Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

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gigi638
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Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by gigi638 » 12 Aug 2014, 02:13

Hello,
I am new to this forum and would like some advice about a piano I was looking to buy. I live in the US, but am posting here as the brand is apparently from the UK, and not sold here at all. I have never heard of it here- the brand is Kelmann. It looks absolutely brand new and they are asking 500 US dollars (not sure how much that would be in pounds). It is an upright piano.

I started doing some online research but the information is very limited. It says it is made by Godfreys Pianos (also unheard of here in the US). I have looked up pictures of some of these pianos and I also see that sometimes it is written Kelmann and sometimes Kelman (with only one n). So I am very confused and I just want to know if these are good quality pianos. I don't need something of the highest quality (like a Yamaha). It's for my young children's lessons. But I also don't want to overpay for something that may not be worth that much.

Any advice is truly appreciated. Thank you.

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 12 Aug 2014, 17:54

Millions of pianos have various 'export' names - or names made up for retail purposes.... these are often referred to as "Stencil pianos" - and occasionally are brought over from China, boxed up and no name. retailers then add their own names to suit.... some names sounding like major towns and cities/ composers/ german piano names etc.

If you google "Stencil pianos" this will give you a better description.

If you could send a link or photo here, we may be able to help you, but can't just go on a name.
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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by NewAge » 12 Aug 2014, 18:00

I'm no pro, just a very keen piano-lover/player for years, and I can't recall ever hearing of a Kelmann piano, either on this or similar forums world-wide.
A question was raised here some 9 years ago about a Kelman (one n) piano, and reading between the lines it was probably a stencil piano - which I suspect yours is too.
Note: stencils were built by large factories, and often given a trendy-sounding name unrelated to the factory. Often the quality was relatively low, although some were reasonable, very usable instruments.
The best advise one can offer is to shop around and try quite a number of different pianos within your price range, and get an appreciation of how they sound to you, and especially if the action 'feels-good' to the player. As an instrument for your children to learn, as a general guide ensure the piano is over-strung/under-damped. Getting an appraisal from a tuner/tech is always a wise move with most used piano.
On your side of 'the pond', Craig's list can often be an interesting place to start looking, but take your time, and NEVER buy without viewing and trying it first.
As one is never certain if children will take to the piano and keep up their studies, have you considered renting a piano for 6 months? We did this, and after 12 months all our payments were credited towards the purchase price of the same new piano.
Good luck!
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by Kaj » 12 Aug 2014, 20:04


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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by NewAge » 12 Aug 2014, 20:44

Kaj wrote:Here is a Kelmann
http://www.youngspianos.co.uk/kelman
No. The one you show is a Kelma(n)
Which is the better.........? :?
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by Kaj » 12 Aug 2014, 22:24

Oh, I see. Thank you for correcting :)

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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 13 Aug 2014, 07:25

I have a little info if it helps about GODFREY -

3 factories in Exeter (235 High Street), Southampton and London. 1885 - 1935
also made Waldstein (German copy), Kellman (London) and Burnand pianos.
Serial No. #10441 no date given.
Waldstein are not to be confused for "Waldstein of Berlin"

The piano in the link looks to be 1930s.

The only way to test its 'quality' and condition is to book it in for a tuning (and/or assessment) - without seeing the internal mechanism in detail/ condition of strings/ tuning history etc.... no one can guess its condition. Just like a car, it may be a decent name, but that doesn't make that particular one quality - also depends on how the piano has been kept, and how often serviced and tuned. All pianos are usually well built.

Usual signs of wear & tear for old pianos (here are a few) >>
[Mechanism]
1. Bridle tapes perish/ break/ odd replacement
2. Hammer butt & notch leathers perish/ wear away down to the wood
3. Hammer head felts grooved/ some harsh/ tinny sounds
4. Loose or tight centres/ uneven hammers
5. Cushion felts worn/ possible insect damage
6. Back check felt worn due to worn leathers

Other things like dampers, pedals, key bushings, regulation & servicing, pitch of piano.

