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#1618932 - 02/13/11 11:15 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21828
Loc: Oakland
If you have doubts about measuring the string properly, send the old string to the string maker. If you want to replace both strings, which is a good idea, measure the distance from the loop to the winding of the other string, which is the only measurement that differs.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1619553 - 02/14/11 06:48 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: BDB]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2069
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: BDB
If you have doubts about measuring the string properly


Measuring is no problem - it's just that I'm not sure whether the gauge of hex cores is specified face-to-face or corner-to-corner, and how this relates to round-core gauge numbers, i.e. which corresponding gauge of round wire to get for a new leader (should I decide to splice).
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1619639 - 02/14/11 09:58 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4954
Loc: Bradford County, PA
The difference between flat-to-flat and face-to-face is 15%. I'd measure flat-to-flat (because it is easier to do) multiply by 1.1 (to get the an approximate average) and go up to the next size of round wire.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1619744 - 02/14/11 12:09 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21828
Loc: Oakland
First of all, the gauge does not matter that much if you splice. If I do not have the right size at hand, I use something close. But I would not splice in this case. The hex wire will dent the leader, so it will be weaker than a splice of round wire.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1619891 - 02/14/11 04:02 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2069
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Thanks to you both.

Yes, Jeff, 15% is about right. I realized my error in my previous numbers. I only measured flat-to-flat, and did a (faulty) calculation of corner-to-corner. I tried to re-measure both tonight, and came to about 0.035 flat-to-flat, and about 0.040 corner-to-corner, although the latter measurement is difficult.

BDB: point taken, and duly noted. I'll try nevertheless, because it's my personal instrument, with little to lose.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1620066 - 02/14/11 07:38 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Mark R.]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3295
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Here are two shots taken with my cellphone camera of a string splice I made in an Estonia grand today. The repair was made as I have previously described: I removed the remnant, broke of the beckett, straightened the remnant, backed out the pin 1 1/2 turns, made a tiny hook to hold the beckett and left 1/2 coils on the pin. The knot is nearly as small as it could be. The pitch is perfectly stable.

[img:left]http://www.box.net/shared/ymgmjuadmp[/img]

[img:left]http://www.box.net/shared/obucnqja3u[/img]
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1620067 - 02/14/11 07:44 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3295
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I guess I still haven't figured out how to post a picture on here, lol but you can all click on the links and see it. The knot is very small and would not attract your attention. The main thing about it is that it took about 5 minutes and will not require any return service call and can be considered a permanent repair.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1620107 - 02/14/11 08:44 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Bill,

The only way I know how to upload a file by first, saving the picture to say, your desk top.

2nd, go here http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/fileuploader2.html Enter your name and email address. Then, open up the browse menu and locate your picture. Double click on the picture which will automatically place it into where it says "Your file." Next, simply click submit form. ONLY CLICK ONCE on submit or you will submit it several times.

Wait until the file is sent to your email address. Open it up, click on the link, copy the link paste it here like this... And, this is exactly what it will look like until you change it....
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/marrypic.gif

Next, I "Switch to Full Reply Screen."

I highlight the text above http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/marrypic.gif and then click on the '' quotations mark above.

Then, I go into where it says [quote] on both the front and back side of the highlighted text and change the words quote to [img] on both the front and back of it.

Once the img is placed in there it now looks like a picture. Make sure you stay within the [ ] fields when doing this. Now, there is probably a much easier way to do it but, that is how I've been posting my pictures for a long time now and it works for me.

_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1620113 - 02/14/11 08:52 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Lordy, uploading images must have been explained more times than "How often should I get my piano tuned???".

Archives anyone?????
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1620146 - 02/14/11 09:31 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Awwww, and here I am being a nice guy... frown grin
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1620161 - 02/14/11 09:48 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Yeah, the archives-point well taken. And, I still haven't taken the time to upload anything. Its just wayyyyy too involved. I can send pics all day to Facebook (I don't, but I can!) very easily. I shoot the pic, and it gives me an option to "send to Facebook". That's it!

Maybe the admin. doesn't want us filling this thing up with photos, ad nauseum.

Still, I'd really like to see pics and vids...it would be worth an upgrade to SIMPLE here!

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#1620171 - 02/14/11 09:55 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
I guess I still haven't figured out how to post a picture on here, lol but you can all click on the links and see it. The knot is very small and would not attract your attention. The main thing about it is that it took about 5 minutes and will not require any return service call and can be considered a permanent repair.


