Piano Restoration Clients
Comments and Stories from Grand American Piano Customers
These testimonials serve as a way for interested buyers to learn about the results we achieve and the service level we provide.
1901 Knabe Grand Piano
At the age of 53, I decided to take up piano seriously after having not played since I was 14.
I had a very functional digital piano (that rarely got played) but decided I wanted an acoustical piano. I was browsing a piano forum one day and Clint’s website appeared, so I clicked on it and was happy to see that he was in my part of the country. So I started researching buying an older beautiful rebuilt piano versus a new one. After much research, I knew that I wanted to purchase a rebuilt piano. Why would I pay some huge price tag for a new piano — which is what you have to do because of the quality nowadays — when I could get a beautiful rebuilt one for a fraction of the cost?
So I contacted Clint and I immediately realized how passionate he is about his work, a caring individual, and, being a military family, recognized the fact that he has honor and integrity. I immediately felt as though I could trust him and his word. I go with my gut instinct and it has rarely failed me.
Clint educated me further on purchasing a rebuilt piano, and Clint spent a lot of time with me answering questions and so forth. I also contacted a restorer from my hometown, who wanted way more money for a 1928 restored Knabe (not nearly as beautiful as my 1901), and it was going to take over a year to get my piano done. Clint also uses the finest piano parts: Renner action from Germany, etc. and doesn’t mess around when it comes to efficiency with his time. I had in my mind that I wanted a shiny black one, but after Clint told me what he had for purchase and I saw some pictures, I fell in love with the beauty of my 1901 6’2″ Knabe. I no longer wanted a black piano, but I wanted a piano that made a statement and was going to sound beautiful and look beautiful too. Clint delivered my piano with such TLC, and it fit perfectly in my great room.
I was very concerned about not playing it first, but Clint assured me that the sound was beautiful. It needed a tune so I had to wait a few weeks to let my Knabe settle in to its new environment in our home. The piano tuner came and he was very impressed with the piano and the parts that were used and the integrity of the piano. He loved the sound and made the piano sound even more beautiful! The touch on it is just perfect for me, not too hard and not too light! And the sound is amazing!
Thank you so much, Clint! You are an upstanding individual with a gifted talent! I feel our paths crossed for a reason. My piano teacher is now in the process of purchasing a rebuilt Steinway from Clint!
Denise, Richland, WA
1915 Mason & Hamlin
Am I dreaming?
No, it’s a fantastic restoration of a 1915 Mason and Hamlin ‘A’ 5’8″. What a great sound and appearance.
Clint, I have no regrets. What a wonderful job and customer service you provided. Wish you all the best in your piano restoration business. Only your customers who have purchased know the quality and pride you put in your work.
Thanks a whole lot.
Guy, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Restoring a Family Heirloom Grand Piano
Kurtzman Parlor Grand
Our family wanted to thank you for the beautiful Kurtzmann parlor grand piano we purchased from you recently.
We had been patiently waiting for an older parlor grand to come available for a number of years. We were not impressed with the “new, improved” modern pianos, so we chose to continue with our 100 year old upright grand until an opportunity presented itself for an older piano. That opportunity presented itself by word of mouth in the fall of 2011.
Having an understanding of the quality of older pianos as compared to modern “new, improved” models, we were grateful that you understood what we were looking for. The Kurtzmann grand you restored has fit our family’s expectations perfectly. Your meticulous care and attention to detail in its restoration is evident, and it has been a pleasure to play. The tone has a very rich, warm quality that is pleasant to listen to, and the action of the keys has greatly increased our ability to play technical pieces. We also wanted to thank you for your prompt attention to any detail that may have presented itself after the piano was delivered.
We have and will continue to recommend Grand American Piano to others who may be looking for a quality grand piano.
Mark, Potlatch, ID
Long Journey Ends with Craftsmanship Era Piano
Clint Hughes writes on his website about faith in a very eloquent way. He taught me to have faith, by having faith in me during a long journey to restore and deliver what I consider to be the most beautiful piano in the world, my 1910 Henry Detmer. This beautiful piano now resides in the centre of my home, and has become the centre of every family get-together, just as it might have been 100 years ago.
I have been astonished at the people in my life who have eagerly revealed their ability to play. There is my brother-in-law, whom I’ve known for 13 years. I didn’t know he had 12 years of piano lessons growing up, and that he played at country dances and was passionate about it – but doesn’t trust his hand anymore. I was gifted with watching him longingly pick out a tune for the first time in decades. There was my best friend of thirty years, and her husband; I didn’t know they played either but there they were, taking turns at the ivory keys. My son’s best friend, hammering out Beethoven. My 12 year-old niece and my six-year old daughter, playing and singing “Lavender’s Blue” over and over til they had it down pat. My godson, a professional musician and now my piano teacher, whose eyes lit up when he saw it for the first time, and his brother, a carpenter, who was mesmerized by the carvings on it and marveled at its symmetry. Their mother, my other best friend, who sat down and very determinedly worked through a song just for me. The piano tuner, who has contracts with the symphony hall in town, who was so impressed with the quality of its restoration and whom also values old-fashioned craftsmanship, tuning it back to life by ear. And myself, who at 49 is learning to play a piano for the first time, after a lifetime of denying myself this gift.
