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#628827 - 04/21/02 10:05 AM What have I done? What have I done?
Chloe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/21/02
Posts: 2
I am new to this forum and thank you all for taking the time to read my post.

I just purchased a spinet piano thought to be a Gulbransen. When the lid is lifted the Gulbransen trademark is visible but I can not find a serial number any place. After doing a little research I was advised that this piano my be a "Stencil" piano. Can anyone help? Since I no nothing about pianos do you think the music store I bought it from should have advised me of this fact? Did they deceive me?


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#628828 - 04/21/02 11:44 AM Re: What have I done? What have I done?
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
You say "stencil piano" as if it were struck with the plague. There's nothing wrong with a "stencil piano". All that means is that it is sold under a different name than that of the company that built it. Steinway's Boston and Essex lines are "stencil pianos". So are a lot of other pianos out there, many of which are just as good as those sold under the factory name.

Second, anyone trying to scare you about the possibility that something as old as a Gulbransen might be a "stencil piano" is being ridiculous. Does the piano do what the seller said it would do? Do you like the piano? Will it stay in tune? Does the action work properly? Other than the concern you have over the name, do you like the piano and are you satisfied with it? If you are, then stop wasting energy worrying about who built it. It's doing exactly what you wanted it to do.

If the piano has the name Gulbransen on it, then it's a Gulbransen. Just because you can't find the serial number doesn't make it a "stencil". Even "stencil pianos" have serial numbers. You just haven't located it yet.

There's no conspiracy going on - no one is taking the time to remove serial numbers from mediocre pianos to hide the maker of it only to put the name of another mediocre piano maker on the piano. Since you just got the piano, you're should be having it tuned within the next week or two. Just ask the technician to locate the serial number for you. If it isn't in the normal location on the plate, he can probably find it on one of the case parts somewhere. After he/she has tuned and serviced your piano, arrange with the tech to have your piano put on a regular 6 month schedule of tuning. This is what is required to properly maintain a piano, and anyone as concerned as you are about the possibility of your Gulbransen not being a real Gulbransen should certainly be willing to do what is required to properly maintain your investment.

Hope that helps you.
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

#628829 - 04/21/02 12:08 PM Re: What have I done? What have I done?
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3992
Stencil pianos have aquired a bad rap because many have been very poorly built over the years. The trend has sometimes been to build the piano as cheaply as possible, slap a name brand on it, and sell it for a nice profit. Not all stencil pianos are poor quality, Everett in Michigan, for example made some very nice ones.

#628830 - 04/22/02 09:47 AM Re: What have I done? What have I done?
Chloe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/21/02
Posts: 2
Thank you Larry and Bob for your answers to my questions. Both of you have a GREAT DAY!.


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