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#2001417 - 12/18/12 09:52 PM NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why?
kevinkiller Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 20
Hi,

I was able to purchase a virtually unused 1998 Petrof IV from someone who bought it new for their daughter who took 2 lessons and then quit. The piano sat unused for 14 years until I bought it (after having it inspected by an out of town RPT piano tech) and had it shipped to my home for $8K (a very good price) based on Larry Fine's rating of this piano as concert quality/level 3 (just one step below Steinway NY).

My (in town) piano tech is telling me it needs a soup to nuts regulation including hammer filing, voicing, hammer/string alignment, let-off, damper timing, key weighting, etc. ALONG with new bass strings.

I had another piano expert (Rapport Piano Rebuilders) come and look at it and she agreed that it needed the full regulation, hammer work, voicing, etc. She didn't think the bass strings were that bad but thought the dampers need to be replaced. (Some of the dampers were definitely not working well)

Why is this unused piano in such a sad state? Everything we're seeing has to have come straight from the factory. What's up with that?

I've had 3 different quotes for the regulation from $1500, $2000, and $2500 + ($800 extra for the damper work).

I'm not sure which person to trust/pay. Everyone agrees (including me) that regulation is needed but not everyone agrees on what that entails. One wants to file the hammers the other says the hammers are small and shouldn't be filed. One wants to replace the damper felts the other says they just need to be adjusted. What's a consumer to do?

There is one piece of good news, I went up to the Rapport workshop (the high bidder) and they had just finished rebuilding a Steinway S and I got to play it a while before the movers came. All I can say is that after a while I closed the lid and pushed away ... the piano was too nice for me, my playing was doing it an injustice. It was that good (and I've played like 50 - 60 pianos all over the place before purchasing the Petrof and this Steinway was CRAZY good).

So my question is ... is a regulation a regulation, or does every piano tech use the same words to mean different things? Are there measurable, factual, things that constitute a regulation such that there's no ambiguity in the work or is it subjective where a more expensive/more experienced person would provide a significantly better result?

I'm really at a loss on what to do here and the money is to much for me to take chances on someone on doing a poor job, but I don't want to spend double either? What am I to do?

J.

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#2001427 - 12/18/12 10:10 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1295
Loc: Michigan
There may be several contributing reasons to why the piano needs regulating . . .

1) Maybe it was never properly regulated in the factory.
2) Maybe it never received proper dealer prep.
3) Time plus gravity will cause felts and leathers to compress just sitting there. Seasonal humidity fluctuations can affect alignment and action centers. Metal components get layers of crud/corrosion as a matter of course.

Such is the way of things in the piano world . . .

You speak of "Rapport Piano Rebuilders". If you mean "Rapoport", Joel and Priscilla Rapoport know pretty much what they are doing.

You need to understand that some recommendations are based on judgement that emerges from years of experience. Take dampers, for example. It may be that the existing dampers "could" be renewed just by peeling and re-regulating. On the other hand, this approach might not work because the felts have "set" in a way that renders them uncooperative to manipulation. So, some technicians might just prefer to replace the felts and be done with it. They may want to avoid the "you touched it last" syndrome that can and does occur. Some quality technicians might go one way and others the more conservative approach.

Also, you need to understand that the practice of piano technology is an art as well as a science. The piano itself is made of extremely variable products like felt, leather and wood. There are significant variations that happen in piano building from "tolerance stacking". If piano building were a matter of reducing everything to digital information, Steinway would have been out of business long ago since anyone with CNC machinery would be able to duplicate one. And, since there are not really any "set in stone" specs for a truly fine regulation, an experienced piano craftsman can be expected to produce a finer result than someone just following a book.




_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2001447 - 12/18/12 11:05 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kpembrook]
kevinkiller Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 20
Keith,

Thanks for your reply, and yes I do mean Rapoport Piano Rebuilders in Geogetown TX. Priscilla came down today and told me that it "wasn't a total disaster" :-)

I'm leaning towards having her do the work, but was wondering if regulating a piano was a demonstrable activity or was of a more a whole being greater than the sum of it's parts type thing (which you've indicated).

I guess I'm just having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that the value the regulation/damper work is nearly 1/2 the cost of purchasing the entire piano.

J.

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#2001464 - 12/18/12 11:37 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1295
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: kevinkiller

I guess I'm just having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that the value the regulation/damper work is nearly 1/2 the cost of purchasing the entire piano.


And here, it's just a matter of adopting an appropriate frame of reference. . .

