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#1775426 - 10/22/11 11:12 PM Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ?
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Hi!
So I was about to go from my midi controller m-audio 88es to a digital piano like the Casio PX-130.
I decided to got by a local music store because it is family own and they offer purchase contracts even for me people with not so good credits (I got violin from him before) and he showed me this upright piano for $2195 called Hallet & Davis Co. Boston (Boston is written below the company name so not sure if that is name of that particular model or what).
I played with it and a few others and the sounds and feeling is so much more "real" than what I get even from the best sampled instruments I have had that it is not even funny. I am sure it has to do a lot with the feeling of the keys but in any case.
I left wondering if I should just get that (he also has some other used models for 1k or less ) over the Casio I was considering earlier.
I cannot afford anything higher nor other stores that require full price or credit through a bank so I am limited to either that piano (or similar from that store) or the digital.
So what do you guys think?
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1775443 - 10/22/11 11:51 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20780
Loc: Oakland
I suppose that if it has Boston on it, it is very old. New Hallet & Davis pianos are made in China. Unless this piano has had a lot of work done to it, it is way overpriced.
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#1775448 - 10/22/11 11:58 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Just to clarify this is a brand new piano he is selling me. He showed me one but the one I might get is in a box and a different color mahogany.
Do you still feel it is over priced?




Edited by shaolin95 (10/23/11 12:01 AM)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1775457 - 10/23/11 12:30 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20780
Loc: Oakland
Then it is a fair price for a decent piano.
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#1775458 - 10/23/11 12:33 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Thanks. I have no experience with real pianos...today was my first and just blew my mind off when I played, with my limited beginner skills, a little bit of Moonlight Sonata.
I am really thinking on buying it and I can get it home on Tuesday, which is a day I actually have off this next week so it could be an amazing Tuesday for me! :-)

One concern I have, while reading about pianos is temperature.
Utah gets pretty cold, my house can get into 30s easily when it hits really low temps. I hate heaters (call me a penguin) but I try to keep the house at around 50 if the temp outside is cold or during summer I try to keep it at around 65-70 when the heat is strong.
It seems the pianos are better at about 72-75 degrees or so, which means I would be hitting the heater hard all day to keep the temp there...or maybe I can just get some thick covers or something to keep it warm.
Is that really a big issue?


Edited by shaolin95 (10/23/11 12:37 AM)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1775463 - 10/23/11 12:48 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20780
Loc: Oakland
Humidity is more of an issue than temperature. If the outside humidity is not extreme, which I think is the case in Utah, keeping the temperature close to the outside temperature will keep your piano in good shape. Here in the mild Bay Area, pianos can keep better in unheated spaces than heated spaces.
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#1775465 - 10/23/11 12:52 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Yeah Utah is very dry so humidity is not issue here. BTW, I was reading the guide here about buying a Piano and I guess this is not an Upright but a "console" as I am pretty sure he said it was 43". It seems that when you get to intermediate/advanced level (no idea how long it will take me to get there of course), that piano may not be "good enough" any more... Then again, I have been using a midi controller so it is still light years better I guess lol


PS I think it is actually the Continental console based on this picture and a vague memory of the word continental during our conversation:
http://www.halletdavispianos.com/specs_continentalconsole.html


Edited by shaolin95 (10/23/11 01:30 AM)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1775543 - 10/23/11 07:50 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
Jonathan Alford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 356
Loc: Colorado
Shaolin95,

Humidity can be an issue for you. Dry is bad as well as wet. You need to keep a constant level of humidity.

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#1775555 - 10/23/11 08:27 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1189
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Originally Posted By: shaolin95
He showed me one but the one I might get is in a box and a different color mahogany.


Just be aware that no two pianos are exactly alike. If you want the one in the box, ask that the piano be prepped so that you can try it out "before" it gets to your house. Once you've tried it, write down the piano's serial number. Then, when the piano is delivered to your house, check the serial number to make sure you're getting the same piano.
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Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#1775579 - 10/23/11 09:23 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2558
Loc: western Wisconsin
I agree with Eric. Perhaps you may want to reconsider buying the floor model instead, as pianos often need tuning and various adjustments when they come from the crate-- particularly entry-level models like you're considering. Buying a piano straight out of the box will result in more servicing costs for you in the first year, and likely more "teething" issues as the piano settles into its new environment (strings stretch, felts in the action break-in, etc). If the dealer won't sell you the floor model, have them "prep" the model you want to buy and try it out right next to the floor model to be sure it sounds as good or better than the one you tried. This should all be done PRIOR to sale, not after you take delivery.

The Spring 2011 Piano Buyer had some guest reviews of entry-level upright pianos that you can read online for free, BTW. I reviewed a nicely-prepped 108 model and liked it a lot (for the price), and someone else looked at a model a few cm taller and didn't like it as much.

p.s. The "Boston" label on the decal is just a historical hold-over from when these pianos were made in Boston (they haven't been made there in some time).
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#1775585 - 10/23/11 09:37 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Quote:
I played with it and a few others and the sounds and feeling is so much more "real" than what I get even from the best sampled instruments I have had that it is not even funny


Yes, it's a different world, but just remember that there are tradeoffs. In moving from an M-88 to an acousitc, there is mainntence, and you're giving up line-in recording, headphones, and many functions that may or may not be important to you. If I were you, I'd keep the M Audio setup as well.

Also, if you use store credit, keep in mind the total cost with interest and not just the ticket price on the piano. Try to negotiate the best deal you can on interest.
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#1775621 - 10/23/11 10:56 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: turandot]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Alford
Shaolin95,

Humidity can be an issue for you. Dry is bad as well as wet. You need to keep a constant level of humidity.

Is there a specific humidity level that works best? I can get a small humidity/temp reader to keep it in check I guess.
In fact I have a Radio Shack one.

Originally Posted By: Eric Gloo
Originally Posted By: shaolin95
He showed me one but the one I might get is in a box and a different color mahogany.


Just be aware that no two pianos are exactly alike. If you want the one in the box, ask that the piano be prepped so that you can try it out "before" it gets to your house. Once you've tried it, write down the piano's serial number. Then, when the piano is delivered to your house, check the serial number to make sure you're getting the same piano.


Is this preparation time something that he can do in a day and deliver the next or are we talking about a longer time? I can call him early Monday then go buy like at 4PM to check it out and make sure it sounds how I like it before getting it delivered the next day.
Originally Posted By: terminaldegree
I agree with Eric. Perhaps you may want to reconsider buying the floor model instead, as pianos often need tuning and various adjustments when they come from the crate-- particularly entry-level models like you're considering. Buying a piano straight out of the box will result in more servicing costs for you in the first year, and likely more "teething" issues as the piano settles into its new environment (strings stretch, felts in the action break-in, etc). If the dealer won't sell you the floor model, have them "prep" the model you want to buy and try it out right next to the floor model to be sure it sounds as good or better than the one you tried. This should all be done PRIOR to sale, not after you take delivery.

The Spring 2011 Piano Buyer had some guest reviews of entry-level upright pianos that you can read online for free, BTW. I reviewed a nicely-prepped 108 model and liked it a lot (for the price), and someone else looked at a model a few cm taller and didn't like it as much.

p.s. The "Boston" label on the decal is just a historical hold-over from when these pianos were made in Boston (they haven't been made there in some time).

Thanks for the tip , I will read that. Unfortunately the floor model is not the color I like, although it still looks nice so I will compare both before buying indeed.

Originally Posted By: turandot
Quote:
I played with it and a few others and the sounds and feeling is so much more "real" than what I get even from the best sampled instruments I have had that it is not even funny


Yes, it's a different world, but just remember that there are tradeoffs. In moving from an M-88 to an acousitc, there is mainntence, and you're giving up line-in recording, headphones, and many functions that may or may not be important to you. If I were you, I'd keep the M Audio setup as well.

Also, if you use store credit, keep in mind the total cost with interest and not just the ticket price on the piano. Try to negotiate the best deal you can on interest.

Good points. I will be keeping the midi controller too as I use it for other virtual instruments as well.

I am 90% sure I want to do this right now. :-)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

Top
#1775740 - 10/23/11 03:03 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
Rotom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 1670
Best to keep the relative humidity at around 45-55%.

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#1776580 - 10/24/11 09:35 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Small update, decided to checkout another store today and they showed me a Taylor London piano and also will be checking one tomorrow that has the Hallet Davis piano also for $2195 but the Studio one instead of the Continental and he says he does in store financing plus does tuning and voicing at my place after delivery.
These two stores look a lot more professional than the first one but we shall see.
I was quite impressed with the Kawai C33 and 23 keys...the speakers still are Speakers not a real piano but nice feel to the keys :-)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

Top
#1776587 - 10/24/11 09:47 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2558
Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: shaolin95
...and also will be checking one tomorrow that has the Hallet Davis piano also for $2195 but the Studio one instead of the Continental and he says he does in store financing plus does tuning and voicing at my place after delivery.


Hi shaolin95,

I'm glad you're taking your time and exploring all options. As turandot mentioned above, be sure you look at the details of the in-store financing carefully... some dealers have "same as cash" offers, some have arrangements with banks, some stores finance purchases themselves, and others work with finance companies. One of the more typical music instrument finance companies out there has an APR approaching 11%, which can sting if you're looking at a longer-term note.

Although it is important to have tuning and voicing done when the piano is in your home (wait a few weeks after delivery), you want to make sure the piano is in well tuned, regulated, and voiced (at least approximately to your liking) as needed before it leaves the store, prior to purchase. I like to take notes when I'm piano shopping, so I can compare my experiences with the instruments afterward and between stores.
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#1776591 - 10/24/11 09:52 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: terminaldegree]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Yes I decided to take it a bit slower specially since my Tuesday off is the next one not this one lol.
So that gives me an extra week to see different options. I wish my M Audio midi controller had the Kawai keys...it would be sweet :-)
Well, I cannot wait for tomorrow to go see the ones that other person has... my main concern with the first store is that unlike the others that have their own guy that prepares the pianos to make them perform as good as possible, the first is more of a one man show where he does violins, pianos, everything...and I am not sure he is an expert at any of them.
Well, this is going to be a learning experience for sure.
Also both of the other stores offer full trade in value many years after my purchase as long I step up to a model at least twice as expensive (which makes me wonder how much they are making when they can offer that) but still is good to know. :-)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1776613 - 10/24/11 10:40 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2558
Loc: western Wisconsin
Well, the "one man show" may hire a tech to take care of that stuff, who knows? It's probably best to judge how the piano plays rather than how fancy the store is.

The trade-in guarantees are only as good as the shop offering them. For example, if you get full trade-in value, are you going to get any discount on the new instrument? Some dealers do, others do (but a smaller discount), some make you pay full retail. Also, most trade in guarantees are backed by stores, not manufacturers. So, if the store closes, changes ownership, changes names, etc. it might not be as easy as it seems to get that 100% trade-in value.

Anyhow, I hope you have a good learning experience and end up with a piano you love!
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#1776617 - 10/24/11 10:48 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: terminaldegree]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Thanks man...well at least one of the stores is just celebrating its 75th anniversary! lol
I will report back when I finally make my purchase with pics of course :-)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1777171 - 10/25/11 08:47 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
OK so I went to the last store I was going to check today and this is the thing. Due to my still not full recovered credit they cannot approve me for the model I wanted but he offered me a Baldwin Hamilton piano that according to him is in great condition minus some scratches outside and that was pretty much never played.
He was showing me the hammers and what not so that I could see that it was like new but like I know what I am looking at lol
In any case, he said he could do that one for $1000 then after that one is paid off I can use that piano full credit to get me the one I want or even better since I would have "proven" myself credit wise.
He says he will take about 3 days to have it ready for me and that he will do tuning and voicing then will come back 90 days later for a second tuning.
Also offered full warranty on it and even free piano lessons that he offers there as well.
So , I am not happy about the scratches as I really wanted a new one BUT it is a Studio upright so the sounds is indeed bigger than the other Hallet Davis I looked at. Still, it is an older piano so not sure if this is a good idea or not. I mean, if I put $500 down , I can pay $500 rather quickly and trade it back but it all seem to easy.
What you guys think?
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1777177 - 10/25/11 09:07 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Georgia
You may not want to trade up. Most of the folks here would probably prefer the Hamilton. It's one of the most popular pianos of all time. Built like a tank. Sounds good, too. If it's in good shape, $1K is a decent price from a retailer, especially considering voicing and free tuning. If he's throwing in delivery, it's a really good deal.

Charles

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#1777196 - 10/25/11 09:43 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20780
Loc: Oakland
How old is the Hamilton?
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#1777207 - 10/25/11 09:56 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
I was calling now to find but the store is closed. I will check tomorrow and will try to get the serial as well just in case.

By the way, the owner's name is Kim Rawlings and he claims that he has tuned pianos for Elton John, Liberace, and more.
http://www.piano-liquidators.com/
Not sure what to think but he seemed like an honest person.


Edited by shaolin95 (10/25/11 10:03 PM)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1777218 - 10/25/11 10:16 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20780
Loc: Oakland
Those of us who do concert tunings often tune for some very big names indeed. I like to point out to people that I perform on the piano at a number of big venues more than anyone else!
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Semipro Tech

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#1777281 - 10/26/11 01:48 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
If it's around 30 years or younger, I'd go for it.

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#1777451 - 10/26/11 11:05 AM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: gnuboi]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
I should have the information soon and hopefully it would be a good one so that I can get it home by Friday or Saturday. :-)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1777582 - 10/26/11 03:05 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Ok it was made in 1977. Too old then?


Edited by shaolin95 (10/26/11 03:55 PM)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1778226 - 10/27/11 03:06 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1904
Loc: El Cajon, CA
For a Hamilton, I don't think that's too old. I frequently play Hamiltons I really like that happen to be built in the 1950s, including a couple I own (1950 & 1956). smile
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#1778228 - 10/27/11 03:08 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20780
Loc: Oakland
No, it is not too old, but it is old enough that you should check it for wear. The price is decent.
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Semipro Tech

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#1778232 - 10/27/11 03:16 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Any tips on what I should check before I drive down there later today?
The guy was really happy to show me all the parts that day so that I could see how good it was but I had no idea on what things to look for unfortunately. :-)
He looked pretty confident and said it had full warranty too. It seems a lot of comments that I have read imply that I would have a hard time matching the tone of the Hamilton with any cheap 5' baby grand...that sounds pretty impressive if true. :-)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#1778263 - 10/27/11 04:22 PM Re: Hallet & Davis Co. Boston upright piano worth the extra $ ? [Re: shaolin95]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20780
Loc: Oakland
The Hamilton is a nice piano with a good sound. Make sure the leather parts are tan, not black and white. Check that the grooves in the hammers are not excessive. Play each note while watching the hammers, and make certain that they move only front to back and do not wiggle from side to side. It would be a good idea to ask the owner to pull back slightly on the hammer rail, the one the hammer shanks rest on, and make sure that the hammers do not move back with it more than a tiny bit. It is a minor adjustment if they move back excessively, but that should be done before you take delivery.
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