Baldwin SF-10

Posted by: newinstru?

Baldwin SF-10 - 12/11/12 02:58 AM

Several months ago I checked out a '92 Baldwin SF 10 at a church. It was not cosmetically the best, but I was more interested in the sound, thinking if it sounded great we could take care of the rest later. It was out of tune, however, and I told them i just can't tell if a piano would be good if it weren't. The hammers were also pretty grooved, and I pointed out that as well, if for nothing else to help them in the resale process (the people there seemed to know even less then I do!)It was selling for I think around 12k ( I was hoping to offer lower if I liked it). Frankly, being a church piano, my hopes weren't too high, so I wasn't terribly disappointed.

Lo and behold, I later saw it advertised again, but this time with a reference to a tech having tuned it, reshaped the hammers, maybe regulated...I can't remember......naming the tech...but this time with a higher price tag....15k. I was not tempted.

However, the price just got lowered to 8500, and I will find myself in the area yet again tomorrow afternoon. Now I am curious. There is a tech who said he would be able to meet me there and check it out if I went.

I was wondering, however, if any of you had any thoughts.......complete waste of time? Not necessarily? I read what Larry Fine says about Baldwins of that vintage. Does anyone have a Baldwin from around that time that they like? Is there something I should be looking for more specifically?

I welcome any opinions.....thanks.
Posted by: rxd

Re: Baldwin SF-10 - 12/11/12 03:30 AM

Not a waste of time at all. I worked for two very prolific Baldwin dealers at that time. Many SF's passed through my hands. They were solidly built and preferred by many fine pianists. The SF and SD were a totally different concept of design from the smaller grands produced by Baldwin at that time.

It has had, however, 20 years of seemingly hard use. It is wise to have a tech who can coordinate with your visit. A call to the tech who did the work wouldnt go amiss as another opinion.

I cannot speak for the pricing from outside the local economy but, no doubt, others can.
Posted by: carey

Re: Baldwin SF-10 - 12/11/12 11:23 AM

Originally Posted By: newinstru?

I was wondering, however, if any of you had any thoughts.......complete waste of time? Not necessarily? I read what Larry Fine says about Baldwins of that vintage. Does anyone have a Baldwin from around that time that they like? Is there something I should be looking for more specifically?


By all means, check it out again !!!!!!

We recently purchased a 17 year old Baldwin SF-10 for our church for $10K. Found it on Craigslist. The piano started its life in a university setting and was played heavily for about one year. It was then taken back by the dealer. An expensive player system was installed, and the piano was purchased by a family with three kids in 1997. Bottom line - it hadn't had an "easy" life. When I first tried out the piano at the seller's home in August I was "put off" by the player system and how the piano might have been compromised by it. We certainly had no use for the player system in our church, and visually, the wires and boxes hanging down under the piano weren't very appealing. Once I had my own tech check the piano out, we decided to take a chance with it. We paid a local piano re-builder to remove the player system, which involved significant carpentry work and rebuilding of the trapwork. We also had him buff out most of the scratches on the piano's case. Once we moved the piano to our church, my tech gave the instrument a complete regulation (including reshaping the hammers, leveling the strings, etc.). We bought an artist bench, a piano spider dolly, and padded cover - and now, after a month - we couldn't be happier with the purchase. Then, to make things even better, a local piano tech who helped the re-builder remove the bulky old player system offered to buy the player system from us for $500 (it was a Baldwin Concertmaster system that probably cost around $5K when new). When the dust settled, we had invested around $13.5K for the piano (including the repairs, regulation, and accessories). Most importantly, the piano has a responsive Renner action, warm singing tone, and a rich, full sound. It should serve our needs for a long time.

So - if YOU can get a 20 year old SF-10 in reasonably good shape for $8.5K - and are willing to put a couple of thousand into it for repairs - you may be very pleased with the results !!!!

Good luck !!
Posted by: Chopinlover49

Re: Baldwin SF-10 - 12/11/12 01:02 PM

It sounds like it would be worth trying out. What have you got to lose?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Baldwin SF-10 - 12/11/12 03:29 PM

I love the SF 10 Baldwins...if the tech ok's it and you like the sound and touch you will be a lucky person...

I'd be running to it...
Posted by: kpembrook

Re: Baldwin SF-10 - 12/11/12 03:51 PM

As the tech for a husband/wife duo-piano team who toured the US in a custom built motor home with 2 SF-10s in the back, I came to respect those instruments and consider them in the top echelon of 7' pianos.

I eventually installed Cadenza S hammers on both pianos when the time came for their renewal -- along with cryogenically treated wire. The piano duo considered them superior at that point to when they had selected them at the Baldwin factory.

I don't think you'll go wrong if you get this instrument.
Posted by: newinstru?

Re: Baldwin SF-10 - 12/11/12 11:10 PM

Thank you all so much for the encouragement and sharing your individual experiences. I did go see it. The tech was very helpful and informative (as are so many people I have come across in my search)......people who love what they do and share their passion with others). He spent at least an hour looking it over discussing other piano stuff with me.

Unfortunately, I think I have to chalk this up to another learning experience. The tech said if it were him he would offer no more than 5 k for it, as he thought it would need new hammers ( they were "shaped" .......is that the right word.....quite a lot. Anyway, bass sounded twangy still.......he thought it would need at least new bass strings and work on the action ( uneven). He thought it would need to put probably another 5k into it. I am too chicken to go into the land of unknowns with so many variables.

Thanks again. I really appreciate having a place to come to with all my questions!
Posted by: newinstru?

Re: Baldwin SF-10 - 12/11/12 11:10 PM

Thank you all so much for the encouragement and sharing your individual experiences. I did go see it. The tech was very helpful and informative (as are so many people I have come across in my search)......people who love what they do and share their passion with others). He spent at least an hour looking it over discussing other piano stuff with me.

Unfortunately, I think I have to chalk this up to another learning experience. The tech said if it were him he would offer no more than 5 k for it, as he thought it would need new hammers ( they were "shaped" .......is that the right word.....quite a lot. Anyway, bass sounded twangy still.......he thought it would need at least new bass strings and work on the action ( uneven). He thought it would need to put probably another 5k into it. I am too chicken to go into the land of unknowns with so many variables.

Thanks again. I really appreciate having a place to come to with all my questions!
Posted by: BDB

Re: Baldwin SF-10 - 12/11/12 11:25 PM

Looking is often a learning experience, even if you do not buy.