Seems like I should have taken photos. The little church has since sold the piano. The tuning pin arrangement sounds like Terry's. Most in front, with a lot of bias to the rows of pins, and the bass pins on the left. The bias arrangement, and the array with two groups staggered, made finding the right tuning pin and muting the right strings not exactly difficult, but needing attention.
That's all right, Keith. I'm sure the designer is no longer able to hear you.
I wonder if the design process included a certain amount of glee, and also, perhaps, some satisfaction imagining the annoyance some people working on them might feel before they figured out how to do it.
I wouldn't say the sound of a Matthushek square is "good", more like "distinct". It has a character of its own.
Getting inside to fix something gave me a few moments ... the sort of situation where not taking the time to figure things out first might lead to breakage.
What is your definition of "nice"? I looked up the definition of "nice" in Webster's dictionary, and here are some of the definitions of "nice" -- wanton, dissolute, acceptable, finicky, showing finicky tastes.
The definition of "nice" has given me a little trouble in the past. My dad taught physics. To a scientist or a mathematician, "nice" applied to a proof or a piece of work is high praise.
But when I was in a conservatory, and told someone that a performance was "nice", she was offended. To her mind, "nice" applied to a musical performance implied that it was trivial.
As for a Matthushek square (I looked after one for a few years), if in good original condition or well rebuilt, "nice" suggests that it is pleasing in a quirky way, which is a quite accurate description of this unique model -- a square way after the time of square grands, not a grand, not a spinet, so they called it a spinet grand, all kinds of work-arounds to accommodate a very strange geometry, and yet the thing actually plays. With the narrow string spacing and the odd tuning pin layout, I found it hard to mute and it took constant attention to be on the right tuning pin -- but heck, it was a fun experience.