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#2046109 - 03/10/13 06:47 PM Howard/Baldwin
bob1957 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/13
Posts: 16
A little confused, does anybody know of this combined brand? I just found a Grand for sale the ad say's Howard outside Baldwin Inside....was wondering if this combination is something common or is this possibly a retrofit of 2 different brands?

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#2046110 - 03/10/13 07:00 PM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: bob1957]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3300
Howard was an economy brand for Baldwin, much like Essex or Boston is for Steinway.
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
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#2046117 - 03/10/13 07:14 PM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: beethoven986]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 791
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Howard was an economy brand for Baldwin, much like Essex or Boston is for Steinway.


Yes. Were the older ones made in USA?

I played a Howard which I think was manufactured in China (but couldn't verify. It was a newer piano), and to state my opinion bluntly the piano was very poor.
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#2046129 - 03/10/13 07:27 PM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: beethoven986]
bob1957 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/13
Posts: 16
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Howard was an economy brand for Baldwin, much like Essex or Boston is for Steinway.


Does that make the entire piano of a lesser quality then say a plain Baldwin? I'm assuming they used a lesser quality Baldwin action etc? as Linclon is to Ford or vice versa? if you dont mind me using that comparison?

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#2046136 - 03/10/13 07:45 PM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: bob1957]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3300
Originally Posted By: bob1957
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Howard was an economy brand for Baldwin, much like Essex or Boston is for Steinway.


Does that make the entire piano of a lesser quality then say a plain Baldwin? I'm assuming they used a lesser quality Baldwin action etc? as Linclon is to Ford or vice versa? if you dont mind me using that comparison?


Cars generally don't make good piano analogies. But yes, the Howard pianos were not as good as the Baldwins.
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B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
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#2046137 - 03/10/13 07:48 PM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: musicpassion]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3300
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Howard was an economy brand for Baldwin, much like Essex or Boston is for Steinway.


Yes. Were the older ones made in USA?

I played a Howard which I think was manufactured in China (but couldn't verify. It was a newer piano), and to state my opinion bluntly the piano was very poor.


Yes, I believe the older ones were made in the USA. At one point, they were made by Kawai, in Japan, and were essentially Kawais with the Howard name. They could have eventually be made in China. I don't know.
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
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#2046147 - 03/10/13 08:10 PM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: bob1957]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 443
Loc: Oregon Coast
Keep in mind that having several lines, from one house, allows the salesmen to offer 'different' pianos to the buyer. A Baldwin dealership also sold 'Monarch' and 'Ellington' pianos back in the day. Lots of names, but solid pianos every one. Hamilton, too! "You don't like the Baldwin? Here's a nice Ellington for you! Try this." Get it? Marketing strategies and salesmanship.

Most of the time; the internal works, of the actions and keys, would be identical or similiar, but the cabinetry would be VERY different. Howards from the 30's-60's were a fine, solid, and very 'Baldwin-like' piano...just a plainer cabinet generally.

Modern makers are not building different names in the same factory, as many of those old Baldwin names, and the Essex/Boston comparison does not really work the same way. The modern 'second line' is coming from a different country completely! The components and designs are totally different, the pianos have little in common but the name. Baldwin was in fact one of the first to move 'second-line' pianos out of the US...when they started building a 'Howard' out of the Kawai factory in Japan.

So...the age matters when looking at 'second-line'. Were the pianos coming from the same stock, parts, woods, and hands of the same craftsmen? Or different factories/same country? Or are they from different factories in different parts of the globe, as much more common today?

