WH Barnes Pianola

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MarthaLR
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WH Barnes Pianola

Post by MarthaLR » 05 Aug 2015, 22:17

Hi there

My dad has asked me to get rid of his WH Barnes upright pianola. He said it takes 88's. He's 72 and had it since he was a little boy. The only info i can find on it is it saying 'WH Barnes' under the lid that goes over the keys. Alot of the keys work but not all, it needs tuning, dusting, polishing etc. I can't find anything about W.H Barnes Pianolas and I don't know whether it is worth restoring it and selling it or just giving it away. And where is the best place to advertise? I'd also love to know anything about them as it was my Grandads and my dad is going senile now and can't remember anything about it. Thanks
Martha

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: WH Barnes Pianola

Post by Colin Nicholson » 07 Aug 2015, 00:18

Hi Martha

I don't have any information about Barnes.... I believe they were connected with Eavestaff.
'Player pianos' (the correct term) are regrettably dwindling into the sunset now, and to get yours restored would cost several thousand pounds, and you may not get a penny back for the restoration costs. Not sure of any player restorers in the UK, but several in USA.

As it stands, if you sell it 'as is' .... you'll get very little for it if you're lucky.... maybe £20..... many sit for days on Ebay and never sell.

If the piano still plays manually (without the player action), then it can still be tuned; if several notes don't work manually (actually pressing the keys).... then it can't be tuned until all notes are working.

Sometimes if the player unit is beyond repair & costs lots to repair, it is better to remove and scrap the player unit, and just sell it as an "upright piano". In fact I recently tuned a piano in Northumberland, and the customer didn't even realise it used to be a player piano! All the player parts had previously been removed, leaving a huge space inside where once was the bellows, stack, hoses etc. Some of the expression levers were still there, but not working for obvious reasons.

perhaps try Gumtree to sell it (it's free to advertise) - but best not mention the 'pianola' part if it doesn't work. If all the notes are working, it may sell for slightly more - about £30.... depends on its condition. If the piano is in a garage, cold storage area etc.... it may not play properly, and if needs re-pinning, again, quite expensive. Sometimes old pianos like these can't even be given away. Good luck with whatever you do with it.


Hope that helps

Colin
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MarthaLR
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Re: WH Barnes Pianola

Post by MarthaLR » 07 Aug 2015, 21:56

Hi Colin. Thank you for the information. My Dad wants to give it away for free, I just can't seem to find any "player piano" forums to sell it on. I will try Gumtree. Apparently the bellows and actual mechanism still work although my Grandad removed some hoses. God knows why....

Most of the keys play manually, just 2 stick. I had no idea it cost so much to restore, that sounds like something that is done for the love not the money!

Well I shall try advertising it for free and hopefully a fanatic will see the advert and take it on.

Many thanks

Martha

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: WH Barnes Pianola

Post by Colin Nicholson » 09 Aug 2015, 23:07

Hi
OMG!!
:cry:
I'm going to be brutally honest with you now.... just scrap it....
No one would want a piano looking like that in its condition.... even free.
Council may take it away for a fee, but sometimes they don't do pianos now.

Good luck anyway
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

madooeiei
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Re: WH Barnes Pianola

Post by madooeiei » 03 Oct 2015, 10:39

good

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