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Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? #2761141
08/26/18 01:42 PM
08/26/18 01:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2
Brussels
B
Broqueville Offline OP
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Broqueville  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2018
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Brussels
Hello,

Delighted to have found this online resource.

I recently inherited a Weber Berlin upright piano and the expert (from a highly reputable company) who came to assess its condition told me it has damp and rust! In addition, seven of the ivory keys need replacing. Even if restored, he said he wouldn't recommend learning to play on it. I'm keen to start lessons as a complete adult beginner.

I haven't received his written assessment yet but he wasn't encouraging!

It is a beautiful object (walnut) and I'm tempted to have it restored to its former glory.

Is this a crazy notion? Is it even feasible?

Any advice/tips most welcome.

Thanks!

Broqueville

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Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: Broqueville] #2761147
08/26/18 02:12 PM
08/26/18 02:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,612
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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It would probably be cheaper to replace it with a newer piano in good condition than to restore this one.


Semipro Tech
Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: Broqueville] #2761198
08/26/18 07:31 PM
08/26/18 07:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,262
Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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Reseda, California

It can be rebuilt, but if rebuilt, it won't be worth the cost of the rebuild. Such pianos sometimes get rebuilt when the emotional attachment to the person you inherited it from is worth several extra thousands of dollars to you.

It wouldn't be a good choice for learning to play the piano, but it would be a good piano to use for learning to rebuild pianos.


-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
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Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: JohnSprung] #2761204
08/26/18 07:43 PM
08/26/18 07:43 PM
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Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
It wouldn't be a good choice for learning to play the piano, but it would be a good piano to use for learning to rebuild pianos.


Well, maybe. If it is a birdcage action, it is not a good candidate for that.


Semipro Tech
Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: Broqueville] #2761208
08/26/18 08:01 PM
08/26/18 08:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,262
Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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Oy, right. I forgot about the birdcage action....


-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: Broqueville] #2761315
08/27/18 11:47 AM
08/27/18 11:47 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,417
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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P W Grey  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2017
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New Hampshire
Only if it's worth it to you.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: Broqueville] #2761365
08/27/18 03:49 PM
08/27/18 03:49 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,002
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Steve Cohen Offline
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Piano Industry Consultant

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Family Owned and Operated Since 1937.

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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: Broqueville] #2761465
08/28/18 03:36 AM
08/28/18 03:36 AM
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Posts: 3,130
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joe80 Offline
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Who did you inherit the piano from? How much is the piano worth to you? Where is the damp and rust?

Of course any piano can be restored, but the further away you get from a modern design, the more laborious the task can be. By modern design I simply mean overstrung and under-damper.

I've seen some companies replace 'birdcage' (or over-damper) actions with modern under-damper actions, regardless of whether the piano is overstrung or straight strung. To be honest, musically speaking, if the upright is good, well designed, fairly tall, it doesn't really matter whether it is over-strung or straight-strung.

Next question, how much money do you have? To fully restore the piano to its former glory will cost you a minimum of 5000 Euros, and these days thats a conservative estimate. It's probably going to be more like 10,000 Euros to do the job properly. After the restoration, in theory the piano will be as good as it can be.

Keep in mind that for 10,000 Euros you can buy a new Yamaha U3, or a Kawai K800, both of which are excellent pianos and I'm they would be superior, musically, to your restored Weber Berlin.

Does the piano have an interesting case? If it has a particularly beautiful case that you would love to have in your home, AND the sentimental value is too high for you to not restore the piano, AND you feel it would be an instrument which meets your needs AND you're willing to spend the money, then yes go ahead and have the piano restored. Realise in doing so that you'll never be able to sell the piano for what you pay for the restoration, and enjoy the instrument.

If it were me, I wouldn't have this piano restored.

Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: Broqueville] #2763091
09/03/18 11:29 AM
09/03/18 11:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 72
New York, NY
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steinwayman18 Offline
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New York, NY
Not worth restoring any piano other than a Steinway (from a dollars and sense perspective).


Ronen

Park Avenue Pianos | Steinway Piano Reseller

https://www.steinwaygrand.com
Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: steinwayman18] #2763169
09/03/18 04:39 PM
09/03/18 04:39 PM
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joe80 Offline
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Originally Posted by steinwayman18
Not worth restoring any piano other than a Steinway (from a dollars and sense perspective).


Respectfully, this is an opinion I do not share:

Bösendorfer, C. Bechstein, Blüthner, Grotrian Steinweg, Ibach, are all pianos which I have seen rebuilt into exceptional musical instruments at a fraction of the cost of buying an equivalent new piano.

I don't know what the market is like in New York, but here in Britain it is true that a rebuilt Steinway (and I mean rebuilt by Steinways or another reputable firm who can do the same job) is more valuable on the open market than a rebuilt other brand. However, once you take into account how much one spends on the restoration of that Steinway - which due to the cost of parts is always more than the other brands - one isn't really making more money after the sale of the piano.

Of course it's a different scenario at dealers where a rebuilt Steinway may cost twice as much as a rebuilt Blüthner, and still only be two thirds of the cost of the same new Steinway, but at the end of the day, if the customer who bought that rebuilt Steinway from the dealer wants to sell it on, they're almost certainly not, in the UK, going to get back more than they paid for it in the first 10 years after buying it.

In my opinion, Steinways ARE worth restoring, they can be very beautiful pianos, but they're not necessarily the best piano musically or financially. Musically it depends on the taste of the pianist, and financially it depends on the circumstances of the buyer.

Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: joe80] #2763176
09/03/18 04:54 PM
09/03/18 04:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,262
Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,262
Reseda, California
Originally Posted by joe80
Originally Posted by steinwayman18
Not worth restoring any piano other than a Steinway (from a dollars and sense perspective).


Respectfully, this is an opinion I do not share:

Bösendorfer, C. Bechstein, Blüthner, Grotrian Steinweg, Ibach, .....



+1. Here in the States, these same high quality makes merit rebuilding, too.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: Broqueville] #2763178
09/03/18 04:58 PM
09/03/18 04:58 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,612
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
It would not necessarily be a bad thing to restore an American Weber of the time when they were a good brand. I did that once.


Semipro Tech
Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: Broqueville] #2763258
09/03/18 11:50 PM
09/03/18 11:50 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,591
NYC
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RealPlayer Offline
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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,591
NYC
BDB, how did it turn out?

I used to have a 7' Weber from around 1917. I pretty much beat the heck out of it. I gave it away to someone here on Piano World who promised to restore it. I liked that piano!

It was from the Aeolian period. I imagine a pre-Aeolian Weber could be quite nice, more authentic to Weber's intent.

Re: Worth restoring a 19th century Weber? [Re: Broqueville] #2763260
09/04/18 12:00 AM
09/04/18 12:00 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,612
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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It was a decent piano. I cannot remember the details too well, but I think it was from just before the non-competition agreement with Steinway. It was just hammers and strings, but it lasted the owner for quite a while. I think she sold it when she got a better piano.


Semipro Tech

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