With so many pianos being restrung you’d be forgiven for thinking that new strings bring new life to a piano and will make everything sound wonderful again. Whilst this is partly true, the condition and voicing of the hammers plays an equally important role. The average life expectancy for a set of hammers will be around 60 years, with heavy use this reduces considerably. In the uppermost picture of a recently reconditioned piano, an old set of hammers has been reshaped (refaced), probably for a second time, there is hardly any felt left! I recommended recovering. In the lower picture is a section of hammers from a recovered set, these are from the same area of the scale in a piano (around the second ‘e’ above middle C). Quite a difference! When having a reconditioning job carried out or when buying a piano you’ll know what to look for.