I also feel that I have been able to be a part of keeping a treasure alive and well, for another 100 years. None of this would have been possible without the skill, faith, trust and dedication of Clint Hughes, right from my first tentative inquiry, through the many delays (not the least of which was getting the ivory keys over the border), to the breath-taking feat of engineering that was required to get the piano into my apartment. I will be forever grateful. God bless.
Karin, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
1936 Steinway Baby Grand Gift
My daughter and her family are enjoying having my (now their) Steinway baby grand, and I am sure it will give them many years of pleasure.
I am very pleased with your restoration. As you remember, I was sent to you by a dear acquaintance who’d been a concert pianist in his younger days, and who now instructs gifted young people in piano.
I feel so fortunate that he sent me in your direction. I’d treasured this 1936 piano since I bought it, then restored, in the early 1970s for its beautiful sound and also since it was made while the Steinway family still operated the company.
As a fine instrument, it has more than kept its value and I would not consider replacing it. But time and several moves had sadly affected it, and your restoration brought back its capability to have music played on it. Thank you for bringing your abilities to this area, and for your fine work and service. I wish you well as your business develops.
Rochelle, Camarillo, CA
1911 Vose and Sons Parlor Grand
Clint, ever since I took delivery of the 1911 Vose and Sons 5’10“ parlor grand you so masterfully refurbished for me this past summer, I have been asking myself, “Why would anyone ever buy a new piano?“
Quality? Price? Sure, one could go spend $50-100k+ on a new European-made Steinway or Bosendorfer and perhaps exceed the quality of this instrument, but certainly not by enough to justify the huge increase in price. But for the same cost of refurbishing the Vose and Sons, the only new piano I could have bought would have been a smaller grand piano made from substandard materials in a factory somewhere in China. I have played those pianos; they can’t touch the sound and action of this Vose and Sons. The materials and workmanship of early 20th century American piano making are so far beyond the 21st century Asian mass-production that it’s a joke to even compare them. Not only is the Vose and Sons a vastly-superior instrument, it’s a century-old antique that, if properly maintained, will appreciate in value.
Comfort with the purchase process? Ahh, this is perhaps where new pianos get their edge. People buy new because they feel that it’s safe. You see a new piano in a beautiful showroom presented by a well-dressed and well-heeled salesperson. The piano is warrantied and shiny. It’s easy to imagine it sitting in your house. You can sit and play it –though for many, playing a piano in a strange public store doesn’t provide much of a test drive. Grand American Pianos (GAP) doesn’t have the fine showroom filled with salespeople, and you certainly can’t see the final product, much less play it. For the majority of people GAP is a faceless website, and we all know there are so many too-good-to-be-true “deals“ out there on the internet. When a purchase involves thousands and even tens-of-thousands of dollars, the internet is a scary marketplace, and caution is, more often than not, justified. It takes a big leap of faith to make such a financial commitment, sight-unseen, over the Internet. A leap of faith that is beyond the comfort level of most people.
I am deeply fortunate, however, because I live in Moscow, Idaho, which is not only a beautiful place to live and raise a family, it is where GAP is now located. I visited your workshop, saw all the pianos in various states of refurbishment, played some of your nearly finished projects, and most importantly, spent quite a bit of time talking with you about pianos, piano restoration, music and life generally. This is what sold me on GAP. Your deep knowledge and enthusiasm made It quickly apparent that you are a master piano restorer who absolutely lives and loves his craft. Your excitement about the process was remarkably contagious, and it was clear that the quality of your work and the satisfaction of your customers were of primary importance. Getting to know you personally took away all my doubt and skepticism, I no longer needed to make a leap of faith. GAP is the real deal — something too good to be true, but true nonetheless — and I have gone out of my way to recommend GAP to my family and friends who are considering buying a piano.
Indeed, anyone considering buying a piano that wants an unbelievable deal on a wonderfully-restored antique instrument, but is unwilling to make the leap of faith needed to purchase via the Internet, should simply invest in a trip to Moscow to come visit your shop. In fact, send them over to my house and they can play my Vose and Sons. They’ll have the comfort of a showroom purchase (except for the well-dressed salesperson) and save many times the cost of the trip.
Brian, Moscow, ID
“My Piano is Beautiful and Looks Brand New”
A FEW YEARS AGO, my sister gave me a piano that had been in our family for at least
50 years. While I was delighted to receive the piano, the finish was badly damaged and the keys were yellowed and chipped. The piano brought back many cherished memories of my childhood and I toyed with the idea of having it restored. I finally made the decision to “go for it” this year and found out about Clint Hughes through a retired piano man that I had contacted.
