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1910 Ludwig Upright
#211317 02/17/04 02:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
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lisa11 Offline OP
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I'm a newbie to the Forum...I have been given a 1910 Ludwig Upright, ornate carved wood front. Not a pro, but it plays beautifully! Only one key not performing.

Trying to estimate value, because it's current location is Austin, TX , but wish to move it to my new home outside of Houston. Just want to make sure it's worth the moving costs. Any ideas, info would be greatly appreciated.

Re: 1910 Ludwig Upright
#211318 02/17/04 03:22 PM
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It is very hard to judge the value of a piano without seeing it in person. Is it worth enough to you to have a tuner/technician come give it a look-see? You might have him or her actually tune it and investigate the "not performing" key as well.

A tuning will run you between $75 and $150. You should be able to talk the tuner into giving you an estimate of the piano's value at the same time.

Of course, in empirical terms, anything is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. Does this instrument have sentimental value? What would you have been willing to pay for it from a store? If you don't move it, how much would you expect someone else to pay for it?

Also, have you determined how much it will cost to move from Austin to Houston?

Re: 1910 Ludwig Upright
#211319 02/17/04 03:53 PM
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Lisa, so it's hard to say what your Ludwig is worth...especially sight unseen. I have six big old uprights like that, some with nice relief work on the cases. They just collect dust. I can't give them away to 99% of the customers that come in.

But a friend of mine recently offered me $500 for one of them. He got all excited because of their age and appearance. The fact that they sound and play (to varying degrees) worse than your average toy piano didn't bother him at all. So that's the way it is with these old uprights.

As musical instruments, they may be mechanically operable, and may still hold a tuning, but they aren't usually going to perform to the same standards as a much newer piano, without being rebuilt or at least refurbished. And this kind of work is labor intensive! Unless you happen to particularly be in love with the allure and unique sound of older uprights, the expense will probably not be justified.

That being said, I'd recommend you have a piano tech fix that one bad note, and ask him to go over the whole piano and give you a prognosis, as PJ also advised. If the interior is not overly worn, or subjected to extremes of environment, it should at the very least be worth the cost of having it moved.

-Jimbo


Jim Volk
PIANOVATION
Re: 1910 Ludwig Upright
#211320 02/18/04 02:20 AM
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I agree with everyone else. Have someone look at the works before you commit to paying for a move.

That said, Ludwigs are a bit special because of their (generally extravagant) wood work. They command a slightly better price than the average big-o upright around here because the literally "don't make 'em like that any more". They didn't make too many like that back then either, and folks either love 'em or hate 'em.

I don't know that there was anything special about them as pianos particularly, but the cases are hard to miss.

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Re: 1910 Ludwig Upright
#211321 02/18/04 04:00 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Steve Miller:
I agree with everyone else. Have someone look at the works before you commit to paying for a move.

That said, Ludwigs are a bit special because of their (generally extravagant) wood work. They command a slightly better price than the average big-o upright around here because the literally "don't make 'em like that any more". They didn't make too many like that back then either, and folks either love 'em or hate 'em.

I don't know that there was anything special about them as pianos particularly, but the cases are hard to miss.

[Linked Image]
that's a nice-looking piano. laugh smile How would it sound compared to a new 48-52" upright of American or Japanese manufacture (or even European manufacture (not Chinese though))?


Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
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Re: 1910 Ludwig Upright
#211322 02/19/04 03:02 AM
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Originally posted by 88Key_PianoPlayer:
How would it sound compared to a new 48-52" upright of American or Japanese manufacture (or even European manufacture (not Chinese though))?
It seems to me that you have one of these, right? Have you ever played one that has been rebuilt?

I haven't played many Big-o uprights that have been rebuilt, and never a Ludwig. I've never seen a rebuilt Ludwig and was surprised to find that picture on the net.

The company that rebuilt it has it sold at $8,995, which makes me wonder just how thoroughly it was rebuilt. That company (vintagepianoshop.com in Asheville, NC) seems to specialize in rebuilding pianos that most others don't want to mess with, including Landfill uprights, square grands, straight-strung grands and other oddities. I'd like to visit there some day, if for no other reason than to admire the cases.

