This subject is bound to cause controversy.
If these old pianos have sentimental attachment to a client and they are happy to pay out more than it is worth to have it restored, or if it is a special instrument to be restored for historical purposes, then that is what we should be doing. Generally, whilst restoring these old pianos, we are doing the industry a disservice and not supporting the manufacture of new and better pianos, and this has caused the demise of many good factories.
The majority of pianos will last for approximately 30 – 70 years depending upon their use and how well they are looked after. People sometimes get used to the sound of their own pianos which may produce false or bad sounds. It is therefore important for the young beginner to learn on the best piano that parents can afford.
Piano tone is one of the most personal aspects of choosing a piano, whether it be for home or concert use. There is little doubt that what we are used to hearing, particularly in the formative years, tends to colour our perception of what we consider to be good piano tone. In other words, the piano student that habitually practises on a below pitch, out of tune, poorly toned (voiced) and regulated instrument will find it infinitely more difficult to develop a good, discriminating ear for intonation and the quality of sound than the student that has been fortunate enough to be brought up on a good quality piano, maintained in excellent condition.
Written by: Keith Macfarlane.