Pianotech

  • 1.  1912 Bosendorfer Restring

    Posted 11-10-2023 15:31

    Hi, All - I've recently completed making and installing a new pinblock for the 1912 Bosendorfer 170 we've been restoring. I laminated this from Bolduc plies, replicating the original, and drilled for 00 Diamond pins. Now preparing to restring. We documented the original scale design, of course. The question of the moment is whether it might be worthwhile to revisit the scale design. Ideally we'd like to tune the instrument to A 440, as it's going to live in a place where it will play with other instruments, often with visiting musicians of various genres. It's not clear whether the original scale was designed for that. We're reaching out to Bosendorfer about this (and stringing in general) but wanted to float this out to you all and tap your collective wisdom.  I've designed scales for other instruments, so I have an appreciation for the complexities involved!  BTW, I've also been looking in to where we might get the wound strings made, wire options, and so on. The Forum of course has been a great resource for this.

    Regards, John Fabel

    Amherst, MA



    ------------------------------
    John Fabel
    Adjunct Professor
    Amherst MA
    (413) 695-1380
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: 1912 Bosendorfer Restring

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-10-2023 17:07

    John,

    With the software of today I suspect you can arrive at a very decent scale for this piano yourself. There is a YouTube video floating around somewhere of the loop maker guy in the Bosie factory. If you copy what he does you'll be able to make those loops identical to the originals. Takes some practice but you can do it. 

    The last Bosie I restrung I got the wire pre looped from the factory, but that was for a 225 that is still in production. I suspect youll be locked into doing it yourself. I've done it...just have to get a rhythm going and a couple of dozen wasted loops and you'll be a pro. Your hands will also be sore but...

    Peter Grey Piano Doctor 



    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    (603) 686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: 1912 Bosendorfer Restring

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-10-2023 17:12
    John

    Speaking of the pre-made strings with the loops from the factory, it might be worth it to ask if they still have the scale for your model, and how much it would cost to make an entire set, including the bass strings. I mean, this is not exactly a bad piano to try to re-scale it. And it will save you a ton of work doing the loops yourself, as Peter mentioned. 

    Wim





  • 4.  RE: 1912 Bosendorfer Restring

    Posted 11-10-2023 17:23

    It sounds like the assumption is being made that this piano was not originally designed to be tuned to A-440. Is there any evidence to support this? Or is this pure conjecture?Bear in mind that current Bösendorfers are designed to be tuned to A-442.

    Having said that, it would be interesting to put the old scale through some software to see how it looks, graphed up. Perhaps some improvements can be made, but I suspect that 440 would not be an issue with the old scale.



    ------------------------------
    Jurgen Goering
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: 1912 Bosendorfer Restring

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-10-2023 17:56

    Yes, it would be wise to plug in the data and see what it looks like. Also, Gregor Heller can perfectly duplicate any nuances of the original bass strings such as the backward wrapping trick at the ends if the originals had this feature. In fact, he might be a good source fir information on this scale even beyond the bass strings. He is very helpful to work with. 

    I see no reason why the instrument cannot be maintained at 440hz or even higher. Any modern wire will easily be able to take it. And the frame should be plenty robust.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the wire of 1912 is likely not metallurgically identical to today's wire. Stephen Paulello might be another good source of information on this. 

    Peter Grey Piano Doctor 



    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    (603) 686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: 1912 Bosendorfer Restring

    Posted 11-13-2023 07:19

    Thank you all for your thoughtful responses - just the insight and information I was hoping for - much appreciated!

    Stay tuned, John Fabel

    Amherst, MA



    ------------------------------
    John Fabel
    Adjunct Professor
    Amherst MA
    (413) 695-1380
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: 1912 Bosendorfer Restring

    Posted 4 days ago

    I hesitate to "bump up" this older thread, but I am genuinely curious:

     - Did you hear anything back from Bösendorfer about  the original intended pitch?

     - Did you use the original scale?

     - Bass strings from where?

     - How did the piano turn out? Is everyone thrilled?

    Please let us know.

     thanks

    .JG



    ------------------------------
    Jurgen Goering
    ------------------------------