\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Greetings all! (Read 1238 times)

Offline ratman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Greetings all!
« on: June 17, 2015, 03:34:43 PM »
new member here, thanke for your hospitality...well, i always wanted an upright, and yesterday i got my wish! my good friend Pascal from the band Hypocryths brought one over and dumped it on me lol...we had a TIME moving it i can tell ya! completely made of Rosewood from the 1800's...and so i was wondering if you guys could help me identify exactly what i have...it looks like someone painted it eons ago cuz theres no markings on the front of it like one would usually find...so i took a few pix...check it out n lemme know what yas think, i sure would like to know what the heck it is...thanks in advance!



this would appear to be the serial or model number
the only other markings i found on it was this plate on the inside front





Offline indianajo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1105
Re: Greetings all!
«Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 09:29:31 PM »
That is a nice looking case.
A lot of pianos were built from kits prior to the depression (1932) by lots of local manufacturers.  While a few of the names survived, a  lot of great pianos were built by absolute nobodies.  It all depended on the quality of the kit.  (my grandfather bought my Mother a real stinker, so there was trash being sold even then).  One sign of quality, how many dampers are missing from the upper octaves.  You'll notice many of the saved models, gutted player pianos, are missing the most dampers.  Player pianos were not the best sounding models, I've been avoiding them despite the offer of a free one a couple of years ago. I can't count the missing dampers in your photographs.
Another sign of quality, now much string (wire) is above the hammers on the top octave.  Cost cutter pianos have no extra string up there, which throws the overtones out of tune and less resonant, than pianos with an inch or so of string above the top octave hammers. 
Congratulations on still being able to move one of these behemoths.  I've wanted one for years, for the tinkly tone that so matches Scott Joplin, Fats Waller, and oddly enough, Beethoven.  But I've gone past the age where I can carry half of one of these myself, and mostly when I try to hire helpers, they hear the word piano or organ and run away, far away.  The pro movers in town won't move these for the flat rate, either.
As far as the Beethoven reference, I heard an "original" Beethoven played grand piano recorded on north German radio a few years ago, a hall in Wuppertall I believe.  The tinkly tone sounded remarkably like a 1920's US upright.
These can be amazingly fast, if you got the right one.  Watch JoAnne Castle make one dance on old Lawrence Welk reruns, if you don't believe me.  I've certainly played a lot of them in Sunday School assembly rooms over the years.  They seem to be Indestructable, if you can forgive the frequently missing ivories.  A plastic part and a little super glue works wonders for that little problem.  
Watch getting pros to work on them.  A minister friend had his tuned, and the tuner included a quote for "total restoration".  About $2000, he wanted. Money grubber.  I've played the thing, and there is not much wrong with it.  
Check out yours, looking for sticky keys, hammer shafts that wobble, dampers that don't quite hold the sound in.  The parts are all still available, and I can't see repairing one is all that much more difficult than repairing motor vehicles or furniture.  There are plenty of helpful videos on U-tube if your computer is up to that.  First hint, get a tuning wrench, and a tuning LP or CD. I tune mine to the hammond organ. convenient if you own one.  Much easier than trying to tune in octaves from the middle notes.  I bought the something 18 wrench from Steve's piano service in Minnesota. She is a nice lady and quite knowledgeable. The longer arm wrench (plastic handle)  makes it easier on my non-professional forearms.  Before ordering, measure the head of the tuning pins to make sure they are standard.  A 1/4" drive socket backwards should settle down about half way on the pins.  There are weird oblong head pins around, so take a look before you pay the freight.    
All the hyper ventilating about "stretch" in the top octave I have decided to discount.  I tuned the most recent piano to an Allen 301 organ, which definitely does not have stretch.  Tuning to a big speaker (I used a 4 x 10 car speaker) seems to focus your ears on the fundamental of the top octave, whereas tuning in octaves to the middle notes my ear tends to hear the out of tune harmonics of the top octave, and get it wrong.  I like what result I got to that Wurlitzer I tuned in the fellowship hall at the church downtown. Some people tune to a cell phone ap. I don't see how that can work really with the tiny speaker. I had to replace the 4x10 extension speaker with the actual Allen 12" speakers (turned up loud to make it through the door into the fellowship hall) to tune the bass notes properly.  
Have fun.