Stroud 4 string treble

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ElissaObi
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Stroud 4 string treble

Post by ElissaObi » 24 Jun 2019, 02:32

I’ve just bought a old piano. It has Stroud Berlin, the pianola company. Serial number is 10690. I have just had it tuned and the tuner was surprised by the treble having four stings per note. Wondering if anyone has any information on this?

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by Bill Kibby » 24 Jun 2019, 10:21

I can't say I have heard of many uses of 4 strings per note, it was tried in Beethoven's time and not found to have any particular advantage. There is a acoustical and mathematical advantage in 3 rather than 2.
The reference to "Stroud Berlin" is puzzling, the Stroud Piano Co. was in Stroud, and it is an unlikely name to appear on a Berlin-made piano, but they made the "Berlin Model". There was also Stroud, New York. I presume the reference to the Pianola Co. is because it is a pianola? The number doesn't help because we don't know whose number it is.
If it is a Berlin piano, and your tuner thinks it is safe to remove the action, it may be marked on the back with the action makers' name and number, and I may be able to date this.
Can you tell me how many of the top notes have 4 strings?
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ElissaObi
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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by ElissaObi » 24 Jun 2019, 11:57

Thank you for your reply. The tuner was quite puzzled by the 4 strings. The hammer connects with them all, so it’s not for resonance. That’s what he said, unfortunately I am a complete newbie just having my first lessons.
The whole of the top 1/3 of the keys are 4 string. The rest are standard 1,2 and then 3.
It was not a pianola so the brass name is unusual. I’ll figure out how to post some pictures

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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by ElissaObi » 24 Jun 2019, 12:05

C248B936-3634-453E-A00C-0C88C4FF7B2A.jpeg

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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by Bill Kibby » 24 Jun 2019, 16:44

I can see how you ended up with several copies of the photo, I removed them. There is something wrong with the website that wouldn't accept my attachment, but it turned up afterwards! If you search this website for Bentley (made by Stroud) you will find this picture of "The Berlin" model.
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StroudTheBerlin634u.jpg
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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by ElissaObi » 24 Jun 2019, 21:29

Thank you for that information. Let me see if I follow you. Stroud became Bentley and Bentley built the Berlin model. So Berlin may be the model name, but built by Stroud before it became Bentley. It doesn’t look exactly like the Berlin model but I guess they made variations. There are also holes where sconces once sat.
But there is no record of any makers experimenting with a four string or even any idea why they would have done it, considering there is no advantage.
I’ve added some more photos, fingers crossed it works properly this time! Included is a picture of what I think is the serial number showing the 4 strings. Unfortunately we didn’t take the action off although perhaps we can do that in the next tuning.
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2425B3E7-B7BE-46BF-921A-10B5D1127362.jpeg

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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by ElissaObi » 24 Jun 2019, 21:31

The serial number. I don’t think it sent in the last reply. Please delete if it did send
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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by ElissaObi » 24 Jun 2019, 21:34

Not sure if this picture will be useful. I’m very intrigued as to why they would have gone to the effort of adding another string.

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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by Bill Kibby » 24 Jun 2019, 22:09

Just because you see a number inside a piano, that doesn't mean it is necessarily THE number, there will be several.
This is much older, looks like Edwardian. There are always experimental ideas which don't necessarily succeed. I can only guess that The Pianola Company sold the piano.
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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by ElissaObi » 24 Jun 2019, 23:16

Thank you so much for your information. Piano history is incredibly fascinating.

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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by Bill Kibby » 24 Jun 2019, 23:24

It certainly is. I am struggling to find one single reference to "The Pianola Company" being used in those words.
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Re: Stroud 4 string treble

Post by Bill Kibby » 25 Jun 2019, 14:27

Although Stroud is in Gloucestershire and Berlin is in Germany, the phrase "The Pianola Company" suggests the other side of the world, such as Australia! Is that where you are?
If 10690 was a Stroud serial number it would suggest 1920, but the piano looks more like 1902.
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If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, they should refer to pianohistory.info

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