It's a smaller fraction of the brand-new price today -- which it is likely to be better than by the time the work is done.
OR
It's like a 10-year-old car that was run a little bit and then parked -- without fogging the cylinders or jacking the tires off the ground. Just sitting there, the thing needs a tuneup, new tires and belts.
OR
More simply . . . service needs have little connection to purchase price.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2001468 - 12/18/12 11:41 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
Hello,

It's actually Rappaport! Joel and Priscilla, have a world class resume. I would certainly take advantage of their skills. Here is a bio on them:

"Joel worked for over five years in grand piano production in the Bösendorfer factory in Vienna and the Bechstein factory in Berlin where his activities included all facets of the building, regulation, tuning and voicing of grand pianos. He attended the world famous school for piano builders in Ludwigsburg, Germany, graduating with honors, and passed the State Examinations for the Master Piano Builders Diploma at the Handwerkskammer in Stuttgart. He has had technical training with Steinway company personnel in New York, Hamburg and London as well as specialized training on Shigeru pianos at the Kawai factory in Japan. Further experience has included Chief Piano Technician at Tanglewood (the summer home of the Boston Symphony), extensive rebuilding in his own shop, concert services nationwide, and educational/technical presentations at many conventions and seminars for piano technicians. Today, Joel and his wife Priscilla, also a Master Piano Builder, operate Rappaport's Piano Workshop in Round Rock, Texas and have been profiled in The New York Times by esteemed music critic Harold Schonberg.”
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2001471 - 12/18/12 11:46 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: rysowers]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1295
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
It's actually Rappaport!


I knew that! blush crazy

Thanks for the correction and contribution.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2001477 - 12/19/12 12:08 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
No problem Keith!

I'm actually planning on spending a week at their workshop sometime in February! I'm so looking forward to it! thumb


Edited by rysowers (12/19/12 12:41 AM)
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2001742 - 12/19/12 02:28 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7223
Loc: France
Petrof grands are difficult to regulate.. They have an interesting sound body but the action is special. I new front punchings can help, but the hammers are very tall, and if compared with modern common setups.. I would not say they are really in the concert category but sure something can be done with them.
The older series have a special keyboard and damper action, and not my preference, but as the keyframe is shortened, and not easy to dress straight.
More recent designs are interesting
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Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2001764 - 12/19/12 02:59 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Because the instrument has been idle for 14 years it surprises me that none of the technicians has mentioned the knuckles.

I would think they are pretty deformed (flattened out) from sitting with the weight on them for so long and would require replacements. Just a guess as there are no photos of this one.
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2001803 - 12/19/12 04:46 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
One thing that nobody buying a piano considers and if they do consider it they believe it, is what they are being told. Like the internet. Because it is wrtten, therefore, it must be true. Because someone said it wasn't used for 14 years, it' must be true.... Maybe so but, I doubt it was entirely never used.

Pianos are used a lot more often than you are being told in most cases. The daughter practiced on it for at least 2 years so there are two years of use right there. I don't usually believe that people let pianos set around all the time, never, ever being used, ever....

When you have someone that is very reputable give you an estimate, it will be higher than some Joe blow down the road who is not doing the extensive regulation that includes a lot more than just pulling the action, cleaning it and putting back together again.

You will get what you pay for. smile
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2001805 - 12/19/12 04:50 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1295
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Because the instrument has been idle for 14 years it surprises me that none of the technicians has mentioned the knuckles.

I would think they are pretty deformed (flattened out) from sitting with the weight on them for so long and would require replacements. Just a guess as there are no photos of this one.


Yes, indeed. You are absolutely correct.

Actually it was implicit in what I had said earlier
"3) Time plus gravity will cause felts and leathers to compress just sitting there."

But it was good to identify that explicitly. Knuckles aren't cheap . . .
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2001846 - 12/19/12 06:27 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: Olek]
kevinkiller Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 20
Originally Posted By: Kamin
I would not say they are really in the concert category but sure something can be done with them.


Larry Fine rates Petrof as better than a lot of pianos (including Yamaha C-series and Kawai RX-series) and in the "Performance" grade.

http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall12/44.html

[edit: I also made sure this rating was true in 1998 when the piano was manufactured by buying the 1998 version of the PianoBuyer supplement]

Do you (or anyone else) disagree? If so, I'm very interested in your reasons why as I'm basing my financial decisions on the expected quality and performance of this piano per Larry's rating. (i.e. I'm willing to put all this money into a piano that is expected to perform just below a NY Steinway, but I wouldn't want to do it for a J.P. Pramberger)

Thank you for any advise you can give.

J.


Edited by kevinkiller (12/19/12 06:29 PM)

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#2001946 - 12/20/12 12:45 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1887
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Are you going into the business of buying and selling grand pianos? Or are you a piano owner? Because you seem fixated on the selling price of your piano after work-you sound like a dealer. You got several estimates that do not seem that variable from my perspective and they all indicate similar service needs. Each tech will have a slightly different approach and overhead structure. The price range you showed is not that great. You have auditioned at least one of the technicians why not audition the others tone-regulation/work if possible. Then develop a professional relationship with the one who seems to jibe with your musicality. Buy the musical qualities you want produced for you. A lot of the "value" of a grand piano is how well it sounds and plays. The value to the name on the fallboard is limited. The used Steinway's that sell at premium price points are ones that present at least as good as most new ones to a pianist and are guaranteed by a reputable establishment.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2001955 - 12/20/12 01:31 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3846
Loc: Rockford, IL
Hey, man, it's only money and you get what you pay for.

