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#1831992 - 01/25/12 11:34 PM Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton?
Fun2Learn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 111
Hi everyone. Do you think $1800 is a good deal (both from a financial and music quality stand-point) for a 30 year old Baldwin Hamilton from a private seller on Craigs List? The outside case is walnut, and in very good condition, judging from the photos. It looks like it is on the tall side, for a studio (it looks to me as if it is almost as tall as our current piano, which is an older 49" upright, though I know if it is a Hamilton, it can't be that tall, can it?). The gentleman selling it is the original owner-he's in his 80's, and it sounds like he has taken good care of it and had it tuned regularly. He is having it tuned before I come to see it and has offered to pay for any repairs that might be needed. (he did mention one note occasionaly sticking, but said the tuner had told him not to worry about it. ????)

I also am not even sure if we even like the Baldwin sound or action, as we haven't even tried one yet. I just have heard good things about Baldwins-at least the ones made before 1984. This Baldwin piano is located about an hours drive away, too--that is why I am asking here first! This would be for my 14 yr. old daughter, who has been playing for 5 years, and really needs a better piano (our current piano was built in 1920, can't be tuned to 440, won't hold a tune,the action is too loose, and the tone is too bright.I was told it wouldn't be worth investing in reconditioning it, as it isn't a "big name" piano.)

We have budgeted up to $3000, if needed, in order to get a quality used piano, with a very good action and tone, but of course, I would prefer not to have to spend so much! Do you think I would do better looking for a used Kawai or yamaha (gray market?) instead? Thanks in advance for any feedback.
(And we are still toying with the idea of a baby grand...)

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#1831993 - 01/25/12 11:39 PM Re: Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton? [Re: Fun2Learn]
PassingBy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 1676
Baldwin Hamilton's can't be 49" as far as i Know. But it would probably be a nice piano smile the price seems ok, tho a bit on the high side. Get an independent tech to check it out, as you would for any used piano. The seller seems nice. Good luck

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#1831999 - 01/25/12 11:51 PM Re: Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton? [Re: Fun2Learn]
terminaldegree Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3135
Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Fun2Learn

We have budgeted up to $3000, if needed, in order to get a quality used piano, with a very good action and tone, but of course, I would prefer not to have to spend so much! Do you think I would do better looking for a used Kawai or yamaha (gray market?) instead? Thanks in advance for any feedback.
(And we are still toying with the idea of a baby grand...)


You're going to have much easier time finding a decent used upright for $3000 than you will any sort of good quality baby grand. Perhaps a call to the tech who worked on the piano you're considering is in order - ask them how recently it was serviced, how often they see it, and what kind of shape it's in (any needed repairs or adjustments on the horizon?)... Techs sometimes know about other private party piano sales as well, as an alternative to the constant stream of (mostly) junk floating around craigslist.
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#1832006 - 01/26/12 12:01 AM Re: Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton? [Re: Fun2Learn]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
In my acoustic piano search last spring I had read that the hamiltons are a good piano and have a nice sound and action. I saw 2 at a local dealer about 30 years old and the keys felt nice and smooth. The sound seemed mellow to me (but these were stuffed into a small room with lots of other pianos). Dealer was asking $3000 or so. I also saw one for sale privately and it was in decent shape but sounded harsh. I don't know why. Maybe te hammers were too grooved or hard? Anyway I didn't get it but she was asking $1200. It seemed to be listed for quite awhile so I'm guessing it may have sold for less in the end. But I remember it having a nice action.
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Preparing Grade 6 RCM.


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#1832017 - 01/26/12 12:15 AM Re: Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton? [Re: Fun2Learn]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
Lots of Hamiltons show up around here for much less at that age. If the pickin's are scarce in your neck of the woods, then that's another matter.

I find Hamiltons to be a slightly bit on the bright side. Action is fine.

If you are not in a hurry, keep looking. If you are somewhat desperate, make a day trip out of it and include the viewing as just part of the itinerary. If you like it, be sure to hire your own tech to inspect it and give you his/her appraisal.

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#1832129 - 01/26/12 07:59 AM Re: Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton? [Re: Fun2Learn]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8858
Loc: Georgia, USA
I agree with gnuboi... the price seems pretty high to me... I've seen them for sale by private owners (even newer models than the one you are looking at) for <$1000 on CL. Of course, as gnuboi said, it depends on the availability of used pianos in your area.

I believe I'd be inclined to buy a new/newer Chinese made upright than pay $1800 for the older Baldwin/Hamilton.

I could be wrong, but my gut instincts tell me that piano is being sold by a used piano dealer posing as a private seller. In my neck of the woods, the used piano dealers dominate the local CL with such ads. There is absolutely nothing wrong with selling a piano at a profit, but I do find the misrepresentation a little sickening.

Good luck!

Rick


Edited by Rickster (01/26/12 08:12 AM)
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#1832161 - 01/26/12 09:18 AM Re: Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton? [Re: Fun2Learn]
efriis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 80
I'm relatively new to the piano market, but that price struck me as being high. Advice I got here told me to be leary about pianos 30+ years. For $3K I would think you could find a nice used piano 10 years old or less. We considered a 10 year old Boston UP-118S from a dealer who was asking $3000 and he indicated that he could do better. We also considered the refurbished gray market Yamaha U3s, but I cooled off on that idea. We finally opted for $4500 for a brand new piano with full warranty etc. I think if you shop around and compare prices you can do better.

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#1832237 - 01/26/12 11:14 AM Re: Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton? [Re: Fun2Learn]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i would for 600.. that's what they seem to go for around here. That said, Hamilton's are good pianos .. very sturdy.
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accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#1832253 - 01/26/12 11:37 AM Re: Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton? [Re: Fun2Learn]
jc111 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 35
When I was searching to buy a piano 3 months ago, I saw couple Baldwin-Hamilton studio piano about the same age as the one you mentioned on Craigslist (DC metro area). The price was all under $1000. I had the same budget as you and I end up with a 6 years old Kawai K25 from a private seller. I feel you can do better with you budget.

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#1832263 - 01/26/12 11:48 AM Re: Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton? [Re: Fun2Learn]
salton Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 5
Loc: USA
Hamilton pianos are very good but $1800 is too much in my opinion!
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#1833344 - 01/28/12 12:25 AM Re: Would you buy an $1800, 30 yr. old Baldwin Hamilton? [Re: salton]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
No.

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