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#2306597 - 07/24/14 04:36 PM Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter?
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 512
Loc: So Cal
So I've read a lot of good things about the CW.. And now I may have a chance to own a piece of fine American manufacturing. Anyone know if a mid 80s Charles Walter console has a Renner action or not.. Or did they ever? Also, how is the build quality on the CWs from the mid 80s? Thx

Btw: I was surprised so many people opted for the CW 1520 console over a yamaha u5 in an older thread.

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#2306651 - 07/24/14 06:21 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2708
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I don't have a good history for changes to Charles Walter's actions, but the Renner option was always an upgrade, not their standard action. I remember seeing 90's and 2000's with Langer actions. Maybe one of the long-time Walter dealers will remember more.

While the Renner is nicer to service and should last longer, their standard actions (whichever supplier) have generally been very good if serviced.
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#2306661 - 07/24/14 06:59 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
The earliest ones had Pratt Read actions.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2306671 - 07/24/14 07:16 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
biasa199 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 78
Originally Posted By: Gatsbee13

Btw: I was surprised so many people opted for the CW 1520 console over a yamaha u5 in an older thread.


Charles Walters produce arguably one of the best uprights out there. I actually own a CW 1520, and prefer it over all of Yamaha's upright pianos.

I believe the CWs had the Langer actions at some point in time as well.

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#2306712 - 07/24/14 08:53 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: BDB]
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 512
Loc: So Cal
Originally Posted By: BDB
The earliest ones had Pratt Read actions.


Yes.. That's exactly right.. I was looking at the picture and it says Pratt read.. How are these actions?

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#2306756 - 07/24/14 11:37 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 512
Loc: So Cal
I'm totally unfamiliar with Pratt Read so I was unaware the sticker in the pic was representative of the action manufacturer..


Any info on Pratt Read, particularly in the Charles Walter?

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#2306844 - 07/25/14 07:42 AM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8534
Loc: Georgia, USA
My knowledge of pianos is limited, but one of the pianos I purchased several years ago was a very nice looking/sounding Kohler & Campbell 46" studio upright. It had the Pratt Read action. As I reacall, the action was crisp and quick with a light touch, and had no problems at all. I think Pratt Read actions were used for several brands/manufacturers back in the day.

Good luck with your Walter!

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

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#2306900 - 07/25/14 10:03 AM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
biasa199 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 78
Also, from personal experience (my Walter was built in 1984 I believe), it appears to be handling well. After not being maintained for about 10 years (and not being played for about 20), the technician who came to inspect and tune my piano after purchase said that it is in immaculate condition, not just its finish, but also its overall build.

Walters are great instruments. I was lucky enough to try about a dozen in my area before settling on my current piano. They are worth looking into if you have the money to purchase one, and are definitely quality instruments that are built to last.

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#2306930 - 07/25/14 10:56 AM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
Steinway used Pratt Read actions back then. I think spring rail actions like them feel and work better than the spring and loop actions that are universal now. On the other hand, the Pratt Read action parts were not always made as neatly as other actions. Much of that can be accommodated during assembly, but I had to replace a jack in a Walter action because it was not pinned properly.
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#2306939 - 07/25/14 11:18 AM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: BDB]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9223
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: BDB
Steinway used Pratt Read actions back then.


True enough.

Also, the Langer that Walter used for years was built by Herrburger Brooks, who also supplied Steinway with vertical actions at the time.
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Rich Galassini
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rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#2307095 - 07/25/14 05:40 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 512
Loc: So Cal
This is probably a dumb question, but the drive to the location of piano is about 2 hours.. For $600, is it worth the drive? Seller said it was tuned 2 years ago and tech said piano was in good condition mechanically..listing also said seller dropped the price.. Either no one really knows of Charles Walter outside of piano world or there is something wrong with it.

I guess this is my decision..

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#2307123 - 07/25/14 07:06 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
biasa199 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 78
Yes. Really good price price (if what you are saying is true). That is a steal for this brand of piano. It is worth checking out.


Edited by biasa199 (07/25/14 07:06 PM)

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#2307322 - 07/26/14 10:49 AM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
tdv Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/13
Posts: 69
Loc: MI
I have a CW upright with the Pratt and Reed action. I love my CW. The action itself has been fine. However, a couple of things.

1. The touch was too light when I got it (used). This was because the return springs were weak and a couple even broke. (My CW is from the late 1970s so they were older springs.) It is my understanding that the springs were on the light side originally anyways. So I replaced them with new return springs and it improved the touch considerably.

