Pianotech

  • 1.  Chinese Baldwin B52

    Member
    Posted 05-17-2022 07:37
    Serviced this piano several years back when it was almost new and was quite disappointed in the overall quality of the piano.  I installed a PLS at that time and had hoped she'd found a tech closer to her to service it.  Sadly it went in serviced until yesterday.  I was appalled when I removed the bottom board and found this:  The spacer for the bridge apron is coming unglued from the board, and the apron itself has come unglued from the spacer and has split and is moving out of position.Image.jpegImage.jpeg

    After several years


  • 2.  RE: Chinese Baldwin B52

    Posted 05-17-2022 08:00
    Is that defect covered under the ltd warranty?

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    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    (678) 416-8055
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  • 3.  RE: Chinese Baldwin B52

    Member
    Posted 05-17-2022 11:18
    My question is where is the piano located and what PLS system was installed ? If it was a full system with water tank did the client keep it filled with water and treatment and working pads ? If there is a heat source nearby such as a fire place, stove, hvac vent maybe dry winter heat affected things with low humidity indoor winter temps. Aside from this damage how was the action and key performance ? Could the piano have been dropped in a move ? How old is the piano - you mentioned years ago - so it is obviously not new

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357
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  • 4.  RE: Chinese Baldwin B52

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-18-2022 12:24
    I think any owner of these pianos will be fighting too many factors- poor quality materials, poor workmanship. Of the few Baldwin uprights from China I have seen, they top the list as likely the worst, or equal to the worst pianos from the East. Loose balance pins and key level that looked like a roller coaster on two separate ones, and your photos makes me think the lumber used in those pianos is not properly seasoned.

    Chinese Baldwin also brought us the “stealth” action- wooden action components painted or dyed black. Owners of those actions will have the pleasure of discovering what that dye does down the road…..

    Joe Wiencek
    NYC




  • 5.  RE: Chinese Baldwin B52

    Posted 05-18-2022 13:07
    The sad thing is that people are really happy that they just bought a new "Baldwin", thinking they got a good piano but are completely unaware that the quality of the Chinese made Baldwins is not even a vague resemblance of what Baldwin once stood for.
    Peter

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    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    (678) 416-8055
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  • 6.  RE: Chinese Baldwin B52

    Member
    Posted 05-18-2022 13:40
    Joe, this is one of those "stealth" pianos that you referenced.  Action parts painted or dyed black with blue felt everywhere in the action and even blue escaine on the hammer butts and catchers.  Early on, the damper pedal rod broke and I made a wooden replacement.  The PLS was installed soon after the piano was delivered.
    The piano lives in a typical southwestern Pennsylvania home with dry winters and more humid summers.  The PLS was continuously working and maintained using pad treatment and distilled water.

    You can try to make owners understand that pianos need regular service, BUT most of the time it doesn't happen.  You know the old saying You can lead a horse to water….
    What prompted the call from the owner was that the pedal pitman had pulled thru the hole in the pedal and the pedal was non functional.  The head of the pitman is much smaller than the hole in the pedal so Baldwin put a plastic washer on the pitman to keep it from pulling thru the hole in the pedal.  The washer broke and the head of the pitman pulled thru the hole in the pedal rendering the pedal non functional.

    The key level is all over the place, letoff same thing, about one-quarter inch of lost motion between capstan and wippen cushion, hammer spacing all screwed up.  Virtually unplayable, but made playable once again.

    The PLS 5PS38 certainly had done its job, though!  I was flabbergasted to find the piano at A438.

    I totally believe these issues were caused by poor quality and workmanship.  Finding this structural issue leads me to believe that Baldwin did not season their wood properly.  It is sad that these low quality pianos are foisted off in unsuspecting buyers.

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    [Wesley] [Gill[Designation]
    Apollo PA
    (412) 480-6125
    WesleyGillWesley
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  • 7.  RE: Chinese Baldwin B52

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-18-2022 15:34
    "...Finding this structural issue leads me to believe that Baldwin did not season their wood properly."

    Wesley, there is no Baldwin per se. These are essentially stencil pianos.


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    Steven Rosenthal RPT
    Honolulu HI
    (808) 521-7129
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  • 8.  RE: Chinese Baldwin B52

    Member
    Posted 05-18-2022 18:15
    I heard of the so called "stealth" and the difficulty it presented for regulation etc. Definitely sounds like poor wood seasoning, assembly in less than good stable environment, poor material and labor, next to none qa/qc.

    I had one Baldwin early in my career where I failed to take off the bottom kick panel and examine the bridges and the apron. After I tuned it not much had improved. I took off the panel and saw that the shelf/apron was unglued from the soundboard. A case of glue failure /inadequate glue and clamping .

    Unfortunately we field technicians have to deal with these problems then and there and customers are stuck. There is usually a reason why a good piano costs what it costs but consumers often shop with the thought and belief that got a "deal". I tell many customers I have to read the Piano Book, try out pianos and seek out good advice from a technician . Sometimes new is not better and names are not indicative of quality

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357
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