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#630983 - 03/17/07 10:44 PM Free Piano
zoso Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 102
Loc: O'fallon Il
My sister may give me an old piano. Its a Brinkerhoff vertical #120091. Shes had it tuned and the tech said he'd need to do a small repair on it but she doesnt remember what it was. She remembers him saying the sound board was good. Eying down the keyboard shows a slight gradual roller coaster effect of about an eighth inch at the most. Where the hammers rest against was grooved in the felt, and the strings were somewhat rusty. Otherwise, all the keys play and feel much more solid than alot of newer used pianos Ive tried.
So my question is, does this sound like a money pit? I wouldnt want to spend more than 1500.00 if I thought I'd get 4 or 5 years of learning to play out of it. Is this a decent brand of piano that is worth hanging onto? Thanks, Steve.
Have a nice day

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#630984 - 03/18/07 12:01 AM Re: Free Piano
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22973
Loc: Oakland
This piano dates from about 1917, making it 90 years old. In those years, felt has hardened, strings have gotten rusty and stressed, and no doubt, other degradation has occurred. Pianos from Asia cost less than the cost of repairing all that.

It is possible that some work can eke out a little more use from this piano, although it will probably not play as well as a newer piano. On the other hand, for $1500 you should be able to find something like a Hamilton or Everett studio made in the past 40 years or so, which would probably be money better spent.

Ultimately, without seeing the piano, no one can give you a difinitive answer to whether it is worth bothering with or not, however. All I can do is explain the monetary realities, and you will have to decide what to do. If you decide that accepting this piano is a possibility, get a tech to look at it before making your final decision.
Semipro Tech

#630985 - 03/18/07 12:07 AM Re: Free Piano
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Personally, I would prefer a 90 year old Brinkerhoff to a 40 year old Hamiltion, even if they were both for free. At least there there was origianlly a bit of musicality in the Brinkerhoff...
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

#630986 - 03/18/07 09:28 AM Re: Free Piano
Steven Bolstridge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/05
Posts: 208
Loc: Fitzgerald ,GA
Sounds like for around $500 or less, you may end up with a decent piano to learn on. Have a reliable technician look at it to determine that the touch and pitch can be made standard. Some rust on the strings is expected. Not a big deal in most cases.
piano tuner/technician

#630987 - 03/18/07 09:53 AM Re: Free Piano
zoso Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 102
Loc: O'fallon Il
Thanks all, I'll pay a tech to look at it and decide from there. One here will do that for 50.00 and even apply that towards any work he does to it if I decide to take it.
Have a nice day

#630988 - 03/18/07 11:02 AM Re: Free Piano
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1992
Loc: Murphys, Ca
Have the tech who works on it bring a string eraser and you can do a really nice job cleaning the strings while he has the piano apart. For $500 he should be able to shape the hammers and regulate the action decently.
However,,,,, for the rest of the money, and it will be well spent, do the key bed and keys. Not the tops, that's cosmetic, the bushings and back rail cloth and punchings. I'm in the $500 to $700 range for that job depending on whether it needs pins or what. It can be done quicker. Then a couple of hundred to do the back checks and sticker felts and the piano will probably play really well.
Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca


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