Ok, just took a look at this one.
Only one white key had a small chip in it, the rest were
in good shape. To be honest, I wasn't sure if it was real
ivory or the fake ivory with simulated grain. It seemed
too uniform to be real ivory.
I could not fit a business card between the ribs and soundboard,
and there were minimal, very fine cracks in the board. Didn't
Since I'm new to grands, I didn't know the specifics to look for with the action, although the hammer knuckles seemed to be in good shape. The C8 hammer was taped on with masking tape! It had broken where shank meets hammer, and the last few high note hammers need replacing because the felt was too close to bare wood, but should be an easy fix. The rest of the hammers could use re-shaping.
The owner claims it has not been tuned for about 4 years, yet
it was in surprisingly good tune! There was only one unison that
was off, which I quickly tuned up, and which seemed to hold tune.
I thought I saw some evidence of pin doping, but now I'm not sure.
Unfortunately, although the piano was in decent working order, the
tone left much to be desired, at least for me. It didn't help that the bench was a bit too high for me! Also, the pedals were a bit
too close to the carpet, so they seemed to be stopped by the carpet.
Additionally, the keydip seemed a bit shallow for my taste, but I know
that can be adjusted.
It seems like it would be a good first grand minor fixer-upper. I would only have to replace a few hammers, reshape the other ones, regulate and tune the piano, and repair the one small chip in that one white key. The key bushings seemed fine, and were not loose.
So, the piano doesn't really need any major work done to it...but the problem is that the tone just wasn't that good! The owner thought this piano was made sometime in the 60's or 70's. I know it's standard practice to replace the bass strings, which is the area most deficient in this piano as well.
Do you all think that this piano's strings may be old enough, that using new bass strings (and re-shaping hammers) would make a huge difference in tone?
Maybe just replace all the strings?
The owner needs to sell this pretty quick, so I know I can talk him down.....