Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Who's Online Now
52 registered members (bluejei, andyhuang, Bagong, Beemer, AZNpiano, 8 invisible), 1,661 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#2015509 - 01/16/13 02:00 PM Is it worth it?  
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
MsAnna Offline
Junior Member
MsAnna  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum. I have a piano that I am trying to determine if it is worth it to make the necessary repairs or if it's time to call it quits. I don't know much about pianos myself, this piece belonged to my great grandmother and for a long time has taken space in various family member's houses. Here is a picture:
[Linked Image]

The writing on the front says:
Philad'a New York
Three Sounding Boards
Patented Oct 30, 1902

I've been trying to figure out if this is worth anything, other sentamental value. If it is an actual antique or anything, I'll put out the money to get it fixed and in workable condition, if not I think I may just trash it. Anything anyone knows about it would be much appreciated; google hasn't been much help. Thank you all for your help!

Ms. Anna

Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2015519 - 01/16/13 02:31 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MsAnna]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Short answer? NO. It's not worth it.

Do you have any idea whatsoever how many parts are on the inside of the "case of that piano that nobody can see?" Those unseen parts, are the working parts of the piano. What you show in the picture is a mere picture of the outside of the piano and the basic condition of "it." Given that one picture, it is a safe bet that the inside of the piano is in much worse shape than the outside is to which I would say...trash it...

Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan

We love to play BF2.
#2015522 - 01/16/13 02:36 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MsAnna]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 179
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member
ju5t1n-h  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 179
Vancouver, British Columbia

Essex EUP-123S

#2015532 - 01/16/13 02:52 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MsAnna]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,548
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,548
If you were thinking of restoring it with the idea that it would be worth more than it would cost to restore, that is not the case. If you were thinking of restoring it with the idea that it would be a piano that you could use for the rest of your life, regardless of its value, that is a possibility, but even then, not always.

Semipro Tech
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#2015796 - 01/16/13 09:20 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MsAnna]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,489
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member
beethoven986  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,489
Pianos like this tend to have not just $0 value, but negative value, due to the cost of having it professionally disposed of.

#2015857 - 01/17/13 12:18 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MsAnna]  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,785
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Jeff Clef  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,785
San Jose, CA
It may have been nice in its day, but that was 110 years ago. Consider if your washing machine was that old... would it be a valuable antique, or off to the store for a new one?

The useful life of a good piano is about 50 years; with regular care you might stretch it to 60+, but with diminishing returns. The keyboard shows that there is some obvious damage--- it has not been cared for. You might call in a tech for an appraisal, but I would not hope for much money value from an unknown make. For less than the thousands of dollars it would take to put it in shape, you might buy a new one, in warranty, which would be a much better piano in the first place, and which would last long enough for your grandkids to play it (or maybe their grandkids).

The Praying Hands on the keyboard are pointing the way: that piano is going to be with Jesus very soon.


#2015903 - 01/17/13 03:21 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MsAnna]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 4,621
JohnSprung Offline
4000 Post Club Member
JohnSprung  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 4,621
Reseda, California
The main question is, does it have great sentimental value because it belonged to your great grandmother?

If the answer is yes, pay about $100 - 150 to have it evaluated by a technician, who will tell you how many thousands it'll cost to fix up. (Angie's list is a good place to find one.)

If the answer is no, get rid of it. (Craig's list it as a freebie for that.)

The part about "three sounding boards" is interesting, though. I've never seen that before, and kinda wonder what they mean.

Last edited by JohnSprung; 01/17/13 03:24 AM.

-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
#2015985 - 01/17/13 08:04 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MsAnna]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,336
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,336
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by John Sprung
The part about "three sounding boards" is interesting, though. I've never seen that before, and kinda wonder what they mean.

My receintly acquired old Conover upright has three bridges (Bass, tenor, treble)... maybe that is what they meant.


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2015986 - 01/17/13 08:04 AM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: ju5t1n-h]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,168
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,168
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by ju5t1n-h

Here's another idea (perhaps a bit more practical...ahem...):

piano desk

It is unfortunate that this heirloom was not maintained over the years, but this is a way you can keep the heirloom and make it something someone can actually use.

private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#2016401 - 01/17/13 10:47 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MsAnna]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member
Nash. Piano Rescue  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
One problem are all the reality shows of people finding pianos like this in old buildings and saying wow this is worth a fortune. Can someone get it working? Maybe but it depends on where it's been. We cleaned one up ( Bush & Lane) that sat in workshop for 80 years. The owner said it was sitting there 50 years ago when he moved in which sounds pretty bad to me but it turned out to be the opposite.

Did it need a 10K restoration? No. It was cleaned up, we put new bass strings on it and now it's being used to record with at A440. That was 5 years ago and they are still using it. So It just depends on the person and if they feel motivated enough to take a hard look at it

J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation
#2016718 - 01/18/13 12:56 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MsAnna]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,277
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member
John Pels  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,277
Tomball, Texas
This is prescient. One of my students is unfortunately playing on one that might be similar to this. The Mom refuses to get rid of it, even had it refinished. The soundboard is flat, the bridge looks like it spent some time underwater. The bridge pins no longer maintain the proper trajectory of the strings due to the massive splits in the bridge. The action is shot the hammers hard as heck. The tuning pins are loose and the "piano" sounds like a honky-tonk in an old western bar all the while being tuned a step flat. The poor student of course cannot control dynamics or develop the ability to make subtle changes in any matter, way shape or form.I have suggested that almost any studio upright available on Craigslist would be an improvement. The Mom's retort was "Where would I put this one?" She then went on to tell me that she believes that her piano sounds every bit as good as her Dad's Yamaha grand and we will just have to agree to disagree. Imagine!!! I am negotiating on them getting a touch-sensitive keyboard. I wish this old junk would find its way to the landfill, so I wouldn't have to deal with it. It's not the first time, and it's so unfair to the student.I try very hard to be diplomatic with my clients, but this one had me close to the edge. I was just trying to figure out whether those two degrees in piano performance and 20 years of rebuilding experience had any meaning.
John Pels

#2016722 - 01/18/13 01:08 PM Re: Is it worth it? [Re: MsAnna]  
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 235
jawhitti Offline
Full Member
jawhitti  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 235
Hah! My in-laws are both quite well-to-do, they probably make $200,000 between them. Their daughter was interested in piano so after the kid exhausted the $100 casio they brought home a *ghastly* clunker not unlike the one pictured. It was so awful as to be beyond description. I have no idea where they found it, but nothing worked. The notes that could sound made horrible, horrible noises.

Surprisingly their daughter soon lost interest in piano. A lot of parents think "well, maybe we'll get her something better if she sticks with it" while not thinking that if the piano sounds and feels awful that the kid will probably quit out of frustration.

I'm sorry for your poor student.

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
PianoTeq 6 Out now
Pierce Piano Atlas

New Topics - Multiple Forums
Which 9' Baldwin is SD-10
by Bagong. 11/23/17 02:37 AM
Dead Steinway Octaves
by musicpassion. 11/22/17 09:47 PM
Windows based MIDI Sound Modules ?
by Piano World. 11/22/17 08:23 PM
finger tapping technique
by Osho. 11/22/17 03:28 PM
Forum Statistics
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |

copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0