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Joined: Nov 2011
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Does this look like a rolled soundboard issue happening or about to happen? Piano is for sale. Its sound is something really special. It's got several soundboard separations that run the length of the soundboard that I'm trying to overlook, but this one that runs under the soundboard is worrying me. I'm not a tech, by the way. I can't tell if the crack breaks over a couple of grains or if that's a glue seam that has separated. Again, I'm not a tech. I'm working with a broker. I flew to an adjacent, dry state yesterday to play the piano. A lot to like about this piano, but I don't want to buy an impending problem. Thank you. [img]https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Qz4BB7FWnOayISNIYkCvyPGdeXsJmwjR/view?usp=sharing[/img]

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If you're interested, here are a few other photos of the soundboard where you can see the other separations.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/156jfZRvE-fvLbNGXjLJ3ntlYxzM82wwF/view?usp=sharing,
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GA8I2AKhoKYPRYkbgFsjwoV2vZkigSvi/view?usp=sharing,
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SQxQNHE3cDXTFs5l-GjO8xOGDaucTIAT/view?usp=sharing

I'm pretty convinced from research that the other separations are acceptable and that I can live with them without worry. The bass bridge one, though, is the hang up. I don't want to let this get away if I don't have anything to worry about.

Last edited by Cristofori; 04/12/21 12:32 PM.
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Cristofori, it is likely that the other cracks are inconsequential. Inspection of the soundboard panel - rib interface will show whether or not the panel is lifting away from the ribs. My guess it that those cracks are not of a concern

The one under the bass bridge does concern me. I believe that the crack is much longer and is also the crack running under the R in Bluthner. If you follow the crack and the grain orientation, your will see that the crack runs under the bridge in the area where your area of concern is. The crack on the R side is barely open, the crack on the other side of the bridge is much more open. Right where the crack goes under the bridge, we see what looks to be a vertical chip of finish that is still attached the panel, but appears to have moved away from the vertical front part of the bridge. That suggests that the bridge and the front part of the panel are moving independently of each other. If the bridge is rolling, one side of the crack will be higher than the other. We cannot tell if that is the case. If I were the tech you hired, I would be looking at the area under the bass bridge from below with a strong light to see if the panel is lifting.

A tech with a strong knowledge of soundboards should examine the piano for you prior to a purchase.


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Although the cracks may yet be causing a tonal issue, they do indicate a problem is developing. Could indicate that the piano was not taken care of properly through seasonal changes. Could indicate a factory "bad install" that took a while to show.
On a couple Bluthners i have examined, the rib scale was on the light side, if the downbearing is too heavy, that may also be a reason the cracks have developed.

Use the cracks to negotiate a great deal if you like the piano.

-chris


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I believe this is a Blüthner Model 11. Forgive me being nosey, but did you like this because it is so small?
Ian


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It's a Model 4, 6'10. I guess size is relative, but that's a big piano for me, not a small one.

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Originally Posted by Cristofori
It's a Model 4, 6'10. I guess size is relative, but that's a big piano for me, not a small one.
I guessed it was a Model 11, because larger Blüthner grands have aliquot strings in the top three octaves. I guess your photo does not show that far up.
Ian


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