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Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
#2999558 07/06/20 06:35 PM
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Looking to purchase first grand piano for my lovely wife. We had an opportunity to look at a piano through a realtor - the owners are not available. It is labeled as a Chickering by Baldwin. It is a 6 foot grand in a natural finish. The model is CH176 with a serial number of 77558. Full model sticker says CH176CHY. Found a sticker underneath that says “Made in Korea” and small print says “Samick Co.” Trying to identify build year and approximate value - appears to be in excellent condition from visual and playing inspection - but plan to have an inspection prior.

In checking all the serial number sites I could not find a reference to these under any of the manufacturers sites.

Any experience with these instruments? Is it fair to compare to other Samick Grands? Or does the Chickering or Baldwin involvement change any of the internals?

Thank you

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Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #2999700 07/07/20 12:42 AM
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Well, here's a start......

Chickering was established in 1823 by Jonas Chickering and James Stewart in Boston, Massachusetts. The partnership of the Stewart & Chickering firm dissolved a few years later. By 1830 Jonas Chickering became partners with John Mackay, manufacturing pianos as Chickering & Company, and later Chickering & Mackay until 1841. In 1852 Jonas' 3 sons entered the firm and the named changed to
Chickering & Sons. Jonas passed away in 1853. By 1908 the company was sold to the Aeolian Corp. of New York, and later this merged into the Aeolian-American piano company in 1932. The Chickering plant located in East Rochester, NY was closed in 1982, and Chickering was sold to the Wurlitzer Piano Co.,
with pianos manufactured for them in Korea, by Samick. Baldwin then purchased the Wurlitzer & Chickering names in 1994. Along with Samick, Baldwin also manufactured Chickering grand pianos from 1994 to 2001. In 2002, Baldwin was purchased by the Gibson musical instrument company. Chickering grands were then made in Korea, by Samick, for Baldwin/Gibson,
and then in China in 2006 by the Sejung Co. according to Baldwin specifications, using Baldwin and Chickering plate and scale designs. Baldwin's Chickering line discontinued in the USA in 2008.


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Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #2999703 07/07/20 01:10 AM
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The serial number is consistent with serial numbers of Samick pianos built around 1986-87. However,that doesn't make sense since Baldwin purchased the Chickering name in 1994 - and the piano you are considering has the Baldwin name on it. The Baldwin built Chickerings from 1994 to 2001 didn't have the greatest reputation. Since the piano also has stickers mentioning mentions Korea and Samick, "perhaps" the piano was built by Samick for Baldwin between 2002 and 2006. Too bad the owners can't be contacted for further clarification.


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Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #2999768 07/07/20 07:08 AM
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To answer your question.

Don't pay too much for it and look for something better.

Steve

Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #2999776 07/07/20 07:35 AM
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The other thing to add, which you’ve already heard unless you’re new here, is that you should have it evaluated by an independent (i.e. someone you pay) piano tech.

You want to know if it has any problems that would need expensive repairs, you want to know if it will hold its tune etc.

If you don’t mind, let us know where you are (or at least whether you’re in the US) and how much the seller is asking for it.

Either way, good luck!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
ShiroKuro #2999811 07/07/20 09:49 AM
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Thank you all for the help. The piano is in the Phoenix area and they are asking $5000. Found the local store that sold it to the current owners about 2 years ago. Going to try to talk with them for more details.

Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #2999830 07/07/20 11:03 AM
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Years ago I almost bought a Samick made "D. H. Baldwin" as my first grand piano (didn't really know any better at the time). It was a private sale and I technically bought the piano, but the deal fell through. I looked at the piano on a weekend, and agreed to buy it. I offered to write the seller a check for the full amount ($3000, his asking price) until I could hire movers to move the piano, but he wanted cash.

So, I paid the seller a $100 earnest money (all the cash I had on me at the time) and agreed to bring the cash balance and pay him before the movers touched the piano the following week. The next day, (on a Sunday) the seller calls and backs out of the deal and offers my earnest money back, even though we had agreed, and he wrote me a bill of sale. He did give me a bogus excuse/reason for his change of mind, but about a week later, the piano was back on Craigslist for sale for $1500 more money, ($4500). I guess he thought he was selling it too cheap and would rather make up a bogus story rather than just tell me the truth.

