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#1386391 - 03/02/10 11:08 AM 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop?
Historical Keys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 10
I am looking at buying a rebuilt 1926 Cable Conover "66" 5 foot grand. It was lovingly and expertly rebuilt in 1977 and not played much after that. My question is on the short stick or small lid prop. This piano doesn't have one, or at least its not there. Did the 1926 Cable Conover "66" have one originally? They were usually brass and attached to the top side of the large lid prop. Also, are there any Conover lovers out there who would like to comment or share their thoughts about the Conover brand?

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#1386421 - 03/02/10 11:48 AM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: Historical Keys]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
Those props are aftermarket additions. Your tuner should be able to get one for you.

Conover was a name used by the Cable Piano Company, which made fairly decent pianos, but the quality of this one will depend on the rebuilding quality. Get a tech to check it out before buying.
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Semipro Tech

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#1386521 - 03/02/10 01:52 PM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: BDB]
Historical Keys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 10
So this piano never came with a short stick lid prop? That seems odd! I guess only certain brands like the Steinway had the short lid prop attached or built in it.

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#1386553 - 03/02/10 02:36 PM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: Historical Keys]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Not all pianos came with short sticks...
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LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
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#1386888 - 03/02/10 09:38 PM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: Les Koltvedt]
James Scott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I have a 1920's 5' Cable grand and it does have a short stick. The long stick is attached to the hinge as usual, while the short stick is on a separate hinge attached to the long one about 7" from the main hinge so that it still sits perpendicular to the plane of the lid in the lid prop cup when in use. The main stick is 27.5" long and the short stick is 10.5" long. If I knew how I'd post a picture of it.

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#1387019 - 03/03/10 03:01 AM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: James Scott]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Some early Conover Cable grands were somewhat similar and reminded me of early Mason & Hamlin grands. They were built like a tank with their less sophisticated version of the tension bar reasonator.They called it a "crown stay". Actuially it was really only the 5'9" mdl.77 that I thought was similar to the Mason & Hamlin A. If restored at a decent level I think they are a worthy restoration project and are obtainable quite inexpensive once they are worn out. A good rebuilder if you're planning on keeping it for the long haul. That short prop attached to the seperate hinge is quality and was original. Many vintage quality grands like Baldwin had that same setup.

Conover music rack hinges were very characteristic of Mason & Hamlin.

Last but not least,that telescopic music rack prop was the best design ever. I don't understand why nobody ever utilized that design considering that cheap BS aftermarket prop one always sees. grin
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#1387270 - 03/03/10 01:00 PM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: pianobroker]
James Scott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Yeah, "Crownstay", that's what I've got. It looks like the same Cable piano that Reblitz uses in his book. It's a bit worn out but works just fine. It's built like a brick shipyard. I took some pictures of the prop setup that I think you'll find useful. Now if only I could figure out how to get them shown here.

It also has the tension bar on the underside, with a big arc as part of the wood frame under the soundboard. It's the only one that I've see like that, all other pianos I've seen have angled bracing.

I also heard the Cable and/or Conover owned Mason and Hamlin in the 20's, that's why they share some design characteristics, albeit the Cables are somewhat less sophisticated, but still well built. Then Aeolian bought the who shoot-n-match after the crash of '29. That's just what I've heard, could be wrong.

By the way, I think that the telescoping music rack prop is pretty nifty also. Much better than the folding kind that gouges the back side of the rack. Doesn't everybody use that?

James

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#1387400 - 03/03/10 03:25 PM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: James Scott]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
As for Steinway,the short prop on the lid prop did not come about till the late 20's. The vintage Steinway grands just had the one long prop stick.

The folding music rack prop is just Mason & Hamlin and newer Steinways.
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100+Steinway and M&H grands
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#1387612 - 03/03/10 08:20 PM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: pianobroker]
James Scott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I think that I've figured out the picture posting thing. Below is a picture of the full short/long stick combo. You can see the brass hinge about a quarter of the way from the left side.



Below a close-up of short prop stick hinge from the left side.



And below is the close-up of the same hinge from the right side.



I hope that this is helpful.

James

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#1394362 - 03/12/10 12:46 PM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: James Scott]
Historical Keys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 10

Thanks for the picture of the lid prop. I had no Idea it was position there or that it even had one.This brings up an important question from me......where would I be able to get the original specifications of the conover 66? Do you know of anyone who would have an orgiinal catalog? Would the specs be in the catalog ...or better yet - deatialed pictures of the piano. Does anyone have and all original "66". My "66" was rebuilt in 1977. But I think they forgot to put some things ( like the short stick) back on the piano. I heard that there is a telescoping music desk/rack. What is that? Do you have pictures? if you do can someone post some?

Thanks so much.

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#1395337 - 03/14/10 12:19 AM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: Historical Keys]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
This is a Conover telescopic music rack prop off a 77 which I kept. Someday I will have these mass produced and retire on the earnings. grin

No it is not for sale!.

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/1917SteinwayOpartialrebuild015.jpg
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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#1395352 - 03/14/10 01:04 AM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: pianobroker]
James Scott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
That is exactly what I have! And mine isn't for sale either. I mean, what would I do without it.

Historical, sorry that Pianobroker beat me to posting the picture. My wife stashed the camera away somewhere and I haven't located it yet.

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#1395691 - 03/14/10 05:37 PM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: James Scott]
Historical Keys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 10
PianoBroker & James Scott,
thanks for the info and pics.

James- Do you have an original "66". Original in the sense of the case, desk, etc. When you locate the camera can you take some pics?

As I stated earlier, how can I find out what is original and what was replaced on my "66"? Where can I go for definitive info?

Also, where all "66's" for a given year or time period made the same? Did they all have the Telescopic hinge?

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#1400587 - 03/21/10 12:49 PM Re: 1926 Cable Conover "66" Baby Grand Lid Prop? [Re: Historical Keys]
James Scott Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Historical,

I don't have a Cable-Conover, I've got a "The Cable Company - Chicago, Ill." so I can't be sure that mine is identical to your's. Since it's currently on it's spine (and up against the wall) with the rest in pieces I won't be able to take any pictures of it anytime soon, sorry about that. My wife did locate the camera though.

How can you tell your's is a "66"? Is it printed somewhere? Mine has a "B" in the V portion of the plate, similar to where Steinway puts theirs. As far as I can tell it's all original. Every piece has similar sets of numbers written or stamped into it. According to the piano book mine would be from 1928, but the side of the action is stamped "AUG 25, 1921".

I'll see about posting some pictures once I can get into it.

Regards,
James

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