Does every Pianola need to be renovated? Yes, because pianos were only built up to about 1940 and even in the best condition, after more than eight decades of aging, the materials are no longer airtight and pliable, so that (almost) no original pianola in its original state can be enjoyed to a high standard. In most cases, unrenovated pianos no longer make a sound - and if they do, they are no longer adequate.
True to the approach that anyone can do anything, if it can be learned - and passion is given, it is possible to renovate a Pianola. Nevertheless, who has the time to invest several weeks, to take all the learning curves themselves, in order to possibly not achieve a good result in the first attempt? If tinkering and tinkering is the driver, a simple Pianola can be a good starting point and adventure. Again, we recommend taking a few lessons from a professional.
We strongly advise against the attempt to restore more complex systems such as reproduction pianos on one's own. Which prospective car classic car enthusiast would choose the most complex and rarest model for which there is hardly any information or experts available?
If you want to use the pianola and not renovate it, you need a repaired instrument. Even with an instrument in the best of care, the aging of the materials (leather, rubber blanket, tubular rubber, etc.) and air-conducting paths (bellows, connecting pipes, etc.) is so advanced that reliable operation is no longer possible.