Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Autumn news and piano SALE!

Autumn is well under way and our annual bonfire party this Saturday looks set to be an indoor affair this year as the forecast is wet. The Devon countryside around us is ablaze with wonderful colours this season as always, and with a huge waiting list of repairs, our minds are turning to Christmas already! 

We have several large restorations which will be completed during November, including a unique and extremely special 1890s Bechstein grand featuring ornate gilt embellishments on its rosewood case. 

It's a joy to work on this unique antique Bechstein V grand piano

 Another rosewood Bechstein is going back to Exmoor next week to its piano teacher owner having been full restored, and a beautiful restored Bluthner upright will be delivered to its new owner later this month - a recording studio in Bristol.

Bechstein grand piano soundboard during restoration
Our new technician Henry has proved himself invaluable to Bill in the workshop this year. His engineer's mind and expertise as a pianist mean that he's learning fast, and Henry is now undertaking everything from complex action work to restringing and fitting new wrest planks. He now works several days a week with Bill, as well as keeping up with his private teaching commitments, and has also enjoyed developing his refinishing skills during the year. As well as refinishing conventional wooden cases, both antique and relatively modern, Henry has become highly skilled at bespoke lacquer finishes. He's also made some amazing key rings from reclaimed piano parts which are proving popular as gifts.



Key rings made from authentic reclaimed piano parts are just £3 each.
Top to bottom: ebony notes, Bechstein hammer heads and tuning pins

We have seen a huge rise recently in the number of clients requesting bespoke coloured pianos. Using ultra hardwearing lacquer colour matched to Farrow & Ball shades, we're able to transform lacklustre mid-century pianos into statement pieces. Greys are perennially popular of course, but we've also had requests for some fabulous dramatic colours, including Inchyra Blue (see photo), which looked amazing in its new contemporary home. 

Bespoke colour upright pianos. The right hand one is in Inchyra Blue by Farrow & Ball
Tom, our tuner/technician, remains busy as ever touring many weekends of the year with The Beach Boyz Tribute Band but is also essential to our team! Tom got married earlier this year and he and his new wife Becky are expecting their first child just before Christmas. Most of the team has now seen Tom perform and we were all blown away by his stage presence as well as his voice! Luckily, Tom still finds time to undertake tunings and many repairs, and we've lost count of the glowing reports coming in from clients. 

Another exciting development for the business this year was when Edward Jacobs joined us in a sales role - albeit very part time, as he has many other commitments including teaching and as musical director for several choirs. Edward is a talented pianist and has a happy knack of sourcing the perfect piano for clients, taking into consideration their budget and preferences. Edward has already been able to grow our piano sales this year and has also helped to increase the number of pianos available for sale. We're all looking forward to working together next year and beyond. Edward currently has nearly 20 upright pianos for sale, some ready for immediate delivery, with a few one-off price deals on pianos delivered before Christmas - so if you're considering a family piano in the near future, do give him a call on 01297 552143. 

Hailun SE120 upright piano, £3,399. Brand new, soft close hinges.
Beautiful piano with a 10 year manufacturer's guarantee
Our newly augmented team gave W Young Pianos a strong presence at the Honiton Show back in August. We took our usual stand within the Blackdown Hills Business Association tent, and were delighted to see so many visitors, from long-established clients to new faces. Everyone loved the variety of pianos on show and the chance to see behind the scenes with a baby grand currently undergoing restoration.  A lot of work to move so many pianos for a one day show, but it was another successful show and we're looking forward to next year already!

The full team at Honiton Show! L to R: Tom Read,Henry Perry, Sarah Young, Edward Jacobs, Bill Young
As always, we tend to be too busy with the ever-growing business to update the blog much, but we are always delighted to hear from piano lovers anywhere! Keep in touch with us on Instagram and Facebook where you'll see the very latest news on pianos for sale, including any flash offers, and plenty more inspiring photos of the beautiful instruments we are lucky enough to work on. 

 

Monday, 25 March 2019

Another year, many more pianos...

Spring 2019 news

Somehow we're well into 2019 and this is the first blog of the year! We're delighted to say that we've never been busier and our team continues to grow.

The team expands
Our Man Friday, Mark, who helps with casework is still incredibly helpful, coming in once a week to speed up repairs and is enjoying developing his refinishing skills, as well as burnishing brassware, reassembling cases and fitting backcloths. We still undertake veneering and polishing work on other pieces of furniture - skills honed on large grand piano lids are always in demand for dining tables and so on!

