Rebuilding, Restoration, and Re-manufacturing
Among ethical, reputable piano rebuilders, the following definitions will most often be agreed upon:
A rebuilt piano is one which has been taken completely apart so as to be able to observe and inspect the entire piano. It is then reassembled with new parts where required, and old parts where there is no perceived need, so that the piano may be brought up into the range of its original operating specifications.
A restored piano is one which has been returned to its original design and operating specifications. All moving or stressed parts will be replaced with equivalent new components so that the piano will perform as it did when it was manufactured. A restoration differs from a rebuilding insofar as all replaceable parts are substituted with new ones. Restoration implies careful attention to the authentic execution of creative intent. Unfortunately many restorers will make modifications not intended by the original manufcaturer, producing a kind of hybrid. this can also be true of a piano rebuilding.
A re-manufactured piano has all the elements of the restored piano and in addition the frame and structural elements of the piano are also replaced. This type of work is not usually within the scope of a piano rebuilding or a piano restoration, and can sometimes alter the basic nature of a vintage piano.