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New Piano

Discussion in 'The Piano' started by fluterific00, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    Hello
    I'm posting pictures here on the forum of my new baby. It's a 1935 Story and Clark and we are always shopping deals. My mother is known for seeking out great buys and this one takes the cake. This piano was being sold by a lady in town who had to sell her piano because she was moving to assisted living. The piano was listed for 800 and she came down to 700. She probably could have charged a higher fee but because it was an older piano, people were saying they wouldn't buy it unless it was down to 100. There were a few scratches when we got it, but we have since polished it a little with a stick that takes care of surface scratches. That's probably why it went cheap The stick, however, is a really amazing product.
    I am also attaching a sound byte that I did in the evening and since it was late, I had the lid down. It needs a tuning and a little TLC, but I think it will be worth investing in, especially since it is old and in good condition.





    The images and clips are from my gmail account. My cat loves the new bench, but she is not the next Nora. :)

    Sorry this took so long to post, I thought posting links from my gmail account would work. Guess Monica helped me figure out that it didn't.

    Sorry Monica for all the trouble on the earlier posts, as well.

    Enjoy looking and hearing it. Hope to at least get it tuned soon, then worked in a month or so after it's sat in the room a month.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Looks like a nice piano. But as you already know, it needs a real good tuning - probably some adjusting too since the piano is so old. There is a sound like a guitar coming out of one of the low notes. Make sure to get a tuner who is also a certified technician. Good luck with your piano!
     
  3. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    thank you.

    Thank you, I am excited. I hope to keep in well maintained. That's funny you say about it sounding like a guitar in the bass, because my student last night said the same thing. I don't know what the problem is down in the lower registers.

    The technician we are going to use is very good. He does the pianos for all of the colleges around town and I've played on one's that he has done. We have to wait a month, he said, so it can "get used to it's surroundings." I am having fun cleaning up the brass parts. I was quite surprised when I started cleaning the pedal parts with brasso and brass showed under all the dirt. It will be a fun project and I hope to get it as good as new. :)

    In the meantime, I have pianos at school that I could make my recordings on.

    Does anyone know roughly about how much new strings for a grand would cost? I've done some research, and have come up with nothing.
     
  4. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    The piano does look very nice! I suspect the reason the bass strings sound the way they do is because they're older and have lost their flexibility. If you get them replaced, that problem should go away. As I remember, replacing all the strings costs about $2000. You can also replace the bass strings only (which, it logically follows, costs about $1000).

    I wish you the best of luck and much happiness with your new piano!
     
  5. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    Ok

    Ok,
    thank you Sarah for the info. I guess it will be a while before I can replace the keys. Have to teach a few lessons before I do that. :) I was also wondering what replacing the felts on the hammers might cost. I want to get this baby close to new again. :) I think it's possible. A lot of investment, probably, but will most like be worth it.

    I am wanting to get a general tuning in soon. The technician said it had to sit for a month in our home before the strings are tuned.
    I intend to start a general fund for instrumental repairs on both of my instruments, my flute and piano. Have to keep these well maintained.
     
  6. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    I'm not sure you can replace just the felts - a tech would definitely be able to tell you more - but you can reshape the hammers, as long as they are not worn down too much, or you can replace all the hammers. I've seen hammer reshaping run about $200, and complete hammer replacement $900-$1000.

    Yeah, letting a piano get acclimated to its new environment is very important if you want the tune you paid for to hold for any length of time. :wink: I think the fund idea is a good one.
     
  7. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    Thanks

    Sounds like it could get quite expensive at the end, but I think it will be worth it.

    Thank you for the info Sara. Have you had pianos worked on before? Sounds like you know quite a bit.

    I was also wondering if you could change the complete timbre of the instrument with new strings and felts. That's kind of why I was asking, as well as the other.

    There's just something that's different with the feel of a grand vs. an upright, isn't there? I don't know what it is, unless it's just the whole shape of the sound board. I'm excited to at least get it tuned and see what improvement is made by just doing that.

    It will take me a while to save for adjustments and things, probably will be about a year before I can do that, but I'm looking forward to it. :)

    Little steps at a time with this piano.

