Two days following my encounter with the towering no name upright, I was drawn to a Fresno Bee Classified ad, that listed an antique ”Counsel piano” for sale at “$1500 or best offer.” (First thing that popped into my head was Indian pow-wow- tribal "council?") What on earth was a Counsel? I snatched up my… Continue reading A Table Style Piano with Three Leaves–the whole story in lurid detail
I grew up in the Marble Hill projects of the Bronx and lived on the ninth floor. The walls of our housing development were so paper thin that when I practiced on my Sohmer 1922 studio upright, my first dream piano, it would elicit nerve-racking thumps from the neighbor down below. To my embarrassment, I… Continue reading Housing my Dream Pianos
A Kawai and Chickering were in a tight race, until one took off and surpassed the other. My whole Saturday was consumed with evaluating two pianos: a practically brand new "Kawai" 5'1" grand and a larger, nearly 5'8" size "Chickering," 1980. The Kawai captured my interest because a smaller studio upright of the same brand… Continue reading A Day with Two Piano Finalists
DO’s for Buyers If possible take along a Registered Piano Technician and performing pianist with a good pair of ears to evaluate a used or new piano on the market. You can find a list of RPT members at your Piano Technicians’ Guild online site, or look in the business or Yellow Pages for the… Continue reading Do’s and Don’ts for Piano Buyers and Sellers (Dream Piano’s last Chapter)
On a whim, I had decided to make an hour long trip to Visalia about 50 miles south of Fresno to sniff out the stock over at the “Piano Gallery.” (This was before it went out of business) A medium size establishment in an upscale shopping mall, it was owned by “Ginnadiy Merkerin,” a Russian… Continue reading Recording on a SLEEPER Dream Piano
York's wood saw used to trim hammer stems and pedal rods. A string of keys from the piano tuning supply house. From Left to Right--Yellow dust cloth;Wurlitzer Duraphonic Radial soundboard; Soundboard Steel to mount a dust cloth for cleaning under the strings. York's grandpa, a piano tuner, would make his soundboard cleaner out of a… Continue reading York’s tweezers, soundboard steel, hammer stem saw etc.
York called me from a client's home in Clovis right after our great treasure-seeking adventure under the Kawai 7-foot grand piano. He'd been appraising a Samick studio upright manufactured in 1990 that was owned by Joel Van Ginkel. "I'd appraise it at about $2000," he said, "but between you 'n me, he'll unload the piana' for a lot… Continue reading Samick, York, Tofujie and me: On the piano-chasing trail
"Alice," the owner of an unidentified player, is seen above. On a sultry Friday morning before a long Memorial Day weekend, I stumbled upon a Fresno Bee ad for a brand-less “piano,” sandwiched among “moving sale” items. The seller’s address traced to a working class neighborhood in south Fresno that probably wouldn’t house a pricey… Continue reading A Player Piano Without a Name