If you bought a frikkin Petrof, and played a Steinway that you perceived was too good for you, pay the frikkin money to the people who did the Steinway to work on your Petrov. C'mon and get real!

Plus, if rysowers told me to go for it, that's all I would need to hear. And you've gotten a ton of other excellent advice in this thread besides that!

PM me if you want, and I'll explain further.

--Andy
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2001960 - 12/20/12 02:08 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21287
Loc: Oakland
If a piano has been given no more than routine service and light use after 15 years, I would expect that it would not need any new parts unless they are obviously defective, and that it would take no more than 2 days work in your home to bring it up to a reasonable standard. 1 or 1-1/2 days would be more likely.

I look at regulation as a routine service that pianos should get at a reasonable price fairly often, and I usually can get a piano in reasonably good shape for 2 to 4 times the cost of a tuning, or less if it is done at the proper intervals. If a concert artist is said to be particularly picky about pianos (something that is usually more psychological than physical), an hour's worth of touch-up regulation has proven to be sufficient. Personally, I would rather regulate 95 pianos to about 95% of perfect for a few hundred dollars every couple of years than regulate 5 piano to close to 100% perfect for a couple thousand dollars every couple of years, not so much because I would make more money, but because more people would appreciate their pianos that way.
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Semipro Tech

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#2001962 - 12/20/12 02:14 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: BDB]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3846
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: BDB
[...] (something that is usually more psychological than physical), [...]


Nope.

Originally Posted By: BDB
[...] an hour's worth of touch-up regulation has proven to be sufficient. [...]


Yep. Something like that...
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2001982 - 12/20/12 04:42 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3458
Yes pianos wear even if they are standing still. Felt and leather detoriates, constant pressure on them, metal getting stiffer, etc. I heard before that strings last about 15 years in standing still conditions.

You should have a tech look at it BEFORE you bought it so that you could anticipate the additional cost...
_________________________

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#2002057 - 12/20/12 09:00 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7223
Loc: France
Petrof grand are decent European pianos as soon they have a Renner action.

Beforethen I don't like the action and keyboard.

Even on 2000 models I am not fan of very tall hammers, but Alas not much can be done about that.

Dan I don't see any reason for standing knuckles to wear after 15 years. I In fact a 15 years old piano could well be considered as "new".. Some pianos sold in some shops could have been build 10 years ago, I delivered u years ago and wait for a customer the rest of the time...
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Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2002067 - 12/20/12 09:30 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 405
Loc: Boston, MA
I hope you find someone you can trust, who will indeed do the work properly and not charge you for anything unnecessary.

There is as much difference between regulations as there are types of pianos. We call them all pianos - but the experience of a Yamaha is worlds apart from a Steingraeber.

I would suggest that the technician who doesn't recognize the difference between levels of service and the extreme variablility possible, is one you don't want working on your piano.
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www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.

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#2002114 - 12/20/12 11:50 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: Tunewerk]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 658
Originally Posted By: Tunewerk
There is as much difference between regulations as there are types of pianos. We call them all pianos - but the experience of a Yamaha is worlds apart from a Steingraeber


Tunewerk, can you please explain what "world's apart" difference there is between the Yamaha and Steingraeber regulation is?
_________________________
Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2002131 - 12/20/12 12:35 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: Mark Davis]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 405
Loc: Boston, MA
Hey Mark,

I wasn't relating the two, but making a comparison. In other words, a regulation simply by spec vs. an optimized regulation.

We're all familiar with the common regulation, where a tech will choose a point or two from specification of that piano and then regulate everything until it fits into alignment. I was relating that simple operation to the Yamaha, where everything is technically there and done well.

The other types of regulation I was pointing at are the kinds that take the instrument into new realms. I guess you could call it organic regulation, where every spec is thrown out the window, to find where the piano begins to bloom.

I felt like Steingraeber was a good example of that kind of work.


Edited by Tunewerk (12/20/12 12:52 PM)
_________________________
www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.

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#2002143 - 12/20/12 12:52 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 658
Thanks Tunewerk

In other words there is a difference between the "domestic" regulated piano and the concert regualted piano?
_________________________
Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2002150 - 12/20/12 01:01 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Colin Dunn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 479
Loc: Arvada, CO
Quote:

My (in town) piano tech is telling me it needs a soup to nuts regulation including hammer filing, voicing, hammer/string alignment, let-off, damper timing, key weighting, etc. ALONG with new bass strings.