    Alison
     
  8. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    I'm glad the information helped! I've gotten only fairly minor types of repairs done on our pianos; most of what I learned in regards to technical matters was from a tech that I tagged along with when I was considering learning to rebuild it wasn't long before I dropped that idea. :D

    You won't be able to change the sound of a piano drastically - the piano's scale design determines a lot of that, and you can't change scale designs without major rebuilding - but new strings will definitely make the piano sound more alive and have better tone because new strings vibrate so much better than older, corroded ones (this is especially true in the copper-wound bass section).

    Yes, grands are wonderfully different from uprights! The soundboard does have something to do with the difference, but I believe the action, which depends on gravity instead of springs to return, also plays a major part.

    I wish you all the best in saving up for future repairs!

    Sarah
     
  9. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    ok- thanks

    We kind of figured that, but But we also read on our piano tuners

    http://www.vanderpiano.com/
    gives some reasons why it could sound bad, but I'm wondering what dusting it would do like he said in one of his articles.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice. I'll look into getting the coils replaced. Also, I wondered about the foot pedal. The pedals are a bit loose, and was wondering if I could fix this. It also seems to have some connection with the keys on the piano, so I didn't know if just moving the pedal around would correct, or help the sound as well.

    Happy playing.
     
  10. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    It depends on the problem, but most pedal issues are pretty simple for a tech to repair. If you have a wiggly pedal your tech should be able to fix that very easily and inexpensively. It probably won’t change your sound much, though… it will just make the pedaling action work better and you will be able to pedal more easily. Now, your una corda pedal, the far left one on your grand, acts differently than the one on your upright and actually shifts the whole action (including the keyboard) a little to the right so that the hammers will only hit two of the three strings. That’s why your grand has a small gap on the right side of the keyboard.

    You can get a tech to scrub the rust of the top of your strings, but generally that’s a shorter-term fix. Looking into replacing the strings, like you’re doing, is probably the better idea.

    Happy playing to you too!
     
  11. Lukecash

    Lukecash New Member

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    Congratulations! I'm sure you'll have a good time with it. And a great deal of frustration like every pianist is plagued with :x
     
  12. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    :)

    lol. thanks. I think the piano teachers have the most frustration. ha ha.
     
  13. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    Cleaning The Instrument

    Hey Sarah
    Thought you'd like to know that we are in the process of cleaning our strings on my piano and basically doing a mini restoration process. We know several technicians who've given us advice and lent us a book even. Do you know the book by Arthur A. Reblitz? It's aPiano Servicing Tuning and Rebuilding book. We were lent this book by someone in our church who has redone a grand, soundboard and all, for his wife. I almost thought I'd found a repair man for the soundboard of one of the pianos at school. Unfortunately, he refused as he is not doing much of that anymore.

    Anyway, the strings are sounding much better so I think with a little deep cleaning and maybe some dusting of the sound board and in the hammers might help the action. Also, I was wondering what I might be hearing from the hammers in the top notes. I don't know if you can hear it in the recording so much, as I am mainly playing in the middle keys, but when I let up from the keys it sounds as if the hammers make a loud sort of rattling noise. Maybe that's just a loose hammer sound? One of the keys stick at the bottom. I really don't think I'm going to have to spend to much on repairs on it. I just owe my parents the rest of the money for it. I'm excited to hear what it sounds like when we're finished with it. It's going to get the amazing cleaning it's probably needed for years.

    Also, I have a question about a keyboard for anyone who's interested in asking. I have a cpv-20 yamaha keyboard. This is the one that's missing some of the keys. Anyway, I had a generic midi cable that played fine with no glitches and then it broke. So, I purchased a new one and it's fine except that the pedals on the keyboard play notes. The left pedal plays G and the right pedal plays E.

    I go to work tomorrow. I'm enjoying my piano teaching at the college. They are realizing how piano helps a lot with their theory work. If that's all they get out of it, I guess I've done my job, as they are just music minors. :) And, that says something for the school I went to. If those kids at the school can understand me, then the school I went to must have done something good for me after all. :)
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Cleaning The Instrument

    Cool ! You must be the only one here having a pedal piano :wink: Now you can record Alkan's and Schumann's piece for this instrument.
     
