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Topic Options
#1895393 - 05/11/12 02:50 PM Early 70's Knabe Upright
Meghan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/12
Posts: 2
Hi there! New to the forum and have a quick question. I have a lead on a Knabe made in the early 70's. Looking for something for lessons for the kids and for my personal, playing enjoyment. They are asking $1,000, but they would accept less (bench included!). The Sellers' tuner says the sound is great and it holds a tuning. What are your thoughts? Here are some pics:


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#1895417 - 05/11/12 04:06 PM Re: Early 70's Knabe Upright [Re: Meghan]
pianovoce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Hi, Meghan, and welcome to the forums! And a big hooray for buying a piano for you and the kids! You're a good Mom.

I'm not sure if that's a console or a spinet, but If I may, I'd suggest avoiding a spinet. Their diminutive size necessitated all sorts of compromises for both player and technician that the world has decided to no longer accept, which is why they're no longer produced. I've never heard a spinet that sounded or felt particularly "great" when played, but I'm picky. I've read here of some love for Yamaha spinets, but I've never played one.

Before shopping around on the used market, go to a piano store and play some new instruments. Get a feel for what new condition pianos of varying price/quality levels look, feel, and sound like. Armed with that knowledge, check out some used ones. When you find one that really makes your heart and wallet jump, hire your own technician to check it out rather than relying on the seller's tech.

Don't rush and have fun shopping!

Edited by pianovoce (05/11/12 04:08 PM)

#1895454 - 05/11/12 06:01 PM Re: Early 70's Knabe Upright [Re: Meghan]
Rickster Online   content

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 9337
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi, and welcome to the Piano World Forums!

It sounds like you are pretty excited about the piano...

That looks like a small console... just a tad taller than a spinet. If the $1000 includes moving and a tuning, it might be a decent price, if in good condition. Otherwise, I'd offer $500 or so. If my piano history is correct, that age Knabe would have been made by the Aeolian piano company, which doesn't have a great reputation for high quailty. That doesn't mean it is not a nice starter piano for your purposes.

How do you like the way it sounds and plays?

Good luck, and keep us informed!

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

#1895530 - 05/11/12 10:17 PM Re: Early 70's Knabe Upright [Re: Meghan]
supersport Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 475
Loc: Arkansas
Hi Meghan,

I don't know where you are shopping but near here similar size pianos 20 years newer are advertised for less than $1000. Don't rush into buying this piano.

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#1895533 - 05/11/12 10:20 PM Re: Early 70's Knabe Upright [Re: Meghan]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1312
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
If the piano checks out OK with a technician, I say go for it. The Knabe, along with Mason & Hamlin, was the top end of the Aeolian line of pianos. Most of these are OK. Some of them are really nice.
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

#1895538 - 05/11/12 10:34 PM Re: Early 70's Knabe Upright [Re: Meghan]
Dave B Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 2348
Loc: Philadelphia area
$500 tops. I think it's only Knabe in name. Way too recent to be a 'classic' Knabe.
"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams

#1895863 - 05/12/12 05:47 PM Re: Early 70's Knabe Upright [Re: Meghan]
Meghan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/12
Posts: 2
Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I'm going to pass, I'm not in a hurry (but am excited!) as my oldest is only 5, but I'd like to see if he can begin piano lessons around 6. I am in the Chicago area and no, the price did not include moving and tuning. I've done enough research to know to get the biggest piano you can afford and have the space for, as the size affects sound, so no, would rather not get a spinet (and my brother and sis-in-law are music directors so they have hooked me up with a great tuner). I'm going to keep looking!

#1895920 - 05/12/12 08:43 PM Re: Early 70's Knabe Upright [Re: Meghan]
A441 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/03
Posts: 209
Loc: N.Eastham, MA.
Hi Meghan
The knabe consoles during that period were of very high quality. It would be worth having it checked out as Eric said. Ricks comment about Aeolian quality pertains to the pianos that were manufactured in their Memphis plant. The East Rochester plant where that Knabe was made was producing quality during that time period.
A441 New piano sales from 1947 to 1973. Owned music store 1959 to 1973. Sold Mason&Hamlin, Knabe, Chickering, George Steck. Full time piano technician since 1973.


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