I could see the piano needing regulation even if it was barely used. But hammers shouldn't be worn (filing) if the piano was barely played. Voicing, maybe, to improve the tone from factory stock.

Bass strings shouldn't be worn in 15 years unless the piano was subjected to poor environmental conditions.
_________________________
Colin Dunn

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#2002152 - 12/20/12 01:02 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: Mark Davis]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 405
Loc: Boston, MA
Hmm.. communication is difficult around ephemeral subjects like this. I don't know exactly what you mean, but it sounds right.

One thing that comes to mind is I wouldn't put the term 'concert' on it personally. Just for communication sake on my end. Much concert work is done quickly for pianos that are already at a high level - good work under the duress of limited time.

I was more talking about the tools within good technician's abilities. The low end regulation vs. high end. Primarily pointing to the vast differences in technique and time.
_________________________
www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.

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#2002168 - 12/20/12 01:26 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 658
ok, I understand now and agree.

Thanks Tunewerk
_________________________
Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2002443 - 12/21/12 01:27 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: BDB]
kevinkiller Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 20
Originally Posted By: BDB
If a piano has been given no more than routine service and light use after 15 years, I would expect that it would not need any new parts unless they are obviously defective, and that it would take no more than 2 days work in your home to bring it up to a reasonable standard. 1 or 1-1/2 days would be more likely.


Originally Posted By: "Cinnamonbear"
If you bought a frikkin Petrof, and played a Steinway that you perceived was too good for you, pay the frikkin money to the people who did the Steinway to work on your Petrov. C'mon and get real!


Originally Posted By: "wouter79"
You should have a tech look at it BEFORE you bought it so that you could anticipate the additional cost...


Originally Posted By: "Larry Buck"
BTW, for 4k, you could install NEW hammers, shanks/flanges, regulate and voice the piano .... perhaps deal with some other minor issue ...


Well, I did pay a RPT technician to look it over before I bought it. He was a grumpy old guy who told me straight out he never saw a Petrof he liked, but after looking through my IV for more than an hour he grudgingly admitted that he'd buy it if his wife asked him for a piano. His final assessment was "the keys need a little easing but that's it, everything else is great". I was very surprised after I had it moved to my home and my local techs looked it over that they would tell me it needs thousands of dollars worth of work.

My Petrof has a Detoa action and I can't tell if it has those Imadagawa Hammers or not, but Priscilla indicated they needed some serious voicing along with a bunch of other stuff (like making them hit all the 3 strings at the same time).

I'm sure Priscilla is the best person to have do everything possible with what there is to work with ... but here's is the heart of matter: Does the Petrof really have the chops to be spectacular, like that Steinway, or doesn't it? I've seen a mix of differing opinions on that.

I'm going to move my piano up to her workshop in January and have her do the work for $4K instead of my normal guy for $2K because I believe she won't stop until everything is perfect ... (boy I hope nothing happens to my car or my job or anything in the meantime.) It's a huge roll of the dice, let's hope it all turns out good.

Thanks,

J.

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#2002446 - 12/21/12 01:36 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21287
Loc: Oakland
Steinway would be out of business if $4000 could make a piano that costs a third as much play and sound like their pianos.
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Semipro Tech

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#2002456 - 12/21/12 02:40 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: kevinkiller

but here's is the heart of matter: Does the Petrof really have the chops to be spectacular, like that Steinway, or doesn't it? I've seen a mix of differing opinions on that.


Yes. Stop fretting.
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#2002487 - 12/21/12 06:04 AM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3458
>Well, I did pay a RPT technician to look it over before I bought it.

Ok, good job on your side, bad luck...

>Does the Petrof really have the chops to be spectacular, like that Steinway, or doesn't it?

ok, sounds like you did not discuss that thoroughly with your tech Priscilla yet? Make sure that the tech knows exactly what you are aiming for. I'm pretty sure Petrof is up to being spectacular but again IMHO it will always sound different from a Steinway unless they replace the entire guts.
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#2003100 - 12/22/12 01:48 PM Re: NOS Petrof IV -- needs regulation, why? [Re: kevinkiller]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1887
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Imadegawa hammers would be a stopping point for me. All the ones I have seen have too dense felt and when you shape them to remove mass and lower inertia-the tone becomes way too bright. Dense felt does not needle well resulting in more shredded fibers than stretched looser fibers. If you only do shallow needle work, the felt will work-harden quickly with playing.
Also since you seem set on Steinway tone, I as a technician would warn you even if I fit a set of Steinway "style" hammers to a Petrof it will not sound like a Steinway. With a Steinway "style" hammer properly tone-regulated, it would be a fine piano though and likely would sell more readily at a greater price later. Plus you would be able to enjoy playing it for several years while you plan your finances and seek out a Steinway at best price/value ratio. Maybe the Rappaports could keep their eye open for you when one of their older Steinway clients downsizes.
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