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Knabe 1880 Grand Piano #2729508
04/16/18 09:30 PM
04/16/18 09:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3
Baltimore, MD, USA
J
J. Broadwater Offline OP
Junior Member
J. Broadwater  Offline OP
Junior Member
J
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3
Baltimore, MD, USA
All,

I am interested in a 1880 Knabe Grand Piano that has been restored. I played it a few days ago and it has a lovely sound and action. As you might have already guessed given the age of instrument, there are only 85 keys on the piano, but unlike other pianos, they start at C1 (not A0) and go up to C8. Has anyone seen a piano keyboard like this before? For someone who is moving into intermediate piano playing and looking to play music from Beethoven to Gershwin to Philip Glass etudes, is this alternative keyboard design going to be an issue later on?

Thanks,
Joshua

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Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: J. Broadwater] #2729618
04/17/18 12:53 PM
04/17/18 12:53 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,442
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
1000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,442
New Hampshire
Never seen one before. If you really like it and can afford it, don't worry about the resale of it later. Yes, it probably will be an issue, so if money is an issue, don't get into it.

My .02

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: J. Broadwater] #2729636
04/17/18 01:57 PM
04/17/18 01:57 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,203
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
JohnSprung  Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
J
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,203
Reseda, California

Have a tuner/tech look at it. A Knabe that old will either have a very old fashioned action for which most parts are not available, or a modern replacement such as Renner. I had a 1902 Knabe with the old action, and when the block failed, it wasn't worth a rebuild.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: JohnSprung] #2729713
04/17/18 07:01 PM
04/17/18 07:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3
Baltimore, MD, USA
J
J. Broadwater Offline OP
Junior Member
J. Broadwater  Offline OP
Junior Member
J
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3
Baltimore, MD, USA
I’ve talked to the gentleman who restored it six years ago who is a certified piano technician with the PTG. He kept accurate notes on what he did. The hammers, shanks, dampers, and whippens were all replaced, but the original ivory/ebony keyset was reused. The soundboard was in good shape and was restored. He put in new strings, but he didn’t replace the pinblock (the owners only had so much money). He said it was in good shape and was original; so the new pins took to it well although I realize it can only take one more stringing before the block absolutely has to be replaced.

Then I had an independent piano technician certified through the PTG look at it with me. She’s gave it a B+ and said it really only needed to be voiced and regulated. She spent 3 hours going over the piano and walking me through it all. Pinblock, soundboard, and action looked good to her and the piano had clearly been in an environmentally controlled area since it’s restoration. She told me it was clearly restored well to feel like the piano would have back when it was built.

So it’s a good 6’ 2” grand piano. It needs to be refinished, but I may just have them touch it up and keep what I’m lovingly referring to as “patina.”

I want to make sure I can continue to grow as a player and the odd seven octave design starting at C1 concerns me. For the past 4 years I’ve been learning on a 1905 Kimball spinnet (which my piano tech said is amazing we’re still getting anything good out of it); so maybe anything at this point is better. They are asking $7500 for the Knabe. Reasonable?

Thanks for the comments so far!

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Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: J. Broadwater] #2729759
04/18/18 12:30 AM
04/18/18 12:30 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,571
Bulgaria
PhilipInChina Offline
3000 Post Club Member
PhilipInChina  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,571
Bulgaria
I would say that sounds expensive.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: J. Broadwater] #2729766
04/18/18 01:19 AM
04/18/18 01:19 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 983
H
huaidongxi Offline
500 Post Club Member
huaidongxi  Offline
500 Post Club Member
H
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 983
as far as 'only' 85 notes on the keyboard, seven octaves is quite compatible with the great majority of piano scores. a performing pianist has a legitimate concern about the repertory that requires notes at the extremes of the conventional (until late 19th century) range of the piano ; for the rest of us, for every composition that won't quite fit into those seven octaves, there's probably a few thousand others that can.

Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: J. Broadwater] #2729815
04/18/18 08:45 AM
04/18/18 08:45 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,442
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
1000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,442
New Hampshire
The very fact that you are here inquiring about this "different" aspect of this piano proves that it will be an issue for any other buyer, now or on the future. It is really very difficult to assess whether the piano us fairly priced or not. The tech you hired to assess it for you would be the best one to do that since she has actually seen it.

Ultimately though, I repeat...if you like the way it plays and sounds (or are confident your tech can get it that way), then simply buy it or negotiate the best price you can. The seller may not be interested in negotiating (and that's perfectly fine) but you don't know unless you try.

But if you intend this to be a transitional piano (i.e. going to sell it after using for a while and get a better one), then you're probably going to lose some $ in the process (but that is not necessarily bad either if it suits your purpose now).

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: J. Broadwater] #2729911
04/18/18 02:23 PM
04/18/18 02:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,203
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
JohnSprung  Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
J
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,203
Reseda, California

Given that it has a six year old modern action and the block and board are in good shape, $7500 could be a good deal. Look at comps in stores, ask your tech...


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: J. Broadwater] #2730193
04/19/18 03:30 PM
04/19/18 03:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 559
Columbus, GA
S
S. Phillips Offline
500 Post Club Member
S. Phillips  Offline
500 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 559
Columbus, GA
I would pass. I think the price is too high. You will lose money (maybe not an issue for you) if you try to sell. Even though work was done, it may not hold up to any real playing. 85 note pianos have very reduced value in the market. Too many possibilites for failure of other parts at that age.


Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.pianoperfectllc.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: J. Broadwater] #2730253
04/19/18 06:49 PM
04/19/18 06:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,548
🎹
Retsacnal Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
Retsacnal  Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,548
🎹
Put me in the camp that says the price seems a little high.

On the other hand, if you love it and it gets a clean bill of health from your technician, then it's up to you whether or not you'll pay that much for it. But don't be afraid to haggle.


if you're content with A V E R A G E . . . then just do what everyone else does
Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: J. Broadwater] #2730465
04/20/18 09:44 PM
04/20/18 09:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3
Baltimore, MD, USA
J
J. Broadwater Offline OP
Junior Member
J. Broadwater  Offline OP
Junior Member
J
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 3
Baltimore, MD, USA
When it rains, it pours. There is a 1890 7’ 4” Knabe Grand Piano available for $9500. Apparently the piano was fully rebuilt and has all 88 keys and sustenuto pedal (or at least has a bass sustain). Same art case in rosewood, just larger and with all the usual keys and pedals of a modern piano. Better to put my money there (if the RPT says it’s ok of course)? I’m going to see when I can go play it as it is not immediately local. Thoughts?

Again, thank you for all the comments and discussion!

Re: Knabe 1880 Grand Piano [Re: J. Broadwater] #2730564
04/21/18 11:42 AM
04/21/18 11:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,548
🎹
Retsacnal Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
Retsacnal  Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,548
🎹
Originally Posted by J. Broadwater
larger and with all the usual keys and pedals of a modern piano. Better to put my money there (if the RPT says it’s ok of course)?


I would say yes, this is a better piano to pursue (especially given your concerns about the other), with the usual "all other things being equal" caveat. The price is not equal, of course. Rebuilt antique Knabes don't trade with enough frequency to really put a general sort of market value on it. It's really down to how much you like the piano and are willing to pay for it.

If it's been rebuilt, then the obvious questions are when, and what was done? Most important is its overall condition right now, but to some extent that will probably factor in to how much you like it as well.

As you've indicated, be sure to have it inspected.


if you're content with A V E R A G E . . . then just do what everyone else does

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