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Comparison of a Welmar and Knight upright piano

Comparison of a Welmar and Knight Upright Piano

Models from the 60s to the c1980s

Welmar Upright Piano 1976


Knight K10 Upright Piano c1967 – c1987.



Both pianos are well made British pianos with an even touch and tone.
Knight pianos were sold alongside grand pianos in Steinway hall during this period and sold around the world as one of the most stable uprights available.



RRP: £3200 (2013) when precisely reconditioned
DIMENSIONS: 121 hight x 143 length x 61 depth


RRP: £2,000 – £3,300 (2012) precisely reconditioned
DIMENSIONS: 112 hight x 140 length x 56 depth


The Welmar’s touch


The welmar uprights have an even touch, with a well adjusted action. Similar to the Knight pianos.

The Knight’s touch


Knight uprights have shorter keys but a well balanced action giving a very responsive touch


The Welmar’s action


Slightly more mellow than Knights. The tone on the shorter Welmar uprights is very even, and superb on the taller ones.

The Knight’s action


The bass strings are designed so that they cross the treble strings at a greater angle, thus they are longer. This extra length allows the Knight K10 to match the tone of bigger upright pianos such as the U1. Different Knight uprights may vary between a moderately mellow to a bright tone. This is often to do with the hardness of the hammer, and the pianos can often be toned. Knight uprights may be smaller than Yamaha ones but the richness of tone is comparable.


The Welmar’s casing


The Knight’s casing


Neither piano originally came with book holders but due to the thickness of the wood material of the music desk, book holders can be fitted.


The Welmar’s Pedals


Most Welmar upright pianos do not have a third practice pedal, however, a practice lever may be fitted for an extra cost of £200+VAT. This system is the same as found in most modern pianos but is activated with a hand operated lever rather than a pedal.

The Knight’s Pedals


Again, some Knight upright pianos do not have a third practice pedal, however, a practice lever may be fitted for an extra cost of £200+VAT. This system is the same as found in most modern pianos but is activated with a hand operated lever rather than a pedal.


Both of these makes are regarded by tuners and teachers as some of the best modern British uprights ever made. They are both extremely stable and are easily tuned. Knights usually have a brighter tone. The tall Welmars are among the best uprights in existence. So both are highly recommended.

NB buying a good used piano from this period is far better than buying a new piano such as the Yamaha B3 that has a plywood soundboard, making the tone sound dull in comparison.

Comparison: Restored Steinway model O rosewood 1912 vs black 1905

Video transcription:

This is a comparison between 2 Steinway model O grand pianos. That’s 5’10 1/2 inches long. This Steinway was made in 1912 and is just recently come into stock.

This Steinway was made in 1906 also recently arriving in stock:

We will start off with this black polyester Steinway. This one is a fully restored Steinway grand. the third pedal in the middle was added when it was restored.

It is possible to add a sostenuto pedal to pianos of this age. It originally comes without them. But the mechanism inside allows you to do that.

Now you can see the keytops here. They have been replaced. The tops were originally ivories. They have been replaced due to hard wear of the original keytops. They look just right with the new black finish. Black polyester, just like a modern piano.

The Steinway logo has also been made to look like a modern logo

Now the 1912 Steinway is all original and if we focus in here. We can see that it has original ivory keys, in perfect condition.

Now the logo on the Steinway in Rosewood is not brass.

It is actually boxwood inlay. Which was quite commonly done on higher quality Steinway pianos.

The case on this Steinway is a lovely figured rosewood. And the polish is almost perfect, although it does have some fading.

The fading is slightly on this right-hand side

Buy mainly on the top lid which has been folded over. This is such a common thing on wooden pianos. I have mentioned it in other videos as they have been kept open as they have been played. And obviously, underneath where it was not exposed to light.

If you do have a wooden piano it is important to keep it closed. Not just sunlight does it. It is general exposure to light. Including indirect sunlight.

Now it is a lovely figured rosewood. We can fully repolish this piano. It has devalued the piano slightly that is faded. If you did want a full refinish, that is something that we offer. We do full French polishing. It takes about 70 hours, so it does add a lot to the price. But we believe we are trying to achieve the highest standard finish.

The music stand also has a beautifully figured rosewood and is faded. The whole piano is faded apart from the part that wasn’t exposed. Since it has faded the piano would appear darker if we repolish the piano.

You can see that some book holders have been installed here. That is very useful especially if you have some very thick books to keep the music open.

We could add music holders to the black polyester Stieinway too, it is possible to do without damaging the polyester.

Looking at the inside. The thing we want to do, is to check the tuning pin tightness. On this rosewood one, they are extremely tight. the wrest plank underneath has not been replaced.


It is not necessary to replace Steinway wrest planks although. When we fully redo the piano, we usually do.

On the black polyester Steinway grand, we have changed the wrest plank. A sign of a replaced pinblock are the slightly smaller tuning pins.

The restoration on the rosewood one was done by Steinway in 1984 and again a Steinway technician in 1995 has done some further work. He restrung the piano. Steinways previously have done some work on the action.

So both the action and the strings have been replaced. The Steinway technician in 1985 restrung the piano. Steinway themselves did some other work on the action. So both the action and the strings have been replaced. As you will see in a minute this is quite a special piano.

Now the insides of the black piano you will see it has been finished off in a slightly different way. It has a beautiful matte finish here:

This matches the piano superbly and matches the original Steinway finish. And the soundboard has been shimmed.

The 1912 Rosewood Steinway does not look like it has needed any shimming at all. [Shimming is when a restorer mends cracks in the soundboard usually caused by dryness. It would appear this piano has been a stable environment since the soundboard and tuning pins are in great condition!]

There is the original logo on the soundboard, which is rather beautiful.


Let’s compare the tone of the two pianos. They are both German Steinways by the way.

This is [the Rosewood Steinway grand], is as warm as you can get on a model O Steinway. The top treble has already been voiced.

The black 1905 – Still very warm. I would call it a slightly more modern sound. More like a modern piano. More in between an old sound and new style sound.

Going up through the treble there is a little bit of voicing work needed.

Both have superb tenor sound.

Looking at the action on both pianos. The black Steinway model O has had the top and bottom action replaced:

That will be Renner bottom action with Abel top. With Able hammers.

Steinway obviously uses Abel and Renner perhaps more Renner then Abel hammers. But they certainly use Abel. So do Bosendorfer voicer and tuner.

I went to the factory recently. He was explaining that even two sets of hammers can be very different. And he has to work each set of hammers differently. And I fee the same. It is difficult to know what to do. These are excellent hammers but they do need voicing especially in the treble area.

So wonderful hammers, but at the top end they need a lot of voicing. When they are put on in the press. they are put on very hard. Sometimes they need to be a bit more pointed.  So I will be working on those they are not quite pointed enough in the top end.

