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#2030385 - 02/10/13 11:29 AM What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.)  
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Steve Cohen Offline
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Since my family and, of course, our business relocated from Philadelphia to Baltimore in 1957 and continuing through 2007 we have been in direct competition with Baldwin. Kunkel Piano Company was the oldest Baldwin dealership in the U.S. and they had stores within a few blocks of our locations. Our family business, Jasons Music Center was the oldest Yamaha dealership in the U.S. having started representing Yamaha in May, 1960.

The competitive situation was very interesting. Both Jasons and Kunkel were family-owned operations, and Francis Kunkel was about the same age as my father Irv, and his son Craig was about my age. We took over the reins from our fathers at about the same time. Both operations were "old school" dealerships and both earned excellent reputations for honesty and integrity.

In those early years the Baldwin/Yamaha comparisons were dynamic and often cited, and the fact that Yamaha was "mass-produced" was a key issue. After all they were the only one made that way. Also keep in mind that these were the days when Japanese products were inevitable compared to the "cheap transistor radio." "Quality" and "Made in Japan" were mutually exclusive terms in the minds of the U.S. market!

To say that the Baldwin Hamilton 243 dominated the public school market would be a vast understatement. Until the introduction of the Yamaha P202 (forerunner to the P22), virtually the only piano found in schools was 243s and Baldwin grands. The Yamaha G7 (now the C7) sold for less than the Baldwin baby grand. The P202 retailed for about $1000 less than the 243. Back in those days the industry watched the competitive situation in Baltimore very carefully, using it to try to predict scenarios in other markets. Craig Kunkel retired a few years ago, soon after Baldwin's acquisition by Gibson. There has been no Baldwin dealer here since.

Why do I bring all of this up, you might ask. Well, yesterday we unpacked our first shipment of Baldwin pianos as their new dealership for the Baltimore/Washington and Northern Virginia market. Adding Baldwin pianos to our current offering of Kawai (in the Baltimore Market only), Pramberger, used/rebuilt Steinways, Mason & Hamlins and Yamahas, puts us in a better position to fulfill the musical needs of our shoppers.

[Linked Image]

As a major contributor here, a contributing editor of Piano Buyer, and as a consultant to the piano industry I felt that this story might not only be interesting, but needed to be posted for transparency. (it is rumored that Baldwin will be rated as Tier One pianos in the upcoming issue of Piano Buyer. smile

Having been in the business all my life, I have learned not to burn bridges. What goes around really does often come along!





Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
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#2030405 - 02/10/13 12:17 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Congratulations! It would be great if Baldwin could return to it's former glory!


1928 Chas. M. Stieff 6'1" Grand. Major rebuild 2011
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#2030424 - 02/10/13 12:49 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Originally Posted by Steve Cohen

As a major contributor here, a contributing editor of Piano Buyer, and as a consultant to the piano industry I felt that this story might not only be interesting, but needed to be posted for transparency. (it is rumored that Baldwin will be rated as Tier One pianos in the upcoming issue of Piano Buyer. smile


Come on Stave. Your cross-promotion of interests is all too obvious.


Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
#2030438 - 02/10/13 01:01 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Steve,

That's GREAT! Congrats and godspeed. Will you also be selling Baldwin grands? Can't wait to hear your first opinions . . . See you at MARC. thumb


PianoPerfection
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#2030443 - 02/10/13 01:07 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Congratulations, Steve!


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#2030446 - 02/10/13 01:11 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Congratulations, Steve, on your new product line...

And, your story was interesting. I too have learned in life that it is not good to burn bridges... you never know what the future holds, and, quite often, we as humans do tend to hold grudges (burned bridges?). smile

Best regards,

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2030452 - 02/10/13 01:17 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Would like to see Baldwin regain its status.


Kawai K-800
#2030463 - 02/10/13 01:31 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Originally Posted by Steve Cohen

Why do I bring all of this up, you might ask.


Asked and answered.

Originally Posted by turandot

Come on Stave. Your cross-promotion of interests is all too obvious.





Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#2030474 - 02/10/13 01:51 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Interesting info. Keep us informed on how it plays out. Quality, warranty response, etc. Thanks and good luck with the line.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
#2030478 - 02/10/13 01:57 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Silverwood Pianos]  
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I enjoyed reading the post, self-promotional or not. Good luck, Steve Cohen. smile


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1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
https://sites.google.com/site/analysisofsoundsandvibrations/
#2030483 - 02/10/13 02:06 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Congratulations Steve!

Not for taking on the line but for deviating from your previous position not to offer Chinese made pianos.

Presumably the previously proudly displayed "No-Chinese-Pianos" sign is gone from your website now forever..... grin

Wishing you best - considering your long experience with the make, hoping the new Chinese made pianos will remember you on the ones from before ...

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 02/10/13 03:13 PM.

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#2030544 - 02/10/13 03:08 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Norbert]  
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Steve,
Being a technician I am interested about the designs being used-are they the same scales that were made in the US?


