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Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? #2363668
12/19/14 09:22 PM
12/19/14 09:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 4
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cobalt60 Offline OP
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cobalt60  Offline OP
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Hi everyone! I have been lurking here for a few weeks for information. I bought a Hailun 151 today over a Yamaha/Kawai ( yes $$ was a factor).

My question is regarding the Lester serial #317397 which based on my lurking, was made in 1960. It has served a couple of generations well but I am deciding whether or not to sell it, give it away/burn it ( ivory keys and all) or move it across country for my eldest who " thinks" he wants it.

It is in fair shape considering it was first moved from Massachusetts to Virginia in 1987 and then to Maine in 1991. Because of the humidity, there is a 1.5 inch area where the wood warped on a corner seam. It holds its tuning but then again it is a spinet so it is tinny. Two of the bass keys either stick or just don't play. The tuner stated it was not worth fixing those ( no idea if there are plastic elbows) but he has replaced some strings and a few pads.

Thanks in advance for your answers! I get my new Hailun 151 in 4 days and I can't wait to start playing it!

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Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: cobalt60] #2363684
12/19/14 10:14 PM
12/19/14 10:14 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,252
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Hi Cobalt,

Enjoy your new piano!

I admire what the Lester company did with their spinet. They set out to make a reasonably priced instrument that would also hold up for a few decades. They did that, but now the piano has most likely reached the end of its useful life.

Ask your piano technician for his advise, but it might be best to let it go to the great piano showroom in the sky.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
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Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: cobalt60] #2363745
12/20/14 03:42 AM
12/20/14 03:42 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,106
Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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Reseda, California
Only a tech looking at the actual piano can tell you for sure, but my guess from your description is that the best course would be to give it away as a freebie, perhaps on Craig's List. Are you sure it's real ivory? For that price range and date, plastic is more likely. Are the keytops one piece or two?





-- J.S.

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Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: cobalt60] #2363842
12/20/14 11:46 AM
12/20/14 11:46 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 4
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cobalt60 Offline OP
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cobalt60  Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies. I think the keytops are one piece if memory recalls. We are a split family for the moment and I am cross country as well from the piano. Will definitely have hubs ask the tuner what he thinks but since I am moving the rest of the family and house next year, I might get a price on what the piano will cost to come too.

EDIT: Just found a site for serial numbers and I was one year off so built in 1959. Couple of other internet places state if in good condition with a bench anywhere from 200-500 dollars. But the tuner will know.

Thanks again. Sue

Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: cobalt60] #2363852
12/20/14 12:08 PM
12/20/14 12:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
turandot Offline
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turandot  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
A move across country by a professional piano moving service would certainly cost more than the market value of the piano. Research the cost and ask your eldest if the "thinks" he wants it enough to pay the freight.

I'm curious whether you asked the Hailun dealer if he'd give you anything in trade-in value.


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Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: turandot] #2363903
12/20/14 02:01 PM
12/20/14 02:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 4
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cobalt60 Offline OP
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cobalt60  Offline OP
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Long story but the Lester is in Maine and I am cross country in the Pacific Northwest so could not do the trade in part otherwise I would have tried that.

I have continued to do some research and most likely the Lester will stay in Maine wink Son #1 can continue to go to his neighbor's house and play their baby grand.

Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: cobalt60] #2364009
12/20/14 08:36 PM
12/20/14 08:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 356
Ranger, Texas
Roy Rodgers Offline
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Roy Rodgers  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 356
Ranger, Texas
If you are using a reputable furniture moving company they can easily move the spinet. Just let them know it is going. A grand piano would be a different story. But they should be able to handle the spinet with no trouble. Can't hurt to ask.


Tuning and repairing pianos since 1981 in Ranger, Tx. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Roys-Piano-Service/173273022711505
Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: cobalt60] #2364446
12/22/14 07:35 AM
12/22/14 07:35 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,252
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,252
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted by cobalt60
Thanks for the replies. I think the keytops are one piece if memory recalls.


Yes. They were called a "waterfall" design because instead of having the traditional overhang on the piano key's edge, it was rounded and looked like water going over a fall.

Good luck,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CunninghamPiano
Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: cobalt60] #2364448
12/22/14 07:43 AM
12/22/14 07:43 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,324
England
LarryShone Offline
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LarryShone  Offline
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England
I had never heard of Lester Betsy, odd name, then I found a site with lots of queries about them! Big name in America I guess!


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Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: Rich Galassini] #2364537
12/22/14 12:38 PM
12/22/14 12:38 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,106
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
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Posts: 27,106
Oakland
I think some Betsy Ross spinets had waterfall keys, but most did not. Earlier ones would have had ivory keytops with separate fronts and backs, and later ones had one-piece tops, with separate fronts.

For spinets, they were pretty good quality, other than the problem with the plastic parts. That was the fault of Pratt Read, not Lester. My wife toured the Lester factory before it burned down.


Semipro Tech
Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: BDB] #2364541
12/22/14 12:53 PM
12/22/14 12:53 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,252
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,252
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted by BDB
My wife toured the Lester factory before it burned down.


BDB,

When I started at Cunningham Piano in 1987 three of our employees had gotten their start at Lester. All three said the building burning down was no accident. Of course I have no direct knowledge of that, but they made some nice little pianos.

Best,
Rich (215) 991-0834


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CunninghamPiano
Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: Rich Galassini] #2364722
12/22/14 09:26 PM
12/22/14 09:26 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,106
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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That happened to my wife's high school!


Semipro Tech
Re: Lester Betsy Ross Spinet- worth? [Re: cobalt60] #2365433
12/25/14 12:08 AM
12/25/14 12:08 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 4
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cobalt60 Offline OP
Junior Member
cobalt60  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 4
Well the Hailun is in its rightful place. Needs a tuning but a beautiful piano. The old Lester has had lots of busy and good years. Looking back, it wasn't bad for what it was and it was sure loved. Thanks for the info on the waterfall keys. They are rounded! Fascinating tidbit. Thanks!


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