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#1251140 - 08/18/09 01:46 AM Baldwin Model R
DavidKitazono Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 65
I visited a couple of piano stores in Denver today. Both were closing out Baldwin Model R grand pianos for around 18-20K. I was told these were made in the US, and had a previous street price of around 30K, but due to manufacturing going to China, warranty work, factory service and parts may be a problem. Does anybody have more info on this model and what is going on with Baldwin? The piano had a nice sound, but it seems it may not be worth the risk of just having a store warranty, instead of factory one.

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#1251183 - 08/18/09 06:46 AM Re: Baldwin Model R [Re: DavidKitazono]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Are you sure it only has a store warranty? That doesn't sound right for a new instrument.

Even if Artist Grands are no longer manufactured in Arkansas, Baldwin is still in operation, after all. So is Gibson, its parent company. Could it be that the remaining unsold inventory of American-made pianos is really no longer warranteed?


#1251207 - 08/18/09 08:20 AM Re: Baldwin Model R [Re: sotto voce]
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Georgia
The Gibson website says the Baldwin R has a lifetime parts, 10 years labor warranty.

#1251375 - 08/18/09 01:47 PM Re: Baldwin Model R [Re: ChasT]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
The Baldwin model R (5'8") is a wonderful instrument. This artist series was built in Baldwins Arkansas factory for decades and was/is highly respected. I would be curious as to the serial number and its exact age. Is it being represented as new?

Several years ago Baldwin was in financial turmoil, in and out of bankruptcy filings several times. Gibson Guitar company stepped in and rescued the company. At that time there was discussion whether or not Gibson would honor factory warranties on pianos built prior to their take over. Though potentially "new" this piano may be a part of this body of instruments.

At the time of the take over, Gibson raised wholesale prices significantly. The cost of this R will be dependant on its age.

The last Larry Fine "list" published on an R was $35,706. Because of the changes in the company the profile and demand for new Baldwins has diminished in recent years (at least in our market). This has fostered considerable discounting by dealers to move existing stock.
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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#1251437 - 08/18/09 03:39 PM Re: Baldwin Model R [Re: Marty Flinn]
apple* Offline

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
wow.. i really love Baldwin grands.. they are uniquely powerful, clear and resonant.. if that is the American sound, i love American.

(disclaimer: proud owner of a 'European sound' piano that I love too)
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

#1251596 - 08/18/09 07:59 PM Re: Baldwin Model R [Re: apple*]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9881
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Another thought...

The Baldwin labor warranty was traditionally the resposibility of the dealer. If this is still true, perhaps this dealer is trying to sell the piano without including it.

My 2 cents,
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834

#1251633 - 08/18/09 09:10 PM Re: Baldwin Model R [Re: Rich Galassini]
DavidKitazono Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 65
Yes, I was very surprised when the salesman told me the factory warranty was problematic. We discussed this point for around ten minutes.
One store had the Baldwin Model R in storage since 2001. The store owner said he took it out of storage about six months ago. He assured me it was new old stock, and the piano was not loaned out, or used in any festivals, etc. I wonder what kind of unseen damage a piano and action will sustain over eight years of lying on its side, since I assume that was the way it was stored. Gravity rules. This piano had some voicing and regulation issues, too. Many of the notes had a metallic "tizziness" aftertone. The store owner said this would be taken care of before the piano was purchased.
The second store had three or four Baldwin pianos for sale. One of the pianos I saw had a factory finish defect, which requires a new lid. However, the salesman told me the store cannot get the factory to respond to their request for warranty work. The salesman told me all of the Baldwins were new, and not new old stock.
If any of the Baldwins becomes a serious contender, I will make sure a good tech checks it over carefully. However, this whole warranty question makes me very concerned...
Boy, this piano buying thing is a lot more complicated than I originally thought it was going to be!

#1251801 - 08/19/09 08:05 AM Re: Baldwin Model R [Re: DavidKitazono]
Larry Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
Hi David, I think if you're considering buying a piano that was in long-term storage, it's especially important to have it carefully inspected. I bought a 1995 Baldwin L grand 2 years ago. It had been in storage for a number of years when it was new. Then it was purchased by a couple for their child who was, at the time, an embroyo! Then it sat in their house unused until the child was four, and then only played by her for 4 years before her mother decided the piano was 4 inches too long for the living room, and traded it in for a smaller Steinway. Anyway, the piano has a crack in the soundboard because of the poor conditions in which it was stored in the warehouse. The dealer I bought it from fully disclosed the condition of the piano. Even with the crack, it was the best sounding L I had ever played, and I'm still happy with it. But, my point is, a properly stored piano can sit for years and be just fine, but an improperly stored one can have issues. Good luck and keep us posted. Larry
1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
Yamaha S90 synthesizer
YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano


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