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#299773 - 11/06/04 02:38 PM 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
jroe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/06/04
Posts: 2
Loc: Kansas City
I'm brand new to the Boards an am looking for a good used piano for my family.

I'm looking at a 1952 Acrosonic that is $1400. It is at a trustworthy store that sells both new and used pianos and the salesman was an older man who has worked there for 30 years. He was crazy about this piano - said it was very solid and a great starter. Everything looks like it's in great condition and I read in The Piano Book that through the 1960s, Acrosonics were well-made.

Is this piano a good investment for us? I'm trying to research and feel that personal experience from experienced players might be a good indicator. I appreciate your feedback!

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#299774 - 11/06/04 05:57 PM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
jroe,
welcome to the forums!

Before answering your question, it's important to know where you are in this search.
Are we talking about an Acrosonic spinet, or an Acrosonic console?

The Acrosonic spinet is not going to be a particularly good instrument because it's a spinet (nothing to do with brand or build).

What's your budget? That would help us to know how best to inform.
_________________________
Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

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#299775 - 11/09/04 04:29 PM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
Piano Peddler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/04
Posts: 351
jroe:

Any used piano, whether two years old or fifty-two years, as in the case of this Acrosonic, must be evaluated according to its present condition and the care and maintenance it has been given. Older spinets that have been neglected for years generally sound bright and tinny, but many Baldwin verticals from that era have retained their full, rich tone quality. If the instrument you are looking at has been reconditioned and has good tuning stability, it is priced fairly. Acrosonic consoles from the fifties can sell for up to $2500 if they are in good condition. Look around at comparably-priced used pianos and it will be clear to you which piano sounds better.
_________________________
Craig Smith
aka "Piano Peddler"
Veteran industry professional
and keyboard musician

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#299776 - 11/10/04 12:35 PM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
jroe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/06/04
Posts: 2
Loc: Kansas City
Thank you for your replies. I went back and found out that it is a spinet in really good condition. It has been reconditioned, although the man at The Toon Shop said it really needed very little work. (Although I'm not exactly sure what "work" might have been needed). I haven't played for years, but this sounded "full", not tinny. In fact, I thought it sounded better than some of the new ones.

It is $1350 - I guess that seems like a relatively small investment---but what's the worst case scenario? If it sounds good at the store can I assume it will sound good for awhile? If I decide to upgrade, the store will take this piano back for what I paid for it. Yikes, this is confusing!!

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#299777 - 11/10/04 01:12 PM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
At first glance, $1350 seems way high for an 52 year old Acrosonic. Like maybe double...

But I am also not sure about the difference between a spinet and a console. Can anyone educate me on this?

Although I still think the price will be too high, unless there's something magical in a console that I know nothing about.

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#299778 - 11/10/04 02:11 PM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21444
Loc: Oakland
Acrosonics from this era are all spinets, with all the problems you have with those actions. I think $1350 is too much for any spinet, let alone one this old. See if you can find a nice studio (45", without a drop action) piano for that price.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#299779 - 11/10/04 03:23 PM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
Eric F Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 518
Loc: La Quinta, CA
An Acrosonic like you described would sell for $600 to $1000 in our market.
_________________________
Eric Frankson
"Music comes first from my heart, and then goes upstairs to my head where I check it out." - Roberta Flack

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#299780 - 11/10/04 05:05 PM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Originally posted by Eric F:
An Acrosonic like you described would sell for $600 to $1000 in our market. [/b]
Good point about the market, Eric F. I'm probably in your market area, hence my comment on the price... but KC may be different.

Nina

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#299781 - 11/11/04 05:55 AM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426
Nina,

A spinet has a "drop-action" which is very hard to remove or even service. Your piano technician won't have much interest in making what are ordinarily simple adjustments. You can't blame him or her for that.

I grew up with an Acrosonic spinet. As someone else mentioned, a studio upright is a better choice.

A dealer here had a 30 year old Petrof 115 and was asking 1595 for what was a really nice piano. You might find an old Everett or Sohmer studio for that price.

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#299782 - 11/11/04 11:27 AM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
lani Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/06/04
Posts: 34
Loc: california
For what it's worth, my daughter just parted with her dearly beloved Baldwin Spinet around the same age. We bought it used from a local dealer and it gave her six years of enjoyment. It is a great piano for beginners, especially kids, and she had a very hard time parting with it. We bought it for $ 600.00, and it needed only one major cleaning that cost us about $300.no, other problems or costs associated with its upkeep other than regular tunings each year. We would recommend this piano for a starting family piano! We sold it for twice over what we paid for it (almost 3x's). Just got lucky I guess. Good luck, we love the new Baldwin M (artist grand)!

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#299783 - 11/11/04 11:34 AM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
The problem with a spinet isn't the drop action per se. Yes, it's a pain to work on and takes a lot of extra time. But that's not why we don't recommend them.

Aside from bad scaling and bad design (because that's not unique to spinets), the difference is that there is a 400% difference in force required to move the key between the front and back.

So rather than a 2:1 ratio between down weight at the back, and front of the key; you're looking at a 4:1 ratio. This makes it virtually impossible for a beginning student to learn any level of musicality or control. Because each key may feel so different depending on where they depress it, they will never learn to play below the MF level.

This is caused by the drop action, and the back of the key being cut off...
_________________________
Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

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#299784 - 11/11/04 12:05 PM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426
KlavierBauer,

Thanks for explaining the odd feel of the spinet action. I might add that the light action made it difficult for me to develop the fingers enough to play above MF on a normal piano, too.

My Acrosonic had back checks which desperately needed adjustment (pushed forward) but my technician couldn't do it because he no longer had the special tool to get to them. (His tools had been stolen. What does one get for piano tech tools at a pawn shop?)

I still would recommend an ugly old studio piano. When I was practicing on the Acrosonic it was a treat when I got to play a piano with a decent action.

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#299785 - 11/11/04 12:36 PM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Yes I agree Mark.

The drop action is not a great action to progress on. As a technician they're horrible to work on, and not worth the cost in labor typically.
And as a performer, they're difficult to play musically on.....

So why do people still want them? \:\)
_________________________
Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

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#299786 - 11/11/04 12:52 PM Re: 1952 Baldwin Acrosonic - a good piano?
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
Sounds like a LOT of money for a 50 year old spinet! Bet you can do a lot better.
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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