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.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
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)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
60 members (adamcz, Chris Pringle, brdwyguy, CraiginNZ, 36251, anotherscott, CharlesXX, 12 invisible), 1,436 guests, and 403 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 4
J
JHender Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 4
Hi everyone,

I am looking to buy an upright piano for the first time and have been following up on this local Hamilton 45” upright. It is currently listed for $500. I plan to have a piano tech look at it as well, although I would also want to see it myself first.

The seller sent me some pictures of the piano, and while the exterior condition seems good overall, I was a bit concerned by the wear on the hammer gets. I’ve linked them below, and I was just curious if I could know a bit more about this type of wear, as well as typical repair or replacement costs. While most of the felts look okay, albeit with clear grooves, some have worn to the point of only having two established grooves, while others are a bit tilted or out of place.

Obviously, this is a great question to ask the piano tech while it’s being looked at! But before I arrange for that, I just wanted to try and get a general idea of what I’m looking at. Thanks so much everyone! - I really appreciate any help.

Here are the pictures: you can click if they appear small.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,894

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Online Content

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,894
There are some fairly deep string grooves in the hammers, but they look like they have plenty of felt left for filing the grooves out and reshaping. They'd likely need some voicing too, and it's not possible to tell from pictures how hard they are, or if they're worth the effort (i.e. new hammers might be better).

A few of the hammers look like they could be aligned a little better, but that could be remedied along with the above.

Probably the important thing to consider is that work like the above may quickly exceed the price you pay for the piano.


At the same time, you may be able to play it as is. The above will affect the tone some, but whether the tone is ok to you is up to you.


How to Upload Pictures
“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!



Joined: May 2006
Posts: 6,804
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 6,804
Yep. Hammers need reshaping, and it should be possible if it hasn’t been done before/there’s enough felt left on the hammers to attain a correct hammer shape.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 4
J
JHender Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Yep. Hammers need reshaping, and it should be possible if it hasn’t been done before/there’s enough felt left on the hammers to attain a correct hammer shape.

Originally Posted by Retsacnal
There are some fairly deep string grooves in the hammers, but they look like they have plenty of felt left for filing the grooves out and reshaping. They'd likely need some voicing too, and it's not possible to tell from pictures how hard they are, or if they're worth the effort (i.e. new hammers might be better).

A few of the hammers look like they could be aligned a little better, but that could be remedied along with the above.

Probably the important thing to consider is that work like the above may quickly exceed the price you pay for the piano.


At the same time, you may be able to play it as is. The above will affect the tone some, but whether the tone is ok to you is up to you.

Folks, thanks for the comments. I think you are both spot on that the hammers will benefit from being reshaped. My next question may be more dependent on regional cost and prices, but I'll ask it anyway: The seller quoted me $250 for the move, bringing the cost up to $750. If we just throw in a figure of $500 for additional work (reshaping, alignment, voicing), which may be too low, plus another $150 for tuning, the price has now gone up to $1400. At this point, is this looking like an unreasonable cost for an older Hamilton upright, or when buying used pianos, do you just have to take your lumps and be prepared for potential repair or restoration work? Thanks all.

Last edited by JHender; 08/06/21 12:50 PM.
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,442
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,442
Originally Posted by JHender
[...]the price has now gone up to $1400. At this point, is this looking like an unreasonable cost for an older Hamilton upright, or when buying used pianos, do you just have to take your lumps and be prepared for potential repair or restoration work? Thanks all.

Depending on your local market - you don't indicate where you are located - for $1400.00 you might be able to purchase a reasonably good used upright piano that does not need extensive work or repair; you may even get one for slightly less. Is this a private sale or a dealer's sale? What other used pianos have you looked at, and is there any particular reason that you are considering this one over any other(s)?

Your tech's inspection - a non-recoverable expense - may help you determine if this is the piano for you.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,894

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Online Content

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,894
In my area, people tend to ask about $2000 for a Baldwin/Hamilton studio upright that's in good condition. I'd say "good" means it already has all the work done you noted, plus in good regulation, etc, and with a case that's in good shape too (i.e. it looks nice and plays well). Of course, I say "ask" because only the buyer and seller know what they actually sell for. Another byproduct of that is that people tend to ask too much for lesser specimens as well, because they skim Craigslist, see "the same" pianos, and price accordingly. Lessor specimens tend to be in the few hundred dollar range.

FWIW, I recently (March) brought home essentially the same model as in the pictures you posted. Mine was built in 1956. Hammer wear a little less than yours, but they've been filed at least once. It's in decent shape, but needs work (i.e. it has "potential," which is specifically what I was looking for). Instead of describing it, I'll point you to where you can read more if you're interested:

http://forums.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3094883/re-spinet-or-console.html#Post3094883

Anyway, I paid $200 for this one, and, frankly, it should have been free. I didn't want to haggle, and had also kept the sellers waiting for a month or so while I tried to decide about moving it myself or hiring movers (and also because in that period they irritated me and claimed they had other buyers when I was fairly certain that wasn't true).

Older models like these have sort of bottomed out as far as depreciation goes, and their value is more dependent on their current condition, which likely will reflect how much the current owner has spent on maintenance.