I am thrilled to say that Clint Hughes of Grand American Piano certainly did a grand job. My piano is beautiful and looks brand new.
My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner! I heartily recommend Clint Hughes to anyone considering restoring their piano. Thanks Clint!
Wendy, Spokane, WA
“Centerpiece of the Room”
Clint Hughes restored our 100-year-old piano, restored and refinished my great-grandmother’s desk, as well as finished our new kitchen table. All the pieces turned out beautifully.
The piano, which we had previously intended to throw out, now has such a full and rich sound. It’s the centerpiece of the room now. The desk had seen better days, but now it’s a lovely addition to our home. The kitchen table is new, and Clint made the grain of the wood the focal point (it’s quilted maple and beautiful to see).
We are so pleased with Clint’s work and very thankful we chose to have him help us. We wholeheartedly recommend Clint and Grand American Piano.
Elise, Moscow, ID
Square Grand Restoration
We chose to have my grandmother’s Chickering grand piano completely restored by Grand American Piano.
The result was spectacular. It looks and plays better than ever. I know my grandmother would be proud if she could see and play it today!
Carrie, Paso Robles, CA
“Love for and Attention to My Piano”
Many thanks for your kind note and, of course, most of all, your incredible love for and attention to my piano. I got back from a long, fairly exhausting business trip late Friday night and walked into the living room. Just seeing it made me burst into smiles (and that is before the next morning when I actually got to play it)!
It is quite beyond me why anybody would be buying “new” when pieces of this beauty and quality exist. Of course, they only really “re-exist” when people like you get them back up to prime condition. My sincere thanks to you for that.
Elizabeth, Portola Valley, CA
Note from Steinway Grand Restoration Client
Clint, we were just in your neck of the woods the other day (we were water-skiing at Lake Piru in Fillmore) and I was wondering what piano you were probably working on at the time.
I just wanted to tell you how much we have been enjoying our rebuilt Steinway Grand.
My kids are enjoying playing it; in fact, instead of fighting over who plays the upright Baldwin, they now prefer the Steinway (of course). My mother was so pleased with how it turned out, especially the look of the original legs and music stand pedals. She took pictures and sent them to my sister in Utah.
You see, this piano (which was my grandmother’s) sat at my mom’s house for over 20 years and was eventually supposed to go to my sister in Utah. But my sister neither had the room nor the means to restore the piano (and certainly did not want to play it in its existing condition). So, she finally told my mom she could never take the piano.
My mom then gave me the piano, knowing I would certainly do something to improve it. She had no idea that it would be improved upon to the extent that it was. In fact, no other rebuilder even gave me the option of doing the external improvements that you readily saw should be done. So I thank you for that.
I just had the piano tuned for the second time by my tuner, and he has just raved over the work you did. He thinks it sounds and looks just wonderful! I did give him your information in case one of his clients needs work done. I also have a friend with an old Steinway Grand, but she is not in a position financially to consider it yet. Thank you again, and best of luck to you.
Darby, Corona, CA
Dowry Piano Restored
Grand American Piano recently restored a Kimball baby grand that had been in my family for 70 years. My mother bought it new as part of her dowry when she married my father. The piano has always been well-loved and well-used.
After 70 years of family life, though, parts didn’t work, the top was badly water-damaged, the finish was dull and dark, and pieces were missing.
Grand American Piano took it and made it as beautiful as the day my mother bought it. The missing pieces were restored, the wonderful hand-rubbed finish made the mahogany glow with its own light and the sound is incredible.
My children and I enjoy playing it more than ever.
Karen, Santa Paula, CA
Keepsake Steinway Piano Restored
We want to thank you so much for the way in which you handled the refurbishing of our cherished Steinway piano.
Over the years, we had numerous people play our piano, and we were often told that we should have it completely redone. However, every time we talked to people about doing the job, they never instilled enough confidence for us to release our keepsake piano to them.
That was, until we met you, Clint. We immediately liked you and felt you were the caliber of craftsman that we had been looking for and would trust to our piano. Not only did you meet all of our expectations, you exceeded them. You were always on time, and the quality of the work was impeccable. We honestly think the piano is better now than when we first received it. You were so careful and meticulous on pick-up and delivery. We will not hesitate to call you if we should ever need to have this done again.
Morry and Wendy, Santa Clarita, CA
“Falling Waters” Memories Restored
From our entire family, THANK YOU for the wonderful job you accomplished in the restoration of our Haines Piano.
One of our early family memories is our mother playing “Falling Waters” on the family piano. When she passed away we were unsure of what to do with the old Haines piano. The piano had been moved from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita where it was taking up space in my sister’s garage. We didn’t know if the piano could be restored to playing condition or if it was even a candidate for restoration. We discussed saving the wood from the beautiful walnut case for some other use.
