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selling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg (Read 1447 times)

Offline tinctoria88

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selling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
« on: June 10, 2016, 10:40:24 PM »
Does anyone have advice on how to put a 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg 5' grand on the market for sale?  It's in original condition, beautifully polished dark brown wood, matching artist's bench.  The single owner bequeathed this piano to us, but we want a 7' grand.   We've not re-conditioned it as we've not found a technician who would care to retain its original tonal design.  Right now the bass sounds "thunky" and the upper 1 1/2 octaves has a sustained ringing quality.  We're located on the west coast and are wpmderomg of tje east coast might have more interested buyers, which would mean shipping across country.  Any advice is very appreciated.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: welling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #1 on: June 10, 2016, 11:13:16 PM »
I don't know about selling it but there isn't any redeeming quality about a 'thunky bass". Why would you want that retained ?
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline tinctoria88

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Re: welling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #2 on: June 11, 2016, 05:03:14 AM »
I was being honest about the sound of the bass as the piano has never had any serious conditioning.  Someone else might not hear that tonal quality.  I can recommend the fact that because this piano has not had any technician thoroughly recondition it, it is a "fresh slate."

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: welling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #3 on: June 11, 2016, 05:10:19 AM »
which west coast ?  if you mean the west coast of the u.s., there are a number of dealers who probably understand the instrument, know how to market it, and have an inventory of seven foot grands for you to look at.

a serious private buyer will want to look over the piano thoroughly and/or have a technician of their choosing do so, exactly as a dealer would, given the age of the piano and what you are describing as minimal work done for it.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: welling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #4 on: June 11, 2016, 11:38:38 AM »
I was being honest about the sound of the bass as the piano has never had any serious conditioning.  Someone else might not hear that tonal quality.  I can recommend the fact that because this piano has not had any technician thoroughly recondition it, it is a "fresh slate."

I see. I read your message as no tech wanted to recondition your piano because you wanted to retain the thunky bass LOL. Guess I should start reading more slowly !

I really know nothing about that brand piano on a personal level, though the reputation is great and the tone very pleasing, even in that size, from video I've listened to.. Generically speaking, Often a thunking sound in the bass indicates the instrument could use new bass strings or a minimum measure of  re-twisting the existing strings ( this twisting often can bring a good 60-70% renewal of the bass tone). Hammer treatment matters as well, especially regulation, then voicing. A far less likely cause could be a flat sound board. Just saying.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline tinctoria88

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Re: welling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #5 on: June 12, 2016, 06:07:08 PM »
We reside on the west coast U.S. near San Francisco.  I'm aware of R. Kassman as a dealer of Grotrian-Steinweg pianos (and others.)  We're leaning towards advertising the piano privately.

The piano is in UNtouched pristine condition from its original manufacturer.  Our biggest concern in re-conditioning it to any amount is to find a technician who will consider the original stylistic tonal qualities of this 1950 Grotrian-Steinweg.  I can hear that I would very much like the sound of the bass if it were worked on by a concerned technician.
Does anyone have experience with the sustained ringing quality of this piano's upper 1 1/2 octaves?
And of course we would hope that the investment in any reconditioning would be appreciated by a buyer, but we're aware that it may not increase the price asked.
Thanks to PianoStreet, I found Larry Fine's online version of articles from his book.

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: welling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #6 on: June 12, 2016, 09:36:52 PM »
if you're near the bay area and list the instrument for private sale, don't be surprised if a dealer expresses interest, because your brand name has prestige and there aren't many used around the market.  it sounds like you already have another grand in mind to replace it, rather than investigate what a top technician might be able to do with the heirloom instrument.

Offline tinctoria88

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Re: welling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #7 on: June 13, 2016, 12:35:49 AM »
As I read of pposts within the "instrument" forum about 9' grands being a possible bargain beacause most people don't have room for them, a light bulb turned on brightly.  Recently found listing of a 9' 1927 Steinway nearby.  It has had some work done on it, but I'm wary of what other work it might need.  So yes, we're thinking bigger.
Thanks for the observation about a dealer noticing a private sales listing.