If your seller is also quoting a price to move it, then I'll assume they're an industry pro of some sort, in which case, idealistically speaking, I would think a lot of the fix-it-up work should be done, and it should be priced accordingly. But, they probably got it for free or nearly free and perhaps don't want to put anything in to it.


How to Upload Pictures
“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!



Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,894

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Online Content

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,894
It's too late to edit the above, but I meant to add that if you're willing to spend additionally to fix it up, then it would be a good idea to have it inspected. An objective 3rd party technician who represents you could best help you sort out what it "needs," how much that's likely to cost, and how it all fits into your local market. Inspections tend to run about the same as a tuning (+/-). A good tech can tell you if all it needs is a little TLC, or more, or if it has hidden problems.


How to Upload Pictures
“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!



Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 4
J
JHender Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by BruceD
Depending on your local market - you don't indicate where you are located - for $1400.00 you might be able to purchase a reasonably good used upright piano that does not need extensive work or repair; you may even get one for slightly less. Is this a private sale or a dealer's sale? What other used pianos have you looked at, and is there any particular reason that you are considering this one over any other(s)?

Your tech's inspection - a non-recoverable expense - may help you determine if this is the piano for you.

Regards,

I am located around Greensboro, NC. The used piano market seems extremely dry. I have been looking around consistently on Craigslist, facebook marketplace, local boards, and really have found very little. Just a lot of old spinets and consoles, while I'm really wanting something a step up at the moment.

This is a private sale I found on facebook marketplace. The piano is a former church piano.

[quote=Retsacnal]In my area, people tend to ask about $2000 for a Baldwin/Hamilton studio upright that's in good condition. I'd say "good" means it already has all the work done you noted, plus in good regulation, etc, and with a case that's in good shape too (i.e. it looks nice and plays well). Of course, I say "ask" because only the buyer and seller know what they actually sell for. Another byproduct of that is that people tend to ask too much for lesser specimens as well, because they skim Craigslist, see "the same" pianos, and price accordingly. Lessor specimens tend to be in the few hundred dollar range.

FWIW, I recently (March) brought home essentially the same model as in the pictures you posted. Mine was built in 1956. Hammer wear a little less than yours, but they've been filed at least once. It's in decent shape, but needs work (i.e. it has "potential," which is specifically what I was looking for). Instead of describing it, I'll point you to where you can read more if you're interested:

http://forums.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3094883/re-spinet-or-console.html#Post3094883

Anyway, I paid $200 for this one, and, frankly, it should have been free. I didn't want to haggle, and had also kept the sellers waiting for a month or so while I tried to decide about moving it myself or hiring movers (and also because in that period they irritated me and claimed they had other buyers when I was fairly certain that wasn't true).

Older models like these have sort of bottomed out as far as depreciation goes, and their value is more dependent on their current condition, which likely will reflect how much the current owner has spent on maintenance.

If your seller is also quoting a price to move it, then I'll assume they're an industry pro of some sort, in which case, idealistically speaking, I would think a lot of the fix-it-up work should be done, and it should be priced accordingly. But, they probably got it for free or nearly free and perhaps don't want to put anything in to it.[/quot

Neat that we both have stumbled upon similar models. The piano I'm looking at is also very similar in color, same stenciled Hamilton logo, etc. I read your progress with it and found it pretty interesting. The seller doesn't appear to be an industry pro or anything like that, just someone who has the means to move the piano and would be able to delivery it themselves, versus using an outside piano moving company.

I'll be looking at the piano tomorrow evening, and if I like it enough, will have a technician look at it as well and then go from there.

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,894

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Online Content

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,894
Originally Posted by JHender
I'll be looking at the piano tomorrow evening, and if I like it enough, will have a technician look at it as well and then go from there.

Cool! Don’t be afraid to haggle. Or to drag your feet.


How to Upload Pictures
“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!



Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 4
J
JHender Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 4
Ended up seeing the piano a couple days later than expected due to some scheduling slip ups. The last couple of upper-octave keys were clearly out of tune, and there is a section of about twelve keys where there is a "buzzing" noise, sort of like something is on the string, but overall I did like it. In particular, the action felt quite good to play on, and the tone was also to my liking. I'm looking into having a tech see it shortly, which will mainly be to confirm that there are no major issues and to get some cost ideas for the things that would need to be addressed, but overall I think it may work out.


Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Cannon in D Question
by KimbraLaLa - 09/26/21 07:55 PM
Kawai PN100 Digital Piano
by ZDAVE - 09/26/21 05:44 PM
Question about technique
by ItoM_ - 09/26/21 03:37 PM
Mushy Bass Notes - Problem or too much Pedal
by brdwyguy - 09/26/21 02:10 PM
Recording a DP for lessons
by AndyOnThePiano - 09/26/21 12:05 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
My first professionally recorded piece
---------------------
Our Free Newsletter for Piano Lovers!
The summer edition of our free newsletter
---------------------
Visit Maine, Meet Mr. Piano World
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics209,303
Posts3,135,374
Members102,827
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 | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5