The Truth About Baldwin Pianos: A Guide for Piano Enthusiasts
When it comes to American-made pianos, Baldwin is one of the most iconic brands. Baldwin pianos have been renowned for their exceptional quality and rich, expressive sound for over a century. Today, Baldwin pianos are still being produced, but with many changes that have sparked a lot of misinformation. In this article, we will explore the truth about Baldwin pianos to help piano enthusiasts make informed decisions.
Wholly An American Company
First and foremost, Baldwin is still an American company. Although their pianos are now being produced in China, Baldwin is still wholly owned by Gibson Guitar Corporation and headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. It's worth noting that many iconic American brands now manufacture their products in other countries due to shifts in global economics and supply. This is common in today's globalized world, allowing companies to maintain high standards of quality without pricing themselves out of the market.
Made The Old-Fashioned Way
Contrary to popular belief, modern Baldwin pianos are still made the old-fashioned way. While advancements in manufacturing and design have improved how virtually everything is made, Baldwin pianos still receive a ton of "hands-on" work by master technicians. Several models, like the BP-211, BP-190, the B-252, the Hamilton Studio, and the Acrosonic, are updated editions of time-tested models.
Baldwin still uses their iconic American Spruce soundboards, Wisconsin Maple pin blocks and inner rims, and custom-made soft felt hammers for that traditional Baldwin tone. Baldwin is the only piano line with a working center pedal on its pianos. Baldwin uses a "practice lever" switch on the left side of the piano, which lowers a felt strip in front of the hammers, giving players the full functionality of their piano and the modern "practice rail" feature.
Great Sound for a Lower Price
One of the biggest advantages of modern Baldwin pianos is their price. Moving production to China has allowed Baldwin to build a world-class piano for the mid-price piano market. You can own a new Baldwin 52" professional upright for less than a fourth of what you'd pay for a 52" Steinway or half of what you'd pay for a 52" Yamaha. Once you play one, you'll wonder why anyone would pay so much more. Most people simply want a good-quality piano that sounds beautiful, plays well, looks great, and lasts many years.
Unique American Sound
Baldwin pianos have always been known for their unique American sound. Modern Baldwin pianos feature Alaskan "Sitka" Spruce soundboards – the same wood Baldwin has used for generations. Thanks to the careful watch of Baldwin's master craftsmen that is one thing that really hasn't changed.
Today's Baldwin Pianos still have that iconic American sound. It isn't as dark as some European pianos or bright as many Asian instruments. It's a unique tone all their own. There is no harshness or "brassy" sound in the lower register. Baldwin Pianos deliver a "creamy smooth" rumble that blends to a clear, singing treble as your hands move up the keyboard. This unique sound made Baldwin the choice for pianists like Liberace, Ray Charles, and Billy Joel. This is the sound that still inspires today's players every day.
The Truth About Baldwin Pianos
The truth is, things change. Every major piano manufacturer has had to re-imagine their instruments or change something about their production in the last decade. Globalization has changed how every product in the world is made—from cell phones to concert grand pianos—and whether it's an American-made Baldwin or a Chinese-made Baldwin, you can count on a fantastic musical experience. In the end, there is only one opinion that matters: yours. Come on in and see a modern Baldwin Piano for yourself. You can compare it with its (more expensive) American siblings and decide which piano has the ideal sound, touch, look, and price for your home, church, or school.
If you're looking for the best piano store in San Francisco, look no further than RKassman. With a friendly and knowledgeable staff and an extensive selection of pianos, RKassman is the best place to find the perfect piano for your home or studio. Visit RKassman today to find the perfect piano for your needs!