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#1770387 - 10/14/11 10:08 AM Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172?
Amy20119 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 13
My 7-year old daughter is learning piano. Her teacher recommends us to buy a grand piano for our daughter. We talk to a dealer who recommended us a D.H. Baldwin grand piano C172 for $5400 plus tax and shipping fee around $6,000. The dealer said that the piano was made in Korea in 1994 (He said that the original owner bought the piano as new in 1994). We have paid money but before he delivers it to us, I asked specifically which year the piano was made. He opened piano trying to find whether or not somewhere the year was written on the piano. But he could not find it. Then I asked him for serial number. He gave it me 51139. I called www.baldwin.com (now http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Support/) 1-800-4GIBSON (1-800-444-2766). I was told that any Baldwin piano with that 5 digit serial number was made in 1926. But the dealer still insists that the piano must be made much later. He said that he is going to contact a person who used to work for Baldwin to verify this. But I am not sure that he could verify anything. We are very disappointed and asked him to delay the delivery. There is a possibility that I could ask the dealer to get our money back. But we definitely need to buy one. He also agreed to extend our warranty parts from one year to 3 years and we can also trade in for the purchase price if we decide to buy a better piano later. Unfortunately, he does not have any other good piano in the ranger of $5,000 right now. He suggested us consider the following:
(1)Yahama, gbk1, 5', new, more than $8,000
(2)Kawai, rx2, 5’10”, new, $13,250
(3)Kawai, ge305, 5’, new, $10,000
He said that (2) is a good deal and my daughter also loves rx2.
We do not know whether we should buy Baldwin C172 for $5,400 (about $6,000 in total) or consider the new ones. If we decide to buy new ones, which one should we choose? We have to make our decision very soon. Your comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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#1770399 - 10/14/11 10:26 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
Ric Overton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 253
Loc: Burbank, Ca
I personally feel like this price is a little high. You could move to a new piano for not much more. If this were American made then maybe it "could" be okay. Baldwin did not import from Korea in 1926 and 1994 would be a little closer to the correct year. However, the lack of information would be a little concerning for me. Do you have another dealer in your area to compare to?

I think the RX is a better choice if you can spend that much.
_________________________
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#1770402 - 10/14/11 10:30 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10342
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Baldwin is known for having confusing serial numbers, particlarly in pianos it had made by other manufacturers. The dealers estimate of the age seems very plausible.

The deal on the RX*2 however, is WAY, WAY below market.

It is a steal! I'd grab it.
_________________________
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Since 1937.

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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1770422 - 10/14/11 10:58 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Steve Cohen]
Amy20119 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 13
Thanks. We are considering to buy RX2. But the Kawai RX2 the dealer has is satin finish. It does not look good. If it is not satin finish, I would buy RX2 right away. Is satin finish a problem for a grand piano? I am a first time grand piano buyer. It's the first time I have ever heard "satin finish". Your help on this would be greatly appreciated.

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#1770430 - 10/14/11 11:11 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
Did you know that Steinway only comes in satin? smile It's just a personal preference. Furniture usually doesn't come in glossy finishes... but if you think you really can't live with it, then don't get it.

But that's really a great deal. Get the serial number and call Kawai and make sure it really is new and has the manufacturer's 10-year warranty.

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#1770439 - 10/14/11 11:23 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
supersport Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 350
Loc: Arkansas
That's a very good price on a new RX 2. Investigate it a little such as date of manufacture and any previous loaner or other usage. If that is within your budget it is very attractive. It will hold it's value at that price for quite a while.
_________________________
David




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#1770440 - 10/14/11 11:24 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
FogAudio Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 187
Loc: FL
Personally I wish my piano was offered in a satin finish. I also thought that 13K for a new RX2 seemed like an extraordinary good deal when I saw that. I'm glad Steve confirmed that!

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#1770443 - 10/14/11 11:27 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: gnuboi]
Amy20119 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 13
Thank you very much. Yes, I have the serial number and called Kawai. They told me that this RX2 was made in 2009.

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#1770470 - 10/14/11 11:59 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
There is a huge difference in a 5'10" piano from a 5' piano. And there's a huge difference in a new piano from one 17 years old (2009 counts as practically new). Go for the RX2.

