What Is An Acrosonic Piano?
The Acrosonic piano by Baldwin, first built in 1936, was among the first spinet pianos built in the mid 1930's. They were roughly 36 inches to 38 inches tall. Everything inside of this new style was the same as previous vertical style pianos. But with two exceptions.
1. The height was much shorter than pianos built up to that point. This also meant that the strings and sound board were much shorter. And with that fact the tone and overall power was less.
2. Inside of these pianos the action was the same mechanism with the only difference being that it was dropped or set lower than the level of the keys. These actions are called drop actions by technicians. An inverted sticker system was used to connect to the keys. And this caused the keys to be shorter. All of this basically meant that the drop action did not play with the same feel as larger uprights. Most have a much lighter feel.
Acrosonics at first had one of the best actions that a spinet could have. Overall Baldwin had a long history of quality piano making which was evident even in this new cut down style of pianos. For many years Acrosonics were definitely one of the best spinets built in the world. Unfortunately this did not last.
By the late 1970's rising costs and foreign competition caused Baldwin to make changes in their production. These changes were not good, especially for spinet pianos. After all this short style was a cut down from the larger instruments in the first place. More cut backs meant that more quality was lost. At some point all spinets were no longer as good as they were back in the 1930's.
Why? Because the parts were cheaper (as in lower quality), the workers became less skilled because of lower wages, and management no longer really cared about quality because the profit margin was narrowing. No wonder most piano teachers hated spinets!!
Baldwin was not the only company that allowed the quality of their instruments to drop. Just about every spinet maker in the US had done the same thing. No wonder all of them are now out of business. Pretty sad, huh. Well right now (2012) economic conditions are sure not helping the piano industry.
At the moment the Baldwin company is located in China. To my knowledge they do not build any spinets. Although the Acrosonic name may be placed on certain models of studios. Over the years Acrosonic was used on some studio size pianos (45" and taller) off and on since the 30's
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