legal ivories

Posted by: onesurfer1

legal ivories - 05/11/12 09:11 PM

how much does it cost to replace my perfectly good white plastic keytops with legal ivory ones?? is it crazy expensive and how long do they last before they turn yellow and crack in the middle?
Posted by: kpembrook

Re: legal ivories - 05/11/12 10:49 PM

How "new" do you want the ivory to be? You can have recut "museum" ivory for maybe $10-20/key plus installation cost. If you got out of it for less than $4,000 I'd think you'd be doing well.

Ivory is a kind of bone. How good are you at telling one kind of bone from another -- and do you care? Keytops made of cow tibia are available for much less than any sort of ivory from any source.

In any case, they would probably last the rest of your life if they aren't abused.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: legal ivories - 05/11/12 11:45 PM

I’ve read about various kinds of key-tops available, some mimicking the look and feel of real ivory, and some said to be even better.

I have two older pianos that have the real, one piece ivories… my 1978 Yamaha C7 and my 1969 Kawai K48A upright. The key set on both are in good condition, but you can see some wear in the centers of the Yamaha key tops; you can’t really feel it, but if you look closely and at an angle, you can see some “cupping” in the center of the keys, like a wear spot. One key (D4) has a small chip on the edge. I like the looks and the feel of the key tops on both pianos.

Real ivory is harder to keep clean than plastic and seems to absorb the oils and dirt from your fingers more easily… no matter how clean they (hands and fingers) are. As far as keeping them white, you can clean and polish them, and, ironically, exposure to sunlight helps keep them white.

Here is a couple of pictures of my keyboard on the Yamaha after I cleaned and polished the ivories.

Real, one-piece ivoires 1
Real, one-piece ivories 2

Good luck with you piano.

Rick
Posted by: Rudy99golf

Re: legal ivories - 05/12/12 01:09 AM

Take a look at www.pianoparts.com, download their catalog in a PDF format, and look at page 16.

They sell both used and new ivory keys.

They advertise new full sets from 1,250 to 1,475 US Dlls., depending on thickness.

Note: I don't get a comission for this Ad. ha
Posted by: jivemutha

Re: legal ivories - 05/12/12 01:45 AM

Does anyone know whether Yamaha sells "Ivorite" keytops as a separate item? They look much closer to real ivory than they do to regular white plastic and they have the feel of real ivory to most people who've commented on this issue. Of course this material is totally legal given that it's synthetic. I didn't think it would make any difference to me when I recently bought a Yammy grand with this feature. "I'm buying it for the sound--that's it!" Nope. I now must confess that I really like the very-close-to-ivory-&-ebony concoction that Yamaha has come up with. It looks better, but mostly it feels better. For one thing, your fingers don't slip off the keys.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: legal ivories - 05/12/12 03:56 AM

Usually somewhere around 4,000USD. Maybe try cattle bone? It's about 1/4 as much.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: legal ivories - 05/12/12 09:35 AM

Genuine domesticated ivory sets and pricing found at this link

Blackstone Valley Piano
Posted by: Supply

Re: legal ivories - 05/12/12 05:50 PM

"Domesticated ivory"??? Yikes. The vision of raising elephants only to knock out their two front teeth is somehow abhorrent. Surely what is meant is "pre-ban" ivory, no?

Originally Posted By: jivemutha
Does anyone know whether Yamaha sells "Ivorite" keytops as a separate item?
Yamaha "Ivorite" is only made available to certain installers, for use only on Yamaha pianos.


Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Usually somewhere around 4,000USD. Maybe try cattle bone? It's about 1/4 as much.

Hardly. While the bone material cost is a lot cheaper than ivory, installation, which is the larger part of the total cost, will be as much or more with bone. Installing bone is even more labor intensive than ivory because it is harder and more porous and more brittle.

Posted by: beethoven986

Re: legal ivories - 05/12/12 06:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Supply
"Domesticated ivory"??? Yikes. The vision of raising elephants only to knock out their two front teeth is somehow abhorrent. Surely what is meant is "pre-ban" ivory, no?

Originally Posted By: jivemutha
Does anyone know whether Yamaha sells "Ivorite" keytops as a separate item?
Yamaha "Ivorite" is only made available to certain installers, for use only on Yamaha pianos.


Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Usually somewhere around 4,000USD. Maybe try cattle bone? It's about 1/4 as much.

Hardly. While the bone material cost is a lot cheaper than ivory, installation, which is the larger part of the total cost, will be as much or more with bone. Installing bone is even more labor intensive than ivory because it is harder and more porous and more brittle.



In terms of raw materials, bone is about half as much, rather than one quarter. Thanks for catching my boo boo, Jurgen!