E.G. Harrington

Posted by: SusanS

E.G. Harrington - 09/13/03 03:44 PM

I'm considering a 1910 Harrington Upright piano as a starter for my daughter. A piano tuner has told me it is a solid piano, good for a games room (cabinet is not nice enough for a living room), that it holds tuning well and that the hammers can be replaced if need be - but that we should be able to get several years use out of it "as is". The seller is asking about $700 for it.

Is this a fair price? Does anyone know the history or quality of Harrington pianos (says it was made in Connecticut). Thanks in advance.
Posted by: BDB

Re: E.G. Harrington - 09/13/03 03:53 PM

Harrington was a decent piano, but this is a lot more than I would pay for it. For $700 you should be able to find a much newer console or even studio piano that will look and serve you a lot better. If you added the price of doing a decent job of replacing the hammers, you should be able to buy something really nice.
Posted by: SusanS

Re: E.G. Harrington - 09/13/03 09:42 PM

Thank you BDB, I guess I'm just one of those newbies that have never played a piano themselves, always wanted to but my parents wouldn't buy a piano for me, and now I want to offer my daughter the opportunity to learn. I'm hoping to spend a modest amount to see if she's keen and if so, then I'd be willing to upgrade. I'm not expecting her to become a concert pianist, I want her to enjoy playing and perhaps enjoy playing for people to sing along with. If she aspires to more, I will support her.

On a personal, selfish note, I also have a fondness for old fashioned uprights - but that is an emotional response and perhaps not one founded on a 'technical' basis. At this point, I'm not sure what the right answer is.

I feel better about this piano because I had a technician who has worked on this piano for several years give a recommendation. I have also looked at pianos at a local company that sells used pianos; however, I always come away from that company feeling a bit overwhelmed - that I don't know enough to make the right choice.

How's a newbie to know?
Posted by: BDB

Re: E.G. Harrington - 09/14/03 02:16 PM

I like old uprights, too. If I were looking for an upright, I would probably chose one over most of the pianos made today. But I recognize that the cost to get them into equivalent condition is about the same as a new upright of similar quality. I can get pianos of the quality of a Harrington for free, so that cost would all be in restoration.

Find yourself a good studio. Everett or Baldwin Hamilton are good quality, or Yamaha or Kawai. They all will serve you well. If you want to go up from that, you could consider a well-restored old upright. You will get most of your money back on the studio if you do.
Posted by: Jim Volk

Re: E.G. Harrington - 09/14/03 05:24 PM

I second the motion on the models BDB recommends. And if you're not familiar with it already, click on this link to check out one of the BEST and easiest to read books on buying a used or new piano: The Piano Book by Larry Fine

Public libraries also carry it.

And Susan, I know how you feel...it is overwhelming when you consider the hundreds of brands of new and used pianos around, plus the myriad sizes and styles to consider.

If you invest a little time in reading, research and multiple visits to the local dealers, you'll be much happier with your final decision. \:\)

-Jimbo
Posted by: Jim Volk

Re: E.G. Harrington - 09/14/03 05:41 PM

P.S. Your tuner may be a great buy, but I'll tell you this: a handful of tuners in our area will recommend old uprights to people, and these are pianos that I wouldn't use for anything but an artificial reef.

Why? Ignorant, foolish, or couldn't care less, I don't know which. But if you are still considering that Harrington, get a second opinion from a well-recommended technician. Older uprights may look stately and imposing, but were often assembled with outdated hide glue, require new bass strings, need new key bushings and have all sorts of action problems!

-Jimbo
Posted by: SusanS

Re: E.G. Harrington - 09/14/03 07:55 PM

Thank you for your input BDB and Jimbo - I think you've both convinced me to take a step back, and not make a decision yet as this isn't an impulse buy...and read that darn book I keep hearing about (Larry Fine's)! ;\)
Posted by: WynnBear

Re: E.G. Harrington - 09/15/03 11:14 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by SusanS:
Thank you BDB, I guess I'm just one of those newbies that have never played a piano themselves, always wanted to but my parents wouldn't buy a piano for me, and now I want to offer my daughter the opportunity to learn. [/b]
If you've always felt drawn to playing, it's not too late for you either. When you make the purchase, consider taking lessons yourself. It's never to late to learn. You may enjoy it even if your daughter doesn't!
Posted by: BDB

Re: E.G. Harrington - 09/15/03 11:22 AM

 Quote:
If you've always felt drawn to playing, it's not too late for you either. When you make the purchase, consider taking lessons yourself. It's never to late to learn. You may enjoy it even if your daughter doesn't!
Your daughter's lessons are more likely to take if you are taking lessons too.
Posted by: backto_study_piano

Re: E.G. Harrington - 02/11/13 12:20 AM

Keep in mind that if that tuner has been servicing it in years past, he may have a vested interest - like assisting the owner to sell it.
Posted by: BDB

Re: E.G. Harrington - 02/11/13 12:26 AM

SusanS has not posted since her last post to this topic, nearly 10 years ago. You are not likely to give her any information that makes any difference to her.
Posted by: backto_study_piano

Re: E.G. Harrington - 02/11/13 04:19 AM

Hmmm - I wonder how I got onto that post? Stranger things have happened.