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My first piano had been my great-grandmother's, i.e., a hand-me-down. It was a Sohmer & Co. from around the 1920s, untunable, permanently 1/2 step flat.

As a child increasingly serious about music, I longed for a decent instrument. One day, aged 13, at a piano lesson I said to my piano teacher (a formidable pedagogue), "I want so badly to have a good piano at home." She said, "I know you do." What she knew and I didn't was that my parents and grandparents had purchased for me a brand-new Yamaha C3 that was sitting at home in our living room. I had no idea until a few moments later when I walked inside and found a gleaming black piano, surrounded by family waiting to see my reaction. My mother still has this on VHS. I nearly fainted.

This piano served me faithfully until adulthood. Last year, it was beginning to show its age. I found my present Yamaha S4 for sale by PianoWorks of Duluth (Atlanta), Georgia. I purchased it, sight unseen and sound unheard, trading in the C3. It is CRAZY to purchase a piano in this way, and I still can't believe I did it, but my gut told me it was the right thing to do, and I've not regretted it a single day.

PianoWorks is a first-class operation with a top-notch rebuilding shop. I enjoyed a tour last summer. They have restored the C3, including new strings and a new pinblock. This C3 would be an amazing opportunity for the right person. I so badly want it to have a loving, appreciative new home, where it can give someone else (maybe even another student?) 30+ years of satisfaction and joy.

Sam Bennett of PianoWorks is a regular participant on this forum, and I know he'd love to find the right buyer. Here's a demonstration of the restored C3:



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The refurbished Yamaha C3 does indeed sound great! Fantastic, in fact.

It's hard to believe Sam Bennett is so young, or at least he looks young in the video, and other videos I've seen of him playing. He plays very well, and as knowledgeable about pianos as he is, makes him seem older, I suppose.

But since his family, and his dad in particular, started the business, I'm sure he started young in the first place. smile

Rick


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Rick, that is not Sam.

His name is Derek Vann, a very talented piano player for sure.

Last edited by Learux; 01/22/22 05:48 PM.

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RobAC Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rickster
The refurbished Yamaha C3 does indeed sound great! Fantastic, in fact.

It's hard to believe Sam Bennett is so young, or at least he looks young in the video, and other videos I've seen of him playing. He plays very well, and as knowledgeable about pianos as he is, makes him seem older, I suppose.

But since his family, and his dad in particular, started the business, I'm sure he started young in the first place. smile

Rick
I agree it sounds great!

FYI that's another PianoWorks staff member playing, not Sam. It is nice playing.


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Take out a classified ad on Piano World, it will help support the forums and reach more people who are looking for a piano.


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A new Pinblock was required on a Yamaha C3? - even assuming an early model this seems highly unusual. Was it to allow a like new fit for the new pins?


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Originally Posted by Learux
Rick, that is not Sam.

His name is Derek Vann, a very talented piano player for sure.

Oops! I stand corrected then. blush

But hey, Sam is still young. Or, maybe I've never really seen Sam on their videos? (but I think I have) Or, maybe I'm just old? smile

Rick

P.S. Okay, I wasn't off by much. Derek and Sam actually look like one another, to an extent? smile



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Originally Posted by blueviewlaguna.
A new Pinblock was required on a Yamaha C3? - even assuming an early model this seems highly unusual. Was it to allow a like new fit for the new pins?

I don't know if it was absolutely required, but I know that PianoWorks doesn't resell pianos in anything other than top condition, so I think they didn't want to take the risk of not replacing it. I had been having some trouble with tuning stability.

One of the reasons I accepted a lower trade-in value rather than sell it myself is because I loved the idea of the piano being put back in top shape before finding a new home.


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Originally Posted by Rickster
But hey, Sam is still young. Or, maybe I've never really seen Sam on their videos? (but I think I have) Or, maybe I'm just old? smile

Rick

P.S. Okay, I wasn't off by much. Derek and Sam actually look like one another, to an extent? smile

Oh my goodness, Rick - you haven't gone up there in person yet? You're probably a half hour closer than I am (and I'm probably up there, 3-4 times a year)! It's worth a trip, as they typically have a pretty large amount of floor stock on display and aren't shy about allowing folks to walk around the restoration facility.


