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#2030385 - 02/10/13 10:29 AM What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.)
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since my family and, of course, our business relocated from Philadelphia to Baltimore in 1957 and continuing through 2007 we have been in direct competition with Baldwin. Kunkel Piano Company was the oldest Baldwin dealership in the U.S. and they had stores within a few blocks of our locations. Our family business, Jasons Music Center was the oldest Yamaha dealership in the U.S. having started representing Yamaha in May, 1960.

The competitive situation was very interesting. Both Jasons and Kunkel were family-owned operations, and Francis Kunkel was about the same age as my father Irv, and his son Craig was about my age. We took over the reins from our fathers at about the same time. Both operations were "old school" dealerships and both earned excellent reputations for honesty and integrity.

In those early years the Baldwin/Yamaha comparisons were dynamic and often cited, and the fact that Yamaha was "mass-produced" was a key issue. After all they were the only one made that way. Also keep in mind that these were the days when Japanese products were inevitable compared to the "cheap transistor radio." "Quality" and "Made in Japan" were mutually exclusive terms in the minds of the U.S. market!

To say that the Baldwin Hamilton 243 dominated the public school market would be a vast understatement. Until the introduction of the Yamaha P202 (forerunner to the P22), virtually the only piano found in schools was 243s and Baldwin grands. The Yamaha G7 (now the C7) sold for less than the Baldwin baby grand. The P202 retailed for about $1000 less than the 243. Back in those days the industry watched the competitive situation in Baltimore very carefully, using it to try to predict scenarios in other markets. Craig Kunkel retired a few years ago, soon after Baldwin's acquisition by Gibson. There has been no Baldwin dealer here since.

Why do I bring all of this up, you might ask. Well, yesterday we unpacked our first shipment of Baldwin pianos as their new dealership for the Baltimore/Washington and Northern Virginia market. Adding Baldwin pianos to our current offering of Kawai (in the Baltimore Market only), Pramberger, used/rebuilt Steinways, Mason & Hamlins and Yamahas, puts us in a better position to fulfill the musical needs of our shoppers.



As a major contributor here, a contributing editor of Piano Buyer, and as a consultant to the piano industry I felt that this story might not only be interesting, but needed to be posted for transparency. (it is rumored that Baldwin will be rated as Tier One pianos in the upcoming issue of Piano Buyer. smile

Having been in the business all my life, I have learned not to burn bridges. What goes around really does often come along!
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

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

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#2030405 - 02/10/13 11:17 AM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
MrMagic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 371
Loc: Stettler AB Canada
Congratulations! It would be great if Baldwin could return to it's former glory!
_________________________
1928 Chas. M. Stieff 6'1" Grand. Major rebuild 2011
1920 Mason & Risch Upright (actually my mother's)
1971 Hammond R-100
Roland KR577
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Roland E20, JV30 (retired)
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#2030424 - 02/10/13 11:49 AM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7218
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen

As a major contributor here, a contributing editor of Piano Buyer, and as a consultant to the piano industry I felt that this story might not only be interesting, but needed to be posted for transparency. (it is rumored that Baldwin will be rated as Tier One pianos in the upcoming issue of Piano Buyer. smile


Come on Stave. Your cross-promotion of interests is all too obvious.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#2030438 - 02/10/13 12:01 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 393
Loc: Westchester County, New York
Steve,

That's GREAT! Congrats and godspeed. Will you also be selling Baldwin grands? Can't wait to hear your first opinions . . . See you at MARC. thumb
_________________________
PianoPerfection
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

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#2030443 - 02/10/13 12:07 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1776
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Congratulations, Steve!
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2030446 - 02/10/13 12:11 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8563
Loc: Georgia, USA
Congratulations, Steve, on your new product line...

And, your story was interesting. I too have learned in life that it is not good to burn bridges... you never know what the future holds, and, quite often, we as humans do tend to hold grudges (burned bridges?). smile

Best regards,

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

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#2030452 - 02/10/13 12:17 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
CHAS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/03
Posts: 521
Loc: Ski Country of Colorado
Would like to see Baldwin regain its status.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A

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#2030463 - 02/10/13 12:31 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4215
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada


Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen

Why do I bring all of this up, you might ask.


Asked and answered.

Originally Posted By: turandot

Come on Stave. Your cross-promotion of interests is all too obvious.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2030474 - 02/10/13 12:51 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1973
Loc: Philadelphia area
Interesting info. Keep us informed on how it plays out. Quality, warranty response, etc. Thanks and good luck with the line.

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#2030478 - 02/10/13 12:57 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
PaintedPostDave Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 550
Loc: Upstate New York
I enjoyed reading the post, self-promotional or not. Good luck, Steve Cohen. smile
_________________________
Dave Koenig
Yamaha M1A console
1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
https://sites.google.com/site/analysisofsoundsandvibrations/

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#2030483 - 02/10/13 01:06 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Congratulations Steve!

Not for taking on the line but for deviating from your previous position not to offer Chinese made pianos.

Presumably the previously proudly displayed "No-Chinese-Pianos" sign is gone from your website now forever..... grin

Wishing you best - considering your long experience with the make, hoping the new Chinese made pianos will remember you on the ones from before ...

