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1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand #2642155 05/10/17 04:22 PM
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Pokeydonut Offline OP
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I have a lead on a 1960 Baldwin Model R for $6000. It's been restored and refinished in Satin Black. Is this a good price? It's from a store so that comes with a tuning and a 1-year warranty. I played it and really loved the sound and the action but I'd like to get some second opinions before laying down that much cash. I was hoping to stay under $5000 but this seems like a good deal.

What does everyone think?

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Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2642157 05/10/17 04:31 PM
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Pokeydonut--Welcome to Piano World!

The Baldwin R is a great scale design--I really enjoy mine. A couple of thoughts for you... When they say "restored", can they offer specific details for the restoration process? In other words, did they pull the plate out, replaced the pin block, new strings, etc.? For the price, they may have reconditioned some items and not a full restoration. If it was me, I would have an independent piano tech to check out the piano very closely and get their opinion. smile Good luck with this and keep us posted.


Piano Practice
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Casio CDP 100

Soli Deo Gloria
Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2642200 05/10/17 06:37 PM
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$6000 would only barely cover the no-longer-quite-accurate $1000 per foot cost for refinishing, so it wouldn't seem that it's been restored and refinished in the sense that people here would understand those terms, or at least not in the recent past. That doesn't mean it's not a good piano, but be sure you understand what you're buying. Best to have it inspected as suggested above.



And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2642206 05/10/17 06:57 PM
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It really depends on the condition of the piano. Only a tech checking it in person can tell you about that.

Here's one of the best places in the USA for Baldwins, currently they have two R's priced at $15K each:

http://livingpianos.com/pianos/

But bear in mind that they don't sell used pianos in anything less than excellent condition.



-- J.S.

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Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2642211 05/10/17 07:21 PM
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Great advice here so far...

I too have a Baldwin R, and I really enjoy it. I alternate between my Yamaha C7 and my Baldwin R.

I agree that only a highly qualified piano tech can evaluate the true condition of the piano. However, if you have seen it and played it in person, you have a good idea of how much you like it. $6K ain't a lot for a nice, well-known and respected brand 5'8" baby grand piano in very good condition these days.

Good luck, and keep us informed of your decision!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2642233 05/10/17 08:53 PM
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This is terrific advice, thank you. I asked some follow-up questions - the key tops have been replaced and the action restored to factory specifications and the cabinet has been refinished but they haven't replaced the strings or refelted the hammers or anything. It sounds lovely and it's a very reputable store, but it sounds like I should have someone take a look at it. I will let you know how it goes.

Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2642236 05/10/17 09:26 PM
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For the money, it sounds like a good deal. Baldwins of that vintage were great pianos.


Mason-Hamlin "A" and Schlicker 2 manual and pedal pipe organ
Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2642794 05/12/17 07:43 PM
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Update: I had a very experienced independent piano technician come out and look at the Baldwin R. It has original strings, soundboard and pin block but he took it apart and went through all the hammers and gave it a clean bill of health. It's serial number is #144015 so it's actually built in 1959. The hammers have all been smoothed out so there are no grooves and he said the strings are in great shape, although they'd probably need to be replaced in 10 years or so. They regulated the action and he signed off on that as well. So given the chance to pick up a Cincinnati-era Baldwin R in very good condition for $6000, I jumped at it. Honestly, I was originally looking for something smaller, but since this is from a real store with a warranty and free tunings, it was too good to pass up.

It's hard to know how good a deal this is - there are cheaper Baldwin R's on ebay, but at all the online stores, they seem to go for a lot more. So I'm going to call this a win.

Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2642798 05/12/17 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Pokeydonut
Update: I had a very experienced independent piano technician come out and look at the Baldwin R. It has original strings, soundboard and pin block but he took it apart and went through all the hammers and gave it a clean bill of health. It's serial number is #144015 so it's actually built in 1959. The hammers have all been smoothed out so there are no grooves and he said the strings are in great shape, although they'd probably need to be replaced in 10 years or so. They regulated the action and he signed off on that as well. So given the chance to pick up a Cincinnati-era Baldwin R in very good condition for $6000, I jumped at it. Honestly, I was originally looking for something smaller, but since this is from a real store with a warranty and free tunings, it was too good to pass up.

It's hard to know how good a deal this is - there are cheaper Baldwin R's on ebay, but at all the online stores, they seem to go for a lot more. So I'm going to call this a win.

