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#2030038 - 02/09/13 08:32 PM PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R  
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Sam Rose Offline
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Hey guys!

The disease is strong in me, and I bought another piano yesterday. It's a 1978 Baldwin R, all original in a walnut finish. I sat down to play it, expecting an old beat up piano with perhaps some potential. BOY was I wrong. I must say, I've never played a 5'8" piano that drew me in like this. The treble could be a bit brighter, but the bass was really awesome, and overall I just really loved the piano. The owners couldn't tell me when it had last been tuned (the last receipt in the bench said 2004) but it was very well tuned (and I'm fairly picky). It hasn't moved since it was originally purchased in 1978 (original invoice in the piano bench. Yup smile ) and must have an ideal climate in the room because it looks and plays fantastic. The best part: it was $3000, but it seems to my hands and ears to be worth far more than that.

I'll post some pictures and maybe even a recording in the next few days. laugh

P.S.
Shout out to Rickster, because he infected me with the disease and always responds to these posts.


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
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#2030066 - 02/09/13 09:22 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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GOOD GOIN' !!!!!!!!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2030127 - 02/09/13 11:15 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Wow, you got a great deal!! Congrats


Mason-Hamlin "A" and Schlicker 2 manual and pedal pipe organ
#2030133 - 02/09/13 11:21 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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I must admit, I have "PAS" as well.. I remember you having a Yamaha g2, but it was newer.. how does the R compare to it? great deal btw..

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#2030137 - 02/09/13 11:26 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Sounds great! congratulations!


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Haydn, Sonata Hob. XVI: 19
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
#2030144 - 02/09/13 11:37 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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I know the feeling... smile

Congratulations!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2030168 - 02/10/13 12:44 AM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Gatsbee13]  
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Sam Rose Offline
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Originally Posted by Gatsbee13
I must admit, I have "PAS" as well.. I remember you having a Yamaha g2, but it was newer.. how does the R compare to it? great deal btw..


The G2 was actually older than this one, but had had loads of work done to it. This seems to be one of those older pianos that was so well kept that it won't need much of anything.

As far as how it compares to the G2, I'd say I like this one better. I preferred the upper treble on the G2 (maybe the Baldwin could be voiced up there; I don't know), but everything else on this one is much nicer. I do also need to get some regulation done on the action, but other than that I have no complaints.


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
#2030306 - 02/10/13 09:05 AM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Ya gotta be careful about that Rickster dude, he goes around infecting everyone and feels no guilt.

That's why I like him.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2030337 - 02/10/13 09:56 AM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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I have lots of guesses, but can anyone define exactly what is PAS? smile

On the teacher's forum we have PADS (post and disappear syndrome).

Last edited by Morodiene; 02/10/13 09:57 AM.

private piano/voice teacher FT

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#2030346 - 02/10/13 10:17 AM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Piano Acquisition Syndrome.

It's where you have the following equation firmly established in your subconcious.

X=n+1

where x = the ideal number of pianos you should have in your possession at any time

and

n = the number of pianos you currently possess.

Forrest


PTG Associate Member
Haydn Hob. XVI: 23 in F major
Debussy Arabesque #1
Bach BWV 874
My beliefs are only that unless I can prove them.
#2030354 - 02/10/13 10:35 AM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Originally Posted by woodog
Piano Acquisition Syndrome.

It's where you have the following equation firmly established in your subconcious.

X=n+1

where x = the ideal number of pianos you should have in your possession at any time

and

n = the number of pianos you currently possess.

Forrest

I've always known anything can be expressed mathematically! Woodog, you've got it (PAS) down to a science; or should I say a mathematical formula. grin

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2030359 - 02/10/13 10:42 AM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Congrats, Sam. You got a great piano and a great deal!

No better treatment for PAS...


[Linked Image] [Linked Image][Linked Image]

"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
#2032091 - 02/12/13 09:08 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Hey guys! I haven't had it tuned or regulated yet, but as promised, here are some pictures of the piano, and some recordings. I recorded some scales and octaves (my rhythm stinks), and a couple bits of music (my friend playing Bach, I think anyway, and me butchering a little Chopin). Neither of us were in a very musical mood, so the playing is pretty bad, but you should still be able to get a sense of the piano's tone.

