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Posted By: Pedram123 1969 Baldwin R - 05/30/19 04:32 PM
Hey everyone,

I have been searching for the right grand piano for a while now and nearly was sold on a Hamilton grand but thanks to advice from you guys and my gut feeling I decided not to purchase it. So the search went on...

And recently I came across a 1969 Baldwin R (5’8) for $5500 from a reputable piano rebuilder/refurbishing company. The instrument is all original and although you can tell it’s 50 years old, it plays very very nicely and sounds beautiful. To me it played better than majority of steinways and Yamahas that I tried including the ones they have at the Steinway dealer here in Miami. I had a tech go over the instrument and he said he doesn’t expect any major work or problems for at least another 10 years. The hammers are barely grooved and looking at the action it looks to be in great condition for a piano that old. So I’m almost sold on it and honestly fell in love with the instrument. The action is as close to perfect as it can get, the keytops are in perfect condition. Of course I would have to make sure humidity doesn’t wreck this thing and fortunately my wife is so sensitive to heat and humidity that we run the AC in a tight range of temperatures at all times so I’m hoping with a damp chaser and regular care and maintenance the piano will last me a long time.

May sound stupid, but since you guys are much more informed than I am, does anyone have any reservations regarding Baldwin pianos from this time? Sorry if this topic has been beaten to death, I’m just really excited and in love with the instrument. Does the price concern anyone? Is it suspiciously low (asking because I’ve seen Baldwin’s from around that era for higher prices as well..)

Anyways, thank you for your help!
Posted By: tend to rush Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 05/30/19 04:45 PM
Google "Pianoworld Baldwin R" to read the raves. (Google's probably better than the built-in search, no offense to management.) And as to the year, they were fine, then.
Posted By: Retsacnal Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 05/30/19 04:52 PM
I wouldn't worry about the age if your technician says it's ok. My own Baldwin is from 1950.

You say its at a reputable rebuilder...will there be a warranty provided? Delivery? First in-home tuning? (These are the types of services/extras dealers usually offer.)

Is the rebuilder a different person than your technician (i.e. Unbiased)?

Condition is more important than age. If an unbiased technician gives it a clean bill of health, it sounds like a reasonable price.
Posted By: Pedram123 Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 05/30/19 05:05 PM
Yes they offer delivery as well as in home tuning after the piano adjusts to the new environment. They also provide a one year warranty as well. The technician was independent of the dealer and the company. They showed me their factory. They are a 4th generation concert tuners/technicians and they also do the delivery in house ie they take responsibility for everything. Honestly I played so many different pianos over the past few weeks and been told so many stories that turned out to be false once I actually saw the piano. And so many dealers who were hesitant to show me the action and the hammers. These guys were very straight forward with me, they took the action and parts out to show me everything the first time I visited them and then allowed my tech to also do the same. What I liked was that they didn’t “hover” over my tech when he was inspecting the instrument they left him alone to do his thing unlike some other dealers. So these things gave me some peace of mind.
Posted By: dogperson Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 05/30/19 05:12 PM
Sounds like a winner!!! 3hearts 3hearts

Don’t forget to post pictures when it gets home
Posted By: Rickster Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 05/30/19 05:30 PM
Originally Posted by Pedram123
And so many dealers who were hesitant to show me the action and the hammers. These guys were very straight forward with me, they took the action and parts out to show me everything the first time I visited them and then allowed my tech to also do the same.

Sounds like you may have found something that will work for you. That's Great!

Some people don't like Baldwin because it's Baldwin. But their pianos have been liked and prefered by some very famous pianists/artists. That in itself has to mean something.

I have a newer Baldwin R from the late 1990s (1999) that I like a lot. It looks good, sounds good and plays good to me, yet I've been told it has a "Mexican" action is not a good piano. Well, that may be true, but I like it. I figure that is what really matters the most, to me anyway. smile

Some here will tell you there is no way the piano could possibly be completely rebuilt and sold for that low a price, when a good rebuild alone will cost $30K. I'm not a pro and have no idea about all that, but if your technician spoke highly of the condition and you like it, the piano is certainly not over-priced, even if it was just partially rebuilt/refurbished. Again, the terms "rebuilt" or "refurbished" are hugely vague and generalized terms that can mean very different things to different people.

