My Piano’s Soundboard Is Cracked … Now What?

My Piano’s Soundboard Is Cracked … Now What?

A piano’s soundboard is one of the most important pieces on a piano.

If you open up the lid of either your upright or grand piano and look down, you will see a shiny piece of wood that runs the down the back or the bottom of the instrument. This is the soundboard.My Piano’s Soundboard Is Cracked … Now What?

The soundboard is what allows the piano to project its sound. It’s the part of the piano that turns the vibration of the strings into sound. When the strings are struck by the hammers, the soundboard takes the vibrations from the strings and amplifies them in order to project the sound outward.

Soundboards are constructed with four or five pieces of thick wood glued together and attached to the back or bottom of the piano. The pin block and iron plate are then mounted on top of the soundboard, and the piano is strung. In order to achieve perfect balance, and thus perfect sound, is to ensure the quality of the soundboard  is void of any imperfections that may have a negative effect on the quality of the sound.

So what happens when the soundboard cracks?

Nearly all soundboards will crack at some point over the life of the piano. Small cracks, especially cracks that form along the seams where the wood pieces are joined together, occur in most cases due to age. A piano will go through many changes as weather and seasonal changes bring in cold and warmth, dryness and humidity. It will be impacted by consistent playing, and the vibration that occurs from creating music.

However, a crack becomes a problem when the crack deepens, and you begin to notice a rattle or buzz whenever the piano is played. If caught early, it can sometimes be repaired using wood wedges and screws to prevent the extraneous noise. A piano restoration expert can usually make the repair quickly with effective results.

Yet when the crack deepens and the soundboard has more extensive damage, the only way the sound can be preserved is to remove the soundboard from the piano and replace it with one that closely mimics the original construction.

Have additional questions about the quality of your piano? Ready to have it restored to improve the quality of the music it creates? One of our professional restoration experts can help you choose the right path for you.