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Originally Posted by RobAC
Originally Posted by blueviewlaguna.
A new Pinblock was required on a Yamaha C3? - even assuming an early model this seems highly unusual. Was it to allow a like new fit for the new pins?

I don't know if it was absolutely required, but I know that PianoWorks doesn't resell pianos in anything other than top condition, so I think they didn't want to take the risk of not replacing it. I had been having some trouble with tuning stability.

One of the reasons I accepted a lower trade-in value rather than sell it myself is because I loved the idea of the piano being put back in top shape before finding a new home.

Thanks for the additional info - I just viewed the Pianoworks listing after I posted and see that it's a (fairly) recent model, being a 1991. The youngish age, combined with the tuning stability troubles you had mentioned baffles me a bit. Did it encounter wide humidity swings throughout it's life?


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Originally Posted by blueviewlaguna.
Originally Posted by RobAC
Originally Posted by blueviewlaguna.
A new Pinblock was required on a Yamaha C3? - even assuming an early model this seems highly unusual. Was it to allow a like new fit for the new pins?

I don't know if it was absolutely required, but I know that PianoWorks doesn't resell pianos in anything other than top condition, so I think they didn't want to take the risk of not replacing it. I had been having some trouble with tuning stability.

One of the reasons I accepted a lower trade-in value rather than sell it myself is because I loved the idea of the piano being put back in top shape before finding a new home.

Thanks for the additional info - I just viewed the Pianoworks listing after I posted and see that it's a (fairly) recent model, being a 1991. The youngish age, combined with the tuning stability troubles you had mentioned baffles me a bit. Did it encounter wide humidity swings throughout it's life?
Here's what I suspect, in hindsight: the piano spent a couple of years in my late grandmother's house before it joined me in my adult life. The heat was running like crazy in there. Shortly thereafter I had installed a Piano Life Saver but perhaps some damage had been done to the pinblock, that the PLS wouldn't have prevented anyway.

All that said, when the piano was moved most recently to our current house, the PLS wasn't reinstalled correctly. The technician finally sorted it out and figured out what was wrong.

So I can't say for sure whether or not the pinblock was bad. I do know that PianoWorks wanted to err on the safe side.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by Rickster
But hey, Sam is still young. Or, maybe I've never really seen Sam on their videos? (but I think I have) Or, maybe I'm just old? smile

Rick

P.S. Okay, I wasn't off by much. Derek and Sam actually look like one another, to an extent? smile

Oh my goodness, Rick - you haven't gone up there in person yet? You're probably a half hour closer than I am (and I'm probably up there, 3-4 times a year)! It's worth a trip, as they typically have a pretty large amount of floor stock on display and aren't shy about allowing folks to walk around the restoration facility.

Thanks, Dr. Owen! I appreciate it.

Sam Smith has invited me to go with him to the piano recitals they have monthly at PianoWorks in Duluth, but I have not had the pleasure of going yet. I believe they call that group the "Georgia Musicale Group". I understand that they have some really good pianists and musicians that participate in those events/recitals, which are held/hosted at PianoWorks in Duluth.

Sam Smith fits that category of "really good pianists", but I'm afraid I don't. Not sure what they'd think of a back-woods, hillbilly piano player wannabe like me at an upper echelon Classical Music event like that. smile

Actually, I got to hear one of the regulars, who performs and promotes the Georgia Musicale Group recitals at PianoWorks, at one of the Piano Buddies events back in November. She was likely the best Classical Pianists I'd ever heard. I remember her name, but not sure I should post it on the internet without her permission. So, I'm aware of the caliber of musicians and pianists who are part of the Georgia Musicale Group.

