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Re: [EliteSyncopations] Re: Exciting News!

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  • Ferguson, Robert C.
    Thanks, Bill. The book looks interesting. Will check it out. Bob ... Thanks, Bill.� The book looks interesting.� Will check it out. Bob On Thu, Mar 7, 2013
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 7, 2013
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      Thanks, Bill.  The book looks interesting.  Will check it out.

      Bob


      On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 4:36 PM, jazzpianist <perfbill@...> wrote:
       

      I'm in the same area, but have my hands full with other work right now, and haven't done a restoration for a number of years. I also don't know who to recommend.

      However: Start here with my friend Art Reblitz, who helped me to learn piano tuning and repair back in the late 1970s, and player piano work with Art and Dick Kroeckel in the 1980s:

      http://www.player-care.com/values_2.html

      Then, whether or not you plan to do the work, it will be good to have this book:

      http://www.amazon.com/Player-Piano-Rebuilding-Arthur-Reblitz/dp/0911572406

      Hope that is helpful. Bill E.



      --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <rfhanover1@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Speaking of which, I know it's a little off the topic, but if I can get an answer to questions anywhere, I'm sure it's in this group.
      >
      > I am considering purchasing an old player, but I don't have the foggiest idea how to even get started. There are plenty available in various states of disrepair, but how would a person know what pianos are worth fixing and roughly what it would/should cost? (I would not be doing any of the work myself.) If the way to go about it is to find a reputable restorer and work with them, I'm still stuck. How do you know who really knows what they're talking about and who just knows how to make an impressive website? How do you know who's giving you reasonable estimate for the job? If you're buying an already restored player, how do you know who's done a good job? How do you know you're not paying a ridiculous price?
      >
      > BTW, I live in the MD/VA/DC area if that's any help. I don't necessarily expect anyway to publicly recommend a person/company. Some idea how to get started would be awesome, though.
      >
      > Regards,
      > Bob
      >
      > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "jazzpianist" <perfbill@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Fred - I would guesstimate that there are still tens of thousands working player pianos in the world, and rolls are still being produced for them. If the market were dead, so would be the need for books on restoring them, new piano rolls, websites dedicated to preservation of them, etc. Take a look at eBay and see how many hundreds are available on a weekly basis. Go to QRSMusic.com and see what is up there. I'm not sure how many NEW player pianos that accept rolls are being built - perhaps nearly none - but the beasties from the 1910s through 1990s are still with us, and many are in fine working condition. So why not make new rolls or recuts.
      > >
      > > In other words, do you still have any vinyl recordings? I have lots. Do they still make it? Ask Bryan Wright, or simply go to Best Buy for your answer. Some old ideas are still good ideas.
      > >
      > > Bill E.
      > >
      > > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "FredC" <fredmcain2003@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Will these be paper rolls or digital?
      > > >
      > > > How many people have player pianos these days that accept paper rolls?
      > > >
      > > > There could very well be a lot more than I thought but it's been a long time since I've seen one now.
      > > >
      > > > Regards,
      > > > Fred M. Cain
      > > >
      > > > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, Bryan Cather <catt967@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > I'm in the final stages of a very exciting project that I finally feel ready to tell the world about.�
      > > > >
      > > > > Some time ago, the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site received funding to create brand-new player piano rolls of Joplin and other important ragtime-era music that, for various reasons was never recorded for player piano: some of the Joplin waltzes and marches, for example. Max Keenlyside created arrangements of the following five tunes, based on period roll arranging styles.�
      > > > >
      > > > > "Rosebud March" Scott Joplin�
      > > > > "Binks Waltz" Scott Joplin�
      > > > > "Bethena" Scott Joplin�
      > > > > "Harlem Rag" Tom Turpin
      > > > > "Babe Its Too Long Off" Louis Chauvin
      > > > >
      > > > > I had originally worked closely with Robert Perry at Reliance Music Rolls on this, and wish to publicly thank him for his work and support on this project.
      > > > >
      > > > > However, using Rob's perforator, the editing process required to make Max's excellent arrangements work within the mechanical constraints of a player roll presented insurmountable obstacles, and so the editing and perforation were instead done by Adam Ramet and Julian Dyer in the UK, whose perforator and related software were more easily able to translate Keenlyside's arrangements into actual paper rolls. As we speak final editing is being done and actual perforation should commence shortly.
      > > > >
      > > > > The rolls themselves will debut to the public at the annual Memorial Day Ragtime Rally at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site on Monday, May 27th, 2013. A very limited number will be available for sale at that time; stay tuned for further details regarding pricing, etc.
      > > > >
      > > > > I would like very much to thank everyone who has had a part in making this wish and dream a reality.
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >


    • RsH
      http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-musical-instruments-pianos-keyboards-Richly-Carved-Grand-Piano-W0QQAdIdZ460120676 Curiosity question. I ve seen
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 7, 2013
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        http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-musical-instruments-pianos-keyboards-Richly-Carved-Grand-Piano-W0QQAdIdZ460120676

        Curiosity question. I've seen suggestions that a Mathushek square piano
        is not worth anything and not even worth tuning up.

        Then I see made a in New Haven, CT Mathushek with a serial number of
        6732 [if that is the serial number in the third photo] in this ad which
        is asking for $5,000.

        1. How hard is it to tune one of these pianos, which definitely look
        like they require a different technique when compared to a 'modern'
        piano?

        2. When was it actually built? I cannot find a place where the serial
        numbers are listed by year for those built before 1900.

        3. What would it likely weigh, if one wanted to acquire it and move it
        into the upper floors of a condo building? It looks heavy!

        4. What is it really worth [as a piano and not as a piece of furniture].

        My guess, from looking at it, is that it was built in the late 1870s or
        the early 1880s.

        FWIW
        RsH
      • johnk570
        I d say pass it up. I ve heard nothing but trouble from these box grands. From what I can gather, it s harder to tune these compared to regular grands and
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 7, 2013
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          I'd say pass it up. I've heard nothing but trouble from these box grands. From what I can gather, it's harder to tune these compared to regular grands and uprights due to the tuning pins being on the side or in the back, which means you have to lean way over the piano to tune it. Weight wise, probably on par with a compact car. Value wise, not much as a piano, but probably a pretty penny as an antique.

          I've seen a couple videos of these online, and I must say I kinda like the sound of these box grands. It's similar to the early fortepianos-tinkly, but in a nice, glass-bell sorta way. It might actually be useful if you play a lot of Mozart/Clementi/Chopin and other early piano music. It lacks the edge and the depth of an ordinary upright or grand, but it has a charm. Can one voice a modern piano to sound like that?

          --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, RsH <rsh_rsh@...> wrote:
          >
          > http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-musical-instruments-pianos-keyboards-Richly-Carved-Grand-Piano-W0QQAdIdZ460120676
          >
          > Curiosity question. I've seen suggestions that a Mathushek square piano
          > is not worth anything and not even worth tuning up.
          >
          > Then I see made a in New Haven, CT Mathushek with a serial number of
          > 6732 [if that is the serial number in the third photo] in this ad which
          > is asking for $5,000.
          >
          > 1. How hard is it to tune one of these pianos, which definitely look
          > like they require a different technique when compared to a 'modern'
          > piano?
          >
          > 2. When was it actually built? I cannot find a place where the serial
          > numbers are listed by year for those built before 1900.
          >
          > 3. What would it likely weigh, if one wanted to acquire it and move it
          > into the upper floors of a condo building? It looks heavy!
          >
          > 4. What is it really worth [as a piano and not as a piece of furniture].
          >
          > My guess, from looking at it, is that it was built in the late 1870s or
          > the early 1880s.
          >
          > FWIW
          > RsH
          >
        • jazzpianist
          And yet an entire CD including ragtime was recorded on one of these instruments several years back, with some brilliant performances. Check out the CD cut by
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 7, 2013
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            And yet an entire CD including ragtime was recorded on one of these instruments several years back, with some brilliant performances. Check out the CD cut by my friend Masanobu Ikemiya before you dismiss square grands completely. I grew up with one in my home - "the coffin on legs" - but it was not a total loss, and I did manage to restore it pretty good in my late teens.

            Bill E.

