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1963 Chickering for eight year old beginner? #2940159 01/29/20 09:54 AM
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MarlaJackspiano Offline OP
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Hi! I have an opportunity to purchase a 1963 Chickering Console from a reputable piano dealer for our eight year old beginner? Does anyone have or know of Chickering Uprights? The information on the web is kind of scarce. I see a lot about the grand pianos. They have an interesting history. Does anyone own or know of one from around that time? Are they good pianos? Hoping to get at least five happy years out of it. Thanks so much!

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Re: 1963 Chickering for eight year old beginner? [Re: MarlaJackspiano] #2940178 01/29/20 10:33 AM
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Carey Offline
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Is this the 1963 Chickering console on sale at Ellis Piano in Birmingham? (I just did a quick internet search and found that one immediately)..

IF SO - With a piano that old, current condition is everything, and you really won't know its current condition unless you have it checked out by a independent technician.

The casework looks a little beat up. No photos provided of the inner workings. No way to tell how the piano sounds.

Don't know what they are asking, but personally I wouldn't pay more than $800 - 1,000 for a Chickering console of that age in good condition.

I don't know what your budget limitations are (we all have them) , but you might do better with something newer - or even a good digital piano.


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Re: 1963 Chickering for eight year old beginner? [Re: MarlaJackspiano] #2940186 01/29/20 10:45 AM
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Carey Offline
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To answer your question regarding initial quality, Chickering consoles built by Aeolian in Rochester NY in the early 1960s were considered to be of average quality.

But again- this is not a new piano. Whether it is appropriate for your son at this time really depends on its current condition.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
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Re: 1963 Chickering for eight year old beginner? [Re: MarlaJackspiano] #2940192 01/29/20 10:56 AM
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terminaldegree Offline
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I would not recommend a 57 year old console for a beginner, no matter what the brand, honestly. It's probably mostly original, pretty tired, and the touch and tone of console style pianos are pretty compromised. When you get to 44-46" studio sized pianos and larger, at least the actions are not what are called "compressed".

Under $1,000, just get the best new digital setup you can, with 88 hammer action, weighted, graded keys, a bench that adjusts to the correct height, a sturdy stand (not a single "x" stand), and a pedal that looks like a real piano pedal, instead of a foot switch. Between $1,000-2,000, used acoustic upright pianos (if thoroughly inspected by a technician, prior to purchase) or new mid-range digitals (both slab and console style) are viable options. Above $2,000, more viable used acoustics pop up, though there certainly are higher end digital options out there that work for certain situations as well. At $4,000, you start seeing used acoustic uprights of well-regarded brands in the more desirable 48"+ sizes from well-established makers, as well as entry level new acoustic uprights.

Since I've linked to it a couple times fairly recently, you may find this article of some use while looking at used acoustic pianos:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/how-to-inspect-a-used-piano-before-buying/


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: 1963 Chickering for eight year old beginner? [Re: MarlaJackspiano] #2940318 01/29/20 03:18 PM
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P W Grey Offline
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Pianos are designed with a 30-40 year lifespan, at which point they begin needing significant work. Even when kept in a pristine environment, the forces inherent in a modern piano create degradation that only gets worse over time. Chickering also got into the plastic parts craze (first generation), though I don't know what years are involved (I had to condemn one a few years ago as NWR).

Any used instrument you purchase (including from a dealer) should be thoroughly inspected by a competent technician not involved with the sale. (Insurance).

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: 1963 Chickering for eight year old beginner? [Re: MarlaJackspiano] #2940331 01/29/20 04:23 PM
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MarlaJackspiano Offline OP
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Thank you for all of your thoughtful and helpful replies. I’m leaning toward not getting it although I really want her to have the feel of practicing at a “real” piano that I had growing up. A new piano is just not in the budget right now. I have a Casio CDP 135 that I actually enjoy playing. It’s weighted and sounds pretty good to me. Maybe she will too? The search continues!! I haven’t totally ruled it out, but I am leaning away from it. Thanks!

Re: 1963 Chickering for eight year old beginner? [Re: Carey] #2940334 01/29/20 04:27 PM
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MarlaJackspiano Offline OP
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Sorry. For some reason, I didn’t see your response until just now. Yes. You are right! 😉

Last edited by MarlaJackspiano; 01/29/20 04:28 PM.
Re: 1963 Chickering for eight year old beginner? [Re: Carey] #2940336 01/29/20 04:30 PM
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MarlaJackspiano Offline OP
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Thank you. That is what I was wondering. I wondered if it was a rare jewel. “Average” kind of gives it a new perspective.


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