Hi All, I'm going to put in my two cents on this topic...
When does two cents really mean something? When you cannot change the
tuning of a piano by two cents and know it will stay in tune...
Regarding Bill Mackin's question about whether or not adding humidity
would swell a pin block enough to make a piano with loose pins 'tunable',
I would say the chances of success are slim-to-none. I also think that
increasing the relative humidity in and/or around a piano to over 60%
for an extended period of time will most likely cause damage to the
piano. Put moisture and metal together and you get rust.
As for a price of $3000 to change a pin block and restring an upright
player piano, that seems unbelievably low. I've replaced the pin block
in an upright player piano and it was extremely challenging work. I'd
ask for references or the name of at least one customer who had the
same job done to their piano...
Also, if a tuner is convinced that changing the block is the only real
solution to loose pins, why not try drive the pins in a little further
and see if that gives the piano a little more life? He could also dope
the block and see if that helps for awhile. At least that would give
the customer some time to save up some money and still enjoy the piano
in the meantime. Heck, why not tune the piano down a step? These
"stop-gap" measures are generally not expensive ($150-$250).
Forgive me for sounding very opinionated, but the tuner sounds like a
"My Way, or The Highway" kind of guy who basically gives the customer
no options. Personally, I dislike people who are 'One-Way' when there
are alternatives that might satisfy a need or desire. Let the customer
decide what suits their pocketbook. Give them options.
John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA