Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Player piano converted


I have acquired a Chute and Butler Player Piano (serial#40375).  The player pedals have been removed and replaced by an electric motor to drive the piano.  I have had it tuned twice, but it is still off true pitch a full step.  Can you tell me when it was made, what companies may have modified it, and if it is likely that it can be brought into true pitch without replacing the strings etc?

Thank you.

Hi Randy:

This piano was made by Schiller in Indiana in 1912.

The blower motor conversion was a popular one.

Bringing a piano to pitch is no mystery. You set A49 to 440HZ, set your temperament, and tune.

You do this, oh I would say 3 times until the piano is up to pitch and then tune it again and keep it there.

If you have tuned it twice without breaking any strings, I'd say you have a good shot at getting it to pitch safely.

The problem with these old pianos is that the strings are sticking to the bearing points and don't want to move. Corrosion keeps them there.

Let me know how you do.

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ralph Onesti


I am a Registered/tested member of the Piano Technicians Guild (RPT) with 49 years of experience in all phases and levels of the acoustic piano. I will answer any questions regarding acoustic pianos only. All questions and answers are to remain public. Please to not include sensitive material! If they are marked private, I will change them to public. My answers may be of assistance to others. If privacy is an issue, please contact me through my web site: http://www.onestipiano.com Electronic keyboards, organs, and player/reproducing piano mechanisms are outside of my expertise. Anything to do with: Construction, Service, Tuning, Climate Control Systems, Piano Disc, Purchasing, Selling, Insurance Appraisal, Rebuilding, Repairs, Legal issues, Maintenance, Environmental issues, Finish issues with acoustic pianos. My full resume can be found at: http://onestipiano.com/pages/history.html You can like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/onestipianoservice


In business since 1964, Extensive Rebuilding/Repair/Service facility. A certified, tested, member of the Piano Technicians Guild, Member of the Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. Have performed piano service on Concert Stage, Recording Studios, and in the home. Http://www.onestipiano.com. The shop's work comes from all over the world from private clients or other techncians.

The Piano Technicians Guild, Master Piano Technicians of America, Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. (TASA), IAPBT. The Piano Technicians Guild is the only organization in the US that offers a certification test to become Registered. There are no "factory authorized techncians".

The Piano Technicians Journal

Attented Temple University, Drexel University, Philadelphia Community college all in the areas of engineering and Music. I taught a two semester course in Piano Technology and the related acoustical physics at Temple University. I have taught extensively for the Piano Technicians Guild and the Master Piano Technicians of America.

Awards and Honors
Service Award for the Rose Tree Media School District in Pennsylvania. Chapter Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild.

Past/Present Clients
The list is rather extensive. I would suggest you go http://onestipiano.com/pages/testimonials.html where there is a comprehensive list of clients past and present.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.