I just wanted to share this with tuners out there. Recently, I was given an 1879 Challenger & Co. upright, arguably a cottage piano with pan legs. It was so terribly out of tune, and a major third below pitch. The tuning showed no sign of being tuned properly in the past, there was no detectable scale, and unison were terrible, so I assumed that the wrestpins must be very loose.
Being oblong pins, I started tuning with a T-hanmer, but found it difficult to even turn the pins, so I torque-tested some of them, and was amazed to find that many of them were over 40 inchpounds, which is tighter than some new pianos, not bad for a piano that is 138 years old!
Tuning it was a long and back-breaking job for me, because of the angles, using a T-hammer on a piano that is too tall to sit down for tuning. I will try again with an old double-ended crank, but even the first rough tuning has transformed it, and although I am unlikely to risk raising the pitch in one go, the tone is surprisingly sweet.
Ask questions on piano history and the age of your piano.
1 post • Page 1 of 1