  15. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    Re: Cleaning The Instrument

    Wonderful, Allison... I'm very happy for you! Yes, I've heard of Reblitz's book, although I don't own it - It's supposed to be a good one. I'm not sure what exactly is the problem with your upper hammers, but it may be worn knuckles; in that case, the problem can easily be remedied by your technician dusting the offending knuckles with teflon powder. Just have your tech look at it. He should be able to fix that sticking key with no problem, too.

    I wish I could help you with the midi cable issue, but I have no idea what the problem is. I hope someone can assist you with that... sounds glitchy (and frustrating :D ). Good luck with your job!
     
  16. organtechnic23

    organtechnic23 New Member

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    What is this stick that removes scratches from the piano surface? Sounds like a miracle worker to me! Our piano at home could really benefit from such a product if you're willing to share more about it.
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think it must be one of these felt-tip permament markers in various shades of brown, specially designed for pianos and furniture. My former piano tunerrt used to carry a set with him. Pretty good for disguising scratches (not removing them of course).
     
  18. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    Re: Cleaning The Instrument

    ha ha. yeah, I guess, though I don't know Alkan.

    organtechnic23- I'm not sure without looking what the name of the stick is. I'll see if I can find it and let you know.

    Sarah- that might work. I'll check it out. Unfortunately, there are a couple of the base strings that don't seem to be livening up much, so we may have to replace those. But, the over all picture is looking better. :)

    Chris- you're right about just covering up the scratches. I'm sure having a hard time covering up some of the bigger scratches on the piano. I wondered if anyone had some tips on that. I'm also going to work on the bench some, and I'm not quite sure what to do about that. Bigger scratches on it.

    Thanks everyone, I can't wait to put the first recording. Course, I've been so busy with other music and teaching that I haven't really had time to practice anything! My student told me to tell her when my next recital might be,(of course I don't give many, yet), but I got to thinking after she said that and realized that I really didn't have much in the way of pieces to play. So, I'm going to have to work on that. Plus, I have to play for Messiah auditions tomorrow and practice with the choir after that. I'm feeling fairly busy and starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. But, things are going well, so far.
     
  19. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    Hello
    So, I'm getting a little frustrated. While it will be a good piano when fixed, I will have save continuously to make proper repairs, or maybe there are some minor issues we can work out. We are still working on the strings in the bass strings and will probably have to replace a few. Can anyone tell me how to measure the string so that I can send it in and have them make a new one? Also, where would a good place be to buy them. We are also going to have to replace the bolt. I was wondering if that is what could be causing the rumbling of the instrument. I don't know if anyone knows about this problem. I guess there could be something stuck in it.

    Also, the piano bench is fairly scratched up and I was wondering how we could repair it without stripping it. I know a few tips, but I'm sure I can get a few more here.

    Otherwise, it has a very nice tone, will be even nicer when tuned. The piano could ring for forever, so we just have to work the issues out. I'm getting anxious about the finished product. Vinegar cleans brass up just fine and you should see the difference I made cleaning the back poles. There was brass under the dirt and grime!

    I'm upset I can't make my Christmas cd on it this year as that was my goal, but maybe I'll have it next year.

    As well, how do you keep students in a financially difficult time. I had 2 siblings for a month and they quit because of job changes. That really made my income shoot up and I'm disappointing not to have them. Also, how do you keep students who are stressed with problems at school and tend to let that get in the way of everything? These are students with very strong dispositions towards everything in life. Half of my studio quit for a while this week and it's fairly disturbing.

    Anyway, I've bared my troubles, and let me know your thoughts. :)
     
  20. crogersrx

    crogersrx New Member

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    Re:

    My piano is a rebuilt, and they foot pedals were kinda wobbly. They replaced some heavy felt bushings or something in the pedal assembly, and now they're like new... but it wasn't cheap, and I sure wouldn't try it myself. Using the wrong felt can be disasterous with a piano, so let a qualified tech do it.
     

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