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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Rickster] #2733729 05/02/18 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by Beemer
Life goes on. My 1978 "Harmony Sovereign Delux" guitar was my pride and joy. A Gibson was way above what I could afford in 1978 but then being in the UK I was not actually aware of the reverence given to the Gibson brand.

Me too...

When I was a teenager, I had been learning to play the guitar since I was about 8 or 10 years old. I was not that good of a player, but not that bad either. I never owned a nice, brand name guitar until I was much older and had a good job and a family of my own. Back then, the Harmony and the Silvertone brand guitars were fairly well-known, lower cost brands, and a lot of poor kids like me owned them. smile

Also, some of the cheaper Japanese made Gibson/Fender copies/knock-offs of that era were not bad instruments, which is another example of what I had at the time; as I recall, there was not a brand name on them anywhere, except "made in Japan", but they were decent sounding/playing guitars. I remember ordering them from the Sears & Roebuck catalog at the time (now I'm revealing my age smile ).

Eventually, as time went on, both Gibson, Fender and Martin began to make lower-cost models that sold well, due to the price of the real thing escalating. I suppose that trend can also apply to the piano market.

Sorry, just rambling on a bit...

Rick


When I was a teen, I desperately wanted a Gold Top Gibson Les Paul! Of course, I didn't have one.

I bought my first guitar when I was 17. Saved up from a part time job to buy it. It was a "lessor" Japanese made guitar. A good friend of mine--a phenomenal player--had a Fender Stratocaster (another model I would have loved to have), and he thought my guitar was pretty good quality. Well, it turns out that he was right! They are now collectors items, and the factory in which they were built (Matsumoku) has earned a reputation for having built excellent stuff.

I have a Gibson Les Paul, and I love it, but a couple years ago I bought the same model guitar I had when I was a kid! And I'm tempted to buy another. Mine back in the 80s had a walnut finish, and the one I bought more recently has a blonde finish. So... I've been watching a walnut specimen online... laugh



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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2733804 05/03/18 06:38 AM
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Maybe it's time for Gibson to just throw in the towel - though it seems as if they will continue under Chapter 11. They would probably be better off without Henry Juszkiewicz at the helm.

I mainly know Gibson for their fine Mastertone banjos and Les Paul guitars. At least the Mastertone banjos made before the Second World War were mostly fine instruments. The ones made after the war have been variable at best. There were a few period where Mastertones were great instruments, when they were produced under Greg Rich and, later, under Big Joe. But they stopped making them altogether some years ago.

As far as Les Paul guitars, I've never played one I didn't like. It has always been pretty obvious to me that, for the most part (barring the aforementioned exceptions under Greg and Joe), Gibson cared more about their Les Pauls than their acoustic lines.

It made me sick when Gibson bought Baldwin. As anyone can tell from my signature I'm a big Baldwin fan - well, a fan of the American-made Baldwins, of which I own two. And I just about cried when Gibson started putting the Baldwin name on Chinese-made pianos.

(I mean no insult to Chinese people or the owners of Chinese-made instruments, and I'm certainly not trying to make this political. But I have yet to play a Chinese-built piano that I would want in my studio. I fear that, eventually, we will have no other options due to market realities.)


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2733807 05/03/18 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
I mainly know Gibson for their fine Mastertone banjos and Les Paul guitars. At least the Mastertone banjos made before the Second World War were mostly fine instruments. The ones made after the war have been variable at best. There were a few period where Mastertones were great instruments, when they were produced under Greg Rich and, later, under Big Joe. But they stopped making them altogether some years ago.

I have an Epiphone 5-String Banjo I bought 35/40 years or so ago, made by Gibson, that is a pretty nice banjo; not a Mastertone, but the next best thing. Most people may not know this, but Baldwin actually made 5-string banjos back in the day; or, they had them made by another maker and put their name on them. I played bluegrass music with a guy who owned a Baldwin banjo.

Many of the vintage Gibson and Fender (and Martin) guitars can be worth tens of thousands of dollars. I was not fortunate enough to be able to afford one back when they cost much less new.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2733836 05/03/18 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
It made me sick when Gibson bought Baldwin. As anyone can tell from my signature I'm a big Baldwin fan - well, a fan of the American-made Baldwins, of which I own two. And I just about cried when Gibson started putting the Baldwin name on Chinese-made pianos.

