Thanks for the input, Lowboy.
I’ve been out of town for a few weeks, but I actually sent the Piano 36 back before I left. The seller was nice enough to work with.
I found no issues with air leakage. I searched quite scrupulously for the problem, but the issue was either out of eye sight, or just some unnatural defect that came with age. The only funky evidence were those two little, clear plastic “donuts” or bushings that I found rattling around inside. They were barely bigger than metal BBs, but they had a hole in the center where it looks like something was once running through.
Again, this was a widespread issue affecting every key but two of ’em. The second white key from the top, and the second from the bottom were both tight and solid as could be. Very strange. All the others might as well be loose teeth. When a single key was pressed, there was about an 80% chance that an adjacent key would be pushed down with it.
On a lighter note, I picked up “Piano 32,” not a Student or Instructor model. From what I can tell, this was the run that was replaced by the Student model, and not in production anymore. It has the older-style grey case, but the stamp is slightly different than the 70s/80s/whenever vintage models. I’m hoping this is still when the reeds were considered better (and from the German factory). At any rate, it’s got a nice little sound and nice tune. And best of all, the keys aren’t wobbly!