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MMD > Archives > January 2000 > 2000.01.09 > 04Prev  Next

Terms: Restored, Rebuilt, Reconditioned
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  I'd venture to say that every player piano technician has
run into the player piano that the owners were told was rebuilt or
restored.  When they open the unit and can see in seconds that they
were lied to, it's a bit uncomfortable.

In checking through the Subject Index at the MMD, I noticed the absence
of the word 're-conditioned'.  I quickly thought back on my past years
in the MMD and couldn't recall, with any confidence, that the word was
normally associated with player pianos.

The fact is, 90+ percent of all the circa 1920 player pianos I've
serviced, and many which I've 'restored' (to some degree), are actually
just re-conditioned.  When you consider the "degrees" to which a player
piano _can_ be restored, the word 'restored' is actually a bit mis-
leading.  And worse yet, the words 'rebuilt' and 'restored' typically
follow the player piano when it is resold.

It might do the industry a world of good to start using a more precise
term: one that accurately conveys the true condition of the instrument,
and one that will carry to the next buyer a clear understanding of what
they're buying.

Just an opinion,

John A. Tuttle

 [ I suspect that all the different collectibles have a similar problem
 [ with terminology.  What terms are used to describe the state of old
 [ automobiles and antique furniture?
 [ When I discuss the condition of my 19-year-old auto, the mechanic
 [ says, "You could rebuild the engine, install a reconditioned
 [ carburetor, and overhaul the steering gear, but it's still just
 [ an old jalopy.  Don't even think about restoring it!"  -- Robbie

(Message sent Sun 9 Jan 2000, 22:29:44 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Rebuilt, Reconditioned, Restored, Terms

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