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#1238502 - 07/27/09 09:19 PM Never been tuned in 30 years?
BubbaBear Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 4

I am considering buying a Mussette player from the original owner. She told me she does not ever recall having it tuned but that it works perfectly and sounds fine. I haven’t seen or heard it yet. My question is will it be difficult to tune and keep in tune now? Also is it likely to break a lot of strings when tuned the first time. Any other considerations I should consider on a piano that has not been tuned in so long. I believe it has been well cared for otherwise. Thank you.

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#1238624 - 07/28/09 02:02 AM Re: Never been tuned in 30 years? [Re: BubbaBear]
me4dt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 20
These can only be determined after you see it in person.

If you are not sure what to look or how to evaluate, hire a piano tech.

#1238746 - 07/28/09 09:19 AM Re: Never been tuned in 30 years? [Re: me4dt]
BubbaBear Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 4
That will certainly be done at some point. I am just trying to determine if the 30 years of no tuning should be a deal breaker from the start and if it is a given that such a piano is destined to give serious problems such as breaking strings and being hard to tune.

#1238759 - 07/28/09 09:45 AM Re: Never been tuned in 30 years? [Re: BubbaBear]
UnrightTooner Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 5618
Loc: Bradford County, PA

Here is a piano that has not been serviced in 30 years or more and the owner says it works and sounds fine. It may sound fine to the owner, it probably will not to you. You will not be able to tell if it sounds good to you until after it is tuned. So it should be tuned, and inspected, before you buy it. Even though it seems like a good deal, you should have it gone over by a tuner before you decide to buy. After 30 years, it will need another tuning before long anyway. No one here can tell you the condition of the piano.
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1238838 - 07/28/09 11:43 AM Re: Never been tuned in 30 years? [Re: UnrightTooner]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1332
Loc: PA
The piano may need more than just tuning. If the player mechanism was used frequently, the hammers and action could be quite worn and out of adjustment.

You'll want someone who can evaluate the condition of the player mechanism as well.

Try to hire a tech that knows players.

If there aren't any in your area, this is also worth knowing before you make the deal.
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair

#1238855 - 07/28/09 12:10 PM Re: Never been tuned in 30 years? [Re: daniokeeper]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24525
Loc: Oakland
If you are interested in the piano, you should go see it. Then ask your questions.

Looking at a piano for yourself is a learning experience in itself, and if you find that you really do not like it, then you will not waste any more of anyone else's time, include ours.
Semipro Tech

#1238868 - 07/28/09 12:37 PM Re: Never been tuned in 30 years? [Re: BDB]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1332
Loc: PA
I've posted on this before, but it probably bears repeating...

When you go see it, have the owner thoroughly demonstrate the player mechanism to you first. If there is a defect, you do not want to be in the position of proving that you did not cause it... trying to prove a negative. If the owner flat-out refuses to demonstrate it, you might want to just leave without even touching the piano... depending on the "vibe" you get.

If there is a transposing mechanism or a tracker bar alignment mechanism on any older player, have the owner demonstrate it. On an older player, the tracker bar tubing can become brittle, yet still work. When the tracker bar moves, it can shatter brittle tubing. You don't want to hear the words, "It worked just fine until you touched it!" And the thing is, the owner legitimately may not understand what actually happened.

I'm not trying to alarm you; I just don't want you to step on any landmines.

Edited by daniokeeper (07/28/09 12:50 PM)
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair

#1238873 - 07/28/09 12:48 PM Re: Never been tuned in 30 years? [Re: daniokeeper]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Well, an instrument that has not been tuned for 30 years and the owner has an expectation to "sell it"??

I think any purchase price is out of the question, quite frankly...
Dan Silverwood
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."


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