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Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Christman sons piano-previously answered by Ralph


QUESTION: Hi Ralph,  I answered your question previously but I don't know where it went. I apologize for not being clear about my piano.  It is a baby grand and the issues I mentioned were it needs pedal work, stabilizing the front leg support, and finishing work.  The person who looked at the piano went over it and said there is a very slight crack in the sound board that has no affect on the sound.  He said the key action is exceptional and the sound of the instrument is huge.  We found newer pegs on only 2 strings and he said the rest of the strings look great. No other structural issues. It is very dusty and hasn't been tuned since 2003.  My friend is the youth director at my church and does piano tuning so I trust his word.  I was going to give him the piano but he said he couldn't accept it because he feels it has some value.  We just can't date it Thanks again. Rick

ANSWER: Hi Rick,

No problem!

we don't worry about cracks in the board as long as the rib/board assembly have integrity.

The new "pegs" is a sign of a failing block, at least in that region. Or the person that put in the new strings just put in new tuning pins as a safety factor. This is something to be expected in a piano of that age.

If you were going to give the piano to the youth director as a gift, I would urge him to accept it after you get an appraisal from a registered piano technician so you can reduce your income on your taxes by that amount. People do that all the time. And you can't have the recipient do the appraisal, that would be seen as a conflict of interest.

You can go to to find a registered technician.

In this way you would know the piano had a nice home and got some real use.

The problems with dating the piano are not significant. However, you can justifiably say that it dates back to the last manufacturing year of Christman. That is what I would say if I had to go to court of this.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Ralph.  Thanks for the info.  I appreciate it.  Could you tell me where the serial number on the baby grands might be found?  It is intriquing to me.  Rick

HI Rick:

1. Look on the steel plate where the tuning pins are. In many cases there is a triangular section on the left. It may be in there.

2. Look on the steel struts

3. Look under the keybed

The number may very well be covered in years of "stuff". The serial number is 4, or 5, or 6 digits, usually no letters are involved.

A flashlight is your friend in this process.

Let me know how you do!

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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: 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: You can like us on Facebook at:


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:// 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 where there is a comprehensive list of clients past and present.

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