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Re: Where in the room should I fit a grand piano? [Re: Jack Knuckle] #2748579
07/01/18 04:03 PM
07/01/18 04:03 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 130
Chicago
J
John305 Online content
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John305  Online Content
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Joined: May 2018
Posts: 130
Chicago
Gorgeous!


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
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Re: Where in the room should I fit a grand piano? [Re: Jack Knuckle] #2748583
07/01/18 04:21 PM
07/01/18 04:21 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 626
Melville Saskatchewan
F
FrankCox Offline
500 Post Club Member
FrankCox  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 626
Melville Saskatchewan
What is that wooden doodad on the wall just behind the piano lid?

I initially thought it was one of those things churches use to display the hymn numbers, but the more I look at it the less it looks like that.


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
We got both kinds of music: Country and Western!
Casio Celviano AP-650
Re: Where in the room should I fit a grand piano? [Re: Fareham] #2748587
07/01/18 04:35 PM
07/01/18 04:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 13
J
Jack Knuckle Offline OP
Junior Member
Jack Knuckle  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by tend to rush
Seething - just seething with envy.


Haha - but don't assume that because I have a house large enough to accommodate a 6 foot 7 inch grand piano and a four manual organ I must be loaded. I live in the dodgiest part of my town and drive a twenty year old car but am very particular to ensure I get my priorities right!

Originally Posted by Fareham
I'm glad you happenstanced on the old fishtail Bechsteins. IMHO they are one of the best mid-sized pianos of pre-WWI, and I had around 20-30 of them through my hands over a 15 year period, many moons ago. I think this would have been one of the last fishtails before the 'modern' models A --> E, if the fall board is original - I'm sure you will have looked up the date from its serial number. I know of a dozen of them in private hands of that age, and they just keep going and going and going ... and sound very nice, even if the action on many need attention.

I had a rebuilt model IV - all 7' 4" of it (everything except soundboard replaced) for nearly 20 years, before moving to a 1985 S&S 'D'. The only things I did 'wrong' were to have its case stripped and black polyestered, and red felt used throughout instead of that blue / green (which I've never much liked). By the look of the photos, that's one of the best finished I've seen in years, and I'm sure it plays as well as it looks.

Good stuff.


Interesting comments thanks. Roberts pianos in Oxford rate the Bechstein V as being among the very best pianos ever made, and not only because when restored they come out so well. I looked at but passed on a couple of theirs before selecting this but what they had restored was also of very fine quality. I take your point about the felt - mine is all green which goes well with other things in the room and I vastly prefer it to the ghastly pale blue felt of later Bechsteins (could anyone confirm if green was the "correct" colour in Bechsteins of this era as most of the ones that I have seen prior to 1905 are green?) At what point did the fallboard decal change from "C. Bechstein - Hof-Lieferant Sr. Maj des Kaisers u.Konigs Berlin" to "C. Bechstein"? I've seen several Vs from around 1094, just before the change to model B, with the shortened "C. Bechstein" label, and a few from the 1890s with the longer label. My piano's serial number dates it to 1900, the year that Mr C. Bechstein died. My fallboard letters are definitely inlaid brass rather than decal though I suppose the fallboard might have come from a later model if they are interchangable. I prefer the simplicity of the shortened title in any case.

I expect there are a few non-period features on mine. At the top of the side legs of earlier Vs is a sort of scroll design whereas mine has a much simpler molding. I think the lyre legs are original though I've seen Vs with turned legs and Vs with square profile but curved legs like a real musical lyre. Of course the black polyester finish is modern, but I really like it. I can't imagine that the best French polisher would be able to create such a perfect mirror finish, which is what I presume it would originally have come with if it was finished in black. Friends who have seen it but aren't sufficiently knowledgeable about pianos to recognise the significance of the fishtail end all think it is brand new and are stunned when I tell them it is nearly 120 years old. The hammers and shanks are Abel, the tied action has been replaced with capstans and the strings Paulello - I doubt they would have been available in 1900! The bench is new but designed to complement the octagonal legs of the piano. So how much of the piano (apart from the case, keys and soundboard) is truly 1900 Bechstein and how much is 2017 SAP? I don't know - but also I don't really care. SAP have done the most fabulous restoration/rebuild and if this is typical of their work then unreservedly I can give them the highest praise.






