Domestic Pianos

Domestic Pianos   

 

Mason & Hamlin Piano Co.

Since 1854, Mason & Hamlin has continued its century-old tradition of using the finest materials and time-honored methods to produce some of the world’s finest pianos. These American-made instruments grace the stages of concert halls and conservatories alike, and are renowned for their distinctive tone, bell-like treble, thunderous bass, and exceptional playability.

 

Charles A. Walter Pianos

The Walter Piano Company is the oldest family run American piano company in existence today. Their pianos are completely hand built with the utmost attention to detail and sometimes require months to complete each piece.

 

Baldwin Pianos

Dwight Hamilton Baldwin was a piano, violin, and organ teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1862 he opened a branch of the Decker Brothers piano dealership in the area.  They were authorized dealers of Steinway & Sons pianos.  When a relative of Henry Steinway opened a piano store in Cincinnati, Steinways were no longer available for Mr. Baldwin to sell.  So he embarked upon becoming a piano manufacturer.  After hiring Lucien Wulsin in 1866, the two formed the D.H. Baldwin company in 1873.  By the 1890’s The Baldwin Piano Company had become the largest piano dealer in the Midwestern United States.

Dwight Baldwin started building pianos in 1891 with the goal to produce “the best piano that could be built”, because most pianos of the day were of inferior quality.  During World War 2, Baldwin constructed plywood aircraft wings instead of pianos.  They designed a 21-ply maple wing, which they transformed into their famous pinblock design used in postwar piano models.  Other companies, unaware of this advance because Baldwin hid it under glued-on felt, continued using 5 and 6-ply piano pinblocks for decades.  The company continued to improve their pianos by acquiring the C. Bechstein company in 1963, to incorporate their construction techniques as well as their Renner action.  In October 1986, Baldwin bought the Pratt-Read piano action company so that they could use one of the world’s best piano action designs in their pianos.  The Pratt-Read piano action, originally manufactured in Ivoryton, CT, had already been incorporated in hundreds of different piano brands.  Those pianos have a visible elephant head decal inside the piano.  In 1988, Baldwin purchased the Wurlitzer Company, which also excelled in piano design.  These patented designs were incorporated into Baldwin pianos.  Baldwin ceased making pianos under the Wurlitzer brand name in 2009. In 2001, the Gibson Guitar Corporation purchased Baldwin’s assets and Wurlitzer’s German operations. Gibson continued to make jukeboxes in Germany under the Wurlitzer name until 2013.

The handmade Artist Grands, which were built at the Trumann Factory in Trumann, Arkansas, are among the finest anywhere, at any price. These pianos are famous for their touch, tone, and durability. Production of the Baldwin Artist Grand models ceased in 2009. Gibson maintained the Trumann Factory as a parts facility for older Baldwin USA pianos until 2018, when it was closed and sold.

Today, most Baldwin pianos are manufactured in China because the global piano market has changed dramatically. The Chinese domestic piano market is approximately 350,000 pianos annually, which accounts for 80% of the world’s new piano market. The USA only sells about 35,000 pianos per year. China simply is where the market is. In the 1970s, there were many US manufacturers because the US market was selling upwards of 200,000 pianos annually.

Today, all Baldwin upright pianos are manufactured by Baldwin at the Baldwin Zhongshan factory in Zhongshan, China.

Baldwin currently has two series of grand pianos, the Academy Series BA (Original Equipment Manufacturer made in Indonesia) and the Professional Series BP that is OEM manufactured in China.

Baldwin Customer Service told us, “We continue to look for ways to bring back the historic Artist Grand models.”

 

Steinway Pianos

Steinway uses a lower overall string tension than other piano brands because it provides a warmer tone, which is better suited to classical music than high-tensioned pianos.  Other hallmarks of lower string tension are longer sustain, lighter attack, and a mellow sound.  From the Steinway & Sons website: “In comparison to other pianos, Steinway has lower string tension.  This reduced string tension, along with a tapered soundboard, creates longer sustain, and a more singing quality in the tone (as well as longer piano life).  A low-tension string scale design gives a fuller tone by allowing more of the lower partials to sing.  It also has more sustain, is more powerful, has more dynamic range, and provides warmer and mellower tones.”

Many Steinway pianos are currently available.  Please feel free to inquire about the current inventory of previously owned Steinway pianos.

A two-year warranty is offered on previously owned pianos.  A ten-year trade-up warranty is offered on all pianos.

Perhaps now is the time to get the piano of your dreams. Contact us anytime about available models at the piano store that we work with. We can help you find a new or used piano that meets your needs and budget.

 

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