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#170697 - 12/11/08 01:05 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Rod Verhnjak Offline
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It is sad Baldwin is having trouble again. They may surprise us yet!!!

That being said, can we truly be surprised for an American company having trouble when dealers/consumers support off shore manufactures so strongly.

If you want Americans/Canadians to have jobs we have to support them when we can.


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#170698 - 12/11/08 01:31 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Alex Hernandez Offline
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This is very sad indeed. frown

I only hope that Baldwin will find a champion like Mason & Hamlin did with the Burgett family and re-establish themselves someday.




Blüthner USA, LLC
#170699 - 12/11/08 10:58 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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mikhailoh Offline
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The new Baldwin grands I played last year were first rate - they sounded like Baldwins from the 50's and early 60's. Gorgeous.


Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
#170700 - 12/12/08 01:56 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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RachFan Offline
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The demise of Baldwin is devastating news. Sadly, this is probably a predictable turn of events when a venerable piano maker is moved south for cheaper labor rates while leaving many of its master craftsmen behind; principles of soap manufacturing are methodically applied to piano building; the operation is then run by a guitar company; the guitar company refuses to honor prior Baldwin warranties to ingratiate itself with its loyal customer base; an effective and successful dealership network is jettisoned by "management"; instruments become mere "units" in the eyes of the strummers; resources are squandered on the side-shows of Wurlitzer and faux-Chickering pianos; suggested retail prices are raised into the stratosphere with previously successful discounting strategies abandoned; and Mason & Hamlin is passively allowed to displace Baldwin as principal domestic competitor to NY Steinway. This is usually not the way it's taught in business school. But heck, what do I know? I'm just a Baldwin pianist playing a Model L Artist Grand.

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#170701 - 12/12/08 02:10 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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charleslang Offline
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Maybe they'll come back. They went bankrupt twice before, right? Anyone know if they stopped production at those times? It just seems hard for me to imagine that there isn't demand for the artist grands at least.

And it seemed like they had a good market niche: they were the 'Americana' brand, the pop and folk acoustic piano. Steinway and MasonHamlin just don't have that profile. Who is going to fill that niche??


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
#170702 - 12/12/08 03:34 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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theJourney Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by NoctuGranes:
I knew it was over when I saw the stupid paint jobs...
Yeah. I was still waiting for them to make one with the same fake mother-of-pearle look as on the Baldwin Bowling Balls.

#170703 - 12/12/08 04:22 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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FogVilleLad Offline
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Ric, if the owners want Baldwin to retain/regain its status, they might want to think thru what would be needed, to retain/regain their dealer network.

#170704 - 12/12/08 08:15 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Larry Larson Offline
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Wow, this is terrible news. I'm grateful to have this forum as a place to share my sadness. I fell in love with Baldwins when I took lessons in the late 70's; my teacher had a couple Baldwin Hamiltons in his studio. I bought a new Hamilton in 2001 and absolutely love it. Then I bought a 1995 Baldwin L 6'2" grand last year, and love it as well. I can't say I'm surprised that they closed the Trumann factory. When they raised prices through the roof I found it hard to imagine them competing with some of the very good pianos coming out of China, especially Broadmann. I was in San Diego about a year ago and I met Ric Overton at his PianoSD store. Like me, Ric is a true Baldwin lover. In addition to Baldwins, he sells Brodmann. He let me practice at his store every day, and let me use a Brodmann grand for a little concert I gave for some friends. It was amazingly good, especially for the price. He also had an incredibly well prepped new Baldwin L that was probably the best L I have ever played. But even so, if I were in the market for a new grand, I would find it hard to justify paying so much more for an L over the Brodmann. So, Norbert, you were right in your predictions, but have a little sympathy for those of us who feel like we have lost an old friend. Larry


1995 Baldwin L grand
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#170705 - 12/12/08 04:51 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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charleslang Offline
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Maybe Samick will pick them up. They seem to be becoming the new Aeolian, with KohlerCampbell, Knabe, Bechstein, Seiler, Sohmer.


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
#170706 - 12/12/08 05:12 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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RachFan Offline
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An Aeolian-like rebirth for Baldwin as a stencil piano would be a fate worse than death. Samick can't make a decent piano with its own name on the fall board never mind make a real upper tier high-performance piano. What would benefit Baldwin would be a U.S. private investor rescue opportunity similar to that given to Mason & Hamlin.

#170707 - 12/12/08 05:13 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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sleepy Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Rank Piano Amateur:
I agree with a suggestion made by Noctugranes. Norbert: I very much enjoy your posts, but you should put your brands back in your signature line. I looked up your site, and you sell some wonderful brands, but it would be helpful to have this information included up front. The fact that you sell competing brands is useful information. It does not, of course, necessarily undercut the accuracy of what you say, but it is information worth having when weighing competing views. By the way, I believe that all dealers should include this information in their signature lines, for the same reason.
As a matter of fact, this is not only a fine suggestion, but it is one of the few rules of Piano World Forums. Not sure why the moderators and owner do not enforce this.