Re: Where in the room should I fit a grand piano? [Re: Jack Knuckle] #2748603
07/01/18 06:16 PM
07/01/18 06:16 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,778
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Online content
8000 Post Club Member
Carey  Online Content
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,778
Phoenix, Arizona
It appears that "Option One"( which you ended using) was the most popular option among those responding to your original post. Thank you for following up and letting us now how everything turned out. Glad you were able to keep the corner cabinet in the room. The piano is beautiful - and your home built organ is impressive. Wishing you many heppy years of music making !! thumb


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Re: Where in the room should I fit a grand piano? [Re: Jack Knuckle] #2750443
07/09/18 01:53 PM
07/09/18 01:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 418
G
GC13 Offline
Full Member
GC13  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 418
What a lovely piano! Congratulations on your new instrument.

Re: Where in the room should I fit a grand piano? [Re: Jack Knuckle] #2750504
07/10/18 01:46 AM
07/10/18 01:46 AM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 415
Rural UK
F
Fareham Offline
Full Member
Fareham  Offline
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Joined: May 2017
Posts: 415
Rural UK
Originally Posted by Jack Knuckle
Of course the black polyester finish is modern, but I really like it. I can't imagine that the best French polisher would be able to create such a perfect mirror finish, which is what I presume it would originally have come with if it was finished in black.


I have no idea if it's true, but I was told in the 1960's by a specialist French polisher, that Bechstein had a finishing shop for the cases that was 70,000 square feet in size (around 2 acres). They had 3 or 4 guys whose job was to add a layer of polish to each case in turn and then move on to the next piano and repeat the dose. He thought that it took around 10-15 minutes to put on a coat, and a piano might have 2 or 3 coats each week. The piano would stay in the case finishing shop for around 15 months, going in as a raw case, and coming out with the 'piano finish' - which Rolls-Royce attempted to emulate on their cars. The thick outer veneer was traditionally pear wood for the black stained cases, presumably chosen for its ability to take stain evenly.

Originally Posted by Jack Knuckle
So how much of the piano (apart from the case, keys and soundboard) is truly 1900 Bechstein and how much is 2017 SAP? I don't know - but also I don't really care. SAP have done the most fabulous restoration/rebuild and if this is typical of their work then unreservedly I can give them the highest praise.


I think that's exactly the right attitude to take. There is an old legal saw about the validity of changing parts which asks if an axe which has had its head and shaft replaced at different times is still the original axe, when clearly none of the original still exists. Of course, like most philosophical arguments, you can debate that one forever and a day. My own view is that it's the combination of the soundboard and rim which goes to make up the character of an instrument, and as long as they are left pretty much as originally built, then it continues to be the same piano.

But then, what do I know ?


The English may not like music much, but they love the sound it makes ... Beecham
Re: Where in the room should I fit a grand piano? [Re: Jack Knuckle] #2750723
07/11/18 05:35 AM
07/11/18 05:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,003
B
barbaram Offline

1000 Post Club Member
barbaram  Offline

1000 Post Club Member
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Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,003
Congratulations on your beautiful piano!

Re: Where in the room should I fit a grand piano? [Re: Jack Knuckle] #2750975
07/12/18 01:35 PM
07/12/18 01:35 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,550
SE USA
WhoDwaldi Offline
2000 Post Club Member
WhoDwaldi  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,550
SE USA
Dang! That turned out well! Much envy.


WhoDwaldi
Re: Where in the room should I fit a grand piano? [Re: Jack Knuckle] #2751271
07/13/18 05:18 PM
07/13/18 05:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 29
New York, NY
K
Kenji13 Offline
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 29
New York, NY
What a beautiful piano! I would say option 5, because you have more space for your arms and piano is protected from sun light. You have a wonderful music room! Congratulations!


"Men can do all things if they will" ...Kenji...
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