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#2225438 - 02/03/14 09:37 PM How far to take this piano.
Monaco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 387
Loc: GA
I have a 1920 Conover model 66 that I bought for $300 plus shipping. I figured I could flip it and make a little bit on it. My question is how far to take the renovations.

The goods:
The soundboard is in great shape. 2 very slight cracks.
The plate is certainly not flawless, but it looks pretty good.
The sustain on this piano is really really nice.
The bridges look to be in excellent shape.

The bads:
Hammers are flat and beyond filing.
The strings and all other metal parts are seriously rusted. The metal parts are polishing up nicely.
The case is a fair bit dinged up.
Keys need rebushed.

I am considering 3 levels of restoration.
1. Just clean it up and sell it. Make a few hundred bucks. Done.
2. New hammers at least, maybe shanks and flanges, and restring. This would allow me to clean the soundboard and the plate up real nice and probably put a coat of clear on the plate. I would also do some minor case work. I figure this will cost me about $1,200 - $1600 depending on shanks and flanges. Plus my $550 that I'm already in for. Total cost to me is around $2k. I think this would produce a pretty darn nice piano.
3. Total rebuild.

I think I have some idea of what I could get for a baby grand at level 1.
What do you folks think of a Conover at levels 2 and 3? Is it worth it?

Thanks,
_________________________
Ben Ereddia
Piano Teacher
Beginning Tech

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#2225455 - 02/03/14 10:06 PM Re: How far to take this piano. [Re: Monaco]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2348
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
For a beginning Tech to undertake work they have little skill and experience at-and then expect to profit on the object of said learning experience-is very difficult in todays piano market.

Most likely you will have to redo some of the work to get it right and all these costs will be difficult to recoup.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2225462 - 02/03/14 10:16 PM Re: How far to take this piano. [Re: Monaco]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21825
Loc: Oakland
In your position, #2 is probably the best. If you are careful, you should come out with a piano that is not much worse than #3, and more important, with a lot of good experience.

You might as well put a coat of gold on the plate. That is easier than trying to get good results with clear.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2225467 - 02/03/14 10:31 PM Re: How far to take this piano. [Re: Monaco]
tdv Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/13
Posts: 69
Loc: MI
Where I live you would be hard pressed to make a big profit with #2 and I don't think that you could make any profit on #3. There are just too many decent grands for sale at too low of a price and Conover, while a great piano, does not carry the $ name premium, e.g. like Steinway or M&H. Not enough people know about it or are willing to pay for the quality that it has. Which is too bad because if you did it right, that Conover would be better than most new grands that are being sold. But that is the reality of the market, at least in my area. But you should have a great piano on which to refine your skills and hopeful make some money.
_________________________
1978 Charles Walter piano
1915 5"1' Weber
Seeking truth in all areas of life

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#2225709 - 02/04/14 10:47 AM Re: How far to take this piano. [Re: Monaco]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 386
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
We get totally restored pianos in all the time where the previous owners are fed up with trying to sell them. It's almost old hat anymore to see some large grand piano come in with a previous 50 K dollar restoration and they usually go right into my storage because they aren't worth the space to set up. I can put 4 pianos in the same space on the floor that will actually sell and that is what pays the bills.... otherwise you will just have a museum and floor space is too valuable for that.


Maybe someday the market will improve enough to bring out the gems but in todays world anything over 1200.00 is too much money. You have to literally throw in everything to make a sale, Free delivery to the top floor of a light-house, cook them dinner for three weeks, do their laundry, take their kids and the neighbors kids to the movies, mow grass, do the wives nails with your dremel, shovel snow you name it.
_________________________
J. Christie
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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#2225733 - 02/04/14 12:06 PM Re: How far to take this piano. [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]
Paul678 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 822
Originally Posted By: Nash. Piano Rescue
We get totally restored pianos in all the time where the previous owners are fed up with trying to sell them. It's almost old hat anymore to see some large grand piano come in with a previous 50 K dollar restoration and they usually go right into my storage because they aren't worth the space to set up. I can put 4 pianos in the same space on the floor that will actually sell and that is what pays the bills.... otherwise you will just have a museum and floor space is too valuable for that.


Maybe someday the market will improve enough to bring out the gems but in todays world anything over 1200.00 is too much money. You have to literally throw in everything to make a sale, Free delivery to the top floor of a light-house, cook them dinner for three weeks, do their laundry, take their kids and the neighbors kids to the movies, mow grass, do the wives nails with your dremel, shovel snow you name it.


So these 50k restoration pianos...Do they end up selling these to you at a big loss? Or do they try to sell them
on consignment? If they aren't worth setting up on the
floor, why do you buy them?

Just wondering....

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#2226045 - 02/04/14 10:29 PM Re: How far to take this piano. [Re: Monaco]
Monaco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 387
Loc: GA
50K? Do you mean value post restoration or cost of restoration. If the later then, WOW! That's some restoration.

Anyways, If I got $6k I'd be really happy. If I knew I could get $4K, that would convince me to do it.
_________________________
Ben Ereddia
Piano Teacher
Beginning Tech

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