SQUARE GRAND PIANOS ARE LARGE, ORNATE AND WEIGH A TON. They were built from roughly 1850 to the turn of the century. Because of their relatively simple action, they don’t have the response or sound of a modern grand. However, they can be a good sounding instrument that can be used for lessons or pleasure. Because of their age, and a lack of available repair parts, special equipment and knowledge are required to repair a square grand. To our knowledge we are the only technicians in Cincinnati who still service the square grand.
A square grand piano is rectangular in shape, measuring approximately 3 feet deep and 7 feet wide. It stands about 3 feet off the ground on 4 mammoth, intricately carved legs. The keyboard is located on the long side of the piano, with a small pedal lyre centered underneath. Square Grands are most often veneered with rosewood, a beautifully figured reddish wood which is gorgeous when refinished. Square grand pianos were built between 1850 and the turn of the century, and although uncommon, can still be found.
The pin block (a flat piece of maple plywood which holds the tuning pins in place) on a square grand piano is similar in construction to other pianos built through the thirties. Therefore they will hold a tuning as well as other pianos of this vintage. However, the square grand, due to its different design, is more difficult to tune. Experience in Square Grands is helpful in creating a good tuning.
In most cases the answer is yes. The cabinet is refinished, the strings, hammers and pins replaced, and the action is regulated. The only component that cannot be replaced is the pin block, because it is an integral part of the cabinet.
With 6-8 of your biggest, strongest friends, or alternatively, using a professional piano mover. Rechel Piano Company uses Smooth Moves.
The answer depends both upon the piano and you. In some cases the piano is of such poor quality or condition that restoration is not possible. If the piano is in good condition and quality, it must be understood that the action and sound is inferior to that of the modern grand piano, and a certain trade off must be made for the beauty and craftsmanship of the cabinetry.
However, Square Grands are still quite playable and some of our clients put them to everyday use. Rechel Piano is happy to provide an appraisal as to the value and condition of your instrument, and lend guidance.
In many cases yes, it is possible to install the PianoDisc® player system on your square grand piano. This will give it all the features found on a modern player piano, limited only by the quality of the square grand. And in our professional installations, the player components are well hidden, so that the aesthetic value of the piano is maintained.
In fact, the square grand in the picture at the top of this page has a PianoDisc® system installed by Rechel Piano Company.
We strive to have a service technician available to answer the phone 9 to noon, E.S.T., weekdays. At other times, they will answer if they are available, but they may be doing restorations or be in the field. At these times, please leave a message and we will respond as soon as possible.