Most new and 2nd hand pianos of better quality can hold their tuning & pitch after 6 months.... some longer..... this is the recommended period for a re-tune. However, many old pianos (of all makes) do not hold their pitch and tuning for long (even when the piano has been advertised "recently tuned" ) .... this is something you will find out AFTER you have bought the piano. The piano will probably 'play' fine, and have a good tone, but a seller may be having their piano tuned every 2 months to keep it in tune. If you have a good ear, you will notice this.
$500 US Dollars is just under £300 ...... so don't expect a fantastic piano - there are risks buying an old piano of around 80 years old (pianos over 40 yrs of age are classed as being 'old') .

General maintenance of the mechanism is relatively inexpensive, however if the piano needs to be re-strung, its expensive - and it would not be economical to have it done unless a top name.

If the piano is just for fun/ knock out a few tunes - fine! Ideal for beginners.
If you are in doubt, then start with a digital piano for your children.... for an extra £100, you can get a NEW digital piano with stand/ stool. Then upgrade later if needed - say your kids get to around Grade 3-5 standard.
I wouldn't compare this piano to Yamaha - different league altogether (and price range!!)

Hope that helps

Colin
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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by gigi638 » 13 Aug 2014, 21:50

OP here- the piano actually looks very very new, like it was just made. I looked inside and the hammers and everything looks like it has never even been touched. I found that odd- as everything that comes up for Kelman or Kelmann is usually pianos that are very old.

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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by gigi638 » 13 Aug 2014, 22:03

OP here- Just to clarify..... the piano does not look 80, nor not even 40 years old for that matter. It actually looks like a very very brand new piano just built. I could be wrong, but all the parts looked brand new even in on the inside ( hammers, etc.) I will try to post a picture on here if it helps.I find it very very odd though that it is spelled Kelmann with 2 n's and I can't find any information on a Kelmann.

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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 14 Aug 2014, 22:47

The piano on the link is not new - might be restored.
If the piano you are viewing is different to the one shown on the link - then how do we know?
I was only providing information about the old style Kellman.
Don't forget what I said about export pianos.... Kellmann could be new - but this has never been shown yet!¬

the piano you are describing (as being new).... is this the piano shown on the Link in the music shop?.... but photographed in the corner of a room?

The advert says "1930s" .... and it looks 30s. The piano may have been recently restored or part-restored with new or recovered hammer heads and re- French polished?
New pianos rarely have 85 keys.... (usually 88).
Certainly doesn't look like a modern cabinet (also by the wood grain/ colour), and the curved legs and rounded corners suggest 1930s. Do you have any records/ restoration work notes ?
In some cases, the mechanism is more commonly restored alone (for economy).... if you could take some photos of the dampers and the strings/ tuning pins & coils (close up), and a photo of the inside of the bottom of the piano, we will be able to confirm if it has been fully restored or not. Re-stringing is quite expensive - and rarely done to a piano with name not well known.

If it looks new inside, and only selling for $500 - you must get it checked out.... could be some tuning issues why its going so cheap. That's your first job.... your tuner will also confirm its a newly restored piano in a 1930s shell.

I agree with you, the wood finish and general appearance does not look 1930s - but it is definitely not a piano that has been recently built.... but possibly restored. If you put a new engine in and newly sprayed on a 1967 classic car -it looks new, but its still 1967! .... regaining its obvious shape and curves/ décor.

Anyone else here think this is a new piano?

Colin
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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 24 Aug 2014, 01:13

...... any advances on this new piano?
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Re: Does anyone recommend a Kelmann piano?

Post by Kaj » 25 Aug 2014, 18:41

Sorry, I did it again, missed the double N.
If the piano name is Kelmann and it is new, could it be from China?
Where can we see the picture of the Kelmann?

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