So we got this free piano


I think I have good karma going or something, my wife found a free piano, took 5 of us to move the monster, gigantic upright, weighs about 800 tons, had been used in a small theater for rehersal, painted white and black for some show, and inside when we opened the cover it said something about “Anatevka 1974” (as in “Fiddler on the Roof?”)…anyway, it sounds great, I think it must have great karma too, the kids love it, piano lessons start for them next week…

Ain’t that grand? (well, upright, at least?)


Is it an upright grand?


Well, it’s a really big upright. Does that make it an upright grand? ???

It weighs a lot. Oh, my back this morning… :)

Here is an upright grand piano.

Does it look like this?


Not quite - it’s white. :)

Yep, that’s prety much it.

So I guess it’s both upright and grand. :D

Hate to drop that over grown music box on me big toe!

Gee Tom. Free pianos? Crap, nobody will give me anything for free. You must be charmed. Quick, go buy some lottery tickets!


Well, I dunno, the lottery? That’s gambling! I’ll just wait till someone gives me a free ticket. Then I’ll buy you all new microphones. :)

I am feelign totallycharmed - in the last two years I’ve been given a Hammond M-3 and a piano, both of which work just fine, and my dad found a Wurli epiano for 25 bucks at a church rummage sale. Plus my wife bought me a new amp for Christmas, a little early. :):):slight_smile:

Groovy! Nothing like a new piece of gear, especially when it’s free. We have a nice old distinctive sounding piano and it actually brings some business our way. Make sure you have it checked by a good piano tech and keep it in tune. My tuner is stopping by today in fact. She comes for a visit twice a year at least, and always finds some little something besides the tune that needs to be addressed. You know, they make nice little humidifiers for inside them things. Nice to have for the sake of your case…

Hey Clava! I wonder what remaining life the piano has. It is a bit out of tune, but was a theater piano for years and years, and they kept it in good working condition. Although it got repainted at least three times! red, blue, and then black and white. :) Anyway, the tuner came by a lot and noted inside the piano (soemtimes on the keys inside ever) the date of the tuning and his name. Same guy over and over for years. the piano was made in 1917, however. What’s the life on something like this? We got it for our kids to take lessons on, as much as anything. But I did throw a few mics on it yesterday, and it sounds really pretty good. Amazing how much mic choice and placement affects the sound, however.

How do you mic yours?

Gotta be lotsa life left in that thing Tom. Our piano is a Hamilton/Baldwin from the late 20’s and it’s still going strong with the majority of it’s original equipment, according to my tech who works on lots of Baldwins (it IS Chicago…). There’s a list of tuning dates scrawled on our soundboard too! And a Baldwin factory rebuild tag from the 50’s…Your biggest problem will be worn out felt and worn/loose pins on the action elements. These are the type of little extra problems our tech tends to find. Some is easily fixed some isn’t. Keep up with it the best you can. Your use will be a little different from a working studio, where weird pedal noises or key drops can ruin a good take for a client.

We keep the front and the top off, and generally mic right in front of the soundboard. Like head height for the performer and a foot or less from the soundboard. My favorite mic is this wickedly expensive LD tube mic from Curtis Technologies thru a D.W. Fearn VT-1 preamp (also rediculously expensive). Sounds huge though. I’ve used just about everything on it, but a larger diaphragm condensor usually wins the day, and the “mushy” response of a tube pre can help soften some of the attack oddness that happens when a performer really bangs it out. For full band in the live room work, I generally pull the piano away from the wall a few feet and mic behind it to control bleed better. And yes, small changes in mic placement can make a huge difference, especially for mono recordings (which I generally prefer for the kind of piano tracking I do). You’ll get some cool overtone buildup on that piano of yours if you compress the signal right…makes it sound even bigger…like the last chord in “A Day in The Life”…

Yes, you should see the felts on this thing. Deep grooves from the strings. The sustain pedal squeeks a bit, and one of the keys hits twice when played with moderate force. I don’t care! I love all that stuff! Like you said, this is mostly for the kids and me and my wife. And she’s in 7th heaven too.

Speaking of midwestern piano companies, you might be amused to find out that it’s a Grinnell Bros. piano. :)