Picture Album VII
Picture Gallery VII
— by Wes Flinn RPT
Piano Tuning Phoenix Picture Gallery VII –
This Album features a 1927 J&C Fischer 5-ft-6-inch Parlor Grand Custom Restoration Project
1927 J&C Fischer 5-ft-6-inch Parlor Grand
Custom Restoration Project
$27,000 — Sold
The majority of the story of this piano will have to be told in person — it is far too long and complex to expect a searcher to read. I am an “RPT”, or Registered Piano Technician. I have had an interest for many years to restore a piano which could illustrate what is called, in ‘hearsay’ and piano technician lore, as “the great American sound”. That term seems very vague, but actually expresses the thought correctly. This particular “sound” was what characterized the ‘piano sound’ of American and other pianos manufactured in the time frame of about 1875 up to World War II. The sound evolved due to both the size and quality pianos that were built in those times, along with the kind of felt that was used in the hammers then, which came almost exclusively from a large supplier of felt in Germany, Weichert Felt Co.
Felt Product began to flow again after extensive research and development, and by 2005 the product returned to market. After endless experimentation and development the technical world now found an equivalent felt had finally been re-developed, and the Weichert style felt then again available to piano hammer makers by about 2008.
I chose the J&C Fischer 5-ft-6-inch piano to use for this project, and my reasons for this choice would take PAGES to relate! I will save that part of the story for those who might be interested to hear such detail!
The goal from the beginning went beyond what is usually considered to be “restoration” — we insisted that the original character of this instrument be “reincarnated”. To do this, two aspects of the project were necessary to “revive” as much as to “restore”:
(1) The outside finish, and (2) the operation of the action.
Again, the details of such an extensive project would not be of much general interest, and need to be told in person to be truly understood.
Briefly, the finish was installed by an artisan cabinet maker, who was able to re-create the “two-tone” finish style popular in 1927. The action was possible to restore only through hand-fitting all the parts, crafted out of contemporary high-speed replacement parts, since none of the parts needed for this action are commercially available anywhere for any price.
The piano is now completed, and is awaiting the final regulation and voicing of the action. Although this piano is now a sold item, you can still see it in the Photo Gallery which records the revival process of this extremely unique instrument!