Complete with matching adjustable stool, UK mainland delivery & 10 year guarantee.
As a piano maker Bluthner needs no introduction. The style 7&8 (at 6ft 3in) are the most popular model being large enough to show off Bluthner’s famous “Golden Tone” but small enough to be accommodated in most domestic settings. The style 8 has the famous patent Aliquot stringing.
Dating from the turn of the century, this rebuilt model 8 retains all it’s original features, turned legs and lyre (sadly these were often modernized during the 1930s-60s). The patented aliquot stringing gives this piano a resonance only found with Bluthner.
So what is aliquot stringing and what does it bring to the tone of a piano?
It is fair to say that the aliquot stringing patent by Bluthner represents one of the greatest advances in piano design in the last 150 years.
Aliquot stringing is the use of extra, un-struck strings in the piano for the purpose of enriching the tone. Aliquot systems use an additional (hence fourth) string in each note of the top three piano octaves. This string is slightly higher than the other three strings so that it is not struck by the hammer. Whenever the hammer strikes the three conventional strings, the aliquot string vibrates sympathetically. Aliquot stringing broadens the vibrational energy throughout the instrument, and creates an unusually complex and colorful tone.
Julius Blüthner invented and patented the aliquot stringing system in 1873. No other brand has this tonal advantage.
This close up shows the aliquot string on the right hand side.
It is worth mentioning that aliquot stringing is an extremly time-consuming feature when building (or rebuilding) a piano.
Not only does each aliquot string require it’s own agraffe (pictured above), but also it’s own damper and bridge! This can be seen in the bottom left of the following photo. Note the aliquot strings raised over the speaking strings. It is fair to say that the advancement of tone supplied by the aliquot system is painstakingly achieved but well worth the tremendous effort. Many who play a Bluthner equiped with the system are never satisfied with any other piano!
Because they are tuned an octave above their constituent pitch, true aliquot strings transmit strong vibrations to the soundboard. Duplex scaling, which typically is tuned a double octave or more above the speaking length, does not. And because aliquot strings are so active, they require dampers or they would sustain uncontrollably and muddy the sound. Aliquot stringing broadens the vibrational energy throughout the instrument, and creates an unusually complex and colorful tone. This results from hammers striking their respective three strings, followed by an immediate transfer of energy into their sympathetic strings. The noted piano authority Larry Fine observes that the Blüthner tone is “refined” and “delicate”.
Piano Restoration at Yorkshire Pianos