Scales and octaves, here: https://www.box.com/s/1wguaj5hwy7x2pysllku

Music (I'm using the term very loosely) here: https://www.box.com/s/0cwt8al8rbxcmfz8p873

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
#2032096 - 02/12/13 09:17 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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WOW! 'You did good' is the biggest understatement of the year.

That is a very good sounding piano. The treble and top are particularly fine.

Enjoy - Enjoy - Enjoy ! ! !


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2032455 - 02/13/13 01:31 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Looks really good!

Now you really don't have an excuse to not submit something to the recital :p 2 days left wink


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#2032466 - 02/13/13 02:05 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Hi Sam,

The more I listen to the short audio clip, especially the Chopin, the more impressed I have become with your new piano. It really speaks with the Baldwin voice, which I like very much.

Rereading your OP, I was surprised to note that you thought that the top could be "brighter." It was the top that so impressed me coming from a 5'8" piano. You might spend some time listening to your recording, as it might be a very different sound than at the keyboard. And yeah, the bass is lovely. You have quite a fine instrument.

It is surprising to hear someone else playing one of my own pianos or listening to a practice recording I have made of my own playing. It is all in the 'ear point' of view.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2032472 - 02/13/13 02:22 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Sam Rose Offline
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I agree that the recording sound is often very different from the sound at the keyboard. I think my initial impression of the top was caused by a mix of many factors, and I'll try to explain them. The action needs regulation. This makes the action feel heavier. The bass is probably less in need of regulation, since it was probably played less. Basically, when I played the presto con fuoco section of that ballade (which I recorded but didn't include in the clip) I found the bass overpowering the treble, especially when compared to my Yamaha C3 (which is all regulated now) where the treble can get really loud if desired. The action on the Baldwin feels both responsive and sluggish (or "heavy") at the same time. This is mostly in sections, like the presto section, where the repetition needs to be used. Since the repetition probably doesn't work as it should when out of regulation, I start to miss notes and get bogged down (especially in the right hand, which has twice the notes), making me feel like the top isn't loud enough.
Did that make any sense?


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
#2032478 - 02/13/13 02:31 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Del Offline
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Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted by Sam Rose
As far as how it compares to the G2, I'd say I like this one better. I preferred the upper treble on the G2 (maybe the Baldwin could be voiced up there; I don't know), but everything else on this one is much nicer. I do also need to get some regulation done on the action, but other than that I have no complaints.

Obviously I have not heard the piano so what I'm about to say is based on generalities (along with some rather extensive experience with Baldwin):

Baldwins are not Yamahas. Much as Baldwin's misguided management wanted them to, Baldwin grands did not—and should not—sound like similarly-sized Yamaha grands. When fitted with appropriate hammers—and the old “Renner Blue” hammers Baldwin insisted on using were not appropriate to their scaling—should have a big, rich and warm sound that is well-balanced across the compass of the keyboard.

After Baldwin stopped pressing its own hammers they switched to a hammer type that was too dense and too heavy for the scaling of the smaller pianos. Heavy hammers are counter-productive in the upper tenor and treble. They produce a lot of hammer knock but less real “tone” than is usually desirable. So someone comes along and tries to brighten them up; usually by chemically hardening them. This doesn’t change the hammer knock problem but it might make the voice “brighter” by virtue of generating a little more energy in the higher partials. But it won’t be a pleasant sound and so, when the next voicer comes along they try to improve the tone by needling the hammers down some. And back and forth we go and where we stop nobody knows!

Bring in someone who really understands hammers. You might be able to improve the performance of the hammers you have simply by removing some of their mass. I can assure you with reasonable confidence that if you try to brighten things up by chemically hardening the hammers that are there now the resulting sounds will become increasingly unpleasant.

ddf


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

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
#2032479 - 02/13/13 02:31 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Yep, sure did.

Knowing the piece, I understand exactly what you are saying. Once it has been regulated, it would be great to hear your evaluation of both voice and touch.

One question, however. Is is the the basic sound which you notice on top, or is it a matter of some judicious voicing to make it more even?