(I mean no insult to Chinese people or the owners of Chinese-made instruments, and I'm certainly not trying to make this political. But I have yet to play a Chinese-built piano that I would want in my studio. I fear that, eventually, we will have no other options due to market realities.)
The reviews of quite a few Chinese made pianos, especially the models from Cunningham, Baldwin, Hailun, Brodmann, Kayserburg, and Ritmuller in the "Professional or Premium" categories of the Consumer Grade pianos in Fine's chart, have been quite positive. Quite a few of those pianos have also been chosen as Staff Picks in the PB.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 05/03/18 10:58 AM.
Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2733839 05/03/18 11:22 AM
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The Chinese-made Hamilton studio I came across is a much better piano than the newest US made Hamilton I have seen.


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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: pianoloverus] #2733867 05/03/18 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The reviews of quite a few Chinese made pianos, especially the models from Cunningham, Baldwin, Hailun, Brodmann, Kayserburg, and Ritmuller in the "Professional or Premium" categories of the Consumer Grade pianos in Fine's chart, have been quite positive. Quite a few of those pianos have also been chosen as Staff Picks in the PB.


Indeed. Also, some of the Perzinas.


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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2733894 05/03/18 02:59 PM
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What about the new Del Fandrich designed Webers? Aren't they made in China?


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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2733928 05/03/18 05:14 PM
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Gibson is in chapter 11 reorganization. They're not going away; they're reorganizing and making deals with their creditors. Henry J. has announced that they already have agreements in place to consolidate debt and their plans to operate without interruption while refocusing on profitably building guitars. They're shedding "non-core" brands and I suspect will spend less RD on digital home entertainment. Henry and the COO will continue in their positions according to recent press releases by Gibson Inc.

Kurt


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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2733965 05/03/18 09:11 PM
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according to Hyundai marketing info, after they acquired Young Chang, magister Fandrich was brought in to revise the entire line of pianos, including both those made in China (YC, Weber) and Korea del Sur (Albert Weber).

there are also some models of Grotrian pianos assembled in China.

Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2733968 05/03/18 10:23 PM
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Speaking of Japanese made Gibson guitar knock-offs/copies, here is a pic of me and one of my Japanese made guitars taken when I was 17 years old; it was one of my favorite musical instruments. I had a monster Kustom piggy-back 15" twin speaker amp to go with it. Where did the time go... smile

[Linked Image]


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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: JohnSprung] #2734001 05/04/18 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Most likely the name only will be sold for use on generic foreign instruments -- like Knabe and many others. I call those "ghost" pianos.


In a way it has already happened. Baldwin pianos are made in China by Parsons Music.

Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2734017 05/04/18 06:12 AM
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Just for the sake of accuracy, one minor correction: Baldwin grands are made by Parsons, not the verticals.


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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: pianoloverus] #2734023 05/04/18 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[/quote]The reviews of quite a few Chinese made pianos, especially the models from Cunningham, Baldwin, Hailun, Brodmann, Kayserburg, and Ritmuller in the "Professional or Premium" categories of the Consumer Grade pianos in Fine's chart, have been quite positive. Quite a few of those pianos have also been chosen as Staff Picks in the PB.


For me, there are two issues involved: 1) what piano would I want in my studio for me, personally, to play, and 2) what piano would I recommend to my students.

Regarding pianos that I would (or would not) want to play, I think you made my point for me when you mentioned "Consumer Grade pianos." I went and looked at the chart at PianoBuyer. "Consumer Grade" isn't good enough for me, personally. While I haven't played every maker in the chart due to Austin, TX being something of a piano wasteland (thought not as bad as where I grew up), I have played Boston, Essex, Kawai, Yamaha, and Pramberger with varying degrees of disappointment. Of that bunch, the only one I might want in my studio would be a larger Yamaha. Now, obviously many people like these Consumer Grade pianos, and there's nothing wrong with that. They serve a purpose; they just would not satisfy me. I doubt anything below Performance/Distinguished would float my boat. Again, this is personal taste, and as the Romans would have said, de gustibus non est disputandum, dominus possum, fox probiscus, rubella carborundum &tc &tc... (Though, again, good luck finding any of those other than Steinway around Austin. Although this city bills itself as the Live Music Capital of the World, it's slim pickings for anything other than guitars.)

