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#2070171 - 04/24/13 05:54 PM 1994 Baldwin Model L. Should I rescale the bass?  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 167
Davepost Offline
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Davepost  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 167
Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
I have a lovely Baldwin Model L (6 ft. 3") built in the 1990s. Accu-just hitch pins. A reputable rebuilder recommended rescaling the bass strings. Some fine old technicians advised against it. I have heard that rescaling can make a piano sound even bigger. I would not care to loose that big, full Baldwin tone, yet at the same time, if the transitions can be smoothed out, why not? Any suggestions would help. The piano is for myself.

Last edited by Davepost; 04/24/13 06:31 PM.

David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan
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#2070176 - 04/24/13 06:02 PM Re: 1994 Baldwin Model L. Should I rescale the bass? [Re: Davepost]  
Joined: Apr 2010
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kpembrook Offline
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kpembrook  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,726
Michigan
Well, it's not quite that simple. The L strings were "synchrotone" strings which have to be made on a CNC lathe in order to account for the way that Baldwin patent (now expired) deals with the longitudinal mode. Arledge does this.

However, the CNC procedure requires soft copper. Hard copper might provide other tonal advantages.

I have found that the Isaac Profundo bass strings -- which use hard copper and also employ some other proprietary string-making procedures -- do quite well on Baldwins. You can contact me by PM if you are interested in more info.

Ari also does rescaling or you can provide your own specs. However, I would want to be clear about what the purpose of rescaling was before doing it just to make it different. The modern Baldwin scales are fairly well thought out.

There are other options, like using the special wire Ed McMorrow has mentioned in recent posts or using frozen wire.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
#2070186 - 04/24/13 06:30 PM Re: 1994 Baldwin Model L. Should I rescale the bass? [Re: kpembrook]  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 167
Davepost Offline
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Davepost  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 167
Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
Many Thanks. I have a set already prepared by Mapes according to the originals, but I can abandon those if need be.


David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan
#2070189 - 04/24/13 06:36 PM Re: 1994 Baldwin Model L. Should I rescale the bass? [Re: Davepost]  
Joined: Apr 2010
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kpembrook Offline
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kpembrook  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,726
Michigan
Originally Posted by Davepost
Many Thanks. I have a set already prepared by Mapes according to the originals, but I can abandon those if need be.


They will probably be fine. However, if not done using the Synchrotone procedure, they definitely won't be original, even though the core and wrap diameters are the same.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
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#2070216 - 04/24/13 07:48 PM Re: 1994 Baldwin Model L. Should I rescale the bass? [Re: Davepost]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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beethoven986 Offline
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beethoven986  Offline
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I personally never cared for the Synchrotone bass strings (or Mapes, for that matter) and I don't think anything will be lost by rescaling. The simplest way to go about it would be to use the so called "hybrid" scaling procedures using Paulello wire.

#2070239 - 04/24/13 08:43 PM Re: 1994 Baldwin Model L. Should I rescale the bass? [Re: Davepost]  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,442
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Ed McMorrow, RPT  Offline
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Seattle, WA USA
I think you should audition rescaled pianos before making the choice. I find some of the rescaling being done today creates problems where there was none and fixes some problems that were there. There is a wide range of scaling practices being employed-so my rescale will be quite different from someone else.

The Baldwin L can have some rocking bridge motion issues at the top (notes 17-20) of the overstrung section. This can make some noises that the type of string won't change completely. The low singles are too heavy on the cores.

I have done several Bald L's that some pianists have thought sounded "almost" as good as a Steinway B when I was finished. These also included new bridge caps with "corrected" speaking lengths and strike points fit to the best ratios thru-out the treble.

Last edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT; 04/24/13 11:50 PM.

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