#170708 - 12/12/08 05:19 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Steve Cohen Offline
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You all seem to be coming from the position that Baldwin is out of business or bankrupt. I see NOTHING to indicate that.

From what I see, Baldwin simply closed the Truman plant. The designs, patents, and trademarks are still owned by Gibson. And, I see nothing to indicate that they have closed their factory in China.

I think it unfair to Baldwin for anyone to imply in their posts that Baldwin is gone, unless they really are.


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#170709 - 12/12/08 06:06 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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sotto voce Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Steve Cohen:
You all seem to be coming from the position that Baldwin is out of business or bankrupt. I see NOTHING to indicate that.

From what I see, Baldwin simply closed the Truman plant. The designs, patents, and trademarks are still owned by Gibson. And, I see nothing to indicate that they have closed their factory in China.

I think it unfair to Baldwin for anyone to imply in their posts that Baldwin is gone, unless they really are.
You're absolutely right, and I think it was worth pointing that out.

But IMHO the direness of the news is due to fact that the Artist Grands are the "real" Baldwins upon which the marque's fame and reputation has always rested. They're wonderful pianos, and if they're no longer made in the U.S.—or no longer made anywhere—it's a lamentable loss.

Steven

#170710 - 12/12/08 06:17 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Well as I indicted earlier. I got this information from the local Baldwin dealer. They indicted that no new Baldwins were coming to their store. So I would ask the question to the other Baldwin dealers on this forum, what is the word you are getting from your Baldwin supplier?


1987 6'10" Schimmel C-208.

Scott
Las Vegas, NV
#170711 - 12/12/08 06:27 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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sotto voce Offline
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According to the article in the Trumann Democrat dated December 8, 2008, the announcement of the layoffs and the halt to production was made one week ago, on December 5, to the Trumann Chamber of Commerce. And yet I still can't find a single other mention to this event!

Obviously, what happens in the piano industry won't grab the headlines in the way that the roiling events in the auto industry do, and there's a lot of competing bad news currently. Still, I find it very strange that such an occurrence involving a very famous maker—even to the non-musical public—would go unreported in any other news media.

Steven

#170712 - 12/12/08 06:35 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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charleslang Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by sotto voce:


Obviously, what happens in the piano industry won't grab the headlines in the way that the roiling events in the auto industry do, and there's a lot of competing bad news currently. Still, I find it very strange that such an occurrence involving a very famous maker—even to the non-musical public—would go unreported in any other news media.

Steven
I do think we sometimes overestimate our (the piano-literate community's) relevance to the general public. I know a lot of people who don't even know about the prestige of the Steinway brand, let alone Baldwin. And we're talking less than 100 layoffs, in a month when the US economy lost tens of thousands (or something along those lines).


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
#170713 - 12/12/08 08:47 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Bob Offline
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Charles Lang said "I know a lot of people who don't even know about the prestige of the Steinway brand, let alone Baldwin."

That wasn't the case when I grew up. Sad how things have changed. When Gibson bought Dongbei I predicted we would see Chinese built Baldwins. That's what I would do if I made those decisions. Just think, a Chinese Baldwin M starting at 13k.

#170714 - 12/12/08 08:52 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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sotto voce Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Bob:
Charles Lang said "I know a lot of people who don't even know about the prestige of the Steinway brand, let alone Baldwin."

That wasn't the case when I grew up. Sad how things have changed....
Same here, and I guess I still see the world through the same lens. Steinway and Baldwin were the two top-quality American piano brands, and "everyone" knew that (just like they knew Hertz and Avis)—from folks who weren't musically inclined to those of us who were but whose families could only afford Kimballs and Wurlitzers.

Steven

#170715 - 12/12/08 09:27 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Quote
Originally posted by Bob:
Charles Lang said "I know a lot of people who don't even know about the prestige of the Steinway brand, let alone Baldwin."

That wasn't the case when I grew up. Sad how things have changed. When Gibson bought Dongbei I predicted we would see Chinese built Baldwins. That's what I would do if I made those decisions. Just think, a Chinese Baldwin M starting at 13k.
Bob, if the quality is there, I will be one of their first customers. Not an M, though. It would have to be an L or larger to be worth the upgrade.


Dennis
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#170716 - 12/12/08 09:53 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Very sad..I was hoping that when I became around the age of 18-25..that I could purchase place a beautiful baldwin grand in my house (ish only 13)...

Baldwin have always been my favorite! I wanted a baldwin grand but we decided to buy a Yamaha U3 piano laugh

Bye Baldwin!


"Why do you have to be like the Cleveland Browns when you can strive for excellence like the Pittsburgh Steelers?"

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#170717 - 12/12/08 11:18 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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mikhailoh Offline
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How do you think I feel? My father worked fro Baldwin in the 60's then had a dealership in the 70's and 80's. I grew up with Baldwin.


Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
#170718 - 12/13/08 10:38 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Larry Larson Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by TX-Dennis:
Quote
Originally posted by Bob:
[b] Charles Lang said "I know a lot of people who don't even know about the prestige of the Steinway brand, let alone Baldwin."

