Scrap it or Restore it?

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Scrap it or Restore it?

Post by stopher » 05 Sep 2009, 22:20

Nearly two years ago, I was given an early 1920s Chappell upright that was in poor playing condition that I had intended to get working again. I had a bit of help from a friend of mine who is a piano tuner technician at the start (this has since dried up) plus some advice from the friendly and knowledgeable people on this site.

Externally, the piano looks ok and I feel I can finish that off myself eventually but I feel I've got completely out of my depth. I've had a go at re-bushing keys and unsuccessfully trying to balance keys and am getting a bit of ear-ache from the girlfriend to hurrry up with it so googled piano restorers and emailed a few that were fairly close to me location-wise.

All came back with quotes of around £1500 to level the keys, completely overhaul the action, re-string and transport it. Externally, the piano looks ok and I feel I can finish that off myself eventually but one quote did say that if its £1500, then realistically, I could get a cheap new or decent 2nd hand piano for not much more.

So is it worth doing or should I just put it towards a new one?


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Re: Scrap it or Restore it?

Post by Peter Smith@PSPianos » 06 Sep 2009, 00:45

Hi Chris,
I think you already know what you should do with your Chappell..but you have difficulty saying the words...!

There's a date a the beginning of November that you should certainly bear in mind.... It would perhaps be a fitting memorial to your piano and all efforts so far. Out with the with the new !

A number of years ago I was called to a house to asses / value an old piano... I was thinking of a most plesant way of passing on my opinion of the piano to the client. I finally decided to tell her " That the piano is an absolute treasure" to which her face lit up.....On seeing her expression I continued " and like all treasure, this should be buried at the bottom of the sea " I took a few moments as she realised what I was saying. ( it brightened up an ordinary day )

Good luck.

p.s. enjoy the fireworks. :D

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Re: Scrap it or Restore it?

Post by PianoGuy » 06 Sep 2009, 10:45

Get it checked out first.

Value in actual cash aside, '20s Chappells can be extraordinarily good, although this one sounds as if it could be a bit too far gone.

The opinion above is purely that of PianoGuy and is simply the opinion of one person ....

If you're buying a piano, try as many as you can and buy the one you like, not a similar one of the same type.

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Re: Scrap it or Restore it?

Post by joseph » 06 Sep 2009, 12:02

I guess if you absolutely love the piano and have to have it, and you would die if you didn't, then get it restored. Otherwise your money would be better spent towards a new piano. The reality is that a new piano will be better in every way. Well, unless it is from a truly deplorable factory....

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