So, quicker and less hassle for the tech. Is it best for the customer, though? I guess I look at it from the point of view of my being the customer. Would I want my string spliced or replaced? I'll never know the answer to that, since I can't look at it from a non-tech point of view. I do know though, that when I bring my car in for repair, I want it done right and in a way that's best for me and the car, not what's convenient or expedient for the mechanic. If a part is broken, I want it replaced, not taped back together.

My gripe is when I have a new customer and they have no idea they have spliced strings because the tech before me didn't bother to tell them a string broke, but just tied it and left. I know that would sure bother me. I suppose if you feel splicing is a good thing to do, and your customer AGREED, then that's an entirely different matter. Personally, I don't offer the option. A string broke, it needs to be replaced, it costs x amount. Ack, a nice piano with knotted strings.... and permanent? Sorry, no. Not unless you really don't care how things look! If a string breaks in the factory during stringing, would it be acceptable to splice it and deliver it to the dealer? No? Why?
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1620261 - 02/14/11 10:54 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Loren D]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1761
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Loren D
when I bring my car in for repair, I want it done right and in a way that's best for me and the car, not what's convenient or expedient for the mechanic. If a part is broken, I want it replaced, not taped back together.

Some years ago the remote of my car stopped working. The dealer quoted something like $250 for a replacement. I found a guy with a soldering iron that fixed it for me for a cup of coffee. It's still working.

Analogies are double edged.

Kees

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#1620277 - 02/14/11 11:09 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
Awwww, and here I am being a nice guy... frown grin

sorry Jer, I just have to play the bad cop to your good cop once in a while....
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1620282 - 02/14/11 11:16 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2473
Loc: Olympia, WA
Nice splice Mr. Bremmer! A+ thumb

Loren: Why do you care so much how a string splice looks? It is not visible with the music desk on.

I agree with you that the customer should be informed of the situation and allowed to make a choice. I can tell you from experience that after doing dozens of splices in the field over the years, I've never had someone wish that I had charged them more to replace the string with a new one. They just want to enjoy playing their piano.

Bill's 5 minute repair could probably be included in the service at no extra charge. A new string can easily cost $100 by the time you include the call backs to retune.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1620377 - 02/15/11 03:59 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2069
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Bill:
Just to check my understanding: the little hook that you make to hold the becket, is on the far side of the tuning pin hole, i.e. where the cut end of the becket would normally sit? I presume you thread the wire through the pin before making this little hook?

Loren:
The bass strings on my Ibach are by no means new anymore - one can hear this. But even after 40 years, they still sound quite pleasant to me - they have some life left in them yet. I would hate to have a replacement string (two strings, actually) that sounds different, creating possible voicing issues, etc. This is why I'd like to try the splice. I don't intend to sell the piano anytime soon, not that it's worth much more than $1500 anyway, but I love it for its sound - especially now that it's finally up to pitch. If a tech offered me the option of splice vs. replacement, I would probably still choose splice in this case.

This type of repair, and whether or not to do it, puts me in mind of the German word, "zeitwertgerecht" (appropriate to age and value).
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1620442 - 02/15/11 08:06 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
We'll just have to agree to disagree, which is fine. smile

I don't charge for the return trips to yank the string up to pitch; I schedule them when I'm in a given area (which is often!). I just always felt that a good repair is, when possible, at least as good as the original in terms of functionality and appearance. Sort of like looking at a piece of fine furniture and being able to tell it was refinished vs. one that was refinished but the job was so well done that you'd never know.

To each his own! I've never had anyone complain that I installed a new string; I've heard many complaints about splices and have had customers request that I replace the knotted string with new ones. Everyone's different, I guess.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1620460 - 02/15/11 08:29 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Quote:
sorry Jer, I just have to play the bad cop to your good cop once in a while....


I know Jurgen, we're having fun with each other now! smile
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1620501 - 02/15/11 09:38 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3295
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Loren,

We've all heard the pros & cons before and your points are well taken. This job was for the dealer I work for and if I had replaced the string and had to make callbacks, first of all, I would have had the customer calling the dealer. Whether or not the customer sounded upset, the dealer gets upset if there is any such call. If the customer is upset, then it is far worse. If I had replaced the string, I would have received a reprimand from the dealer about it.

So, even though I well understand your point of view, there were far more reasons to splice the string in 5 minutes and be done with it then and there, have the job done as the family was getting home and sitting down to dinner. Breaking a string can make me look incompetent. I can only imagine the incident spoiling their dinner and having them call the dealer at 5 PM and complain about an extra charge and having the dealer call me the next day and rag me about it.

