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Joined: Dec 2018
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I have an interesting piano story to share. I recently was scouting the internet for information on Baldwin R 5’2” pianos and couldn’t find anything so I thought I would post this here in case one day someone runs into a similar situation.

This week I purchased what I was told is a Baldwin R 5’8” grand piano built in 1990. I loved the piano in the store. I thought the feel and sound were superior to the Yamaha 5’8” piano next to it in the store. I glanced at the serial number on my way to check out and it was R293297. The receipt indicated a Baldwin R 5’8” piano with the correct serial number.

The piano was delivered to my home the next day. I had measured exactly how much of the room the piano should take up in advance. As soon as the piano was delivered I knew something was up. It didn’t take up the space I thought so I got out a measuring tape. The piano measured from center of tail to the key front at 5’2”. As I’m looking at the plate near the tail I notice raised lettering that isn’t printed but rather part of the original casted plate that says M2.

I find no evidence of serial number tampering neither directly or by somehow removing the plate and repainting the whole thing. I also found a serial number underneath the piano that is the same with no evidence of tampering. Rather than tampering I thought most likely Baldwin later renamed a smaller piano an R but can’t find anything about this in a search.

So I contact Baldwin (and the piano dealer I bought it from of course). The piano dealer is baffled. I show him pictures and he shows his technicians. They are baffled.

There are a few small other details in there but the long and short is that based on the response I got from Baldwin, this is a 5’2” M2 model piano. It was built in 1991 and not restored or tampered with. It is the length of the piano that determines the model regardless of serial number stamping. The serial number is authentic and the piano was mistakenly stamped at the factory as an R model.

So for someone down the line in a similar predicament, I am sharing this... A serial number indicating a Baldwin R piano may not actually be an R model. Depending on the time period you may not see other obvious identifying markings and so to be certain you must measure the piano yourself. If you ever find a Baldwin R 5'2" piano, you have actually found an M model piano.

The dealer who sold it was in awe. He was helpful and provided a partial refund because the piano was shorter than expected. (Seeing as how I really like the piano and wanted to keep it.)

My web browser is going crazy. I will try and add pictures as follow up comments. Right now pictures are failing.

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Mistakes are made sometimes, even in the factory. The "R" probably is one.


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Obviously, there is no 5'2" R. Either this was a factory mistake, or someone at some point intentionally did this. The latter seems unlikely.

Mistakes happen, but I have never heard of this one, nebbinamak.

Enjoy the piano though. A 1991 Baldwin M is a nice piano.


Rich Galassini
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Yeah the saving grace on this is that I really love the piano, which made the whole situation easier.

Here is a link to the images on Imgur:

Baldwin M2 5'2" Piano, stamped as Baldwin R 5'8" model.

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It does seem a little odd that the dealer would never have noticed the large "M" stamped into the tail end of the plate, since they are on all Baldwin models. However, the Baldwin M was one of the best small grands ever made, and since the dealer made it right with a price reduction, I, as a customer, would be fine with that.

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Originally Posted by nebinnamak
I really love the piano

Congratulations, and welcome to the Baldwin M club! thumb


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“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!



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I think that one of the great things about the Baldwin M is now little space it takes up and how full it still sounds. It's quite telling that you thought it sounded comparable to a 5'8" Yamaha. I'd just consider it a bonus that an instrument you love leaves you a little extra space in your house. I know that's one of the things I love about mine.


Peter
1949 Baldwin M
currently working on Brahms op. 10 Ballades, f-minor sonata and 2nd concerto
Mendelssohn Songs Without Words and E minor Prelude and Fugue
whatever strikes my fancy today.

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