Congrats on your piano!
Baldwin Rs can be very nice pianos, and it sounds like you found one that is. Enjoy!


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Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2642810 05/12/17 08:47 PM
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Congrats!



And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2642818 05/12/17 09:27 PM
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Congratulations once more!!!

I tuned and played my Baldwin R today and fell in love with it all over again. Has a nice low bass for a 5'8" baby grand.

All the best!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Rickster] #2643632 05/15/17 06:57 AM
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Thanks Rickster - you do appear to be the local patron saint of Baldwin Model R's.

I am little nervous about the 60 year old components - but the tuner said everything is currently in good shape so hopefully I can go some time before needing to undergo serious restoration. That vintage of Baldwin Artist Series appears to be held in high esteem around this forum. Although I've certainly seen Model R's from the late 70's for around the same price on eBay, etc., none are available from reputable dealers nor from private sellers around me and few seem to have been recently reconditioned and regulated. It's likely I overpaid somewhat given the age of the internals but I really loved the way Baldwins sound and the way this piano played and I'm hoping I can get at least 10 years out of it before any work needs to be done.

Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2643665 05/15/17 08:48 AM
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Don't be overly concerned about the piano's age. My own Baldwin M is 67 years young, and holding up fine. If your tech gave it a clean bill of health, it should be ok.



And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2643720 05/15/17 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Pokeydonut
Thanks Rickster - you do appear to be the local patron saint of Baldwin Model R's.

Well, I'm not sure about patron saint, but I do believe in giving credit where credit is due. smile

The older Baldwins do have their own "signature sound", just like Yamahas, Kawais and Steinways. All other brands fall somewhere in between. You either like the sound or not; you either like the key-touch or not.

Not everyone likes Baldwins. Heck, not everyone likes me, but that is beside the point. smile

I suppose one of the most frustrating things about piano shopping is the fact that there are a lot (and I mean a whole-lot) of nice pianos of different brands, makes an models out there. I suppose a decision on which one to buy can boil down to whether or not you like the name on the fall-board, or even the exterior finish.

I honestly don't think you can go wrong with the Baldwin R, though I might be a bit biased. wink

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Rickster] #2643721 05/15/17 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster


The older Baldwins do have their own "signature sound", just like Yamahas, Kawais and Steinways. All other brands fall somewhere in between. You either like the sound or not; you either like the key-touch or not.

Not everyone likes Baldwins. Heck, not everyone likes me, but that is beside the point. smile

I have never come across a Baldwin in Australia - although I'm pretty sure they were sold here at some point. It's a pity because there are so many threads devoted to them on PW, and I have no way to appreciate them. I'm not even sure what you guys mean when you talk about the "American" sound. We don't even get the US Steinways here - I've only ever played the Hamburgs.

PS - We've disagreed once or twice, but I like ya, Rick! wink

Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2643738 05/15/17 01:03 PM
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One more question-

Apparently this piano has an "ST" stamped on the plate, in the place where, on Rickster's 98/99 Model R, there is an R.

So is this one of the "Model R-ST" Baldwins hypothesized in these threads:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/104901/Re:_Baldwin_grand_models_-_his.html

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2537372/Re:_Need_help_tracing_history_.html

What's the deal here? Did all Model R's before a certain date have ST stamped on the plates to indicate the scale design? Or did some R's have ST scale design and some R's have...something else? The serial number is 144015 which indicates a 1959 production.

The above threads never really resolve the issue. Is this an Artist Series model or not? The consensus seems to be that the ST indicates that it has more bass notes than the previously produced Model E - perhaps they included the stamp while the E was contemporaneously or recently in production, but after a while they stopped and just used the R instead? This would explain why there is no other model of Baldwin with a specific scale design attached to the name because there was not similar confusion.

I just want to confirm that this is in fact an R and not a G or an H or an O or something else entirely. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: ando] #2643796 05/15/17 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Rickster


The older Baldwins do have their own "signature sound", just like Yamahas, Kawais and Steinways. All other brands fall somewhere in between. You either like the sound or not; you either like the key-touch or not.

Not everyone likes Baldwins. Heck, not everyone likes me, but that is beside the point. smile

I have never come across a Baldwin in Australia - although I'm pretty sure they were sold here at some point. It's a pity because there are so many threads devoted to them on PW, and I have no way to appreciate them. I'm not even sure what you guys mean when you talk about the "American" sound. We don't even get the US Steinways here - I've only ever played the Hamburgs.

