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#3184356 01/11/22 06:56 PM
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What can you guys tell me about Henry F Miller pianos? I am interested in a Henry Miller victorian baby grand that sounds like it's been taken care of for many years.

How is the sound?
(I am just a hobbyist so I'll describe what I am looking for as best as I can: something loud, with strong bass, and not too tinny on the high notes.)

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There was a recent thread about Henry F Miller, here.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...d-worth-taking-a-chance.html#Post3174574

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Alright. So I tried the piano in question.

It needs a tuning. Also the upper octaves could use some work. Last key does not work for one reason or another. It was appraised to be 8 thou but being sold much lower. Hasn't been tuned for 5 years since they moved it to their current home. Also the strings may or may not benefit from being changed.



So here's the thing:
I'd really like to improve on the higher octaves. They are currently too mellow and does not "ring." Also the last octave is barely there.
The action could be more responsive, I think. It was kind of hard to tell because I didn't have the elbow room to try it on properly.

It also has what the seller and I agreed to as a "sweet sound"-- which is great but I'd like to have a more aggressive sound. Esp in the higher octaves.




How much can a tuning change things in the area I am concerned in? Also, what would you advise to be done to the piano to get it to the point I want? Would changing to a less soft hammers change things? What about the responsiveness of the keys? Am I talking about rebuilding at all?

And how much am I looking at with the works that may be done to the piano? Do I need to obtain a specialist technician due to the age of the piano and what I might want done to it?

Last edited by The Dodo; 01/17/22 08:34 AM.
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Tuning will change things, but it’s not going to magically fix everything. Changing a set of hammers costs a few thousand, and takes a few visits to get dialed in. Fixing action problems could takes hours of adjustments or days/weeks/months of rebuilding, depending on what’s needed and your expectations.

You’re looking at a neglected, very old piano that you didn’t actually like when you played it. Unless it’s going to serve as a furniture piece, I’d move on to something else.


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How much are they offering you to haul it away? It sounds like junk.

If you are really considering this, hire a technician to check it out for you. You cannot count on someone who has not seen it to estimate what it would cost to make this antique acceptable.


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Henry F. Miller made great uprights and lousy grands. Lousy treble is characteristic.


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TD has hit the nail squarely on the head above. I'll chime in only because in the thread linked by David-G I mentioned that Henry F. Miller was on David Burton's list of rebuild-worthy pianos, and you've asked how much would you be looking at to improve the piano. As BDB indicated, that can't really be known without a hands-on inspection (which is always a good idea anyway).

There's no telling what's causing the tonal issues you describe. It's probably the combination of a number of things, potentially even include a dead or dying soundboard, which would be a very costly replacement. You're probably looking at a minimum of several thousand dollars worth of work (rates vary depending on where you live), and potentially much more.

Anyway, back to the notion of HFM being on the list, there are only two paths that would justify the investment:

Sentimental -- if the piano holds a lot of sentimental value, for example it's a family heirloom, then it can be worth the investment (in fact, personally I consider this the best rationale). This could even include simply falling in love with a piano, but the sentimental path is not one where "value" or cost are a consideration, because the plano in question may never have a monetary value that equals or exceeds the cost of its improvement.

Retail investment -- someone who is familiar with the piano market and does this sort of work may recognize that the rejuvenated/restored/rebuilt piano can be resold for a price high enough to justify their efforts to improve it.


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Ohuh.

You guys are making a lot of sense....
I guess the piano search journal continues? Well off I go to see a Boston this sat...

Last edited by The Dodo; 01/18/22 11:10 PM.
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Please share details about the Boston! smile


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Quick update:
Tried some Yamahas, kawaiis, a 80s Boston....and my new piano:
A 1928 Steinway that's been rebuilt!!! So happy! Will have it Sunday!

Last edited by The Dodo; 01/21/22 07:56 PM.
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Details!! It's a big jump from an old HFM to a rebuilt vintage S&S!

Regardless, congratulations!


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I now have a new piano and therefore new thread:
https://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthreads.php/topics/3188476.html#Post3188476

The Boston I tried, while nice, err, did not withstand the competition once I tried the Steinway...

Last edited by The Dodo; 01/25/22 03:34 PM.

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