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#749113 - 09/01/09 06:58 PM Just bought a piano -- Starck: know anyting about them?  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,890
PopTodd Offline
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PopTodd  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,890
Western Springs, IL, USA
Picked it up at an Estate Sale for just $425.
It's in excellent condition.

Upright/console piano.
Starck Ori-Coustic
serial #: 180094

How do I find out more about this thing?
Have any of you played Starcks? All I know is that it was a Chicago company, and that this model is from somewhere around 1962-63 according to the people from who I bought it.

How's the Starck rep?
Does it even have one?

Here are photos of a similar one that I got off of Google image:
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

This is pretty much exactly what it looks like, although these photos are of a 1969.

#754974 - 09/26/09 05:53 AM Re: Just bought a piano -- Starck: know anyting about them? [Re: PopTodd]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,102
Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,102
New Jersey, USA
I tuned a few over my 33 years of tuning. From what I remember, they were good, solid pianos, with a good tone. Built in a time when the competition was heavy, with more makers than in times since.

It's a high tension scaled piano, meaning the total pounds of string pressure wanted by the manufacturer, calls for thicker strings on certain notes than their counter part pianos of lesser string tension. Better tone in general, depending on hammers, (which they used good hammers also). For a simple example of your piano's string tension, your highest note and just a couple from it may have size 13 strings, rather than starting with 12's). Your low end before it gets to the copper wound strings of the bass notes may have size 21 strings, compared to some other consoles going to 19. (21 is thicker, thus making the tone more deep, and having a good transistion to the copper wound bass strings. If too thin a piano wire string next to a decent copper wire string of the bass section, then a noticable change in tone and maybe volume in some pianos will be heard. A high tension scale takes that into consideration, and shows they cared about making an "instrument".

With that scale comes a need for stronger supporting material and construction to deal with all that tension. About 30,000 pounds as I recall. Some grands have around 40,000 pounds of string tension, for their scales could be high, and the strings longer. Physics!

The thing is with any make piano, (aside from how it was built), is how it was treated before anyone would later buy it used!

A well built piano as yours taken care of, (regular tunings of at least 2 times a year, and not having it by a heat source, especially forced air, or other drying of the air heat), can be good for a very long time. It should also have been "regulated" about once every two years, depending on how it was played,,(heavy or not). Longer if not. More often is so. Regulation is the adjustments of the moving parts, mainly the keys for proper height, hammers for their wear and position form the strings, and all the moving parts in between the keys and the hammers. (For "let off", backchecks, and taking care of any spring weakness. LOTS of parts in the "Action" of a piano! ("Action Regulation" is what you could ask to have done at some point). It's not cheap, and if done right, really makes a difference in the playing of the piano, along with having the parts last longer, for there won't be the stress on certain parts if left unregulated for years and years, (decades).

It's like having an older car for you. If you want it to run great, and keep it that way, you'll need to spend on the regular maintenance.

I would suggest to find a reputable, oral tuner, (good luck these days), and one who has a rep for being a good technician,(one who does fine regulation and other work on pianos, as in restoration). Call music teachers first, for they work with them on a regular basis, and get feedback from their students on them. Then call the piano stores, and ask to speak to the rebuilding department if they have one. Forget the sales people, as they will only want to push their current tuner on you so the store can make most of the money of them. (Not all the time, but,,,,,). Also, call theaters, and see who tunes their concert pianos. They MUST know about fine regulation and tuning to keep working for professional shows.

If the same names keep coming up,,,,then make a choice after calling them and getting a feel for their caring of a console, and their prices. If they are gruff with you, imagine how they will care about your piano. Caring is a big deal with tuners. Ones that have it are usually good. Those who aren't? Could be a real fast job at your place, no matter what was said about them before. SO,,,,YOU pick your recommended tuner by a feel for THEM as you talk about your console, along with their reputations as being very good.

Oh yeah,,,,any tuner can love one piano, and the other hate it,,,so keep that in mind. It's not a Steinway or Bechstein, or similar. But it is a decent make with good intentions. Some tuners won't like any console. (So just be prepared even with the nicest of tuners on the phone).

Those pianos go from free to $1500 or so. So,,,,not a bad deal if in good condition.

If you have any questions throughout any process, just email me at dhsongs@Comcast.net

Happy playing!

Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).

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