Useful Information

Helpful notes to interpret the piano descriptions!

These are approximate and in inches.  For values in centimetres, you should multiply by 2.54.  If a very accurate measurement is needed, please contact me and I will do my best to help.

Number of notes
85 is the norm, or occasionally 88 on a newer piano.  Sometimes, for reasons of space, a smaller piano may be made with fewer notes.

A440 is concert pitch, which since 1939 has been the standard pitch that all instruments should usually be tuned to.  So, if you want to play your piano with other instruments, choose A440.  Occasionally, older pianos are unable to come up to this pitch and this is reflected in a smaller number indicating a lower pitch.  The piano is in tune with itself, however!

Sometimes I have been able to date pianos exactly. If the letter ‘c’ (circa) appears before the date it has not been possible to find an exact date, but this gives an approximation.

Piano Type
Overstrung means the lower strings cross over the higher strings, which means that the strings are longer for a given height of piano.  This makes for a slightly better tone and is the norm for modern instruments.
Straight Strung means all the strings are parallel to each other and therefore the height of the piano is the limit for the length of string.  This is not an issue with a taller piano.
Underdamped means that when you release the note the sound is stopped by a piece of felt being clamped against the vibrating string by a spring, and is the mechanism used in today’s pianos.
Overdamped is a system used until the 1920’s doing a similar job to underdamped, but using gravity alone.  This results in a slightly less effective result, and sometimes a bit of “ringing on” can be heard.