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Heintzman & Co. project opinion #2900530
10/15/19 04:56 PM
10/15/19 04:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Detorit, MI
D
D.P. Offline OP
Junior Member
D.P.  Offline OP
Junior Member
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Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Detorit, MI
Hello everyone,

I found a old vertical piano on sale locally and wanted some more input before I move on anything. So far, it’s made by Heintzman & Co. of Toronto Canada. I didn’t take the serial number down so I’m guessing it’s at least early 1900s in make. I’m planning on having a local tech slowly bring it back to good working condition, so in the beginning I’m only concerned with getting it playable. All else will come after.

Currently it’s out of tune, but not horrible so. On my pitch tuning app(if it can be trusted)I found most keys to be within -10c flat with the last three keys in the bass at -20c. A few in the treble were either right on still or sharp. A two or so keys were a bit twangy, but not bad. I was also very surprised to hear how deep and clear the base keys are on it was. It’s something I’ve not heard before on a piano like this. No keys got stuck, but they did feel heavy and made playing softly difficult. I didn’t feel confident to take the front panel off so I don’t have pics of the action from the front. I did get pics of the bottom half though.

The local tech so far says he’s never encountered a bad piano from this maker and all of them took well to tuning despite their age. Any experience from other forum members with vertical pianos from this maker?
I’ll add pics as soon as I can figure out how to.

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Re: Heintzman & Co. project opinion [Re: D.P.] #2900561
10/15/19 06:30 PM
10/15/19 06:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Detorit, MI
D
D.P. Offline OP
Junior Member
D.P.  Offline OP
Junior Member
D

Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Detorit, MI

Re: Heintzman & Co. project opinion [Re: D.P.] #2900605
10/15/19 09:10 PM
10/15/19 09:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,266
Toronto, Ontario
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Peter K. Mose  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,266
Toronto, Ontario
Heintzmans were fine pianos in their day, known and respected across Canada, and built here in Toronto. They seldom migrated south of the border, for some reason. But an American might put their pianos in the same league as an older fine US make such as Baldwin or Mason & Hamlin. These beefy old Heintzman uprights will play the pants off nearly all Asian uprights when it comes to sound. Their actions are not great, but ok.

Re: Heintzman & Co. project opinion [Re: D.P.] #2900614
10/15/19 11:24 PM
10/15/19 11:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Detorit, MI
D
D.P. Offline OP
Junior Member
D.P.  Offline OP
Junior Member
D

Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Detorit, MI
Thanks for the reply. I think there's some potential there, I just have to work to bring it out. I have the option of a newer Chinese made piano, which I think is decent, but the Heintzman has a much bigger sound to it. Even in its sorry state.

Any experience with pulling these older uprights to pitch? It's been in the current owners family for quite some time, and they don't remember ever having it tuned. Hasn't stopped any of them from playing it it seems.

Last edited by D.P.; 10/15/19 11:26 PM.
Re: Heintzman & Co. project opinion [Re: D.P.] #2904259
10/25/19 12:04 AM
10/25/19 12:04 AM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Detorit, MI
D
D.P. Offline OP
Junior Member
D.P.  Offline OP
Junior Member
D

Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Detorit, MI
Hi everyone.

Just an update. I ended up taking a chance and going for it and had it moved to my home. I had a local tech who likes with working on older pianos attempt a tuning and check-over on it. So far it's in need of some work with replacing old key felts and bridle straps. The middle strings will continue to sound somewhat for a little after letting off the keys, so there's that as well. Otherwise, it took very well to the tuning and sounds quite nice. Tuning pins were very tight and the strings are original. Keys haven't yellowed much at all. Overall it's in pretty good shape for it's age.

I think I made out ok with this one. Definitely a upgrade from my old spinet, especially in the sound.

Re: Heintzman & Co. project opinion [Re: D.P.] #2904298
10/25/19 03:16 AM
10/25/19 03:16 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,967
Scotland
D
David Boyce Online content
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David Boyce  Online Content
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,967
Scotland
On the notes that are ringing on, how firm are the damper springs? If they are pushcing the dampers against the strings firmly, then probably you need new damper felts. If the dampers are not very firmly pushed against the strings, there might be weak or broken damper springs. New damper felts would probably be a good idea anyway. A fiddly but not an enormous job.

I think you will end up with a great piano!


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