Wed, 12 Jun 1996 00:53:36 -0400

from Newton Hunt:

>Saturday I tuned a 1975 Knabe 5'6" (or so) that the customer complained of
>having buzzes in the middle.
>I finished tuning and then decided to lower tension of the worst offender
>to see what I could see.  Bridge pins were tight so I left the strings
>unbridged and raised the tension and 'loe and beholde' the string did not
>touch the bridge at all and there was a decided gap of about .020" at the
>front of the bridge and maybe .005" at the back of the bridge.
>I had heard such noises before and had heard of rolled bridges but I had
>seen such until now.  The church is not interested in sinking money of that
>magnitude into this piano, and I concur.

Sounds to me like a "rolled soundboard" as much as a "rolled bridge."
Seriously, I'd want several other questions answered before I agreed to

What is the crown like? This piano is awfully young for that kind of negative
bearing. Either
    a) the downbearing was set wrong initially or
    b) the board has sunk.

If the bearing was set wrong initially, the board should still have
measurable crown, and might be a candidate for a real repair; i.e., new
bridge caps. If the board really has sunk this much in twenty years,
particularly if it's flat, are you sure you want to place additional
downbearing on it? I know you want to do your best to give your client value
for their money, but I might keep looking for other evidence. Is the board
flat or is it hills-and-valleys near the bridge? Are you sure you want to
recommend that they spend even what it would take to do a temporary repair?

I'm particularly careful when it comes to treating a symptom instead of the
real cause, because it often comes back to bite me (and my client) later.
While I too want to do what is economicaly sound, I also want to do what is
best for the piano in the long term, and sometimes that includes saying "You
really need to do so-and-so." If it makes economic sense, sometimes they say

This may be purely selfish, but I also don't want the next technician to say,
"Who did this?" when I'm not there to defend it.

How much do you think this piano is worth in its present state? Would adding
the cost of real repairs to its current value really exceed what it would
take to replace it with a piano of similar quality in good condition?

This is fun, giving advice without having to make this decision !
Bob Davis, RPT
Stockton, CA

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