cracks on a new piano (and why)?

While the epoxy repair may stabilize the cracks and fix the pins from moving, the repair would not be invisible and you would have a cosmetically defective piano. This will have a negative impact on the value of the piano. Potential buyers would see evidence of a repair done to an almost new piano. Add to this the fact that said repair is typically done to older pianos to extend their life before rebuilding (extrapolating here a bit from pianobroker's post) and a significant number of potential buyers will be scared away. Any time you reduce the potential pool of buyers you are negatively impacting the value.

You take enough of a depreciation hit once you bring a new piano home. Even though you may never dream of selling your piano, there is no reason to take the additional hit to its value due to this defect.


Mike make a key point. Unless there are very special circumstances we don't know about, this piano should be replaced under warranty.

That's what would happen at my store. I would "force" the manufactuer to do so.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1412125 - 04/06/10 10:32 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: Steve Cohen]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
Thanks for this explanation, yes this is an important point and I can not predict if/when I have to sell the piano.

But I can not force the manufacturer in any way at this point, as it is the dealer from which I bought the piano and he is responsible.

I am also a bit worried about using epoxy,

* epoxy is also detoriating over time and in my experience it detoriates much faster than wood.
* epoxy might fix the problem at the surface but you can't see what happened further down the crack. Did the epoxy go all the way down, can you be sure? When I fix things with epoxy I always take the parts completely apart and apply epoxy to both sides but that seems impossible here.
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#1412146 - 04/06/10 11:03 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
Stearman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 63
Loc: Montana, USA
I would not worry about the epoxy, because your going to get another piano. This is like buying spanking new car, and there are dents all along the side. Upon delivery, you could drive it (or play the piano), but it is not in new condition and you would ask for a replacement car pure and simple.

Cracks in wood happens, but not to new pianos. Companies have been putting pins in these blocks for 200 years, and they don't crack on the showroom floor unless there is a defect of some kind, and customers don't accept defects to new equipment.

As a side note, today's glues are of outstanding quality to the glues of yesteryear. If I were to glue something together, could I expect it to hold 70 to 100 years? Absolutely. Just look as all of the wooden airplanes glued together flying around out there. The stuff works and I have no problem risking my life on pieces of wood that I have glued together.

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#1412162 - 04/06/10 11:27 AM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4393
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...I can not force the manufacturer in any way at this point, as it is the dealer from which I bought the piano and he is responsible...."

Let's say that at this point, the better approach would be to inform the dealer about the problem, in a letter, backed up by your own, independent RPT's written report, and accompanied by photographs. It would be more polite to phrase your letter in terms of a request, and to state clearly what you want (replacement), and why (to protect the value).

You might send the same letter and attachments to the manufacturer, including a photocopy of the warranty (and serial number), and your bill of sale. A brief covering note that you have just contacted the seller will help them to know at what stage the matter rests. They will want this information anyway.

Your warranty is a legal document which gives you certain rights (which can be enforced in court, if it comes to that), and it is an agreement with the manufacturer--- not the seller. The dealer will normally act as the maker's agent for warranty matters, but sometimes the distributor will act as the maker's agent, or the head office may act for themselves.

It is much more likely that they will want to do the right thing for you, and will help you to resolve the problem to your satisfaction. It's a process, of course, and they will want to have their own technician inspect also.

There are some professional whiners and outright neurotics out there, who cannot be made happy no matter what is done for their piano (because their problem lies elsewhere). From what you've said and shown, this would seem to be another kind of story; a faulty bridge on a new piano is a manufacturing problem and is clearly a warranty matter. It's unusual, and they will want to see it proved up... but that's what warranties are for.
_________________________
Clef


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#1412233 - 04/06/10 12:54 PM Re: small cracks at bridge pins [Re: wouter79]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
wouter79,

If this is an older "new" petrof originally handled by GIC, you may be out of luck unless the dealer steps up to the plate.

I'm curious, since you haven't mentioned it, what does your warranty say? And your specific model? From the pictures it appears to be one of the P "roman numeral" models.

Is your warranty from the dealer, the manufacturer? Is it backed by Geneva International?



Mike


Edited by Mike Carr (04/06/10 12:57 PM)
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