However, looking back, that was huge blessing in disguise.

As for the Baldwin made Chickerings, I'm not so sure they have a bad reputation. The Technical College where I worked for many years had one of the small, 4'10" Chickerings that was donated to the college, and purchased brand new from a local Baldwin dealer at the time. It was actually a Baldwin with the Chickering name on the fallboard (in contrast to the current "Fake piano" thread running now:-). It had the proprietary Baldwin adjustable rear hitch pins on the plate, and was everybit a US made Baldwin baby grand. And, it played nice and sounded good for such a small baby grand. Over the years working at the technical college, I had the opportunity to play it many times. Not a bad little piano at all.

Getting back to the Samick made Chickering, I think every individual piano deserves its own analysis rather than putting all of one make/model in the same basket, but if it is a mid 1980s Samick, it would have to be in pristine condition to be worth $5K, at least in my view. If made in the mid 1990s that might change the equation on price a bit. But in the end, a piano is worth what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller willing to sell for...

If you all really like the piano, I'll bet there is room for some price negotiations. Also, I would suggest that you have the piano evaluated by a qualified piano tech before any money changes hands.

Welcome to Piano World, good luck, and keep us informed!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #2999833 07/07/20 11:11 AM
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Samick actions have a very common defect in the action centers. They are not sized and pinned with proper quality control and many start seizing. The seizing often doesn't manifest itself into a fully stuck key until the piano is played for a while. The only sure remedy is to inspect and test every action center. Not a cheap fix.

This problem reduces the value considerably.


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Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #2999876 07/07/20 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephen L.
Thank you all for the help. The piano is in the Phoenix area and they are asking $5000. Found the local store that sold it to the current owners about 2 years ago. Going to try to talk with them for more details.
Please let us know what they tell you.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
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Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #2999909 07/07/20 01:32 PM
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One way to think about whether something is priced appropriately is to compare it, so if you haven't already, check out Craigslist, FB Marketplace etc. in your area, and also PianoMart:
https://www.pianomart.com/

On PianoMart, you can compare similarly sized pianos, compare by age and so on. Again, with a used piano, condition is the key, so comparing a piano you've actually seen in person to ones you can only see online has its limitations. But it can still teach you a lot.

The other thing is to google "piano tuners in Phoenix" and see if you can find someone who can evaluate the instrument for you.

Did your wife play the piano? What did she think of it?


Started piano June 1999.
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Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #3000384 07/08/20 07:13 PM
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Stephen L - a very lovely excuse for you’re checking Piano World because your wife plays piano and you want her to have a good piano in your home. If no one else tells you this, I just want you to know that is very thoughtful and kind.

I’ll ask specifically: what is your budget? how much room do you have? Does you wife prefer upright or grand? Is your wife the only one who plays?

Used pianos are a much better value but you absolutely need an independent piano technician to inspect the piano. Buying used also requires a lot more research and you have to go to different locations for private sales.

Best Wishes on your research and purchase. I have a feeling your wife will be delighted when she finds “her” piano.


J & J
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Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #3001566 07/11/20 04:32 PM
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Thank you again to everyone - this is a great forum.

We heard back from the seller, but they just action as an agent in the deal and did not have any history on the instrument.

She played it and loved the warm sound (still prefers a brighter Yamaha) and playability. It was for decoration in the home and had not been tuned. Neither of the home owners play. She liked the natural wood over all the ‘ebony’ choices, but not so much the ‘French Provincial’ style. And the 6 foot length is pushing it for the space we have planned compared to some of the yamaha’s we have checked out.

So - it appears we are going to pass and keep looking. I will comb thru the forum a bit for recommendations on baby grands that suit her wants a bit closer.

Re: Chickering Baldwin Samick - ID & Value?
Stephen L. #3003302 07/16/20 11:04 AM
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I think 176 cm is right about 5’9”. A bit shorter than 6’ but still a nice sized piano.

Can’t say for price but I have friends with Samick made pianos from the late 80’s and early 90’s that have held up very nicely. These are in coastal Southern California with ideal year round climate. I’m sure a piano in Phoenix would hold up just as well.

One thing bothersome to me is white or ivory Samick pianos seem to discolor unpleasantly over time.


former piano tuner/tech

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