That wasn't the case when I grew up. Sad how things have changed. When Gibson bought Dongbei I predicted we would see Chinese built Baldwins. That's what I would do if I made those decisions. Just think, a Chinese Baldwin M starting at 13k.
Bob, if the quality is there, I will be one of their first customers. Not an M, though. It would have to be an L or larger to be worth the upgrade. [/b]
Well, that would be an interesting scenario if they started making the Artist series (M,R and L) in China. The "Hamilton" grands that Baldwin has been making in China have been nothing exceptional, but if they kept the specs the same for the Artist grands and built them carefully in China, there's no reason those pianos could not be competitive if they were marketed properly. If I remember right, Ric Overton told me that production of the Hamilton 243 studio upright has switched to China, and that the quality is very good. So if that happened with the M's R's and L's, that could work out well. I will not miss the crazy color schemes if they decide to drop those. Larry


1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
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YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano
#170719 - 12/13/08 11:27 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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RachFan Offline
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I totally agree on the crazy color schemes. I deeply believe that the only color that befits an upper tier grand is black--period.

#170720 - 12/13/08 11:35 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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sotto voce Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by theJourney:
Quote
Originally posted by NoctuGranes:
[b] I knew it was over when I saw the stupid paint jobs...
Yeah. I was still waiting for them to make one with the same fake mother-of-pearle look as on the Baldwin Bowling Balls. [/b]
I never understood it at all, except insofar as the garishness made me wonder if it was an homage to perhaps the most famous (and infamous) Baldwin artist of all—Liberace!

The outlandishness of those finishes would have made him proud, but his tastes aren't widely considered worthy of emulation. What were they thinking? It seemed so misguided.

Steven

#170721 - 12/13/08 11:52 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Ric Overton Offline
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The original plan of the custom grands was to show that we could do anything. For example, if you have a particular color scheme in your home, hotel, restraunt,etc. that the customer wanted us to match, we could. I made a purple one for a ministry in Nashville with the signatures of the pastors on the fall board. More recently I matched the tables and cabinets of a big club. I don't think any of us intended for it to take the road that it took, but, it did and we couldnt stop it.

That was the original idea of the custom grands. It is a great plan but, not on the level it became.

Ric Overton


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#170722 - 12/13/08 02:33 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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As a potential customer of Baldwin I was pretty surprised when I went into a dealer recently and found a brand new Hamilton on the floor done in the celebratory 'Gibson' scheme with sunburst pattern (limited edition, with electric guitar necks as legs, those idiots) and the custom work right there on the front top panel had big cracks in it. The cracks were visible from five feet away.

Clearly something had dried out and/or shrunk in the inlay work between the factory and showroom or after it was on the showroom for a while. All I could think was that it was actually making a worse impression being there than if it weren't there at all.

It apparently was a not so subtle sign that Gibson and Baldwin do not go well together!!


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
#170723 - 12/13/08 03:22 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Larry Larson Offline
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I bet Liberace would have thought they were too garish. I remember looking at each of the custom pianos on the Baldwin website. There were some combinations of wood finishes that actually looked very nice.


1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
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#170724 - 12/13/08 03:57 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Ric do you have any 45" or taller Chinese-made Baldwins on the floor? Last time I was there I don't remember seeing any Hamiltons or 6000s (except a couple US-made models).


Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
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#170725 - 12/13/08 04:06 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Piano World Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Ric Overton:
The original plan of the custom grands was to show that we could do anything. For example, if you have a particular color scheme in your home, hotel, restraunt,etc. that the customer wanted us to match, we could. I made a purple one for a ministry in Nashville with the signatures of the pastors on the fall board. More recently I matched the tables and cabinets of a big club. I don't think any of us intended for it to take the road that it took, but, it did and we couldnt stop it.

That was the original idea of the custom grands. It is a great plan but, not on the level it became.

Ric Overton
Ric,

The theory makes sense the way you present it, but I'm thinking some focus groups and market research would have indicated they shouldn't take it too far.

As they say, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should".

My background includes Internet Marketing, Ecommerce (development, marketing, and management), project management (web sites), and usability testing and design. (And no comments from the peanut gallery, I know Piano World needs a make over)

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#170726 - 12/13/08 05:01 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin  
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Ric Overton Offline
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88 key - No I have just about sold out of Baldwin. There is an L-1, R-1 and M-1 left of my inventory. However, I have had the Chinese version fo the 243 and it was a nice piano. The larger pianos have accu just hitch pins and a nice scale design.

Piano World - I agree completely with your sentiments. However, as you know sometimes owners dont listen to anyone except the voices in thier heads. If you could prove a track record or produce customers to back up your thougths or assumptions then perhaps "crazy ideas" may have some merit.

http://www.gibson.com/en%2Dus/Divisions/Baldwin/Baldwin%20Custom%20Grands/New%2DArrivals/High%2DRoller/

This links should say it all. You will have to copy and paste.

Ric Overton


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Ric@PianoSD.com
http://PianoSD.com
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