The main reasons we don’t sell spinets is that they are difficult to repair.

What I mean is, the way they are designed, doesn’t lead well to ease of access to the many parts on the mechanism.

Spinets have a system in them called an elbow, the action is dropped into the piano, beneath the key. As it is placed below the key, an elbow is added to connect to the action. The elbow pulls on the action by reaching down to the bottom of the wippen. This is unnatural, and inferior to the upright action where the action sits directly on-top of the key.

The added downside to dropping the action is that the action is blocked off almost entirely by the key-bed, and by the elbow. Therefore, any immediate repairs that you can make on the average upright action are impossible without first removing the action entirely. For instance adding tension to a jack spring. This is very much more difficult on a spinet. Most repairs require removing the action to service a spinet properly.

Taking out the action of a spinet is aided in this Acrosonic model, by the addition of a rail that holds the elbows together. It is also screwed in with roughly 8 screws. Whereas on an upright it would be 2-4 hand screw bolt. Remembers, we can already repair multiple action parts on an upright without removing the action.

Once out you can repair the loose hammer, sticking jack, or weak damper. However, if you did not repair it absolutely correctly, remember pianos are beautiful, and demand the best from us as technicians. It may be, and most likely will be, that when you insert the action you need to tweak your repair. Then have to remove the action again, which is not a fluid process.

Hence, spinets are not purchased by most serious dealers, demand is low, and they eventually do or don’t sell for a few hundred dollars on the internet.

We did buy this one because of the tone quality, condition and cabinet. But we avoid them mostly. They are playable, however, not advised due to the shorter string length, soundboard length, and cabinet affecting tone. In addition, the key is shorter, and allows for less accurate control. The added elbow also effects the action.

It is said they were mass produced during the great depression. And it makes sense, manufacturers were saving money by reducing frame designs, and soundboard size.

About the author : Evan Roberts

Piano enthusiast, Oxford Brookes music grad with a passion for worship. Church music coordinator, songwriter, and founder of Roberts Pianos Houston.

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