Bechstein model 7

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jilly
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Bechstein model 7

Post by jilly » 05 Aug 2007, 22:15

I am thinking about buying a Bechstein upright model 7 dated 1906. I have played it and love the feel of it. The rosewood casing is in very good condition and it has been fully restored. Is this a good buy (for under ?5000?) I need to make sure that it will stay in tune with a flute as I will be using it to accompany flutes a lot of the time.
thanks.

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Barrie Heaton
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Post by Barrie Heaton » 05 Aug 2007, 22:49

We cant tell if a piano will stay in tune, stability of tuning depends on many factors - you need a tuner to test the tuning pins to see if they are OK first. Then it’s all down the room it’s in on how well the piano stays I tune. The biggest factor for putting pianos out of tune are swings in humidity and south facing rooms, plus loos pins

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jilly
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bechstein model 7

Post by jilly » 06 Aug 2007, 13:05

Thanks for that. Is this a good model do you think?

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Re: bechstein model 7

Post by Barrie Heaton » 06 Aug 2007, 16:57

jilly wrote:Thanks for that. Is this a good model do you think?
in there day yes; however, without seeing the piano its hard to say. Fully restored can mean anything from just a few tapes to a rebuild

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Post by jilly » 06 Aug 2007, 19:39

I'll have a good look at it tomorrow and play it properly. From what I saw the other day it's had quite a lot of work done on it. Thanks again for replying,
Jilly

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Post by Barrie Heaton » 06 Aug 2007, 20:43

Get a tuner to look at it before you part with any money are they giving a guarantee

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Post by jilly » 06 Aug 2007, 22:45

Yes it will be guaranteed as it's in a piano showroom (established 20 years) The proprietor is a tuner and restorer. I'm going to take my flute to check the tuning.

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Post by WinstonChurchill » 07 Aug 2007, 15:51

Hold on a second -- are you assuming that because the piano is in a showroom that's been around for a while, a guarantee is inevitable? Let me disabuse you of that notion straight away! Get something on paper, or you're in very dangerous territory.

Secondly, what do you hope to prove by taking your flute along to the showroom? Even if the piano is in tune, and at the right pitch, all that will prove is that it's in tune RIGHT NOW. You need to have it looked at by someone who can give you some idea of whether it is likely still to be in tune the day after you get it home (or rather, the day after it is next tuned). I'm sure that just about any piano can be made to sound OK temporarily, but this will give you no indication that it can actually hold its tune.

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Post by Barrie Heaton » 07 Aug 2007, 16:32

I see you have not lost your touch Winston in putting across the important bits

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Post by WinstonChurchill » 07 Aug 2007, 21:48

Well, Barrie, I do what I can...

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Post by Openwood » 07 Aug 2007, 22:49

Taking a flute along to check tuning sounds a bit risky. How will you know that your flute is producing a peachy A=440?

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Post by Otto » 08 Aug 2007, 11:01

Here's another opportunity to jump down my throat for you guys ...

The pitch of the note is proportional to the square root of [ the tension divided by both the length and the mass (weight)].

This is correct by observation. For example if you double the length of a string, which will also double the mass (weight) then the pitch will decrease by the square root of twice x twice - which is two - i.e. down an octave.

Using this formula you can see that shifting the pitch up a semitone will exert an extra 12.2% load on the frame. I should have thought that that is well within the manufacturing tolerances of a frame (which would be required to take a 200% increase before failure if it were an aircraft, or 600% if it were an English bridge [American ones are different :roll: ]).

Whilst it may take a bit of nerve to crank everything up a semitone, I should have thought that it would be perfectly safe - assuming that the pins don't start to slip.
Last edited by Otto on 08 Aug 2007, 21:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by jilly » 08 Aug 2007, 19:52

Thanks guys- this is all getting a bit too technical - you should get out more!!
There is a guanantee with it and a tuner will come and retune it again after it has been moved. I can adjust the flute tuning if it slips a bit. It will only be played in my house- not the Bridgwater Hall..............
The thing is - I've now fallen in love with it having played it again last night. It has a wonderful tone and the action is a dream to play. So there you go.......thanks again for your advice.

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Post by hammer man » 09 Aug 2007, 00:30

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, sorry to sound negative but it's still an old Bechstein. I would still look long and hard about buying this instrument.

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Re: Bechstein model 7

Post by jilly » 16 Jun 2010, 08:21

I've had this lovely Bechstein 7 for nearly three years now, have moved house with it (very scary!) but it has stayed in tune with regular tuning. I threw caution to the wind and bought it for £4750. I've enjoyed every minute. Sometimes it pays to take a risk.................x

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Re: Bechstein model 7

Post by Ginni » 27 Oct 2010, 19:02

I'm trying to sell my Rogers baby grand and get an upright, due to space! I've always loved Bechstein pianos and it's definitely a make I'm interested in buying. I've found a Bechstein (not sure what model it is), built 1889, a large piano with a beautiful tone. It's been fully refurbish (the case has been done up, new strings, new hammers, the lot). It's at a very very reasonable price due to politics!! However, the piano dealer has actually told me that he's not keen on Bechsteins from a technicians point of view. He says they're very difficult to maintain as the insides are fairly brittle, and they're difficult to tune. He also says that it's been in the same place all the time and so is used to a fairly damp climate, if it was moved to say London, for example, it might struggle as the climate is a bit drier.
I've fallen in love with the piano and it's definitely a heart over head matter. Can anyone advise me ... are they difficult to maintain? Is it really a problem or is the technician just expressing a personal opinion?
He suggest something newer like a Yamaha U3 but I just don't have the same romantic affection for them as I do for Bechsteins.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone's interest in my baby grand ... it's a lovely instrument, been very well looked after, in a beautiful mahogony case.

Many thanks.

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Re: Bechstein model 7

Post by mdw » 27 Oct 2010, 20:14

Well if its any help one of my tunings today was a small bechstein grand. Took the desk off to start to see a big split across the wrest plank covering 8 tuning pins. Good bye piano. YOu can do a fantastic big cost rebuild on a piano from 1890s and it will still be stuck together with animal glue and built for houses much damper than modern homes. I am seeing more and more of these problems on all makes of pianos.

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Re: Bechstein model 7

Post by Ginni » 28 Oct 2010, 11:32

:( This is definitely not what I wanted to hear!! Sounds as though it'd be a risky buy. Even when it's had £6200 worth of work, and it's being sold for £3,200?! I love it and this is making me sad :(

Thanks for your reply though.

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Re: Bechstein model 7

Post by CanDoo » 29 Oct 2010, 21:39

Hi Ginni.
I own a lovely 1907 Bechstein upright that has been fully restored by a well known and reputable company. Scores of pianos were tried before finding this one and I just fell in love with the sound and have been delighted with it ever since. I should add that I don't like all Bechsteins.
I would have the piano checked out by an independent tuner and if given a clean bill of health, then go for it. But only if you really have fallen in love with it, as there are many more pianos out there that you have yet to try.
On the subject of tuning, my tuner says they are more difficult , but not a problem for someone who knows what he is doing.

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