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Help needed on Baldwin and other new grands!

Posted By: Bilbo

Help needed on Baldwin and other new grands! - 05/25/03 09:47 PM


I am in need of some urgent advice on a new grand piano. I have tried now a number of instruments, so not looking for advice on further options. I have the following 3 pianos I am considering:

(1) A new Baldwin 6'3" L1 grand. This instrument was built in 2001 and is offered by H&H music with a full warranty. They are willing to add their own warranty just in case Baldwin takes another dive. It is in polished black ebony. Price is $22,000. (I think retail is somewhere between $36-40K). I recognise that Baldwin has gone through a host of problems, but the pricing has caught my interest. I have read the Piano Book and know there were some production problems in 1999. I would have this instrument checked out thoroughly by an independent technician, before considering it. I would appreciate any real world experience from the techs here in terms of problems to look for and any specific advice. If I were able to establish through the tech, that there are no obvious problems, what do you think the chances of problems down the road? What problems should I look for? I think it is unlikely I will want to sell this piano in the next 10-20 years, so I am less concerned about holding value.

(2) A new Boston GP-193 6'4" grand. The dealer is still playing tough on price. This instrument retails for ~$29.6K and he is willing to sell it for $23.7K (20% discount). Appreciate any feedback you can offer e.g., price, quality relative to the other pianos, etc.

(3) A new 6'6" Shigeru Kawai grand in black ebony. Not sure retail, but he showed me a 2001 Shigeru Kawai brochure indicating ~$51K. He is willing to sell this at $34.5K and I am still negotiating, so there is perhaps some more downward opportunity on price. (Because this is well over my budget, I told him I would consider it if he could get closer to $30K. Appreciate any feedback you can offer.

I really hope I can get some useful feedback here.

Thanks in advance! Hoping to get some good input especially on the Baldwin, where I know there are risks.

Posted By: TomtheTuner

Re: Help needed on Baldwin and other new grands! - 05/28/03 02:34 AM

Get the kawai. Short term , long term, you'll be far more satisfied
Posted By: ChrisKeys

Re: Help needed on Baldwin and other new grands! - 05/28/03 04:41 AM

Hi Bilbo,

I'm not a piano tech/tuner, but I noticed that you've not received much of a response. So I'd thought I'd give you my opinion. smile

First: I have no experience with Boston pianos, so I have no opinion on them.

Bias alert: I actually own a Baldwin L, though not a new one. Mine was built in 1966. I bought it used (obviously) just last year, and the instrument was not well-maintained. Here's the work I've had done to it: New white key tops (the originals were chipped a bit); new key bushings; new hammers (Abel); complete regulation; voicing (string leveling, hammer prep, etc.); and tuning of course. What I now have is an instrument whose sound is very, very nice indeed.

I don't think all that work would have been required if the piano had been well-maintained. I think a well-maintained Baldwin will hold up quite well over a long time. I think others in this forum who are far more expert than I have the same opinion regarding longevity.

Regarding the Shigeru Kawai: My experience is limited to an extensive "test run" session last summer at a dealer who had three of them: the 6'6", the 7'0" and the 7'6". Of these three I thought only the 7'6" was worth consideration. It was a very nice instrument, but not worth the $58,000 asking price. (Nor worth the $42,000 price the salesman was offering.) The others just did not impress me. For me, the Baldwin L has the better sound (compared to the Shigeru 6'6"). But others will feel just the opposite. I have no idea about the Shigeru's longevity.

Hope this may have helped some.

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