Uitgawe: Monday July 30 1984
By: Estelle Viljoen
A SPIRING Beethovens must have their feet on the ground when buying a second hand piano, or they could be taken in, a Pretoria piano expert has warned.
Cheating in the piano business was getting bad lately, Mr Wilfried Stolze said. People ask him to tune second hand pianos they have bought and he discovers the piano needs more than tuning, it needs costly repairs before it can be played again.
People should rely on the judgement of an experienced piano expert when buying a second hand instrument.
- The frame could be cracked or broken, crippling the piano musically.
- The bass strings could be “tired and tubby” and totally devold of tone.
- The sounding board could be cracked or may have “lost crown.”
- Ribs could be broken or pulled away from the soundboard.
- Bridges that are broken, split or cracked are a major expense to have repaired.
- Avoid like the plague any piano with pins that have apparently been pounded. Loose or previously “doped” tuning pins could mean oversized plus are required.
- A split pin block is very costly to repair, and since it is a concealed fault, needs expert judgement.
- Worn out or improperly filed hammers is another costly repair.
- The internal controls of the foot pedals could need complete overhauling.
It was not wise to buy an old piano privately “to get started on.” A poor piano discouraged a beginner and was at best a questionable investment, Mr Stolze said.
“I want to protect our trade, because we are all getting a bad name,” he said.