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#10487 - 08/19/07 09:33 PM Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Neal1974 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Maryland
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!

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#10488 - 08/19/07 09:38 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Neal1974 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Maryland
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?

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#10489 - 08/19/07 09:43 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
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.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#10490 - 08/19/07 10:18 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Neal1974 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Maryland
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?

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#10491 - 08/20/07 12:01 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
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.'

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#10492 - 08/20/07 01:31 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Larry Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
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
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
Yamaha S90 synthesizer
www.larrylarsonpiano.com
YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano

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#10493 - 08/21/07 12:51 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Barry Bradshaw Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 12
Loc: Conway, AR
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".

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#10494 - 08/21/07 03:40 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Luke's Dad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1426
Loc: Mid Atlantic
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[/b] . 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 ;\) . 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 ;\) .
_________________________
Purveyor of Yamaha, Petrof, Pearl River, and Kohler & Campbell pianos.

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#10495 - 08/21/07 11:54 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1267
Loc: Dallas, TX
 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! [/b]
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

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#10496 - 08/22/07 03:47 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
MarKey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 235
Chris what is the "Baldwin sound vs. Yamaha"?
_________________________
Time's a tickin!

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#10497 - 08/22/07 03:47 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
MarKey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 235
Chris what is the "Baldwin sound vs. Yamaha"?
_________________________
Time's a tickin!

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#10498 - 08/22/07 12:53 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1267
Loc: Dallas, TX
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

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#10499 - 08/23/07 10:10 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Barry Bradshaw Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 12
Loc: Conway, AR
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".

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#10500 - 08/24/07 01:09 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Luke's Dad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1426
Loc: Mid Atlantic
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.
_________________________
Purveyor of Yamaha, Petrof, Pearl River, and Kohler & Campbell pianos.

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#10501 - 08/24/07 12:43 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
 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. Would this be a correct assessment?[/b] [/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.
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#10502 - 08/26/07 01:54 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Neal1974 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Maryland
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.

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#10503 - 08/26/07 02:51 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Colin Dunn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Arvada, CO
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

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#10504 - 08/26/07 02:59 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
maxx Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/04
Posts: 41
Loc: Bainbridge Island, WA
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

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#10505 - 08/26/07 03:09 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Neal1974 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Maryland
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

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#10506 - 08/26/07 03:14 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Luke's Dad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1426
Loc: Mid Atlantic
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.
_________________________
Purveyor of Yamaha, Petrof, Pearl River, and Kohler & Campbell pianos.

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#10507 - 08/26/07 03:42 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Larry Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
Hi Neal,
I'm glad you didn't like the L at Rick Jones because I drove out there and bought that piano yesterday! I played the C7 there too and it was very nice, but I preferred the L. I've been looking for an L for over a year and have played a lot of them, and this was the best I found. So I'm glad this worked out for both of us. Larry Larson
_________________________
1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
Yamaha S90 synthesizer
www.larrylarsonpiano.com
YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano

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#10508 - 08/26/07 04:41 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Barry Bradshaw Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 12
Loc: Conway, AR
Luke's Dad,

Sorry, I obviously upset you. Neal1974 had asked for "all opinions" if you will read his original post. I gave him my opinion and take on the voicing of Yamahas and pianos in general saying that a technician can voice Yamahas or any piano. He should not be concerned with that.

He asked for all opinions. As a technician for 32 years, I know that most consumers are usually not going to get into pinblock concerns. My opinion is that it is an important subject that should be brought up. Surely you would agree that not all pianos are made equal when it comes to pinblocks.

But you choose to get upset and jump all over me.

I told Neal to not listen to a Yamaha salesman or a past Baldwin employee as in the both of us. That he should consider asking other technicians for their take on Baldwin vs. pinblocks.

I consider myself a consumer advocate having 32 years in the piano technical field and 13 years in piano manufacturing. Neal1974 asked for help and I gave my 2 cents worth.

I am not a Baldwin employee. You are a Yamaha salsperson. It shows.
_________________________
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".

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#10509 - 08/26/07 05:24 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Neal1974 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Maryland
Oh I may get blasted for this, but I actually preferred the Yamaha over even a Steinway of similar size. For the "Big" sound and price, I don't think I could find better.

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#10510 - 08/26/07 05:26 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Neal1974 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Maryland
I should have said "Big" sound and "Very Reasonable Price For the Sound I'm looking for.."

