Wednesday, 27 October 2021

The Perfect Touch

The hunt to find the piano with a perfect touch would be a very tough assignment. On a 10 point checklist of qualities required for consideration, very few pianos would achieve 10 out of 10.

Though wonderful specimens of the piano maker's art, even expensive new pianos, are often short on the magic that sparkles when the action and keys supply the player with the wings of creative inspiration - allowing flight to that mysterious zone where, the player is released from the confines of unsatisfactory playability, and enjoys the timeless pleasure of music making purity. This zone is home to the perfect touch. Playability fulfilled!

A tuner/technician's experience will agree that perfection in a piano is almost unheard of! My old boss, when I was an apprentice, often used to say, "Pianos are imperfect instruments!" - of course, back in the 1970s, he was right - the pianos of the time were generally very poor and always, had issues. I think he got tired of having to find new things to say to customers who rightly felt disappointed with their purchases.

Surely today, pianos must be somewhat closer to the ideals of the piano designer's blueprint! Throwing money at the problem is not always a complete solution - indeed, unless the those undertaking the challenge of sorting it out, know exactly what they are doing, the finished piano might still only be an expensive disappointment.

We, in the trade must strive for excellence and then, go the extra mile, make an art of the job, sprinkle with gold dust and unlock the wonders of a well regulated action and give the 'Perfect Touch' within, the chance to inspire further generations of keen pianists! 
   

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Thurmer F. Serial Nos.

 

Year

Serial No.

1900

19500

1905

27800

1910

37700

1915

49900

1920

52700

1925

57000

1926

57500

1927

58000

1928

59600

1929

60300

1935

67000

1940

72700

1952

73800

1973

81500

1977

81715

1985

82680

1990

83330

1993

83530

These serial numbers can be used only as a reference point.
An Exact date does not make a material difference to an assessment of a piano - a year or so out 120 years ago really is neither here more there.

The idea that 100% accuracy for all piano makers over a century ago is an interesting thought - but considering that all record keeping would be hand-written and kept in large ledger books, inaccuracies are likely. These records will be as reliable as the clerks whose job it was to keep them. The digital age of barcodes and scanned labels was still in the realm of science fiction. So we have to be content with our best guess numbers.

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Weinbach Serial Nos.

 

Year

Serial No.

Year

Serial No.

1900

10510

1973

143000

1910

23920

1977

170000

1920

32920

1980

189200

1930

64200

1983

209951

1940

72120

1987

230740

1950

85550

1990

244040

1955

89300

1993

259410

1960

96600

1997

267430

1963

106600

2000

270950

1967

118400

2003

273170

1970

129200



These serial numbers can be used only as a reference point.
An Exact date does not make a material difference to an assessment of a piano - a year or so out 120 years ago really is neither here more there.

The idea that 100% accuracy for all piano makers over a century ago is an interesting thought - but considering that all record keeping would be hand-written and kept in large ledger books, inaccuracies are likely. These records will be as reliable as the clerks whose job it was to keep them. The digital age of barcodes and scanned labels was still in the realm of science fiction. So we have to be content with our best guess numbers.

Back to the Piano Atlas

Wurlitzer Serial Nos.

 

Year

Serial No.

Year

Serial No.

1903

1910

1953

474451

1907

7500

1957

607000

1910

11600

1960

657000

1913

15000

1963

815000

1917

28000

1967

985000

1920

40000

1970

1105000

1923

53000

1977

1395000

1927

80000

1980

1595000

1930

112000

1983

1725000

1933

130300

1987

1900000

1937

150000

1990

2080001

1940

195000

1993

2820556

1942

225000

1996

2829222

1946

330000

1998

2835027

1950

400000

2000

2840520

These serial numbers can be used only as a reference point.
An Exact date does not make a material difference to an assessment of a piano - a year or so out 120 years ago really is neither here more there.

The idea that 100% accuracy for all piano makers over a century ago is an interesting thought - but considering that all record keeping would be hand-written and kept in large ledger books, inaccuracies are likely. These records will be as reliable as the clerks whose job it was to keep them. The digital age of barcodes and scanned labels was still in the realm of science fiction. So we have to be content with our best guess numbers.

Back to the Piano Atlas

Monday, 18 October 2021

Young Chang


Young Chang was founded in 1956 by three brothers Jai-Young Kim, Jai-Chang Kim and Jai-Sup Kim. Initially they distributed Yamaha pianos into Korea and other parts of Asia. South Korea was becoming widely known for producing high quality musical instruments and in 1964 the first Young Chang factory was built in Seoul.

When in 1985 the Aeolian Piano Company came to an end, Young Chang purchased the rights to use the brand name ‘Weber’ and in the following year established the Weber Piano Company. The practice of using old, respected European-sounding names to increase sales of pianos has been part of the long history of the piano trade. For whatever reason, the Weber subsidiary was sold to Samsung America in 1987.


Needing extra capacity for producing iron frames, Young Chang opened a foundry at Tianjin, China in 1988. The project there was further expanded a few years later when they opened a complete piano manufacturing complex. The Chinese facility allowed Young Chang to start serving the lower-end of the piano market.


Joseph Pramberger, a former head of manufacturing from Steinways joined the company in 1995. He brought many innovations to piano design at Young Chang, including an improved action and an asymmetrically tapered soundboard. The Pramberger Platinum series - incorporating some German action parts from Renner - was Young Chang's top-of-the-models range for three years. 


In 2018 Hyundai acquired Young Chang in 2006, renaming the company HDC Young Chang.


Steingraeber & Sohne Serial Nos.

 

Year

Serial No.

Year

Serial No.

1900

9750

1955

27000

1905

13000

1960

28000

1910

16700

1965

29710

1915

20600

1970

21420

1920

20800

1975

32770

1925

22000

1980

34180

1930

23750

1985

35500

1935

24300

1990

38000

1940

25450

1995

40500

1949

25620

2000

43000

1950

25800

2003

44500

These serial numbers can be used only as a reference point.
An Exact date does not make a material difference to an assessment of a piano - a year or so out 120 years ago really is neither here more there.

The idea that 100% accuracy for all piano makers over a century ago is an interesting thought - but considering that all record keeping would be hand-written and kept in large ledger books, inaccuracies are likely. These records will be as reliable as the clerks whose job it was to keep them. The digital age of barcodes and scanned labels was still in the realm of science fiction. So we have to be content with our best guess numbers.

Back to the Piano Atlas

Schmidt-Flohr Serial Nos.

 

Year

Serial No.

Year

Serial No.

1900

3300

1950

26400

1905

4900

1955

29200

1910

7000

1960

31350

1915

9700

1965

34800

1920

13000

1970

37000

1925

15800

1975

38160

1930

19600

1980

38800

1935

21800

1985

39501

1940

22700

1990

39801

1945

24000

1994

40741

These serial numbers can be used only as a reference point.
An Exact date does not make a material difference to an assessment of a piano - a year or so out 120 years ago really is neither here more there.

The idea that 100% accuracy for all piano makers over a century ago is an interesting thought - but considering that all record keeping would be hand-written and kept in large ledger books, inaccuracies are likely. These records will be as reliable as the clerks whose job it was to keep them. The digital age of barcodes and scanned labels was still in the realm of science fiction. So we have to be content with our best guess numbers.

Back to the Piano Atlas