I'd describe the sound as "BIG", which differs from "LOUD", although a common complaint about big uprights is that they are impossible to play softly. Part of this sound has to do with their sheer size, coupled with the tendency of all uprights to broadcast the sound directly at the player. Un-rebuilt, they tend to sound "loud and muddy" or (if no one has paid attention to the hammers in 50 years or so) "loud and harsh". I have however, played some rebuilt uprights that were as easy to control as modern pianos. I have played other rebuilt big uprights that were simply dreadful, and will have to leave it to the technicians to explain what the differences might have been. Caveat emptor.

Rebuilt with new strings, I personally like their sound very much. It harks me back to a youth spent in church camp dining halls. I'll grant that a good grand is more expressive, but a nicely rebuilt Landfill Piano is capable of overtones and nuances that will rival those produced by a lot of newer pianos, even grands.

Just my opinion of course, but I'd go for the sound produced by a properly rebuilt Landfill Piano over an Asian upright of any brand or size. The race is closer (nuances and overtones) when you are talking a high-end European model, but the sound from a nice old upright is really unlike any other.


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Re: 1910 Ludwig Upright
#211323 02/19/04 03:24 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Steve Miller:
Quote
Originally posted by 88Key_PianoPlayer:
[b] How would it sound compared to a new 48-52" upright of American or Japanese manufacture (or even European manufacture (not Chinese though))?
It seems to me that you have one of these, right? Have you ever played one that has been rebuilt?

I haven't played many Big-o uprights that have been rebuilt, and never a Ludwig. I've never seen a rebuilt Ludwig and was surprised to find that picture on the net.

The company that rebuilt it has it sold at $8,995, which makes me wonder just how thoroughly it was rebuilt. That company (vintagepianoshop.com in Asheville, NC) seems to specialize in rebuilding pianos that most others don't want to mess with, including Landfill uprights, square grands, straight-strung grands and other oddities. I'd like to visit there some day, if for no other reason than to admire the cases.

I'd describe the sound as "BIG", which differs from "LOUD", although a common complaint about big uprights is that they are impossible to play softly. Part of this sound has to do with their sheer size, coupled with the tendency of all uprights to broadcast the sound directly at the player. Un-rebuilt, they tend to sound "loud and muddy" or (if no one has paid attention to the hammers in 50 years or so) "loud and harsh". I have however, played some rebuilt uprights that were as easy to control as modern pianos. I have played other rebuilt big uprights that were simply dreadful, and will have to leave it to the technicians to explain what the differences might have been. Caveat emptor.

Rebuilt with new strings, I personally like their sound very much. It harks me back to a youth spent in church camp dining halls. I'll grant that a good grand is more expressive, but a nicely rebuilt Landfill Piano is capable of overtones and nuances that will rival those produced by a lot of newer pianos, even grands.

Just my opinion of course, but I'd go for the sound produced by a properly rebuilt Landfill Piano over an Asian upright of any brand or size. The race is closer (nuances and overtones) when you are talking a high-end European model, but the sound from a nice old upright is really unlike any other. [/b]
I have an unrebuilt 56" Ricca & Son (vintage 1913) that has a better low bass (with the help of new strings) than I've heard on pretty much ANY new vertical.
Also, I share your opinion/preferences about properly rebuilt vintage uprights. In fact, I've been off-and-on thinking about finding another vintage upright to replace the one I have now (mainly because I would like an ornate case (if possible, but that's quite low on the totem pole), but more because I would like one scaled a little differently and somewhat bigger than the one I have now, for example instead of plain trichords down to C-28, I would like them to go down to at LEAST A#26 (or even A25 if possible, and I'm willing to settle for a little bit of backward bend in the tenor section of the bridge to get that.)) I'd also like one that has been kept up better than mine (if possible).
After that, depending on affordability & timing, a certain large grand piano (may need to have it voiced brighter than normal though based on my preferences) on which I won't be running out of keys in the bass so much.


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1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
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