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#1621804 - 02/17/11 12:37 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: BDB]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1107
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Originally Posted By: BDB
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.


Oh, I don't really know that age would be as big a deciding factor to me as would condition. And of course, what is in the best interest of the customer.

Now today I had an interesting repair on a teflon vintage S&S "B". The piano started off life in a very humid climate (Somewhere in NY) and the whole piano was lightly corroded, though the bass strings sounded pretty good for a stock set from the 70's.

This piano had a broken agraffe at note 19.

The customer was concerned about the appearance of new strings and asked if the old strings could be re-used. I agreed to try but the beckets did not survive the procedure (Not a procedure I recommend for hemophiliacs) so I gave her the option of splicing both wires and she was happy with that. She just didn't want two shiny new strings upsetting her sensibilities.

So, being the customer oriented guy that I am, I proceeded with a double splice with a new agraffe.

Very successful repair. Nice tight knots right next to the tuning pins. Good coils, very stable, clean repair. Took a total of 15 minutes.

Anyone want to guess what her complaint was when the repair was finished?
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#1621807 - 02/17/11 12:40 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22603
Loc: Oakland
That the new agraffe did not match the old ones.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1621816 - 02/17/11 01:02 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2712
Loc: Olympia, WA
The blood on her white carpet?
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1621818 - 02/17/11 01:05 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22603
Loc: Oakland
I had to replace the oven in my kitchen once, which was built in to an ash cabinet. A friend made a new frame face for the cabinet out of new ash, which is quite white. A friend of my wife's, a carpenter, saw it and said most of his customers would not stand for that. Today, the frame matches the rest of the cabinets pretty well. Had it been stained, it probably would no longer match.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1621829 - 02/17/11 01:34 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: BDB]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1107
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Originally Posted By: BDB
That the new agraffe did not match the old ones.


Yep!
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#1621836 - 02/17/11 02:04 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Dale Fox]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5372
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Dale Fox
Originally Posted By: BDB
That the new agraffe did not match the old ones.


Yep!

You might point out that there is a solution: restring the whole piano. That way she gets all shiny new strings, all shiny new agraffes and shiny new tuning pins (which, unlike the originals, will all be at the same height).

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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#1622019 - 02/17/11 10:22 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Del]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1107
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Dale Fox
Originally Posted By: BDB
That the new agraffe did not match the old ones.


Yep!

You might point out that there is a solution: restring the whole piano. That way she gets all shiny new strings, all shiny new agraffes and shiny new tuning pins (which, unlike the originals, will all be at the same height).

ddf


But Del, then her piano wouldn't be original. BTW, I swear it's the truth, she laid out towels over the tuning pins for me to put my tools on, and when I finished she got out a magnifying lens to make sure I hadn't damaged anything during the repair. I was almost shocked that she hadn't put down a sheet for my tool cases.

By an eerie piece of luck, the new shiny agraffe string height matched the height in the field pretty well. Not sure how that happened. Klinke made a mistake, maybe?
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#1622051 - 02/17/11 11:36 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2712
Loc: Olympia, WA
Sounds like a stressful client! Maybe its one of those times you leave your competitors business card!
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1622062 - 02/17/11 12:02 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Dale Fox]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5372
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Dale Fox
Originally Posted By: Del
You might point out that there is a solution: restring the whole piano. That way she gets all shiny new strings, all shiny new agraffes and shiny new tuning pins (which, unlike the originals, will all be at the same height).
ddf


But Del, then her piano wouldn't be original. BTW, I swear it's the truth, she laid out towels over the tuning pins for me to put my tools on, and when I finished she got out a magnifying lens to make sure I hadn't damaged anything during the repair. I was almost shocked that she hadn't put down a sheet for my tool cases.

By an eerie piece of luck, the new shiny agraffe string height matched the height in the field pretty well. Not sure how that happened. Klinke made a mistake, maybe?

So, where is that Mezzo-Thermal Stabilizer (i.e., pre-ager) when you need it?

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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#1622131 - 02/17/11 01:36 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Dale Fox]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Dale Fox
Originally Posted By: BDB
That the new agraffe did not match the old ones.

Yep!

