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Older Baldwin Grands #1567424
11/30/10 08:09 PM
11/30/10 08:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 165
Texas
B
BGJ Offline OP
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BGJ  Offline OP
Full Member
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 165
Texas
I was at my Dad's house for Thanksgiving and played the old 1965 Baldwin model L with a fresh tuning. I grew up playing this piano so I am a little biased, but it has a really nice classic American tone. My experience with these older Baldwins is they play and sound similar to Steinways but are usually priced a heck of a lot lower. I know there can be some mechanical issues with them from reading internet posts, but even considering that they seem to be bargains compared to other top tier pianos. What are the issues with with older Baldwin grands that depress their value so much compared to Steinway? Any comments?

Last edited by BGJ; 12/04/10 05:56 PM.
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Re: Older Baldwin Grands [Re: BGJ] #1567487
11/30/10 09:54 PM
11/30/10 09:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,126
Texas
TX-Dennis Offline
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TX-Dennis  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,126
Texas
The main thing affecting Baldwin resale value is the rather clueless way they were marketed for the last few years of their production. First, Gibson decided that they were worth as much as a Steinway and raised the prices dramatically. At the same time they cut off most of their dealers by requiring (I was told) a minimum order of $250,000. When they discovered that wasn't working they decided to cut prices drastically and started begging old dealers to come back on board and lowered the minimum order requirement. Some did, some said "no way - we're done with your crap." Potential customers found that Baldwin dealers were almost nonexistent. The few remaining dealers were hard pressed to explain why last year that L was $50K list, and now it's $40K. No, no - it's not made more cheaply, it's the same piano. Customers were confused, bewildered, and went elsewhere. Then Gibson decided to move upright production to China. Then they decided that the former Hamilton and Wurlitzer pianos that were made in China would no longer be produced. Instead they would bring in different Chinese grands, but now these would be called Baldwin. Customers became even more confused and sales plummeted further until Gibson was forced to discontinue production of the American grands altogether.

They are still fine pianos in the same class with Steinway. Now they are serious bargains as well.


Dennis
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Re: Older Baldwin Grands [Re: BGJ] #1567526
11/30/10 11:15 PM
11/30/10 11:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,343
Dallas, TX
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ChrisKeys Offline
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ChrisKeys  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,343
Dallas, TX
Originally Posted by BGJ
What are the issues with with older Baldwin grands that depress their value so much compared to Steinway?

I think Dennis said it best. There's nothing wrong with the pianos themselves. I myself own a 1966 Baldwin L, with a decent amount of refurbishing done to it. It's a very fine piano, and holds its own against many new pianos of the same size.

Re: Older Baldwin Grands [Re: BGJ] #1567540
11/30/10 11:32 PM
11/30/10 11:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
Brandon_W_T Offline
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Brandon_W_T  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,940
Omaha, Nebraska
1965 aint old. laugh

I have a 1922 Baldwin H, the model just below the L, at 5'8". What a classic piano. In all original condition, and besides a pinblock crack and a crack in the soundboard (stored in a dry area maybe?), its practically brand new internally. Literally. Hammers, action in general, strings, everything are like new!


Amazingly well built instruments. At the time, one of the best american companies along with steinway.


I'd never pass up a used baldwin without giving it a good look through, even if I had options of steinway, M&H, yamaha, bluthner, or any other bigtime brand. My experience with different baldwins have been so great, I never hesitate to play one when I see it. Even the new ones (I once played a fairly newer L, and loved it!)


______
Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ

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