Cadby Grand Piano

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Darth1914
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Cadby Grand Piano

Post by Darth1914 » 20 Jan 2017, 01:02

Hello:

I have an opportunity to acquire a Cadby Grand Piano. It is beautiful! However, it is significantly out of tune; so much so I am concerned it may not be tunable. I was asked to "make an offer"; however, I have no idea where to start. I don't want to buy it if I cannot play it. This beauty is so large it will take up my entire living room. It would be the centerpiece without doubt. Thus, it will need to be playable. Can anyone offer any thoughts on this?

Thanks,

AB

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Cadby Grand Piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 20 Jan 2017, 12:16

AB,
What is your budget? maximum spend?

Charles Cadby are a very old grand piano manufacturer, at least 100 years old, according to my listings.
Tread very carefully with this one, and many are probably not tuneable, and require major restoration (i.e. re-stringing/ new wrest plank).

Last year I attempted to tune one...... walked away in the end, after only able to tune about half the piano (and even that was a struggle!) ...... customer very distraught, piano given away virtually free (they wouldn't say what they paid for it!!), paid £150 for delivery, I charged £65 call-out.... so that's £215 so far for a free piano that cannot be tuned. Mechanism was also in poor condition, and signs of previous broken strings - badly repaired. They didn't want to pay for a refurb, which can be expected for someone only willing to pay nothing for a piano.


If you are interested by the "offer" - I would suggest you make an appointment with a piano tuner/ technician (who is local to the piano, not necessarily you) - and get it fully checked over for a nominal call-out fee. Most tuners are happy to do this, and they will provide you with a verbal or written report afterwards (depends on their tariff for verbal or written). Best to do this first before removal costs, then find out it cannot be tuned...... no brainer really?


Colin
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Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
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Darth1914
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Re: Cadby Grand Piano

Post by Darth1914 » 21 Jan 2017, 01:21

Hello Colin:

Thank you for that insight. I had not thought of asking my piano tuner what he would charge just to come out and take a "peek"...

As a bit of background, the piano is at my place of work. I work for a staging company--we stage homes with high-end furniture. We have quite a few baby grand pianos in stock. I had spotted the Cadby in our repair facility. It was wrapped up and on its side at the time; nonetheless, it looked beautiful! I had it pulled out and cleaned up. This thing is just gorgeous! However, it does not play: It is way out of tune, and several keys just do not function. I was given the impression that the owner believes it is worth quite a bit since it is so old. I had no idea where even to begin estimating its worth. With the numbers you mentioned I now have, at least, a starting point, even if in pounds vs. dollars (I'm in the U.S.).

Thank you again for responding so quickly.

Art

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Re: Cadby Grand Piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 21 Jan 2017, 14:44

If you get a tuner to assess it/ check it over, part of their job is to randomly tune & test a few tuning pins for stability and pin torque - this part is vital.... so.... the piano must be assembled fully back into its "upright" position with pedal lyre attached and plenty space allowed around it - about 6ft square. The non working notes are not an issue at this stage, they can be fixed, the most important part is the structure & condition of the wrest plank, bridges and soundboard.... and the condition of the strings & hammers. Old pianos like these are worthless (£100 max)..... unless restored. Many people hang onto them thinking they are valuable - not the case, in fact the opposite. Worth every cent getting a tuner out for an appraisal.... and may save you a lot of hassle. Cadby are not a recognised name, a very old company, and even though it may look luring - they often open a can or worms. Won't be economical to restore, unless you like it that much you want to keep it. Estimated restoration costs would probably exceed £10K

Book a tuner who predominantly restores pianos - not someone who just tunes - ask them first. Also be available during the assessment if possible.... your jaw will probably drop to the floor when they pull out the mechanism and reveal all.
The technician will also need plenty space and good light conditions, so the piano is preferably in the middle of a room, not squashed in a corner like a library book!
The tech person may not be able to value it or give restoration costs on-site, only say if the piano is tuneable or not - a restoration quote will be a separate task, but they may be able to give a rough figure. None of these pianos are listed in the Phillips Piano auction prices guide, and rare piano names and age do not equate to value - some of the panel work/ legs / fret work/ carvings etc.... may be worth more on their own, without the piano!
Good luck and let us know how you get on with the inspection.

Colin
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

Darth1914
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Re: Cadby Grand Piano

Post by Darth1914 » 26 Jan 2017, 01:40

Hello Colin:

Apologies for the delay in response. I wrote back on Monday; however, when I attempted to add an attachment everything seemed to freeze.

Anyway, thank you for your response and advice.

You mentioned it may cost $10k (I guess that would be more like $20k since I am working in US dollars) to restore the Cadby. I'm not sure how much of that estimate would be for the outside of the piano. We actually have our own in-house furniture restoration crew, and they have cleaned that piano up nicely. I wanted to send you some pictures, but it seems this site can only accept very small attachments. If you have any suggestions on how to get you the pictures I would very much like to hear your opinion once you see this piano (I think it's beautiful, but that's just me).

Thanks again for your responses, and I truly appreciate the insight.

AB

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