The discussions recently over whether or not to place old players in
homes which don't plan to have the piano fully restored has generated a
lot of thought out of many people here.
Today is a specific example of one of these cases. I'd like to know what
others think about the action that was taken and what their opinions are.
Today I found a player in the paper for sale. The ad had a player piano
for sale for $300 with over 200 rolls.
I called the person who I have been looking for a player for. She was
very excited that I had found one and was willing to make time today to
go and see it. I had free time and so did the people selling the piano.
When I went to the house I saw the garage that the piano was in. That
says something already. I walked in and met the person looking for the
player and the people selling it.
I had made a list of all the things I needed to tell the woman who wanted
the piano. First, I checked the player action as best I could. The
tubing felt new, however it was the original from what I was told. The
player mechanism looked original, but newer, as if it had been restored.
It wasn't full of holes and covered with masking tape. I began pumping
the piano and it played!! Granted I was pumping quickly, but not very
hard and not that fast. The mechanism was in decent working order. The
piano's finish looked like new also.
I first told the woman interested in it that she should definitely not
buy it now, and wait until a professional piano technician could examine
the instrument to find major things coming unglued and to check the
tuning pins, along with the less obvious parts of the piano action. I
told her that this was very necessary to be sure that she didn't buy a
piano with major structural problems which require costly repairs. I
then told her that for $2,000 she could buy a new Wurlitzer upright
piano. I told her that I could not evaluate the instrument enough to
give her a good report on its condition and repair costs.
The woman was so excited to see this player that she was being offered
for $200 (I don't know when the price fell, but that is what the owners
claimed that they were selling it for) with an abundance of rolls in
excellent condition, (including early twenties QRS rolls with the black
paper boxes in unbelievable condition), that she made arrangements to buy
it. She justified this with, "I'm willing to take a loss for $200, this
is a deal."
I tried to slow her down. I wanted to stop her, but she went ahead with
it. She doesn't want to spend anywhere near $2,000 for any restoration.
When I told her the cost of new hammers or strings she seemed disgusted
and very uninterested. The piano to my knowledge is totally unrestored.
The piano is an Aeolian. I misplaced the serial number but I remember
that it started with 75 which was stamped on with ink. It was an
upright, though not as large as mine (which is from 1921).
Aeolian owners and restores, please e-mail me so I can ask you a few
specific questions. I'd really appreciate it!
Let the comments begin... What have I done?