Our tuner Tom Read is in great demand with private clients and venues alike; he's currently with us 1-2 days a week but is planning to increase his availability for us this summer, which is very exciting. He will shortly be taking on the dubious honour of booking in tunings, so we hope to have slightly more organised systems in place very soon! Tom is also a skilled technician so is able to undertake minor repairs on the road and advise on larger jobs. When he's not out tuning, he loves coming into the workshop for a day or two, helping Bill restore the numerous pianos always awaiting repair.

Pixie loves to help Tom sort out his tuning schedule...
Finally, (and continuing the part time, self-employed theme!), we were delighted to welcome Henry Perry to the team late last year. Henry has two degrees, including a Masters in piano performance, and is keen to learn the other side of the keyboard as a complement to his recital and teaching work. He's already enormously helpful on the technical side, and is restoring an upright piano for his own use in his spare time - finished in Farrow and Ball dark grey, which looks fabulous. The only downside is that we're all reluctant to play in front of clients now when Henry is with us! We're all far too rusty these days, so we're only too happy to let him demonstrate when clients aren't experienced pianists.

Henry and Tom are also going to help us develop a proper client database so that we're far less reliant on memory and scraps of paper - which, although a huge challenge for them, will hopefully be a great bonus to both us and our long-suffering customers!

Sales company
Although piano sales are a comparatively small part of our business, the administrative side can be tricky to manage so we've been advised to create a new company specifically for sales. This has just been done and we're awaiting new business cards and invoices for that side of things. The new company is called W Young Piano Sales Ltd and will run seamlessly alongside the current Tuning and Restoration business.

We were delighted to agree the sale of our gorgeous Bluthner grand the other week.
This restored Bluthner boudoir grand in rosewood came from the BBC's Maida Vale Studios, where it had been used for many years for recordings. It will go to a new home in the French Alps in the next few weeks.
A Canadian couple living in London have earmarked this ex-BBC beauty for their home in the French Alps, which is currently under construction. We will all be sad to see it go but it couldn't wish for a more glamorous new home!

I keep meaning to get some 'team' photos on the website and blog and hopefully this will happen soon. However, in the meantime the office is as busy and chaotic as ever. I'm hoping that Tom taking over tuning bookings will free me up for more of my own work as well as making it easier to stay on top of repair estimates and scheduling.

It's wonderful to see the sun this week and Spring finally feels as though it's here. Working from home in the glorious Devon countryside is always a huge blessing, but never more so than at this time of year!

Does your piano need help?
We'll be back soon with more news, but in the meantime if your piano needs any TLC, from a sticky note and fine tune to a full rebuild, do get in touch. Our additional pairs of hands mean that we've brought the waiting list for large repairs down from over a year to about 8 months now, and we're hoping to refine that even more. In the meantime, we can usually squeeze smaller jobs in within a month or so.

Many thanks to all our valued clients for continuing to trust us with your heirlooms - whether it's a priceless ancestral instrument or an auction bargain brought here on a cattle truck (that happens more often than you might think!), we're always delighted to help.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Spring and summer news

Somehow we're into a new season already - we're enjoying the sunshine here in Devon! No time to hit the beach just yet, though...

Our team is growing!
We're busier than ever and now have over a year's worth of large repairs on the books, which is astonishing for such a small business. We can still squeeze smaller jobs in between but a year's wait for full restorations is long enough, so to make sure we can keep up with all the work we're adding to our team.

We want to say a big thankyou to all of our clients for their patience while we try to clear the backlog of orders; some repairs and sale pianos which needed restoration after having been reserved have taken longer to complete than we'd have liked. Without exception our clients have been kind and patient and thankfully delighted with their pianos once they've made it home! We're very grateful to everyone for bearing with us while we try to increase our capacity to keep up with demand.

Our most recent Instagram post - follow us @w_y_pianos
We have a new prep and casework person helping out one day a week - he's already helping to speed up the progress of repairs through the workshop. We're hoping that in due course he'll be able to join us for more days.

Next month, we'll have help from an almost-qualified piano technician too! A mature student nearing the end of his course will be with Bill two days a week throughout the summer and hopefully beyond. His presence in the workshop should make a significant difference to waiting times for both minor repairs and larger restoration jobs and will be a great help to Bill.

