Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

What's Hot!!
NAMM 2018
-------------------
Forums With A View!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
118 registered members (ArtVision, ando, agraffe, Beakybird, 29 invisible), 934 guests, and 4 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#2712957 - 02/09/18 03:41 PM Time for a change - to restore or replace  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
sopranojam85 Offline
Full Member
sopranojam85  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
Austin, TX
My 1921 Hardman-Peck 5'3 grand is, to put it lightly, tired. I bought it for a song, have done what I can to repair it so that it looked better and played better. Three and a half years have gone by, and now I have frustrating action problems that are random, and keep cropping up, skipping around from note to note.

For historical context, here is the beast: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/2326006/Searchpage/3/Main/157758/Words/%2Bhardman/Search/true/re-hardman-peck-baby-grand-piano.html#Post2326006

I hired a professional tech and piano restorer to inspect it. He felt it would be a waste of time and money to attempt to regulate my action, because literally everything that could possibly be "wrong" with an action is wrong. Also the amount of wear and tear on the whippens, combined with the fact that someone did a very poor job of replacing the hammers and hammer shanks in the 1970s, means it will always play somewhat sloppily.

I knew it needed a full action workup, new pinblock, new strings, and bridge work. The sound board, though free of cracks, is apparently flat. No crown is left on it. This surprised him a little bit because of how very loud the piano can be. He said it's common that when a soundboard goes flat, the piano decreases in projection (which I assume is an acronym for "volume" or "loudness" but I might be misinterpreting that.)

I'm still waiting on his itemized estimate. I'd like to mull it over, but I also feel pretty strongly that it won't be worth it, in terms of ROI. A significant part of this job would be the sound board, and it seems foolish to do all the other work without replacing the sound board.

He did not mention anything about re-crowning the sound board. I know some people are capable of taking the original wood and re-crowning it, but I have no knowledge of how that is done, or if it's easier to simply build a new soundboard from copying the old one.

I do not have the player system any longer. I removed it and gave it to someone who would use it for parts on their player piano.

Another sticking point is that this piano's sostenuto rail is missing. Completely gone. Maybe it was causing problems and it was removed rather than repaired.

What a mess. I got this piano for very little money. It's given me about what I expected for how much I paid, and I think it's time to move on.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2712960 - 02/09/18 03:55 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,865
Rich Galassini Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rich Galassini  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,865
Philadelphia/South Jersey
So, a 1921 Hardman Peck could have quite a range in quality. I am not sure when they stopped being an independent factory and when they began as a part of Aeolian. Certainly in the early 20th C. they made a very nice piano.

Musically, it may be a good candidate for rebuilding, but it is probably not a good investment if you are thinking about rebuilding it and then selling it.

I suggest that in your area, Bernard Mollberg piano restoration does beautiful work. He is in Blanco, Tx., which is not far from you. If you have never met him, please reach out to him.

Good luck,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
http://www.cunninghampiano.com/how-its-made/
#2712962 - 02/09/18 04:00 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,072
pianoloverus Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
pianoloverus  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,072
New York City
My guess is most posters will suggest replacing the piano. I would suggest that also, even if the cost for a new piano you like is somewhat more than rebuilding the piano. For two reasons:

1. The rebuilding work you mentioned doesn't include refinishing the case which would add at least 5K to the cost.

2. More importantly, you can't really be too sure how much you will like the touch and tone of the rebuilt piano, even if the rebuilding job is excellent. So unless you're not too fussy, you'd be taking a pretty big chance.

#2712972 - 02/09/18 04:13 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: pianoloverus]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
sopranojam85 Offline
Full Member
sopranojam85  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
Austin, TX
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
I suggest that in your area, Bernard Mollberg piano restoration does beautiful work. He is in Blanco, Tx., which is not far from you. If you have never met him, please reach out to him.

Good luck,


Yes, I have met Bernard on a couple of occasions. Actually, the person who I am considering for this job worked for Bernard for several years and honed his trade. So, I trust the skill of the guy I've requested.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
2. More importantly, you can't really be too sure how much you will like the touch and tone of the rebuilt piano, even if the rebuilding job is excellent. So unless you're not too fussy, you'd be taking a pretty big chance.


That's what I was thinking. Granted, most people who restore pianos argue the opposite is true. I find it non-sensical. You really won't know what you're getting til it's done.

(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#2713018 - 02/09/18 08:00 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,481
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Ed McMorrow, RPT  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,481
Seattle, WA USA
I have never seen a Harman-Peck grand that I thought would be worth rebuilding. The design is mediocre and even with a rebuilder who is skilled in improving on original scales would not return much increased musical value compared to the same rebuilder doing an Aeolian era 5'1" Chickering/Knabe scale for example. Or a Baldwin M.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
#2713019 - 02/09/18 08:05 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 4,930
JohnSprung Offline
4000 Post Club Member
JohnSprung  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 4,930
Reseda, California

Take your time and look at a lot of pianos. Odds are you'll discover something better than the proposed rebuild could be, for a similar price, and ready to move into your home. The rebuild would leave you without a piano, or on a temp or rental, for several months. See if you can give the Hardman Peck to a spec rebuilder -- or just give it away.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
#2713396 - 02/11/18 09:40 AM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,578
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LJC  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,578
New York
It seems like an easy choice..Spend the money on a better piano.