--Cy--
_________________________
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#1770503 - 10/14/11 12:55 PM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
Clavier Übung Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 26
Loc: Dallas, TX
Ditto on the RX-2. What a great deal!

And, personally, I think the satin finish is much nicer than a polished finish. In the old days, all pianos came in satin finish- Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, etc. The polished finish is a more recent trend and, I have heard, is cheaper to manufacture than the satin finish, which requires additional steps in order to obtain that satin sheen.
_________________________
1941 Steinway A-III
1919 Arnold Dolmetsch Harpsichord


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#1770555 - 10/14/11 02:09 PM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
Amy20119 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 13
Just came back from our piano dealer’s store. He showed me an email from his friend at Steinway (He used to work for Balidwin)’s email: I did not find your serial number in the database of problems reported (a good thing!). You can see from the serial numbers below that the manufactured date for 51139 would fall in the Sept/Oct. 1992 production dates.
WURL/SAMICK GRAND YTD QUALITY
Style Finish Serial Reason rpr rtn mfg
C172 HPM 51106 WARPED KEYBED 9/11/1992
C152 HPE 51286 BROKEN LETOFF DOWELS 9/28/1992
C152 HPE 51286 PITTED HAMMER PLANGE CENTER PIN 10/28/1992
C152 HPE 51286 TIGHT ACTION CENTERS 10/28/1992
Of course, this still is not an official certification. But we get a better idea as to when the D.H.Baldwin C172 was made.
Upon your recommendations, my wife and I are seriously considering to buy KAWAI RX2 tomorrow. I ask our dealer why the price is so low. He said that one of piano dealers went to bankruptcy and all his pianos were repositioned. This RX2 is one of them. Because it’s a repositioned piano, the warrenty only covers 5 years, rather than 10 years. Is this still a good deal? We look forward to hearing from you before me make our final decision.
By the way, I also run into another piano dealer. He said that he would sell me a Brodmann BG 187, 187cm/6’2” grand piano for $12,000. The piano looks very beautiful. But our piano dealer said that Brodmann was made in China, not very good quality. So, we should not consider Brodmann. Right?
This is the first time I have ever been here. I have got so much very useful information and wonderful advice. From the bottom of my hear, let me say “Thank you!”

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#1770560 - 10/14/11 02:13 PM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
Jonathan Alford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 356
Loc: Colorado
I have been quoted anywhere from 21k-25k for an RX2 (BLAK.) I think if I could find a new RX2 for the price you have quoted I would snap it up quickly and my piano search would be over!

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#1770746 - 10/14/11 08:40 PM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
Rotom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 1670
Go for the RX2. It shouldn't have any problems. It's still a great deal.

Good luck!

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#1770784 - 10/14/11 09:59 PM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
MrMagic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 371
Loc: Stettler AB Canada
IMO satin finish is much more pleasing asthetically and easier to keep looking nice.
_________________________
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1920 Mason & Risch Upright (actually my mother's)
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Roland KR577
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#1770832 - 10/14/11 11:35 PM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Clavier Übung]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6040
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Clavier Übung
Ditto on the RX-2. What a great deal!

And, personally, I think the satin finish is much nicer than a polished finish. In the old days, all pianos came in satin finish- Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, etc. The polished finish is a more recent trend and, I have heard, is cheaper to manufacture than the satin finish, which requires additional steps in order to obtain that satin sheen.


The polished finish may be cheaper to manufacture, but it seems most manufacturers charge MORE for it than the satin finish.
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1770837 - 10/14/11 11:46 PM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6040
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Amy20119 -

Actually there is nothing wrong with the quality of Brodmann. They are very good pianos - but the Kawai is a step up on the quality ladder, and a NEW RX2 for the price quoted to you is an excellent deal. Don't worry about the warranty. Even new Steinways only come with a 5 year warranty.

That said, I get the sense from your posts that you really might have benefited from learning more about the various brands before you started any serious shopping. Fortunately you have the opportunity to buy the RX2. If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to peruse the PianoBuyer book though the following link. It includes comparative quality rankings, descriptions of the various brands and pricing of new instruments.