Bottom line, if you like it and want it, buy it and enjoy it to the fullest!! Worse case scenario, if for some reason it turns out you don't like it, you could always sell it for somewhere close to what you paid, hopefully. Fact is, when it comes to pianos, there are no absolute absolutes, in my view. smile

Good luck!

Rick
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 05/30/19 05:42 PM
Sounds like you've done your homework and have found the right piano for you. Enjoy!
Posted By: Peter K. Mose Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 05/31/19 04:31 AM
My first grand was this Baldwin model, purchased new in 1973 in Chicago. It was a fine instrument with a responsive action, and served me well until I sold it in favor of a 7-foot German grand. I paid $3500US, and sold it in 1986 in Toronto for double or triple what I had paid.

My guess is that little work was needed to be done to it, hence the reasonable price. If you are in love, and the sellers are piano techs who seem honorable, and your own tech has pronounced it healthy, isn't it time to just find your checkbook? I think this piano has your name on it!

Posted By: Pedram123 Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 05/31/19 12:36 PM
Looking for the checkbook as we speak!

Thank you guys for the help/encouragement. Seems like I’ve found my piano. Will post pictures once it’s in my home!
Posted By: MSnow Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/01/19 10:56 PM
You have received much good information, for my 33 years as Head Piano Tech. at Boston University School of Music many of our pianos in the practice modules were Baldwin grands including several model R, they were a little newer than the model you are thinking to purchase, but nonetheless this is a very good piano, structurally sound, mechanically very responsive, good tone and for the most part very stable tunings.
Posted By: randymerk Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/12/19 01:30 AM
My parents bought me a 1968 Baldwin R new. Beautiful piano with that great Baldwin sound. In a hurricane in 1972 (Corpus Christi, TX) it got soaked when the living room windows smashed in. Insurance company paid for a new piano and then sold it back to us for a nominal amount. We dried it out and it was fine except for a little unevenness in the sound board. Kept the piano until about two years ago and only had to do some work on the action and voicing after about 40 years. What a well-built piano to survive that. And it always kept that great Baldwin sound!
Posted By: j&j Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/12/19 01:52 PM
Nice Baldwin’s have that distinctive wonderful sound, don’t they? It’s clear but warm. It works for classical, jazz, ballads, and pop. Pretty recognizable. I sometimes watch Living Pianos when Robert Estrin demonstrates the Baldwin’s. Silly I guess but always a treat.
Posted By: GC13 Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/12/19 02:01 PM
Originally Posted by j&j
Nice Baldwin’s have that distinctive wonderful sound, don’t they? It’s clear but warm. It works for classical, jazz, ballads, and pop. Pretty recognizable. I sometimes watch Living Pianos when Robert Estrin demonstrates the Baldwin’s. Silly I guess but always a treat.


I enjoy his videos too. wink Just like I enjoy the ones from Brigham Larson, and Cunningham Pianos. I just enjoy listening and learning about pianos. In my book, kudos to all of those who are working in the piano industry to keep it alive.
Posted By: Pedram123 Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/12/19 06:33 PM
So they piano was just delivered and it looks beautiful. It’s slightly out of tune which is expected but the actions seems somewhat noisy and it wasn’t that way in the showroom. I’m assuming this is from the move itself. They told me once a technician comes over in a few weeks he can regulate the action so that it doesn’t make noise. Let’s hope so! But otherwise I’m so happy!!

[img]https://ibb.co/88j2dg8[/img]

[img]https://ibb.co/TYbTCYb[/img]

[img]https://ibb.co/j6mV9Rt[/img]
Posted By: j&j Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/12/19 07:05 PM
Congratulations on your piano! The little things settle down after a few weeks, and whatever little annoyances remain your piano tech can adjust. I wish you the best on your piano journey!
Posted By: dogperson Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/12/19 08:32 PM
Congrats on the gorgeous piano!!! And don’t worry about the blips..., it is expected to need adjusting
Please a recording after your tech visit
Posted By: Rickster Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/12/19 10:22 PM
Congratulations on your new-to-you Baldwin R grand piano! I love the ebony satin finish!

Nice pics, by-the-way...

Enjoy! smile

Rick
Posted By: NobleHouse Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/13/19 12:24 AM
Nice looking piano. Congrats!
Posted By: Retsacnal Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/13/19 03:35 AM
Congratulations!
Posted By: GC13 Re: 1969 Baldwin R - 06/13/19 12:44 PM
Congrats on the new-to-you-piano! Having a new piano brings it's on excitement and energy to a home. Enjoy!!
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