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
These are unique to Blüthner and date from about 1885 to 1915.
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
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.
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)
New Styles From 1926 – roller actions
|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.