Author Topic: Old pianos  (Read 18497 times)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2017, 03:40:53 pm »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14jCwHjSM94

That's a very interesting video by Marcus Roberts, as I think that is exactly the same model as my piano, albeit that one is 4 years younger than mine. I'm fascinated by the discussion below the video about treating Bechsteins with deteriorating wrest-planks with thin superglue - lying the pianos on their backs and squirting superglue into the oval holes. If it works, it's a lot cheaper than putting in oversized pins and replacing wrest-planks.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Dormant but requires tea
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2017, 06:17:23 pm »
Old pianos in Bristol are being turned into street art.
https://streetpianos.com/bristol2017/
At some point in the ride, you might find yourself in Osaka with Spanish speakers where you had expected Edinburgh talking Greek. This does not mean you are lost, or even off route.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2017, 07:20:14 pm »
Ok, string replaced, but it now needs tuning again. I will get the tuner out again after we come back from Wales (29th Aug).

I spent a couple of hours bashing Beethoven & Bach this afternoon. Feel quite tired...
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #53 on: August 23, 2017, 04:34:08 pm »
<snip>

Another perfectly acceptable make not mentioned is Rud. Ibach Sohn. I had one of these, given to me by a friend's mother, when I was in my teens. I got up to about Grade 7 on it, but being an overdamper model it wasn't as good as the pianos at school so I generally practised on them as well. Overdamper pianos are generally less responsive and you won't be able to play very fast pieces on them, especially if there are rapidly repeated notes, because the mechanism takes too long to return to its resting position.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZjAz6t05Ps

I didn't realise that it was possible to convert overdamper to underdamper. I wonder what Roberts charges for this service? I reckon it must be A Lot. But I'm pleased he shares my opinion about Ibach pianos. I am regretting allowing my old one to go to the tip now. In consultation with Dez, we think we sold it for £100. That was 16 years ago and I think it was bought by the Piano Pavilion, as mentioned above. They had an Ibach upright in stock when I was in there last week. It had a lovely case.

Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #54 on: August 24, 2017, 11:06:28 pm »
Jan and I are spending 5 nights at The Forest B & B, near Newtown. The "lounge" is a fully kitted music room with a beautiful Bechstein grand piano, a "square" piano dating from about 1850, and a full concert-sized xylophone! Host & hostess perfectly happy for guests to play the Bechstein. Which I did. Loudly.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #55 on: August 25, 2017, 10:42:40 am »
How wonderful!

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #56 on: August 31, 2017, 11:46:05 pm »
Our Bechstein has been tuned again and seems to be holding its note. I discovered a hammer that doesn't strike all three strings of one of the notes. I reckon it has been like that all the time I have had it. If you play that note fortissimo, it's out of tune because then the hammer does strike the third string, which is flat. Normal playing only makes two strings vibrate and they are both in tune.

The hammers on my piano have quite deep grooves in them where they have been bashing the strings for many years.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #57 on: September 03, 2017, 01:58:55 pm »
A plan is beginning to form.

My daughter wants a piano for the gcs to learn on. Unless you get one with a guarantee of some kind, buying second-hand is always pot luck. It struck me that our piano probably has a fair bit of life left in it. It has a lovely tone and all of the keys/hammers/dampers do their jobs well. The tuner thinks it will be OK for a fair while yet. Its case, otoh, is very scruffy. The veneer has chipped in several places and the lacquer, which was applied when we bought it 39 years ago, has cracked in several places. It is, to be honest, the ideal piano for someone to learn on where it doesn't matter too much if something happens to the outside of the instrument. So I have suggested to daughter that, if I decide to buy another piano (and I would probably go for something restored rather than a new one) she might like to have it for her children. She likes this idea.

I like this idea because it means that I don't have to trade it in (and I doubt that anyone would bother to do the work on it to make it into a saleable item - Bechsteins are just too common) and it would grieve me to think that it would be about to have the ESL treatment.

If it does indeed become untuneable in the near future, then OK, we have extended its useful life as long as possible and our grandchildren have an excellent instrument on which to learn. It may well be possible to get another 10 years or so out of it, in which case I will be happy.

And of course it allows me to apply n+1 to pianos, even though they are not being kept in the same county!
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #58 on: September 09, 2017, 05:47:46 pm »
I have pretty much decided to buy a grand piano. A lot depends on what is available. I reckon I can fit a 6' grand into the space available, which is perfectly acceptable. The longer the piano, in general the better the sound. The vast majority of concert halls use Steinway D-274s where the 274 is the number of centimetres long. 8' 11¾". I would find it hard to justify that, and neither do I have the necessary spondulicks - $299999 on the first website I found with a price!
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #59 on: September 09, 2017, 06:27:01 pm »
Marcus usually attends the piano auctions held in Conway Hall. The next is 21 September. His opinions on used grands might be useful...
www.pianoauctions.co.uk

Lots 6, 19, 33 & 52 may be of interest.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #60 on: September 09, 2017, 07:46:23 pm »
I am intending to go along. Jan and I are intending to visit his workshops/showroom next Wednesday.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #61 on: September 09, 2017, 07:54:04 pm »
Marcus usually attends the piano auctions held in Conway Hall. The next is 21 September. His opinions on used grands might be useful...
www.pianoauctions.co.uk

Lots 6, 19, 33 & 52 may be of interest.

The Steinway is beyond my budget I think. Roberts have a couple at around the same price that have been reconditioned.

The 6' Bechstein probably needs a complete restoration at that price. That would take a while, but I would be pretty happy to consult with Marcus and get him to do the work on something like that.