#2713484 - 02/11/18 03:08 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,395
PhilipInChina Offline
3000 Post Club Member
PhilipInChina  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,395
Bulgaria
On a brand like that, you will never get your money back, or even come close.

Replace it!


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2713486 - 02/11/18 03:15 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 728
Colin Dunn Offline
500 Post Club Member
Colin Dunn  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 728
Arvada, CO
The amount of rebuild work the OP described would easily run over $20,000. I hate the idea of sending an old piano to the dump, but replacing the piano is a better use of that kind of budget.


Colin Dunn
2018 Sight-Reading Challenge Longest Winning Streak: 21 days
Organizer, Denver Area Piano Group (https://www.meetup.com/Denver-Area-Piano-Group/)

Starr Artist Grand
Kimball 6750
Schafer & Sons SS-69
Samick SG-225
#2713492 - 02/11/18 03:29 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 346
DiarmuidD Offline
Full Member
DiarmuidD  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 346
I agree with the guys here. Spend your money wisely. Replace it.

#2713840 - 02/12/18 09:01 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,578
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LJC  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,578
New York
Make the case into a bookshelf for your music.

#2714241 - 02/14/18 10:59 AM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
sopranojam85 Offline
Full Member
sopranojam85  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
Austin, TX
The estimate from the rebuilder came. It's well over 25k, not including refinishing the case or obtaining some type of replacement sostenuto rod. It hurts to think that so many sturdy American-made pianos of this era are going to end up as scrap (i.e. a bookshelf, or possibly just in the dump.) But I know my finances will hurt more if I go down the restoration road with this one.

On one hand, I get that properly restoring them is a venture requiring hundreds of hours of highly skilled labor, tools, and specialized parts. On the other hand, it's sad that the only pianos like mine that will get this type of restoration treatment are a lucky few that are both family heirlooms, and in the hands of someone with the financial wherewithal to pay for the job.

I have to look at it like any other worldly possession. It's just material things, and doesn't matter. So I'm going to get this one out of here (hopefully to someone who will continue to play it but I won't be too picky) and continue my search for something newer.

I'm considering Yamaha. A C(x) would be nice, but that is a bit far outside my budget. Looking at some GP or GH series pianos soon, as well as some Kimballs. I'll play a bunch before I make up my mind, for sure.

#2714251 - 02/14/18 11:31 AM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 243
agraffe Online sad
Full Member
agraffe  Online Sad
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 243
Phoenix, AZ
Hi sopranojam85, I understand the pain involved in letting go of a beloved worldly possession you've outgrown. I don't think a piano is a mere thing to be discarded, so I would counsel you to spend some time and care in placing it in a new home, even as you search for a piano that meets your needs. Be picky in both searches, and you will be rewarded in knowing your old friend is in a better place.

#2714255 - 02/14/18 11:52 AM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,842
dogperson Offline
2000 Post Club Member
dogperson  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,842
Florida
I replaced an old piano..... and instead of selling it, I donated it to a small elementary school that did not have one at all. Made me happy to think it might encourage a first grader to learn a musical instrument


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
#2714292 - 02/14/18 02:50 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,395
PhilipInChina Offline
3000 Post Club Member
PhilipInChina  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,395
Bulgaria
It is a fact that if you do have $25,000 to spend, if you wave it under the nose of a dealer, you will get something very nice.

Why not look at pianos available in your area on the pianos for sale section of this site?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2715680 - 02/19/18 02:11 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
sopranojam85 Offline
Full Member
sopranojam85  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
Austin, TX
This search is taking some interesting turns. First of all, I played dozens of pianos over the weekend. A few at private residences, and bunches at some showrooms. The best-sounding used piano I played was a 1978 Kawai KG 3C (6' grand.) Very light use. Sounded absolutely fantastic.

The best sounding new piano - that was hard to decide. The Yamaha C series are outside my budget new, but I like both the C1 and C3. I couldn't find a C2 on any showroom floor. I really did not like any new "G" type Yamaha I played. I liked a used GP1 I played but not as much as I liked the Kawai.

Then I played a new 4'8" Hardman R143 grand. Let me tell you - I was blown away by it, and absolutely dumbfounded at how GOOD it sounded, and how awesome the action felt for being so small. I don't think this is my "dream" piano by ANY stretch, but it was surprisingly affordable, and might be a decent stepping stone to the next one in 10 or so years.

Then there was an assortment of brands I had seldom heard of and never played, most notable, Brodmann. My daughter's favorite was a Brodmann PE-162, but it is fairly outside my budget. The CE-175 is larger, a bit more affordable, but I wasn't too impressed with the sound/action. Anyway, I will need to give Brodmann some more serious thought. As I do more research, I am realizing this might be a very viable option if I go with something new / in warranty.

Still, NONE of this searching matters if I can't sell my current piano. My daughter is throwing me a major guilt trip for even mentioning selling it or giving it away. She wants to keep it. I have talked to a number of piano techs. One of them offered to help me a bit with repairing the action on my current piano, in order to make it more playable for now, and to perhaps help its resale value. I'm down for that. Namely, I have very worn center pin bushings on several of my hammer flanges. He offered to help me re-pin my hammer bushings with slightly larger center pins. Seems like a good idea. The hammers are currently so wobbly, they sometimes bump into their neighbors while playing.

Another thing that I think would help is new backchecks, and retensioning the repetition springs. If I can get a little help from a pro showing me how to do all of these things on a couple of notes, then that could get me started on a slightly-more-reliable and better regulated action on my existing piano. Worth a shot, right? I don't have anything to lose except the cost of the parts. Plus it may just convince me to keep this piano a little bit longer if it can help the playability issues.

#2715690 - 02/19/18 02:33 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,480
Carey Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Carey  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,480
Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted by sopranojam85
Still, NONE of this searching matters if I can't sell my current piano. My daughter is throwing me a major guilt trip for even mentioning selling it or giving it away. She wants to keep it. .

I don't understand your daughter's role in all of this. If it is YOUR piano and only YOU play it, then your daughter should have nothing to say about the matter. If your daughter is grown and doesn't live with you, then perhaps you can simply give her the old family heirloom since she is emotionally attached to it. If she still lives with you, and plays the current piano herself, I would think that a newer, better functioning instrument would be viewed as a positive thing.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
#2715692 - 02/19/18 02:35 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: Carey]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
sopranojam85 Offline
Full Member
sopranojam85  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
Austin, TX
Perhaps I can clarify. She plays it a lot too. She takes lessons. She is still in elementary school.

Of course I am leaning towards a replacement piano for many reasons. I think she's just being overly-sentimental. smile

#2715694 - 02/19/18 02:40 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,747
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,747
Oakland
One of the most expensive things that you can do is keep something that is worn out or does not suit your needs when it needs to be replaced. Your daughter needs to learn that, as well.


Semipro Tech
#2715698 - 02/19/18 02:56 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,480
Carey Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Carey  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,480
Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted by sopranojam85
Perhaps I can clarify. She plays it a lot too. She takes lessons. She is still in elementary school.

Of course I am leaning towards a replacement piano for many reasons. I think she's just being overly-sentimental. smile

Thanks for the clarification. Perhaps your daughter's teacher can get involved too by explaining to your daughter that the current piano may be holding her back.

I recently purchased a new upright. The Everett upright that graced our home for 43 years was given to my 39 year old daughter - who doesn't play anything other than "chopsticks" - but who wanted the family to keep the piano for sentimental reasons. (I was kind of attached to it as well, even though I rarely played it.) It looks terrific in her condo, and everyone is happy.

Good luck with your search !!!!!! .


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
#2715916 - 02/20/18 12:28 PM Re: Time for a change - to restore or replace [Re: sopranojam85]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
sopranojam85 Offline
Full Member
sopranojam85  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 51
Austin, TX
I appreciate all the feedback given. Yes, I agree that the sentimental guilt trip is not something I should allow to bend my decision making here.

My current Hardman-Peck has occasional problems with keys sticking, and when this occurs, I notice that the hammers are touching or rubbing against their neighbors. These hammers have a lot of excess play. On some, the center pins are slowly coming out. The "swing" test of these hammers gives about 10 swings before they stop. Clearly too loose. I've gone ahead and ordered a center pin punch, broach kit, an assortment of pin sizes, and will work with a local tech to get started replacing the hammer flange center pins. This will hopefully alleviate the current problems a bit, both for me (in the short term) and for whoever ends up taking this piano (in the long term.)

Plus, I may have other uses for those tools since I do repairs on electric pianos that have acoustic-like actions. (Wurlitzer 200s, and the like) Never hurts to have a center pin punch anyhow.


Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
CLEARANCE SPECIALS!
Save Big In our online store now

In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pianist Magazine
Pianist Magazine - Issue 100
(ad)
SummerKeys
Maine Coast Music Vacation for Adults
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Has Cadenza Consistency Improved?
by Justoneguy. 02/22/18 03:03 PM
Adilia Alieva International Piano Competition
by Piano World. 02/22/18 02:22 PM
"C" hammer??
by Sanfrancisco. 02/22/18 01:01 PM
Piano Movie: Making The Grade In Cinemas April 13th
by Chili_Time. 02/22/18 12:56 PM
Looking at Used Yamaha GC1 - Looking for opinions
by ecstudier. 02/22/18 10:59 AM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics184,397
Posts2,698,279
Members89,666
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0