In the USA they do a lot of doping hammers. In the UK too sometimes we find it necessary with sets of hammers. I don’t know really know too much about the USA. Perhaps you’d like to comment on that. But the top and bottom action have been replaced. in this case.

The Rosewood Steinway

It has been done very differently. This is originally bottom and top actions here. The hammers have been changed. the Rollers hammers and centre pins have been replaced as necessary. the end result is just as good actually if done properly. This has been done by a retired Steinway technician. You can see here.

The rosewood Steinway


Actually, the action was done by Steinway. I think the retired Steinway technician did some refacing and voicing. You will see the original receipts are attached to the description of the piano on our website. Here we see french chalk as well. The results are like a new piano. extremely well done.

So it is excellently done, the hammers are not really very worn. They have been refaced but you couldn’t tell. I think they have been refaced and voiced. Because as you will see here in a minute, it is a delightful tone.

So that is a comparison of two pianos just recently in stock. It has been restored by Steinway and by a Steinway technician later on. You will see the invoices and description of this piano on our website.

Steinway Rosewood

Tone and touch are just delightful. The staff love this piano and so do I. And we have only just got it in. There is some slight refinement to do on this piano. Some very slightly refinement on touch and tone. Very very slightly. It really is superb. Now you can’t feel it yourself obviously. The down weight is about 50grams. I use coins here, we have proper weights when we weight before adjusting. There is slightly less weight at the top and more at the bottom of the piano. The weight needs to be as low as possible. It is too little weight the keys will stick.

The touch is a delight and silky to play. Now the longevity of the two pianos will not be very different as this has been reconditioned and will hold its values through many restorations in the future.

There is a 10-year guarantee on this piano of course. In the UK we will give a free tuning and check as part of the free service.

Final thoughts on the black polyester Steinway

This is the 1905 Steinway. it still needs some refinement. When you are restoring a piano there is endless work to do just to refine it and finish it off. Able hammers tend to need more refinement at the top end.

this Steinway also has a 10-year guarantee. We have many other videos of pianos like this on our channel. The difference in tone and touch it is under 50grams down weight with an up-weight of about 30grams again. Which is just right and makes you feel like it isn’t pushing against you. Some digital pianos the up-weight is very hard whereas it needs to be less than the down-weight. The keys will push up against you.

The rosewood is a beautiful wooden finish. this is obviously perfect in every way. This is more expensive if the other one was repolished it would not be quite so far off of the price of the other one.

This will help you think through. Every piano is different we have other models of Steinway in stock. We prefer you to come and try each piano as the touch and tone vary from piano to piano.

For a full list of stock and to see these pianos please see our stocklist.

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Comparison of a Yamaha U3h and a Wendl & Lung 122 Upright Piano


Comparison of a Yamaha U3h and a Wendl & Lung 122 Upright Piano

Yamaha U3h


Wendl & Lung 122



Many musicians regard these as the best uprights available under £4000. We’ve sold over 100 Yamaha U3H and about 30 Wendl and Lung/Feurich 122 upright pianos, and regard them both as an excellent choice. NB since 2011 Wendl & Lung have amalgamated with Feurich and now use that name.



RRP: £3000- £3500 (2013)(When precisely reconditioned)
DIMENSIONS: 130H x 154L x 65D

Wendl & lung

MODEL: 122
RRP: £3300- 3450 (2013)(when new)
DIMENSIONS: 122H x 152L x 60D


The U3H’s strings


Smaller than the U3 but with the same quality. Maximum bass string length 120.6cm, tenor 92cm. The U3H sounds strong in the bass but improves greatly when fitted with top quality German bass strings (cost £750 +VAT inc fitting).

The 122’s strings


Maximum bass string length 120cm, tenor 91cm. Almost the same string length as the U3, since the strings have a greater angle across the piano. Deep rich and even bass and excellent break point.


The U3H’s hammers


Good quality hammers; as they have been played for some years, they are very even, but without refacing they are softer in tone. This is frequently preferred by musicians as the sound is more classical.

The 122’s hammers


Well toned with clear bright sound, but not played in.They are already excellent and will become more even toned over the years.


The U3H’s book holders


Book holders difficult to fit: Used by most musicians,these can be fitted but there is a risk of damaging the music desk as it is plastic, too thin and brittle.

The 122’s book holders


Book holders: These can be fitted for £35 extra, as the desk is much thicker. Modern pianos are not fitted with book holders because of the risk of damaging the polish, so if fitted take care to make sure they are folded sideways before closing the lid.

The U3H’s top lid


Hinged top lid; if any water gets on the top of the piano and goes down the hinge it will seriously damage the dampers.

The 122’s top lid


One-piece top lid; more sensible design, though must have enough space above the piano to open upwards for tuning.


The U3H’s action


Celeste (practice felt) fitted with wing nut for removal when tuning; a bit awkward.

The 122’s action


Celeste just slots in; this removes in an instant and is the best design so far on any upright.


The U3H is a popular musician’s upright it is highly recommended both for it’s touch, tone and stability.

Wendl & Lung 122 piano has great integrity, at least equal to the Yamaha U3H. These new pianos are not as well played as the U3H but, none the less they have an excellent touch and tone and, are very stable.

Comparison of a used Yamaha U1 and a Knight Upright Piano

Comparison of a used Yamaha U1 and a Knight Upright Piano

Yamaha U1

Yamaha U1 Upright Piano

Knight k10

Knight K10 Upright Piano


We’ve written this page to help you decide which piano to choose between these two pianos, which many musician regard as two of the best uprights available under £4000 (2013). We’ve sold over 100 Yamaha U1G, H or A uprights and a similar number of Knight K10 & 20 upright pianos, and regard both makes of this period as an excellent choice. The information below assumes that the pianos have not had very much use and are in top condition.



MODELS: U1G, H & A Upright pianos c1965 – 1985
RRP: £2,600-£3,750 (2013) when precisely reconditioned
DIMENSIONS: 121 high x 151 long x 63 deep.


MODELS: K10 & 20 c1970 – 1985
RRP: £2,000 – £3,300 (2013) precisely reconditioned
DIMENSIONS: 112 high x 140 long x 56 deep


The U1’s touch

Yamaha U1 Keys

One of the main reasons clients choose the Yamaha U1 is because it has a responsive touch. Our U1 and U3 uprights have had very little use and will not require any maintainance for at least 20 years of normal playing

The K10’s touch

Knight K10 Keys

A well balanced touch with great range of expression. Knight piano actions are very well designed and wear slowly.


The U1’s action

Yamaha U1 Hammers

Suited to all types of playing, the Yamaha U1 upright has a clear, leaning towards bright sound. It produces the kind of sound that would contrast well enough to be heard in an ensemble and has enough depth to effectively reproduce classical music. On that note, we regularly hire Yamaha U1 pianos to the world’s top concert pianists for rehearsal practices.