My sister contacted a local music store and received very discouraging news. “Most old pianos are not worth the cost and effort involved in a restoration.” Being very persistent, she was finally given the contact information for Grand American Piano.
When Clint arrived, his reaction was immediate when he looked at the piano. He saw the beautiful wood that would be finished to its original luster. He saw the pieces of ivory that would replace the lost and broken keys. And he listened to the sound of the notes that he struck and heard the beautiful sounds that would once again come from the piano. Clint went into great detail about how the piano had been hand-built back in the late 1800s or very early 1900s, how the parts still matched up, and it was in remarkably good condition for its age. His assessment was that “it is an excellent candidate for restoration.”
My sister passed all of this information on to me in Gardnerville, Nevada. We discussed our next step; do we go forward with a restoration? The professional manner with which Clint made his assessment of the piano was very positive. More importantly, the feeling that he conveys for his work is remarkable; he loves what he does. In a leap of faith we made the decision to go forward with a full restoration.
The restored piano was moved from Grand American Piano in California to Gardnerville, Nevada in late February. It arrived early in the evening. As the piano entered the house it was impossible to believe the transformation that had taken place. The deep luster of the wood, the full set of ivory keys, and the melodic sounds that it now makes brings back the memories from the early 1940s in Santa Barbara when our mother played “Falling Waters.”
Martin, Gardnerville, NV
“Wonderful Grand Piano”
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the absolutely wonderful grand piano you sold to me. Buying a piano, sight unseen, was a scary thing to do, but since I had heard only good things about your company, I went ahead and did just that.
I couldn’t have been more pleased. The quality of the piano you suggested for me is just what I wanted. It was in beautiful condition, the sound and key action was just what I wanted. I thank you for your knowledge and honesty in this transaction.
As I said, I couldn’t have picked a piano I liked any better than the one I received, if I’d picked it out myself. If you ever need a reference, please feel free to give my name and phone number to your customer. I will be happy to discuss my “grand” transaction.
Madeleine, Deming, NM
1912 Mason & Hamlin Grand Piano
I am delighted to share my experience with your company during the renovation of our piano last year.
Our Mason and Hamlin grand piano, built in 1912 and a part of our family for over 60 years, was in need of nearly complete restoration. It was, and still is, a family treasure.
We were delighted to find a company that would treat it with the respect and professionalism that we felt it deserved. Our concerns were always addressed with sensitivity, and the piano was restored beautifully.
We appreciate the masterful care and attention it was given by Grand American Piano. It is a joy to play!
Susan, Sacramento, CA
Old Square Grand Piano
I am writing to tell you how wonderfully you restored our very old Square Grand piano (probably from late 1800s). It is beautiful beyond belief.
We inherited this piano which had been in my husband’s family for as long as anyone can remember. It had been in the very harsh climate of New Mexico, cold in the winter and dry heat in the summer and always in intense sunlight — it had faded to a pale color, no hint that it was made of rosewood. Then it was in storage for more years, on its side, legs off. We found that it was still around and had it shipped here to Santa Ynez where it awaited. For several years I had been searching for someone to restore it, but to no avail. I had followed leads from the Music Academy of the West and the Universities, and no one wanted to touch it — the one contact finally said that in about 3 years, he would consider the restoration and estimated the cost to be at least $16,000 and probably more!
My neighbor was moving and had a beautiful old upright piano that he had contacted you about restoring. You had come up to the Santa Ynez Valley to pick up his piano. My neighbor called and asked if I might be interested in you dropping by and taking a look at my old piano. He had heard very good things about your company. (By the way, they are very pleased with their piano, as well.)
You came by and very carefully evaluated the piano and said that you could do the restoration and for a reasonable price, as well. We gave you a huge challenge — it hadn’t been played in probably 50 years! You were able to take the piano that day and then brought it home in time for Christmas! It really contributed to our festivities beautifully.
You were able to give new life to a wonderful old instrument. We were so pleased when the beautiful Square Grand came home and the restoration was so fine, we quickly decided to restore our 1930s Howard-Baldwin Baby Grand also.
Not only are your technical abilities wonderful, but your historical knowledge of the Square Grand and all pianos is amazing. We found it fascinating to learn about our piano. We felt totally comfortable in entrusting our piano to you.
This was one of those “Golden Thread of Life” experiences. Totally unexpected, and exceeding our hopes. Once again, our thanks and all the best wishes for the future!
Nancy, Santa Ynez, CA
1927 Knabe Baby Grand
It is with pleasure that I am writing this letter of recommendation for your fine company — Grand American Piano.
It has been several years since I took delivery of my restored, 1927, baby-grand Knabe piano that I purchased sight-unseen from you, and I am thrilled with how much joy it has brought, and continues to bring into my household.
