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 Post subject: Getting my Baldwin SF-10 voiced
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Here is what my guy presented to me as options. I went with number one due to cost considerations. He starts on March 12th. If I win a sweepstakes I'll do number 3 later. :)
Quote:
Let me give you three proposals that you might consider:

1. The simplest thing to do would be to just reshape your present hammers and needle them down. Your Renner hammers are rock hard so needling would take a lot of time. After sufficient needling, I would relevel your strings, re-fit the hammers to the strings, and touch up the regulation. Softening intrinsically hard hammers is a hit-and-miss proposition. Sometimes the effect last only a year or so; then they pack down again and need more work. It's uncertain. I could do all this in about two to three days. Cost: $400 to $500.

2. If my old Baldwin made hammers would indeed fit your piano, I could replace your hard Renner hammers. Then I would reshape the Baldwin hammers and do all the re-regulation and voicing needed to bring your piano to good performance levels. Since you wouldn't have any costs for replacement parts, the charge would be only my labor. It would take me perhaps 4 days to a week to work everything out. Costs: around $700.

3. I have one more suggestion of a more lasting nature. Before I left the [Baldwin] factory, I purchased a new set of SF-10 hammers (bored and shaped) to use as replacements for my own piano sometime in the future. I still have them. They were made in 1987 when Baldwin was still making their own hammers. Also I hand picked them from several sets of production hammers available at the time. I would sell them to you for $100, a fraction of the cost of a new set. I would have to glue them to new Renner shanks which would cost $450.00. By replacing both the hammers and shanks, you could make a lasting improvement on your piano that would greatly extend its working life. New shanks with good leather on knuckles would greatly improve the performance of the piano. Of course this is a far more labor intense process, 2 to 2 1/2 weeks to complete. Parts and labor would approach $1800. Something to think about. I could show you these hammers sometime if you wish.

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Getting my Baldwin SF-10 voiced
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Posts: 8511
Good luck with the repair, Eddy!

(I didn't know that strings needed to be re-leveled.)

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Getting my Baldwin SF-10 voiced
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Posts: 418
Location: Boston
Hi Eddy, why, where, and what do you want to get out of the piano? How old are the strings? Any oxidation/rust on them? Strings have a lifespan of 25 years, so you might need to consider restringing down the road. How is the tone and timbre balance? I've never gone through a restoration on my Steinway B. When I first bought it, I had it regulated (which lasts about 7 years), and that's about it. There is nothing more expensive than doing something cheaply only to have to redo it again soon... My recommendation: Choice #3.
Whatever you do, be careful of treating the hammer with chemical lacquers as the changes are irreversible if the result is undesirable. I would also approach Rachfan (David) as he is knowledgeable about restoring Baldwins.

Good luck,
George

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"Nobility of spirit has more to do with simplicity than ostentation, wisdom rather than wealth, commitment rather than ambition." ~Riccardo Muti


Last edited by 88man on Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting my Baldwin SF-10 voiced
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Hi George,
So good to hear from you again. As all of my late submissions attest, the timbre of my piano verges on Baroque trumpet! I came to practicing and recording with the lid entirely closed. I am getting it voiced to a more flugelhorn sound, or perhaps that of a french horn which is also capable of being brassy when needed. :wink: My piano is not 25 years old. I purchased it from a Steinway artist (puzzling, right?) whose only recommendation to me was to have a new set of hammers installed, so yes, number 3 is perhaps the right thing to do. However, a talented technician can accomplish a lot! This fellow I have was for a time in charge of quality control at the Baldwin factory so he knows what he's doing. I'm just about ready to dive into the pool myself (self-regulation), get some tools and start learning by trial-and error, but have yet stayed my hand -- probably a very good thing.

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Getting my Baldwin SF-10 voiced
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Posts: 418
Location: Boston
Hi Eddy, great to hear from you too! I feel your pain. For years, I practiced on a 5'3" Bradbury which had hardened hammers too at my parents house. I could never lift the lid on it too for fear that my mom's crystals might shatter. :P The dynamic range varied from mp to ff - very difficult to get pp or p sometimes. I could never play the Chopin Nocturnes on it well. I hope you make a choice that you won't regret later. Consistency and predictability is the name of the game here. That's why I think a new set of pristine hammers are very tempting...

So you want to learn regulation? I hope that you do. Ha, I've thought about taking course at the North Bennett School here in Boston. It's an excellent school that teaches how to make, restore, and service all kinds of instruments. I've always had a fascination with color, tone, and timbre. Well, I don't know were you are in your career, but I hope you can retire early to do all these fun things! That's my goal! :D
I digress, I hope the restoration goes well. Chris restored his Gaveau not too long ago, and it gave birth to whole new piano.

Good Luck!
George

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"Nobility of spirit has more to do with simplicity than ostentation, wisdom rather than wealth, commitment rather than ambition." ~Riccardo Muti


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