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Are new pianos as good as old pianos?

For many years the upright pianos built in the early 1900’s were considered the standard measure of how a good piano should be built. In many cases the most expensive upright pianos built today are made to the same standards. In fact many parts are interchangeable between a one hundred year old piano and a high quality upright piano of today.

With rising costs, the biggest changes that have taken place over the past century of building pianos have been to cut corners in an effort to create a more affordable entry level piano. With the introduction of laminated soundboards, spinet or compressed actions, lower quality materials and other cost saving measures, the quality of sound and performance has deteriorated.

 

 

One must also consider however the current condition of an older piano. Even though it was well built a century ago, its condition today needs to be assessed.

Today we find many of those old uprights and grands are still incredibly good musical instruments, virtually as when they were new. Others we find are still structurally sound, but require some maintenance or perhaps even rebuilding to be restored to their original grandeur. Sadly, we find others that have deteriorated beyond repair or where the cost of repairs is unjustified.