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#2006518 - 12/30/12 12:28 PM Looking for purchasing advice - baby grand, possibly Baldwin
staric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/12
Posts: 4
Hi - I am new to this forum and thanks in advance for any help. I am in my 40s and have played piano since I was a child but am no virtuoso. Now I spend most of my playing time playing keys for fun in a party band and in my church contemporary band but still like to play piano and use a piano at home for most of my practice. My kids are also starting to play. My piano is a spinet I inherited from my grandmother - not a terrible piano but it's time to upgrade and I'd like to get a baby grand. My budget is probably $4k to $6k. Two questions.

First - I know a local technician who highly recommends getting a piano built before the '80s, citing less than stellar craftsmanship, more plastic parts, etc., on pianos built in the last couple of decades. What do people here think of that advice?

Second - I've found a Baldwin M from the 1960s that seems to be in very good shape - technician has seen it and agrees. I really like the sound and feel of it. Asking price is at (actually slightly above) the top end of my price range. Any thoughts on this particular option?

Any other general thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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#2006767 - 12/30/12 09:18 PM Re: Looking for purchasing advice - baby grand, possibly Baldwin [Re: staric]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1111
Loc: California, USA
My thoughts on your first question: your technician is probably drawing on knowledge and experience about very particular piano brands. Those pianos he is thinking of might be very common in your area. So I certainly wouldn't ignore your local technician's opinion. However I would suggest asking for more detailed information, because there are plenty of great pianos that were built in the 1980s, the 1990s, up to current day.

Second question: You really like the sound and feel of the piano. Your opinion is the opinion that matters, and if your trusted technician has ok'd the condition then it sounds like a good piano for you. Regarding price - can't answer that, but your technician might have insight. In my area that price would be somewhat high.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2006769 - 12/30/12 09:26 PM Re: Looking for purchasing advice - baby grand, possibly Baldwin [Re: staric]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12146
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
How many other pianos of similar size have you played? It's a big price tag, so take a bit of time to really test out some other pianos. I don't necessarily agree that anything more recent in age is cheaply made, it does vary from company to company how much quality they put into their pianos.

As for Baldwin, they could be great or really bad, I've played both. If you shop around and still love the Baldwin, go for it. smile
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2006778 - 12/30/12 09:52 PM Re: Looking for purchasing advice - baby grand, possibly Baldwin [Re: staric]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1019
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
In my area, a Baldwin M in good shape for that price range would be a good deal. If you like it and the technician says it's good, I don't see how you can go too far wrong.
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Currently working on:
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#2006780 - 12/30/12 10:02 PM Re: Looking for purchasing advice - baby grand, possibly Baldwin [Re: staric]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Baldwins are good piano and certainly well built. Since it already has an A-OK from a tech, and you like it, why not?

With a good voicing, the M's can be very satisfying instruments, even though they are small. The price doesn't strike me as out of the ballpark, but why not try some dickering?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2006807 - 12/30/12 11:12 PM Re: Looking for purchasing advice - baby grand, possibly Baldwin [Re: staric]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2746
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: staric
First - I know a local technician who highly recommends getting a piano built before the '80s, citing less than stellar craftsmanship, more plastic parts, etc., on pianos built in the last couple of decades. What do people here think of that advice?
This statement by itself is full of problems and poor assumptions, however with your budget and looking for a grand, it will naturally push you into older choices. So as advice for you, I'm not as bothered by that gross oversimplification.
Originally Posted By: staric
Second - I've found a Baldwin M from the 1960s that seems to be in very good shape - technician has seen it and agrees. I really like the sound and feel of it. Asking price is at (actually slightly above) the top end of my price range. Any thoughts on this particular option?
You've said yes to 3 important questions, you like it, the tech likes it, and the price is okay for you.

For a private sale on an original condition 1960's Baldwin M (even in excellent condition), I would think that a fair price would ultimately not be more than your $6k budget. If it has had some work, that could change the range.
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#2007434 - 01/01/13 11:46 AM Re: Looking for purchasing advice - baby grand, possibly Baldwin [Re: staric]
staric Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/12
Posts: 4
Thanks - this is all extremely helpful.

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#2007456 - 01/01/13 12:42 PM Re: Looking for purchasing advice - baby grand, possibly Baldwin [Re: Morodiene]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19593
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
How many other pianos of similar size have you played? It's a big price tag, so take a bit of time to really test out some other pianos.
Exactly. I think there is always the danger that a person with a less than stellar small vertical piano at home will find almost any decent grand a huge improvement over their present piano and possibly miss out on an even nicer piano within their budget if they don't take enough time to listen to more options.

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