Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1313321 - 11/27/09 01:06 PM 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help!
tommyshawmp3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/09
Posts: 3
I'm considering purchasing an Everett Piano manufactured in 1894 (approximate date). The Serial number is 23011, which places it sometime between 1890 and 1894. The cabinet was completely refinished approximately 20 years ago and looks great. Beautiful tiger oak finish with some minor chipping and scratches at the base of both sides. Original ivory keys are intact with the exception of two keys that were replaced by what looks to be plastic. Minor chips on two ivory keys. The rest of the keys are in great shape with minimal discoloration. So the case looks great.

The interior of the piano appears to be relatively untouched (i.e., original). The piano still plays well (nice action) and is generally in tune (last tuned in 2006 so I was surprised that intonation was still generally accurate).

My biggest concern is that the piano is really mellow. Not sure if that is an issue of old or dirty strings or if it's possibly a flattened soundboard. I would love to hear ideas. I played an 1877 Steinway upright last week that sounded better because the interior had all been replaced, but the cabinet required major work. The Steinway owner wants $4,500.

The Everett owner wants $1,500. I think $1,500 is a bit high but wanted perspective from technicians. I'm willing to throw some additional money (maybe $1,000 at the interior to improve/clean the strings). But I welcome your thoughts on the value of restoring (within reason) an 1894 Everett Upright grand piano.

I intend to hire a tuner/technician to look at the piano with me next week to make a final decision on purchase but welcome your input and feedback.

The primary players will be my two young daughters and myself. I love the look of turn-of-the-century piano. The sound is good but not spectacular (the Steinway was better, but ultimately overwhelming for our front room with wood floors and 8-foot ceilings--probably too loud). My sense is that the Everett could be improved and work well. We don't have room for a grand in our home so we must purchase an upright.

I have detailed photos of the interior and exterior I could email if you are interested.

I welcome your input.

Top
(ad 568) Win a Year Journal Subscription
Win a year subscription to the PTG Journal
#1313328 - 11/27/09 01:17 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: tommyshawmp3]
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
A refinish job if done well costs around $3000. Then it is a pretty box to set your pictures on. The action will require $5000 worth of work plus restringing. Do you think you can get $8000 for it when the work is finished?

Do you want a piano or a pretty box? The Steinway, if restrung and the action work was done well, is probably the better deal.
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

Top
#1313339 - 11/27/09 01:28 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: Keith Roberts]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20749
Loc: Oakland
A more realistic value for the Everett would be $100 or less. There are a lot of old pianos, a lot of old Everetts, and not much demand.

The value of the Steinway depends on exactly how much and how well the work on the inside was done. You should have an independent tech look at it to evaluate it if you are spending that much money. Old Steinway action parts are delicate, and replacement parts are expensive, so a $4500 price tag seems suspicious.

You should think about whether you want a piano for your children to learn on or a piece of furniture. These old pianos are not likely to be good for the former use. You can buy good studio uprights, about 100 years newer than either of these for under $500 used, and they would be a much safer bet.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#1313777 - 11/28/09 09:19 AM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: BDB]
Randy Karasik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 498
Loc: Arvada, Colorado, USA, Earth
If you want a truly great piano, plan to spend a few thousand on something spectacular, like a Yamaha U1, or a Petrof 52".
_________________________
Registered Piano Technician
Serving Colorado Since 1978
randy@karasikpiano.com
www.karasikpiano.com

Top
#1313911 - 11/28/09 02:36 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: BDB]
Davey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/09
Posts: 21
Loc: Western NC
Originally Posted By: BDB
A more realistic value for the Everett would be $100 or less. There are a lot of old pianos, a lot of old Everetts, and not much demand.


Yes, too often people are under the impression that their piano is valuable because it's an antique. But with few exceptions, pianos don't really have value as antiques, they only have value as musical instruments. $1,500 would get you something much newer and much nicer.
_________________________
Former builder - Sohmer, Mason & Hamlin, Kawai.

Top
#1313942 - 11/28/09 03:26 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: Davey]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20749
Loc: Oakland
$100 will get you something much newer and nicer, sometimes. $500, a lot more often.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#1314253 - 11/29/09 07:55 AM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: BDB]
David Jenson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 1947
Loc: Maine
"...with few exceptions, pianos don't really have value as antiques..." Davey

Exactly! One of the most disagreeable aspects of discussing pianos and piano value with clients (and spouse) is deflating the perceived antique value of a crusty, dusty, worn out old piano, be it grand, or not so grand. The TV program, "Antiques Road Show" has added to the confusion.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

Top
#1314531 - 11/29/09 03:32 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: David Jenson]
Davey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/09
Posts: 21
Loc: Western NC
I don't know whether it's hope or greed, but people tend to set their sights very high when it comes to antique pianos. But it's not so much rarity that makes something worth a pile of money, but demand for it. Even if there's only two of something in the whole wide world, it's worthless if nobody wants it. A classic case would be the guy that wants $90 for an Edison Diamond Disc record. HUH???? What planet is THIS guy from?

