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#640159 - 12/14/02 01:00 AM Broadwood
JIMBOB Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 1323
Loc: South Carolina
Does anyone out there know about John Broadwood & Sons uprights ? I had a call this evening to look at one with a beautiful artcase finish with
fancy scrollsawn panels backed with cloth on the
kick panel. The music holder actually folds up
and stores inside the lid. It looks very difficult to tune because of the damper arrangement - it is overdamped with the dampers over the strings. Most of the mid and high treble notes sounded like metal tubes/gongs/bells when I
played them. I tried to get a reading at A4 on my SAT and it gave me something like 137 cents flat.
Could this mean there is a cracked plate ? The owner got the piano from her sister who told her the last tuner tuned it but told her it was
"bowed" . I would like to talk to the tuner but we may never locate him ? It is a straight stringer with no overstringing. Anyone have a sense of the value of the piano? Would it be worth
re-building ? I noticed that several strings had been replaced in the mid to high treble area. Restringing looks like it would be a bear because the hitch pins are stacked and in different patterns most likely due to the straight stringing ? How do you mute this puppy off to try to tune it ? My hammer tip was too big and I was not going to attempt to tune it. While at it what's the best way to break the rust at the tuning pin ?
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#640160 - 12/14/02 11:32 AM Re: Broadwood
Brian Lawson, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 647
Loc: South Africa
Hi, Broadwood was a very famous an influencial maker on the developement of the piano. See http://www.uk-piano.org/broadwood/hb_wood.html

However, your piano just may be a run of the mill piano of its time with a fancy case. (see under 1890s on that link).

I just tune with a papps wedge, putting that in under the hammer. Later Broadwoods had a decal on them "High Pitch C = 540" so that it is so flat may only mean it was not tuned to pitch in previous years. Best to just take the action out and look at the hammers & dampers to see if they have had a liquid spill on them that cause the odd sound you mention.

2nd hand private sale here, converted to US$ would be about $400 for an overdamper (birdcage) as you describe it

Are fold up music desks so uncommon in the USA ?
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Johannesburg
South Africa

http://www.lawsonic.co.za

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#640161 - 12/14/02 05:20 PM Re: Broadwood
JIMBOB Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 1323
Loc: South Carolina
This is the first fold up music desk I have seen and also the first Broadwood. What size tip (metric ?) do you use in your tuning lever and how do youmove the Papps mutes- do you leapfrog them or useseveral at a time ? I take it you do not use a felt temperament strip. The piano is very interesting. What does High Pitch C = 540 mean ?
Is this C5 the C above A4 ?. I might need a crane to take the action out of the case. It could turn out to be an interesting project- it would be nice
if we could get it tuned and save it from the
dump. It is a pre 1932 based on the serial number.
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#640162 - 12/15/02 02:13 AM Re: Broadwood
Brian Lawson, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 647
Loc: South Africa
HI, If you want to use a felt strip I can't think why you couldn't pull the action out? Pre 1932? for an overdamper more like pre 1900. High pitch was what Broadwoods tuned their pianos to, before the agreement on A440 =(C523.3) I just use the tuning tip which fits the size of pin in the piano.
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Johannesburg
South Africa

http://www.lawsonic.co.za

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#640163 - 12/31/02 08:24 PM Re: Broadwood
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
pitch was standarized in 1917 I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) which means anything before that could've been tuned to just about anything. \:\)

JIMBOB: you can use a single rubber mute if need be, tuning left, then middle and right unisons. But I've tuned pianos like this, and there shouldn't be any reason not to be able to get a thin felt strip in there. The extremely flat pitch might not be a result of a cracked plate, but of age. However, you could easily crack the plate bringing it up to pitch if the pate bolts aren't tight, so heads up there. Another option with pianos that flat, is to tune them flat. I understand that it doesn't sound like the best idea, but sometimes a piano just can't handle that much tension after sitting that flat for a long period of time.

Hope that helps a bit.

KlavierBauer
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#640164 - 01/07/03 12:11 AM Re: Broadwood
Josef Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 190
As for pitch; In 1880 Broadwood tuned their pianos at the factory to A455.5 and later lowered it to A452 around 1885.So I believe that the pitch is not an issue. If the pitch is low to start with then find out why, i.e. is the pin block weak. I have tuned a few overdamper pianos in this area and I usually just take the whole damper system off. But be careful, getting the parts back on can be very difficult. If this piano has enough value to the costumer and you are very brave then go ahead and do the work on it.

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