The K10’s action

Knight K10 Hammers

The bass strings are designed so that they cross the treble strings at a greater angle, thus they are longer than most pianos of this height. This extra length allows the Knight K10 to match the tone of bigger upright pianos such as the U1. Different Knight uprights may vary between a moderately mellow to a bright tone depending on the hardness of the hammer. A piano can always be toned down to be more mellow.


The U1’s casing

Yamaha U1 Bookholder

Yamaha upright music desks are thin polyester. It is very difficult to fit book holders as the polyester easily cracks when drilled.

The K10’s Casing

Knight K10 Bookholder

Normal wood design allows drilling for book holder placement.

Restored Steinway model O and Bechstein model A comparison


Steinway model O (1920s)

Steinway O-151bb

Bechstein model A (1905)

Bechstein A-1001


We’ve written this page to help you decide which piano to choose between these two pianos, which many musician regard as two of the best uprights available under £4000 (2013). We’ve sold over 100 Yamaha U1G, H or A uprights and a similar number of Knight K10 & 20 upright pianos, and regard both makes of this period as an excellent choice. The information below assumes that the pianos have not had very much use and are in top condition.


Steinway Model O

PRICE: £18,000 – 30,000 (2013) restored or reconditioned.
DIMENSIONS: height 97 x width 146 x depth 180

Steinway grand pianos made during this period generally have a very rich tone throughout their range. However, they have often originally been bought by musicians who have played them extensively, as a result they may have worn hammers making them sound weak or dull. Many Steinways made during this period will have been fully restored, the quality can’t always be guaranteed, depending largely on the restoration quality. The variety is considerable.

Bechstein Model A

PRICE: £9.000 – 19,000 (2013) restored or reconditioned.
DIMENSIONS: height 97 x width 141 x depth 181.

Bechstein grand pianos made during this period vary a lot, they are less likely to have been restored. They have a beautiful even tone and are generally less powerful than Steinways, often making them more suitable for smaller rooms.


The model O’s touch


Steinway grand pianos made during this period should have a very responsive touch slightly lighter than a modern piano.

The model A’s touch


Bechstein grand pianos made during this period require lighter hammers than modern ones and the touch is ideal for those preferring a fluid easy feel.


The Steinway’s action

If the hammers are well voiced, the tone is clear and bell-like, very even throughout the range and capable of being sweet, soft and also capable of great power.

The Bechstein’s action

bechstein hammers

If you’ve never played a well voiced Bechstein then we recommend trying one. They are unique with a rich romantic tone.



Book Holders Unfortunately few grand pianos have bookholders. This is not a problem with many music books but can cause issues with chord books, hymnals and some modern bound sheet music. We often fit these for musicians.


Steinways being such a well known make throughout the world inevitably have the higher price tag. However, the higher price does not necessarily mean that the quality is better, and both makes have their strong points. We recommend you try one alongside the other as the best way to form a conclusion.

Comparison between a Yamaha U1H and Bechstein 10 upright piano


Yamaha U1H

Yamaha U1 Upright Piano

Bechstein 10

Bechstein 10 Upright Piano


We’ve written this page to help you decide which piano to choose between. Highly regarded by musicians as some of the best uprights available under £5000 (2012). We’ve sold over 100 Yamaha U1H uprights and a similar number of Bechstein upright pianos, and regard them both as an excellent choice. For more information on Yamaha follow click here. For more information on Bechstein pianos, go to this link.



MODEL: U1H (c. 1965)
PRICE: £2,600-£3,200 (2013) when precisely reconditioned
DIMENSIONS: height 121 x width 151 x depth 63


MODEL: Bechstein 10 (c.1902-1930)
PRICE: £3,500 – £5,500 (2013) precisely reconditioned
DIMENSIONS: height 129 x width 146 x depth 60


The U1H’s touch

Yamaha U1 Keys

One of the main reasons clients choose the Yamaha U1 is because it has a responsive touch. Our U1 and U3 uprights have had very little use and will not require any maintainance for at least 20 years of normal playing.

The Bechstein 10’s touch

Bechstein 10 Keys
The Bechstein model 10 has a delighful touch which allows for an excellent dynamic range.


The U1H’s action

Yamaha U1 Hammers

Suited to all types of playing, the Yamaha U1 upright has a clear, leaning towards bright sound. It produces the kind of sound that would contrast well enough to be heard in an ensemble and has enough depth to effectively reproduce classical music. On that note, we regularly hire Yamaha U1 pianos to the world’s top concert pianists for rehearsal practices.

The Bechstein 10’s action

Bechstein 10 Hammers

An exquisite sweet mellow tone with a rich singing treble. In our opinion one of the best sounding upright pianos. The bass strings are straight strung but as the piano is taller than the U1, the string length is virtually the same. The straight stringing makes the tone more even and allows the sound to pass through a sweeter area of the soundboard.


The U1H’s casing

Yamaha U1 Bookholder

Many musicians insist on these; unfortunately the music stand is too thin to have fitted, though it is more ridged to try to compensate. Practically no modern pianos are fitted with bookholders as manufacturers fear they will damage the case by scratching.

The Bechstein 10’s Casing

Bechstein 10 Bookholder

Standard on this and nearly all traditional pianos. They hold the music page and prevent it from turning. You will definitely need these if you use thick books such as hymn books.


The U1H Pedals

Yamaha U1 Pedals

One benefit of the Yamaha U3 piano is that they mostly come fitted with a practice pedal which inserts a felt between the hammers and the strings. Although the Bechstein piano does not include a practice mechanism, one can be easily fitted, current charge £200+VAT (2012)

The Bechstein 10 Pedals

Bechstein 10 Pedals

Although the Bechstein piano does not include a practice mechanism, one can be easily fitted, current charge £200+VAT (2012)


If you require an all round modern tone then the Yamaha is our suggested choice. However, if you already play and are interested in a rich warm mellower tone then you might prefer a Bechstien or other traditional German piano.

Yamaha GB1 and Kawai GM-10K Comparison. Review

Yamaha GB1 and Kawai GM-10K comparison

In order to review the Yamaha GB1 baby grand, we’ve compared it to a similarly priced baby grand, the Kawai GM-10. Both pianos are assembled in Indonesia though we are informed that all Kawai parts are made in Japan so we assume that this is probably the case with the Yamaha. However we believe this review shows some important differences. The Yamaha GB1 is Yamaha’s cheapest baby grand and it is very similar to the Kawai in quality, though the Yamaha has left out one important feature – the sliding music desk. There are some other differences too, illustrated here:

Yamaha GB1 baby grand piano
Yamaha GB1 grand
RRP £9789 (2013)
Length 149cm (4ft 10 1/2 in)

Kawai GM-10K grand piano

Kawai GM-10K grand
RRP £9650 (2013)
Length 150cm (4ft 11in)


Yamaha pianos, yamaha GB1 review, Yamaha GB1, steinway pianos

Basic simple hammers. Only time will tell what quality
they are, but not having the under-covering certainly
means they are not so expensive.

