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Silver plate

  • 1.  Silver plate

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 09-09-2023 21:03

    I couldn't resist and got another free piano today. A fellow tech baited me saying it was going to the dump if I didn't take it. I took the bait. 😂 It's 1909 Schomacher 6' grand. It was refinished at some point by someone who did an outstanding job. The tech threw in new hammers, shanks and flanges which definitely sweetened the deal. Some interesting features. It has a Steinway action (possibly model A, sostenuto monkey and all) which fits perfectly as far as we could tell. It still has the original "gold strings." Ones thing that particularly surprised me was the silver plate. I initially thought it was repainted, but there is no evidence for this and plenty to the contrary. Notice the silver cast iron beams underneath (I've never seen this before), another indicator this was the original color. I assume it looked pretty neat when new with a silver plate and gold plated strings. But I won't be trying to find gold plated strings when I rebuild. The question I'm tossing around is whether to refinish the plate in gold or silver. Is there a market for silver or is that a rebuilding marketing disaster? 

    Thanks!



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    Tim Foster RPT
    New Oxford PA
    (470) 231-6074
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  • 2.  RE: Silver plate

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 09-09-2023 22:08
    Interesting piano. Yes, I've seen a few silver plates. Depending on how fast you want to sell it, I would suggest you put on gold finish on the plate. Even at that, the profit margin will be very small. 





  • 3.  RE: Silver plate

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 09-09-2023 22:25

    That's what I was thinking, and yes, I know there's not much profit in this. I need the experience, though.



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    Tim Foster RPT
    New Oxford PA
    (470) 231-6074
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  • 4.  RE: Silver plate

    Posted 09-10-2023 07:42
    I had a Schomacker upright player many years ago with a cast iron back brace. It was the heaviest upright I've ever seen. They claimed the strings gave the piano a "golden tone." The electro-plating was so thin that I've never seen one with much gold left.

    Phil Jamison





  • 5.  RE: Silver plate

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 09-10-2023 13:49

    The piano store I work at recently got a sliver-colored plate on a brand new piano. (Sorry I don't remember the brand at the moment.) The salesman told me he was excited about it because every piano they get with a silver-colored plate sells for more. His words, not mine. That it's a rarity probably increases the value, not decreases it. It adds to the story of the piano. If I were in your shoes I would probably leave it silver. 



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    Benjamin Sanchez, RPT
    Piano Technician / Artisan
    (256) 947-9999
    www.professional-piano-services.com
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  • 6.  RE: Silver plate

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 09-10-2023 17:25

    I would tend to agree with Benjamin on this. 

    Peter Grey Piano Doctor 



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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    (603) 686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 7.  RE: Silver plate

    Posted 09-10-2023 17:34

    Also, the gold plating of the bass strings was a key feature of the brand. You can find older magazines with articles about it and the company. The gold most likely did two things 1. protect from rust, 2. The extra weight allows the possibility of a smaller diameter thus a bigger tone theoretically.



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    Chernobieff Piano Restorations
    All the elements are known, and yet no combination there of creates life. Yet we are here.
    865-986-7720 (text only please)
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  • 8.  RE: Silver plate