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#10487 08/19/07 08:33 PM
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Of these 2 grand pianos, which would you rather own? At first I thought Yamaha C7, but I am leaning more towards the Baldwin now, due primarily to the C7 perhaps tending to become maybe "too" bright over time - the Baldwin would likely retain the more "warm" American-made piano sound. Please give all opinions. My only concern might be that the Baldwin does not sound as "powerful" (especially in the bass) as the C7. Please give opinions. Thanks!

#10488 08/19/07 08:38 PM
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Also, even though the C7 is very well-made, I think Baldwin is generally thought of as even better made than Yamaha. Would this be a correct assessment?

#10489 08/19/07 08:43 PM
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L1 all the way.


G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
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#10490 08/19/07 09:18 PM
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There is a 1995 Baldwin L1 at Rick Jones Piano (Baltimore/DC area) for around $13,000. Is this a fair price? I have seen them on pianomart.com (usually 1970's to early 1980's models) for between $10,000 and $12,000.. What's a fair price for an L1 in good to excellent condition?

#10491 08/19/07 11:01 PM
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It is a very good deal if you love this particular piano.


Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
#10492 08/20/07 12:31 AM
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The price at Rick Jones sounds real good if the piano checks out OK. But the two pianos you are comparing are so different I'm surprised you like them both. I happen to like them both very much, but I think that may be unusual. They are both very good quality instruments so you won't go wrong either way. good luck... Larry


1995 Baldwin L grand
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#10493 08/20/07 11:51 PM
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Neal1974,

As you pointed out with your concern of the Yamaha voicing changing to brighter over a period of time, that is something that a competent technician can remedy through voicing. ALL pianos become brighter with use and time. Some more so than others....Yamahas are notorius for that. You are 100% correct on that. But again, that is what piano service and voicing is for.

As a technician, the most important thing to consider to me if I were a prospective buyer is the condition of the pinblock.

From my 13 years experience at the Baldwin grand factory as Quality Manager, I was privvy to all warranty concerns. In 13 years and 37,000+ Baldwin grands produced, I replaced, under the 25 year warranty, only 7 (seven) Baldwin 41 ply pinblocks.

The Baldwin 41 ply hard rock maple pinblock is legendary in technician circles as being a tight pinblock for 40, 50 and 60 years and longer.

The same cannot be said of Yamaha pinblocks in general. Yamahas were not pinned as tight as Baldwins in the 80's and 90's when I was in Quality at the Baldwin factory. This makes Yamahas start off looser by usually 50-90 inch/lbs.

That is fine at the beginning but after a piano is 30-40 years old that looseness difference really comes into play concerning tuning stability.

The Yamaha pinblock is not made in the same manner as a Baldwin and with many less plies.

You will always have some Yamaha techssing the praises of Yamaha pinblocks but for your own "Due Diligence", ask techs on this forum or techs in your area which pinblock, Baldwin or Yamaha, will last longer and hold tuning pins tight longer.

The majority answer will be Baldwin.

See my website below.


Barry Bradshaw
Bradshaw Piano Service
Conway, AR.
501-733-9995
barrybradshaw1953@yahoo.com
www.pianosinarkansas.com/bradshaw
Baldwin Quality Control Manager-13 years. Current Steinway technician. Past Baldwin, Wurlitzer dealer. Current Steinway rebuilder. 35 years experience. Important: see my "homepage".
#10494 08/21/07 02:40 PM
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Ok, first of all, I'm a fan of Baldwin pianos. I think that overall, they were and are very solidly built instruments. The design of the Artist Grands reminded me of a tank. I used to joke about if there was ever a tornado or hurricane coming my way, I'd hide under an SF10.

Personally, I don't know Mr. Bradshaw, but looking at his signature, I'm very impressed with his list of qualifications. I'm sure he knows more about pianos than my fifteen years in sales and my hobby as a tuner. That being said, my humble opinion of the post by Mr. Bradshaw concerning pinblocks is that was one of the finest jobs of pure spin I've ever seen.

Listen, Baldwin pinblocks hold up great! It's rare to see a problem on a Baldwin pinblock due to it's design. It does the job. As does the Yamaha design. As does Steinway's (Only seven ply), as does Mason & Hamlin's (only 7 ply), as does Fazioli's (21 ply). The designs of all major brands pinblocks have been proven to last over time. The only times these pianos ever have difficulties with their pinblocks are primarily when they've been mistreated, had water or fire damage, or the wood was still green during construction. (And for the sake of politeness, the green wood is not an issue I'm going to go into at this time).

