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Conover 9 ft 4 in. concert grand from 1910 #2076850
05/03/13 08:41 PM
05/03/13 08:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 170
Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
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Davepost Offline OP
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I am the owner of a huge Conover (Cable) concert grand. It has a white oak rim, two lid props and a very wide toe end. The bottom A0 is incredibly clean fundamental. It was used first by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, then sold to a church south of there, then I bought it. Does anyone know of this model, history, success in rebuilding, other owners? It has a model 100 cast in the plate. It looks like a Mason & Hamlin from that era, especially the double lid props. Thanks.

Last edited by Davepost; 05/11/13 08:19 AM. Reason: Size correction

David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan
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Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2076857
05/03/13 08:50 PM
05/03/13 08:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
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Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Cable owned Mason & Hamlin for a while, so it could be a very similar design. Mason & Hamlin concert grands seemed to vary a lot, anyway.


Semipro Tech
Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: BDB] #2076861
05/03/13 08:52 PM
05/03/13 08:52 PM
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Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
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Davepost Offline OP
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It is the same number of bass strings as the CC1 Mason.


David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan
Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2076865
05/03/13 08:55 PM
05/03/13 08:55 PM
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Oakland
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Lots of concert grands had the same number of bass strings. Even now, Yamaha has the same number as Steinway.

Post some pictures.


Semipro Tech
Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2076886
05/03/13 09:57 PM
05/03/13 09:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,057
Michigan
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kpembrook Offline
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Conover was made by the Cable Company which was originally known as the Conover Cable Piano Company.

AFAIK never affiliated with M&H. Later, Samick attached the name (but not the quality) to pianos made in Indonesia.

A nice quality piano and capable of being a top tier rebuild that would rival anything out there.

However, because it doesn't have the right name, relatively low market value.


Keith Akins, RPT
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Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
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Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2076944
05/04/13 12:45 AM
05/04/13 12:45 AM
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Oakland
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The relationship between the Cable Company and Mason & Hamlin is documented in the Wikipedia article about the latter company. I agree that the market value would be low, but it could be a magnificent piano properly restored.

Does it have a tension resonator system? Conover Cable called their version Crownstay. It appears as rods and turnbuckles across the frame under the soundboard.


Semipro Tech
Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2076961
05/04/13 01:54 AM
05/04/13 01:54 AM
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beethoven986 Offline
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Old Conover pianos were excellent.

Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2077075
05/04/13 09:37 AM
05/04/13 09:37 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,465
Richfield Springs, New York
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Eric Gloo Offline
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Here's an interesting article talking about the Cable / Mason & Hamlin deal, and the people involved.

http://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1904-38-8/MTR-1904-38-8-23.pdf


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York
Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: BDB] #2077085
05/04/13 09:51 AM
05/04/13 09:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,057
Michigan
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kpembrook Offline
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Originally Posted by BDB
The relationship between the Cable Company and Mason & Hamlin is documented in the Wikipedia article about the latter company. I agree that the market value would be low, but it could be a magnificent piano properly restored.

Does it have a tension resonator system? Conover Cable called their version Crownstay. It appears as rods and turnbuckles across the frame under the soundboard.



"Owned an interest" in M&H doesn't necessarily mean very much in terms of technical cross-pollination -- although apparently that is the route by which Aeolian acquired M&H along with Conover Cable and others.

Pierce's Piano Atlas doesn't seem to mention this connection at all. Interesting.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Eric Gloo] #2077131
05/04/13 12:01 PM
05/04/13 12:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 170
Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
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Davepost Offline OP
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Many thanks. The Cable Co. Office was one block of the Chicago Symphony on the same Street. No wonder the CSO used one of their pianos.


David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan
Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2077360
05/04/13 07:44 PM
05/04/13 07:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 663
Upstate New York
PaintedPostDave Offline
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Please post some pictures. smile


Dave Koenig
Yamaha M1A console
1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
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Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2077418
05/04/13 11:10 PM
05/04/13 11:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
Phoenix, AZ
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Chloe J. Scott Offline
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I've got a Cable (not Conover) from the 20's and it's built like a brick shipyard. It's got a remarkably clear sound, especially for being only 5 feet. I'd love to see what it's bigger cousin looks like. Of course it's also got the Crownstay system with the rods and turnbuckle and stuff, I guess it works because the crown is still there.

Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2077512
05/05/13 06:37 AM
05/05/13 06:37 AM
Joined: May 2001
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Yes, please post some pictures of this piano. The Conover was a fine piano. We rebuilt a 7 ft. + from about the same time period and the final product was beautiful.

Caviat that bears repeating - *This is not a piano to consider putting lots of money into for resale.*


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
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Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Chloe J. Scott] #2077526
05/05/13 07:31 AM
05/05/13 07:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 170
Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
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Davepost Offline OP
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I have also a 5 ft 5 Conover from 1927. Half done, but same deal -- built well, still has crown. I will post some photos once I learn how. The 9 ft 3 in has the action rebuilt, restrung and new pin block a number of years ago. Still sounds great, but to raise it to the level of quality it deserves, it is going in to James Reeder in Lansing, MI for a new soundboard and bridges. Who knows but the Chicago Symphony Orchestra may want it back.


David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan
Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Rich Galassini] #2077529
05/05/13 07:37 AM
05/05/13 07:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 170
Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
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Davepost Offline OP
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Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
This piano is for me and my wife. Not a business venture, but for pursuit of beauty. I am in pursuit of wonderful sound. I think this Conover will be incredibly satisfying. I will probably loan it to the area NPR radio station which I work for for recordings. Let everyone enjoy.


David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan
Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2080658
05/11/13 08:18 AM
05/11/13 08:18 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 170
Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
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Davepost Offline OP
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Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
The Conover is leaving my home and headed to a rebuilder for a new s board, bridge caps, re gilding, rescaling and restringing. Some contributors have seen and appreciated the smaller sizes, but has anyone ever seen this big one? It actually measures 9 ft 3 3/4 inches. A nine foot four!

I have been invited by the Chicago Symphony archivist to peruse the archives for a photo as it was used years ago by the orchestra. Should be fun.


David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan
Re: Conover 9 ft 3 inch concert grand from 1910 [Re: Davepost] #2080862
05/11/13 01:51 PM
05/11/13 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Davepost
The Conover is leaving my home and headed to a rebuilder for a new s board, bridge caps, re gilding, rescaling and restringing. Some contributors have seen and appreciated the smaller sizes, but has anyone ever seen this big one? It actually measures 9 ft 3 3/4 inches. A nine foot four!

I have been invited by the Chicago Symphony archivist to peruse the archives for a photo as it was used years ago by the orchestra. Should be fun.


I've seen a few of the model 77s but not a concert grand. Should be most impressive, when rebuilt!


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