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#2030567 - 02/10/13 03:44 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Man, it is refreshing to read what might be at least a partly positive thread about Baldwin pianos, new or old. Positive comments about Baldwins are hard to come by on this forum. I went ahead anyway and bought a 1989 Baldwin L a month ago, and it is a gorgeous piano. We're in love and I'm thrilled.

Best of luck to you, Steve.

scout


1989 Baldwin L

#2030587 - 02/10/13 04:19 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Scout]  
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The L is a great piano - if I had been able to find one around me I probably would have bought one.

#2030616 - 02/10/13 05:03 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Norbert]  
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Originally Posted by Norbert


Presumably the previously proudly displayed "No-Chinese-Pianos" sign is gone from your website now forever..... grin


It does seem to be gone - pending sales figures of the Baldwin lineup for the next 2 years... If the things don't sell, the "No Chinese Pianos" sign will be back, in an even larger font than before. wink

#2030717 - 02/10/13 07:33 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Life does take unexpected turns, doesn't it? Good luck with Baldwin, they sure have fallen on hard times.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
#2030720 - 02/10/13 07:39 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Plowboy]  
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Steve Cohen Offline
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Now that the supply chain to the US is stabilizing Baldwin is actually resurging. This is due in no small part to their new US distributor, North American Music and their very experienced crew, many of who were with baldwin when it was in its glory.

I think you will soon hear of another major dealership in a major market (and a regular here on Piano World) who will be adding Baldwin to their lineup.


Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
#2030735 - 02/10/13 07:57 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Steve,
Being a technician I am interested about the designs being used-are they the same scales that were made in the US?
Yes, I am honestly curious well, what the new pianos have in common with the old ones besides the name. There as so many pianos with old German and American names on them now coming out of China which have nothing at all in common with the products made by the original company. The names are strictly used to try to conjure up some image of heritage, tradition and continuity (= quality) in the minds of would-be buyers.

Maybe Baldwin is different, perhaps they are now producing the tried and true product under more economically feasible condition in Asia?

#2030743 - 02/10/13 08:13 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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My understanding is that some models are re-creations of the original scale designs while others are different. I'll get the facts and post them.


Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
#2030845 - 02/11/13 12:33 AM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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I had the honor of doing business with both the Kunkel
and Cohen families through the years, Though to confess
I called on many more Cohens than Kunkles.Both names were
very well respected.
Returning Baldwin to a market as important as Baltimore
is something that will be good for the Piano industry
in the U.S. Good luck Steve.

#2030879 - 02/11/13 01:55 AM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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The dealer I bought from sold both Baldwins and Kawai. For the class I wanted to purchase, the Baldwin had more features and resonated with us overall. It's a great piano irrespective of its origins. Also, some have discussed the dot on the "I" and it actually, does not have a dot or a "c" in short, I think they're coming back.

#2032055 - 02/12/13 07:52 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]  
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Steve Cohen Offline
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Steve,
Being a technician I am interested about the designs being used-are they the same scales that were made in the US?


I asked Baldwin for clarification. They supplied the following:

The only model that is an actual copy of a US built Baldwin is the 52” vertical model B252. That one copied the old Baldwin 6000 right down to and including the accu-just hitch pins. The 342 and 442 share the cabinet design and action design with the former US Acrosonic models 2096 and 2090 respectively, however the scale for the backframe is slightly different. Similarly, the B243 is designed to look just like the former US built Hamilton 243, but it is built on a 47” scale as opposed to the 45” scale that the old model used. As universally popular as the old 243 has been, I believe most would pick the new B243 in a blind test today. The B49 is actually the same piano mechanically as our model BH125 that is in a slightly less expensive cabinet. The cabinet on the B49 is just made for the US market and is modeled after the former US built model 248.

The new BP model grands use completely different scale designs from our US built Artist Grands. It would have been a more difficult project to move the old equipment and tooling that was used on those pianos, plus there is the possibility that someday Baldwin might again build those pianos in very limited numbers. What the BP Grands share with the Artist Grands is the same level of materials – maple inner and outer rims, wet-sand cast plates, solid high grade sitka spruce soundboards, Abel hammers, real ebony sharps, etc. They too have been styled with a classic Baldwin look to the music rack, legs, and side arms.

So what we are doing is building a similar level piano at a more affordable price, but not the exact same pianos.


Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
#2032062 - 02/12/13 08:03 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Keith D Kerman Online content
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Congratulations Steve and best of luck. I genuinely hope you rebuild the Baldwin name in this area. It would be good for everyone in the piano industry. I especially hope you do well with the American made Baldwins. The idea of Baldwin making pianos in the U.S. again is great. Actually, the idea of anything being made in this country would be great, but I digress.

Seriously, good luck Steve.


Keith D Kerman
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#2032075 - 02/12/13 08:47 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Quote

The new BP model grands use completely different scale designs from our US built Artist Grands.


Meaning supposedly "previously" U.S. made Artists Grands.
Which factory is making Baldwin pianos in U.S. today?
Not aware of any.