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2032482 - 02/13/13 02:38 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Del]  
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Sam Rose Offline
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Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by Sam Rose
As far as how it compares to the G2, I'd say I like this one better. I preferred the upper treble on the G2 (maybe the Baldwin could be voiced up there; I don't know), but everything else on this one is much nicer. I do also need to get some regulation done on the action, but other than that I have no complaints.

Obviously I have not heard the piano so what I'm about to say is based on generalities (along with some rather extensive experience with Baldwin):

Baldwins are not Yamahas. Much as Baldwin's misguided management wanted them to, Baldwin grands did not—and should not—sound like similarly-sized Yamaha grands. When fitted with appropriate hammers—and the old “Renner Blue” hammers Baldwin insisted on using were not appropriate to their scaling—should have a big, rich and warm sound that is well-balanced across the compass of the keyboard.

After Baldwin stopped pressing its own hammers they switched to a hammer type that was too dense and too heavy for the scaling of the smaller pianos. Heavy hammers are counter-productive in the upper tenor and treble. They produce a lot of hammer knock but less real “tone” than is usually desirable. So someone comes along and tries to brighten them up; usually by chemically hardening them. This doesn’t change the hammer knock problem but it might make the voice “brighter” by virtue of generating a little more energy in the higher partials. But it won’t be a pleasant sound and so, when the next voicer comes along they try to improve the tone by needling the hammers down some. And back and forth we go and where we stop nobody knows!

Bring in someone who really understands hammers. You might be able to improve the performance of the hammers you have simply by removing some of their mass. I can assure you with reasonable confidence that if you try to brighten things up by chemically hardening the hammers that are there now the resulting sounds will become increasingly unpleasant.

ddf


Thanks for that information Del! I don't think I'm going to have anything done to the hammers. I think they are the original hammers that were put in in 1978, and they have very little wear. As far as you not having heard the piano, since you're already here, you CAN listen to it! I posted a couple recordings a couple posts up (the one with the pictures). I'd love to hear your professional opinion after listening to those. I've never interacted with you directly on this forum, but I love reading your posts, so thanks for coming here to this thread and posting (a pleasant and unexpected surprise!).

Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Yep, sure did.

Knowing the piece, I understand exactly what you are saying. Once it has been regulated, it would be great to hear your evaluation of both voice and touch.

One question, however. Is is the the basic sound which you notice on top, or is it a matter of some judicious voicing to make it more even?


It was just an issue of how I felt that I couldn't get as much out of the top as I wanted at times, but as I said, that probably boils down to action regulation and / or me adjusting to the piano. Playing the notes at the top by themselves, I have no complaints. I think it sounds great, and I don't even know when the piano was last tuned.


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
#2032485 - 02/13/13 02:46 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Sam, trust your skill as a pianist. In the clip, the big R.H. chords were beautifully voiced, and I mean that from the pianistic definition and not the technical term. The 'sparkle' on top is beautifully executed.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2032491 - 02/13/13 03:00 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Sam Rose Offline
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Sam, trust your skill as a pianist. In the clip, the big R.H. chords were beautifully voiced, and I mean that from the pianistic definition and not the technical term. The 'sparkle' on top is beautifully executed.


Ah, yes. Voicing. Something I didn't even know existed until about a year ago. I remember feeling angry when I found out about the concept. "You mean I have to play ALL these blasted notes, AND I have to play some of them louder??!! What the *&$%!!"

I don't think I played them all that well in this clip, but I appreciate the compliments anyway. I'm trying to get my playing up to a level that I'm satisfied with, but, alas, it has not happened yet.


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
#2032494 - 02/13/13 03:07 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
Joined: May 2012
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Rochester MN
Your new piano will help you get there. Trust me!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2032525 - 02/13/13 04:11 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Del Offline
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Del  Offline
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Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted by Sam Rose
Thanks for that information Del! I don't think I'm going to have anything done to the hammers. I think they are the original hammers that were put in in 1978, and they have very little wear. As far as you not having heard the piano, since you're already here, you CAN listen to it! I posted a couple recordings a couple posts up (the one with the pictures). I'd love to hear your professional opinion after listening to those. I've never interacted with you directly on this forum, but I love reading your posts, so thanks for coming here to this thread and posting (a pleasant and unexpected surprise!).

