2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
67 members (clothearednincompo, agent8698, Badger1966, 36251, CyberGene, CoogerTown, anotherscott, Blague, claburo, 16 invisible), 506 guests, and 419 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
#3027571 09/21/20 04:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,100
6000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,100
Relatives of mine own an old Bösendorfer grand that they want to get rid of. It’s been stored vertically for years in a room and there were so many stuff around it I could only check it’s 85 keys, Viennese action and in a condition that’s unclear. They can give it to me if I like although I don’t have a place to store it and might not be able to test it soon if at all. When I saw the Viennese action I said “no way”. But I’ve never played one. Is it that bad? Is an old Bösendorfer worth it supposing it’s not trash? Will storing it vertically for so long destroy it? Just wondering whether I should give them green light to use it for firecrackers or it may be worth investing in a modest restoration?

Last edited by CyberGene; 09/21/20 04:45 PM.

My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027572 09/21/20 04:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 679
S
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 679
If you want to play it, there is no such thing as a modest restoration. What year? Serial number? That will tell you a lot about it. If it is a later version they play like a truck, if it is a true period instrument prior to 1860 it would be easier to make it playable. Pictures would help a lot. You can't change the action to a conventional action because the strike points of the hammers are so radically different. How long is it?

Last edited by S. Phillips; 09/21/20 04:53 PM.

Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.steinwaypiano.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027576 09/21/20 04:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,100
6000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,100
It was so full of stuff there I couldn’t find the serial number... Here are some pictures I made but they are some silly close ups, so not sure if they can give even the slightest idea:
https://imgur.com/a/nLcQA2p


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027581 09/21/20 05:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,254
S
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,254
Is it straight strung or overstrung?


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck.
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027620 09/21/20 07:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,256
T
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,256
I played one that the owner claimed was "just worked on by a technician". It was atrocious...(okay to be fair, some of the keys were sticking, maybe due to humidity, maybe because he didn't actually get it serviced recently).

Get a normal action.

Last edited by trigalg693; 09/21/20 07:25 PM.
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027621 09/21/20 07:27 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,108
L
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,108
I am no expert but that does not look promising at all.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T "I wish I had the room to keep you around"
August Forster 215
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027624 09/21/20 07:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,461
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,461
I do not believe that Bosendorfer would produce a piano with an atrocious action. Whether this particular piano is good or not depends upon its condition, which we do not know. If the condition is reasonable, it will still be very different from a modern piano. Whether this is a piano that you would like to have depends on you as well as on the piano. If you are the sort of person to relish difference, and appreciate the qualities of this instrument, then it might be for you. If you are basically looking for a modern piano, and are interested in this piano principally because it is free, then you will probably be disappointed.

Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027632 09/21/20 08:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,639
J
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,639
My guess is that's a mid 19th Century straight strung. Interesting piano, not sure about its value or its potential as an instrument.

Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027652 09/21/20 10:09 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,254
S
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 1,254
My experience with an 1870's Chickering straight strung piano that I once owned was that it was a very interesting piano to play, but also very difficult to maintain due to requiring non-standard parts. My guess is that this piano would require restoration by a specialist who restores "antique" pianos, by which I mean fortepianos, square grands, straight-strung grands, etc.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck.
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027656 09/21/20 10:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,907
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,907
I worked on one once, but never again. Getting the action into the piano is almost impossible. The back of the keyframe goes up a very steep ramp as it goes into the final position, and it took more force than my hands are capable (and my hands are extremely strong) to get it up that ramp. There are hand grips under the keybed to hold on to for leverage, but I have a trick thumb.

Other than that, the hammers are covered with leather over the felt. As I recall, there was no let-off adjustment, so the action is not going to be even. It had a very heavy touch, and there was not much control.

There may be people in Bulgaria that deal with these pianos, but it is very old, and does not look like it is in very good condition. Around here, you could find a much newer piano in much better condition for much less than it would cost to fix a piano like that.


Semipro Tech
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027658 09/21/20 10:38 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 12,227
Platinum Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Platinum Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 12,227
The cool part about the Viennese action is that the hammer does not just go up and down, there is also a little lateral travel as well. This means that if you touch the key in just the right way (while the action is in decent shape and regulated) you can actually “touch” or “brush” the strings with the hammer.

This is not something that is possible with a modern piano and the performance is, in general, much more intimate.

While in Vienna, I gained respect for the simple elegance of this action, but I would not want one to be my only piano.