            --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "johnk570" <johnk570@...> wrote:
            >
            > I'd say pass it up. I've heard nothing but trouble from these box grands. From what I can gather, it's harder to tune these compared to regular grands and uprights due to the tuning pins being on the side or in the back, which means you have to lean way over the piano to tune it. Weight wise, probably on par with a compact car. Value wise, not much as a piano, but probably a pretty penny as an antique.
            >
            > I've seen a couple videos of these online, and I must say I kinda like the sound of these box grands. It's similar to the early fortepianos-tinkly, but in a nice, glass-bell sorta way. It might actually be useful if you play a lot of Mozart/Clementi/Chopin and other early piano music. It lacks the edge and the depth of an ordinary upright or grand, but it has a charm. Can one voice a modern piano to sound like that?
            >
            > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, RsH <rsh_rsh@> wrote:
            > >
            > > http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-musical-instruments-pianos-keyboards-Richly-Carved-Grand-Piano-W0QQAdIdZ460120676
            > >
            > > Curiosity question. I've seen suggestions that a Mathushek square piano
            > > is not worth anything and not even worth tuning up.
            > >
            > > Then I see made a in New Haven, CT Mathushek with a serial number of
            > > 6732 [if that is the serial number in the third photo] in this ad which
            > > is asking for $5,000.
            > >
            > > 1. How hard is it to tune one of these pianos, which definitely look
            > > like they require a different technique when compared to a 'modern'
            > > piano?
            > >
            > > 2. When was it actually built? I cannot find a place where the serial
            > > numbers are listed by year for those built before 1900.
            > >
            > > 3. What would it likely weigh, if one wanted to acquire it and move it
            > > into the upper floors of a condo building? It looks heavy!
            > >
            > > 4. What is it really worth [as a piano and not as a piece of furniture].
            > >
            > > My guess, from looking at it, is that it was built in the late 1870s or
            > > the early 1880s.
            > >
            > > FWIW
            > > RsH
            > >
            >
          • Bryan Cather
            Thing is, with a square grand....you have to think long and hard about what you want to do with it.  No matter how much restoration you want to do to it, up
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 8, 2013
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              Thing is, with a square grand....you have to think long and hard about what you want to do with it.  No matter how much restoration you want to do to it, up to and including restoring the soundboard, re-stringing, new hammers, dampers, etc. it is NOT going to sound like a modern piano.

              I've played one or two square grands that have been restored to this extent, and what you get is a nice, thunderous bass, a thinner midrange and a tinkly treble.  You also get essentially the same resonant effect you do with a regular grand piano from sound reflecting off the floor below the soundboard.  Square grands also have a much simpler and therefore lighter feeling action, something someone accustomed to modern instruments will immediately notice.

              The thunderous bass are a function of the size of the bass strings....compare the sting length to many modern grands and you'll get the idea.  The thinner midrange and treble sound is mainly due to two-string unisons instead of the usual three on modern instruments, but also has some to do with the configuration of the soundboard on these instruments.  The placement of the tuning pins at the back may be challenging to some tuners, but, frankly, this is precisely the reason tuning hammers were made with extension handles.

              Is it worth it to invest the good-sized chunk of change required to fully restore one of these instruments?  That depends.  If you are looking for something to perform like a modern piano, then, no, its a waste of money.  However, if you are one of those very rare performers seeking to authentically replicate the sound of mid-to-late nineteenth century parlor music, you would do well to invest in the time and money required for such a project.

              --- On Thu, 3/7/13, johnk570 <johnk570@...> wrote:

              From: johnk570 <johnk570@...>
              Subject: [EliteSyncopations] Re: OT: What is this piano worth?
              To: EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 9:25 PM

               

              I'd say pass it up. I've heard nothing but trouble from these box grands. From what I can gather, it's harder to tune these compared to regular grands and uprights due to the tuning pins being on the side or in the back, which means you have to lean way over the piano to tune it. Weight wise, probably on par with a compact car. Value wise, not much as a piano, but probably a pretty penny as an antique.

              I've seen a couple videos of these online, and I must say I kinda like the sound of these box grands. It's similar to the early fortepianos-tinkly, but in a nice, glass-bell sorta way. It might actually be useful if you play a lot of Mozart/Clementi/Chopin and other early piano music. It lacks the edge and the depth of an ordinary upright or grand, but it has a charm. Can one voice a modern piano to sound like that?