Have her cat pee on it? That seems to make new brass parts look old in a hurry!
whome ha
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1622141 - 02/17/11 01:59 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
I have an "older client, in her 80's" that had a fit the last time I touched her piano prior to taking it apart. A nice high gloss shiny Yamaha Disklavier grand. I walked up to it, put my hand on it, leaned on my hand, starting talking to her and she about had a cow. NOW I HAVE TO WIPE OFF YOUR D*** FINGER PRINTS! So, I went to remove the music rack and she had a cow about that too. So, I shoved it back in, smiled and said, would you like for me to tune the piano? HELL YES! WHAT THE F*** DO YOU THINK I CALLED YOU FOR? I almost lost it, busting out laughing but,I contained myself... Instead I said, well, if I can't touch your piano, how am I supposed to take it apart and tune it then? WELL, JUST BE CAREFUL OR I'LL MAKE YOU CLEAN THE F****** THING OFF BEFORE YOU LEAVE!!! I did laugh after that, I just could not contain myself any longer. WHAT' SO F******* FUNNY??? It was one of those times then where I just couldn't stop laughing after that... The more she said it, the harder I laughed! I did finally get to tune the piano though.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1622142 - 02/17/11 02:00 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22603
Loc: Oakland
Well, that is like my ash cabinets. Initially they will look pretty close, but in the long run it is not such a good match.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1622232 - 02/17/11 03:30 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I have an "older client, in her 80's" that had a fit the last time I touched her piano prior to taking it apart. A nice high gloss shiny Yamaha Disklavier grand. I walked up to it, put my hand on it, leaned on my hand, starting talking to her and she about had a cow. NOW I HAVE TO WIPE OFF YOUR D*** FINGER PRINTS! So, I went to remove the music rack and she had a cow about that too. So, I shoved it back in, smiled and said, would you like for me to tune the piano? HELL YES! WHAT THE F*** DO YOU THINK I CALLED YOU FOR? I almost lost it, busting out laughing but,I contained myself... Instead I said, well, if I can't touch your piano, how am I supposed to take it apart and tune it then? WELL, JUST BE CAREFUL OR I'LL MAKE YOU CLEAN THE F****** THING OFF BEFORE YOU LEAVE!!! I did laugh after that, I just could not contain myself any longer. WHAT' SO F******* FUNNY??? It was one of those times then where I just couldn't stop laughing after that... The more she said it, the harder I laughed! I did finally get to tune the piano though.



Gerry, there seems to be something wrong with your post, some of the words I can't make out, can you fill in the blanks?
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#1622439 - 02/17/11 08:40 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
Hahahaha Wayne!!! You looking to get me a time out in a naughty chair in the corner with a dunce cap ehhh??? LOL!!! I don't think soooo!
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1622441 - 02/17/11 08:42 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2547
Loc: PA
Jerry, I don't know how you even tuned for that one! I'm pretty easy going, but I think I probably would have politely declined at some point!
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1622530 - 02/17/11 10:59 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
I've tuned for that lady lots of times before. I have to admit, it was pure entertainment at that point. I don't know, for some reason, it just struck my funny bone.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1622619 - 02/18/11 02:13 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1107
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Originally Posted By: rysowers
Sounds like a stressful client! Maybe its one of those times you leave your competitors business card!


The worst part of it was that it wasn't my client. I was there helping a local guy that couldn't fix it himself and as soon as I was done with the repair I was trying to get out of Dodge while her regular "Tuner" was setting up to do the tuning he originally had been scheduled to do.

While I'm trying to gracefully escape before she can find anything else to question, she comes to the door with a pad and insists that I write down my contact info so she can call me the next time. Then she asks for the name of my favorite touch up guy. I need to call him and warn him, as well as apologizing in advance for referring her to him.
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#1622714 - 02/18/11 07:41 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 5246
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Jerry:

By any chance was she the opera singer from the Victor Borges routine? You know the one where every time she puts her hand on the piano he stops playing and says "Don't touch the piano." Maybe she just needs to get even with anyone she can.

I find foul talk pretty humorous. Sometimes I will pretend they are talking literally and say something like, "My word! I suppose someone could do that, but it wouldn't be very comfortable."
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1622809 - 02/18/11 10:12 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
Funny Jeff. Nope, not the same lady although, she's loaded.... Possibly in more sense than one!
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1626196 - 02/22/11 07:06 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2547
Loc: PA
This is a 5-6 year old Baldwin grand I tuned in a church today. Now see, this infuriates me. For one thing, the piano is a reasonably new grand. Secondly, look at how the tech gouged the plate area around the tuning pin. Nothing about this said "professional." The coil was sitting on the plate, the plate was scraped/gouged; the knot wasn't even nice looking. If I were the owner of this piano, I'd have been pretty upset.


IMG_0581 by pianotech1, on Flickr
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1626362 - 02/23/11 12:26 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2712
Loc: Olympia, WA
Loren,

This says more about the technician than the splice itself. The same kind of damage routinely happens when technicians try to replace strings as well.