2. The hammers on my Pratt and Reed action were way too hard. The piano was very bright. I replaced them with Abels (which is what CW now puts in their uprights). What a wonderful combination. Full, rich, powerful. I actually prefer the sound of my CW upright to most grands that I try - grands that cost far more than I have in my CW.

P.S. Re: the $600 price, if it is in decent shape, that is a great price. I wish it was closer to where I live.


Edited by tdv (07/26/14 11:04 AM)
_________________________
1978 Charles Walter piano
1915 5"1' Weber
Seeking truth in all areas of life

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#2307457 - 07/26/14 06:16 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: tdv]
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 512
Loc: So Cal
Originally Posted By: tdv
I have a CW upright with the Pratt and Reed action. I love my CW. The action itself has been fine. However, a couple of things.

1. The touch was too light when I got it (used). This was because the return springs were weak and a couple even broke. (My CW is from the late 1970s so they were older springs.) It is my understanding that the springs were on the light side originally anyways. So I replaced them with new return springs and it improved the touch considerably.

2. The hammers on my Pratt and Reed action were way too hard. The piano was very bright. I replaced them with Abels (which is what CW now puts in their uprights). What a wonderful combination. Full, rich, powerful. I actually prefer the sound of my CW upright to most grands that I try - grands that cost far more than I have in my CW.

P.S. Re: the $600 price, if it is in decent shape, that is a great price. I wish it was closer to where I live.



Well.. I purchased the piano and its on its way to my house now.. when I played the piano, it didn't sound bright at all.. but just out of curiosity, do you think if I had the hammers changed to Abel, would it exceed the cost of the purchase price?

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#2307481 - 07/26/14 07:33 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 512
Loc: So Cal
The piano is amazingly full sounding for a 43" piano.. cant wait to get it serviced..its missing the music rack and has some a little damage to the case here and there.. but mechanically, it is sound..

heres a quick snapshot I took. I have a 45" Yamaha p2 as well so I can compare similar size pianos..




Edited by Gatsbee13 (07/26/14 07:37 PM)

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#2307499 - 07/26/14 08:21 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: Gatsbee13
Well.. I purchased the piano and its on its way to my house now.. when I played the piano, it didn't sound bright at all.. but just out of curiosity, do you think if I had the hammers changed to Abel, would it exceed the cost of the purchase price?


Yes, although not the value of the piano in many markets. If you like the sound, just enjoy it the way it is, and worry about the hammers when it sounds or plays bad and technicians cannot fix it with the current hammers.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2307500 - 07/26/14 08:22 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
tdv Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/13
Posts: 69
Loc: MI
<it didn't sound bright at all.. but just out of curiosity, do you think if I had the hammers changed to Abel, would it exceed the cost of the purchase price? ...The piano is amazingly full sounding for a 43" piano..>

1. Like yours, mine has a very full sound for a 43" piano. But if you like the sound of the piano, unless the hammers are worn out, why in the world would you replace them?

2. In terms of cost, I don't know what a tech in S. Cal. would charge you. But other techs on the board could give you a good idea of west coast prices. Here in MI, you could probably get it done for about $500.

3. The CW looks great from the pics. Good luck with it. I would have paid $600 for it myself.


Edited by tdv (07/26/14 08:26 PM)
_________________________
1978 Charles Walter piano
1915 5"1' Weber
Seeking truth in all areas of life

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#2308060 - 07/28/14 08:37 AM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9223
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Happy piano Gatsbee!

A new music rack is no troubles to get. Charles Walter still makes this furniture style. I am pretty sure any Walter dealer can order one for you (although some dealers do not like to get involved in parts).

Good luck,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#2308094 - 07/28/14 10:46 AM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 512
Loc: So Cal
Yeah.. They still make the rack.. But it's $300.. And the finish would not match. Too bad.. I'm going to attempt to make a rack myself.. Not too worried about looks at the moment as the piano is in a small room in my house and not the living room.


Honestly id rather spend the $300 on any needed service beyond tuning. But atleast I know it's available if I ever change my mind.

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#2308118 - 07/28/14 12:00 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
Ask your tech to look into racks from Schaff. There may be something inexpensive that will suit. But the Walter racks are much sturdier.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2308123 - 07/28/14 12:08 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 512
Loc: So Cal
thanks so much for that info.. just found a rack that should fit.. much cheaper than the Walter one.. but will do for now..

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#2308130 - 07/28/14 12:22 PM Re: Action parts any different from 80s,90s, 2k Charles Walter? [Re: Gatsbee13]
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 512
Loc: So Cal
looks like i can temporarily use the rack from my digital..:)


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