Kawai GM-10K grand pianoUnder-covered hammers. With good hammers the tone is maintained over many years.

Music Desk

Yamaha baby grand piano, GB1 grand piano, steinway pianosFixed music desk which lifts out rather than slides. We
think this is a very inconvenient economy; no other
grand pianos are designed in this way.

Kawai GM-10K grand piano

Sliding music desk found on all other grand pianos;
necessary if you want to adjust the distance to
accommodate your eyesight; most pianists use this facility.


GB1 tuning mistake, Marcus Roberts, Steinway pianos, yamaha upright and grand

Difficulty in tuning due to the high rail in front of the tuning pins. It’s actually impossible to get the tuning lever on at the angle shown, which is the normal angle for the top treble. Instead the lever has to be held at the opposite angle to that which is best for tuning. This makes fine tuning awkward though possible.

Kawai GM-10K grand piano

Normal design allowing the piano to be tuned easily and
at the right angle.

Both these small grand pianos are technically well made for the price range. We have chosen the Kawai mainly because of the user and tuner-friendly traditional sliding music desk as shown above.

Steinway Model B & Yamaha S6 Handcrafted Comparison

The Steinway model B grand is Germany 1980 fully restored in every detail. With new bass and treble strings it has been refinished exactly as a new piano would be. It has new Steinway hammers, shanks and rollers. The action has been weighted and is regulated to feel exactly like a new action would. Very accurately adjusted including turning the una-corda pedal so when it moves over it makes a different tone.

Tone wise [1:58] is is mellow with slightly more clarity in tone. The treble sings very clearly and the top treble is slightly brighter.


Both are exceptional pianos and fine to play. The Steinway just about wins in the tone and tonal colour comparison, Yamaha on touch. However this is splitting hairs. You’ll certainly pay less for the Yamaha. The Steinway is a better investment on resale, potentially worth more in the future than what you paid for it! We have many top quality pianos for sale in our Oxford and Sevenoaks showrooms. Click here to view our stock.

Click here to see all of our pianos for sale:
Click here to see more videos on our YouTube channel:

View our current stock with photos and videos.

Yamaha S6 Japanese grand piano

Built to a similar template, both pianos are semi-concert or small-concert hall instruments measuring between 211-12 centremetres (6ft 9inches).

You’ll pay less for the Yamaha although there aren’t many available on the second hand market. This is the first one we’ve ever had.

The Yamaha in the video was made in about 2006 and had about less than 1.5 hours of playing every day. Therefore it is pretty immaculate and has had very little use. We did very litlte toning and hardly did any regulation as due to the lack of use, it was in very good condition. Only fine regulation was required.

Sound wise [0:45] the Yamaha S6 is mellow in tone with a rich tenor area

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IN STOCK: Steinway Model O and M grands – comparison

Marcus discusses the difference between a Steinway model O and a Steinway model M, both fully restored from similar periods. The Steinway model O is from 1922 whilst the model M is from 1929. A close and similar period of Steinway manufacture.

We would like to add that these pianos come with a 10 year guarantee for faults in mechanism not related to humidity. Each piano has new pins and a new pinblock where necessary to ensure the piano stays in tune, damaged felts and action parts have been replaced.

An interesting section of this video is the tone comparison between both pianos, a longer Feurich and similar Feurich grand piano. Feurich make exceptional pianos in the mid-price range of the market, well worth looking into if budget constraints apply. However, a Steinway will always maintain its value more comparatively to most other brands, even top brands.

Marcus also highlights that older pianos have a lighter touch, partly due to manufacture, partly due to wearing in of the piano. See the full video for more Marcus’ description.

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Bösendorfer 130 upright piano 1993 + comparison with grand pianos

128cm high vs Yamaha YUS 131cm

Sloping music stand on the Yamaha to let the sound out slighly from the front, giving the acoustic impression of a grand piano.

The first difference to note is the Yamaha has an opening in the music desk which allows a portion of the sound of the piano to leave the case much like a grand piano.

Yamaha upright piano open panel

It certainly has a very big sound, it does have stays on the top panel which you can raise to let more of the sound out, this is more typical on a top quality upright piano:

t.Open upright piano to let sound out

Both piano sare similiar age, 2013 Yamaha/2011 Hoffman. It is like buying a new piano that has been worn in. There is minimum indentation on the hammers, just enought to wear in.

The amount of wear can usually be noted quickly noted by looking at the front of the hammers.

Piano hammer wear is easy to see by looking at the front of the piano hammer

Both pianos are ‘hardly worn in’. Meaning since they were bought a few years ago, they were not overly played. But just enough to be ‘played in’.

The Hoffmann has a wonderful celest system, which is very easy for the piano tuner to remove. The Yamaha has a screw in the celest rail, which can wear out with multiple tunings and start to loosen. The Hoffamann wins on detail here.

The regulation is very consisten on both pianos. Daper strings are very tight, potentially too tight on the Yamaha. The dampers should come off when the hammer reaches half way along its travel, but are coming off too early on the Yamaha, causing some unwanted weight on the touch.

damper timing is important for touch, if too early it can cause unnecessary touch weight

Although hard to see, the damper is starting to come off and can be seen in the video. Around minute 2:20.

The dampers add weight to the touch adding another component needing to be pushed by the players hand, this is unecesarily early and needs regulating to move later in the hammers travel.

Hoffman goes past half way which means less work for the pianists fingers.

Hoffman upright piano hammer distance for damper movement is correct

Heavy springs are good for the damper to have enough force to stop the string. Too much means extra weight for the hands again. This also is a manufacturing decision. Also concerning longevity, need for regulation on weaker strings etc.

The bass tone. The Yamaha possibiliy has a ‘bigger sound’ however, most pieces and playing happens in the middle of the piano, where Marcus focuses his attention. Harmonically both are comparrable, the Hoffman potentially has more richness of harmonics to it.

Tone wise they are both very good, the Hoffmann may be slightly richer, the touch may be the defining point. For our stocklist please see this page. To view our pianos please see our map.

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Comparison between Yamaha S6 and Steinway model B grand pianos

These top quality pianos are similar in length, 211-212 centimeters long. Marcus compares them in this video.

A fully restored Steinway model B grand piano is in the top price band for a fully restored piano, whereas a handmade Yamaha S6 is rarer.

Both pianos are in immaculate condition, the 2006 Yamaha S6 was hardly used by its previous owner, and is as it was when purchased. The Steinway has undergone extensive restoration including new parts.