Personally, for me, this falls into the "don't sweat the small stuff" category.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1626363 - 02/23/11 12:26 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2712
Loc: Olympia, WA
Despite the other complaints, the splice looks pretty cool! smile
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1626446 - 02/23/11 04:49 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Loren D]
David Jenson Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2393
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Loren D
This is a 5-6 year old Baldwin grand I tuned in a church today. Now see, this infuriates me. For one thing, the piano is a reasonably new grand. Secondly, look at how the tech gouged the plate area around the tuning pin. Nothing about this said "professional." The coil was sitting on the plate, the plate was scraped/gouged; the knot wasn't even nice looking. If I were the owner of this piano, I'd have been pretty upset.


IMG_0581 by pianotech1, on Flickr
I've noticed that most owners don't care much about what splices look like as long as they work. I leave the pins at their original height, and neat knots that have no ugly long tails sticking out, but the "professional" look is mostly unnoticed by clients.

What I always hope for is that some other technician will notice it and be overwhelmed with admiration.

(BTW, it was a little hard to see clearly, but that knot looked a bit odd, although, it might have been the shadows produced by the camera angle.)
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#1626476 - 02/23/11 07:05 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2547
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: rysowers
Loren,

This says more about the technician than the splice itself. The same kind of damage routinely happens when technicians try to replace strings as well.

Personally, for me, this falls into the "don't sweat the small stuff" category.


Scratching/gouging the plate finish on a 5 year old high end grand piano is small stuff? Wow. Ok.

*edit* I'm still....wow. If someone scratched up a new and expensive item of yours like that, would it still be small stuff?


Edited by Loren D (02/23/11 07:15 AM)
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1626514 - 02/23/11 08:39 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
UnrightTooner Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 5246
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Loren:

How did it sound?

Oh, and did you do the "professional" thing and get permission to take and post pictures of the piano from the owner without being "unprofessional" and disparaging someone else's work? Whoops, too late on that last one!
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1626537 - 02/23/11 09:36 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: David Jenson]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2173
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
(BTW, it was a little hard to see clearly, but that knot looked a bit odd, although, it might have been the shadows produced by the camera angle.)


Indeed, David, I also thought the knot looked a bit odd. At first, it appeared that one of the loops had turned, relative to the other. Normally, the tails should be parallel, lying flush against each other, but pointing to opposite sides. In this example, they're crossing each other at almost 90°. So I thought the tail on the original wire may have turned up, towards the camera, because it may be touching the neighbouring tuning pin.

But then, I remembered that a piano tuner's knot, if correctly made, will always pull itself into the correct shape. So, on even closer inspection, it appears to me as though both loops are clockwise loops, i.e. made in the same direction. They should be made in opposite directions, i.e. mirror images of one another. In this case, the new leader wire should loop under the original wire, and the tail of the leader should be tucked in under the long end of the leader. One can also see that something's amiss because both loops have been bent towards the camera. The loop on the leader should be bent towards the plate.

But kudos to that tuner, for making the knot hold anyway.

_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1626541 - 02/23/11 09:46 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
UnrightTooner Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 5246
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Good observation, Mark! I wonder if there is an advantage.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1626567 - 02/23/11 10:21 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2173
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
I doubt it, Jeff. To the contrary. If, for whatever reason, the loop on the leader should turn slightly, so that its tail faces the top of the picture, the loop would no longer pinch the tail, i.e. it would pull loose. And if it should turn so that the tail faces the bottom of the picture, then the tails would not be friction-locked against each other anymore, because they'd be pulled in the same direction instead of opposite directions.

As it is, the tails are only friction-locked on the one small spot where they cross each other. In a proper piano tuner's knot, they touch each other along their entire lengths.

Here's a blown-up crop from Loren's picture.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1626581 - 02/23/11 10:37 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
UnrightTooner Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 5246
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Mark:

I am going to have to just think on this a while. The Tuner’s Knot only works because of the stiffness of the wire. It would not work with fishing line, for example. This Tooner’s Knot (Hey, why not? Everything has to have a name.) is not as interlocking, and might come apart while tightening if care is not taken. But that does not mean it would slip once formed and under tension. I will have to try it to see what it is really all about.

I am glad Loren posted this!
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1626593 - 02/23/11 10:51 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: UnrightTooner]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2173
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
The Tuner’s Knot only works because of the stiffness of the wire. It would not work with fishing line, for example.


Are you sure? Now this is something I'll try tonight. smile
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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