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Baldwin Model M Circa 1988 #2886897 09/04/19 11:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
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Ghostnotes Offline OP
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Hello Pianoworld,

Long time lurker, first time poster here. I am looking forward to joining the conversations!

I am starting to begin my search for an acoustic piano like so many others here, and wanted to ask about a piano that my mother owns. She got this piano about 30 years ago, it has barely been played, and has mostly sat around like a piece of furniture.

From what I gather, it is a Baldwin Model M, Serial Number 275656, which was produced between 1987 and 1988. I have heard stories about Baldwins from the 80s having unreliable actions that can cause some quality issues under heavy use. Can anyone here comment more about Baldwins from the late 80s?

Personally, I think the piano is a bit on the small side for my tastes, and I am interested in test driving the other usual suspect pianos in larger sizes (5'10 and up), such as Cunningham, Yamaha, etc. However, if there is merit to getting this piano checked out and evaluated, it may be the best deal I could possibly get.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

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Re: Baldwin Model M Circa 1988 [Re: Ghostnotes] #2886907 09/04/19 11:31 AM
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tend to rush Offline
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Lots of people, of course, would prefer a larger grand, if possible. The Baldwin M, however, has a lot of supporters on this forum - take a look. As to the action, have you played it? If you're happy with it, it certainly might be worth having a technician take a look.

Re: Baldwin Model M Circa 1988 [Re: Ghostnotes] #2886936 09/04/19 12:38 PM
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GC13 Offline
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You are correct that Baldwin did have quality issues in that era, but that does not mean that ALL Baldwin's in that era have issues. So it is definitely worth having it inspected. Even if the action feels subpar and the tone is not to your liking, it may only need a little regulation and voicing. So it may be a hidden gem. I'd definitely have a technician inspect it and make recommendations.

On the length issue, the Baldwin Artist Grands, including the Model M, are known for their exceptional bass for their size. I played a Model L for years (6' 3") and I really thought it was a 7' grand because of the clarity and power (growl) in the bass. (This was long before I was really educated on pianos. wink )

If this piano is a hidden gem, it might be worth getting it at a reasonable cost now and whipping it into shape. Then you could upgrade to a large grand later.

Re: Baldwin Model M Circa 1988 [Re: Ghostnotes] #2886950 09/04/19 01:25 PM
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With used pianos, we are always having to assess their specific condition. Each maker has its own issues that, by trends, may be more help tell us what to look for. The flawed ones are not hard to spot, while the good ones are, in fact, quite good. We have a Baldwin M right now from the same age that is quite good, but we've also rejected others for issues with either the action or, also commonly, with the bridge.


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Re: Baldwin Model M Circa 1988 [Re: Ghostnotes] #2886958 09/04/19 01:54 PM
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Ghostnotes Offline OP
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Thanks for all of the responses so far!

Unfortunately, my interest in piano developed a bit later on, when I was already moved across the country, so it is much harder to assess. I do remember from playing it around the holidays that it was wildly out of tune, and a couple of the keys do not sound, so it is moreso seeing how much potential there is and what kind of work might be required. Then from there, if it is worth it to add in the labor cost + the moving cost to my home in Texas.

Can anyone suggest any technicians in the central Florida area that I could use for this?

Thanks again!

Re: Baldwin Model M Circa 1988 [Re: Ghostnotes] #2886986 09/04/19 04:03 PM
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terminaldegree Offline
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Bob Maret is in the Orlando area, and a Piano World forum member. You may want to ask him.


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Re: Baldwin Model M Circa 1988 [Re: Ghostnotes] #2887198 09/05/19 09:39 AM
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Ghostnotes Offline OP
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Thanks! I reached out to Bob. I appreciate everyone's input.


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