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#1176784 - 04/08/09 03:00 PM Antique Kingsbury piano, need opinions
cstring Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/09
Posts: 7
New to this forum, thank you in advance. I have found a 1906 Kingsbury grand - beautiful antique but had someone inspect it and found it was not in good shape on the inside though it plays fine still. He was very negative about putting money into it but I couldn't get out of him why. I am an adult beginner who would rather have an older piano with character if it can be refurbished to be a quality instrument again. I'd appreciate any info. about this type of piano to see if it is worth putting the money into it.

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#1176905 - 04/08/09 05:50 PM Re: Antique Kingsbury piano, need opinions [Re: cstring]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I don't know anything about the Kingsbury brand, but a 100-year-old piano is old indeed.

The advice you got was based on the fact that it's never "worth putting the money into it"—except for certain high-quality makes like Steinway—because the cost of the refurbishing will always exceed the monetary value of the instrument after the work is done. The money spent cannot be recouped in the event of a subsequent sale.

Sometimes, particularly for family heirlooms, people will go ahead with such a rebuilding project on a lesser brand because you can't put a dollar figure on sentimental value. Otherwise, such pianos are long beyond their useful lives and are, sadly, destined for the dump.

Steven

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#1176913 - 04/08/09 06:05 PM Re: Antique Kingsbury piano, need opinions [Re: sotto voce]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24149
Loc: Oakland
I suggest that you go and play some new pianos to see what the difference is.

Kingsbury was another name used by Cable, and they were pretty good pianos.
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#1176931 - 04/08/09 06:39 PM Re: Antique Kingsbury piano, need opinions [Re: sotto voce]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3708
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Originally Posted By: sotto voce

The money spent cannot be recouped in the event of a subsequent sale.

Sometimes, particularly for family heirlooms, people will go ahead with such a rebuilding project on a lesser brand because you can't put a dollar figure on sentimental value. Otherwise, such pianos are long beyond their useful lives and are, sadly, destined for the dump.Steven


I am not advocating for rebuilding this Kingsbury grand.

A few thoughts,

If you purchace a brand new pinao you will not recoup your money in the event of a subsequent sale either. Some exceptions would be that 20 year old Yamaha or Steinway which often are sold today for a similar price as paid back then.

Old pianos are not beyond their useful lives if rebuilt properly. Yes that costs money but the end result can be stunning both musically and in function.

If re-builders rebuilt pianos just for sentimental reasons we would not be returning fantastic pianos back to our clients. Meaning some still have musical merit.

That being said many do belong in the dump.
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#1176939 - 04/08/09 07:07 PM Re: Antique Kingsbury piano, need opinions [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Rod Verhnjak
[...] Old pianos are not beyond their useful lives if rebuilt properly. Yes that costs money but the end result can be stunning both musically and in function.

If re-builders rebuilt pianos just for sentimental reasons we would not be returning fantastic pianos back to our clients. Meaning some still have musical merit.

That being said many do belong in the dump.

I completely agree that many old pianos (besides the prestige brands with high name recognition) have musical worth when rebuilt well. I should have made it clear that I was only referring to "worth" in the strictest economic sense of monetary value.

Steven

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#1176995 - 04/08/09 08:31 PM Re: Antique Kingsbury piano, need opinions [Re: sotto voce]
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 790
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
It's not a "Square" grand, is it? I thought they'd all be gone by 1906. That could have been one of the reasons your piano guy was giving for it not being worth a rebuild.

Yea - I would have asked for the grizzly details of why it's not worth rebuiding, else get a second opinion.

----

Ditt-oh the suggestion of playing around on some new/ newER instruments. (If you would have said Chickering or Sohmer art case of that vintage, I would have been weeping into my keyboard for you because they have such beautiful case work.
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Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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