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MMD > Archives > February 2010 > 2010.02.09 > 09Prev  Next

Ampico Piano Repair Isn't Affordable
By Andy Taylor

Hi Damon & group.  It would be a shame to scrap that Ampico, and
particularly the piano since that is a top-of-the-line piano.

I had heard several Ampico systems in the past, and I wasn't impressed,
it was rather 'ho hum'.  I was convinced at the time that these pianos
were over-rated.  The fact was that these pianos were never restored and
set up properly.  I realized this when I walked into Craig Brougher's
living room and heard his Chickering Ampico "B".  My jaw dropped --
I was amazed at how much power and expression could actually come from
a small grand piano!

Believe me, I can also understand not having the funds to complete
a project.  I am currently having to pull out all the stops to pay for
a solenoid system I just made a deal for.  But it's just like my father
had told me, "It makes you appreciate it more."  I am sure that someone
could use that Ampico system, if it comes down to that.  The fact that
you stated it was untouched, is indeed a plus.  That means no one has
messed with it.

It is normal for a piano soundboard to open up and crack once it is in
a heated room, after being in a damp basement.  Believe it or not, as
long as the ribs are intact and crown is present in the soundboard, it
will not hurt the tone of the piano.  I wonder about the "cracked"
pinblock, though...

The piano tech is correct -- in order for it to play and sound as it
should, a complete rebuild of the piano and player is in order.  It is
possible to do the repairs yourself, a little at a time, as funds permit.
I have rebuilt many players that way, leaving them apart for better
than a year.

Save it if you can, as the Chickering is a wonderful piano.  If you
cannot, by all means remove the Ampico system, as someone can use the
components to retrofit in a gutted piano.  That way, at least it will
not be a total loss.

Good luck,
Andy Taylor

(Message sent Tue 9 Feb 2010, 16:27:59 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  Affordable, Ampico, Isn't, Piano, Repair

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