PS - We've disagreed once or twice, but I like ya, Rick! wink

Fascinating and important to hear to a completely different perspective. I'm glad you spoke up. Around these parts, you can't fall off a chair without hitting a Baldwin.

"The American Sound" is, IMHO, misleading. Baldwin, Steinway, Chickering, Mason and Hamlin, Knabe, Charles Walter, and countless others are/were all American and each has their own distinctive sound. There are commonalities, but which one gets to define the "American Sound?" Well, the Steinway model D dominates the concert stage and classical recordings.


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Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2643804 05/15/17 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Pokeydonut
One more question-

Apparently this piano has an "ST" stamped on the plate, in the place where, on Rickster's 98/99 Model R, there is an R.

So is this one of the "Model R-ST" Baldwins hypothesized in these threads:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/104901/Re:_Baldwin_grand_models_-_his.html

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2537372/Re:_Need_help_tracing_history_.html

What's the deal here? Did all Model R's before a certain date have ST stamped on the plates to indicate the scale design? Or did some R's have ST scale design and some R's have...something else? The serial number is 144015 which indicates a 1959 production.

The above threads never really resolve the issue. Is this an Artist Series model or not? The consensus seems to be that the ST indicates that it has more bass notes than the previously produced Model E - perhaps they included the stamp while the E was contemporaneously or recently in production, but after a while they stopped and just used the R instead? This would explain why there is no other model of Baldwin with a specific scale design attached to the name because there was not similar confusion.

I just want to confirm that this is in fact an R and not a G or an H or an O or something else entirely. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

It certainly sounds like you've done your homework on this Baldwin, and I'm afraid I do not have an answer(s) to your question. However, there are some real Baldwin experts here on PW who can answer your question.

I believe I'd hold off on the purchase until you find out for sure about the ST in place of the R, so you know exactly what your are getting. I've never heard of the ST model Baldwin. But my knowledge is limited.

However, there is a risk someone else could purchase the piano while you are looking for answers. But for $6K, I'd want to know for sure what I was getting.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2643821 05/15/17 04:50 PM
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Good deal!!! Congrats on the purchase of the Baldwin R!


Last edited by Piano Practice; 05/15/17 04:51 PM.

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Soli Deo Gloria
Re: 1960 Baldwin Model R - 5'8" Grand [Re: Pokeydonut] #2643833 05/15/17 05:19 PM
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My current thinking is in line with BDB's post in that other thread:

Originally Posted by BDB
One thing that can be confusing is that scale designations are sometimes different from model designations. For instance, the model D had a scale designation of SD or SD-6, while for the SD-10, the scale and model coincided.

From Baldwin, I have:
B - 4'-10" (This would be the recent model. I have seen an early one, similar to an R)*
C - 5'-7" *
M - 5'-2" scale SA
M - 5'-2" scale SA*
M-2 - 5'-2" *
G - 5'-6" scale ST
R - 5'-8" scale ST
R - 5'-8" scale ST*
E - 5'-8" (20 bass notes, vs. 26 for the R)
C - 6'-3" scale SC
L - 6'-3" scale SC
L - 6'-3" scale SC*
F - 7'-0" scale SF
SF-10 - 7'-0"*
D - 9'-0" scale SD, SD-6
SD-10 - 9'-0"*
SD-10A - 9'-0"*

The scales marked with an * have vertical hitch pins, which would make them recent models. There are probably other models, some of which Baldwin may not even know about any more.


My working theory is as follows:

1. The Model R that predates the vertical hitch pins that came out in 1969-70 has the ST scale design and has ST stamped on the plate
2. The Model R's from the 70's and 80's have vertical hitch pins and at some point they phased out the ST stamp in favor of a R stamp

I don't think there is a separate Model R that has the ST scale design and another Model R that has another scale design. But the serial number on mine on the break does not have an R above it, nor is there an R anywhere else on this thing.

The main question I have then is how do I know it's an R with an ST scale design and not a G with an ST scale design if both came in 5'8" and both were being produced in 1959? Anyone know how to firmly prove that there were no 5'8" ST Model G's rolling off the production line in 1959?

Sidenote: Anyone else with a Model R (Piano Practice, I'm looking at you) volunteer to check out what is stamped on their plate by the bass strings - is it an R or an ST?

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