In conclusion 

Steinway about wins on tone and, and tonal colour. Yamaha wins on touch. However if you are thinking of future investment value, Steinway wins outright. Steinway has a dominant name, fetching a higher value even when 100 years.

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Comparison between a Shigeru Kawai 2011 & Steinway model O grand pianos

As Marcus discusses, both pianos are designed to the highest standard. It is difficult to say which piano is better. The more modern Shigeru Kawai is likely to have a ‘slightly’ more sensitive touch. Whilst the Steinway model O is a matured instrument, especially the soundboard. Which we have yet to replace, but repair. So as to preserve the original tone, and woods. Which at the period these grand pianos were made, was a very high standard.

We recommend coming to try both for yourself. As Marcus points out the tone of a Kawai is rich, generally softer, whereas a Steinway sings, with brilliant yet more dominance. Room size may come in to play, as a large grand piano with a powerful tone will comfortably play in a mid-large sized room whereas a softer German piano like a Bluther IV grand piano suits smaller rooms. Also shown by Marcus.

We would like to show you more of our pianos in detail in our shops and showrooms both in Oxford and Sevenoaks. Please come and play each piano to see for yourself.

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Bosendorfer 170 & Steinway model M Comparison

Both pianos are 170 cm long 5″7′ long. Both restored with perfect ivory keys, new German strings.

The Steinway grand has been restored to the original design with German Abel hammers, German strings, and felt colour matching. Also included is a Canadian maplewood multilayered pinblock for extra tuning durability.

Steinway made this Rosewood two pedal piano in Hamburg in 1925, Bosendorfer in 1916.  In their Vienna factory.

Steinway toned throughout including unacorda pedal toning. With original Abel hammers, correct for the period.

The height of  the Steinway can be raised with castor cups, as is quite low.

Toning the 'Una Corda' pedal

Bosendorfer have included 3 pedals, one extra middle ‘sostenuto’ pedal. Used to sustain notes underneath a passage, usually a bass pedal. Recommended for concert pianists. However, rarely implemented on many pianos, therefore redundant on grade pieces, and not required. Una corda pedal includes a unique variation to tone that can be heard around 2:00, a softer tone than without the una corda.

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Feurich Grand & Upright Pianos

Comparison between Feurich 161 and 178 grand pianos

Brief history

Feurich are an Austro-German firm. The Feurich piano is made by a company that is an amalgamation of two firms: Wendl &Lung and Feurich. It is the ideal match with Wendl & Lung’s dedicated team of young musicians and technical staff whose goal is to produce top quality grand and upright pianos at affordable prices, and Feurich’s experience as top manufacturers for generations. The cheaper models are made in a factory which is in China, but the piano is designed by and under the strict quality control of European technicians. Jamie Cullum recently (2011) bought a restored 1920s Feurich from us. See his testimonial here.

feurich logo on piano frame

The tone

The pianos are rich and mellow, with a subtle ‘European’ quality, and the action smooth and responsive. We hold stock of the Feurich Professional I grand piano, Feurich Professional II, and also the upright 122 Universal. They provide an excellent alternative to the new Yamaha range, are more subtle in tone and are the choice of an increasing number of musicians. See also our comparison of Feurich uprights with Yamaha.

Models of Feurich grand pianos

Feurich 162

Dynamic I, 162

Feurich 179 grand piano

Dynamic II, 179

Feurich 218 concert grand piano
Concert I, 218

Continue reading Feurich Grand & Upright Pianos

Wendl & Lung Pianos

wendl and lung pianos logo

Advice to help you choose, buy or restore a feurich piano

Wendl & Lung pianos

From 2011 Wendl & Lung have joined forces with Feurich and are using the Feurich name. For details of Feurich pianos click here. Wendl & Lung are an Austrian firm. They have a dedicated team of young musicians and technical staff whose goal is to produce top quality grand and upright pianos at affordable prices. From 2011 Julius Feurich joined the team. The factory is in China (the second largest in 2011), but the piano is designed by and under the strict quality control of European technicians.

The tone

The tone of the pianos is rich and mellow, with a subtle “European” quality, and the action smooth and responsive. We hold stock of the Feurich Professional I grand piano, Feurich Professional II, and also the upright 122 Universal. They provide an excellent alternative to the new Yamaha range, are more subtle in tone and are the choice of an increasing number of musicians. See also our comparison of Wendl & Lung uprights and grands with Yamaha.

Models of Feurich pianos

Professional II, 178cm

This Feurich grand piano stands out from its equivalent competitors not only on tonal quality but also on price and construction. Quality checks are carried out in Austria before it is shipped to the UK (2011 onwards. From 2012 Feurich have a base in the UK too where they are further checked and toned). Its soundboard is made with solid spruce held together in a cast iron frame.

Feurich 178 grand piano
Feurich 178
feurich 161 grand piano
Feurich 161

Professional I, 161cm

The 161 Feurich professional 1 is the most popular Feurich grand piano of its class. It is practical in size and maintains the stylistic design, build and tonal quality of the Professional II. Recommended by many for its good tonality and great price. This rivals most equivalent priced new baby grand pianos and we highly recommend it. This piano has been well constructed with a solid spruce sound board and polyester finish.

Universal, 122cm

As its name suggests, the 122 – Universal appeals to players of all levels, from Classical to Jazz. It has a subtle “European” tone, and very responsive touch.

Feurich 122 upright piano
Feurich 122
Feurich Pedal
Feurich fourth harmonic paper

Feurich’s unique fourth “Harmonic” pedal

The pedal is half depressed, the dampers lift off until a note is played, upon which that damper falls down on the strings, causing the note to shut off. Meanwhile all the other strings continue to vibrate in sympathy creating a sound resembling playing the piano in a large room such as a church. For more details, please see and

Possible finishes (Please enquire for W&L prices and availability)

Finishes Professional I (161cm Grand) Professional II (178cm Grand) 122 Universal (Upright)
Black Polished Y Y Y
White Polihed Y Y Y
Mahogany Polished Y Y Y
Bordeaux Polished Y
Walnut Polished Y
Black Satin Y
Cherry Satin Y
Mahogany Satin Y
Walnut Satin Y
Beech Satin Y
Maple Satin Y
Bordeaux Satin Y

Used Yamaha Upright Pianos


Comparison between Yamaha U1H and U3H upright pianos


Feurich 122 vs Yamaha U3H – surprising discovery!