I think my heart is set on a 100-year-old German "big four" piano. Roberts have new Feurich for sale for under £9000 and I'm quite tempted by that, but I think the older pianos have a mellower tone. A Bluthner would suit me fine...

PS Lot 89, the Ibach, is tempting. Quite a new piano and I played an Ibach grand a lot in my youth (it was in the school hall at KEGS, Chelmsford).
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Old pianos
« Reply #62 on: September 12, 2017, 02:12:07 pm »
If you do buy one check inside it (there may be a horde of treasure* in it).

*Interesting programme on Radio 4 last Saturday morning; about a piano tuner who found a horde of gold coins
inside a piano he was tuning. :thumbsup:

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #63 on: September 12, 2017, 02:18:47 pm »
I think this is seriously unlikely, unless the treasure is in the form of pristine hammers, dampers, strings, bridges, frames etc. The piano which is no. 1 on my list has been completely restored.

Mrs. Wow and I are off to Orxfud in the morning. I already have a pretty good idea of which one is my favourite and I have asked then to hang on to it until I have had a chance to play it, and several others.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #64 on: September 12, 2017, 02:33:25 pm »
If you do buy one check inside it (there may be a horde of treasure* in it).

*Interesting programme on Radio 4 last Saturday morning; about a piano tuner who found a horde of gold coins
inside a piano he was tuning. :thumbsup:

I saw this (or a similar) story on the BBC news website a few months ago. IIRC they never traced the owner.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdVVe4WBXfA

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #65 on: September 13, 2017, 11:25:05 pm »
I posted this on FB about my day - in answer to a point made by Helly.

Quote
We didn't see Marcus as it was his day off. However, I learned that he drives a Nissan Leaf and rides a bike. I wonder if it's a Thorn with a Rohloff hub? ;)

No decision on a piano yet. The one I had my eye on, the Blüthner Style VIII, looked even better in real life than it did in the picture. It was mostly absolutely lovely to play: a gorgeous warm, rich bass and middle, and very easy to play very quietly, courtesy of the Blüthner patented action. However, it was lacking power in the highest 2 octaves. I subsequently learned from the staff, never having played a Blüthner before, that this is a common trait and the main reason that they developed their "Aliquot" system of stringing. The lack of power reminded me very much of the piano I learned on in my teens, an Ibach. When, in my 20s, I bought the Bechstein, I realised what I had been missing. Our current piano has plenty "under the bonnet" in all parts of the keyboard. Having said that, I don't think I have ever made Debussy's 1st Arabesque sound better than it did on that Blüthner. It's absolutely tremendous for quiet playing.

I played a couple of new Feurichs - loads of power but so "bright" as to be almost harsh - at least, in comparison to the Blüthner. There were two lovely Steinways that were absolutely wonderful - both totally restored so as, to all intents and purposes, to be new pianos. But way out of my price range. So, somewhat crestfallen, we went to lunch.

After lunch, we returned to the workshop (all the pianos I had tried so far were in the showroom, a mile or so up the road) and I tried a Bluthner style V, which was disappointing: rather tinny, I thought. There were some Bechstein grands, one of which was for sale, but it was big enough for a concert hall, and again, a few £k more than I had set myself as a budget. It sounded, and felt, gorgeous. All the power you need!

And that brought us back to another Blüthner. This was another Style VIII, but from 1934, so with a roller action (Blüthner stopped producing their patent action in the mid 1920s - because their pianos were a bit quiet in the top register?) but the keyboard and action had been completely removed because it was being French polished (Roberts give their pianos 30 coats) but a couple of the guys reassembled it for me, and I had a go. It has yet to be tuned and the action regulated, but it sounded great. I felt the balance between treble and bass was better than in the older instrument. So that, for the moment, is the favourite. It probably won't be ready until the end of the month, but I will just have to have another trip to Oxford in order to try it again when it is! Its case also looks lovely. I don't think it is quite so striking as the rosewood (this one's mahogany) as the grain doesn't have quite the abrupt contrasts of the older piano, but it is a very attractive ruby red. Their French polisher takes great pride in his work, and rightly so. He is a real craftsman.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #66 on: September 21, 2017, 12:50:47 pm »
I have had an email from Marcus Roberts. My piano will be ready in the next day or two. How jolly exciting! He wants me to go to Oxford to play it again in the next couple of days. But I am going camping...

Might have to make it Monday.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #67 on: September 21, 2017, 05:09:00 pm »
OK. I shall go to Oxford tomorrow and set off for my camping destination afterwards.

Getting a bit infantile with the excitement...
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #68 on: September 21, 2017, 05:20:49 pm »
Oh, enjoy!
Shame about the deferred camping!

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #69 on: September 21, 2017, 05:24:13 pm »
It won't be greatly deferred. I reckon to be in St. Neots before sunset. Getting tents up in the light is a good thing.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Old pianos
« Reply #70 on: September 22, 2017, 04:34:17 pm »
let us know when you take delivery of your  Blüthner Style VIII  :'( :'( :'( :'(

I hope to be @ Roberts by end of year with a view to purchase

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #71 on: September 22, 2017, 04:47:13 pm »
I feel the need to host a yacf piano party. Is the Festive Season too busy?
Spring/Summer mean we can spread onto the patio,which might be cold/wet in the winter...

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #72 on: September 28, 2017, 01:45:54 pm »
I have a Blüthner! It matches the dog.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #73 on: September 28, 2017, 01:57:49 pm »
Enjoy!

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #74 on: September 29, 2017, 09:42:18 am »
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.