It’s pretty hard to tell from a recording. But from the sound of it they probably are original hammers. In 1978 they would have been pressed by Baldwin and you may have lucked out and avoided the worst of the chemical days. The certainly don't sound over-cooked! Again, having a technician who knows his/her way around hammers will be critical. A light sanding, some careful string fitting, etc., should improve things quite a bit. You may have lucked out.

This piano would also have had Pratt, Read or Pratt, Win (both equally bad) wippens. Whoever is regulating the action needs to pay attention to the friction at the repetition lever center—making sure it is high enough. If this friction at this center is too low it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to regulate hammer drop and rise.

If you have the opportunity to replace the wippens the newer, single-spring wippens by Renner or Wessel, Nickel & Gross (my current favorite) should be a noticeable improvement over the original.

ddf



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

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
#2032533 - 02/13/13 04:22 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
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Quote
I don't think I played them all that well in this clip, but I appreciate the compliments anyway. I'm trying to get my playing up to a level that I'm satisfied with, but, alas, it has not happened yet.


Well, if my playing had been that good, I would have been very satisfied with myself. VERY satisfied!


Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.
#2032605 - 02/13/13 06:54 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Del]  
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Originally Posted by Del
This piano would also have had Pratt, Read or Pratt, Win (both equally bad) wippens. Whoever is regulating the action needs to pay attention to the friction at the repetition lever center—making sure it is high enough. If this friction at this center is too low it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to regulate hammer drop and rise.

If you have the opportunity to replace the wippens the newer, single-spring wippens by Renner or Wessel, Nickel & Gross (my current favorite) should be a noticeable improvement over the original.

ddf



In 1978, they would have been wippens of the Baldwin design, with the single spring with a loop in the middle going from the repetition lever to jack. Baldwin did not buy Pratt Read from Sohmer until at least the mid-1980s. Pratt Read may have made the parts for Baldwin earlier than the buyout.


Semipro Tech
#2032611 - 02/13/13 07:04 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: BDB]  
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Del Offline
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Originally Posted by BDB
In 1978, they would have been wippens of the Baldwin design, with the single spring with a loop in the middle going from the repetition lever to jack. Baldwin did not buy Pratt Read from Sohmer until at least the mid-1980s. Pratt Read may have made the parts for Baldwin earlier than the buyout.

If memory serves, the geometry for each was similar and they both had the same problem. Through the 1970s it was common to purchase two sets of PR parts in the hope of being able to come up with enough good ones to make a full, working set.

When I went to work at Baldwin in early 1985 the so-called Pratt, Win action plant had been in production in Juarez for several years. I don't remember when Juarez actually began building actions.

ddf

Last edited by Del; 02/13/13 07:06 PM.

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

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
#2032660 - 02/13/13 08:30 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 607
Gatsbee13 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Gatsbee13  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 607
Los Angeles
I get jealous the more I read this thread.. If you bought this in socal, then I totally missed out.. Unless it was not a public sale.oh well, ill be on the lookout.

#2032687 - 02/13/13 09:02 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Sam Rose]  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 187
miscrms Offline
Full Member
miscrms  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 187
Phoenix, AZ
very cool smile

#2032731 - 02/13/13 10:23 PM Re: PAS strikes again! This time: 1978 Baldwin R [Re: Gatsbee13]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 687
Sam Rose Offline
500 Post Club Member
Sam Rose  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 687
Los Angeles
Originally Posted by Gatsbee13
I get jealous the more I read this thread.. If you bought this in socal, then I totally missed out.. Unless it was not a public sale.oh well, ill be on the lookout.


Happy birthday! Maybe I should give you the piano for your birthday. Or maybe not wink
It was a public sale, but it was an estate sale (advertised on craigslist and elsewhere) and I got there 5 minutes after they opened. I was so pleasantly surprised by the instrument, and we all know that happens far too rarely. You win some, you lose some. I usually lose on the good ones (probably to you, and the dealers), so it was nice to win one!


Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
♪ > $
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