Our main used Yamaha upright pianos for sale comprises mainly of fine quality Yamaha U1G, U1H, U3G and U3H upright pianos. They are all in excellent condition, the case are normally good or in pristine condition and are mostly made between 1965 and 1985, a period we consider to be the pinnacle of tone quality for Yamaha pianos. Of the more modern Yamahas we only stock the mid and top range ones, and don’t stock new Yamahas, preferring Kawai, Yamaha’s main Japanese competitor. All second hand piano prices include a 5 year guarantee.

yamaha u3h

Yamaha U3H

A brief history of Yamaha pianos

yamaha logo on the soundboard

It’s from around 1966 that we first see Yamaha pianos in Europe. These early models are the ones that sound the most like German pianos, with a good deep mellow tone throughout the range. They are more expensively constructed with top quality soundboards, excellent hammers, wooden pedal mechanisms on uprights and mostly wooden action parts. As the Korean and later the Chinese factories began to produce large numbers of pianos in competition with Yamaha, so the Yamaha piano started to be made more economically. Wooden parts were replaced by plastic or aluminium, though lately there has been a return to wooden action flanges. The tone also started to lack the rich depth that it previously had. The gradual brightening of tone is evident until about 1990, When Yamaha brought out what they called a hand-built piano, grands starting at £28,000 and uprights at £7,699.

Models of Yamaha pianos

Yamaha now operate a two tier system with their basic grands and uprights, usually not made in Japan, and the top range series. These are the Yamaha S4A Grand Piano, Yamaha S6A Grand Piano, Yamaha CFIIIS Grand Piano, Yamaha SU118C upright Piano and Yamaha SU7 upright Piano. Considering that a Yamaha G3/C3 grand piano cost about £4,500 new in 1971 (600,000yen), the equivalent new price according to inflation since then would be £31,000! A Yamaha U1D upright piano cost about £1500 new in 1965 (197,000yen). The equivalent new price today (2012) would be over £25,000! The early Yamahas are all of guaranteed high quality. Since about 1985 they developed a two tier system, with the top quality Yamahas still being made in Japan but others increasingly being made in different countries, mainly Indonesia and China. There is now so much variely of model and number that it’s difficult to keep track. We recommend, if buying a new Yamaha or one from 1985 onwards, that you seek the advice of a piano tuner who is familiar with them.

su7 used yamaha upright pianos Yamaha SU7

Yamaha “silent system” pianos on upright pianos

u1h pedals on a used yamaha upright pianos Yamaha U1h with a practice pedal

We recommend buying an upright piano with a practice pedal rather than one with a Yamaha “Silent” system. This is because the touch on the Yamaha silent piano is compromised by the bar which comes between the hammers and the strings. As a result, the “Let off”, which is the distance from the strings which the hammer reaches before the player looses control of it, increases from 2-3mm on most good ordinary pianos to 6-9mm on “silent” pianos. We find this makes soft playing more difficult both in normal and silent mode, thereby reducing the range of expression, and also gives the action a “choppy” feel. The traditional practice pedal found on most Yamaha uprights before about 1990 is ideal if for instance you live in a flat and need to practice very quietly.

Buying a used Yamaha grand or upright

We’ve been selling second hand Yamaha grand and upright pianos for over 20 years. They are always little used, and the case and loops on the uprights are checked and repaired if necessary. Bass strings are also replaced if they have lost their tone. We then finely regulate and tune them, and guarantee them for 5 years. To view our pianos for sale please view our stocklist.

u3h yamaha piano hammers

Yamaha U1H Hammers

A word of warning

Kawai GL10Kawai GL10

Unfortunately, as we have said above, not all models of Yamaha are good pianos. When we come across one we think you should definitely avoid, we will try to list it here. To start this list, we recommend you steer clear of the very common secondhand Yamaha E108 made from about 1985 to 2003, and also the second hand Yamaha LU101 made around 1984, which can be reasonable but is variable. We find these models often sound brash, patchy, lifeless and the tuning is not adequately stable. The new Yamaha GB1 baby grand sounds reasonable at first but unfortunately shows up as not being well made when it comes to tuning and maintaining it. Economy has been the watchword in making this piano. They have even left out the hugely advantageous adjustable music desk which is standard on practically all baby grand pianos. If you’re looking for a budget priced baby grand then you’re much better off choosing a restored baby grand from the 1920s or 30s, when competition in baby grand making was strong which served to push up the quality. The tone of the best of these pianos can be exquisite. For a new baby grand we recommend the Kawai GL10.

Table of Used Yamaha Upright Pianos (Collected from “Japanese Piano atlas”)

Date of manufacture Model Dimensions (WxHxD) Colour(s) Weight No. pedals
1972 – 1980 U1H 150 x 121 x 610 Black polyester 217kg 3
1982 – 1987 U1A 150 x 121 x 610 Black Polyester 218kg 3
1982 – 1987 U3A 154 x 131 x 650 Black Polyester 242kg 3
1982 – 1988 UX1 150 x 121 x 610 Black Polyester 219kg 3
1975 – 1980 UX 154 x 131 x 650 Black Polyester 250kg 3
1982 – 1988 UX3 154 x 131 x 650 Black Polyester 242kg 3
1980 – 1982 YUX 154 x 131 x 650 Black Polyester 240kg 3

To view our stock of Yamaha upright pianos please visit our stocklist

Steinway Grand Pianos for Sale | Steinway & Sons

Thank you for coming onto our Steinway grand page. We buy, restore and sell over 15 Steinway grand pianos each year and constantly try to improve our standards by attending Steinway and Renner courses regularly. We are especially fastidious in making sure the touch and tone are as fine and possible.

We also have an in-house traditional French polishing team and also commission other companies if we need a modern polyester black finish.

We have over 50 videos which we hope will help you understand Steinway restoration. Please see our video channel.

Help in choosing a restored or used Steinway grand piano

Comparison Between Steinway Grand Pianos: S, M & O

Common models

  • Model S 5ft 1″ commonly found in mahogany, restored Steinway S’s are often refinished in black.
  • Model M 5ft 7″, normally in Mahogany; restored model M’s are often refinished in black. All with square tapered legs.
  • Model O 5ft 10” usually in Rosewood or Mahogany. Early model O’s had turned legs and later it changed to square tapered. Model O’s are about 40% of all Steinway pianos available. The best have a rich, full and powerful tone
  • Model A 6ft 3″ normally found in rosewood or mahogany, earlier ones with turned legs and later with square tapered. The best have a rich, full and powerful tone. (They make up for 20% of Steinway pianos)
  • Model B around 7ft, these are uncommon second hand pianos, and much sought after
  • Model D 8ft 10“, concert grands; older used ones usually need extensive reconditioning

black model o steinway grand pianos

A Steinway model O grand piano

I thought I would send you a few lines expressing my gratitude to you and your team

I thought I would send you a few lines expressing my gratitude to you and your team for the fantastic job they have all made in reconditioning my Steinway grand piano. The outcome is a beautiful piano, the rosewood veneer now looks just like it was over hundred years ago. Truly magnificent and the polishing by Mana was a great work of art. The high polish looks fabulous in the snooker/piano room. The interior again looks like brand new and is joy to behold. The sound is splendid, I just wish for the first time in my life that I had carried on with my piano lesson so that I could enjoy playing it now. To say I am pleased with the result is an understatement. The men who did the actual removal and reinstallment were extremely nice and very courteous I would be more than happy to recommend your Company at any time.

