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#615946 - 01/30/09 06:25 PM Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
spartan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 140
Loc: Sparta, NJ USA
I just realized that I should have posted this on the Tech Forum. Sorry for the duplicate post!

Hi Everyone,

Here's my question. Is it unreasonable to contact the rebuilder, after a fair amount of time has passed, let's say four years - if you discover that something wasn't done properly?

My technician tells me that the trouble I'm having with my sostenuto pedal is the result of the under-levers being out of adjustment. He feels that this is something that should have been done as part of the rebuild (completed in 2004). He says that it is going to require several hours of labor to put things in order, and he recommends that I work something out with the rebuilder, asking them to cover some of the cost.

I must admit that I didn't properly test the sostenuto, until recently. I simply didn't have a need for it until now. I have discovered that several dampers are not working as they should when I use the sostenuto. The damper and una corda pedals function fine.

Please give me your honest opinion. Should I just eat the cost myself, or should I pursue my tech's suggestion and get in touch with the rebuilder? Besides this, I must say that they did a wonderful job, and I have nothing but good things to say about them.

Thanks for your comments.
_________________________
What we think, we become.
--Buddha

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#615947 - 01/30/09 07:46 PM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Well, for beginners, 4 years, going on 5, is a long time to go back and then complain about something.

Is this the first time the piano has been tuned since then? If not, why didn't the technician mention something earlier?

Look at it this way. My mechanic guarantee's whatever he does to my car for 12,000 miles or 1 full year. I think that's a pretty good warranty. I wouldn't expect him to cover anything after 1 year let alone 4 years.

Now, maybe this re builder is the kind of person that will send someone out and have it fixed. It isn't a very big deal to correct the problem as you describe so, it shouldn't cost all that much to fix either.

My opinion. Are you sure the technician is being truthful about it?

Is he an RPT?

Pianos are very finicky creatures....
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#615948 - 01/30/09 08:22 PM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1464
Loc: Old Hangtown California
I think that a call to the rebuilder would not hurt. If the levers were not installed correct he should make it right. Out of regulation is what you describe and it would be unreasonable to hold him to that after four years. In any case, call and give him a chance to respond.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

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#615949 - 01/31/09 01:42 AM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
JDelmore Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 634
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Groot RPT:

Pianos are very finicky creatures.... [/b]
And the sostenuto can be one of the very finickiest bits...

As advised, give the rebuilder the first chance to make sure, but it's likely not something he "did wrong". As Gene notes, if it's just a regulation issue four years later, that's maintenance--and you simply need a technician willing and able to do it.
_________________________
PTG Associate Member

"There is always room above; there is only the ground below."....F.E. Morton (with props to Del F.)

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#615950 - 01/31/09 02:03 AM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
pianosxxi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 217
Loc: Southern California
spartan:

As I understood you correctly, the main concern is to make the sustenuto pedal to work properly.
It doesn't matter RPT or not RPT. You need the right technician to do the job. Try to contact your rebuilder or technician to look at the problem.

From my perspective it looks like a regular maintenance issue.

By the way what brand is your piano?
_________________________
Gene Korolev, RPT
President, Master Piano Rebuilder

PIANO SOLUTIONS XXI
Exclusive Piano Restoration, Custom Piano Design and Sales
http://www.pianosxxi.com | http://www.custompianodesign.com
Contact: 818.503.0800

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#615951 - 01/31/09 10:13 AM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Four or five years is a long time...but if a piano we rebuilt here had a problem we'd want to go back to the site to see it and evaluate it...you might ask your rebuilder to re-visit the piano, but I'd go light on expecting warranty work...in the end, it might be a matter of getting more with honey than vinegar...

Assuming the work was done well on the rebuild, RPT (or not) with your rebuilder or technician doesn't matter...there are plenty of very ethical and caring individuals inside AND outside the PTG...but, IF your tuner/technician is an RPT, and IF (unlikely) s/he is dishonest, you'd probably have at least some recourse with the PTG's disciplinary options...but my guess is that its just a matter of maintenance and like Jerry said, it shouldn't take too long to set matters straight.

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#615952 - 01/31/09 01:40 PM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianosxxi:
spartan:

As I understood you correctly, the main concern is to make the sustenuto pedal to work properly.
It doesn't matter RPT or not RPT. You need the right technician to do the job. Try to contact your rebuilder or technician to look at the problem.

From my perspective it looks like a regular maintenance issue.

By the way what brand is your piano? [/b]
Gene, just a short note to say that I checked out your website and projects etc...very nice work...and a really fast and well designed site too...interesting projects...very cool.

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#615953 - 01/31/09 04:14 PM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
bellspiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 498
Loc: Boston, MA
As everyone says, "out of adjustment" after four or five years is quite a different situation from "not installed properly." I'm a little surprised that your tech saw the problem as a rebuild issue, and I'm a little surprised that what you describe as "several dampers not working" would require a several-hour job. You could begin by calling the rebuilder, if you want, but you might just call a tech with more experience regulating the sostenuto and get another opinion (and estimate).
_________________________
Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA

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#615954 - 01/31/09 06:26 PM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
When you say rebuilt, do you mean the whole piano or just parts? I mean like key end felts and everything.
Have any other techs done anything to the action since the rebuild?
You should have had a tech go over the regulation within 2 years of the rebuild. Excessive wear can result because of an action going out of regulation.
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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#615955 - 01/31/09 06:32 PM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
pianosxxi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 217
Loc: Southern California
RPD (Rick right?),

Thanks and if interested I'd like to welcome you to my shop if you are ever in California! It's always great to share knowledge with fellow professionals!

\:\)
_________________________
Gene Korolev, RPT
President, Master Piano Rebuilder

PIANO SOLUTIONS XXI
Exclusive Piano Restoration, Custom Piano Design and Sales
http://www.pianosxxi.com | http://www.custompianodesign.com
Contact: 818.503.0800

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#615956 - 02/02/09 01:39 PM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
spartan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 140
Loc: Sparta, NJ USA
Hello Everyone, and thank you for your responses.

I've been in touch with the rebuilder, and will be working with them to address this issue. The piano is a 1923, NY Steinway D, which underwent a full rebuild in 2004.

My Tech is an RPT, with many years of experience, and I trust him. He went through a very detailed explanation, actually showing me the things that were causing the problem. He told me that this is not a case of things going out of adjustment from 4 years of use. This is why he suggested that I contact the rebuilder.

Going forward, I think it would be best to have my Tech talk to the rebuilder directly. The rebuilder may want to send their own person to perform the work - which whould be fine with me.
_________________________
What we think, we become.
--Buddha

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#615957 - 02/02/09 01:43 PM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
spartan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 140
Loc: Sparta, NJ USA
one more thing... the piano gets tuned every six months! It would truly be a sad state of affairs if this was the first tuning in five years. \:\)
_________________________
What we think, we become.
--Buddha

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#615958 - 02/02/09 08:46 PM Re: Seeking Advice - rebuild issue
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianosxxi:
RPD (Rick right?),

Thanks and if interested I'd like to welcome you to my shop if you are ever in California! It's always great to share knowledge with fellow professionals!

\:\) [/b]
Gene, THANKS for the invite! Its on my list of things to do when we get back out your direction...seems we're in CA every three or four years on business or musical travel...so we'll keep in touch...:-) Rick
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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