To sit there and claim that one pinblock is vastly superior to another because of how many plies it has is ludicrous and pure marketing spin. So as long as we're going to use marketing spin, I may as well use some myself.

As many technicians will tell you, the Baldwin 41 ply pinblock is more glue than wood. The technicians in my store (back when we were a Baldwin dealer as well as Yamaha, before we like hundreds of other dealers dropped them) used to jokingly refer to Baldwin's tuning pins as "Accu Crack Tuning Pins" in reference to the cracking noise hear while tuning these pianos due to the glue fibers being broken while tuning. Also, if you look at a sample of the pinblock, you will see that most of the plies of the pinblock are far beyond where they would ever come into contact with the pin.

I could go on, but to do so would be pointless as none of it involves Neal's concerns.

Neal, both the Yamaha and the Baldwin are great choices . I do believe that the C7 will give more power, but the L is one of the most powerful pianos for it's size as well. As far as the brightening of the sound over time, all I can tell you is that while there are many people on this forum that complain incessantly that they feel Yamaha pianos get strident over time, I find it very interesting that older Yamaha grands dominate the used grand piano market. Hence, all of the ruckus regarding grey market pianos. If so many weren't being selected and chosen, there would hardly be any threads about them, instead of the 900,023,567 in the archives. My own opinion is that Yamaha pianos are such a joy to play, that they get played five times more than other pianos over a similar amount of time wink . And as a result, their hammers get alot more wear. Whereas, the owners of pianos such as Steinways, Baldwins, Masons, and others are a little dissapointed in their pianos (subconsciously, of course :p ) and their hammers receive far less use.

The only thing I can suggest is to play the C7's and the Baldwins, and if you prefer the Baldwin, than go for it (after you have an independant tech go over it of course). If you prefer the C7, but are still concerned over the sound over time, then talk to a trusted technician about what steps they can take to ensure that the piano retains the tone you want through the years.

Two final points; the L in question falls during the time period that there were many questions regarding the quality control and was the beginning of the period that many dealers began dropping Baldwin, make sure you have an independant tech go over the piano. Mr. Jones has an excellent reputation regarding service, and if there is an issue with the piano, I'm sure he'll resolve it to your satisfaction, however it can still be a pain to go through the process. Second, why do the smaller pianos of older vintage by Yamaha and Kawai command a higher price on Mr. Jones listings wink .

#10495 08/21/07 10:54 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Neal1974:
Of these 2 grand pianos, which would you rather own? At first I thought Yamaha C7, but I am leaning more towards the Baldwin now, due primarily to the C7 perhaps tending to become maybe "too" bright over time - the Baldwin would likely retain the more "warm" American-made piano sound. Please give all opinions. My only concern might be that the Baldwin does not sound as "powerful" (especially in the bass) as the C7. Please give opinions. Thanks!
Assuming both instruments are in great condition, I would prefer the Baldwin. Both instruments are quality instruments. Both will become brighter over time as the hammers get used, but voicing takes care of that (as others have said).

The Baldwin's bottom-most bass notes won't have the fullness of the C7's. But (also as others have said) the Baldwin L is one gutsy, powerful piano when you call for it. Don't worry about lack of power in the Baldwin; it has plenty! I own one myself and I can vouch for it.

Really, it mostly boils down to which kind of sound you like best. The two are very different. Personally, I prefer the Baldwin's sound to the Yamaha. But you won't go wrong with either instrument.

Chris

#10496 08/22/07 02:47 AM
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Chris what is the "Baldwin sound vs. Yamaha"?


Time's a tickin!
#10497 08/22/07 02:47 AM
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Chris what is the "Baldwin sound vs. Yamaha"?


Time's a tickin!
#10498 08/22/07 11:53 AM
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It's common for pianos from different manufacturers to have different tone characteristics. Thus one would be able to distinguish the sound of Steinway grands from that of Baldwins or M&H or Yamaha, etc.

