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Soren Jensen Butterfly Grand? (Read 2021 times)

Offline rogerbann

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Soren Jensen Butterfly Grand?
« on: February 16, 2016, 09:42:31 AM »
Hello

I am offered a wellpreserved Jensen Butterfly Grand (1908) for a dime. It will take some tuning/ light repairs. Anybody have an idea of the instrumental/musical qualities of this instrument - would it be worth it or how much should I throw into that?

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: Soren Jensen Butterfly Grand?
«Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 09:02:54 AM »
do you mean 10 k. dollars american ?  an instrument like that might have most of its value, in excellent condition, as a collector's item, rather than for its musical qualities. as such, it could be an good investment, but you need an expert's appraisal. how long is it ?  that type of piano was considered to have a big sound relative to its size, but if it's less than four feet long, you might be happier with a small grand or tall (50+ inch) upright.  of course, volume isn't everything.  if you are choosing a piano based on its musicality and responsiveness to you, play as many different instruments as you can, including the Soren Jensen, before deciding.

Offline indianajo

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Re: Soren Jensen Butterfly Grand?
«Reply #2 on: February 27, 2016, 01:31:42 AM »
There was a no-name 1935 63" grand in the next county for $400 last month, Thomas Marcen or somebody.
There is a no-name (Weber) grand, looks to be 8' in this county this week, for $600.  Really nice looking black.
It Costs $500 + to move them locally, I won't be bidding however good it sounds.  I'd have to give up playing organ and doing electronics repair in the living room to make room.  And the electronics repair is starting to take off.  Piano still pays zero. 
The competition is winning.  NFL on cable, netflix, hulu, why entertain yourself?  Why practice? There are no team jerseys you can buy! No plastic memorabilia and plastic action figures! Beethoven is always in plaster of paris, he's not even worthy of a plastic mold. 

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: Soren Jensen Butterfly Grand?
«Reply #3 on: February 27, 2016, 02:13:10 AM »
a little info on Soren Jensen instruments -- the company apparently made a big business from custom cabinetry.  it's true of all pianos, that the woodworking and added decoration usually increase the potential value of the instrument, but with them it could be a significant variable on what the collector's value (contrasted with musicality/playability value) would be.

Indianjo, the prices you quote on those lesser name grand pianos (and 6'3 is fairly serious, 8' is big enough for a medium sized recital hall)  confirm what I speculated, that 10 k. dollars american should go pretty far for a piano.  curious, as familiar as you are with vintage instruments and how to repair  them und so weiter, what pianos are in your home ?

Offline indianajo

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Re: Soren Jensen Butterfly Grand?
«Reply #4 on: February 27, 2016, 04:26:40 AM »
Sounds as if the value of a Soren jensen is in the decoration.  Salvation Army sometimes gets $150 for decorated pre WWII uprights that I wouldn't haul home for free. 
I Have a 1982 Sohmer 39" console I bought new, Italian finish and a 40" Steinway 1941 Early American console I bought in 2010.  I've tuned the Sohmer since 1990, and replaced the string I broke last year. I tuned the Steinway 7 times before it stabilized.   I broke a hammer shaft playing the Steinway last year and am comptemplating replacing it this winter. It needs felt easing also, several hammers have gotten sticky this winter. I bought a $50 36" Wurlitzer spinette 2015 for my summer camp trailer, to practice on those months.  I tuned that and replaced the broken music rack with one from a wurli organ. 
I've tuned two fifties Baldwin Hamilton 44 consoles in two churches, using a tuning fork, and a seventies? Wurlitzer 40 console in a church that I final tuned to an Allen organ. I rough tuned a Baldwin grand in a church that is used mainly as a plant stand and holiday diorama. 
I'm a self trained auto mechanic, (ASE certified 2008) self trained electronics tech, factory maintenance man, and with a little reference material I'm not afraid to repair anything i can buy parts for. I have been repairing overaged analog electronic organs since 2010. I have a re-e-capped Hammond H182, an original Hammond H182 (puke sound) a partially repaired by dealer Hammond H112 in the trailer, two silent Wurlitzer organs 4500 4300, and new this summer a Schober Recital organ with AGO pedals in which I've installed 28 new e-caps already.   This year I've been helping install a pipe organ downtown, mainly the electronics parts, but also the sweeping, some dusting out & sanding.   Oh, and I have a BS in Physics. 
I play services in the country church with one Baldwin Hamilton  in summer. I couldn't fix the Baldwin organ there, new coils are unavailable.   I sang & played in a church Christmas cantata this winter, and ended up directing the entrances and cutoffs.  I arranged and played a 30 minute church Christmas cantata accompaniment in 1988 for sampler synthesizer keyboard.   

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: Soren Jensen Butterfly Grand?
«Reply #5 on: February 27, 2016, 05:41:25 AM »
that's really fantastisch, awesome, Indianajo. un kapellmeister who can repair, maintain and tune the keyboards, maybe one or two others in north amerika.  without your mechanical expertise and trained ear, talked myself out of getting a used steinway, concerned about the potential temperament and maintenance issues.  thank you for taking the time to respond.

as it turns out, many of the butterfly grand pianos in this country were wurlitzers, but as many pianos that I've looked through (used to have dreams of searching through dozens in frustration), have never seen one.

Offline rogerbann

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Re: Soren Jensen Butterfly Grand?
«Reply #6 on: February 27, 2016, 05:33:57 PM »
Thank you for your valuable views. The Butterfly eventually found a new owner and a happy pianotechnician to work on it. It will become a nice instrument. There was a crack in the metal and I did not dare to have it transported 2000km. Everything is well  :)