Broadwood Barless Semi-Concert Grand Piano

This landmark piano has been a year-long project for the piano building factory, Cavendish Pianos. We wanted to experience a Broadwood barless as it would have been when it left the factory 120 years ago in 1904. Normally, we confine our restoration work to Steinway grands only. Fully rebuilding a Broardwood barless is very seldom, if ever, undertaken as there are numerous challenges to overcome. This labour of love is partly to demonstrate that a piano of this type, built in Britain, is an equal to any piano built anywhere in the world. As the last British piano makers, this is an important message and we were keen to prove it to be true.

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Up until the invention of the Barless, all grand pianos had a series of struts on their frame to withstand the considerable pressure caused by the strings. These were always seen as a “necessary evil” as they affected the tone of the notes in the vicinity of the strut and caused “falseness” of the strings. This seemingly insoluble problem was overcome by Geroge Rose, who designed the iconic barless frames for Broadwood. In simple terms, the frame is like that of a harp, with no interference from structural bars.

A contemporary observer noted:

“The absence of metal rigid bars within the scale results in a remarkable evenness of tone quality throughout the keyboard, and also a decided gain in beauty and purity of tone”

[There is a] “noticeable deterioration in the tone quality of those strings immediately adjacent to each iron bar”.

A view of the piano from the tail illustrating the harp-like frame. Both practical and beautiful in equal measure.

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Below is a conventional piano frame (Yamaha). Notice the 4 cumbersome bars which cause breaks in the stringing and affect the tone in that region. All other pianos have these, only the Broadwood Barless overcomes this issue.

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You may well ask, why are pianos not made in this way today? The answer is that the complexity of the frame casting does not lend itself to mass production. So, unless the barless is resurrected, only a few of these “beautiful and pure” pianos exist.

The barless has even had a book written about it! Authored by fellow Yorkshireman Alastair Laurence, the owner of the Broadwood company.

IMG_6665We have worked with Alastair on many occasions and in fact the last Broadwoods made were produced by ourselves at the Cavendish factory. We have an historical link with the firm of which we are very proud. This book will accompany the piano as will the concert stool pictured.

What is more important is it sounds as wonderful as it looks! with an almighty bass and crisp treble it is certainly the equal to any other brand. Of course we believe it’s superior, but we are British and biased!

Some photographs of the restoration process and lots of the finished piano are below. Apologies for the number of photographs, it’s just such a beautiful piano!

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Notice the music rest has the name Broadwood in the fretwork. It also has page holders, now that is practical!

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This is the Broadwood Semi-concert grand and is 6′ 6″ in length.

88 note, 2 pedals

Built in 1904, rebuilt by Cavendish in 2024

Finished in polished ebony

Price £29,000

RESERVE THIS PIANO

Complete with matching adjustable concert stool, UK mainland delivery & 10 year guarantee.

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