Tone descriptions have been made before, in many other threads. All fall short because it's impossible to objectively describe "tone" in words. Words like rich, warm, dark, bright, complex don't always convey a common meaning to most people when describing tone.

I prefer the tone of the Baldwins I've tried to that of the Yamaha's I've tried. YMMV. (I'm speaking of well-prepped instruments. No sense in using poorly-prepped pianos as a benchmark.)

Chris

#10499 08/23/07 09:10 AM
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Neal1974,

After reading Luke's Dads post, I would just ask that you do what I suggested in the last paragraph of my post.

I suggested for you to ask techs on this forum and to call techs in your area, preferably not techs on a Baldwin or Yamaha payroll and ask them which pinblock will last longer and hold tuning pins tighter and longer, Yamaha or Baldwin pinblocks.

In my post, I made no mention of "green wood". I do not know where Luke's Dad came up with that.

My point? Don't go by me or Luke's Dad. Do your "Due Diligence" and confirm for yourself.

I am sure Luke's Dad would agree this is a fair way to proceed.


Barry Bradshaw
Bradshaw Piano Service
Conway, AR.
501-733-9995
barrybradshaw1953@yahoo.com
www.pianosinarkansas.com/bradshaw
Baldwin Quality Control Manager-13 years. Current Steinway technician. Past Baldwin, Wurlitzer dealer. Current Steinway rebuilder. 35 years experience. Important: see my "homepage".
#10500 08/24/07 12:09 AM
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Why the heck are we even talking about pinblocks, anyway? Neal never even posted any concerns regarding concerns involving long-term tuning stability. His concerns were whether the Yamaha becomes brighter over time, and whether the Baldwin has enough power for his tastes. Yet you come out of nowhere with this post waxing poetic over Baldwin's 41 ply pinblock, and subtly (or not so subtly) implying that Yamaha pinblocks don't hold up over time. That's spin, and quite frankly, poor salesmanship. And while I may not be as proficient a technician as you, I do know salesmanship quite well. You are attempting it again by trying to reduce my entire post down to a sentence about "Green Wood", without putting it into context of the rest of my post.

#10501 08/24/07 11:43 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Neal1974:
Also, even though the C7 is very well-made, I think Baldwin is generally thought of as even better made than Yamaha. [b]Would this be a correct assessment? [/b]
No.

Yamahas are very consistent. Baldwins have been very inconsistent in my experience.

But buy the specific instrument you like, not the brand. "Well made" vs. not should be an argument left for the salespeople. Either piano can give you 3+ decades of service. So just focus on finding the piano you like to play on.

#10502 08/26/07 12:54 AM
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I played Baldwin L1 today - was not at all impressed compared to C7 - actually went to Rick Jones Piano today - out of all the pianos (in my budget) the good ol' C7 stood out once again - I did like the 9'2" Schimmel, but that is WAY out of my budget. I could easily be happy with the C7.

#10503 08/26/07 01:51 AM
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Neal -

The Yamaha C7 is an excellent piano. I take lessons on one, and it is just plain inspiring to play. The C7 I've played doesn't seem bright or incisive at all; it has a smooth action and a rich tone.

The Baldwin L1 is a 6'3" piano, more than a foot shorter than a Yamaha C7 (7'4" or 7'6", depending on the year it was made). Owing to its larger size, the Yamaha has more potential, especially after thorough prep work.

My opinion: If you have the space to accommodate it, trust your senses, buy that C7, and don't look back. If it seems too bright once it's in your home, get a piano tech to voice it down.


Colin Dunn
#10504 08/26/07 01:59 AM
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Had a Baldwin L from the early 90s for 10 years. It does have a booming sound, but had trouble with the hammers getting very hard and after numerous voicings was looking at having to replace the hammers.... so get the c7 as you can have voicing problems with the Baldwin too as it ages.


Maxx
#10505 08/26/07 02:09 AM
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I'm sure a Baldwin D, 1974 model 9' Concert Grand would be worth checking out. It should have the powerful bass I am looking for, right? Check out this deal on pianomart.com and give opinions:

http://www.pianomart.com/ViewAds.aspx?type=1&manufacturer=5&piano=4967

#10506 08/26/07 02:14 AM
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It's hard to give an opinion. It could be a great piano and a good deal, or it could be a bust. Without being able to physically go over the piano, and have a technician try it out, it's impossible to say.

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