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#260988 - 10/04/07 03:26 PM 1907 A.B. Chase upright?
GumbyMager Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 1
Loc: PA
Last year we obtained (via Freecycle), a 1907 AB Chase upright from a woman who got it from a church. It was in need of a tune-up, a good cleaning, and there were some broken/missing hammers. (fyi- we know nothing about pianos).

Well, today the piano people came out to take a look at it, and we were told it was going to be about $800 to tune/fix, and that it probably isn't worth fixing. My FIL thinks the guy just doesn't want to fix it. The guy said we could probably get a good used one for that amount of money.

Problem is, it is a beautiful piano! I can't find any info on it online. The repair guy and his wife told me it's a 1907, and the number "51544" is on the inside of the piano.

Could someone please help me? Is this piano worth fixing up, or should we just get rid of it? It's a shame, I know that A.B. Chase made some good pianos in their time....

thanks for your time!

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#260989 - 10/04/07 03:48 PM Re: 1907 A.B. Chase upright?
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
No sensible person would fix this piano. After you spend the $800, it still won’t be worth $800. Best $20 you can spend would be to read up a bit on pianos - get the Piano Book - or borrow it from the library.

I've seen decent pianos for under $1,000 - but you'll have to do better than buy a 100 year old instrument.

#260990 - 10/04/07 04:06 PM Re: 1907 A.B. Chase upright?
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
A. B. Chase is on Larry Fine's list of candidates for rebuilding. The list is based on original product quality and reputation of the manufacturer. It is not[/b] based on market value after rebuilding. You need to realize that any money you spend on this piano will not be recouped later from selling it.

If the piano is in beautiful physical condition and you like the cabinet, I would definitely spend $800 to make it right. But I wouldn't hire a tech who I felt didn't want to do it. I would want one who was enthusiastic about the project and told me honestly what else would be needed down the road and what that would cost as well. $800 might be just a drop in the bucket.
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
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#260991 - 10/04/07 05:01 PM Re: 1907 A.B. Chase upright?
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20748
Loc: Oakland
A. B. Chase made very good uprights, one of the best of the now unknown makers. They often have soft pedal equalization and true sostenuto pedals with their excellent Wessell, Nickel and Gross actions. However, restoring any old upright is a difficult job, and those extras just make it more difficult.

I restored the action of one for sister piano teachers who loved their piano a couple of years ago. The trouble is, I did it correctly after someone else did the same work so badly that I had to do it all over again right.
Semipro Tech


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