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#1925101 - 07/10/12 02:14 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Marty in Minnesota]
tonecrafter tuning Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/03/12
Posts: 2
I served my apprenticeship in Edmonton, Alberta starting in 1979 at Shaw Piano & Organs. Baldwin was their #1 line. Cam Morin was my mentor, with 34 years as a technician. He was an ingenious fellow, and made many of the tools I still use today. He should have patented some of them.
Sales manager Roger Jolly, Don Veaugois and Rick LeBlanc helped me out a lot. They closed around 1982, then Baldwin Pianos & Organs opened in '83, I think. Helen Kondra owned that store; I was her technician, and we later married. Helen passed away July 19/2004.
I cut my teeth on Baldwins. They had a lot of great features. They almost wrecked my career, though, when I rashly bombed thru 9 tunings one day on brand-new 243's and I strained my shoulder quite badly!
It's a sad sign of the times that a builder that pre-dates Steinway no longer makes pianos in the U.S. For me, the writing was already on the wall in the late 70's, when I discovered they'd stopped notching the rear of the bridges on the uprights. Cam was livid when I pointed this out. He'd been wondering why the tone had become so tubby!

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#1925110 - 07/10/12 02:50 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: tonecrafter tuning]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: tonecrafter tuning
It's a sad sign of the times that a builder that pre-dates Steinway no longer makes pianos in the U.S. For me, the writing was already on the wall in the late 70's, when I discovered they'd stopped notching the rear of the bridges on the uprights. Cam was livid when I pointed this out. He'd been wondering why the tone had become so tubby!

You probably should have looked elsewhere for the tubby sound. Deleting the backscale bridge notching had virtually no effect on the tone quality of the piano. At least not right away. That was the problem; someone saw this as a way to save a few pesos (the bridges were made in Juarez) and in side-by-side comparison tone tests—at least according to the reports I read (I was not there at the time)—there was no discernible difference in performance.

The backscale notches came back in the mid-1980s when I was able to demonstrate that the many complaints about string buzzing that were starting to accumulate were traceable to the lack of that backscale notch. As the pianos aged—and in some climates it didn’t take long—and the soundboards settled out the string deflection angle at the back of the bridge decreased and a very slight gap would develop between the strings and the top of the bridge. Instant buzzes! This didn’t, and hasn’t, happened in every piano but it happened in enough of them that I was able to show that the cost of warranty repairs was going to exceed the saving in production cost.

There was never any consideration given to bringing back the backscale notches just because it was good piano building practice.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1925112 - 07/10/12 02:53 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Swell-Schimmel]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: tonecrafter tuning
They almost wrecked my career, though, when I rashly bombed thru 9 tunings one day on brand-new 243's and I strained my shoulder quite badly!

Those tuning pins on a 243 are tight... all Baldwin tuning pins seem tighter than most, for some reason.

Welcome to the PW forums, by-the-way.

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1925115 - 07/10/12 02:59 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: tonecrafter tuning]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3372
Originally Posted By: tonecrafter tuning

It's a sad sign of the times that a builder that pre-dates Steinway no longer makes pianos in the U.S.


Steinway was founded in 1853, four years before Baldwin. And... Baldwin did not start manufacturing until 1891.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1925118 - 07/10/12 03:08 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Rickster]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3372
Originally Posted By: Rickster

all Baldwin tuning pins seem tighter than most, for some reason.



Post-war Baldwin used 41-ply pinblocks... much like the Falconwood pinblocks, drilling must be precise or you could have a problem. Rebuilders who use really dense blocks will often mic the tuning pins for this reason.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
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#1925121 - 07/10/12 03:18 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: beethoven986]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Rickster

all Baldwin tuning pins seem tighter than most, for some reason.



Post-war Baldwin used 41-ply pinblocks... much like the Falconwood pinblocks, drilling must be precise or you could have a problem. Rebuilders who use really dense blocks will often mic the tuning pins for this reason.

Only the grands used the 41-ply laminated granite blocks. The verticals used a variety of different types of pinblocks depending on the market segment -- i.e., their cost.

Baldwin did, of course, tend to fit all their pins tight no matter the pinblock type.
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1925184 - 07/10/12 07:02 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Swell-Schimmel]
thetandyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 443
Loc: Indiana
Baldwin was the piano of Liberace. Like him or not, he was a major proponent of these pianos for many years. I respect him for not falling in the rut of the so-called premier piano. (Name of the piano company withheld to protect the innocent)
_________________________
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#1925189 - 07/10/12 07:25 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Swell-Schimmel]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
And now a message from Captain Obvious - this thread was started in '08. Of course we all know that Baldwin is still manufacturing pianos in China and is now owned by Gibson. I guess you could say it is technically still Baldwin, but mostly in name only.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1925202 - 07/10/12 07:47 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Pianolance]
thetandyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 443
Loc: Indiana
Let the court reporter strike my comments from the transcript!
_________________________
Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ

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#1925204 - 07/10/12 07:57 PM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Swell-Schimmel]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
Actually, Tandyman, your comments about Liberace hold a lot of water. Liberace wasn't the only Baldwin artist though. Dick Hyman. Leonard Bernstein,John Williams, Richard Carpenter,Phillip Glass, Dave Bruebeck, Lawrence Welk, and many others were also Baldwin professionals, and for good reason. Baldwin made a heck of a piano in the day.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1925290 - 07/11/12 12:32 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: tonecrafter tuning]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
Tonecrafter,

The writing was likely on the wall nearly 45 years ago when Baldwin started assembling actions in Juarez. This move, among other things, soon led to an American piano action plant closing its doors.

Mike
_________________________
smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#1925385 - 07/11/12 10:29 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Ric Overton]
Cmajor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
If they are truly done in the US you will probably see the name stamped on the front of a Chinese piano in the not too distant future, just like Ritmuller.

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#1925387 - 07/11/12 10:31 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Swell-Schimmel]
dgybqh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 9
Loc: China, Dongguan
The Baldwins Northeast China factory in 2010 has been shut down.
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#1925391 - 07/11/12 10:54 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Cmajor]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
Originally Posted By: Cmajor
If they are truly done in the US you will probably see the name stamped on the front of a Chinese piano in the not too distant future, just like Ritmuller.


That's already been going on of years. For a short time they were making USA pianos and Chinese pianos simultaniously, but they are 100% Chinese made as far as I know, with no "American" option. A real shame. Seems like the employees of Baldwin could get together and make a new American product that could still compete with Mason and Steinway.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1925395 - 07/11/12 10:59 AM Re: Bye,Bye Baldwin [Re: Cmajor]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5329
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Cmajor
If they are truly done in the US you will probably see the name stamped on the front of a Chinese piano in the not too distant future, just like Ritmuller.

Change "probably will see..." to "have already been seeing..."

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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