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Brewster Baby Grand #1424933
04/27/10 01:17 AM
04/27/10 01:17 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 83
Pittsburgh, PA
pianovoce Offline OP
Full Member
pianovoce  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 83
Pittsburgh, PA
Hello! I'm going check out a late 20's/early 30's (serial: 186505) Brewster Baby Grand. The folks are selling their house and said they'd give me a "hurry up" discount and let it go for a song. The owner stated something is wonky in the action for the bottom A causing it not to play and a few keys could use some adjustments.

I read these forums a lot, so I'm going to give some background in the hopes of inspiring good responses.

I've been working on an old upright (thank you Arthur Reblitz and Al Gore) – replacing all the bridle straps, some felts, tuning it, fixed some action funk, and only messed up one thing in the process. It looks and plays better than before.

I've connected with a local piano technician to help me learn, so I'm not afraid of throwing some resources in to an instrument to both fix and play on.

I can't find much about Brewster, other than they were one of the many pre-Depression manufacturers. I've seen other folks selling these in a variety of conditions for $2000-$5000, which seems a bit much. I'm not really buying it for a financial investment, but more of an educational one.

With all that in mind, I'd appreciate some advice on things that should really make me reel back in horror and avoid this purchase. I'm sure I'll get a sense of things when I play it. It was tuned a bit over a year ago, so I'm curious to see how off it is. If there's anyone with a Brewster or has serviced one, I'd love to hear your impressions. Pep talks and stern warnings are also appreciated.

Many thanks in advance!



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Re: Brewster Baby Grand [Re: pianovoce] #1425092
04/27/10 10:17 AM
04/27/10 10:17 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Albuquerque, NM
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Cy Shuster, RPT  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Albuquerque, NM
If you don't already have The Piano Book, add it to your library. It has a whole chapter on how to evaluate used pianos.

The biggest thing to check is tuning pin torque. If the block won't hold the strings at pitch, then that needs to be addressed.

How big is it? Sounds like a perfect piano to learn on. Dates to 1925; made in East Rochester, NY.

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org
Re: Brewster Baby Grand [Re: Cy Shuster, RPT] #1425359
04/27/10 03:40 PM
04/27/10 03:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 83
Pittsburgh, PA
pianovoce Offline OP
Full Member
pianovoce  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 83
Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks for the advice, Cy!

The size is the only question the owner didn't respond to, but from the picture I've seen, it looks to be 5'.

I found a video online of what looks to be the same or similar era/model, which is encouraging!

I'm going see it tonight, so I should know more in just a few hours!

Last edited by djbf; 08/25/10 12:19 AM.
Re: Brewster Baby Grand [Re: pianovoce] #1425617
04/27/10 10:12 PM
04/27/10 10:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 83
Pittsburgh, PA
pianovoce Offline OP
Full Member
pianovoce  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 83
Pittsburgh, PA
I bought it!

I wish I'd taken photos to share... After opening the lid and poking around, I had to ask if it had been rebuilt. Everything is pristine. Beautiful. It really looks brand new... Even the tuning pins are shiny. Aside from some friction on a few keys, the action is very expressive and it's tonally dynamic. There are a few obvious scratches in the finish, but it generally also looks great.

Everyone who has ever owned this piano has obviously cared for it a great deal... or it's been rebuilt. Either way, I'm just amazed that something this old still has these qualities.

Re: Brewster Baby Grand [Re: pianovoce] #1425866
04/28/10 10:48 AM
04/28/10 10:48 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,424
Richfield Springs, New York
E
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Eric Gloo  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
E

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,424
Richfield Springs, New York
Congrats!


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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