If nothing else, I encourage you to read up on both Kawai and Brodmann.

Good luck.

http://www.pianobuyer.com/
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1770890 - 10/15/11 02:53 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: carey]
Clavier Übung Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 26
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: carey
The polished finish may be cheaper to manufacture, but it seems most manufacturers charge MORE for it than the satin finish.

I wonder why this is... Both Kawaii and Yamaha charge the same for either satin or polished black finishes, according to Piano Buyer. Yet where there is a price difference in other brands, often the polished finish is the more expensive price!
_________________________
1941 Steinway A-III
1919 Arnold Dolmetsch Harpsichord


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#1770958 - 10/15/11 09:49 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8076
Loc: Georgia, USA
I think I’ve told this story on piano world a couple of times already, but why not tell it again (since it relates somewhat to this thread smile ).

When I first started looking for a grand piano, a D.H. Baldwin C172 came up for sale on Craigslist close to home. I called the owner and scheduled a time to go look at it. The owner and his wife were going through a divorce and liquidating all their assets, including the piano. His asking price was $3000, which seemed fair to me. I went to look at the piano and I like it, not knowing any better at the time. It was a Saturday afternoon and I didn’t have $3000 in my pocket. So, I gave him a $100 and agreed to pay the balance when the movers could get there in a few days.

That Sunday night, the guy calls and said his X-wife to be didn’t want to sell the piano and he would have to return my earnest money. So, I went by that next day to get my earnest money back. A week later the same piano appeared on CL for $4500. I suppose that ordeal was a blessing in disguise, though I was disappointed at the time.

I later found out that a D.H. Baldwin is not a real Baldwin, but a Korean made piano with the D. H. Baldwin name on it. You live and learn.

I think the Broadman or the Kawai with be a great piano for you… I’ve played a Braodman upright and was very impressed. I’ve never played a Broadman grand.

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

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#1770966 - 10/15/11 10:01 AM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: MrMagic]
MetalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 79
Loc: Alberta, Canada
MrMagic, I agree, particularly as it is a new finish which you and I really want for our own instruments wink . In fact, I think it was Rickster in another thread who was wondering how to satinize a polished ebony finish. Satin finish just looks classy, and I suspect (conjecture here) that your eventual resale value might be a bit better as well. At the price you're talking about, I would almost tolerate a pink piano, so jump on it before someone else beats you to it!


Edited by MetalMan (10/15/11 10:10 AM)
Edit Reason: incomplete thought...

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#1771097 - 10/15/11 02:12 PM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
Amy20119 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 13
Upon your recommendation, I have just bought Kawai rx2 for $13,250 (See the piano in the store http://i923.photobucket.com/albums/ad75/saliang/P1200443.jpg). We also paid $200 extra to get an artist brench. Adding tax and shipping fee, the total is $14,447.
I am glad because my daughter really loves rx2. I am a first time grand piano buyer and know almost nothing about piano. For instance, I did not know that piano is repossessed, rather repositioned. I feel so lucky for being here before I made my final decision. Thanks to all of you who have helped me. Special thanks to Carey who suggested me to look at http://www.pianobuyer.com/. It really helped me to make up my mind to buy rx2.
Now, I have a new question: where should I put the new piano in our living room? Here is our living room photo: http://i923.photobucket.com/albums/ad75/saliang/P1200472.jpg (Sorry,this link may not work. You may have to copy and paste to see the photo.)Should I position our new Kawai rx2 in the same place where the old piano was or position it with the long side across the right up corner at a 45° angle to the walls as suggested by piano buyer http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall11/97.html. Clearly, positioning the new piano at the place where the old piano was would be much easier. Your suggestion would be really appreciated. By the way, we plan to buy a carpet.
Again, many thanks.


Edited by Amy20119 (10/15/11 02:15 PM)

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#1771526 - 10/16/11 12:36 PM Re: Should we buy the used D.H.Baldwin grand piano C172? [Re: Amy20119]
qualia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 56
Wow. Congratulations!! I was looking at an RX-2 BLAK and best deal I found was just under 19k. Amazing deal, and enjoy your new piano!!
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