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Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
#2592675 12/06/16 08:20 PM
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I've been looking for a piano locally and through craigslist. My daughter is old enough for lessons and she's ready to start. My mom offered our family piano. It's an Upright Ivers & Pond, cir 1905-1910. It was restored about 15 years ago and is in good condition. I took my lessons on it when I was little. She has had it in a closet for about 10 years so it will obviously need some tuning. Is it worth moving or should I try to buy a piano locally? she lives three hours away and we would be attempting to move it ourselves.

Also inside next to the serial number it says, "Selected and voiced for Frank S Botefuhn Pittsburk Kansas". Was it normal for Ivers & Pond to commission pieces? I looked him up and he was an orchestra conductor and also had a prominent music store.

Any information would be helpful!


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Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592681 12/06/16 08:45 PM
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those old, big uprights (if your family piano is in the 48-56 in. range) are quite heavy. two very experienced guys and a dolly the minimum, three guys if stairs are involved. strong amateur movers, at least three (the height of the piano presents challenging variables with balance, inertia). Ivers & Pond are generally favored by the restorers with confidence in the result. if you do not know exactly what was replaced and the level of expertise in the restoration, and don't have a thorough understanding of what to look for in potential internal problems, don't hesitate to get a technician to check it over. if the restoration was top notch and it's had only moderate use since, there's potentially 25 years of work horse or more left in it. expect it to need more than a basic tuning if there is anything tonally imbalanced (possibly five to six hours of tuning and voicing rather than two hours if there are no mechanical glitches, string replacement, und so weiter).

the best examples of the old amerikaner verticals are worth keeping alive ; we have a late 1890s from another prominent maker long gone from the stage.

Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592683 12/06/16 09:06 PM
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I don't think "restored" and "good condition" are precise enough for us to more than guess about its current condition, and its current condition is a major factor in recommending what to do. If you say exactly what work was done on the piano and the name of the rebuilder that would be helpful.

If you choose to buy a different piano, then what is your budget?

Do you know what the moving costs would be if it's done by piano moving pros?



Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592694 12/06/16 09:53 PM
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Ivers & Pond is a very good make. Restored 15 years ago is a hopeful sign. Based on that, I'd spend $150 or so to have a local technician give it an inspection. On an instrument this old, that's the only way you can get a fix on its position on the trash to treasure scale. Good luck.

As for moving it yourself, uprights are easier than grands, no special knowledge or equipment needed. You just have to have the manpower to safely deal with half a ton. A pickup truck with a lumber rack will do nicely, giving you a secure way to tie it off.



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Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592727 12/07/16 03:37 AM
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A half ton upright? I think not.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
PhilipInChina #2592739 12/07/16 04:53 AM
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literally half a ton, definitely not. but not a job for inexperienced amateurs (folks who work in a cubicle and only do light recreational exercise) or it might seem like it. the vehicle should have a capacity of a half ton (higher if there are three 250 lb. construction workers sharing the vehicle with the piano).

Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592766 12/07/16 08:00 AM
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Have it checked by a technician and make a decision from there. "Restored" can mean many different levels of work was done. You will need to compare it's condition with your needs. Does it meet your needs now? Will it meat your needs in the future as your daughter progresses?




Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
PhilipInChina #2592779 12/07/16 08:50 AM
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Philip,
The mill we are in has an old Toledo scale. The larger uprights often weigh better than 750 pounds. It is not a half-ton, but close enough to be more than a novice is prepared to handle. The poster should rent a truck, hire one set of local movers to load it, and another set to unload.

Ivers and Pond were one of those companies whose uprights were superior to their grands.

Craig


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Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592782 12/07/16 09:19 AM
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Think half a ton is 1100 pounds--that's heavier than a 7-4 Mason and Hamlin grand piano. It's the most laughable nonsense.

Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
Just Steven #2592792 12/07/16 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Steven
Think half a ton is 1100 pounds--that's heavier than a 7-4 Mason and Hamlin grand piano. It's the most laughable nonsense.


Steven, the information about the weight has been clarified at least twice above. It is not literally half a ton, but more weight (around 700 pounds) than most would expect of an upright. I know the movers that handled my vintage upright were surprised at the number of people it took to handle it. So you can stop your laughing if you read the clarifications in the previous posts.

Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592804 12/07/16 10:35 AM
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I would be surprised to see an upright tipping the scales at 700 pounds, although it is not impossible, I suppose.

In my considerable experience of heavy objects people tend grossly to exaggerate the actual weight of such things. Of course it is preferable to estimate weight as being greater, rather than less, than the actual as that way accidents are less likely to occur.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
PhilipInChina #2592826 12/07/16 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
I would be surprised to see an upright tipping the scales at 700 pounds, although it is not impossible, I suppose.