Knowing precious little about pianos when I began looking for one, I knew that I wanted not only a fine instrument on which my children and I could learn, but also a piece of art that would form the focus of my living room. You honored the trust that I placed in you, and met my criteria by delivering a superbly resonant and beautifully restored piano that also possesses the added distinction of having such a fine lineage — a true piece of 1927 Americana in my house.
When my children play it, I sit and think about the scores of pianists who who have sat at that bench before — playing both happy and sad songs, and I could swear that I can hear that history in the wood. That piano possesses a “seasoning” that only 80 years can provide. It makes me very happy to think that my family is adding to the unique resonance, which that piano will undoubtedly carry forward for another century or more.
Thank you for a job well done, and for your ongoing support of this fine instrument over the years since I bought it.
Tim, Santa Barbara, CA
“Part of Our Families’ Heritage”
We do absolutely love our restored Ivers and Pond piano.
It is genuinely beautiful and artfully and lovingly restored. I enjoy just looking at it!
Thank you so very much for giving us the opportunity to have such a wonderful piano. It will become a part of our families’ heritage. I feel like it is a privilege to have it and play it. I hope to do it the honor it deserves.
In thanks and with appreciation.
Don and Pam, Moorpark, CA
Beautiful Music in the Home
As soon as Clint walked in the door and showed us his love and knowledge of pianos, we knew we made the right choice.
It was so cool when he opened up the inside of the piano to show us all the parts that are needed to make beautiful music. My mom’s Howard baby grand from her childhood has never looked and sounded grander. Once again, there’s music in the home!
Thank you, Clint and Grand American Piano.
Karen and Darrell, Valencia, CA
“Heartfelt Connection to My Past”
My family and I want you to know how absolutely delighted we are with your restoration of our treasured heirloom piano.
More importantly, I want you to know just how much the piano means to me so you can fully appreciate what it meant for us to have entrusted you with the undertaking of this project. You have exceeded our every expectation.
Our Ronisch upright was manufactured in the town of Ronisch Germany around 1886. As a child, my Grandmother began doing odd jobs on the family farm in Hollister, CA in order to save enough money to someday buy a piano. After several years of work (and no doubt innumerable calluses and blisters) Grandma finally met her savings goal in her early teenage years. She promptly wrote to Germany to place her order for the piano of her dreams. Using the finest hardwoods, felts, brass, ivory, leather and steel of the day, the old world craftsmen created a musical and mechanical masterpiece, and wrapped it in a finely finished Carpathian elm case. The piano was then painstakingly crated for ocean shipment to America, destined for a small family farm in the very rural rolling hills of 1880’s central California. Across the Atlantic and around the tip of South America aboard ship, then transferred to the bustling wharves of 19th century San Fransisco. Thence carried via steam-driven train to the small town of San Juan Bautista, and finally by horse drawn wagon to the family farm in Hollister where it was hand carried into the parlor of the family home. Just imagine my grandmother’s excitement as she played our piano for the very first time as a young girl over 120 years ago. Grandma polished her skills sufficiently on the Ronisch such that with the advent of silent films, Grandma became the pianist in the local movie house. Many people (most of whom have long since past away) have told me she played beautifully, and that folks would come from miles away just to hear her play the Ronisch on Sunday afternoons. Sadly, our age difference is such that I never got to personally hear her play.
In the early 50s Grandma had the piano placed in my parents’ home so all of we grandchildren could learn to play. My own lessons on the piano began at the age of five around 1960. I remember where middle C is, but all other skills have long ago been lost.
The piano is now the treasured centerpiece of my own home. It will one day occupy an honored place and produce music in one of the homes of our family’s next generation. One cannot enter our home without seeing it. Since you’ve delivered Grandma’s piano back to us, no one has failed to comment on how beautiful it is and to ask who did such marvelous work. We proudly show it off, both inside and out. People who have played it comment on the marvelous tone and the flawless action of the keyboard. Each time I hear the piano being played and its music once again fills the air, I feel a heartfelt connection to my past and am so very grateful that we found you and that you agreed to perform the restoration. (I’ve vowed to learn to play again.) You demonstrated the utmost appreciation (and respect) for our piano from the first moment you saw it.
Your caring nature and old-world craftsmanship have returned what was once a non-functional aging family heirloom to the status of beautifully hand-crafted musical instrument, much like it was those many years ago. We’re delighted. My Grandmother would be delighted. As you can see Clint, placing our piano in your care was not a decision we made lightly. It is much more than just a musical instrument to us, and will be so for generations to come. I strongly encourage you to make this letter available to potential customers, and to share our full names and contact information with them.
My wife, Robin, and I would be pleased to discuss our piano restoration experience with them and to let them know just how glad we are that we entrusted our treasured piano to your fine care.
