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Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
#3052522 12/03/20 04:45 PM
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I now have a Baldwin SD-10A from 1972 and loving it. I had some work done on it late last year, including installing all new strings, which are settling in nicely. I'm a fan.

I still haven't figured out what the "A" in SD-10A indicates. Anyone know about that? (There is also an SD-10B, and a plain SD-10.)

SD-10s have a big sound and have been the "go-to" pianos for numerous major artists over the years. I would imagine that many SD-10s have a rich history on artist tours and at universities, concert halls, etc, before finding their way to homes.

Does YOUR Baldwin SD-10 have a story? This is a new thread to talk about the Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, sound, tuning, re-stringing and accu-just hitch pins, voicing for jazz vs classical, etc.

Last edited by ByronBrown; 12/03/20 04:47 PM.
Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052530 12/03/20 05:02 PM
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We don't have too many regulars with SD's, so I hope they will see this and chime in.
What's the story of yours?
The recording studio in my undergrad what I recall was a rebuilt SD6 in it for a while (on loan), and I seem to remember that piano fondly.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052598 12/03/20 07:45 PM
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I wish I knew its story. I'm a little surprised that something originally valued at much more than any of the cars I'll ever own doesn't have a history that is passed along with it. Or that company records of the serial number couldn't show at least where its first home was. I suppose if Billy Joel or someone actually played it, maybe that would be noted.

Thanks for replying! It seems like you have made good use of this forum over the years!

When we moved back to Maryland after being overseas for a couple decades one of the things I wanted to do once we settled in was to enjoy a grand piano. During my college years nearly all of the pianos available on campus . . . in dorm lounges, dance studios, etc. . . . were large Baldwin or Steinway grands. And until we got this SD-10, it was a rare thing over the last forty-some years to have access to such a piano. The SD-10 is a bit of overkill I suppose. But it is fun. And I am drawn to it (working from home) throughout the day. When we got it I also hoped to host casual evenings around the piano with guest performers . . . but not too long afterwards the pandemic kicked in.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052672 12/03/20 10:43 PM
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I suspect the designators at the end signify subtle scale differences over time. On the models with alpha character designators, the extra bit is numeric. For example, there's the original M, then M1, M2 etc. Same model, but with slight scale changes. Perhaps on the models with numeric names (SF-10, SD-10, etc) the extra designator is alphabetic. I'm just speculating, but suspect that the basic model is the same.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052673 12/03/20 10:45 PM
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The only PW member I know of off the top of my head who has an SD-10 is Dr. Rogers.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052684 12/03/20 11:12 PM
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I have never owned and SD-10, but I have played several of them over the years. There were 3 that I played very often. My favorite piano (one of the 3) is a 1972 as well. It's a really power, yet sweet piano. This particular one as one that Liberace really considered for his personal piano right after the SD-10 was introduced to the market. It was in a large seat auditorium that hosted many performers. I have never talked to anyone who has played this particular piano that didn't love it. The venue hosted many artists over the years that travel with their own pianos. Every time, they chose to use the SD-10 once they played it. The venue was closed and demolished years ago. A local church in the area purchased the piano. We visited the church while back in the area this Fall. The piano sounded magnificent. It has never had any major rebuilding work -- just regulation and voicing from time to time.

Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Retsacnal #3052690 12/03/20 11:51 PM
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Retsacnal . . . Hmmm, I think your speculation is probably on the mark. Nothing else ... like a designation about where it was manufactured, or the introduction of the accu-just innovation, etc, really made sense.

I hope to hear from Dr. Rogers.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052693 12/03/20 11:58 PM
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GC13 . . . Thank you for your reflections on the SD-10! Much appreciated. Funny that your favorite was from 1972. I wonder how many were made in 1972, or in the 1960s and 1970s.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052695 12/04/20 12:06 AM
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I have an SD10 from the 70s. I don't know anything about the A and B, but I love the piano.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052792 12/04/20 10:11 AM
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piano411 . . . Have you ever made any adjustments to the accu-just pins in order to tweak the sound? Or is that done only when strings are changed?


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052798 12/04/20 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ByronBrown
piano411 . . . Have you ever made any adjustments to the accu-just pins in order to tweak the sound? Or is that done only when strings are changed?

This is just my opinion on the accu-just rear hitch pins on the latter model Baldwins, but I don't think there are many piano technicians out there who routinely make adjustments to the downbearing of the strings on the bridge using the accu-just hitch pins. It was a specific Baldwin design, (patented?) but I think it was more of a marketing tool than a practical servicing procedure.

Yes, it would allow a technician to make downbearing adjustments on the bridge (if they knew what they were doing), whereas the standard rear hitch pins do not. I suppose you could say it is a nice option to have, if you ever actually needed it.