I may be able to attend one of the Georgia Musicale Group events at PianoWorks one of these days, and, I would like to meet Sam Bennett in person and play some of their pianos. smile

Rick


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Just go sometime when they’re open—no need to wait for a recital. I get pretty self-conscious if there are other pianists around, when I’m just trying to enjoy myself and sample some instruments, anyway…


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Just go sometime when they’re open—no need to wait for a recital. I get pretty self-conscious if there are other pianists around, when I’m just trying to enjoy myself and sample some instruments, anyway…

Speaking of being "self-conscious" with other pianists around, I attended our January Piano Buddies event/recital this afternoon in Senoia, and got to hear Sam Smith and some other really good pianists.

I always like to be the last one to play when taking turns. Our host this evening let us draw numbers out of a basket for the order of playing. As fate would have it, I got the highest number, meaning I would be the last to play.

When it was my turn to play, I told the group that I like being the last to play, not because of saving the best for last, but to postpone my embarrassment as long as possible. smile

I've heard you play in your YouTube videos, Dr. Owen, and you certainly have nothing to be self-conscious about when around other pianists. Me, on the other hand, well... yep. smile

I plan to visit PianoWorks one of these days.

Rick


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Just go sometime when they’re open—no need to wait for a recital. I get pretty self-conscious if there are other pianists around, when I’m just trying to enjoy myself and sample some instruments, anyway…
I really badly want to go play my former C3 before it sells, but as I live in Philadelphia, that may well not happen.


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Originally Posted by Rickster
I always like to be the last one to play when taking turns.

Wow! I always want to go first! For one thing, I'm too nervous waiting and so I can't enjoy the other musicians as much. For another, the longer I wait, the more nervous I get! grin

Sorry to hijack this thread, maybe if you have a minute Rick, you might start a new thread and share some details about the event? (who played what, what was the piano?) smile


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Originally Posted by blueviewlaguna.
A new Pinblock was required on a Yamaha C3? - even assuming an early model this seems highly unusual. Was it to allow a like new fit for the new pins?
I agree those Japanese pianos are really tough.Perhaps there was always a flaw in the wood in that particular piano.Otherwise it was the humidity problem the OP mentioned.A piano can be fragile even if it is a good model from an excellent brand.I feel sure that the instrument will be sold quickly now that it has all this work done.It sounds good!


My piano's voice is my voice to God and the great unknown universe, and to those I love.In other words a hymn.That is all, but that is enough.Life goes on, despite pain and fear.Music is beautiful,life is beautiful.


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Originally Posted by Rickster
I always like to be the last one to play when taking turns.

Wow! I always want to go first! For one thing, I'm too nervous waiting and so I can't enjoy the other musicians as much. For another, the longer I wait, the more nervous I get! grin

Sorry to hijack this thread, maybe if you have a minute Rick, you might start a new thread and share some details about the event? (who played what, what was the piano?) smile

Hi, Dr. ShiroKuro. Yes, I wouldn't won't to hijack Rob's thread any more than I already have; but sometimes it just works that way. And, I suppose it is not all bad, and helps keep the thread bumped to the top of the forum, and helps keep the interest peaked? Maybe? smile

As for the piano we played, I believe it was a Kawai GL-10 (5') or GL-20 (5'2") baby grand. I do remember sitting close enough to the piano to see a tag on the right front leg that said "Made in Indonesia". The piano was well tuned and sounded good. Since the issue of heavy actions has been discussed lately (in other threads) the action did feel a bit heavier than what I'm used to. But it did have a nice tone.

I'll post a new thread about the Piano Buddies group event, with pics, later, when I get them in a few days, for those who are interested. I did have a great time, heard some great piano music, and had some good fellowship with some good piano friends!

Now back to our regularly scheduled program... smile

Rick


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Actually it's not all that unusual for a relatively young piano to get a new pin block in the re-string process, especially if the piano is to be sold on a shop floor after. If you want to put new tuning pins in the piano, it's better to put a new pin block in than to use a larger pin size, and since Sam already has the facilities to replace the pin block and the piano needed to be re-strung, it makes sense just to fit a new block. True, this is usually a repair reserved for much older pianos, or for institutional pianos but replacing the pin block on a C3 doesn't raise any alarm bells to me about the quality of the piano's construction. It just tells me it has been played a lot!


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