Jim and Robin, Oxnard, CA
1927 Baldwin Piano
During the summer of 2004, we began the search for a new piano for our daughter. Her teacher had told us that she was ready to move on to a grand piano. She needed to develop the strength that a grand piano would give her. (The touch — how hard it is to push down the keys — is different on a grand).
We purchased Larry Fine’s book, The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano. We looked all over. We looked at everything from new Steinways, Yamahas, Young Changs, and Kawais. We looked locally and we drove into Los Angeles. A friend told us about The Grand American Piano Company in Moorpark. I called and spoke with Clint Hughes on the phone. From that first phone call our piano shopping experience changed. Here was a person who was not just interested in selling us a piano. He wanted us to know about the pianos he restored.
Then we went in and tried out the 1927 Baldwin Grand that Clint had told me about over the phone. It was clear that this was the piano for my daughter. She played it for at least a half hour. Clint told us about the process that he goes through when he restores a piano. It was clear to all of us that this was a person who is like an Old World Craftsman — with an incredible love for the work that he does and an intense attention to detail.
We didn’t buy the piano that day. Instead we made arrangements to bring our piano tuner and my daughter’s piano teacher by to check out the piano. We wanted to make sure that this really was the right instrument for our daughter. We did buy that piano. My daughter loves it and plays everyday.
A few days after we got the piano home we happened to have our furniture refinisher out. When he saw the Baldwin he was very impressed with the way it had been finished. This is another person who loves the work that he does and has an exquisite sense of detail, so for him to be impressed says a lot!
If you are someone who wants a quality instrument I highly recommend that you get in touch with The Grand American Piano Company.
Mary Ann, Thousand Oaks, CA
No way can you make this hunk of junk look…
A few months ago, we spotted a baby grand piano at a garage sale. We bought it despite the fact that it was in such poor condition. Most of the keys were badly damaged and the body itself looked like it had been through a war (and lost). We took it to someone we had used to repair several antique furniture pieces in the Valley (who does excellent work) and were disappointed to hear him say the refinishing would be no simple job, and not something we could simply re-paint. He confirmed the piano was built in 1934 by Baldwin. I went from thinking I had found a pot at the end of the rainbow to feeling like an idiot for blowing $300. Perhaps a charitable organization might take it off of my hands?
The next day we met local piano restorer, Clint Hughes. He showed us pianos on which he was currently working and we thought, “No way can you make this hunk of junk look like these.” He offered to give up his Saturday morning to drive with us out to the Valley to go look at our piece.
Long story short, we did a complete restoration with Clint. The piano is beautiful, and we would not sell it for twice what we put into it. The sound is amazing.
I cannot recommend Clint Hughes and Grand American Piano enough. Buy higher quality at a savings with someone who does fantastic work in a timely manner.
Kipp and Charee, Moorpark, CA
Hidden Treasure at St. John’s Presbyterian Church
Our church choir shares its balcony space with a pipe organ and a very old Baldwin baby grand piano.
When my mother passed away in 2003, I wanted to honor her memory with a musical gift, as she loved to play the piano. When I approached our choir director for an idea, her response was immediate — “we need a piano for the choir loft!” The choir members thought it might be salvageable.
We had heard that Clint Hughes was an expert at restoring pianos. When Clint arrived to look at the Baldwin, his eyes lit up. He knew from experience that we had a hidden treasure tucked away in our choir loft. He told us that the little Baldwin had once been a wonderful piano and that if he restored it to its original condition, it would be even more valuable than a new piano in its price range.
Six weeks later, as promised, we were delighted by the results of Clint’s hard work and expertise. The choir not only uses the Baldwin for rehearsing, but also frequently uses the piano instead of the organ to accompany their anthems.
It brings me great joy every time I hear the beautiful tones of the piano ringing through the sanctuary, and I’m very glad that we hired Grand American Piano to breath new life into our Baldwin baby grand.
Sue, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles, CA
Bought Two Pianos
It’s been a whole year now at Grace and I want to thank you for making ministry and music here possible.
We have acquired two pianos from Grand American Piano Company including a Brewster baby grand. We could not be more thrilled with our purchases as well as the service we received from The Grand American Piano Company. You have gone above and beyond to find the perfect pianos to suit our needs as well serving us in all of our needs during the process.
We would highly recommend this company and there is no doubt that the next time we are in need of a piano The Grand American Piano Company will be the company we choose!
Mark, Grace Brethren Church, Simi Valley, CA
“Sounding and Looking Beautiful”
We just wanted to take a moment and thank you for resurrecting an important part of our lives, particularly mine. “Grand” in your company name understates the joy you have brought to our family by your meticulous and thoughtful restoration of our Remington piano.
