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#2049145 - 03/16/13 01:01 PM 64-Key Piano
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 137
Hello,

I'm looking for a 64-key upright acoustic piano such as the one here

Where can I find this and what is a reasonable price?

Thanks.


Edited by johnbarnesiii (03/16/13 01:01 PM)

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#2049197 - 03/16/13 03:44 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10336
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Do a Google search on "Melodigrand".

Keep in mind that these pianos were of very low quality.
_________________________
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Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#2049212 - 03/16/13 04:21 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 256
Honestly, I'm not too sure why you'd want such a thing. If you really just need a 64 note piano, get a small digital or keyboard. They sound much better and will serve you much better than some novelty spinet from the '60s.
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#2049236 - 03/16/13 05:13 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I don't see a need to project our own values, preferences or wants/needs onto someone else. There could be many reasons to want such an instrument.

Small pianos have a certain charm of their own, despite the drawbacks they may have. Would I recommend one as the primary instrument for an aspiring musician? No, I would not. But among my pianos I also own a five octave piano from the 1890s, it is identical to one in the PTG piano museum in Kansas City. It is cute as a button and every once in a while it gets played and enjoyed tremendously.

So I say: pursue what your heart desires, and just be realistic about the limitations.
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#2049242 - 03/16/13 05:23 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6038
Loc: Rochester MN
Weren't there some of these small uprights built by decent manufacturers? A while back, I seem to remember one in Rich G.'s rebuilding shop. One might find a higher quality than Rythmodik or Melodiagrand.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2049279 - 03/16/13 06:49 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 256
Well, the vast majority of mini-pianos were generally built by lesser-quality manufacturers and often poorly-designed.

On topic, I did see a local ad for a Hardmann mini-piano a few days ago. Dunno if it's still up, but you can check the DC craigslist if you're curious. It was around $500, and looked to be in good condition.
_________________________
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#2049372 - 03/16/13 10:06 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 137
Thanks for the replies and opinions!

I'm open to your guidance. I definitely want an acoustic piano, there's something about the feel and sound of the acoustic that I haven't quite been able to get in the digital world, but I don't know it all and would love to hear what you guys think.

I had a full-sized spinet that I loved but sold when I moved. But I'm moving again and desire an acoustic again. My thought was that the 64-key piano would take up less space in the apt and the one I played sounded more like a console piano not just a spinet. But the one I saw in LA was going for $800 in my opinion way too much.

I guess I'm not against having an 88-key spinet again but not an expert here as far as brands and values.

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#2049374 - 03/16/13 10:14 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6038
Loc: Rochester MN
If you are looking for a spinet, and not a console, the Acrosnics, by Baldwin, are the best of the bunch.

With any used piano, it is best to have it checked out by a qualified piano technician.

Give some thought to a console, however. With the longer string length, they will generally provide better sound. The action is also much easier to service.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2049380 - 03/16/13 10:23 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: Minnesota Marty]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 137
Hey Marty, one of the things I liked about the 64-key piano is that I believe it was console and not spinet. Seemed to have a deeper sound than a spinet.

Is the 64-key melodigrand the same dimensions as THIS ONE.


$800 seems like a lot for the 64-key, but maybe I'm wrong? At any rate I'm open to console pianos too, are they louder? I' hoping the neighbors will be cool with an acoustic piano in my apt.


Edited by johnbarnesiii (03/16/13 10:25 PM)

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#2049388 - 03/16/13 10:38 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6038
Loc: Rochester MN
John,

The difference between a spinet and a console is the action configuration. The spinet has, what is called, a drop action. The mechanism is below the keyboard level. That is the reason the hight of the instrument can be lower. The Acros have a surprisingly good sound, unlike many others. But, the actions on all spinets are difficult to service.

I have never run across a 'tom thumb' which was not a spinet. They may be around, but they certainly are not common.

Price aside, I wouldn't recommend the pianos that you have found. Rythmodik or Melodiagrand are novelty instruments and would limit your playing enjoyment.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2049391 - 03/16/13 10:40 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20742
Loc: Oakland
Tom Thumb pianos are not spinets or consoles. They are full uprights with a narrow compass.
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Semipro Tech

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#2049395 - 03/16/13 10:48 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6038
Loc: Rochester MN
I disagree.

