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A funny thing happened when buying a...

Wife and I went shopping on Monday. Just looking for a dining suite small enough to fit the terrace house we are renting. I walked in after she found one in a charity shop. In front of me was this!.

Lovely 1901 upright from Berlin, well kept too. Does need to be tuned up a tone and a bit.
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Sean G Wed, 03/30/2016 - 05:23
Awesome find Tony !!!...That inlay looks beautiful and I think old German pianos are amazing examples of craftmanship from a bygone era.

I have one very similar in that the candle holder arms were also missing when I got it but the base plates were there.
You can still find the candle holder arms, but many were removed when houses started to be fitted with gaslight, then electricity and lighting by candlelight became redundant.

That particular one I refer to above I was fortunate to beat a well-known Australian singer at an auction to be the winning bid (for a steal too).
It was a silent auction and it wasn't until afterwards that I found out who the other bidder was...and he was quite pissed at missing out on it I may add. ;)

I have a love of old pianos...I have 3 uprights plus a parlor grand...two of my uprights are circa 1886 (the German one I referred to above) and 1920.

My ex used to joke that I had opened Sydneys' first home for unwanted pianos. :D

I shoe-horned them into one of those old Victorian-era terrace houses in Newtown that was built in 1878 and was only 15 feet wide. You are always within 12 feet of a piano in my place. My ex wife would come home to find another piano in the house with me cleaning ivory and restoring the beautiful old timber until I was banned from buying any more.

They do make exceptional pieces of furniture, but IMO they deserve to be tuned, played and enjoyed just as their maker had intended. Each have their own unique character.

Too many end up unloved and in the scrap heap. Thats' a crying shame because many of the older models, especially pre-war (WW1) German makes were finely hand-crafted instruments of high quality, made with beautiful old timber and amazing attention to detail.

You don't get that pride in workmanship or craftmanship from a factory in China today.

I was absolutely speechless when I walked into my sisters' home one day a few years ago and my brother-in-law had cut down an antique German solid walnut upright and turned it into a side table. What a sad ending for a fine musical instrument, the thought to this day still troubles me.
To think that something that had entertained generations from a time long before television, where the family, friends and guests would gather around and share a special occasion, usually on a Saturday night, ended up a cobbled together piece of recycled timber furniture that holds vases and the family house keys now.:(

I'm glad you have given it a new home and a new lease of life.(y)

audiokid Sat, 04/16/2016 - 08:01
Sean G, post: 437929, member: 49362 wrote: Play it like you stole it...

JayTerrance, post: 437940, member: 49019 wrote: The engineer in me is trying to figure out where the mics are
Lets talk about that. In this particular performance, where would you guys put a mic(s) and what mic(s) would you use?

dvdhawk Sat, 04/16/2016 - 08:58
It's clearly not the camera's on-board mic, the sound isn't moving with the camera. It's kind of a 'plant' situation and the video is shot by someone who followed him with the camera because they knew in advance he was going to play. I'm going to guess they put a wireless mic under the lid in advance, because you hear virtually none of the hustle and bustle of the activity in the station. Somewhere toward the beginning, it seemed to me that you can hear him release the sustain pedal much louder than you would from anywhere other than inside the piano. A good wireless ENG audio for video rig (like the Sennheiser EW-100) will at the very least let you use either a lavalier mic; and the better systems will provide a plug in transmitter module that works with virtually any dynamic mic or self-powered condenser.

That's my guess.

The real marvel to me was how well he played a dilapidated old piano with uneven action and missing key tops. That and of course the fact that only six people could be bothered to even notice.

Sean G Sat, 04/16/2016 - 23:24
dvdhawk, post: 437945, member: 36047 wrote: It's clearly not the camera's on-board mic, the sound isn't moving with the camera. It's kind of a 'plant' situation and the video is shot by someone who followed him with the camera because they knew in advance he was going to play.

I was thinking the same thing Dave, I didn't think it was a camera mic either.

Boswell Sun, 04/17/2016 - 12:43
I tackled the answer to this by thinking what would I do if someone asked me to record the piano invisibly with the gear that I have available? I would tape a pair of half-cardioid boundary mics to the underside of the piano lid along with suitable radio packs and sit 10m away with my receivers and recorder.

Great player, by the way.




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