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: selling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #8 on: June 14, 2016, 11:30:35 AM »
was curious to see what your piano might look like, and my research leads me to ask, is your description of the instrument based on your personal examination, playing, measuring, verification of serial number and date of manufacture ?  this is not a query expressing personal doubt, but from a lack of information about their grand pianos that small made at that time.  their factory was like many others destroyed by allied bombers, and their production just beginning to restart in '52, which could explain the unusual size.  the smallest grand they make now is about 12 cm longer, and there were 160 cm.(about 5'3") instruments in the 1920s, when the company like many other piano makers was in a boom period. by law, retail sellers in this country have to sell them under the name 'grotrian', omitting 'steinweg', because 'steinway' is actually the same family name originally and they succeeded in keeping their old world cousins' name off the (new) pianos sold here.  your piano would have an interesting history, from the limited production in '52 combined with 'steinweg' on the piano.

Offline tinctoria88

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Re: selling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #9 on: June 29, 2016, 12:41:33 AM »
Yes I checked the serial number and it's within 1050-55 production.  We inherited this instrument from a friend of my husband who was a talented amateur soprano.  She did not play the instrument very much and certainly was not an accomplished pianist.  The instrument was in her home only.
We had the G-S piano tuned, but I couldn't become attracted enough to its potential at first.  There's a sustained ringing in the uppermost 1 1/2 octaves that distracts me.  The bass actually sounds like lots of potential, but may need reconditioning(?)
Both my husband & I are keyboardists and are now considering having the G-S piano reconditioned, but want to find a technician to evaluate it.  And whoever does the reconditioning, we want the "Grotrian" sound to be retained.  Right now we're sending an inquiry to about 10 names from the Piano Technician's Guild in our area code, to see in anyone has experience with Grotrian-Steinweg. 

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: selling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #10 on: June 29, 2016, 05:11:54 AM »
do you mean between 1950 and 1955 ?  if that is the case, how was the year 1952 arrived at in your description.  conditions were changing quite a bit in Deutschland during that period. you did not reply to my other query if you measured the piano yourself.  if you happen to live in Marin county, and are willing to pay a technician serious $$(he has some clients in berserkley as well, probably SF, not interested in longer commutes) , will give you a name via personal message.  the gent is a Steinway specialist who works a lot in vintage restorations.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: selling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #11 on: June 29, 2016, 11:07:29 AM »
That top 1-1/2 octaves may well ring, if it does congratulations, because on small grands ,that range can often be lifeless sounding. You can at least get a singing tone from it this way. That octave range is about the range of strings with no dampers on acoustic grands. If you guys are used to electronic keyboards then you wouldn't have experience with this.

If the bass strings need replacing they will often sound dead, kind of just go thunk and again lifeless when struck, or otherwise not sing. Replacements sets are hand made, the key is to get someone who will make them properly for your pianos register arrangement. A good tech would know who would do this and either supply the old strings to them or measurements and harp layout etc.. It's only in really old vintage pianos where it gets extra tough to produce proper bass strings, where they had steel windings as the over shielding vs copper and sometimes double layers of them. My 1898 HFM is like this and why I keep my bass strings going by periodic untwisting and re twisting, virtually nobody today makes bass strings that way anymore. I doubt yours are made that way.

Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline tinctoria88

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Re: selling 1952 Grotrian-Steinweg
«Reply #12 on: June 30, 2016, 01:37:59 AM »
Thanks, hrmadopter, for your experience with much older bass strings.
Our current strategy to find a piano tech person is to send same query to techs listed in the Piano Technicians Guild in our zip code area.  We're requesting someone who is familiar with Grotrian-Steinweg pianos of this era to retain the special tonal charateristics of this maker.
About that "ringing" in the uppermost treble--it's REALLY sustained and kind of "sticks out."  This is beyond just a singing tone. We're also going to send an inquiry to Grotrian-S. in Germany & see if they hav time to advise us about reconditioning this era of their piano.  Thanks for your support of seeking tech who is interested in this project.