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#1242793 - 08/03/09 05:24 PM BALDWIN vs. YAMAHA
hlpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/09
Posts: 3
Help - New Baldwin B-247 upright ($4888) vs. 1982 factory refurbished Yamaha U1 upright ($4722). Which do I purchase for a child, age 14, who has been playing for 6 years on a digital and is now needing to upgrade to an acoustic. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you, from the Mom.


Edited by hlpiano (08/03/09 05:28 PM)

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#1242797 - 08/03/09 05:36 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: hlpiano]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
At 6 years of progress the child likely needs the repetition sensitivity of a grand piano. Unless your digital was a lower end or older model the incrimental advantage of going to an acoustic upright will likely not satisfy the need.

I do not believe that the Yamaha factory refurbishes used pianos. This is a common story told by those selling used "Gray Market" Yamahas. I would also double check the age against the serial number listing. You don't say where you are located, but in this market Gray Market U1s from that era go for $3000-$3500.
_________________________
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

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#1242804 - 08/03/09 05:51 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: Marty Flinn]
hlpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/09
Posts: 3
Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately, we just don't have room for a grand or even a baby grand piano. The digital we have is a Clavinova CLP-120. Interesting about the refurbishment. "They" did say it was done by Yamaha. I did double check the serial # and it showed 1982. I am located in a suburb of Atlanta. Since we don't have room for the grand style, do you have any suggestions? Any thoughts on the Baldwin? That seemed to be the one my son favored.

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#1242833 - 08/03/09 06:54 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: hlpiano]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
The Baldwin model Hamilton 243/247 has a long history as a strong work-horse piano. Currently they are being made in Gibson'S (Baldwin) factory in China, the former Dongbei factory. I cannot comment on the quality, performance, or longevity of this new generation as I have not seen or played them. They may be fine, just can't say at this point.
Other suggestions in that price range:
New Hailun (premimum Chinese) 48" model
New Yamaha T118 model
New Kawai K2 model
New Cable Nelson (Yamaha) CN116 model

Best,
Marty
_________________________
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

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#1242837 - 08/03/09 07:00 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: hlpiano]
Marty in Minnesota Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 1178
Loc: Minnesota
Hi Mom,

If your son likes it, I would choose the Baldwin. It's a very good piano. It should serve him well for many years to come.

An aging U1, of dubious heritage, at that price, should cause you to run away as fast as you can.

(yea, it's time to ditch the digital)
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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#1242856 - 08/03/09 07:25 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: Marty in Minnesota]
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Georgia
Hi, Hlpiano and welcome to the forum,

Marty and Marty always give good advice and I'd give their advice lots of consideration.

When I was shopping for my piano a few months ago, I shopped in Atlanta. I sent you a PM with my thoughts. It was more than I wanted to post here. Good luck with your search.

Charles

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#1242860 - 08/03/09 07:35 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: ChasT]
Larry Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
With the prices of these 2 pianos so close, I think the Baldwin would be the better value. One dealer I spoke with said that one of his techs said the B-247 was at least as good, if not better, than the American made 243s on which they are based. The price is low because they are assembled in China, but initial reports of quality control are very positive. The fact that your son likes it is important too. Grands are wonderful, but a good upright will serve him well for many years. Larry
_________________________
1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
Yamaha S90 synthesizer
www.larrylarsonpiano.com
YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano

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#1242988 - 08/03/09 11:32 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: Larry Larson]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
I think there is a pretty distinct difference in sound from the American made Baldwins to the ones made in China. Another piano you might try in the price range you are looking at to add to Marty's list is a Perzina piano. I don't know if there are any in your area but if you come across one they are great pianos with a full rich sound for the price.

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#1243099 - 08/04/09 04:44 AM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: Roxy]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Yamaha does not refurbish its pianos.

There are workshops in Japan which specialize in refurbishing pianos for export. I guess you could call these shops "small factories," but owned by Yamaha they are not.

The price is absurd.

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#1243305 - 08/04/09 01:39 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: Roxy]
Larry Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Roxy
I think there is a pretty distinct difference in sound from the American made Baldwins to the ones made in China. Another piano you might try in the price range you are looking at to add to Marty's list is a Perzina piano. I don't know if there are any in your area but if you come across one they are great pianos with a full rich sound for the price.


Roxy, are you referring the new batch of Baldwin Chinese uprights, (including the 247)based on the American versions, or are you talking about the Chinese pianos they were marketing under the Hamilton label? These new ones have been out only for a year. The older Chinese pianos were not in the same category as these new ones. If it was indeed the newer ones you played, I'd be interested to hear what your impressions were compared to the U.S. built ones. Thanks. Larry
_________________________
1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
Yamaha S90 synthesizer
www.larrylarsonpiano.com
YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano

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#1243483 - 08/04/09 04:43 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: Larry Larson]
HooDoo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 57
Loc: Los Angeles
Although I have never played it, the Yamaha AvantGrand N2 upright is supposed to have an authentic grand piano action (and sound, or so they claim) in an upright design. If you only have room for an upright but your child is ready for the action of a grand piano, it might be worth considering. It would be more expensive than the two pianos you mentioned however.