              --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, RsH <rsh_rsh@...> wrote:
              >
              > http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-musical-instruments-pianos-keyboards-Richly-Carved-Grand-Piano-W0QQAdIdZ460120676
              >
              > Curiosity question. I've seen suggestions that a Mathushek square piano
              > is not worth anything and not even worth tuning up.
              >
              > Then I see made a in New Haven, CT Mathushek with a serial number of
              > 6732 [if that is the serial number in the third photo] in this ad which
              > is asking for $5,000.
              >
              > 1. How hard is it to tune one of these pianos, which definitely look
              > like they require a different technique when compared to a 'modern'
              > piano?
              >
              > 2. When was it actually built? I cannot find a place where the serial
              > numbers are listed by year for those built before 1900.
              >
              > 3. What would it likely weigh, if one wanted to acquire it and move it
              > into the upper floors of a condo building? It looks heavy!
              >
              > 4. What is it really worth [as a piano and not as a piece of furniture].
              >
              > My guess, from looking at it, is that it was built in the late 1870s or
              > the early 1880s.
              >
              > FWIW
              > RsH
              >

            • William
              Not to get involved with the discussion of whether or not to work on a square grand, I might add that the one Mathushek square that I have serviced was the
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 8, 2013
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                Not to get involved with the discussion of whether or not to work on a square grand, I might add that the one Mathushek square that I have serviced was the ONLY square I ever encountered that I considered worth a plugged nickel. It sounded good! And it had five separate bridges! And, I have never encountered a Mathushek upright that I thought was a bad one, I have been impressed with all of them.

                Bill Rowland
                Broken Arrow OK

                --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, Bryan Cather <catt967@...> wrote:
                >
                > Thing is, with a square grand....you have to think long and hard about what you want to do with it.  No matter how much restoration you want to do to it, up to and including restoring the soundboard, re-stringing, new hammers, dampers, etc. it is NOT going to sound like a modern piano.
                > I've played one or two square grands that have been restored to this extent, and what you get is a nice, thunderous bass, a thinner midrange and a tinkly treble.  You also get essentially the same resonant effect you do with a regular grand piano from sound reflecting off the floor below the soundboard.  Square grands also have a much simpler and therefore lighter feeling action, something someone accustomed to modern instruments will immediately notice.
                > The thunderous bass are a function of the size of the bass strings....compare the sting length to many modern grands and you'll get the idea.  The thinner midrange and treble sound is mainly due to two-string unisons instead of the usual three on modern instruments, but also has some to do with the configuration of the soundboard on these instruments.  The placement of the tuning pins at the back may be challenging to some tuners, but, frankly, this is precisely the reason tuning hammers were made with extension handles.
                > Is it worth it to invest the good-sized chunk of change required to fully restore one of these instruments?  That depends.  If you are looking for something to perform like a modern piano, then, no, its a waste of money.  However, if you are one of those very rare performers seeking to authentically replicate the sound of mid-to-late nineteenth century parlor music, you would do well to invest in the time and money required for such a project.
                > --- On Thu, 3/7/13, johnk570 <johnk570@...> wrote:
                >
                > From: johnk570 <johnk570@...>
                > Subject: [EliteSyncopations] Re: OT: What is this piano worth?
                > To: EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com
                > Date: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 9:25 PM
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >  
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > I'd say pass it up. I've heard nothing but trouble from these box grands. From what I can gather, it's harder to tune these compared to regular grands and uprights due to the tuning pins being on the side or in the back, which means you have to lean way over the piano to tune it. Weight wise, probably on par with a compact car. Value wise, not much as a piano, but probably a pretty penny as an antique.
                >
                >
                >
                > I've seen a couple videos of these online, and I must say I kinda like the sound of these box grands. It's similar to the early fortepianos-tinkly, but in a nice, glass-bell sorta way. It might actually be useful if you play a lot of Mozart/Clementi/Chopin and other early piano music. It lacks the edge and the depth of an ordinary upright or grand, but it has a charm. Can one voice a modern piano to sound like that?
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, RsH <rsh_rsh@> wrote:
                >
                > >
                >
                > > http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-musical-instruments-pianos-keyboards-Richly-Carved-Grand-Piano-W0QQAdIdZ460120676
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Curiosity question. I've seen suggestions that a Mathushek square piano
                >
                > > is not worth anything and not even worth tuning up.
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Then I see made a in New Haven, CT Mathushek with a serial number of
                >
                > > 6732 [if that is the serial number in the third photo] in this ad which
                >
                > > is asking for $5,000.
                >
                > >
                >
                > > 1. How hard is it to tune one of these pianos, which definitely look
                >
                > > like they require a different technique when compared to a 'modern'
                >
                > > piano?
                >
                > >
                >
                > > 2. When was it actually built? I cannot find a place where the serial
                >
                > > numbers are listed by year for those built before 1900.
                >
                > >
                >
                > > 3. What would it likely weigh, if one wanted to acquire it and move it
                >
                > > into the upper floors of a condo building? It looks heavy!
                >
                > >
                >
                > > 4. What is it really worth [as a piano and not as a piece of furniture].
                >
                > >
                >
                > > My guess, from looking at it, is that it was built in the late 1870s or
                >
                > > the early 1880s.
                >
                > >
                >
                > > FWIW
                >
                > > RsH
                >
                > >
                >
              • RsH
                http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/product/491/mathushek-colibri-model-square-grand-piano/ $35,000 restored built 1874
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 8, 2013
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                  http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/product/491/mathushek-colibri-model-square-grand-piano/
                  $35,000 restored built 1874