It was my wife’s unshakable idea and faith in you and your company that allowed us to consider returning our piano into a functional piece of art. Prior to your restoration proposal, the piano was an eye sore in our home. While we knew that beneath the disrepair and neglect there was a piano waiting to be reborn, it wasn’t until we saw the piano in the various phases of restoration that we knew we made the right decision. We could have purchased a new piano, but is wouldn’t have the memories or the years of love that we have shared with this wonderful instrument.
We again thank you for your patience, attention to detail and your skillful knowledge of restoration. The piano sits proudly where it previously stood prior to restoration, the only difference; it stands as it once did; with pride and elegance, sounding and looking beautiful.
Hanne and Randy, Los Angeles, CA
Purchased Our Restored Mason & Hamlin
What an amazingly joyful process it was purchasing our restored Mason and Hamlin grand piano from The Grand American Piano Company. We had been looking for quite some time to find an instrument for our two daughters and weren’t sure which way to go.
After looking at new pianos in the stores and used ones on the Internet, we came across The Grand American Piano Company through the man who tuned our old piano. I called and talked to the owner, Clint Hughes, and he was incredibly helpful. He patiently explained to me the different options that were available and why I might want to consider a restored piano vs. a new one.
I asked what seemed like a million questions and he was more than willing to answer all of them. His knowledge of the subject was impressive and his joy in sharing what he knew was infectious.
I finally decided to make the drive out to his business to observe how he worked through the restoration process and see some of the final products. After seeing the operation first-hand I knew there was something different about this company and the way they did business; and I liked it! We absolutely love our Mason and Hamlin piano and look forward to enjoying it for many years to come.
I would strongly encourage anyone to contact The Grand American Piano Company prior to purchasing a piano anywhere else. You’ll be glad you did!
Dr. Paul, Canoga Park, CA
7 Pianists in Our Family
We have seven pianists in our family, so there was a lot of wear and tear on our very used and somewhat temperamental piano!
Finally, we decided it was time to upgrade to a better piano, and go from an upright to a baby grand. We were thrilled to learn that Clint restored pianos and were anxious to see what he had to offer. We were pleased with the selection in the warehouse and the knowledge Clint showed in explaining all the benefits of the different types of pianos. He worked with us to find just the right piano to fit our home, our wallet, and our taste.
We know that the workmanship tends to be better on the older pianos than modern ones, and we also know that there was a lot of time and expertise spent restoring the piano we purchased. We are very pleased with our new piano, and it is being played more often by all seven of us because it sounds so beautiful!
We would highly recommend The Grand American Piano Company for their professionalism, expertise and honest work.
Ned and Tamara, Simi Valley, CA
Finely Finished Grand Gracing Our Living Room
I want to thank you again for the spectacular work you did on our piano. I appreciated your professional approach — not pressuring me to have more work done than I’d expected, but making excellent suggestions. These possible alternatives opened my mind to finishes or conditioning I hadn’t known of nor considered.
The result is a finely finished grand lady gracing our living room. The crowning glory was the professional tuning so the piano looks and sounds glorious. You’ve truly brought our piano back to life and given it a future for us to enjoy for years to come. I wish you success in your business knowing the joy you’ll bring to other people with the product of your work.
Cynthia, Santa Barbara, CA
“Wood is Absolutely Stunning”
I RECENTLY HAD Grand American Piano do a complete restoration of my Sohmer baby grand piano. All of the mechanicals were replaced, and the exterior mahogany finish was fully renewed to its original condition. The result has far exceeded my expectations. The action and sound quality of the piano can only be described as magnificent, and the refinishing of the wood is absolutely stunning. I would recommend Grand American Piano without hesitation to anyone who is considering bringing their piano back to its original state.
Kenneth, Westlake Village, CA
I PURCHASED MY PIANO as a result of my conversation with Clint Hughes. Subsequent to the purchase, Clint was extraordinarily helpful with respect to delivery and installation. I am pleased with the sound quality of my piano. I would recommend Grand American Piano to others.
Tara, Santa Barbara, CA
1800s Chickering Square Grand
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR OUTSTANDING JOB of renovating our late 1800s Chickering square grand piano. We never envisioned that the old pieces of wood and metal could be transformed into such a beautiful instrument. We also want to thank you for not increasing the price when you found out the project would take considerable more time and effort than you initially thought. Your insight into the history of Chickering and your enthusiasm towards the restoration process was an added benefit.
Our amazing rosewood piano is now part of our family and will be passed down as a family heirloom. So your work will be appreciated for decades (maybe centuries) to come. I would not hesitate to use you again, and I will gladly refer you to others thinking about restoring and/or buying a piano.
Josh and Mary, Chatsworth, CA
Antique Outside, Modern Inside
WHEN WE MOVED into our 1894 home last year, I was looking for a very special piano. I wanted an antique externally, but a modern, thoroughly renovated instrument internally. Fortunately for us, my son’s piano teacher put us in contact with Clint Hughes of Grand American Piano Company. I told Clint that I was looking for a dark-wood upright, built around the 1890s, and he located one almost immediately.
