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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Bechstein Pianos - Pictures

Bechstein is among the very best-known names of piano-makers. Every piano in their range has its own characteristics but, the qualities of good design and solid construction are clearly seen in these pictures of the various models. Only extreme age or excessive wear will defeat these wonderful pianos!

Model V
(older, straight-strung piano)
The Bechstein Model 7
The Bechstein model 8
The Bechstein Model 9
Bechstein Model A
Model S


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Kawai

Kawai
The Japanese culture greatly values respect and honour. Kiochi Kawai established the Kawai musical Instrument Research Laboratory in 1927 but for him, manufacturing pianos is not just about business, it is more the pursuit of dreams and destiny. 

By 1935, production reached 85 pianos per month. Sadly, due to the War, production was suspended from 1937 - 1948. Within ten years of production resuming, Shigeru Kawai, having taken over the business from his father, set about to use scientific aids and technology to transform the piano making process and to be among the first to embrace modern times. 

The traditions of philosophy and the joining of mind and spirit, all throw their weight behind the push towards perfection. Kawai pianos have developed their own actions using ABS carbon for some of the action parts. Their painstaking research has been rewarded with a unique result which stands up well to the stiff scrutiny of purists who prefer the more standard and accepted traditionally-made actions.

In 1999, the elite range of Shigeru Kawai Pianos was launched. These extraordinary pianos are built by the best of Master Piano Artisans. These technicians elevate their work to an almost mystical quest. The role of Master Piano Artisan is to present the artist with an instrument of inspirational and limitless possibilities.

Having had the privilege of tuning one of these very special pianos, I can on lament that so far, it is the only one! More to come I am sure. 

The truth is that even the standard range of Kawai Pianos is impressive. They are always well put together and convey the essence of the Kawai philosophy.

Directory of Piano Makers

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Pianology 


Kimball Piano Serial Nos.

Year
Serial No.
Year
Serial No.
1902
89000
1942
444000
1904
129000
1946
480000
1906
158200
1948
500000
1908
183000
1950
517000
1910
211000
1952
537020
1912
244200
1954
553000
1914
267800
1956
571300
1916
288000
1958
586500
1918
307000
1960
604000
1920
322000
1962
617900
1922
336000
1964
646800
1924
352000
1966
678500
1926
364000
1968
717900
1928
372100
1970
764200
1930
383000
1971
771000
1932
389000
1972
817000
1934
399000
1973
820000
1936
414000
1974
901000
1938
426000
1975
951000
1940
438000
1976
1000100
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Jewett Piano Serial Nos.

Year
Serial No.
Year
Serial No.
1890
10000
1911
36000
1891
12000
1913
38000
1892
13000
1916
40000
1893
14000
1919
42000
1894
15000
1920
43000
1896
16000
1921
44000
1900
17000
1923
46000
1902
18000
1925
46250
1903
20000
1926
46600
1904
22000
1928
47100
1905
24000
1929
47500
1906
26000
1928
47100
1907
28000
1929
47500
1909
30000
1930
48000
1910
34000
1931
48826
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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Old Piano Tuning Tools

Over the years, a tuner will meet older tuners who learned their trade at a very different stage in the ongoing history of the piano. Invariably, they are full of stories, and often a great source of tips and ways of doing the routine and time-consuming jobs of restoring a piano.

When the retire - they still hang on to their tuning kit for as long as possible! Occasionally younger tuners inherit these old tools and they become memories of the person who used them for so long. Some of the tools really belong in a museum but here are some of the old tools that have been passed on to me: 
A 'T' Hammer and a wooden 'papps-type' tuning wedge. 

A few regulating tools - key spacers, set-off regulator, a not-quite-so-old check-bender and spoon-bender.
Tuning lever
This very old tuning lever I now use as part of my own kit - my normal lever has detachable heads which is perfect for most pianos but I found that the head for smaller tuning pins was not small enough for some of the old pianos I tune from time to time. One day I thought I'd look through the box of old tuning tools and discovered this little wonder! It has a small star head and is the perfect lever for these old pianos with tiny tuning pins. After a good clean and varnishing the handle, it is a valuable part of my own kit!

Technical File

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Pianology

Ivers and Pond Piano Serial Nos.



Year
Serial No.
Year
Serial No.
1902
31000
1946
80000
1904
35600
1948
82000
1906
40000
1950
84000
1908
44000
1952
85600
1910
48100
1954
86200
1912
51800
1956
86550
1914
55000
1958
87873
1916
60000
1960
91014
1918
65000
1962
94370
1920
68900
1964
100442
1922
71000
1966
109800
1924
73200
1968
116000
1926
75700
1970
121900
1928
76500
1972
127200
1930
77500
1974
135600
1932
77900
1976
140900
1934
78300
1978
144000
1936
78600
1980
148000
1938
79400
1982
145300
1940
79900
1983
162845
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