Your piano, Baldwin/Howard? Without some idea of the age of the piano, there is no telling what the quality level is. The older Howards were as solid as any Baldwin of the day, the Kawai Howards are solid and dependable, too. But, newer than that? I'd have to check a Buyer's Guide to find out what country they were being made in! Korea? Indonesia? Japan? Taiwan? Sherpas from Mongolia? It can be bewildering to find out where pianos are coming from these days. (sigh)

Hope that helps,
(probably adding to the confusion)
I remain,
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff@aol.com

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#2046258 - 03/10/13 11:28 PM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: bob1957]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20778
Loc: Oakland
Howards in the old days were several steps down from Baldwins, and a step down from Hamilton, which was their #2 line. There are other Baldwin nameplates that were the equivalent of Howard, but they were never higher than #3 in quality, and eventually became the bargain brand, the equivalent of Whitney for Kimball.
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#2046299 - 03/11/13 01:52 AM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: beethoven986]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 791
Loc: California, USA
Ok thanks.
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Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2046303 - 03/11/13 01:58 AM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: bob1957]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 381
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
2002 after mid summer was about it for US made Baldwin Grands at least at the Conover Arkansas factory. I had one that was probably stuck on the line supposedly made in 2003 but the action clearly said made in Mexico.

I think everything is made in China now including my dinner.
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#2047815 - 03/13/13 06:45 PM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: TunerJeff]
bob1957 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/21/13
Posts: 16
Originally Posted By: TunerJeff
Keep in mind that having several lines, from one house, allows the salesmen to offer 'different' pianos to the buyer. A Baldwin dealership also sold 'Monarch' and 'Ellington' pianos back in the day. Lots of names, but solid pianos every one. Hamilton, too! "You don't like the Baldwin? Here's a nice Ellington for you! Try this." Get it? Marketing strategies and salesmanship.

Most of the time; the internal works, of the actions and keys, would be identical or similiar, but the cabinetry would be VERY different. Howards from the 30's-60's were a fine, solid, and very 'Baldwin-like' piano...just a plainer cabinet generally.

Modern makers are not building different names in the same factory, as many of those old Baldwin names, and the Essex/Boston comparison does not really work the same way. The modern 'second line' is coming from a different country completely! The components and designs are totally different, the pianos have little in common but the name. Baldwin was in fact one of the first to move 'second-line' pianos out of the US...when they started building a 'Howard' out of the Kawai factory in Japan.

So...the age matters when looking at 'second-line'. Were the pianos coming from the same stock, parts, woods, and hands of the same craftsmen? Or different factories/same country? Or are they from different factories in different parts of the globe, as much more common today?

Your piano, Baldwin/Howard? Without some idea of the age of the piano, there is no telling what the quality level is. The older Howards were as solid as any Baldwin of the day, the Kawai Howards are solid and dependable, too. But, newer than that? I'd have to check a Buyer's Guide to find out what country they were being made in! Korea? Indonesia? Japan? Taiwan? Sherpas from Mongolia? It can be bewildering to find out where pianos are coming from these days. (sigh)

Hope that helps,
(probably adding to the confusion)
I remain,



Ok, the owner thinks it's age to be around the 1930's however from what I've been able to find shows the age between 1910 and 1915 according to the serial number. Then again I'd have to sort of agree with the owner because of the case styling compared to others around the 1930's. (not sure if they changed this at all through the years or not)

Baldwin's serials are no where within range under any year but the Howard serials say 1910-1915. The condition as it looks in pictures seems to be in excellent to new condition possibly even flawless. orignal ivories completly intact with no chips and no discoloration but I just didnt know about the quality of the instrument.
Then again, at the price I can pick it up for I could most likely make more off from it as scrap iron firewood if it didn't play well smile

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#2244501 - 03/10/14 10:58 PM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: TunerJeff]
vbayerl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/10/14
Posts: 1
Hi,

several posts speak of newer or older... what does that mean? are their dates? I am struggling to figure out the age of mine, what kind of wood made with, what quality? The top imprint number is 191814 with another # under the wood top digits: 5159 2. the sound board is sound board: 214406

thanks

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#2244619 - 03/11/14 07:54 AM Re: Howard/Baldwin [Re: bob1957]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8082
Loc: Georgia, USA
I have an older Howard baby grand from 1969 that was made by Kawai... it is basically a Kawai model 550/KG2 (5'10"). Maybe not as good as a real Baldwin, but not bad either. It has a better tone than the first baby grand I had... the Tokai G180 (5'10"); the Tokai was not a bad piano but the Howard is more mellow/warm sounding.

I've come to the conclusion that what matters most is how a piano sounds and plays... that is what determines the quality in my book. smile

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

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