Blog Archives

Antique Victorian Piano Restoration

Antique Victorian Piano Restoration of Weber Grand from 1874

Charm, beauty and fascination of bringing a treasured piano back to life is a true rewarding experience. The craftsmanship and dedication that originally went into making this instrument is unmistakable and is what made Weber one of the world’s most superb pianos in its day. 

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Grand Pianos
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Identify and Care for your piano parts and wood types

Seeing the woods for the trees: identify and care for your piano parts

Seeing the woods for the trees

We posted a blog earlier last year about the numerous different wood types used in various aspects and stages of piano making, including the pinblock, soundboard and action mechanism – and,

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Buying Guide, Grand Pianos, Piano Care, Piano parts, Upright Pianos
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Rare A.H. Gale Square Grand Piano, Completely Restored – Customer Review

Rare A.H. Gale Square Grand Piano, Completely Restored – A Piano Emporium Customer Review by Larry & Rebecca Brisendine

A.H. Gale Piano RestorationWe stand by our mission and promise to provide our customers with quality pianos, service and support. Treating each customer like an exclusive endeavor with special emphasis and attention to detail is key in providing the highest level of satisfaction that will enhance every musical experience.

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Customer Testimonials, Grand Pianos
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“My Grandmother’s Piano” – Customer Review

“My Grandmother’s Piano” Restoration – by Kate Condon, Piano Emporium Customer

MEADOWS OF DAN, VIRGINIA:

My Grandmothers Piano Restoration, Kate Condon ofMy Grandmother, a concert pianist at 17, left me her Vintage 1901 Steinway Grand Piano over 50 years ago. Shane Owenby took perfect care of it for many years before I finally realized it needed complete restoration. 

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“Yesteryear” Piano Restoration – Customer Review

“Yesteryear” Piano Restoration – by John Sample, Piano Emporium Customer

Yesteryear Piano RestorationAfter shopping around and talking to various Piano Shops about restoring my 101 year old Player piano, I decided that the Piano Emporium was the right choice. Shane talked to me extensively and showed personal interest and understanding about the potential my instrument had,

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Customer Testimonials
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Wing & Son Family History – Piano Book

Wing & Son, one of our favorite and cherished antique piano manufacturers, was established in 1868.  Alison Deland Scott was kind enough to give us a History of her family. Her mother was Barbara Wing, daughter of Richard Deland (not Delano) Wing, and her older brother, Laurence.

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Hardman Piano Company

Hugh Hardman established the company during 1842 in New York. He later worked with his brother John and partnered with Leopold Peck to form Hardman Peck & Co. Aeolian took  over the company as they did many other piano manufacturers of the time. Pianos with the Hardman name were made until 1982. 

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Grand Pianos


Ricca

Ricca, or Ricca & Son was established in 1891 by H.F. Ricca and E.I. Ricca, at 604 East 132 St. and 884 East 134th St., New York. By the mid 20’s the offices and factory was located at 97-99 Southern Blvd., New York. They bought the Ludwig PIano Company around 1933.

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Piano parts, Upright Pianos


Pneumatic Player Pianos

Pneumatic player pianos are a lot of fun and operate using a vacuum for power. Pedaling with the feet creates this suction, which operates bellows in the piano.  Through hoses and valves the player mechanism manipulates the action of the piano where it in turn plays the keys.  Each note has an individual valve and pneumatic unit.

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Posted in Antique Pianos


Wing & Son antique pianos

One of our favorite antique pianos, Wing & Son, was founded in 1868  by Luman B. Wing in New York.  Luman B. Wing was the main partner in the firm of Doane, Wing & Cushing.  Luman B. Wing died in 1873 and was succeeded by his son, Frank L. Wing and then by his son R.

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Posted in Antique Pianos


Used pianos and tuning stability

One of the first things to consider about any used piano is tuning stability. Ask these questions; Can the piano be tuned? Will the piano hold its tune?

One major factor in the answer is the Pinblock.
• A pinblock is the part of the piano that holds the tuning pins.

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Grand Pianos, Piano parts, Upright Pianos


Evaluation: More than just a tuning

Many piano technicians do more than just a tuning when servicing their clients pianos. When we are called to tune a piano it is in our best interest as well as the customer’s to evaluate the pianos condition and give the customer our professional opinion of the quality and serviceability of their piano. 

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Posted in Antique Pianos


PIano Emporium, now on Thumbtack

We now have a piano tuning in Asheville service listing on Thumbtack. I’m always looking for ways to help market my piano moving, repair and tuning services. Thumbtack is a good way for me to help me show off my expertise in providing professional, very affordable piano moving,

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Grand Pianos, Upright Pianos


The piano soundboard

Piano soundboards are thin boards commonly made of spruce approximately 3/8″ thick glued together and extend from the bottom of the piano on a vertical, and tail of the piano on a grand, to the pin-block and then across the full width of the piano. The soundboard has a crown which is very important to the tone and resonance of the piano.

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Grand Pianos, Piano parts, Upright Pianos


Player pianos

A player piano is a regular upright or grand that plays itself but can also be played normally by any individual. On uprights, the case is usually larger to accommodate the player mechanism. Older player pianos are controlled by pneumatics and newer player pianos are controlled by electronics.

A reproducing piano has an additional element of being able to add musical expression to the performance.

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Grand Pianos, Upright Pianos


Antique Chickering Pianos

The Chickering piano company was established in 1823 by Jonas Chickering and James Stewart. It was the first piano company in the United States. The factory was located on Tremont St. in Boston, MA.  Chickering took painstaking care down to the smallest detail which assured the Chickering piano the place of honor in the first ranks at the World’s Fair in London in 1851.

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Posted in Antique Pianos


Antique Pianos by the Lester Piano Company

The Lester Piano Company, an American standard, was established in 1888 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These were well built affordable pianos and have many good qualities. Lester Piano Company was well know for their Grand pianos, full size uprights and the Betsy Ross Spinet. The company went out of business around 1960.

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Posted in Antique Pianos


Piano serial numbers

We are often asked to give a particular pianos age and most of the time it is based on finding a serial number so that we can cross reference with the date of manufacture.  Many piano manufacturers placed serial numbers in a variety of places.  Pianos also have other numbers printed on them such as part numbers and many other pianos do not have a serial number at all.

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Grand Pianos, Piano parts, Upright Pianos


How to clean piano keys

There are many types of piano key covering materials that have been used through the years.  Ivory, celluloid, plastic, walrus and even wooly mammoth to name a few. There are also many glues used in adhesion.  These glues can be unpredictable when used with chemical cleaners. It is best to stay clear of using any type of chemical cleaner to clean piano keys.

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Grand Pianos, Piano parts, Upright Pianos


Purchasing used pianos

Many potential piano buyers believe they can obtain good quality used pianos for little or nothing.  Most often they are very misinformed.  Be cautious of free or almost free pianos.  There is almost always repair work that needs to be done. There is high demand for good used pianos and many pianos are for sale by private parties. 

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Grand Pianos, Upright Pianos


Care of the Piano Finish

It is often difficult for the average piano owner to determine what type of wood finish was originally applied to his or her own piano. Many types of varnish, lacquer & other material have been used in the past. Setting up definitive rules in cleaning and polishing of all types pianos would be difficult. 

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Posted in Antique Pianos, Grand Pianos, Upright Pianos