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (02/10/13 02:13 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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#2030544 - 02/10/13 02:08 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Norbert]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2187
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Steve,
Being a technician I am interested about the designs being used-are they the same scales that were made in the US?
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2030567 - 02/10/13 02:44 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Scout Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 48
Loc: USA
Man, it is refreshing to read what might be at least a partly positive thread about Baldwin pianos, new or old. Positive comments about Baldwins are hard to come by on this forum. I went ahead anyway and bought a 1989 Baldwin L a month ago, and it is a gorgeous piano. We're in love and I'm thrilled.

Best of luck to you, Steve.

scout
_________________________
1989 Baldwin L


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#2030587 - 02/10/13 03:19 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Scout]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
The L is a great piano - if I had been able to find one around me I probably would have bought one.

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#2030616 - 02/10/13 04:03 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Norbert]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3600
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Norbert


Presumably the previously proudly displayed "No-Chinese-Pianos" sign is gone from your website now forever..... grin


It does seem to be gone - pending sales figures of the Baldwin lineup for the next 2 years... If the things don't sell, the "No Chinese Pianos" sign will be back, in an even larger font than before. wink

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#2030717 - 02/10/13 06:33 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2328
Loc: SoCal
Life does take unexpected turns, doesn't it? Good luck with Baldwin, they sure have fallen on hard times.
_________________________
Gary

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#2030720 - 02/10/13 06:39 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Plowboy]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Now that the supply chain to the US is stabilizing Baldwin is actually resurging. This is due in no small part to their new US distributor, North American Music and their very experienced crew, many of who were with baldwin when it was in its glory.

I think you will soon hear of another major dealership in a major market (and a regular here on Piano World) who will be adding Baldwin to their lineup.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

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

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#2030735 - 02/10/13 06:57 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Steve,
Being a technician I am interested about the designs being used-are they the same scales that were made in the US?
Yes, I am honestly curious well, what the new pianos have in common with the old ones besides the name. There as so many pianos with old German and American names on them now coming out of China which have nothing at all in common with the products made by the original company. The names are strictly used to try to conjure up some image of heritage, tradition and continuity (= quality) in the minds of would-be buyers.

Maybe Baldwin is different, perhaps they are now producing the tried and true product under more economically feasible condition in Asia?
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2030743 - 02/10/13 07:13 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
My understanding is that some models are re-creations of the original scale designs while others are different. I'll get the facts and post them.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

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

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#2030845 - 02/10/13 11:33 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
VGrantano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 771
Loc: New Jersey
I had the honor of doing business with both the Kunkel
and Cohen families through the years, Though to confess
I called on many more Cohens than Kunkles.Both names were
very well respected.
Returning Baldwin to a market as important as Baltimore
is something that will be good for the Piano industry
in the U.S. Good luck Steve.

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#2030879 - 02/11/13 12:55 AM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
HalfStep Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/11
Posts: 204
Loc: Boston, MA
The dealer I bought from sold both Baldwins and Kawai. For the class I wanted to purchase, the Baldwin had more features and resonated with us overall. It's a great piano irrespective of its origins. Also, some have discussed the dot on the "I" and it actually, does not have a dot or a "c" in short, I think they're coming back.

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#2032055 - 02/12/13 06:52 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Steve,
Being a technician I am interested about the designs being used-are they the same scales that were made in the US?


I asked Baldwin for clarification. They supplied the following:

The only model that is an actual copy of a US built Baldwin is the 52” vertical model B252. That one copied the old Baldwin 6000 right down to and including the accu-just hitch pins. The 342 and 442 share the cabinet design and action design with the former US Acrosonic models 2096 and 2090 respectively, however the scale for the backframe is slightly different. Similarly, the B243 is designed to look just like the former US built Hamilton 243, but it is built on a 47” scale as opposed to the 45” scale that the old model used. As universally popular as the old 243 has been, I believe most would pick the new B243 in a blind test today. The B49 is actually the same piano mechanically as our model BH125 that is in a slightly less expensive cabinet. The cabinet on the B49 is just made for the US market and is modeled after the former US built model 248.

The new BP model grands use completely different scale designs from our US built Artist Grands. It would have been a more difficult project to move the old equipment and tooling that was used on those pianos, plus there is the possibility that someday Baldwin might again build those pianos in very limited numbers. What the BP Grands share with the Artist Grands is the same level of materials – maple inner and outer rims, wet-sand cast plates, solid high grade sitka spruce soundboards, Abel hammers, real ebony sharps, etc. They too have been styled with a classic Baldwin look to the music rack, legs, and side arms.

So what we are doing is building a similar level piano at a more affordable price, but not the exact same pianos.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

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

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#2032062 - 02/12/13 07:03 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3334
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Congratulations Steve and best of luck. I genuinely hope you rebuild the Baldwin name in this area. It would be good for everyone in the piano industry. I especially hope you do well with the American made Baldwins. The idea of Baldwin making pianos in the U.S. again is great. Actually, the idea of anything being made in this country would be great, but I digress.

Seriously, good luck Steve.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#2032075 - 02/12/13 07:47 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:

The new BP model grands use completely different scale designs from our US built Artist Grands.


