Old Fashioned Techniques paired with modern technology makes our player piano restorations the best in the USA. We are a professional team of player piano experts specializing in Duo-Arts, Ampicos, Weltes, Nickelodeons, Orchestrions, Standard Upright Pumper Players and any other Automatic Muscial Instrument.
Player Piano Restoration is both a science and an art. Here at Piano Artisans, we have over 50 years of player piano restoration experience. We restore dozens of player piano systems per year, with each restoration taking approximately 250-300 hours. The player piano restoration process is tedious and exact. We use old fashioned techniques and products with the exception high-quality neoprene tubing, our player piano restorations are almost exact duplicates of the original style craftsmanship.
One major factor that we have learned over the past 50 years is that most player pianos, reproducing players, upright players, and 88 note pumpers restored by anyone excluding a couple of restorers, and us(Piano Artisans) don’t quite fully understand what they are doing. There is an art to restoring players and a conclusion that if you don’t address every aspect of
the player, it most likely will not do exactly what it was intended to do. We have come across some real quality restorations. What sets us apart from everyone else is that we restore between 15-35 players a year, from the primary Aeolian standard 88 note pumper, Steinway Duo-Art’s, Wm. Knabe & Mason Hamlin Ampico Model’s A/B, Hamburg Steinway Weltes, and all automatic musical instruments like Wurlitzer CX and Seeburg Model L.
We have perfected the art of restoring reproducers and standard/regular players. Our restorations are guaranteed for ten years, and as long as you enjoy your piano weekly it should last a lifetime.
We use only the highest quality products available, we believe that the best products, in any case, produce the best final result. We use old fashioned split hide leather for gaskets, rubberized pneumatic cloth to replace original rubberized cloth, Zephyr Skin, Kid Skin valve leather, and superior neoprene rubber tubing. We use neoprene tubing because it has stood the test of time since its creation in the early 1950’s, it seems that neoprene is the only product that is better than the original clay or lead tubing.
Most reproducers are simply rebuilt or adjusted incorrectly, a reproducer should be able to really sound like the artist is in your living room with whispering lows and growling highs, it should be the best representation of the pianist work, next to the artist coming into your home that is. The art of restoring reproducing and regular player pianos is in the final adjustments of the system if we did not do our job correctly then we will never be able to create that realism that each and every player should have. It takes between 3 and 14 days to adjust the system correctly.
There are two critical points we would like to make clear and forthcoming regarding player pianos…
• First, a player piano restoration is only going to play and sound as good as the piano can be played manually. If the piano is not restored, in original or poor condition, specifically the action, hammers, strings, etc.. it can only be adjusted to a certain extent. In most cases, it will not perform as described above. Some players, especially the very early or even pre (tester) models were released from the factory in semi playing condition, and in most cases, there is no way to tell until the restoration process is underway. Once we determine that the player was designed poorly we will suggest the modifications needed to make the piano and player more usable.
• Second, a player piano consists of two separate machines – the piano, and the player mechanisms that are used to play the piano. Both components are integral to a properly sounding and functioning player piano.
Our player piano restorations will include rebuilding of all pumps, valves, locks & cancels, pneumatics, tubing, etc., are restored to like-new condition all with a historical perspective in
mind. Today, there are thousands of song titles available on player piano rolls, including current hits! Even more exciting than the rolls are the Virtual Rolls which allows you to have access to all the titles ever recorded at a fraction of the price. To see the vast song title selection available for player pianos today, click here.
With respect to reproducers (Ampico, Duo-Art, Welte) we are truly in a league of our own. This is what we do every day of our lives and we have mastered the difficult art of rebuilding reproducers. Once a reproducing piano restoration is completed, we test over 25 rolls to ensure that when we send your
piano home, it is in perfect condition! We guarantee all of our restorations for ten years. Make no mistake; we are the absolute best at what we do. One phone call to our staff and you will understand.
Some of our unique previous work includes:
- Aeolian Orchestrelle Model “F” – Fully Restored
- Wurlitzer Model CX Orchestrion – Fully Restored
- Steinway & Sons, Hamburg, Welte – Fully Restored
- Steinway & Sons, Model OR, Duo Art – Fully Restored
- Divina Welte – Fully Restored
- Wm. Knabe Ampico B – Fully Restored
- Wm. Knabe Ampico A – Fully Restored
- Steinway & Sons, Model “AR” – Fully Restored
- Wurlitzer Butterfly Petite Grand – Fully Restored
- Wurlitzer Model “L,” Nickelodeon – Fully Restored
- Stroud Duo-Art, 1933 – Fully Restored
- Marshall Wendell Ampico B – Fully Restored
- Mason & Hamlin “BB” Ampico B – Fully Restored
- Mills Violano Bow Front – Fully Restored
- Kranich & Bach Grand Reproducing Player – Fully Restored
- Brinkerhoff Upright double player action – Fully Restored
- Steinway & Sons Hamburg Welte – Fully restored
- Farand Cecelian Upright Player – Fully Restored
- Weber Pianola – Fully Restored
- Gulbransen Upright Player Piano – Fully Restored
- Cable Nelson Upright Player – Fully Restored
- Reichardt Upright Player – Fully Restored
- And Much More…