Get your perfect piano restoration here

Jens Witter (PhD) tuned the pianos for the German Central Broadcasting Station in Leipzig. He also tuned for the Royal Courts, for His Majesty Prinz Phillip Konstantin zu Hohenlohe Schillingsfuerst.

He restored a National Treasure, THE WHITE HOUSE PIANO from President Calvin Coolidge...

...and is thrilled to restore YOUR piano, too!

RESTORATION VS. REPAIR

TO HAVE MORE LOVE AND PASSION FOR OLD INSTRUMENTS

I’m Jens Witter, your piano doctor (having an actual PhD in Musicology)

In my 35+ years of expertise, I have done cutting edge restorations on antique pianofortes. In order to not diminish the value of an antique keyboard instrument, I like to team Restoration with Repair. The appearance is deceiving, where I hide High Tec in a vintage robe, so to speak!

It is all about original appearance, as well as its functionality where I breathe new life into your piano, bringing it back to its former glory; as close to its original condition as to what it was before!

In a bare restoration, mostly done for museums, under all costs and circumstances, the original materials and substance are conserved and preserved, so those who come after us have an idea of what it originally was. For instance, an old piano that has rusty and snapped strings that are tied together, so the instrument is still in original condition but actually unplayable.

In the repair process, pieces and parts get ripped out relentlessly, in which the instrument loses its soul, because of its lost soundboard. The antique instrument is degraded in value when the main focus seems to be the wrong kind of perfectionism. Working on someone else’s bad repair is the worst possible situation.

To have more love and passion for old instruments, in which one recognizes and respects yester year’s quality, and showing appreciation and esteem to the long gone piano manufacturers, is long overdue and deserved!!

My estimates are free and priced competitively, very high craftsmanship with parts and materials made in Germany with the highest possible quality. You will not be disappointed, workmanship guaranteed, and I will make it just right for you!

Restoration of the inside ( the acoustic system)

Problem:

tuning doesn’t hold any longer, cracked soundboard, buzzing/bustling or dull sound.

Solution:

new and thicker tuning pins, new tuning block if necessary, new strings (made in Germany), restoration of the soundboard (soundboard will not be removed, otherwise the soul of the instrument will leave along with the soundboard)

Refinishing the outside

Problem:

Loose or missing wood pieces, pieces that are actually broken or are so damaged that they are eyesores, lose or missing veneer, scratched, crackled, and dull finish.

Solution:

Structural repair to the rim or corpus, joining and reinforcing damaged corners, replication or replacement of missing elements or ornaments, replacing missing veneer and camouflage it to the point where all of my customers can’t find the spot any longer. Sanding down the old, dull, and crackled finish, apply vibrant stain (made in Germany) that brings out the entire colour range and the grain of the veneer.

We do not like the idea of stripping down the old finish. It is very inconvenient and much more time consuming of sanding down the old lacquer, but it will not destroy the original veneer, nor is a chemical reaction to be expected, even years after the restoration. Custom Color Matching is my wife Trudy’s speciality (come to the shop to adjust the shade to lighter or darker, more yellow, brownish, or reddish…)

For the new lacquer, water and alcohol resistant, most cases fit a semi-gloss or satin finish, where the old instrument is evidence of its age and history. Minor wood blemishes blend to the overall antique look to match the authenticity, not like the look of a 100-year-old grandma with snow-white teeth and not one wrinkle in her face, who is unable to smile any longer because her skin is lifted too tight!
This is why we polish all the brass and hardware parts very shiny but leaving a patina in the grooves and corners! You are welcome to the shop at any time and follow all the steps done on your valuable heirloom!

GERMAN CRAFTSMANSHIP

Restoration of the action

Problem:

sticking keys, squeaking or clicking noises while playing, unresponsive and sluggish reacting action, multiple sounds in one note, dull and muffling sound

Solution:

sanding down the hammer felts to eliminate deep grooves to get a better and more pronounced sound of each tone. In cases where the hammer heads had been sanded down already or hammers are too damaged (i.e. by moths or worn out to the point that the felt in the treble section is gone and the bare wood is visible) replace with new hammer heads – made in Germany (same company who delivers to Steinway & Sons and other high end quality piano factories) and then do a thorough regulation where every part that very part in the action does a specific task at a specific time.

Sticking keys can come from the action (where you move nearly 100 parts by only pushing down a single key) or from the keyboard itself. Parts in the action and the keys are made from wood, felt, leather, cashmere, and linen (organic materials) which expand and shrink due to weather changes and humidity fluctuations. In any case, there are a number of solutions: Widen the wood with special made tools for exactly that sole purpose or replace axels (thicker or thinner) who rest in English Cashmere, where the thickness of a human hair makes the difference (one thousandth of a millimeter) between functioning or failing of that single note.

I am very proud to serve you and your valuable piano, being a master piano maker with German diplomas as well as having a German degree as a master cabinet maker. I am exhilarated to impress you and thrilled to blow you away with the results of my craftsmanship! Get ready for the culture shock of your life!

As YOUR piano doctor, I am so excited to meet you and the “new patient” soon!

If I would be born a second time, I would be a piano maker again!