Because I became involved right at the beginning of the restoration process, I was able to choose the exact finish I wanted for the wood. The result is that our home now boasts a beautiful musical instrument that is also a beautiful piece of furniture. Clint always returned my calls promptly and kept me up to date on the progress of the restoration. He drove out to our home with samples when it was time to choose the wood stain and personally participated in the rather difficult delivery of the instrument (we have a rock driveway and four stairs leading up to the front door!). Clint also did a wonderful job of refurbishing/rebuilding the piano internally. While I can’t speak to all of the technical specifics of what was done, I can attest to the wonderfully resonant sound of the instrument. I would confidently recommend Clint Hughes and Grand American Piano Company to friends and family. His expertise in the field of piano restoration and his love for what he does are evident in the end product.
Sandy, Camarillo, CA
Chickering Grand Piano
We are very pleased with the decision we made to use the Grand American Piano Company for our purchase of a fully restored Chickering Grand piano.
Clint Hughes answered all our question and helped us with the selection of the piano we chose. We were able to select the color and finish of the piano and were assured that it would have the full rich tone that was so important to us.
The piano fits so well in our home, complimenting our other furnishings and gives us everything we were looking for, as well as saving us a great deal over the cost of a new premium piano. With the fine appearance and wonderful sound of our piano, we know we made the right decision in putting our trust in Clint and The Grand American Piano Company.
Jim and Alice, Santa Barbara, CA
“Highly Recommend Grand American Piano”
CLINT IS WONDERFUL. Also, whomever he used to finish our 1930s piano and other antique (large buffet) to match! From the moment I called Clint to the final delivery of our piano I knew I was in good hands. Our piano was totally rebuilt by Grand American Piano and now is the focal point of our front room; which has a bay window to the outside (of course you can see the piano as you walk up to the house).
We also use the piano (it’s not just for looks) and the sound is warm and soothing. We highly recommend Grand American Piano and would be happy to speak with or show any prospective clients our piano.
Marianne, Simi Valley, CA
Church Chickering Piano
How nice to receive your letter and know that your business is doing so well. I have told myself many times that I wanted to write a personal note to tell you how much we have enjoyed our Chickering grand. We now have a new worship leader who is an outstanding pianist. She is putting it to good use many times a week and all for the glory of God.
I am so impressed with the personalized service that you gave us. You seemed to know just the piano that was right for our needs. The pricing was reasonable and the delivery service prompt and done with great care and respect for the instrument. My hope is that your business will continue to prosper and that God will be honored in all that you do.
Linda, Calvary Chapel, Santa Maria, CA
Baldwin Baby Grand
I picked GAP [Grand American Piano] because of the confidence I felt in this company. I felt sure that by their friendliness, enthusiasm, and genuine love for piano restorations that they could restore my Baldwin baby grand which could no longer hold its tune. To buy a new piano was out of the question. I only wanted my vintage piano with its craftsmanship mahogany frame, exquisite brass plate, ebony and ivory keys restored and sound as it once did. GAP said they would bring my piano back to “its original glory” and give it back its “original Baldwin tone.”
Excitedly, I started the restoration process. I was given a complete and detailed analysis of what GAP would do to restore my piano. The many questions I asked would strain anyone’s patience. But GAP was wonderful about my questions and I learned a lot. It was a great pleasure to work with GAP. And now it is my great pleasure to play upon my beautifully restored vintage Baldwin baby grand. Thank you GAP!
Suzanne, Santa Barbara, CA
Hello Clint. I wanted to give you an update on my double B, now that it has been in my possession a couple of months. I was not able to receive the piano until September 28. (I had so much remodeling to do in the house before I could move it in).I had it turned on sept 30th.
It is a glorious piano. The color is perfect. It is exactly the shade of reddish brown that I wanted. You matched the color of the bench and music cabinet to the piano perfectly. You also did an unbelievable Job in restoring the music cabinet. It was not in good shape, having been stored in a basement in Jacksonville Florida and water damaged. It shines like a new jewel. The replating of the metal parts is such a perfect finishing touch.
The attention to detail that you put into restoring the piano is amazing to me. All of the replating of everything from hinges to screws makes it look like a new piano. But it doesn’t sound or feel like a new piano. It has such a mature luxurious sound quality.
I had a cover made for the piano as you can see in the picture. As the piano settles into the house, I will have some voicing and regulation done. The touch is slightly uneven in some places.
I must admit I was feeling a little bit nervous about buying a piano that I had never played.
But I completely love this thing. It has such a huge, rich sound. Thank you for finding and rebuilding this treasure. It’s now good for another century.
The only problem with the piano is that I have to set a limit on playing time. Hours can go by and I get nothing else accomplished.
Thank you again Clint. It was worth the wait to finally have it.