Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wonderful Pianos

I never know how a piano will sound until I am finished tuning it. From concert grands to modest spinets, it is often a surprise. It can also take several tunings to make a piano sound its best--and to be stable at that. I am occasionally pleased that a cheap piano can be made to sound decent. My worst experiences are with pianos that are so worn and have been neglected to the point that the hammers are disintegrating, the action is so loose that the hammers don't hit the strings squarely and the pins have been pounded until the coils are against the plate or block. I sigh and do the best I can. Often these pianos have sentimental value or were free to whoever would take them.
Some of the nicest pianos I maintain are old uprights. There is a J & C Fischer from 1913 that was recently given to a church nearby. It is in beautiful condition and sounds like a grand. It has a full sostenuto. All the pedal mechanism is metal. The keyboard is in great shape as is the case--classic and simple. I know it is heavy, but what a nice instrument.
For people who want a piano that is easy to move, I often recommend a digital model. I do have an acoustic grand which is hard to beat, but I would not give up my Roland FP-9 either.

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