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We normally stock one or two Blüthner upright pianos. Used underdamped Blüthner uprights are not very common in the UK; most Blüthner uprights are overdampers and we don’t normally stock these as the dampers don’t cut off too well in the upper treble (see below). Like the grand pianos, upright Blüthners have a mellow tone and smooth action. There are two main categories.
Blüthner upright 1932
Straight strung and overstrung. These are by far the most common Blüthner uprights (95% of pre 1920 Blüthner uprights; later ones nearly all underdamped) dating mostly from 1880 to 1915. Overdamper means that the mechanism to stop the string after it’s played is above the hammer, and it is not so efficient meaning that there is an echo effect. The damping is especially poor in the upper range of damping. About 50% of these are straight strung.
Straight and overstrung: These date from about 1910 onwards and have a fine rich tone and the taller ones a superb action. Mostly rosewood (60%) or black (40%). About 80% are overstrung.
Blüthner overstrung underdampers
We’ve found considerable inconsistency in the tone of Blüthner overstrung underdampers (not the straight strung ones which are usually consistent in tone). They often have areas that sound “boomy” or patchy, particularly in the mid treble. Consequently we are very careful when buying Blüthners into stock. Should you find one for sale, we recommend getting a tuner to inspect it for you. Nearly all Blüthner grands and uprights are exceptionally well made and restore well.
Unfortunately Bluthner underdamper uprights are not that common (perhaps one in 10 Bluthner uprights); the majority are overdamped, meaning that the piano tends to ring on instead of cut off cleanly