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#2190626 - 11/30/13 05:13 PM Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman?
Sammae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 47
Loc: Ottawa, ON
Hello everyone!

It's been a few years since I've been around on this forum. I moved into a small house 4 years ago and left my piano for my stepsister to play (she was playing on a small keyboard, and she has so much talent! It went to a good home) due to the teeny-tiny square-footage of our main floor.

Well, I've decided I don't care if I have to crawl over furniture to get to the back door - I really need a piano. I'm looking at some old uprights in the Ottawa area. The used market here seems ridiculous to me, and it seems the $1500-$4000 range is full of either crap (e.g.. Strauss) or 35 year old yamahas. People get prices for pianos that when compared to other markets are ludicrous. For this reason, I'm looking for an old, well-maintained upright. I don't want a console, although I've looked at a few and haven't been impressed with them either. Right now I'm waiting for a technician to go out to inspect this 1902 Gerhard Heintzman
It needs 1 string replaced. A few others have been in the past, but I'd imagine I'll get told that the whole thing should be restrung. The hammers and dampers are all new. It plays immaculately and has such a beautiful, rich tone!

My next order of business is figuring out where in the world to place this piano. The rooms on the main floor of my house consist of: a narrow entryway/hall, a 13x12 living room that already has too much furniture in it, the kitchen, and a 10x12 dining room. So it looks like the dining room wins. The only to placement options in that room are along an exterior wall (which will crowd the table out into the walking-path of the room (also, the house is a 1920 wood-frame with less-than-desirable insulation), or in the more desirable location on an interior wall, but above 1 of the 2 cold air returns in the house.

I suppose a third option is to get rid of the tv in the living room... hubby isn't going for that though.

Upstairs is not an option. We can't even get a double box-spring around that tight stairwell.

I guess what I'm asking is: what's the WORST that can happen if I place the piano over the cold-air return. I read it can get dirty. Is that it?

Sorry for the rambling post! I appreciate any opinions on the matter!

Sam
_________________________
Re-learning (polishing):
Chopin - Prelude in D-flat major Op. 28 No 15

Working on:
Chopin - Waltz in C-sharp minor Op. 64 No. 2
Deubussy - Suite bergamasque - Clair de lune

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#2190641 - 11/30/13 05:44 PM Re: Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman? [Re: Sammae]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Sammae
The hammers and dampers are all new,


At times, with new components inside and complete adjustment of all motion parts to fit, the new found efficiencies in the mechanics can cause the old wire to fail by impacting with enough locomotion to send the wire past its expansion limit. That set looks like Immedegawa hammers from here, so voicing is important now to knock them down a bit and soften the blow.

At the price being asked what you are paying for is the new hammers and dampers, both parts and installation. I would have to look at the instrument to be sure, because that is a high price for an instrument of that age, although it appears to have been refinished at some point previous.

Donít worry too much about the cold air vent.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2190642 - 11/30/13 05:44 PM Re: Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman? [Re: Sammae]
musicNow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/13
Posts: 120
Loc: California
Congratulations on your piano. I like old uprights.

Why not close off the cold air return and leave the door open? Alternatively, move the cold air return. This assumes your husband is willing to help cut a new hole in the floor and crawl under the house to install some air duct - keeps the TV in place...

- Rick
_________________________
Learning to play the piano and tweaking my 1907 Ivers Pond upright.

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#2190665 - 11/30/13 06:35 PM Re: Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman? [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Sammae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 47
Loc: Ottawa, ON
The exterior of it has definitely been refinished - it's in immaculate condition. The keys were all in good shape, save 1 chip and look original (as far as I can tell). Hammers are new(er) - you can see a bit of wear on them.

A technician is looking at it for me this coming week. It's the same person that's been maintaining this piano for the last few years. I've asked for a list of everything that needs to be done and I will use that to negotiate a price for the piano. $1000 is a lot of money for an old piano, but it's the first piano I've come across in a month that's listed for that price and is in good shape. Most of the pianos under $1000 in this area are old spinets/consoles that haven't been tuned or maintained in 10+ years... it's not a great used market.

Glad to hear that the cold air return isn't a huge deal... hubby has agreed to relocate it at some point this winter, but it's not going to happen right away.

Thanks for the input!

Anyone know anything specific about Gerhard Heintzman pianos? I know the basics, but there's nothing on the internet that I can find about how they were built, etc. except that he was "THE" Heintzman's nephew.
_________________________
Re-learning (polishing):
Chopin - Prelude in D-flat major Op. 28 No 15

Working on:
Chopin - Waltz in C-sharp minor Op. 64 No. 2
Deubussy - Suite bergamasque - Clair de lune

Top
#2190667 - 11/30/13 06:37 PM Re: Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman? [Re: musicNow]
Sammae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 47
Loc: Ottawa, ON
Unfortunately the cold air return is necessary. It's winter here and the furnace is running full-tilt. It's 17F here right now. Moving the cold air return wouldn't be too big a job as our basement's unfinished. Hubby agreed to do it later this winter (in the interest of keeping the TV in place haha) laugh
_________________________
Re-learning (polishing):
Chopin - Prelude in D-flat major Op. 28 No 15

Working on:
Chopin - Waltz in C-sharp minor Op. 64 No. 2
Deubussy - Suite bergamasque - Clair de lune

Top
#2190733 - 11/30/13 09:31 PM Re: Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman? [Re: Sammae]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 624
Loc: NY and NC
My wife's grandmother received a Gerhardt Heintzman player piano when she got married (sometime before WW I) and it is in our living room. We had the player parts worked on about twenty years ago and it will play the rolls just fine which is surprising because it is virtually unplayable manually. It is a nice mahogany cabinet, but it weighs a ton! Now that I have a fairly new Mason-Hamlin BB seven-foot grand piano in my other home, I have tried to give the upright to one of my daughters but sadly, no one want it. It needs much more money spent to make it playable than it would cost to buy a newer piano already fixed up, so it is just an heirloom piece of furniture. I feel sad that we probably will end up putting this on Craigslist for about $50 and hope to get lucky finding a buyer. I would advise caution on the purchase of the 1902 piano for $1000. It might be ok, but I have my doubts that it will go long before needing even more money spent on it.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

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#2190739 - 11/30/13 09:50 PM Re: Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman? [Re: Sammae]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
The bass strings are the original iron wound strings, and those usually lose their warmth and brilliance after a few decades. They are now 100 years old. Does the bass sound "tubby"? Replacing the bass strings (if needed) with a good new set will set you back about as much as the piano's price. It still may be a good piano for you if the tone is good.

Don't worry about the cold air return - its function should not be affected, and the piano will not, either. Actually, it is a good way to hide the return.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2190793 - 12/01/13 12:49 AM Re: Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman? [Re: Supply]
Sammae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 47
Loc: Ottawa, ON
It sounded good to me, but maybe I wasn't paying enough attention. I think my problem is that, with a limited budget, I'm having trouble finding anything that isn't going to require some work. I'm saving up to hopefully buy something brand new in a few years, but really want something that plays well for now. I'll be interested to see what the tech says when he looks at it.
_________________________
Re-learning (polishing):
Chopin - Prelude in D-flat major Op. 28 No 15

Working on:
Chopin - Waltz in C-sharp minor Op. 64 No. 2
Deubussy - Suite bergamasque - Clair de lune

Top
#2193161 - 12/05/13 08:07 PM Re: Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman? [Re: Sammae]
Sammae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 47
Loc: Ottawa, ON
Hi again!

Thanks everyone for your help. It definitely gave me some questions to ask the tech when he looked at it. He finally got over there tonight. The owner of the piano offered to fix the string that needs replacing, so I don't need to worry about that. The tech says that the strings sound just fine to him and he wouldn't recommend replacing them. He said the piano holds a tune well between yearly tunings and the pin block and pins are in great shape. The sound board was cracked and repaired at one point but doesn't impact the sound at all. The only thing he said is that the action may need a bit of regulation work. I ended up paying $950. I know this sounds like a lot for an old piano, but considering I'm not keeping it forever and it needs no work to be perfectly playable, and both sounds and looks great, this sounds like a deal to me! In a few years when I can afford a grand, I plan to pass it down to my niece and nephew, who's parents can't save the money to purchase a piano, so they can learn to play.

I'm very, very excited!
_________________________
Re-learning (polishing):
Chopin - Prelude in D-flat major Op. 28 No 15

Working on:
Chopin - Waltz in C-sharp minor Op. 64 No. 2
Deubussy - Suite bergamasque - Clair de lune

Top
#2193162 - 12/05/13 08:14 PM Re: Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman? [Re: Sammae]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Congratulations!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2193184 - 12/05/13 09:55 PM Re: Where do I put my new (old) Gerhard Heintzman? [Re: Sammae]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2379
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Sammae, I think you did great! Congratulations!
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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