Sometimes it's hard to tell somebody that they've got an 88-key piece of firewood. They look so... deflated.
_________________________
Former builder - Sohmer, Mason & Hamlin, Kawai.

Top
#1314596 - 11/29/09 05:11 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: Davey]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1179
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
By the way...old upright piano keys make superb kindling.
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

Top
#1314636 - 11/29/09 06:34 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: Eric Gloo]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20749
Loc: Oakland
As long as you do not mind that burning ivory smells like when the dentist drills your teeth.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#1314662 - 11/29/09 07:28 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: BDB]
Gregl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/08
Posts: 126
Loc: Lompico,CA
I remove (steam) the ivories for future use,stickers work good too!
Leave a "beater" outside for 1 winter an you get many usable pieces with history,understanding and useful functions i.e.neighbor uses plate in concrete for retaining wall..and so on...burning glue,wool,& felt can make some neighbors unhappy!
Wish I had a Thermostat!


Edited by Gregl (11/29/09 07:53 PM)

Top
#1314695 - 11/29/09 08:29 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: BDB]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1179
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Originally Posted By: BDB
As long as you do not mind that burning ivory smells like when the dentist drills your teeth.


I do remove the ivory and capstans. The old capstans in an old blue canning jar make an interesting decorative piece.
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

Top
#1314725 - 11/29/09 09:20 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: Eric Gloo]
Gregl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/08
Posts: 126
Loc: Lompico,CA
More!..nice Post
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1309928/Oh,%20the%20places%20we%20tune.html#Post1309928


Edited by Gregl (11/29/09 09:32 PM)

Top
#1314773 - 11/29/09 10:49 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: Gregl]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Tommy, once again, as often happens here, you have been treated badly by snobs on this list. I can think of two recent customers, one who has an Everett similar in age to yours and another who has a beautiful Poole upright that is 101 years old. Neither would give it up for anything. It is their family treasure. What else that old is a useful item?

You are right to be concerned about the "mellow" tone. Is it just mellow or has the soundboard lost crown? You do need a professional to tell you that. If it has, the piano really is, as they say, worthless but that is often not the case. The ivory keys are nice and they can be somewhat restored but they also have no particular value. The refinishing job could also hardly be what a professional would do, even if it looks nice to you. It may be why the seller wants as much as he does. He may have invested in a job that looks pretty good but is not really up to industry standards.

So, they are all right about what they say but have been rather rude and patronizing in how they have said it. Sometimes, people do completely restore these old gems and it does cost a fortune, just like Keith says but many people still use and thoroughly enjoy these old pianos by spending less than $1,000 on them, sometimes only a few hundred at most. It is something like owning a classic car. Sometimes you can find one that is in relatively good shape and really enjoy it for what it is without spending more than what a sensible newer used car would cost. One of our regular posters, Jerry Groot recently acquired an old Cadillac that way.

Have your technician evaluate it and if it does not have any serious flaws, offer the seller $500 for it and you should have a deal. If the technician you hire behaves badly, find another. Some technicians really are high level specialists who only can only handle the finest of instruments at the highest possible level of service. That would not give them a reason or excuse, however to put you down. They should graciously refer you to someone they know who can do for you what you want and need and at an appropriate price for it.

As an analogy, if you had an older, mixed breed dog that you had acquired from the pound when it was a pup, unwanted by anyone else but you saw something in it that appealed to you and it became a loyal friend for life but it now had a treatable condition and you brought it to a vet and the vet took one look at it and said, "Get that mangy mutt OUT of my office! I only treat pedigrees!", would you not be personally offended? If that vet would only say, "It will cost THOUSANDS of dollars to do what I do to treat that dog! Have him put down and cremated and get a better breed for far less than what I would charge!", wouldn't you also be personally offended and think that vet behaved badly and unprofessionally?

I such a scenario, the medicine for the treatment would cost less than $50, would take less than a minute and the condition would improve quickly but the vet himself is personally disgusted by it. That is unprofessional in that it lets personal feelings get in the way of serving client's needs.

There are vets who do only specialize in pedigrees and would not be able to accommodate you in such a circumstance. But in your inquiry to their office, it would be the vet's responsibility to graciously refer you to another vet who could serve you properly.

With piano technicians, it should be no different but unfortunately, it seems that there are many who would rather treat an inquirer badly in order to elevate themselves in their own minds. I see it happen time and again.

