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Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
#1255503 08/24/09 10:20 PM
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According to this guy, Baldwin lost all of their scale designs in the fire that destroyed the Cincinnati factory. Afterwards, they continued their work at the new factory, with inferior scale designs. In fact, that guy then claims that the Accu Hitch was invented because the Baldwin people couldn't recreate the former duplex scale. I don't know why but that sounds pretty outlandish to me. The Accu Hitch was the result of research at the Baldwin factory and not a stopgap measure. Also, the new string termination pieces in the newer SD-10 were also very innovative. I just don't believe that the old scale design of the D was superior to the SD-10. I also think that much of what the guy says is not true.

Watch this video:
Claims about Baldwin D vs. SD-10

What do the experts say?


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Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
SeilerFan #1255525 08/24/09 10:55 PM
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Sheesh, lately I've seen a ton of these Baldwin nine footers on the market. It seems like they are underpriced. I saw one with new everything for 20k and another without new stuff for 18k and now this one for 14k.

Sorry I don't have any answer to your question about the scale. I just wish I had about 20k in dispensable dough lying around. (I played on the one for 20k! Just incredible! Better than a brand new 9ft Mason & Hamlin I tried at a store IMO). Thanks for posting. I've seen some of this guy's videos before and he's always talking about alikwut bars (aliquot bars). laugh ha


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Tuesdays 5-8 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
charleslang #1255630 08/25/09 06:06 AM
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My father worked for Baldwin in Cincinnati at the time they were opening the Arkansas factories. I've never heard of any fire, certainly not one that destroyed the Baldwin building, which survives pretty much intact today as a renovated office building. But that only happened after Baldwin moved to the suburbs. There has never been a major fire there that I was aware of. In any event it is unlikely that the sole copies of their designs would be unprotected.

Wurlitzer did have a fire in its Cincinnati headquarters in the early 1900's, but I don't think the Baldwin building was involved in any way.

Last edited by mikhailoh; 08/25/09 06:07 AM.

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Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
mikhailoh #1255650 08/25/09 07:27 AM
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There was a fire at some point, but I'm fuzzy on the details. I've heard people talk about it. One of our neighbors is a firefighter, and he mentioned it once as being one of the legendary fires in the city. I've heard some piano people mention it too. But it didn't take out the main factory, which has been converted to offices as Michael describes. I had the impression that the building which burned was more of a warehouse.

I don't think there is any truth to the claim about scales.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
RoyP #1255657 08/25/09 07:48 AM
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Baldwin definitely had a fire at their Cincinnati factory. Anyway, I was more interested in whether the claims that the guy makes about the scale design bear any truth.

Last edited by SeilerFan; 08/25/09 07:49 AM.
Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
RoyP #1255667 08/25/09 08:06 AM
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Sorry, I don’t know anything about any fires at the old Baldwin factory. But while I worked at the factory in Truman, Ark. I had access to just about any historical scale data I wanted to look at. The earliest I can recall right off was the original committee report laying out the basic details of the original Model C (later the Model L). There were still copies of the original plan drawings of the piano. There were probably copies of the original plate cross-sections as well though I had no reason to track them down at the time.

The company (at least at that time—1985 through 1989) had extensive engineering archives that were readily accessible.
The “Accu-Just” hitchpin system was developed (in conjunction with their plate mounting system) as a manufacturing expediency. It enabled them to build pianos using bridges of uniform height and fine-tune the exact string bearing after the piano was strung.

Even without this benefit I prefer the vertical hitch system, especially in the bass section of the piano. It effectively adds 20 to 25 mm of virtual backscale length without making any other changes. Most of the pianos I have remanufactured over the years have used some variation of vertical hitchpins. The value of the vertical hitchpin is finally be recognized by such high-end builders as Stuart and Steingreaber & Sohne.

During the time these innovations were being developed Baldwin was decidedly ahead of the curve.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
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(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
Del #1255681 08/25/09 08:33 AM
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"This guy" can be researched at BHA pianos, Dayton Ohio. I knew his dad, Emmert Royer, back in the day as they say, and they were a major retailer at that time. I think this link will take you there:

pianocenter.com/


Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
wesquire #1255845 08/25/09 01:36 PM
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IMHO, Accu hitch, trebble termination pieces, threaded plate bolts and other inovations are/were excellent examples of a manufacturer continuing to evolve their product for better performance and longevity.


Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.
Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
Marty Flinn #1255924 08/25/09 03:43 PM
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How sad that people feel that they have to cast dispersions that are not true or only partially true to get people to believe them or buy the way they want them to or not buy the piano that they would like. The facts presented have been most enjoyable and interesting.

Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
charleslang #1255986 08/25/09 04:52 PM
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I've taken note, too, and I'm thinking about getting one... too bad I have to sell my current one first (much easier said than done). I just hope that people keep wanting to buy Steinways instead of these Baldwins.

I'm curious as to why there has been a real surge in available 9' Baldwins... I hardly ever see the 7' model.

Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
SeilerFan #1255988 08/25/09 04:54 PM
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I agree. That piano was one of the ones I was going to look at... until I saw that video.

Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
Marty Flinn #1256002 08/25/09 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Marty Flinn
IMHO, Accu hitch, trebble termination pieces, threaded plate bolts and other inovations are/were excellent examples of a manufacturer continuing to evolve their product for better performance and longevity.


Yeah, totally agree. The SD-10 that I played (built in 1996 at the Arkansas factory) was one astonishing instrument, nothing short of superb. Just based on the sound, the research that they put into their concert grand bore some fruit.

Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
Roxy #1256201 08/25/09 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Roxy
How sad that people feel that they have to cast dispersions that are not true or only partially true to get people to believe them or buy the way they want them to or not buy the piano that they would like.


Of course I have no way to know this, but it wouldn't surprise me if the guy in the video, who says he sold Baldwins in the late 70's, was then extolling the virtues of the accu-hitch system over the previous design. Just a guess.

If his information in the video is inaccurate, maybe someone should let him know.


1995 Baldwin L grand
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Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
Larry Larson #1256302 08/26/09 06:44 AM
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Larry:
There was a long time Baldwin dealer called Dayton Piano and Organ, so "this guy" has been selling against Baldwin for years. BHA is somewhat in my area (a little north), so I know about them, but really haven't had dealings with them one way or another. I don't hear complaints, and I've had a few customers who have bought there.

When I worked at Baldwin in the 90's, we heard all sorts of claims that competing dealers would make. Usually it was something like: "Baldwin went to the Accu-Just hitchpin because they didn't know how to set their plates". Or "they just don't build them the way they use to". Whatever sounded plausible. I guess that is why piano manufacturers are reluctant to try anything new...you open yourself up to criticism, even if it is false.

On a positive note, I recently got a good deal on a 7' Baldwin F from the 40's. I like the idea of having a Baldwin built in Cincinnati. I see SF10's around, but rarely run into the older ones. It needs a little work, but is generally in great shape. It has me thinking about selling my Steinway O.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
RoyP #1256326 08/26/09 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by RoyP
Larry:
There was a long time Baldwin dealer called Dayton Piano and Organ, so "this guy" has been selling against Baldwin for years. BHA is somewhat in my area (a little north), so I know about them, but really haven't had dealings with them one way or another. I don't hear complaints, and I've had a few customers who have bought there.

When I worked at Baldwin in the 90's, we heard all sorts of claims that competing dealers would make. Usually it was something like: "Baldwin went to the Accu-Just hitchpin because they didn't know how to set their plates". Or "they just don't build them the way they use to". Whatever sounded plausible. I guess that is why piano manufacturers are reluctant to try anything new...you open yourself up to criticism, even if it is false.

On a positive note, I recently got a good deal on a 7' Baldwin F from the 40's. I like the idea of having a Baldwin built in Cincinnati. I see SF10's around, but rarely run into the older ones. It needs a little work, but is generally in great shape. It has me thinking about selling my Steinway O.


Thanks Roy, I was going by what he said at the beginning of the video "I was a Baldwin dealer for 10 years".

When I was shopping for a Baldwin L 2 years ago I learned everything I could find about the technical changes they made in the grands over the years. Then my tuner/tech, who has encyclopedic knowledge of those changes, confirmed that the changes represented improvement. I couldn't find much factual information that confirmed the "they don't make them like they used to" school of thought.

When I got out there and started playing as many Baldwin grands as I could find in many different cities, my experience confirmed what I had learned. I did find some amazing older instruments, but it was the newer ones that sounded the best to me. The very best was a brand new L at the SDPiano store in San Diego. It had been given the Stanwood treatment, and if I had the cash I would have bought it on the spot. It was just unbelievable.

There are some real bargains out there now on used Baldwin grands but with 3 pianos already, I should probably cull the herd, not add to it! Larry


1995 Baldwin L grand
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Re: Baldwin's Accu Hitch a "Dilution" of the original scale
Larry Larson #1256350 08/26/09 09:07 AM
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i've seen a fair number of used 9 AND 7 foot Baldwins on the market. I wish I could get one. They are such incredible pianos and a delight to play (even when worn) when I stumble across the lucky church that owns one.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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