                  http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/product/141/mathushek-colibri-model-square-grand-piano/
                  $35,000 restored built 1873

                  http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/product/350/mathushek-spinet-grand-piano/
                  $20,000 restored built 1937 - same shape and concept as the square grand

                  So clearly these are NOT inexpensive, and
                  http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-musical-instruments-pianos-keyboards-Richly-Carved-Grand-Piano-W0QQAdIdZ460120676
                  at $5,000 is a bargain compared to these prices [if it does not need
                  restoration, which would cost at least $10,000.

                  Anyway, the discussion is interesting to me, and I wonder how many of
                  these pianos were in the saloons and brothels that first saw ragtime on
                  a regular basis in the 1890s and 1900s... since they were still selling
                  well in 1885. Mathushek was considered a premium brand back then, and
                  frankly still is when looking at these older pianos. They are still
                  being made today but they are NOT the same piano, and the owner of that
                  brand name is not a descendant of the family that started the brand.

                  FWIW
                  RsH
                • Bryan Cather
                  Mathushek was one of those companies that was always a we re gonna build it our way and to hell what the rest of you think operation....you can generally
                  Message 8 of 13 , Mar 8, 2013
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                    Mathushek was one of those companies that was always a "we're gonna build it our way and to hell what the rest of you think" operation....you can generally count on two things from them: (1) they're damn good pianos and (2) they're a lil weird.

                    But its a good weird

                    BryanC

                    --- On Fri, 3/8/13, RsH <rsh_rsh@...> wrote:

                    From: RsH <rsh_rsh@...>
                    Subject: Re: [EliteSyncopations] Re: OT: What is this piano worth?
                    To: EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Friday, March 8, 2013, 12:45 PM

                     

                    http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/product/491/mathushek-colibri-model-square-grand-piano/
                    $35,000 restored built 1874

                    http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/product/141/mathushek-colibri-model-square-grand-piano/
                    $35,000 restored built 1873

                    http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/product/350/mathushek-spinet-grand-piano/
                    $20,000 restored built 1937 - same shape and concept as the square grand

                    So clearly these are NOT inexpensive, and
                    http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-musical-instruments-pianos-keyboards-Richly-Carved-Grand-Piano-W0QQAdIdZ460120676
                    at $5,000 is a bargain compared to these prices [if it does not need
                    restoration, which would cost at least $10,000.

                    Anyway, the discussion is interesting to me, and I wonder how many of
                    these pianos were in the saloons and brothels that first saw ragtime on
                    a regular basis in the 1890s and 1900s... since they were still selling
                    well in 1885. Mathushek was considered a premium brand back then, and
                    frankly still is when looking at these older pianos. They are still
                    being made today but they are NOT the same piano, and the owner of that
                    brand name is not a descendant of the family that started the brand.

                    FWIW
                    RsH

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