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#10511 - 08/26/07 12:14 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Larry Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
Neal, one thing is for sure, it's important to go slow and don't get any piano until you are sure you find one that right for you. As I looked at your original post, the issues are powerful sound and concerns about brightness developing over time. No tech can tweak a piano to make it more powerful, that's a matter of size and scale design. However, quite a bit can be done about tone, including reducing brightness. Any pianos hammers will harden over time, and that usually results in some degree of brightening of tone. If you like the warm tone of Baldwins but want more power than the L has, then I'd say definitely check out the Baldwin D in the PianoMart ad. At least from the ad it sounds like a good piano. The bigger Baldwin grands, SF and SD (later version of the D) do have quite a bit more power than the L while retaining the rich tone of the L. But it's sounding like you just prefer the C7. If so, go for it, and don't worry about it getting too bright, a good tech can do some voicing to get it where you like it. Larry
_________________________
1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
Yamaha S90 synthesizer
www.larrylarsonpiano.com
YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano

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#10512 - 08/26/07 01:38 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
 Quote:
Originally posted by Neal1974:

Oh I may get blasted for this, but I actually preferred the Yamaha over even a Steinway of similar size. For the "Big" sound and [very reasonable] price [for the sound I'm looking for], I don't think I could find better.
Don't worry about it... your opinion and preference expressed here are perfectly valid. \:\)
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#10513 - 08/26/07 02:00 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
Congratulations, Larry, on your new L. I envy you that piano. \:D

Neal, from what I've seen I wouldn't worry too much about the C7 becoming too bright. The larger Yamahas don't seem to be nearly as bright as their smaller brethren. I think Yamaha's reputation for overly bright pianos is based on the smaller grands and uprights which, in my opinion at least, tend to start out very bright and become objectionably bright as they mature. With a piano the size of a C7, they don't have to make it bright to give you a powerful sound like they do with the smaller pianos. If you like the C7, I say go for it. The seller of the Baldwin D in the ad claims the piano has been well cared for and tuned and adjusted every 3 years. This may indicate the opposite of well cared for in my opinion. At the very least it will be necessary to have it checked thoroughly by an independent tech.
_________________________
Dennis

flickr


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#10514 - 08/30/07 05:21 AM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
lambo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/29/05
Posts: 64
Loc: Midwest
Barry - I wouldn't bother with "Luke's Dad" - he's making a fool of himself (and Luke) in this thread. You offered VERY good advice (as the topic is Yamaha vs. Baldwin, a pinblock discussion is perfectly important and along the lines of what I've always heard as well) and he seems to be curiously defensive.

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#10515 - 08/30/07 12:13 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
ASOP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 144
Loc: USA
Neal- why didn't you select a new german grey market over the used Yamaha, looks like more for the money to me.

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#10516 - 08/30/07 05:06 PM Re: Yamaha C7 Vs. Baldwin L1
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1253
Loc: Tomball, Texas
lambo, I don't necessarily think that the pinblock topic is so germaine to the discussion. The life expectancy of bass strings is about 25 years plus or minus depending on a few factors. At that time it would be expected that the piano would be restrung. IF it hasn't been restrung previously it can be restrung to the original block at least one time and sometimes two, assuming that the pinblock is physically intact and has not been "treated" chemically to help the pins to hold. For myself, I generally install a new pinblock with few exceptions. Baldwin often touts its pinblock and that is marketing. There are a few makers of pinblocks and pinblock material. I have tried them all and really find not a whole lot of difference between them. Many older pianos that I have rebuilt were in good tune with tight pins in a 3 or 4 ply block. The Japanese pianos do not seem to have any pinblock issues as regards longevity. Sometimes, however, duplicating them can be interesting owing to some interesting designs 50 years ago. Both instruments are quite durable, so it really comes down to what piano lights you up?

Comparing either an SF or SD Baldwin to the C7 is not really a fair comparison though. The SF Baldwin is to my ear one of the premiere 7' instruments and of course any concert grand is better than anything under that size with few exceptions with little regard to manufacturer. That being said, I played two concert-grands side by side around 18 years ago. One was a Samick, the other was an Estonia. Both were junk by any other name, and I would not have taken either as a gift.

ASOP, specifically what kind of new "German" fare is available in a 7' size competing with used prices on C7's?

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