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#1243516 - 08/04/09 05:41 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: HooDoo]
hlpiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/09
Posts: 3
This forum is proving to be very helpful. Thank you everyone very much for your informative responses. The 'refurbished' U1 is out and I think the Baldwin may be also. After visiting a different piano store this afternoon, we are now leaning towards a Knabe. We looked at the 46" studio - #247, and the 52" - WKV 131. My son really loved the touch and sound of both of these pianos. He likes a more mellow sound and was very satisfied with the 46". I understand there is also a 48" - WKV121. It just isn't in stock at the moment. The 46" is close to our 5K budget. The 48" is about $1700 more and the 52" is about $2200 more than the 46." Any thoughts on these 3 models, differences, value, etc? Again this is for our 14 year old son who has been playing for 6 years and our younger daughter who has been playing for 3 years. We are upgrading from a digital and we don't have space for the grand style. Thank you very much!

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#1243594 - 08/04/09 07:45 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: hlpiano]
Larry Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
I think at this stage it's important that you and your son play as many pianos as possible that are within your price range before you make a decision. I absolutely believe that a 14 year old can have a valid opinion about tone, touch and action, and so his opinion should weigh heavily. At the same time, there is such a thing as falling in love with novelty, which a younger person may be more susceptible to than us old folks. I think I played over 100 pianos before I bought mine. Frequently I would go to a store and find a brand or model I had never played before, and I would be enamored with the sound and touch. But after playing for a while, the initial impression would wear off and I would realize that it was not the piano I wanted to live with for the next 40 years. So go slow, take a month or more, and after he plays 40 different pianos, pay attention to which piano your son keeps referring back to as the one he liked the best. Larry
_________________________
1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
Yamaha S90 synthesizer
www.larrylarsonpiano.com
YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano

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#1244274 - 08/05/09 08:19 PM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: Larry Larson]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
great advice Larry.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#1246514 - 08/10/09 01:19 AM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: apple*]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
Dear Larry I've been gone for a couple days and then didn't see your reply until now. I am sorry that it's taken me so long to reply to you. Actually the last Baldwin's I played were at Piano City and that's when I found out that some Baldwin's are made in China and not all in America. That was sometime last year. So I have not played the newer Chinese Baldwins, but if they are better then the one's I played I would love to try them. Do you know different places I can try them in the L.A. area? Again sorry it took so long on the reply.

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#1246626 - 08/10/09 09:52 AM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: Roxy]
Larry Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
HI Roxy, there is a piano store in San Diego called PianoSD that might have some of the newer Chinese Baldwin uprights. The owner's name is RIc Overton and his website is PianoSD.com. He used to work for Baldwin, and is very knowledgeable. I got acquainted with Ric when I visited San Diego 2 years ago. I was just looking for a place to practice during my visit, and I ended up using his performance auditorium for a recital for my friends and family. Here's a link to the Baldwin page that has these pianos. http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Pianos/Vertical.aspx?Page=1 He still lists Baldwin under the "product" pull-down menu part of his website but I don't think he is still an official Baldwin dealer. Before I bought my Baldwin L I visited dozens of piano stores, and this guy is up there with the best of them. He introduced my to Brodmann pianos and I ended up using one for my recital. Larry
_________________________
1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
Yamaha S90 synthesizer
www.larrylarsonpiano.com
YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano

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#1248238 - 08/13/09 02:01 AM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: Larry Larson]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
Larry, thanx ever so much I'm going to try and see if I can't get to Piano SD the next time I go down so that I can try the newer Baldwins out.

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#1248247 - 08/13/09 02:41 AM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: Roxy]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
If you like the mellower tone of the Knabes, they're well worth considering.

Choosing a piano is ultimately an emotional decision and we often react differently on different days, so multiple auditions are preferred. IMO this is particularly appropriate if you're trying to choose between a 46" and a 48" Knabe. (You can probably find a 48" at another dealer. If you audition there, just be honest about wanting to buy from the dealer who's closer.)

The smaller piano has five posts and what Knabe's site calls a "Bottom panel tone escapement." That *should* mean that there are openings - perhaps screened - which permit sound to exit. Verticals used to be constructed this way, but in general modern verticals no longer have this feature. The escapement should help with clarity. The larger piano has four posts, but does have a longer music desk and a sostenuto pedal. This pedal is rarely used, but only you can decide if you want this feature.

Larry Fine's prices for the ebony 118's and 121's are essentially the same. That could be a typo.

The largest Knabe seems to have the same specs as the 48". It should have the clearest bass. Only your ears can decide if it does and how important this feature is.

Multiple auditions definitely recommended on this one.

Patience and persistence.



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#1248298 - 08/13/09 08:11 AM Re: Baldwin vs. Yamaha [Re: FogVilleLad]
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1907
Loc: El Cajon, CA
I believe PianoSD is no longer a Baldwin dealer. Ric Overton (who posts here occasionally) may still have a couple Baldwins on the floor, though. I saw a 52" model 6000 there a few weeks ago, and there may have been one or two others, including a used Baldwin grand or two, and a couple other verticals. I didn't see any Hamiltons.
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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