Tom thumb is a very generic term applied to any upright with less than 85 keys. I'm referring to only modern instruments. It is about as specific as 'baby' grand.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2049396 - 03/16/13 10:48 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: Minnesota Marty]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 137
Thanks Marty, looks like the Acrosonic is the way to go then. I saw a tom thumb looking almost identical to the one in the pic and the guy at the warehouse told me it was closer to console than spinet, not sure why he said that but i must say it sounded way bigger and deeper than it looked.

Anyway I appreciate your recommendation. Also for $800 that he wanted for the 64, I feel like I could get an awesome spinet for way less. What is a reasonable price for the Acrosonics?

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#2049399 - 03/16/13 10:57 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6038
Loc: Rochester MN
John,

The price will totally depend on the condition. Speaking of an Acro, in decent and very playable condition, will run around $500 to $800 from a private seller. The same instrument can be found at a dealer for $1,000 and up.

$800 for that little guy is way overpriced.

BTW - There are also Acro consoles and would be in the same price range as the spinets.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2049404 - 03/16/13 11:02 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20742
Loc: Oakland
Tom Thumb was a specific style of piano. You can see an example of what they looked like here.

People who use the term for other short-keyboard pianos do not know what they are talking about.
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Semipro Tech

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#2049409 - 03/16/13 11:14 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6038
Loc: Rochester MN
Obviously, BDB, my use of a generic and common term was not to denote a brand. Are you one of the pedantic people who think there is an absolute definiton for a baby grand? It is nothing more than a generic indication of a short grand. At best, a term used by interior decorators. However, they often think an S&S-B is a baby.

You might re-think your assessment of me as not knowing what I'm talking about. I don't live in a "Semipro" world without contact with the reality of the piano world. I play the piano, I don't tinker with it. And yes, I'm a pro and not a semi.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2049428 - 03/17/13 12:02 AM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20742
Loc: Oakland
I am willing to rethink an assessment if there is anything to rethink. There is no reason to change my mind about a style of piano that I have seen and tuned several times at the behest of someone who has never seen one.

Tom Thumb pianos are interesting. They were put out by several makers, but other than case enhancements, they were identical, and they usually said Tom Thumb on the name board. They may have been made by one company and licensed to others.

The last one I tuned used to be pulled around in a wagon from table to table at a night club I tune at, sort of like a strolling violinist.
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Semipro Tech

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#2049432 - 03/17/13 12:12 AM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: BDB]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6038
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: BDB
There is no reason to change my mind about a style of piano that I have seen and tuned several times at the behest of someone who has never seen one.

Thank you, that is exactly what I was saying. I was not referring to a given brand. No, I have never seen a Tom Thumb pulled on a cart in a restaurant. But, I have played many tom thumb pianos. Please note the lack of capitalization.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2049820 - 03/17/13 05:38 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 137
So are the real "Tom Thumbs" (as different than other 64-key spinets) worth their salt then? If so where can I find one and what is a decent price?

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#2049838 - 03/17/13 06:24 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20742
Loc: Oakland
You might not want one. They were really made for children. The keyboard is rather low, so it can be awkward for adults.

They are all about 80 years old or older, so there will be condition issues. They do not come up often enough for prices to be established for them. You would have to look around for one.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2050292 - 03/18/13 03:08 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 380
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Marco-Polo is basically a mini studio piano. They were made in Japan, I think the keyboard height is 23 inches above the floor. I've had a few in the past but they all go to the same collector so they must not be that bad as to where that guy spends quite a bit on sending expeditor trucks to come get them.

Another brand that you will find in almost every big time recording studio is Melodi-pro, a tiny piano that folds into a box top shape when not in use. 64 & 72 key versions but they all have Heppinstil pick-ups so they can be played with or without an amp. I get them in from time to time and they are not expensive.
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#2050384 - 03/18/13 05:56 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3292
A Marco Polo for sale in Chicago: http://www.pianofortechicago.com/pre-owned-pianos/#Marco Polo
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
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#2050423 - 03/18/13 07:19 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 137
Thanks for that Nash Piano Rescue! So is the MelodiPro an acoustic (ie hammers & strings) instrument, as well as having ability to be plugged in?

I'm still considering an ebony console Acrosonic, but the MelodiPro also looks real cool. Do you know where I can find things like this in Los Angeles?


Edited by johnbarnesiii (03/18/13 07:22 PM)

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#2050507 - 03/18/13 09:36 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 256
Approximately how big is your piano room/room where the piano's going? Generally, there is only the difference of a couple of square-feet between a 64-note piano and a full-sized 88/85 note piano. Spinets in general actually take up more floor-space than consoles or uprights due to the space required for the drop-action. Unless you plan on only playing baroque or classical era literature on the piano, I would say you would be happier musically if you had those extra 24 notes. As you are shopping on a tight budget, you are unlikely to find a good 64-note piano in your price range, as people will think it's a "rare" and/or "special" piano.

In general, I would steer towards consoles and studios, or even full-size uprights. The difference is mainly in tone and size, but the volume is more or less the same between spinets, consoles, and uprights (old pianos tend to be louder, as the hammers harden up and give it that honky tonk sound, so voicing will likely be required). Some consoles and uprights come with a muting pedal (a middle pedal, with a little notch so that you can lock it into place by moving it to the left or right) that drops a strip of thick bit of felt between the hammers and the strings, which cuts down on the sound. For obvious reasons, it's impractical to do it on a spinet.

Also keep in mind that a lot of spinets and consoles were bought as furniture, so while the cabinets might be absolutely pristine, the important stuff (action, pinblock, strings, etc.) will often be a horror story, so have a tech or knowledgeable buddy come along to check it out (would you buy a used car from someone without running it by a mechanic or a friend?).

However, if you really do want a spinet, definitely do what the others have said, and go for the Acrosonics. Those things are indeed tanks. I've seen some that are still playable after 70 years of playing.


Edited by SBP (03/18/13 09:37 PM)
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#2050515 - 03/18/13 10:14 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
JohnSprung Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1030
Loc: Reseda, California
Given that you're here in the LA area, and you really want a narrow range piano, here's a two stage deal you might want to try:

The Glendale Moose lodge has a Miller Brothers New York 68 key piano, range F1 to C7, S/N 109164. I played it, it's not so bad for one of that kind. It's missing a wheel, and needs a bunch of cosmetic work.

For their purposes, the Moose would be better off with a good full size upright, which could likely be had for cheap, perhaps from Hollywood Piano's nearby warehouse in Pasadena.

So, maybe you could work out a swap....
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#2050520 - 03/18/13 10:20 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6038
Loc: Rochester MN
Now I have a mental image of Bullwinkle playing the piano and Rocky buzzing around with a banjo. Boris and Natasha find themselves in dire need of vodka.

_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2050535 - 03/18/13 10:55 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 137
Thank you for the info, that helps a lot. I guess if a console doesn't really take up much more space than a spinet, I'm certainly not married to the idea of a spinet.

I just want a decent sounding acoustic that plays well. Certainly doesn't have to have a great exterior, I don't mind scratches and a beat-up exterior.

Open to suggestions, and thanks so much again.

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#2050538 - 03/18/13 11:12 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 380
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Yes Melodi-pro is acoustic with hammers/tuning pins/soundboard/2 pedals/64 keys etc the cabinet size is 42 inches wide by 36 inches tall by 23 deep. With the cover on they are often mistaken for road cases due to the black rough finishes they have.
_________________________
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Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

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#2050803 - 03/19/13 12:30 PM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 137
Very interesting, maybe I'll look around and see if I can find a MelodiPro. Still debating on that vs just a decent 88 key spinet or console. Sounds like spinets aren't that much bigger, but at the same time I like the idea of the "portability" of the MelodiPro.

I will keep thinking about it and decide soon. I really appreciate the help on this forum, as I'm not versed in the technical aspects of pianos, being more of a creative, and I really love the knowledge you guys have.


Edited by johnbarnesiii (03/19/13 12:30 PM)

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#2052215 - 03/22/13 12:46 AM Re: 64-Key Piano [Re: johnbarnesiii]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I think you said you were in socal, I know nothing about this piano/model but for $200 it might be worth having a look wink



http://ventura.craigslist.org/bar/3684055807.html

There is a video of someone on youtube playing one, doesn't sound terrible to me. Obviously not much bass, but you wouldn't expect much from the size.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-EfQko_RKY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Rob
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

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