Robert Cranmer-Brown

Unlike other instrumentalists who can carry their instruments with them…

Unlike other instrumentalists who can carry their instruments with them, pianists are more reliant than most musicians on the people who maintain and care for the instrument. For that reason there has always been a strong relation between pianists and piano makers, technicians and tuners (e.g. Beethoven and Broadwood, Chopin and Pleyel, Liszt and Bechstein, Gershwin and Steinway, Richter and Yamaha, etc.). Oxford is really fortunate in having Marcus Roberts and Roberts Pianos. He has shown the same care and attention to the need of the professional pianist as any of these famous names from the past. For my annual Oxford Summer Piano Series Marcus went out of his way to make sure I had a superb instrument on which to prepare 8 taxing recital programmes while visiting the city, and his help has been invaluable. I would also not hesitate in recommending his business to the amateur pianist as much as the professional. All budding pianists, of whatever age and whatever level of skill, should always have access to the best instruments available, and Roberts Pianos, whose instruments are superbly maintained, is in a unique position to help.

Jack Gibbons

Table of models

O5’10”1900  The Steinway model O is one of the more common models of Steinway in the UK. We often have several in stock.

Model Size Year introduced Information
S 5’1″ 1936

Information. The rarest size of used Steinway; out of 100 Steinways in the UK about one will be a model S.

 The main competitor to the S is the 4ft 11in Bluthner model IV baby grand which is much more common.

See our stocklist for availability.

M 5’6″, 5’6″ 3/4, 5’7″ 1911, 1914, 1918 Steinway model M, also known as the "medium grand" is a common grand that we have in stock. Highly recommended for medium to mid-large sized rooms. Often available in rosewood or more modern polyester black. A resonant mid-sized grand from the German manufacturer. See our stocklist for availability. Information
O 5’10 1/2 c1900 The model O is one of the most common Steinways available. Formerly manufactured in New York; manufactured in Hamburg from about 1900. More information
L 5’10 1/2″ 1923 Manufactured in New York. More information
A 6’1" 1878  The A was the shortest model up to about 1900. The Steinway model A is a resonant mid-sized Steinway grand. Recommended for medium to large sized domestic settings. Mainly old-styled ones available in the UK with fretted music desk and elephant legs. Information
A II 6’2″ 1896 Formerly Manufactured in New York now manufactured in Hamburg from 1923. More information
A III 6’4″ 1/2 1913- 1947
B 6’11″, 6’10” 1872, 1884 The model B Steinway grand is an excellent piano suited for medium to large concert spaces or large domestic environments. The length makes for a clear tenor section and longer keys allow greater dynamic expression. More information
C 7’1″, 7’2″,
7’3″, 7’5″
1861, 1870,
1884, 1885
 Discontinued in 1913 but is occasionally produced in Hamburg from 1923. More information
D 8’5″, 8’6″, 8’9″,
8’10”, 8’10”
1859, 1869,
1876, 1884, 1915
 Information. Steinway model D is the largest Steinway grand piano. Used in many top concert halls and conservatories around the world. We do occasionally stock these. However, they are rare on the market and most concert halls sell them once they have been well used. Occasionally you can find modern model D's for sale that were used as hire pianos.

Frequently asked questions

Is my Steinway worth restoring?

Almost every Steinway grand is worth restoring. Uprights vary in terms of investment value of restoration. Please inquire for a free valuation.

How can I maintain my Steinway?

Keep the room from being too dry or too damp. Use a damp cloth to clean wooden cases and barely damp for polyester. We do not recommend cleaning the dampers yourself, it is best to ask your tuner to do so

Blüthner Grand Pianos

bluthner grand piano for saleBluthner style IV

We normally stock at least three restored Blüthner grand pianos between 5ft and 6ft 3in long. If you’re thinking of buying a professionally reconditioned Blüthner grand piano then you’re getting a piano with a smooth, light touch (especially in the older “patent” actions models), warm tone and an aesthetically pleasing cabinet.

Blüthner patent action

bluthner grand pianos patent action

These are unique to Blüthner and date from about 1885 to 1925.

Photo taken of a Blüthner style 5 grand with a Blüthner patent action (See image) These are the older ones dating from about 1880 to 1924. The action is simpler in design than the normal roller action found in nearly all other pianos. It has the advantage of being smoother, usually lighter. The action doesn’t repeat as fast as the roller action, but this is not noticeable unless playing very fast repetition such as in Rapsody in Blue. Some restorers fit a modern action into the older pianos.

Standard roller action

bluthner grand pianos roller action1

Blüthner roller-action are commonly found after about 1920, though there is a cross-over period and some patent actions appear after this date.

These start from about 1920 onwards though most are from out about 1926. By far the most common is the style 4 baby grand, 4ft 11in, which is one of the best baby grands ever made. It has a smooth touch and fine “silky” tone. They are simple in style with plain music desk and square tapered legs. These cost about £3000 to £5000 (2014) unrestored and we sell them reconditioned from around £9500 to £18,500 (2014) fully restored and custom re-polished. We normally have one or two style 4 Blüthner baby grands in stock, though they are in great demand and becoming hard to find. The most common veneer/colour is mahogany.


Patent action


Roller action

Blüthner style 4 baby grand pianos

Many Blüthner style 4 baby grands from 1920 to 1939 need to have the “action standards” replaced as they form fissures and bow outwards, making correct regulation impossible. This work and action regulation costs about £1200+VAT (2014) provided someone has not previously attempted to repair the regulation without first replacing the standards. This second scenario is often the case, so the piano needs re-regulating and the cost will then be around £2300 +VAT (2014).

Comparison of Bluthner style 4a and style 4 small grand pianos


Blüthner grand pianos from about 1958

Unfortunately the “iron curtain” had an adverse effect on the Blüthner grand and the materials used weren’t always of good quality. Be careful when buying a Blüthner from this period.

Modern Blüthner grand pianos from about 1995

There are not many of these available, but they are generally of excellent quality, perhaps more suited to smaller rooms than the equivalent Steinway.