Again, just my opinion.

Rick


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052817 12/04/20 11:25 AM
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Thanks, Rick. That is my impression as well . . . the accu-just pins are there, but don't know anyone (yet) that is really familiar with taking advantage of the option. I suppose somewhere there are instructions for the technician for setting them at factory standards when re-stringing, etc.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052839 12/04/20 01:16 PM
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In the early 70s Interlochen had a warm family connection with the Brubeck clan and an SD-10 that was one of the best pianos I've ever played, there or anywhere else.

An area college where I now play regularly has a D on the concert hall stage but an SD-10 in one of the large rehearsal rooms. The SD-10 is brighter, but for some material sometimes I wish I could push the SD-10 into the concert hall and use it instead of the D.

Larry.

Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052886 12/04/20 03:26 PM
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Yes, I've done a lot of work and research into adjusting the accu-just pins. Basically, it better helped me understand the downbearings effect on the system as a whole. A lot of people talk about downbearing, but honestly, it is not all it is cracked up to be. A slight positive bearing is what you want. The tone or sustain doesn't really change. The biggest effect is on the tuning when the downbearing is out of whack. The strings tend not to move as easily in the back section.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052956 12/04/20 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron Brown
GC13 . . . Thank you for your reflections on the SD-10! Much appreciated. Funny that your favorite was from 1972. I wonder how many were made in 1972, or in the 1960s and 1970s.

I'm sure someone will correct me, but it's my understanding that the SD-10 was introduced in the early 1970's. The connection on the 1972 I mentioned and Liberace was that he was in the factory to pick out his 1st SD-10 when he played this particular one. It happened just a few days before the group selecting our SD-10 made their visit.

The back story to the SD-10 is that Baldwin owned Bechstein at the time. Baldwin designers took queues from the Bechstein designs when redesigning the concert grand (SD-10) and semi-concert grand (SF-10). These were the 1st Baldwins to use Renner actions and hammers according to what I've been told.

I'm very positive that the ones produced in 1972 were built in Cincinnati. I'm not sure when production moved to Arkansas. Many of the Baldwin grands I've played that were build after the late 1970's have been nice instruments, but not on the same level as the older ones.

Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052973 12/04/20 06:38 PM
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FWIW, my understanding* is that the SD-10 and SF-10 were introduced about 1965.

And if memory serves, part of the design changes from SD-6 to SD-10 included the accu-just hitch pins.

*from reading--not first hand knowledge. Sadly, a lot of Baldwin history is lost to time.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3052976 12/04/20 06:46 PM
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Found a good thread: Questions on Baldwin SD6, SD10.

It includes this:

Originally Posted by curry
Oh my. Lots of differences between an SD-6 and SD-10.
Lets see. The SD-10 was introduced in 1965. It has a newly patented forward termination means(patent #3,477,331), accu-just hitch pin arrangement(patent # 3,478,635),mounting string plate(patent# 3,437,000), vertically laminated treble bridge. They also utilized their patented 41 ply pinblock(patent#2,736,224) which was used in the SD-10, but also incorporated into some of the SD-6's from it's inception in 1956.
The SD-6 had a duplex scale utilizing rear aliquots like Steinway and others, and the traditional front duplex segments. It's treble wire scale was also different than the SD-10. The sound board and rib layout was also a bit different, I believe back then Baldwin called the rim and case their patented acoustic body.
That's all I can remember.


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3053051 12/04/20 09:52 PM
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Hey, thanks for sharing that thread. A lot of great insights today.

Would have loved to have heard Liberace on an SD-10. or Dave Brubeck.

Interesting to know that an SD-10 from 1972 was manufactured in Cincinnati before the move to Arkansas. Would Gibson have all of this history?


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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3053327 12/05/20 03:55 PM
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So there are scaling differences ..pay attention there’s gonna be a test!.
* Baldwin D. SD-SD-6 9’0” does not have vertical Acu -Just hitch pins.
* Both the Baldwin SD-10 and SD-10B and the model SD-10A have vertical Acu-Just hitch pins.
* The stringing differences between the SD-10 /SD -10B and the SD 10-A are the former has 10 notes strung with size #19 wire the latter has 15 notes with that same #19 wire, then the former has 5 notes at #20 wire and 4 notes at #21 wire while the latter has 2 notes at #20 and # 2 notes at #21.
All other stringing wire gauges from high treble down to these last 19 notes is identical.

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Re: Baldwin SD-10 . . . its history, quirks, and great sound!
Byron Brown #3053386 12/05/20 06:05 PM
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The SD/SD-6 scales have a lot of differences from the SD-10A/B.


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