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I saw a Knabe 5'5" grand in the paper yesterday for $2,200. It said it was maintained by a musician for 30 years.

Now, assuming it is 30 years old, that would make it a mid-70's product. Was Knabe still making pianos then under their own name? If so, were they as good as older ones?


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Originally posted by mikhailoh:
Was Knabe still making pianos then under their own name? If so, were they as good as older ones?
The easy answer here is no. About 1932 or so, Aeolian bought Knabe and produced pianos until the early eighties I believe. The best pianos produced with the name Knabe on them would however be candidates for rebuild today. The Aeolian Knabe was a decent piano, just not the same caliber as the original. Today, Knabe is made in korea by Sammick. Once again a good piano but not in the category of the hand built pianos prior to the 1930's.

So much for history, now hire a tech to look at your target piano. Best advice you are going to get here! thumb


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mik,

One of my personal favorite older instruments are Knabe grands from the 1890's, especially the 7 ft. models.

The piano you mentioned is an OK beast, but it is not world class. Have it examined and go from there.

Keep us posted,


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In the 70's Knabe had long since moved to Memphis.
ALL,I repeat All Aeolian(Winter) grands were made in the same factory. Nothing like what came out of the Rochester NY factory.

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I suspected as much but could not remember whether Knabe had gone like so many others to being an Aeolian product.

I had little intention of looking at this piano anyway. But I do like the new Knabes. Nice instruments.


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I do like the new Knabes. Nice instruments.

Me too, Michael.

Someone commented here recently that a seasoned player would know the difference between a 'real' Knabe and a Korean imposter. I don't agree with that at all. The new ones can stand on their own without any comparison.


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I very much enjoyed my Knabe baby grand as a kid with the Ampico Roll Player in a drawer underneath. I have a pic of it somewhere. . . The name is well-respected -- and people have heard of it too, which is something you should keep in mind for if/when you decide to sell it.


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Originally posted by turandot:
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I do like the new Knabes. Nice instruments.

Me too, Michael.

Someone commented here recently that a seasoned player would know the difference between a 'real' Knabe and a Korean imposter. I don't agree with that at all. The new ones can stand on their own without any comparison.
In he fall, there will be some very nice changes. Stay tuned. I believe Knabe may be headed for the "Glory Years" again! wink

BTW, I'm sworn to secrecy. This fall!


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The original Knabe factory is now the site of Raven's Stadium.

Before they tore down the building we retrieved an abandoned concert grand in really bad shape. The Ravens had us do a "cosmetic" restoration. The piano is on display outside the executive offices.


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http://baltimore.craigslist.org/msg/664095655.html This is a six foot Knabe from the 1950s.

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Originally posted by guest1013:
http://baltimore.craigslist.org/msg/664095655.html This is a six foot Knabe from the 1950s.
Actually that looks like the 5' 7" Knabe. In this era they made 5' 7" and 6' 4". I used to own the 5' 7" model and now own a 6' 4" from 1913.

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There were a couple of a hundred year old uprights and supposedly a box grand eighteen fifties Knabe also available on craigslist in Maryland. But I suppose it is the just the pre 1930s grands that are of possible value?

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I have often wondered if Knabe was ever all that great of a piano. I have never been thrilled by one of the vintage instruments.

Growing up and listening the to Texico broadcatsts of the Met on Saturday afternoons, and hearing over, and over again, that Knabe was the "official piano of the Metropolitan Opera", it sunk in.

I made the blind assumption that it must be the finest piano that had ever been built.

My mind has now changed.

Rich - Am I missing something? I recently played a 9 footer from that era and I thought it was dreadful. It was gorgeous to look at, with an art case, but there was no tonal substance and the short keys drove me nuts! Mozart might have been thrilled, but, I think that Rachmaninov would have run away.


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Originally posted by VGrantano:
In the 70's Knabe had long since moved to Memphis.
ALL,I repeat All Aeolian(Winter) grands were made in the same factory. Nothing like what came out of the Rochester NY factory.
As far as I know, Knabe, like Mason & Hamlin and Chickering, were made in Rochester until it closed in the early 1980s. There may have been some verticals made in Memphis.


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Marty2, as to vintage Knabes. I own a 1920's 9' that is marvelous. I also have a good friend that bought another vintage Knabe 9' that he likes as well. We are both serious players, so it's not a situation where just anything will do. Unfortunately many vintage grands other than Steinways and Masons are not afforded the attention that they deserve and will subsequently reward. I can assure you that Rachmaninoff would have enjoyed these.

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Thanks John - I will keep my mind open and my fingers and ears active.


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I found a picture of our Knabe in the living room. It was taken in about 1976.

A William Knabe with the Ampico Roll Player in a drawer underneath. I thought it was awesome, as would any kid.

[Linked Image]


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BDB, trust me all of the E.Rochester pianos,grands and verticles were moved to Memphis.
I sold them.After memphis burned down it was then re-bult.They had a huge Grand factory.All Aeolian and Winter Grands were moved there.

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Originally posted by USAPT:
I found a picture of our Knabe in the living room. It was taken in about 1976.

A William Knabe with the Ampico Roll Player in a drawer underneath. I thought it was awesome, as would any kid.

[Linked Image]
I would kill for that piano bench...


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Michael,

How about a Queen Anne bench, made by Charles Walter, in Mahogany, and have it upholstered?


Marty in Minnesota
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