As crazy as it sounds, unlike people, pianos don’t age unless acted upon by an outside force, namely the environment or simply being played a lot. Upkeep also enters into it. A piano that sits in a stable climate with moderate temperature and humidity, away from direct sunlight, kept closed and rarely played, yet tuned on a regular basis can be in virtually new condition even after many decades. We have had a number of pre-WWII pianos that only required refinement but no new parts in order to get an extremely high level of performance and very attractive appearance. We have also seen 10 year pianos ready for major rebuilding. Beach pianos, desert pianos, pianos from schools, restaurants or hotels are examples of pianos.
What is also interesting is that new pianos (and newly rebuilt pianos) require more servicing in the first couple of years of ownership as strings stretch and woods become acclimated to their climate. So, although it may seem counterintuitive, older pianos require less maintenance than new pianos.
There are limits of what is likely to find. Generally, any piano going back into the 1800’s will undoubtedly require work or have had work performed on it in order to play on a high level. So, you must assess each piano for what it is. The year of manufacturer only tells a part of the story.
Thanks again for joining me here at LivingPianos.com. If you have any questions or comments about this topic, or any piano topic at all, please contact us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org (949) 244-3729