Buying A Piano With A Reconditioned Piano Action

Buying A Piano With A Reconditioned Piano Action

Considering a used piano? Depending on its age, there’s a good chance the piano will have a reconditioned piano action.

For some people, that might send up a few red flags. What is an action? Will a reconditioned action stand the test of time?Buying A Piano With A Reconditioned Piano Action

When you purchase a piano, it’s often with the thought that it will be in your home for generations. After all, pianos are known to be one of the most classic pieces of furniture we bring into our homes. But what many don’t know is that it takes more than regular tune-ups to keep a piano in good working condition.

Pianos are made from materials that wear down over time. They need repair, replacing, adjusting, cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis to keep them in optimal playing condition.

There are two kinds of piano actions: upright actions and grand actions.

Upright actions contain the hammers, the whippen assemblies, and the dampers. Each is mounted to a series of rails that holds them in proper alignment to the strings and the keys so that when a note is played, the energy is properly distributed throughout the mechanism and sound is produced. In general, upright actions are fairly easy to remove for repairs, the exception being with spinets or player pianos.

Upright actions are simpler than their grand action counterparts.

With grand piano actions, they also have action parts mounted to a series of rails that can be removed for service and reconditioning. The noticeable difference is that the hammers are oriented differently in the case. The grand action’s whippen assemble has a repetition lever which allows a note to fully reset before the key has risen back to its resting position. This allows for better repetition of the note than on an upright.

With years of playing and settling, these parts wear out. Leather and felt pieces lose their effectiveness, and allow alignment and adjustment to fall out of place. When the felt hammers strike the strings and aren’t in proper working condition, damage begins to occur. And as one part wears and falls apart, it impacts all around it.

Reconditioning the action simply brings it back into working order with the proper materials to match the piano’s needs. New leather, felt, wire and even wood is introduced to match what’s already there.

If a piano action has been reconditioned, the difference will be in having a clean, well-functioning action that will make your playing enjoyable for many years to come.