Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A new baby

For some time now my old piano has been running not at 100%. We spent quite a bit of money on it a couple of years ago to little avail. Even after the last tuning, a couple of notes almost immediately went back to their untuned sound, which means probably that more actual repair work is needed.
So my wife and I have been considering getting a new piano for a while, and I went to a music shop recently to suss out the prices: uprights were coming in at a minimum of $12,000NZ, and were fairly unsubstantial creatures even at that. Plus they seem to place the keyboard too low these days. I have a friend who has a relatively new piano that gives me a back ache because I’m having to lean down towards it all the time.
One of the patients at the health centre where my wife works is a now retired piano tuner. He happened to mention that someone we knew was selling her baby grand – he’d been asked to price it for her, but isn’t really into pricing pianos. My wife expressed interest, and last night we went and visited the aforementioned baby.
A nice Broadwood, good and solid, a bit bright in the upper register (particularly one key – might have been the E two above middle C), and a little heavier in the action than my current piano. Of course, my current piano has been worked at until it plays without thinking (including the two or three dud sounding notes). The Broadwood would require me to work a little harder, but that’s no great problem. The bass has a nice clean sound to it, whereas my piano’s overtones seem to run into each other. And the soft pedal actually produces a softness.
I played through a couple of my recent compositions on it, since I knew well how they feel on the home piano. And then we asked the price. $6,500. Wow. A steal, even allowing for transporting it to my place.
So I will soon own a baby grand. It’s not the first grand to live at our house. Years ago, when we attended the AOG church, they let us look after their baby grand while a new church was being built. I think it was a bigger beast, as I recall it taking up quite a bit of room. (This baby has been on a bit of a diet pill regime by contrast!)
My current piano is a bit of a monster too, even though it’s an upright. It was formerly a player-piano, but before I got it, the player action was removed. Consequently, it stands solid on the ground.
Roll on Tuesday, when we welcome the new baby into the family.

The picture is of a Broadwood similar to the one I'm getting. The image is from a site called The Rooms Above
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