So, in this case, what they didn't know, didn't hurt them. If, at some time in the future, either I or another technician pointed out that there was a spliced string and asked if they wanted it replaced and informed them of what that would involve, that could surely be done. It is not likely that this family would want to sell that piano but if they did and had it appraised, that could be the time for that.

Some technicians will raise Cain at an appraisal. "There's a KNOT in your piano!" Some of them have been trained that way. Others, like me have been trained as explained above that it is actually the best solution under many circumstances. I have known of a technician going to a piano with perfectly stable and functioning string splices and insisting upon replacing them, causing undue expense and tuning instability on a Kohler & Campbell console, for Pete's sake!

There is a reason why the PTG Technical exam requires a string splice and any technician wishing to take that exam should know how to do it well and efficiently, just as I did.

Jer, it being first thing in the morning, those instructions look as complicated to me as trying to explain how to tune ET! I'll never learn that!

Jurgen, the number of times I have seen you post to someone nothing more than "Look it up in the archives" could fill pages!
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1620509 - 02/15/11 09:43 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Mark R.]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3295
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Bill:
Just to check my understanding: the little hook that you make to hold the becket, is on the far side of the tuning pin hole, i.e. where the cut end of the becket would normally sit? I presume you thread the wire through the pin before making this little hook?

This type of repair, and whether or not to do it, puts me in mind of the German word, "zeitwertgerecht" (appropriate to age and value).


Mark,

Yes to both.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1620580 - 02/15/11 11:39 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Bill, I have the highest respect for you and your skills, to the point that I now tune grands the way you do (hammer technique). smile I know I disagree with you on this and am pretty adamant about it, but don't think for a minute that it diminishes my admiration of your skills and contributions to the trade!
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1620605 - 02/15/11 12:03 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3295
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Loren,

Thanks, I know you meant no disrespect and I do respect the way we can have different points of view on a subject and not resort to mockery and ridicule to "win" the argument.

As Ryan said on the subject of pitch, it would be nice if...
If I had my druthers and I could make everything perfect, every time, I would.

Jer,

I will copy and paste your instructions and put them in a file so I can refer to them if I have a notion to post a pic again. I see you guys do it all the time on the Northland thread, so it must not be that difficult once you get the hang of it.

I tuned one already today, voted in the primary election and had an early lunch. I have two more in town, then 3 at a church 40 miles away if I have the energy to do all of them, otherwise, I'll have to go back and finish the two verticals some other time but my schedule is so full and I have trips planned, so, I guess I gotta do what I gotta do when I gotta do it and that includes splicing a string when that is necessary.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1620826 - 02/15/11 04:03 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Bill,

Now you know how I feel about figuring out EBVT III!!! grin crazy
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1620872 - 02/15/11 05:16 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21828
Loc: Oakland
I replaced two bass strings on a U1 today. Splicing was not an option, one string of a bichord was missing. There was not a big difference in the sound of the new strings compared to the adjacent strings.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1621325 - 02/16/11 12:07 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1076
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
How old can a U1 be? Probably not old enough to have really dead or bad sounding wound strings yet. If it was an old (50 or older) piano the difference in tone might be quite pronounced.

I hate it when the customer or the previous "Tooner" throws out or misplaces the original string.
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#1621358 - 02/16/11 12:49 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21828
Loc: Oakland
Well, I have tuned a U3 from the early 1950s, but this one was from about 1980.

What you say would seem to indicate that replacement is better than splicing for pianos less than about 50 years old. After that, the piano likely needs restringing anyway, so splicing is a temporary expedient.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1621428 - 02/16/11 02:14 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
I tune many, many, MANY hundred-year-old uprights with original strings all intact, at pitch, sound fine. a 50 year old piano today was built in 1961.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1621544 - 02/16/11 04:51 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Loren D]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3295
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Loren D
a 50 year old piano today was built in 1961.


1961? Gee, I remember that like it was yesterday. I still think 1999 was last year, lol.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1621549 - 02/16/11 04:56 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Loren D]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Loren D
I tune many, many, MANY hundred-year-old uprights with original strings all intact, at pitch, sound fine. a 50 year old piano today was built in 1961.

It was new the year I started working on pianos. Was it really necessary to remind me...

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1621584 - 02/16/11 05:49 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Del]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Loren D
I tune many, many, MANY hundred-year-old uprights with original strings all intact, at pitch, sound fine. a 50 year old piano today was built in 1961.

It was new the year I started working on pianos. Was it really necessary to remind me...

ddf


HA! Sorry about that, Del! :p
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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