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Baldwin Hamilton serial # lookup #2936201 01/20/20 09:05 AM
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BobR1 Offline OP
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Hello,

I'm looking at a Baldwin Hamilton serial number 248084.
Any idea of age.
Owner asking $300 obo. Needs a little TLC cosmetically.

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Re: Baldwin Hamilton serial # lookup [Re: BobR1] #2936209 01/20/20 09:27 AM
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ShiroKuro Offline
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Hmm, the Piano Atlas says it was made b/w 1981-1982 and is about 38 years old.
https://onlinepianoatlas.com/piano-age-calculator/

but the Blue Book, which has a section specifically for Baldwin Hamilton, places it in 1968-69, which would make it 51-52 years old.
http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/serial1.htm#BALDWIN

Ahh, if you search the Piano Atlas and search for Hamilton instead of Baldwin, you get 1968-1969, 51 years old.

So I would say 50 years old is probably correct.

Do you play piano or are you (or a family member) planning to start? Baldwin Hamiltons are great pianos, real workhorses, but a 50 y/o piano might need a lot of work. Have you gone to see and play the piano yet?


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Baldwin Hamilton serial # lookup [Re: BobR1] #2936296 01/20/20 02:09 PM
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BobR1 Offline OP
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I don't play. It's for my 15yo son. He's a beginner/intermediate.
I can probably get it for $150. Then another 100 to deliver it.
Have not seen it yet. Case needs some work.

Other than that is there anything I should look for in particular?
I've seen a few videos regarding Craigslist piano inspection.
Cracks in soundboard, rust strings, etc.

Few picks from ad

[img]https://photos.google.com/album/AF1...ipPCatfyJlsjs1OKraWt3hk-Dep9MS8D1XZznz0s[/img]
[img]https://photos.google.com/album/AF1...ipOwrZxOXS9e5ttv-UDGWRpqt2Jw1YAFVn0_Ezao[/img]

Re: Baldwin Hamilton serial # lookup [Re: BobR1] #2936307 01/20/20 02:44 PM
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Eric Gloo Offline
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Hamilton 248084 is from 1968. Unfortunately, I can't access the photos. The first thing I would check is if the treble bridge cap is starting to separate from the bridge itself. This is a common issue with this model. Also, if the hammers are original and show lots of wear, the tone will most likely be excessively bright and LOUD.


Eric Gloo
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Re: Baldwin Hamilton serial # lookup [Re: BobR1] #2936312 01/20/20 02:56 PM
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BobR1 Offline OP
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Thanks. Will get some detailed pics when I see it.
Do the links not open?

Re: Baldwin Hamilton serial # lookup [Re: BobR1] #2936326 01/20/20 03:12 PM
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terminaldegree Offline
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Some good info here:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/how-to-inspect-a-used-piano-before-buying/

What are you using for a piano now?
If this is a 52 year old upright in all-original condition, it may not be a good choice and the condition should probably be inspected thoroughly by a professional technician before going to the trouble of buying and moving it.

With a budget of less than $1,000 it’s worth checking out new digital pianos. Entry level, 88 key graded hammer action models with a proper pedal, stand, and bench can be found for $600-800. These pianos have a warranty and need no maintenance/tuning, a couple times a year. Just keep them covered when not in use and avoid spills, and you get around 10 years of regular use without a hiccup.

You can find a serviceable used piano for under $1,000, however I’d venture to say about 50% are in need of repairs that exceed the value of the piano, and about 75% of them need some combination of pitch raises, voicing, and regulation to sound or feel at least fair. The odds get worse for pianos under $500.


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Re: Baldwin Hamilton serial # lookup [Re: BobR1] #2936337 01/20/20 03:24 PM
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Eric Gloo Offline
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Originally Posted by BobR1
Thanks. Will get some detailed pics when I see it.
Do the links not open?


They take me to a sign in page for Google. I signed in, but then get this message: "404. That’s an error. The requested URL was not found on this server. That’s all we know."


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
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Richfield Springs, New York
Re: Baldwin Hamilton serial # lookup [Re: BobR1] #2936339 01/20/20 03:28 PM
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Re: Baldwin Hamilton serial # lookup [Re: BobR1] #2936341 01/20/20 03:31 PM
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ShiroKuro Offline
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I can't open those pictures either, the links open into a 404 error (not found).

Re the pianos, how bad is the case damage/work needed? I only ask because you mentioned it twice and if you're thinking about purchasing the piano and then having the case repaired, I highly recommend not doing that. The reason is because of the age of the piano. IOW, if the case looks bad enough that it bothers you, then you should not purchase this piano.

If the case as-is is not a deal-breaker, the next thing to do is go with your son and have him play the piano. Does you son take lessons, and/or does he have any experience playing acoustic pianos which are in tune and have reasonably nice action? If the answer is yes, then his opinion about this piano will be informative. If the answer is no, then perhaps not.

The problem with an old piano like this is that keeping it in tune and playable maybe cost much more money than the instrument is worth. For this reason, it's always recommended to have the piano evaluate by a professional piano tuner/piano tech. You may be disinclined to pay for that evaluation, given the price of the piano. But remember the condition the piano is in right now may change, especially if there are any significant problems with the piano's structural soundness.

What's the worst case scenario? You pay for the piano ($150), delivery ($100) and a tuning or two ($100/150 x number of tunings) and learn that the piano cannot hold its tune and is unplayable, and then you have to pay ($100) to have the piano removed from your home, and possible pay a landfill fee for disposal ($??). That whole process could end up costing you $500-1000 and several months worth of time.

What is your total budget for an acoustic piano? Could you go as high as $500? $1000? If so, keep looking. If not, go and play the Hamilton with your son and if he likes it, then arrange to have the piano evaluated. Otherwise, decide how much risk you're willing to take on in purchasing a piano that may or may not turn out to be a useful instrument.

Yikes, that all reads much more negatively than I intended! .... Anyway, see if you can get those photos share-able so some of our more experienced members can take a look.

Good luck!

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 01/20/20 03:32 PM.

Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Baldwin Hamilton serial # lookup [Re: BobR1] #2936343 01/20/20 03:35 PM
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ShiroKuro Offline
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Oops! Just saw your new link. Ok, those photos work.

But! Unfortunately, those photos are completely useless in terms of evaluating the piano frown

What you want to know is: How does the keyboard look? Are the keys level? Are there uneven gaps between them? Any key-covers missing?

How do the strings look? Rusted or not? How do the hammers look? Pinblock? Soundboard? Back of the piano? Etc. etc.

Is this being sold by a private seller? Could you get that person to take more photos? Or else, google a YouTube video for how to remove the lid and upper front panel from an upright piano, well actually, also make a note of how to take off the lower front panel. And then go inspect the piano and take those panels off yourself, take a ton of photos and come back here and share them.

Again, good luck!!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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