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#1391144 - 03/08/10 09:56 AM How Will A Hallet Davis Grand Piano Age?
Yelmua Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/08
Posts: 23
Loc: East Coast
I've been shopping for a baby grand piano in the $7k price range for a while. Long story short - I've tried a lot of pianos, new and used, and keep coming back to the Hallet Davis 5'5" baby grand piano.

It looks nice and sounds great. I play rock-oriented piano and the HM has the bright, booming sound I am looking for. My concern is whether or not it will maintain that sound years on (so long as I properly upkeep it, of course).

Unfortunately, when you piano shop for comparison, every dealer you talk to will tell you why the other guy's brands stink. They'll talk to you about the type of materials used, how it's made, etc., and even with a lot of research you just don't know what's good and bad anymore.

As far as I can tell from reading what I could, Dongbei (HM's manufacturer) is making a decent piano for the money these days. I like the way it sounds and want to hear from folks experienced with the Dongbei (not Samick) Hallet Davis pianos in terms of longevity of sound quality.

Thanks all in advance.


Edited by BrianB (03/08/10 10:33 AM)

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#1391227 - 03/08/10 11:32 AM Re: How Will A Hallet Davis Grand Piano Age? [Re: Yelmua]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7265
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: BrianB
I've been shopping for a baby grand piano in the $7k price range for a while. Long story short - I've tried a lot of pianos, new and used, and keep coming back to the Hallet Davis 5'5" baby grand piano.

It looks nice and sounds great. I play rock-oriented piano and the HM has the bright, booming sound I am looking for. My concern is whether or not it will maintain that sound years on (so long as I properly upkeep it, of course).


Brian,

Bright and booming is a good description. You might add brash too if you don't do any voicing on the hammer felt.

I think it's a good fit for rock. It sounds promising that you keep coming back to it. The DongBei pianos were much more in vogue a few years ago on this forum. Baldwin's ownership has changed that. Baldwin is selling this same design now as a Baldwin 165.

I can't imagine why this piano would not hold up. DongBei rims, plates, pinblocks, hammers etc. all seem to be made of good materials and their scale designs get good ratings too.

Just be sure that you get any issues taken care of before you sign on the dotted line and try to get a couple of tunings built into the sale.

The earliest buyer of a 5'5" Dongbei on this forum was probably member Jolly. He bought one under the Nordiska name. He doesn't post much here now, but you could try sending him a PM to see how his 5'5" has held up.

NOTE: The 6'1" (185cm) is pretty special if you have a little more coin at your disposal.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1391745 - 03/08/10 10:46 PM Re: How Will A Hallet Davis Grand Piano Age? [Re: turandot]
Yelmua Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/08
Posts: 23
Loc: East Coast
Thanks, turandot. I'll reach out to Jolly since there don't seem to be too many folks who can weigh in on the board!

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#1391980 - 03/09/10 08:18 AM Re: How Will A Hallet Davis Grand Piano Age? [Re: Yelmua]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3360
I have no experience with the 5'5", but the 6'1" is a great piano if it's prepped well. With modern day manufacturing technology, there is no reason why these pianos won't have good longevity. Look at Hailun, too.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1391983 - 03/09/10 08:21 AM Re: How Will A Hallet Davis Grand Piano Age? [Re: turandot]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3360
Originally Posted By: turandot
Baldwin is selling this same design now as a Baldwin 165.



Do you know if this is true for all their pianos? I have long suspected that it is.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1392022 - 03/09/10 09:33 AM Re: How Will A Hallet Davis Grand Piano Age? [Re: beethoven986]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7265
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: turandot
Baldwin is selling this same design now as a Baldwin 165.



Do you know if this is true for all their pianos? I have long suspected that it is.


I really don't know on verticals. On the grands, I ran into a 165 and 185 in Europe summer '09. They were the spitting image of Nordiskas and Hallets of the same size, so of those two I'm sure. Since the other Baldwin sizes and specs line up exactly with previous DongBei grands, one might conclude that........

When Piano Buyer came out I looked into it for the 'Fine'al word on the matter. Fine's comments confirmed that Baldwin was offering the full DongBei grand line with Baldwin China branding. He also commented that Baldwin had downsized DongBei's workforce. That fits some of the supply problems that Baldwin and Hallet dealers seem to be experiencing.

I agree with you on the 185 (6'1"). Fine has given it an SMP of under $9k. With any kind of negotiated discount, that's quite a piano for the money.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1392105 - 03/09/10 11:49 AM Re: How Will A Hallet Davis Grand Piano Age? [Re: turandot]
Yelmua Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/08
Posts: 23
Loc: East Coast
I actually came quite close to buying the Hallet Davis 6'1" a couple years back. I much preferred the action to the 5'5" at the time. I'm now waiting to play them both side by side again. (Playing just the 5'5" on its own was nice, though...)

And turnadot, thanks for the tip on the Baldwin 165/185. I knew they were made in the same factory, but not aware that they were so similar. I think it will ultimately come down to which mfr can give me the best deal. I frankly don't care what name is stamped on the fallboard because I'm not planning to sell it.

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#1392557 - 03/09/10 11:48 PM Re: How Will A Hallet Davis Grand Piano Age? [Re: Yelmua]
MAKitt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 159
Loc: Albuquerque/Rio Rancho NM
Yelmua
You mentioned there wasn't a lot of activity re: your original post. I'll hop in, if you don't mind, as a knowledgeable H&D dealer. Turandot gave some excellent advice. Make sure there are a couple tunings (though you could advise the same about any brand - I don't think this brand sticks out for instability at uncrating more than others) and consider the H-185 purchase strongly. That particular piano is easily the best buy in the industry. Yes, it booms, (brash?? I don't get it).

There are delivery problems right now for sure. I've got orders I can't deliver until there is resolution with Gibson. If you can pick up a recent 185, you are in great shape.
Regards
Mike
_________________________
Owner,Kitt Fine Pianos
Albuquerque, NM
Gebr. Perzina, the new Ritmuller, Hallet Davis & Co., old M&H's of course

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#1392937 - 03/10/10 02:34 PM Re: How Will A Hallet Davis Grand Piano Age? [Re: MAKitt]
Yelmua Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/08
Posts: 23
Loc: East Coast
Thanks MAKitt, think I'll actually start another thread on the issue of supply for these pianos. I'm in no hurry if it means I'll get what I want at the right price in the end...

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