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Need help deciding a Baldwin console #2852489
05/26/19 06:18 PM
05/26/19 06:18 PM
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C4car Offline OP
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Hi everyone,

I have been getting a lot of useful information from this forum. Really appreciate all your helpful comments.

I would like to buy a piano for my son, that also fit into our farmhouse style home. Our budget is limited. So an older console piano will be perfect. After reading posts here, I choose the Baldwin brand. I found a Baldwin console upright, serial number 12 56639 from a private seller. She is the 2nd owner, first owner is her friend. I inspect the piano follow the appraisal tips online, all keys works, no crack anywhere, sounding board in excellent condition. Piano has been tuned 2 yrs ago.

Seller ask for $500.

The following are some picture and video of the piano. I would love your opinion on it. Thank you in advance.


[img]https://share.icloud.com/photos/0wX4OZb0mhlNDqfzs7d_Z_ucA[/img]

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0o0cy-_Z37kvNpxUuxPsEeFlg

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0kGsIC_x0AjHX0fr7Y-9t1bZw

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0ZVt_7kW5b02KES_lH2capRGA

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Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852493
05/26/19 06:26 PM
05/26/19 06:26 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 979
Chicago Suburban
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MarkL Offline
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That piano was made in 1982, so it's pretty old to pay much for it. You might look at pianoadoption.com for your area, I think there's a good chance you'll find a free piano of comparable style and condition.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852516
05/26/19 08:08 PM
05/26/19 08:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,196
Queensland, Australia
backto_study_piano Online content
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Don't rush into it - there are lots of pianos around. A console is a fairly "ordinary" type of piano - the action is compromised compared with a normal upright piano, and may not be fulfilling to play. But - that might be why it's $500.

Before buying any used piano, it's a good idea to have it inspected by a technician, to ensure you don't end up with a $500 piece of furniture which doesn't work properly till it has big €€€ spent on it.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852528
05/26/19 09:10 PM
05/26/19 09:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,193
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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You need to find out if it is from the "corfam" era of Baldwins. I forget the years they used it, but it was first generation artificial leather and it hardens like a rock, requiring major work to replace it. Only an experienced tech will be able to check and confirm this.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852555
05/26/19 11:51 PM
05/26/19 11:51 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 6
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C4car Offline OP
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Thank you for the inputs.

I submitted the video for two appraisals. Both come back said it is a good buy for the price consider the condition. I have looked at many many free pianos. But none of them worth the cost of moving or tuning. Tomorrow we are going to do a second testing on the sounds and see if there is any technical problem. Then we will confirm the buy.

Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852556
05/26/19 11:57 PM
05/26/19 11:57 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
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It looks like it has a drop (spinet) action, which is not desirable.


Semipro Tech
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852565
05/27/19 12:44 AM
05/27/19 12:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,196
Queensland, Australia
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I'd be more concerned with the action than the sound - you can enjoy just about any sound.

Have you played the piano?

A spinet or console has (as BDB mentioned) a modified action to enable it to be substantially shorter than a proper piano - and that action doesn't work very well at all - they tended to be more furniture than musical instrument. Yes, they can be played, but very compromised.

If the action is poor, like any consoles or spinets I've ever played, it could end up being something he won't enjoy playing - and it'll sit there.

If you can find a real upright piano (in reasonable condition), you won't regret it.

Either way, have your technician inspect it before purchase.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852571
05/27/19 01:13 AM
05/27/19 01:13 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
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There are Baldwin consoles without drop actions, and they are good, but the spinet actions are hard to work on.


Semipro Tech
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852574
05/27/19 01:32 AM
05/27/19 01:32 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,196
Queensland, Australia
backto_study_piano Online content
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Originally Posted by BDB
There are Baldwin consoles without drop actions, and they are good, but the spinet actions are hard to work on.

Thanks - so in that case I assume it would be best to have a technician look at the piano first?


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852578
05/27/19 01:52 AM
05/27/19 01:52 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,430
Oakland
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Looking at the video, you can see the wippens below the keys, which indicate a drop action. So it is really a big spinet, not a console. While Baldwin spinets were fairly good, for a long-term instrument, it would be better to look for a piano with the action on top of the keys, not behind them. You can see this if you open the top. The keys will not go under the action, but instead will be cut off, with wires attached to pull up from below. Older Baldwins will have wooden stickers that pull up similarly.

Most other makes made consoles with the action parts smaller, and they do not last long, but Baldwin always used full-sized action parts.


Semipro Tech
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: backto_study_piano] #2852607
05/27/19 06:21 AM
05/27/19 06:21 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 370
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
A console is a fairly "ordinary" type of piano - the action is compromised compared with a normal upright piano, and may not be fulfilling to play.


Not necessarily. At least in the 70s, and probably into '82, their upper line had full-sized actions in the consoles. Their lower ("Howard"?) line had a compressed. You definitely don't want the the compressed. A tech can tell you in a second.

Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852782
05/27/19 01:45 PM
05/27/19 01:45 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 6
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C4car Offline OP
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Thank you for all your comments. I get the feel that spinets is very popular here. smile Frankly for our family, spinets seems to be the only feasible choice due to the leak of space at our home and the particular vintage style piano we are looking for. If spinets is the choice for us, I think I have found the best spinet available: Baldwin acrosonic. This particular model is 4013 from 1983. From what I learn from the appraisers, this acrosonic piano is equivalent to an artist console from other brands, because of how well they make. They are entirely hand crafted during that era and has the best durability, action and tone, among other spinets and other lesser brand uprights. Because of their craftsmanship, they hold tune much better. Their soundboards are solid spruce bot laminated. they have a 19 ply pin block as compare to other 5-6 ply. Their full flow action are larger than other lesser upright pianos. I am just resigning what I understand from the appraisers. Hope I didnt understand it wrong! Cheers~

Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852806
05/27/19 02:36 PM
05/27/19 02:36 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,828
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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Georgia, USA
A spinet is a bad choice. I'd rather you get a decent digital piano instead, if your budget were truly that limited.

1. Spinets are harder to service and repair.
2. Spinets have inferior tone to other designs.
3. Spinets have actions that respond worse than any other piano, and break more often.
4. Spinets are always the worst quality piano a particular maker could produce.
5. Spinets were not designed for a long service life. They were built to be as cheap as possible.

In addition, you are getting some bad advice along the way. The number of plies in the pinblock has almost no bearing on quality. The way it was drilled and installed matters more than the number of plies. "Entirely hand crafted" is marketing B.S. for a piano of this tier and price point...something cheap made with lots of automation would probably have better uniformity of build, and even the most "machine made" pianos require significant hand labor to build.

You would do better trying to find a slightly taller "studio" model (they tend to be 45" tall), because the actions are less compromised, they sound better, they tend to be more solidly constructed, and they are easier to service. They don't really take up more floor space, and they're just more satisfying than a 40 year old spinet or console that's reached the end of its lifespan.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852821
05/27/19 04:07 PM
05/27/19 04:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 1,658
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Online content
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 1,658
North Vancouver
Some of these spinets look charming and no doubt would
fit in well with the style you want for a room, but if you a piano
for your son, he will need a "real piano".I would suggest getting
something 45 to 49".This would mean you would have to
spend a little more.To me a Yamaha P22 or U1 in whatever
finish you would want would not clash with any "farm house" style.
Of course there are plenty of good brands out there.
There are also good digital pianos which look like small accoustic pianos.For example the Roland LX7 or the LX17.
Best wishes!

Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852856
05/27/19 06:00 PM
05/27/19 06:00 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 6
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C4car Offline OP
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I don’t know if it make any different. I found it from the piano blue book that this model is describe as console Acrosonic, 42.5” height, full direct blow action. Column two next to the Hamilton. [img]https://share.icloud.com/photos/0IaLtZOMNOQWWFuco6ZZVakrg[/img]

Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852863
05/27/19 06:36 PM
05/27/19 06:36 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,828
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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Georgia, USA
At 1:35 into the second link you originally sent, you can see what looks like a sizable soundboard crack. It also appears that the piano is kept right next to a fireplace, which isn't great, if that gets used much. Also, the piano sounds flat in the brief recordings, enough that it's probably going to need a pitch raise or double tuning to get up to standard pitch, which will cost more than a standard tuning.

If you do decide to proceed, I'd offer much less than $500, and advise you to be extremely careful when moving it, as this case design with the unbraced front legs can be rather fragile.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852867
05/27/19 06:51 PM
05/27/19 06:51 PM
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Posts: 6
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C4car Offline OP
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[img]https://share.icloud.com/photos/0Vmg_iyBTBKyupnud2EhEi4Dg[/img]

Thank you for checking. Can you point out where is the crack? I am not able to see it

Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852877
05/27/19 07:35 PM
05/27/19 07:35 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,828
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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It's clearer in the video, and I'm looking at this on a laptop screen. It's the black diagonal line that goes in the direction of the wood grain, right through the center of the image you captured.


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Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2852956
05/28/19 01:06 AM
05/28/19 01:06 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,196
Queensland, Australia
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Queensland, Australia
Originally Posted by C4car
... only feasible choice due to the leak of space at our home ...

The thing to keep in mind is that an upright and a spinet/console are the same size - we always quoted approx 1½ metres square floor space required including the bench.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Need help deciding a Baldwin console [Re: C4car] #2853042
05/28/19 08:39 AM
05/28/19 08:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,429
Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
The thing to keep in mind is that an upright and a spinet/console are the same size - we always quoted approx 1½ metres square floor space required including the bench.

Very true. A spinet upright and a taller upright usually require pretty much the same amount of floor space. The taller upright will need a bit more wall space, but usually not a problem.

The exception would be the really old upright grands of yesteryear. They tend to be bigger, wider, deeper and much heavier than their younger counterparts. smile But still require less floor space than a grand piano.

Just a few thoughts...

Rick


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