Bill's trying to do as many deliveries as he can in the evenings to free up workshop time - easier with the traffic too! - and he's delighted to have a strong pair of hands to help him out now. His helper is a delivery driver by day, but enjoys the variety of piano moves one or two evenings a week. Much more helpful in keeping Bill's back injury free as he used to do the majority of moves alone!

Summer parties, weddings and festivals
Wedding season is well under way of course, and we have lots of hires booked in for summer parties and festivals too - from our Yamaha digital stage piano to the beautiful restored rosewood Bluthner grand. Bill's also in demand for playing work - in the last couple of weeks alone he's played for two events in glorious cottage gardens: a wedding in an ancient house not far from Bickleigh Castle in Tiverton, and a 50th birthday celebration and BBQ in a village closer to home. He loves being able to contribute to making these events really special and the piano is always a great talking point.

A piano with a view! Perfect for any summer occasion
Tunings - waiting time
Tunings continue to pour in from as far afield as Plymouth, Braunton in North Devon, and Beaminster in Dorset - it's taking us a month or two to fit most of them in, so please help us by looking ahead if possible! If you know your piano needs attention, get in touch sooner rather than later, especially if there's a concert or special occasion coming up.

All in all, a exceptionally busy year is showing no signs of slowing down. Hopefully the new additions to the team will enable us to keep pace with demand.

Looking for a piano?
We're struggling to keep the website fully up to date as things change so frequently - often pianos available for sale don't make it onto the website before being snapped up. If you're in the market for a piano, please do get in touch to discuss your requirements. We may well have exactly what you're looking for, and if not we can almost certainly find it for you!

Monday, 27 November 2017

The gift of music

We have quite a few people awaiting our new delivery of Yamahas - watch this space! Bill is today choosing his next arrivals from a vast warehouse in the Midlands. He's extremely discerning and will only bring back the very best examples of these popular pianos for his customers. There's limited space on the van, so make an early appointment to view to avoid disappointment.

If you've been thinking about a piano as a Christmas gift for a loved one or just a timely addition to your home this winter, keep a close eye on this website! As well as the Yamahas, we have a couple of fabulous little upright pianos for sale which will be uploaded this week. As always, first come first served...if you'd like to find out more or book an appointment to view or play our pianos, please get in touch. 

Tunings | now booking for February

Tuning clients, please note: we have had to close the tuning diary now until the third week in January. There are just so many requests coming through at the moment and Bill has to leave time to do several repairs that have been promised by Christmas and are waiting in the workshop. 

We are currently booking tunings for the end of Jan through to March, so please do look ahead and if you know your piano could do with some attention, please book early! The office number is 01823 681605 or you can email us at wypianos@gmail.com

Devon Life | fame at last!

We were very excited to see a profile of Bill featured in Devon Life's November issue! It's lovely to have a wider audience and we're grateful to the editor for choosing to turn the spotlight on the piano industry this month. The fact that we have tunings booked in 8 weeks in advance and large repairs booked in 6 or more months in advance is testament to the fact that there is still an enormous demand for careful, traditional and top class repair and restoration work to pianos. People are often surprised at how busy we are, but it's a small industry and we're busier than ever! We'd love to see more young people coming into the trade as we keep hearing of tuners who have retired or passed away. If you're a young piano restorer or tuner, please get in touch and we'll do our best to champion your work! 

Piano hire | Will Dutta

You may have heard of Will Dutta, a groundbreaking musician who is currently touring the UK. He has booked our Bluthner grand for his performance in Plymouth on Wednesday 29th November and it looks set to be a fabulous evening. Find out more at www.willdutta.com

www.wypianos.co.uk

The workshop at dusk. Bill is currently working 7 days a week to try to get as many tunings and repairs as possible
done by Christmas; order books are now full, but call 01823 681605 for a New Year appointment.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Interesting article on pianos as investments

Found this Telegraph article from a few years ago which makes interesting reading on pianos as investments!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/9966145/Buying-pianos-a-grand-idea-for-an-investment.html

If you had money to invest, what would you be buying?

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Compact modern upright pianos PLUS Yamaha uprights now for sale

Hello sunshine! Summer is finally here and the workshop is beautifully cool to work in thanks to all the insulation needed to keep pianos comfortable!

As well as the usual restoration and repair work, I've managed to get a couple of small modern uprights ready for sale.

