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#104900 - 11/21/08 05:19 PM Baldwin grand models - history?
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2099
There are some Baldwin grands in my area that I'm thinking of taking a look at and I'm trying to figure out what all the models of sub-6' grands Baldwin made.

I know the following:

R - 5'8"
M - 5'2"

But one of the grands I will look at is 5'6-1/2" from the '20's; it's here: http://www.hardyspiano.com/sales.html

And here's one listed as 5'6" (just for reference since this is too far away for me):

In another thread, Rich Galassini says the best Baldwin was the G, which is discontinued -- I guess this was ALSO 5'8" judging by this link:

Amazingly I've also seen ads for a 5'8" Baldwin model A, and here's a 5'8" model E:

Did they really make so many different 5'8" grands (R, G, and E, plus some other 5'6" model)? Anyone know any history? Anyone know which are the best ones, or which to avoid?

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#104901 - 11/23/08 01:22 PM Re: Baldwin grand models - history?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA

#104902 - 11/23/08 02:09 PM Re: Baldwin grand models - history?
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3770
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
Older models. E 5'8". G, R-ST 5'6"-5'8".
The R 5'8"
The M, SA 5'2"
The C 5'7".
The B,B1 4'10".
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.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

#104903 - 11/23/08 09:34 PM Re: Baldwin grand models - history?
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2099
Thanks. I just looked up the C and someone here has it as 5'4":


If I take a look at the 5'6-1/2" I'll post what it turns out to be here.

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#104904 - 11/23/08 10:44 PM Re: Baldwin grand models - history?
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1274
Loc: Tomball, Texas
We have had a model A in the family for 45 years. It is 5'6" or thereabouts. I rebuilt a model H which was 5'8". I rebuilt a model C (6'2") that was a predecessor to the model L and has the same stringing scale.

#104905 - 11/23/08 11:19 PM Re: Baldwin grand models - history?
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2099
Summary (taking John Pels' word for the C since he rebuilt one) :

A - about 5'6"
H - 5'8"
R - 5'8" (still production)
R-ST - 5'6-8"
E - 5'8" (very old model)
G - 5'8"

M - 5'2" (still production)
C - 6'2"
B - 4'10"
L - 6'3" (still production)

#104906 - 11/24/08 10:50 AM Re: Baldwin grand models - history?
NoctuGranes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/07
Posts: 285
Loc: Northeast USA
Yep, the 'C' I'm having rebuilt is 6'2".

There's also the F, which became the SF around 1970-72 range (7-footer).

I never heard much about 'avoiding' any model until the mid 80's or even 90's. But I don't hear much of _anything_ about Baldwin on here. I like them (obviously, I'm having one rebuilt). I'd love to hear. But skip anything bad about the C for the time being :-)
Not in the piano business.
1906 Baldwin C rebuilt 2008

#104907 - 11/24/08 02:34 PM Re: Baldwin grand models - history?
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23465
Loc: Oakland
One thing that can be confusing is that scale designations are sometimes different from model designations. For instance, the model D had a scale designation of SD or SD-6, while for the SD-10, the scale and model coincided.

From Baldwin, I have:
B - 4'-10" (This would be the recent model. I have seen an early one, similar to an R)*
C - 5'-7" *
M - 5'-2" scale SA
M - 5'-2" scale SA*
M-2 - 5'-2" *
G - 5'-6" scale ST
R - 5'-8" scale ST
R - 5'-8" scale ST*
E - 5'-8" (20 bass notes, vs. 26 for the R)
C - 6'-3" scale SC
L - 6'-3" scale SC
L - 6'-3" scale SC*
F - 7'-0" scale SF
SF-10 - 7'-0"*
D - 9'-0" scale SD, SD-6
SD-10 - 9'-0"*
SD-10A - 9'-0"*

The scales marked with an * have vertical hitch pins, which would make them recent models. There are probably other models, some of which Baldwin may not even know about any more.
Semipro Tech

#1322459 - 12/10/09 08:08 AM Re: Baldwin grand models - history? [Re: charleslang]
Randy Karasik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 498
Loc: Arvada, Colorado, USA, Earth
Originally Posted By: charleslang
Summary (taking John Pels' word for the C since he rebuilt one) :

A - about 5'6"
H - 5'8"
R - 5'8" (still production)
R-ST - 5'6-8"
E - 5'8" (very old model)
G - 5'8"

M - 5'2" (still production)
C - 6'2"
B - 4'10"
L - 6'3" (still production)

I just tuned a Baldwin C, 6'2" yesterday for my first time. This poor piano is really showing its age at this point. It is owned by a 90 year old gentlemen who loves to play it for hours a day. His favorite composer is Schubert.

The piano amazed me in some respects. It has a killer soundboard with no weak spots anywhere - a huge sound, much like an L. The pin block is still good with all tuning pins tight. The strings look to be original, with iron-wrapped doubles in the lower tenor section.

The action was all beat to heck. Key bushings are shot, a hole in the sustain pedal from wear, etc. The hammers had been partially replaced, and all were in great need of shaping and voicing. The current sound is very bright and harsh in some areas and soft and muddled in others. The newer hammers actually had loose flange bushings and loose heads.

The only complaint the owner had was with the repetition on two notes. I adjusted the rep springs and he was totally happy with the piano after the tuning. He sat down and played with the most amazing touch - each note was soft and sweet and the piano sounded like a new instrument.

It was an astonishing moment for me to watch and listen to this man play that particular piano. Just amazing.

Someday, that piano will get rebuilt and the new owner will have a fantastic piano. There's something to the older Baldwin grands that most pianos simply don't come close to having.

Edited by Randy Karasik (12/10/09 08:09 AM)
Registered Piano Technician
Serving Colorado Since 1978

#1322489 - 12/10/09 09:03 AM Re: Baldwin grand models - history? [Re: Randy Karasik]
NoctuGranes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/07
Posts: 285
Loc: Northeast USA
Update (on this slow-moving thread).
I've had my newly rebuilt PianoCraft 1906 Baldwin C for almost a year now.
Just yesterday I was speaking to my tech (does all the Steinways for the local university system) about some normal settling-in tweaks in voicing, etc. and he keeps telling me to just completely chill because it's the best Baldwin he's ever seen and a fantastic instrument.
The "C" is very powerful for its size. "huge sound" is accurate. My PianoCraft version (new soundboard and tweaks to action weighting and geometry and cold-pressed hammers) is also very expressive. A nice combo.
Not in the piano business.
1906 Baldwin C rebuilt 2008


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