What really saddens me is that when I was young, Baldwin would have most definitely been in the "Performance Grade" category; now they are down in "Consumer Grade." I know they started slipping in the 90s, but still...

Has anyone here played any of the new larger Baldwin grands form China? A new SD-10, for instance? I would be very interested in trying one out to gauge the quality for myself. Reviews are one thing, but "the proof of the pudding is in the eating."

I would love to find a lower-priced import brand that I could unreservedly recommend to my students. Right now I would steer them towards the Yamaha C series, or perhaps Boston/Kawai if they like the tone and feel (I don't personally), but these aren't very budget-friendly.

At the end of the day, however, any decently prepared piano is better than no piano, regardless of where it was built.


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2734027 05/04/18 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers

Has anyone here played any of the new larger Baldwin grands form China? A new SD-10, for instance? I would be very interested in trying one out to gauge the quality for myself. Reviews are one thing, but "the proof of the pudding is in the eating."


The topic of the classic Baldwin piano designs, including the SD-10 and SF-10, and their availability seems to be a black hole. They are shown on the Baldwin website, but I've not heard of one actually being produced since the Gibson purchase and the shutdown of the US factories. All of the grands that are available seem to be the new designs prefixed with "BP" in the model number. I don't think they make the other smaller grands of days gone by like the R and the L.

Does anyone know anything differently? Is there a Baldwin dealer or rep here on PW?

Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2734037 05/04/18 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by GC13
Is there a Baldwin dealer or rep here on PW?

Steve Cohen is a current Baldwin dealer. There are others, I'm sure.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2734131 05/04/18 03:37 PM
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Yes Rick. There are many dealers lucky enough to carry Baldwin.

I’m on the road and will address this thread on Monday.

Bottom line .... I think Baldwin will be with us for years to come as a great “value line”.

They represent a “best buy”..


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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Rickster] #2734136 05/04/18 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by tend to rush
If you see them again, ask if they know music from 30 years ago - Michael Jackson, Madonna, etc.

Well, there is not much chance of that happening because I don't know many Michael Jackson songs, except maybe some of the older Jackson-5 tunes; I did always like "Rockin-Robin". I don't know any of Madonna's music; not one song.

Guess I am old, but not departed, yet. smile

But never having heard of Ray Charles? There is no excuse.

Just kidding, I see your point.

Rick


My teenagers have heard of none of those former musicians. Michael Jackson an de Madonna - yes. When I was a teenager in the 80s, acts from the 50's were old but J had heard of some of them. Acts from the 20s? No way.

Btw there are some great piano renditions of Michael Jackson songs. Here's one I had the fortune to catch live at The Wigmore (although this recording is from elsewhere).



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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2734870 05/07/18 03:26 PM
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Wow, Rickster, you were quite the rocker!


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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2734882 05/07/18 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Plowboy
Wow, Rickster, you were quite the rocker!

Thanks, Plowboy! smile

Of course, I'm over the hill now, but still kicking. Some of the lyrics to one of my original blues tunes, "You know you got the blues", says, "well, you know, some people, they call me an old man; but that's alright by me. I said, some people, they call me an old man; but that's alright by me; cause as long as I can play this old piano, I'm just as young as I wana be". grin

Sorry, didn't mean to hi-jack the thread; just showing off my Japanese Gibson guitar copy, and my once-upon-a-time youth. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 [Re: Rickster] #2735017 05/08/18 07:35 AM
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[quote=Rickster I said, some people, they call me an old man; but that's alright by me; cause as long as I can play this old piano, I'm just as young as I wana be". grin
[/quote]

That's the attitude, Rick! I've checked out your Youtube videos from time to time, and one things that stands out to me is that you sure do enjoy yourself when you play. Music should always be enjoyed -- even by the performer. I think expressing the enjoyment is what draws people into the performance.

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