Models of Blüthner grand pianos found in the UK

Older Styles to about 1925 (mostly patent actions)

Style Comment
5 5ft 9in Rich tone with patent action; turned legs and fretted or slatted music desk.
They normally have a patent action (see above).
6 5ft 9in. Same as above with Aliquot stringing. Patent action
7 6ft 3in. Most are rosewood or black. Warm rich tone with superb bass and singing treble and tenor. Patent action
8 6ft 3in. The same as style 7 but with Aliquot stringing (see photo) Patent action
9 6ft 9in – 6 ft 11in. Rich tone with strong bass. Aliquot stringing; patent action
10 7ft 8in Small concert Grand.
11 9ft 2in Concert grand

New Styles From 1926 – roller actions

Style Comments
4 4ft 11in; popular small grand piano with a rich silky tone.
4a 5ft 5in; less common, the styling is the same as the style 4
12 6ft 3in. Replaced style 7 and 8 from about 1925 to 1945. The numbering is reversed from about 1945. Very few in the UK
11 Becomes model 1 Length: 9’2″ (280 cm)
style 10 becomes model 2 Length: 7’8″ (238 cm)
9 Becomes model 4 Length: 6’10 ” (210 cm)
8 Becomes model 6 Length: 6’3″ (191 cm)
4a Becomes model 10 Length: 5’5 ” (166 cm)
4 Becomes model 11 Length: 5’1″ (154cm)


Model Size No. in UK Finish
11 154cm 1,100 35% mahogany, 35% black, 20% walnut, 10% other
10 166cm 550 30% mahogany, 40% black, 20% walnut, 10% other
6 191cm 250 25% mahogany, 55% black, 10% walnut, 10% other
4 210cm 50 85% black, 15% other
2 238cm 40 90% black, 10% other
1 280cm 20 99% black, 1% other

Patent Aliquot scaling


Bluthner designed a 4th string to enhance the power of their characteristically ‘soft’ treble. The string is elevated which means the hammer is not struck by the hammer. Instead the strings played transfer the vibration through the laws of physics of sound vibrations. Practically it is harder to tune as the tuner needs to pluck this extra string.

Fully restored roller action Bluthner 6ft 3in grand c1905 rosewood

Bluthner grand piano
Bluthner in Rosewood finish

1905 6ft 3in long Bluthner  grand piano in stock. Marcus is showing the quality of the piano. This piano has a rosewood finish, polished by Blüthner in London. The grain is particularly attractive. With slight fading on one corner.

Fine rosewood veneer
Fine rosewood veneer

Bluthner’s refinishing is unique to Blüthner with a silky slightly open pore polish.

Silky smoothness and pores piano
Silky smoothness and pores

The sides show how beautiful the veneer is:

Piano veneer pattern
Piano veneer pattern

Very decorative rosewood veneer. In our opinion Blüthner use the best veneer on the market for pianos. Steinway also do an excelent rosewood that is very similar.

The keytops are replacment keytops.

Replacement keytops Blüthner logo
Replacement keytops

They are very well done by Blüthner themselves apparently. The piano has a a lot of history but we want to focus here on the fine regulation and things we will do to the piano ourselves.

Firstly we like to check the tightness of the tuning pins. This piano has a new wrestplank and pins. When some restorers replace the pin block they place larger pins. There is no need to do this.

New tuning block and tuning pins
New tuning block and tuning pins

The wrest plank is multi laminate wrestplank, probably made by delegnite:

New tuning block
New tuning block

The piano was fully restored in 2005. There are signs that show it as delegnit, the main one is the that the wood is slightly patchy.

They have replaced the original patent action with a roller action and replaced the damper tray too which you have to do too if you change the action. The spoons on the damper rail make for efficient damper regulation.

New action damper rail and damper system
New action damper rail and damper system

It is an extremely high quality job done here by Blüthner.

The piano has a new Schwander action made in England, with potentially some parts made in Germany:

Schwander grand piano action
Schwander grand piano action

Schwander is a tremendously good firm. This action has Abel hammers and the whole action is new. If you want to see videos on patent actions, we have videos of those too for comparison.

What I want to concentrate on is the fine regulation. If you compare C and B here:

Piano hammer regulation let-off and spring
Piano hammer regulation let-off and spring

The C is fine regulated, by moving up the let-off

Grand piano let-off regulation
Grand piano let-off regulation

It was not playing as finely as it could have been. Also the drop-screw has been taken up a bit.

Action regulation continued
Action regulation continued

So if we watch it now B and C together you will be able to see when the hammer sets off. They go up very slowly together you will see B sets off before C. And C sets off later. A later set-off allows for very fine playing as you can control the hammer closer to the string.

I will show you how these are adjusted. We had set-up the key dip to 11mm as Marcus’ prefered key-dip. Similar to most modern keyboards:

Key dip measurement tool
Key dip measurement tool

We had previously set the key dip to 11mm which gives it a nice after touch. We had also set the blow-distance to 44mm.

Let-off regulation Blüthner Schwader action
Let-off regulation Blüthner Schwader action

The chalk visible on the action is there to enable the roller on the hammer to move more smoothly. Which also removed the slight squeak on some notes:

We either use French chalk or teflon powder or talk on the back of the roller for smootheness.

We also found the springs needed regulating to make the hammer go up after touch. Renner say ‘rise like the sun’ we prefere a bit more speed as this slows with age.

Backchecks, it is important that the hammer is caught on the backcheck not left hanging in mid-air
Backchecks, it is important that the hammer is caught on the backcheck not left hanging in mid-air

This responsive spring makes a lot of difference if you would like to play softly. Until 1905 Bluthner replaced production of patent actions with roller actions. Blüthner fully restored the piano in 2005 and it feels beautiful.

This is the screw that adjusts the spring:

Regulating the spring
Regulating the spring

There are many fans of Blüthner because of its silky smoothness. Which can also produce power if desired. The main points, the baseline, is how a piano feels and sounds. We will do more fine regulation to even further perfect this beautiful piano.

Time to enjoy this fine piano
Time to enjoy this fine piano
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Virtually unused Steinway M grand piano 5ft 7in, 2003

This piano has just come into stock. I like to tune pianos when they come in to get an idea of what the condition is like. It needed pitch raising, about 5 beats. This indicates normally that is has had very little use, which is evident from the slight amount of wear on the hammers.

Cosmetically, the piano has some small scratch marks, which are most likely due to sheet music on the desk. We can remove about 90% of the scratches.

Steinway music desk
Scratches difficult to see here

Looking inside, although it is dusty, it appears the piano needs little work except for some regulation.

A piano of this age (2003) will sound much like a new piano. The tuning pins are tight which is a good sign of endurance. We could say for arguments sake it has lost perhaps 3-4% of its tone in the bass. It may be the construction not the age.

Parts include Renner hammers, in perfect condition both in terms of wear and regulation. The backcheck and felts as well as distances are all fine. it may have had 30 minutes of play for about a year.

Hammers only slightly worn
Hammers only slightly worn

In comparison with a Bluthner 150cm, the bass is not as strong, due to the size. Action wise the Bluthner is very smooth. As well a 2 metre Bechstein which has a very nice tone, and rich bass due to the lenght.

Visit us to view our stock in person. We regularly have 3-4 Steinway grand pianos in stock. Call ahead or show up (01865) 240-634. Email for inquiries.