Meaning supposedly "previously" U.S. made Artists Grands.
Which factory is making Baldwin pianos in U.S. today?
Not aware of any.

Quote:
What the BP Grands share with the Artist Grands is the same level of materials – maple inner and outer rims, wet-sand cast plates, solid high grade sitka spruce soundboards, Abel hammers, real ebony sharps, etc.


Sounding close to Brodmann specs. In fact heard the grands are actually made by Parsons.
Should be pretty good then....

Norbert thumb


Edited by Norbert (02/12/13 07:50 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2032093 - 02/12/13 08:09 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Norbert]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:

The new BP model grands use completely different scale designs from our US built Artist Grands.


Meaning supposedly "previously" U.S. made Artists Grands.
Which factory is making Baldwin pianos in U.S. today?
Not aware of any.

Norbert


You are correct. There is no current US production. But the factory is there, fully equipted and waiting....
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

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

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#2032115 - 02/12/13 08:57 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Eric Gloo Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1250
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Hopefully the pin blocks have been improved! smile
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#2032156 - 02/12/13 10:16 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1784
The Jasons's Music site includes the following in its write-up of Baldwin pianos:

"Since its gala opening nearly three decades ago, Baldwin has played a key role at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Today, Baldwin pianos are used for a variety of orchestral, ensemble and choral performances at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, Opera House, Eisenhower Theater and Terrace Theater.

"For more than 60 years, Baldwin has been honored to share the stage at a variety of Tanglewood’s orchestral and chamber music concerts, instrumental and vocal recitals, student performances, the Festival of Contemporary Music, and performances by both popular and jazz artists. Through the years, Baldwin also has been the piano of choice for many of Tanglewood’s visionary leaders. For more information about Tanglewood visit the BSO's website."

Putting aside the grammatical error in the first sentence of the quotation, I am having a bit of a problem with the write-up on the Jasons's Music site (which I expect is at least somewhat derived from the new Baldwin's own materials). Are the pianos being produced now really the same as the ones that have, for more than 60 years, graced various concert stages and been adopted by Baldwin Artists? Steve Cohen's own information from the manufacturer, quoted by him in this thread, seems to indicate that they are not. Yes, the brand name is the same, but are the pianos? I also looked in vain for information in this write-up on where the pianos are made. If I missed this information, I apologize, but I could not spot it at the Baldwin link. I think that one is likely to conclude from the write-up that "'America's favorite piano'" is made in America.

They may very well be terrific pianos. They will have to earn their status, though, at least in my opinion. And there are many brand names that have been purchased and applied to pianos made in different locations and by different processes from their locations and processes in the old days. It's a puzzlement, though, to anyone who tries to unravel the threads. . . .

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#2032179 - 02/12/13 11:15 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
HalfStep Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/11
Posts: 204
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Steve,
Being a technician I am interested about the designs being used-are they the same scales that were made in the US?


I asked Baldwin for clarification. They supplied the following:

The only model that is an actual copy of a US built Baldwin is the 52” vertical model B252. That one copied the old Baldwin 6000 right down to and including the accu-just hitch pins. The 342 and 442 share the cabinet design and action design with the former US Acrosonic models 2096 and 2090 respectively, however the scale for the backframe is slightly different. Similarly, the B243 is designed to look just like the former US built Hamilton 243, but it is built on a 47” scale as opposed to the 45” scale that the old model used. As universally popular as the old 243 has been, I believe most would pick the new B243 in a blind test today. The B49 is actually the same piano mechanically as our model BH125 that is in a slightly less expensive cabinet. The cabinet on the B49 is just made for the US market and is modeled after the former US built model 248.

The new BP model grands use completely different scale designs from our US built Artist Grands. It would have been a more difficult project to move the old equipment and tooling that was used on those pianos, plus there is the possibility that someday Baldwin might again build those pianos in very limited numbers. What the BP Grands share with the Artist Grands is the same level of materials – maple inner and outer rims, wet-sand cast plates, solid high grade sitka spruce soundboards, Abel hammers, real ebony sharps, etc. They too have been styled with a classic Baldwin look to the music rack, legs, and side arms.

So what we are doing is building a similar level piano at a more affordable price, but not the exact same pianos.


Very informative! Thanks.

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#2032539 - 02/13/13 03:34 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: Steve Cohen]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3695
Loc: Northern England.
Baldwins were stocked in the piano shop where my wife worked, teaching in Barrow in Furness, England. And they were my favourite. Now, since you`re on a roll as they say, there may be hope for British Motorcycles . . . .

http://www.bikeexif.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/velocette_venom_thruxton.jpg
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2032579 - 02/13/13 04:52 PM Re: What Goes Around Comes Around! ( A long story.) [Re: peterws]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2328
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: peterws
Baldwins were stocked in the piano shop where my wife worked, teaching in Barrow in Furness, England. And they were my favourite. Now, since you`re on a roll as they say, there may be hope for British Motorcycles . . . .

http://www.bikeexif.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/velocette_venom_thruxton.jpg


Are they going to start building those thumpers again?
_________________________
Gary

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