The uprights made in the early 20th century were built like tanks, lots of heavy wood and lots of ornamental carved wood and a massive cast iron frame. This is not a Kawai K8 (which I'm sure is still plenty heavy).

To the OP, this may be easier than you think. Try playing it. If the piano was restored well 15 years ago the action should feel smooth and responsive (if badly out of tune). If the action feels good then have a technician inspect it. The last thing you want to do is foist a terrible piano on your daughter because it was cheap.

Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592832 12/07/16 01:23 PM
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Philip, I don't think you have had experience with really old upright pianos. A few pics of mine getting it off the dollies. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9

We moved it ourselves from CA to AZ, but not without our engineering know how and experience. No such thing as brute force with these.


Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano yet but getting there.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.
Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592834 12/07/16 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jtol

Also inside next to the serial number it says, "Selected and voiced for Frank S Botefuhn Pittsburk Kansas". Was it normal for Ivers & Pond to commission pieces? I looked him up and he was an orchestra conductor and also had a prominent music store.


I won't expand on what everyone else has said, except to add that this personal endorsement doesn't add anything to the value unless there is a Frank S Botefuhn fan club out there somewhere!

Sam

Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592835 12/07/16 01:33 PM
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"...Think half a ton is 1100 pounds--that's heavier than a 7-4 Mason..."

Keep scoffing if it makes you feel a little bigger, Just Steven, but a ton is 2000 pounds. So, a half ton is 1000.

To the OP. I would think a second time, if I were you [I have been], about moving this piano yourself. There is plenty of trouble available with such a plan, a lot of it greatly more expensive than hiring experienced piano movers with insurance.

If this instrument is not worth the cost of moving it, I think you've answered all your questions right there. However, I would not be surprised if your searches on Craigslist failed to turn up anything better. You would have to be very lucky to beat those long odds.

I concur with those who have recommended you hire a qualified piano tech to evaluate your mom's piano for condition. This person will be able to give you an estimate of its fair market value, and another one for the cost of repairs to put it in good playing condition.

At 111 years old... well, put it this way. You could reasonably expect that a piano's musically useful life would last around 50 years, if it is treated well and played an average amount, as it would be in a home. Not if it was a teaching studio, or conservatory practice, or church piano, which is to say, high mileage and bad conditions. Some users and some pianos might work happily together as long as 70-80 years. But 100? 110? 111? When advising people who are looking for a used piano, I usually suggest that they look for one no more than 15 years old, so they can have a reasonable amount of musically useful life left in it. Not everyone agrees, but you can see the general idea.

You don't mention having asked your daughter if she would like this piano. Do you know the answer?

Wishing you the best of luck with this jtol.


Clef

Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592876 12/07/16 03:57 PM
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Several advantages to a piano of this age, there should be lots of spare parts available as the parts were often interchangeable from one brand to another. The parts are all wood and felts that can easily be repaired or replaced.

The parts that wear out on an older piano that are harder to replace are the pinblock and/or Soundboard. Splits in the sound board rarely cause problems.

If the mechanism is broke or the flange hinges need total replacement, this can be done but is a lot of work.

Keytops can easily be replaced.

The action can be set up fairly easily and is something that should routinely be done on any piano more than 10 years old.

I have worked on vintage pianos. I have seen pianos that are 30 years old with failing plastic parts that should not be used for anything.

I have a 130 year old piano that is played daily.

Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
jtol #2592893 12/07/16 04:53 PM
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My upright is from 1896. Does that qualify as "really old"?

BTW how much a ton is depends what sort of ton and where you are. In UK it is 2,240 pounds, in europe it is 1,000 Kg which is almost the same.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
PhilipInChina #2592898 12/07/16 05:22 PM
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have to love amerikaners defining quantitative terms to the cultures that invented them. maybe spell 'ton' as 'tonne' or use 'metric ton' to give the kultur-centrics a clue.

Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
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Keep in mind that in the U.S. they don't realize that the unit of weight they use is actually the 'short ton', which they have shortened to 'ton'. The 'long ton' was used in England and now, every country in the world except for Burma, Liberia and the U.S. long ago went to SI.

The actual 'ton' in worldwide use has a conversion rate into avoirdupois of about 2204.6lbs.

Re: Inherited Ivers & Pond Restored-worth it or get new?
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During the years I spent living and working abroad, I really tired of the "Americans are all stupid" mentality. My experience is that people of that mindset are usually not as smart as they think they are, and are frequently an obvious counter-example to the notion that they and all their countrymen are smart and sophisticated. In fact, I'm reminded of an old joke: if you moved from my country back to your own, the average IQ of both countries would increase! wink



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