Both will be on the Pianos for Sale page on this website soon, but in the meantime they're listed on eBay - seller name is pianoredwood73 - and can also be found on my Facebook page (see Home page of website for link).


Rogers, small modern upright piano in light oak case. Refurnished throughout and case has been stripped and refinished. 

£750 including delivery and tuning in Devon/Somerset. Further afield just ask for a delivery quotation. 

This is a school model with safety casters which are super easy to manoeuvre and a robust lock on the fall (keyboard cover). Perfect for school, village hall, choir, pub or home use. Ideal for beginners right through to later grades. 



Eavestaff, small modern upright piano in teak case. Refurbished throughout and case has been stripped and refinished.

£950 including delivery and tuning in Devon/Somerset. Further afield just ask for a delivery quotation. Perfect for home or studio use and as above, this piano is also ideal for beginners through to later grades. 

YAMAHA






We are also very excited to now be stocking top quality secondhand refurbished Japanese pianos including Yamaha and Kawai. These are stunning instruments, always in bright (shiny) black finish, and excellent for pianists of any standard; also extremely popular for their attractive appearance which looks perfect in contemporary homes. They range from £2,500-£3,500 depending on age and amount of refurbishment work done. Again, more details on Facebook and eBay or give us a call on 07881 644911 to discuss your requirements. These pianos are superb value for money - they're often in mint condition, indistinguishable from new, yet to buy a new piano of the same model would be thousands more. They give many years of uncomplicated service to pianists of all standards through to professionals and teachers - no wonder they're so popular!

We have had an excellent working relationship with one of the largest importers of these pianos in the country for over 20 years and are lucky enough to be able to choose each of our Japanese pianos from an enormous number in their warehouse. We frequently choose pianos according to clients' specific requirements; there's no obligation but we pride ourselves on finding the right one for you!


Image credit: Venetia Norrington

In other news, our hire pianos continue to grace weddings, parties, festivals and all kinds of events. Our beautiful rosewood grand piano recently paid a visit to the stunning Deer Park Hotel near Honiton for a classical recital - doesn't it look incredible in that amazing space?!


WATCH THIS SPACE!

We are in the process of updating our Pianos for Sale page on this website - other pianos will be coming soon. In the meantime, please keep an eye on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WYPianos/


Do check back soon for more news from the piano workshop. Enjoy the summer sunshine! 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Ebay - making some space!

With Spring in the air, it's time to do a bit of a Spring clean in the workshop. Well, make a bit of space anyway! I might leave the actual cleaning for now...With 9 grand pianos in the workshop as well as clients' pianos in for repair, it's time to move a few on.

I've listed four grand pianos on eBay to upload this evening, all featured on my website and some are heavily reduced!

The Steinway Model O grand - what an amazing piano, but it's going to be a while before I have time to do all the work for a full restoration. It's already a lovely instrument and plays really well - my wife has been teaching on it for a year! So if someone would like it, I can either do a full restoration as planned when my workshop schedule allows, (price then will be around £18,000), or it'll play beautifully for them just as it is. I'm asking £12,500 for that one as it is, including FREE UK wide delivery.

BBC Maida Vale Bluthner - another incredible piano with a fabulous provenance. So many famous hands have played and recorded on this gorgeous rosewood piano. £12,500, again with FREE UK delivery.

Bechstein Model A grand - ebonised case. For those in the know, please rest assured that the frame is definitely intact with no cracks! Another lovely piano. £5,000 as is or again, can be fully restored if buyer wishes, at additional cost. A bargain for someone as it plays nicely already and FREE UK delivery.

Tiny baby grand - this is so cute and a really unusual shape. It's a 6 octave Barratt and Robinson from the late 1950s and its retro/mid century design would look amazing in any home, especially a modern space. The lid can be hinged to the left or right which is very unusual and of course makes it extremely versatile. It's small enough to tuck under the stairs - the lid is a D shape rather than the usual traditional curve. This piano plays surprisingly well, in fact better than most 1930s baby grands I've come across over the years. £2000 including a repolish for the case and FREE UK delivery.

Check out pianoredwood73 on eBay and you'll see these listings. I'll also put a note on my Facebook page so please spread the word and help me make a bit of space in my workshop! I'm not allowed to build an extension on it just yet... ;)

Workshop space is more limited every month...we're moving a few pianos on!