Good luck in your decision, Gene.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Visit our Online Store
The Science Channel documents our piano restoration
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027731 09/22/20 06:14 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,100
6000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,100
Thanks for all the answers, seems like it would be a lot of hassle, so I won’t bother 👍🏻


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027797 09/22/20 10:12 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 12,227
Platinum Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Platinum Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 12,227
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Thanks for all the answers, seems like it would be a lot of hassle, so I won’t bother 👍🏻

Oh. While I respect your decision, I was looking forward to hearing about the work you would have done, etc.

Now I have to live vicariously through someone else! smile


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Visit our Online Store
The Science Channel documents our piano restoration
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027876 09/22/20 01:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 820
L
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 820
My Bösendorfer’s action is made by Renner. Bösendorfer doesn't make their own action today. I have toured their factory four times. Technicians work on the actions made to their specifications by Renner but don’t make the actions. I wonder when they ever produced their own or stopped. Does anyone know?

Last edited by Lakeviewsteve; 09/22/20 01:51 PM.

Bösendorfer 170
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
Lakeviewsteve #3027901 09/22/20 02:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,907
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,907
Bösendorfer probably predates independent action manufacturers.


Semipro Tech
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3027904 09/22/20 02:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,639
J
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,639
Before the late 19th Century it seems that piano manufacturers made their own actions, which explains why there was so much variation. Even the "standard" Erard type action in common use today, varied a lot between manufacturers.

I appreciate why the present-day standardisation is helpful, but I also feel that it's a bit of a shame that there aren't more variations in common use. Each of these actions inspires a different way of playing, phrasing, creating dynamics, tempo choice, etc.

Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3028032 09/22/20 09:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,461
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,461
CyberGene, I was going to suggest that you get the piano - see what it is like, see how the action feels, see how much you like it (or don't), take time to assess what needs doing - and then either keep the piano and restore as necessary, or pass it on if you decide it's not for you.

Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
David-G #3028066 09/23/20 12:41 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,639
J
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,639
Originally Posted by David-G
CyberGene, I was going to suggest that you get the piano - see what it is like, see how the action feels, see how much you like it (or don't), take time to assess what needs doing - and then either keep the piano and restore as necessary, or pass it on if you decide it's not for you.

That's what I'd do!

Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
David-G #3028125 09/23/20 07:28 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 12,227
Platinum Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Platinum Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 12,227
Originally Posted by David-G
CyberGene, I was going to suggest that you get the piano - see what it is like, see how the action feels, see how much you like it (or don't), take time to assess what needs doing - and then either keep the piano and restore as necessary, or pass it on if you decide it's not for you.

Me too!


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Visit our Online Store
The Science Channel documents our piano restoration
Re: How bad is a Bösendorfer Viennese action?
CyberGene #3028151 09/23/20 09:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,100
6000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,100
Well, a bit of unnecessary details here regarding the situation but anyway... It belongs to my sister's husband's parents 😀 They have a huge house and a nice grand piano in one of the rooms which I had the pleasure to play. And this Bösendorfer is just another old piano that has been sitting vertically for ages in a storage room and apparently can sit there for many more years. They learned about my DIY project (see my signature) and offered me to "borrow any parts from an old piano we have in storage". I asked about the piano brand and they said "we don't know". So, I asked about a picture of the brand and imagine my surprise when I received a picture of a nice Bösendorfer label 😱 Instinctively I said "I get this piano now!!!". But as always, there was probably a reason why a Bösendorfer had been sitting unused in a storage room for ages and when I arrived there I noticed it's just too old and I noticed the Viennese action and I've only heard about these and how "bad" they are.

But nothing is in a hurry. I don't have space for working on this. I'm planning on moving into a house sooner or later which is why I'm also researching what acoustic piano to purchase (hence another thread about GB1, GL10 and the likes...) but until then I will stay in my small flat in Sofia's downtown where there's already a Yamaha N1X and my DIY piano... But some good day hopefully I will move to the next level and I may still ask about the Bosie and check it out. I also happen to know the best piano technician in Bulgaria (IMO) and he's willing to work on an eventual restoration.

Last edited by CyberGene; 09/23/20 09:34 AM.

My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our October 2020 Free Piano Newsletter is Here!
---------------------
3,000,000+!
------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Old vs new
by ZootHornRollo - 10/21/20 10:18 AM
New DP Buyer Needs Help :-)
by Badger1966 - 10/21/20 09:12 AM
Kawai es920 - record onto Android Smartphone
by big-vern - 10/21/20 04:51 AM
MP11SE in stock at bhphoto.com
by mivaldes - 10/20/20 10:35 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics202,336
Posts3,015,712
Members98,966
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4