Hi, my name is Retsacnal, and I'm a piano-holic ...
I'm almost embarrassed to admit that there are now four Baldwins in my home. Piano Acquisition Syndrome
Over in this thread
I joked recently about having 3, but that there was more coming to the story. The fact is that I had already committed to buy a 1972 Baldwin R, and it was delivered Friday afternoon!
In my own defense, just like with the Hamilton plan (replacing the consolette), there's sort of a method to my madness here too. My M is in good shape, and for sentimental reasons I'll never let it go, but I'd like to clean it up and re-polish the old finish, etc. So, I thought we could play this one, and then there'd be no pressure to rush on the other. And I assume I can re-sell the R when the M is done.
I tried to get the movers to take the consolette -- to keep the high-water count at three -- but they weren't interested. The Piano
I had seen it on Craigslist for a too-good-to-be-true price, but the ad didn't mention the model. It looked like an M in the pictures, but I was surprised to see that it was actually an R.
The ad didn't even say the usual "just needs tuning," but a rather candid "has a broken key" (and it did--G7--plus a of couple sticky ones). Anyway, it was close to campus, and something told me to go see it, and I'm glad I did. Although it needed a little work, I basically bought it on the spot.
To be honest, I would not have considered an R for an "upgrade," because I thought an R would basically be an M with only six more inches of length. An L, perhaps, because they're 13 inches longer. I really was a thinking of this as a low-risk "loaner" while I work on our family piano. Delivery
I asked the movers to put the M in the basement where I can work on it at my leisure, and the R into the M's usual location.
Right away I was reminded by the R's tone that my M needs voicing.
The M has gotten a little bright.
Ironically, I was able to play them side-by-side for a few minutes. I had assumed they'd move the M downstairs first, and then the R in -- since I wanted it in the same spot -- but because a lot of their equipment was in use on other pianos in their truck, they brought the R in and set it up before breaking down the M to move downstairs. The six inches do make a difference in the bass. And the R's action is a smidge heavier.
I had the action out yesterday to inspect a little closer, and also vacuumed out the inside. There were a number of Sweet Tarts candies inside, plus a couple tootsie pop style sticks. After cleaning it out, it actually sounds a little better too, particularly in the treble, so perhaps the hammer strike line was affected by something jammed in there.
The "broken key" seems to be due the jack not resetting properly (if I reset it by hand it works fine the next strike), but I'm relatively new to action work.
Anyway, I had thought we'd use this one temporarily, but it's actually a pretty nice piano. TLDR
: The short-term plan is to get down to 2 pianos: 1 baby grand and 1 upright. I thought the R was cheap enough to fix and use while I refinish our M at my own tortoise and the hare
pace, but the R is a surprisingly nice piano.
The 1972 Baldwin R sits in my 1950 Baldwin M's usual spot.