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Topic Options
#611500 - 02/09/09 05:39 PM Baldwin Model L action: Can it be improved?
penelope3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 7
Loc: Ohio
We purchased a used 1964 Baldwin Model L about four years ago. It was thoroughly inspected and well-maintained. Since that time, our daughter has improved dramatically as a pianist. She has recently noticed that she has difficulty getting the piano to play softly enough. When she tries to play very softly, the keys don't sound at all, especially in the treble range. Is this something that can be remedied? Should we be looking at a new piano? I could use your advice, as I am not a musician. THANKS! \:\(

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#611501 - 02/09/09 05:47 PM Re: Baldwin Model L action: Can it be improved?
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3940
If the action is not too worn, adjusting (regulating) the action may help. Given the age of the piano, worn hammers and hammer shanks may need to be replaced before the action can be adjusted to play softly.

#611502 - 02/09/09 10:56 PM Re: Baldwin Model L action: Can it be improved?
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
Bob's advice is exactly right.

Personally, I'd do what I could to hang onto the L, unless you're prepared to spend a large sum to replace it. For my preferences they're pretty hard to beat, including a good older one.

Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

#611503 - 02/09/09 11:43 PM Re: Baldwin Model L action: Can it be improved?
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1988
Loc: Murphys, Ca
I would get a tech out there to regulate it and deal with the friction issues. That's why she can't play soft. Even with worn parts, there probably is much room for improvement.
Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

#611504 - 02/10/09 08:49 AM Re: Baldwin Model L action: Can it be improved?
penelope3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 7
Loc: Ohio
Bob, Jeff, and Keith -- Thank you all for your advice and for taking the time to reply! I am relieved to have an idea about how to make this piano work for us. I'm definitely going to do what it takes to find the right technician and get the hammers and action fine tuned. I was concerned that I made a bad choice with the Baldwin L. It's good to know there is room for improvement. My favorite piano rebuilder, Nevin Essex, has moved to Louisville. Does anyone know of a good tech in the Cincinnati area?

Thanks again!

#611505 - 02/10/09 09:24 AM Re: Baldwin Model L action: Can it be improved?
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
“Does anyone know of a good tech in the Cincinnati area?”
There is a fellow I have met here on this forum by the name of Roy Peters. He resides in Cincinnati I believe.

Dan Silverwood
Dan Silverwood
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

#611506 - 02/10/09 09:52 AM Re: Baldwin Model L action: Can it be improved?
Zeno Wood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 497
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Check out his website:

Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College

#611507 - 02/10/09 02:22 PM Re: Baldwin Model L action: Can it be improved?
penelope3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 7
Loc: Ohio
Thanks! I'll give Roy Peters a call.

#611508 - 02/10/09 11:16 PM Re: Baldwin Model L action: Can it be improved?
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 787
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Thanks for the assist guys. I was contacted today, and we set up an appointment to look at the piano.
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio

#611509 - 02/13/09 09:05 PM Re: Baldwin Model L action: Can it be improved?
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1348
Loc: Maine, U.S.
I'm a pianist who plays a Baldwin L bought new in 1984. Recently, nearing the 25 year point for the piano, I had it partially rebuilt with new hammers, shanks, flanges, strings, tuning pins, and key and balance rail punchings. Before the rebuilding, I too was finding it more difficult to play pianissimo. Once the new action parts in particular were put on, playing quietly was easier. These Baldwin L's are wonderful pianos. So I too would vote that you consider some partial rebuilding. It will be far less expensive than buying a new or rebuilt piano at today's high prices. Incidentally, for hammers, rather than going with Baldwin-specified Renner hammers, we instead used Ronsen Wurzen hammers (suggested by a former Baldwin design engineer), which I really like a lot.


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