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I just got a used babyGrand
#2963356 04/03/20 03:42 PM
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Hello everyone,

Today a free baby grand piano was delivered to my house. My daughter has played for a while (she has a yamaha keyboard) and i will be starting lessons soon.

The piano seems to be in need of TLC.

The sound board looks old dirty and dusty.
Should i just tune it?? replace entire piano action?

I would appreciate some suggestions to a newbie like me please.

Here are some pictures.:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l9v81q6fmhzjj3o/AADriCE6kvMO-21_ANj9NsPma?dl=0

Thanks in advance

Carvie

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Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Carvie #2963366 04/03/20 03:59 PM
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Nobody could possibly give you reliable advice by just looking at some photos. It could be perfectly fine or need a complete overhaul. Only a professional inspection will determine what it needs.

Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Carvie #2963368 04/03/20 04:01 PM
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If you posting pictures on technicians forum, it is expected that these will be pictures of the inside and not the outside wink

You need piano technician to look at this, there is no other way, there can be thousands of things wrong in a piano (It's not a metaphor), prepare for expenses but as I understand, only begginers will play on it so it doesn't have to be perfect

Re: I just got a used babyGrand
ambrozy #2963373 04/03/20 04:15 PM
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I added pictures of the inside. And yes it will mostly beginners so it doesnt have to be perfect.

I am planning to hire a professional to come take a look so they can do an inspection. But due to Covid19 we are on a state lockdown. that is why i posted here just get you guys opinion.

Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Carvie #2963384 04/03/20 04:44 PM
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Unfortunately, it looks bad, there will be a "few hundred little things" to fix. Firstly tuning pins tightness and downbearing (the angle at which the strings press on the bridge) should be checked, if one of those things are not good enough it's probably not worth fixing this piano

can you pull the action out and take some pictures of it?

Last edited by ambrozy; 04/03/20 04:47 PM.
Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Carvie #2963402 04/03/20 05:34 PM
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Did you measure the current tuning?

Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Hakki #2963410 04/03/20 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Did you measure the current tuning?

I will do it later on using Entropy app. I will also pull the action out and take some pictures of it.
I think i can figure out how to do it.

thanks

Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Carvie #2963436 04/03/20 07:15 PM
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greetings,
The only picture that seems to indicate a technical condition is the tuning pins. I suspect that they have been driven down, and perhaps doped with Garfields. neither of these condition bode well. There are some things that you have to get, at least, to minimum standards and the first one is the tunability of the piano. If the pins are untunable, you will do well to spend no more than the cartage to get rid of it. I don't see any way that it will be more than a money pit.

Pianos don't have to be 'perfect' for a beginner, but a poor one makes learning that much harder.
Regards,

Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Ed Foote #2963444 04/03/20 07:31 PM
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Yikes. Not very encouraging words. : (

Nevertheless I uploaded pictures of the action.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l9v81q6fmhzjj3o/AADriCE6kvMO-21_ANj9NsPma?dl=0

Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Carvie #2963450 04/03/20 07:45 PM
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The action does not look that bad, but I am concerned about the spacing of the one key in the bass, where the back does not seem evenly spaced.

It looks like the hammers were filed some time ago, which is an indication that it had at least a little care in its lifetime. That is a good sign.

Does the piano have any really bad unisons? That is my biggest concern with old pianos. If not, chances are you can get a little more life out of it.


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Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Carvie #2963453 04/03/20 08:01 PM
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Hammers looks salvageable, hammer shanks have integrated knuckle, this probably means it wasn't very top of the line piano wink but if they are not worn to wood it should be functional, dampers need work for sure and new felt on top section (something probably fell on them)

but if the pinblock is not good, this piano is not worth repairing

Quote

Pianos don't have to be 'perfect' for a beginner, but a poor one makes learning that much harder.


exactly, and playing on bad piano can be very discouraging

do some recording of that piano

Last edited by ambrozy; 04/03/20 08:03 PM.
Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Carvie #2963477 04/03/20 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Carvie
I added pictures of the inside. And yes it will mostly beginners so it doesnt have to be perfect.
.


This can be true but it's more to the point to define what beginners do need.

Let's start by identifying different components of music learning:
A) Like many thing it is fact learning -- "this is 4/4 time" a mark on this line means "A" , etc etc.
B) It is ear learning... "C" sounds like this ... a C major chord sounds like this ... this is how a G minor seventh chord sounds ... etc. etc.
C) It is also muscle learning. An example of muscle learning is when you go to reach for the headlights in your new car and they aren't where your body learned they were in the old car. In music one learns control over where the notes are and how hard to press them.

So, here's what a beginner does need in terms of piano performance. They don't need a new 9' concert grand -- or anything close to that -- but they do need:

1) A piano that can be in tune (the notes agree with each other) at the correct pitch level. It's not fair to a beginner to be forced to play the wrong note when the hit the correct key because "C" is sounding at "B". Unlike all other stringed instruments which must be tuned every time they are played, a piano will stay in tune much longer -- maybe several months. But if a piano has gone several years, it may take a couple of appointments to make the tuning stable at the correct pitch level. If tuning pins are loose or there are other structural issues, additional restorative work may be needed in order for the instrument to be tunable.

2) Mechanical consistency. In addition to the tone-producing part of the piano, there is also a complex mechanism to transfer the player's finger movements at the key through the hammers to the strings so it will sound. This mechanical system tends not to get much attention even when a piano is regularly tuned -- thus continuing to degrade in performance. Someone learning the piano must have a consistent key response so they don't subconsciously learn that "C is harder to play than B" and "This F note sometimes strikes twice with just one finger press". Music is the flow of sound through time and anything interrupting that flow interrupts the process of making music. Also, one of the most difficult skills for the beginner to learn is "expression". It is extremely difficult to learn musical expression when the action is so out of adjustment that notes won't play softly or won't repeat.

So, in tune and a properly adjusted action that gives control and consistency. That's what beginners definitely do need.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Carvie #2963481 04/03/20 11:35 PM
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kpembrook you're a wonderful person

Re: I just got a used babyGrand
Carvie #2963581 04/04/20 09:13 AM
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It looks like a low quality piano that needs work.
Could you possibly post up a recording? Just play a chromatic scale and some octaves if you’re self conscious about playing a piece.

Remember, a free piano is never free. If you’re really going to subject a beginner to it, immediately get a technician out to service and evaluate this piano. Beginners get frustrated with pianos that don’t work properly and sometimes quit because of this. It’s obvious that there are issues lurking here.


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Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: I just got a used babyGrand
kpembrook #2963586 04/04/20 10:12 AM
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Thank you. As a beginner I am already learning a lot from you guys.

My 16 yr old daughter is already in love w this piano.
I would hate to tell her the piano is insalvable. If it can not be tuned properly and/or it will be a money pit I would rather get rid of it.

I only noticed 2 keys that sound like “unison”.

I called piano shops nearby and due to covid19 they don’t want to come just yet.
I guess having a professional come by will have to wait.

As far as playing something for you guys I am a beginner and can’t play.

I will try and record all keys starting from the left (bass) side. And going all the way down to first key.

Thank you all. This community is amazing.
.


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