The fact that many of these hundred year old or more pianos are still useful and their owners enjoy them as they are is a testimony to how well they were built in the first place. I wish you good luck in determining the condition of the piano and negotiating a fair price for it if it is found to still be a useful instrument.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

Top
#1314835 - 11/30/09 01:13 AM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20749
Loc: Oakland
However, this is more likely to be like a lame 20 year old dog in constant pain with diabetes and a heart condition that someone is offering for $1500. An honest vet would say that is too much. An honest technician has to say the same thing about this piano.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#1314844 - 11/30/09 01:41 AM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: BDB]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
So, um, really the answer is get a willing technician to look over the piano, and tell you if it's fit to play as is, or needs some repairs but will then be fit to play, or if it's just junk. Then you can go from there.

And if you find out it doesn't play, but you have the money to spare and you actually don't mind having a piece of furniture that doesn't play anymore, then you can do that too if you want.
_________________________
(I'm a piano teacher.)

Top
#1314846 - 11/30/09 01:43 AM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: david_a]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20749
Loc: Oakland
No, the answer is to look for something better. $1500 is not a realistic price, and it is so far out of line that offering a reasonable price would result in nothing but hard feelings.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#1314959 - 11/30/09 09:25 AM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: BDB]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
BDB, I find far more useful old uprights than I do those which are not. During the past year, I only recall one where I had to tell the customer it really was no good. The teenage daughter played very well and was involved in recitals and competitions. I had seen it the year before that too and basically told the parents the same thing.

The parents, especially the mother could not accept the fact that there was really nothing I could realistically do for it. She said, "Well, you will just have to gerryrig whatever is wrong with it. A new piano is out of the question". I had to spend as much time as it took to tune the piano to explain and show them why the piano had "vibrations". It also had a weak tone. It was the very problem which this customer suspected.

The action parts were also completely shot. I told them about finding a used studio for about $1500 or a brand new Kawai from Indonesia for about $3,000. I suggested it could be a future gift to their daughter when she becomes an adult. They ended up thanking me for taking the time to explain but it was clearly not what they wanted to hear.

So, it is not that I don't see that kind of thing. It happens and yes, it could be the case here. The inquirer has been informed and your advice may well turn out to be the best. It is just the bluntness and condescension in giving that advice that is uncalled for. Much more often than not, I find useful older instruments that only need routine service to be maintained and the people who own them like the piano and want to keep it. They also find them on Craigslist or left in the home when the former residents moved out.

Here, in a university community, leaving a piano behind is rather common. The residents will pile virtually everything else on the curb and there are people who go around looking for items. Some even make business out of finding these items, refurbishing them and reselling them. One of my long term customers found such a piano. He worked in a piano shop for a while where it was restrung and otherwise reconditioned. I have maintained it now for some 20 years. He finds furniture and other items, repairs, refinishes and reupholsters, etc. and makes his living that way. A few years ago, he found a fine quality leather handbag which he cleaned and repaired the shoulder strap. He gave it to me as a gift. I carry my tuning exam manual and supplies in it.

No one here can diagnose the condition of the piano in question without seeing it. The inquirer deserves at least that much respect. The suggested alternatives could also end up being a very bad disappointment too.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

Top
#1314994 - 11/30/09 11:00 AM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20749
Loc: Oakland
The condition of the piano is not even a factor here. The question was whether one should spend $1500 for a 100+ year old upright piano with nothing special to redeem it. The only honest answer is "No!" For a technician to advise otherwise is unethical.

Had the question been: "Someone left a 100 year old piano in my house, is it worth fixing up?" then the condition is a factor, and the response might be different. I have to look at such a piano this week. But I will not lie to them about the market with the idea of getting paid for a lot of work on a piano that will never justify it.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#1315026 - 11/30/09 11:50 AM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: BDB]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Seems to me I suggested offering 1/3 that price. Is that unethical too?
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

Top
#1315056 - 11/30/09 12:26 PM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20749
Loc: Oakland
It is still way more than the piano is worth. You said it yourself: people leave pianos behind. They can be had free for the moving.

Offers should be made on the value, not on the asking price.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#1315583 - 12/01/09 12:28 AM Re: 1894 Everett Piano upright grand value? $1,500? Help! [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Gregl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/08
Posts: 126
Loc: Lompico,CA
Hi Mr Bremmer, the pot and kettle both work on a wood stove

Top

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
102 registered (ado, AndreiN, Adam Coleman, ADWyatt, antony, 29 invisible), 1280 Guests and 35 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74223 Members
42 Forums
153538 Topics
2250050 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
2014 Bradshaw and Buono Piano Competition
by hsheck
20 minutes 5 seconds ago
What is the strangest thing you have found inside a piano?
by That Tooner
Yesterday at 11:18 PM
Kawai vs Ritmuller
by cromax
Yesterday at 11:08 PM
Considering going into debt for a Steinway grand
by joonsang
Yesterday at 10:38 PM
Best Glue for Damper Pads
by JMichaelWilson
Yesterday at 10:07 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission