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#2254935 - 03/31/14 05:10 PM "Bubbly" plate & hairline cracks in Grotrian SB lacquer?
phrygian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/13
Posts: 225
HI there-

A guy sent me some pictures of a 1978 Grotrian 7'4" that I was interested in.
Supposedly it's in excellent condition, with 2 exceptions:

1) Very fine cracks running through the finish (lacquer?) of the soundboard- they are all over it- but he says if you touch the soundboard, it is smooth- they only appear to be in the finish. From the photo this looks accurate.

2) In the photos he sent me, I noticed that the plate looks "bubbly"- not like huge bubbles but not smooth either- the best way I can describe it is that it looks like a graham cracker appearance or covered in tiny bumps all over it. He says it's not the paint that's bubbly but that's just the texture of the cast iron. I've never seen a plate look like that before though.

My gut tells me to pass on this one but have you ever seen either of the 2 things I've listed? How "not normal" is it?

thanks


Edited by phrygian (03/31/14 09:47 PM)

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#2254982 - 03/31/14 06:52 PM Re: "Bubbly" plate & tiny hairline cracks in soundboard varnish? [Re: phrygian]
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 9230
Loc: France
the plate paint is "hammered look" (standard on Grotrian it is not the plate)and cracks in SB lacquer are common because of thick coats and age.

Not a concern, to me.


Edited by Olek (03/31/14 06:54 PM)
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#2254996 - 03/31/14 07:38 PM Re: "Bubbly" plate & tiny hairline cracks in soundboard varnish? [Re: Olek]
phrygian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/13
Posts: 225
Originally Posted By: Olek
the plate paint is "hammered look" (standard on Grotrian it is not the plate)and cracks in SB lacquer are common because of thick coats and age.

Not a concern, to me.


Great, thank you for the input Oleg!

Would the cracks in the lacquer affect the tone in any way? Or are they completely cosmetic?

thanks

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#2255074 - 03/31/14 10:18 PM Re: "Bubbly" plate & tiny hairline cracks in soundboard varnish? [Re: phrygian]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3971
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Phrygian,
The cracks you want to look out for in a Grotrian grand are at the bridge. Look carefully at the point in the compass where the front rows of bridge pins nearly line up with the back row of the next higher note. This is usually at the top of the agraffe section of strings just before the capo bar section.

Also, the ones I have seen have very little back angle tilt to the tuning pin holes. This actually lets the pin climb out of the hole while tuning even if the torque is sufficient to resist the string tension.
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#2256108 - 04/02/14 07:04 PM Re: "Bubbly" plate & tiny hairline cracks in soundboard varnish? [Re: phrygian]
phrygian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/13
Posts: 225
Thanks for the input Ed!

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#2256234 - 04/03/14 07:34 AM Re: "Bubbly" plate & tiny hairline cracks in soundboard varnish? [Re: phrygian]
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 9230
Loc: France
Never seen as huge design defect as Ed said. The pinblock is not that bad, and the soundboard is excellent. Now of course bridge cracks as on any piano may happen.

I had to change strings and tuning pin on a 30 years old Grotrian used professionally, that was normal, the strings seem to be highly stretched , there where many things done by robots in the factory, If I knew how to set the pins as I do today, I probably would not need to change the pins on that piano. (Delignit pinblock)

The lacquers in the 1980 years where not as advanced as today and it is no surprise they crack in time.This will not play a significant role in tone, but can be pointed to get a better price. Check well the pin's tightness.

Those are around the first grade brands despite all the things I read about( as "they where build in East Germany"

I would have preferred they used duplex scales for a more pingy high treble, but they have a very nice tone when correctly prep and voiced.
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I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!

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