Quote
What the BP Grands share with the Artist Grands is the same level of materials – maple inner and outer rims, wet-sand cast plates, solid high grade sitka spruce soundboards, Abel hammers, real ebony sharps, etc.


Sounding close to Brodmann specs. In fact heard the grands are actually made by Parsons.
Should be pretty good then....

Norbert thumb

Last edited by Norbert; 02/12/13 08:50 PM.

www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642 www.eliteheritagepianos.ca Edmonton, Alta dealers for Estonia,
Brodmann 780-405-8908
#2032093 - 02/12/13 09:09 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Norbert]  
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Originally Posted by Norbert
Quote

The new BP model grands use completely different scale designs from our US built Artist Grands.


Meaning supposedly "previously" U.S. made Artists Grands.
Which factory is making Baldwin pianos in U.S. today?
Not aware of any.

Norbert


You are correct. There is no current US production. But the factory is there, fully equipted and waiting....


Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
#2032115 - 02/12/13 09:57 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Hopefully the pin blocks have been improved! smile


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
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Richfield Springs, New York
#2032156 - 02/12/13 11:16 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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The Jasons's Music site includes the following in its write-up of Baldwin pianos:

"Since its gala opening nearly three decades ago, Baldwin has played a key role at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Today, Baldwin pianos are used for a variety of orchestral, ensemble and choral performances at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, Opera House, Eisenhower Theater and Terrace Theater.

"For more than 60 years, Baldwin has been honored to share the stage at a variety of Tanglewood’s orchestral and chamber music concerts, instrumental and vocal recitals, student performances, the Festival of Contemporary Music, and performances by both popular and jazz artists. Through the years, Baldwin also has been the piano of choice for many of Tanglewood’s visionary leaders. For more information about Tanglewood visit the BSO's website."

Putting aside the grammatical error in the first sentence of the quotation, I am having a bit of a problem with the write-up on the Jasons's Music site (which I expect is at least somewhat derived from the new Baldwin's own materials). Are the pianos being produced now really the same as the ones that have, for more than 60 years, graced various concert stages and been adopted by Baldwin Artists? Steve Cohen's own information from the manufacturer, quoted by him in this thread, seems to indicate that they are not. Yes, the brand name is the same, but are the pianos? I also looked in vain for information in this write-up on where the pianos are made. If I missed this information, I apologize, but I could not spot it at the Baldwin link. I think that one is likely to conclude from the write-up that "'America's favorite piano'" is made in America.

They may very well be terrific pianos. They will have to earn their status, though, at least in my opinion. And there are many brand names that have been purchased and applied to pianos made in different locations and by different processes from their locations and processes in the old days. It's a puzzlement, though, to anyone who tries to unravel the threads. . . .

#2032179 - 02/13/13 12:15 AM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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HalfStep Offline
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Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Steve,
Being a technician I am interested about the designs being used-are they the same scales that were made in the US?


I asked Baldwin for clarification. They supplied the following:

The only model that is an actual copy of a US built Baldwin is the 52” vertical model B252. That one copied the old Baldwin 6000 right down to and including the accu-just hitch pins. The 342 and 442 share the cabinet design and action design with the former US Acrosonic models 2096 and 2090 respectively, however the scale for the backframe is slightly different. Similarly, the B243 is designed to look just like the former US built Hamilton 243, but it is built on a 47” scale as opposed to the 45” scale that the old model used. As universally popular as the old 243 has been, I believe most would pick the new B243 in a blind test today. The B49 is actually the same piano mechanically as our model BH125 that is in a slightly less expensive cabinet. The cabinet on the B49 is just made for the US market and is modeled after the former US built model 248.

The new BP model grands use completely different scale designs from our US built Artist Grands. It would have been a more difficult project to move the old equipment and tooling that was used on those pianos, plus there is the possibility that someday Baldwin might again build those pianos in very limited numbers. What the BP Grands share with the Artist Grands is the same level of materials – maple inner and outer rims, wet-sand cast plates, solid high grade sitka spruce soundboards, Abel hammers, real ebony sharps, etc. They too have been styled with a classic Baldwin look to the music rack, legs, and side arms.

So what we are doing is building a similar level piano at a more affordable price, but not the exact same pianos.


Very informative! Thanks.

#2032539 - 02/13/13 04:34 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,167
peterws Offline
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peterws  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,167
Northern England.
Baldwins were stocked in the piano shop where my wife worked, teaching in Barrow in Furness, England. And they were my favourite. Now, since you`re on a roll as they say, there may be hope for British Motorcycles . . . .

http://www.bikeexif.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/velocette_venom_thruxton.jpg


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
#2032579 - 02/13/13 05:52 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: peterws]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,853
Plowboy Offline
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Plowboy  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,853
SoCal
Originally Posted by peterws
Baldwins were stocked in the piano shop where my wife worked, teaching in Barrow in Furness, England. And they were my favourite. Now, since you`re on a roll as they say, there may be hope for British Motorcycles . . . .

http://www.bikeexif.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/velocette_venom_thruxton.jpg


Are they going to start building those thumpers again?


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
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