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#2219066 - 01/22/14 07:18 PM Yamaha P22 vs Baldwin 243
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 240

Which piano is better in your opinion: Yamaha P22 or Baldwin 243 studio upright? Also is one typically more expensive than the other or are they pretty similar in price range?


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#2219127 - 01/22/14 09:06 PM Re: Yamaha P22 vs Baldwin 243 [Re: johnbarnesiii]
michaelha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 1339
Probably advantage with Yamaha.

Old Baldwins had a shaky quality history. Gibson bought the brand, closed everything down here/Mexico, now they're all made in China.


My old office had a P22. I had fun playing on it, but never played the 243 so can't compare. At least this P22 we had was made in Georgia (USA), not Japan. The Yamaha dealer said the Chinese made Yamaha T118 that he was currently trying to move were better quality than the pianos from Georgia.

#2219137 - 01/22/14 09:24 PM Re: Yamaha P22 vs Baldwin 243 [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Sorry, I have to disagree with "a shaky quality history." That is a very recent development which began in the late 1990's. The Arkansas facility closed in 2008.

Considering the budget that John is considering, I would closely look at the Baldwin/Hamilton 243 and from a tonal standpoint, it would be my choice. I would tend to choose a 30 year old Hamilton over a Yamaha vertical of the same age.
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

#2219149 - 01/22/14 09:40 PM Re: Yamaha P22 vs Baldwin 243 [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 389
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Older P-22s have the Achilles heel of rotted or the high potential of rotted silk cord on the hammer butt flanges. It is not un-common for every single spring to have pushed through the old cord. Another issue is the complicated fallboard hinge pivots and bent arms. The assembly is really too heavy for the pivot points and eventually without maintenance they will tear out of the cabinet. We always have to make new ones on a screw machine it seems.

When I go looking at them to purchase those are the first two things I look for.

As far as the Baldwin 243, Personally the pre-1987 versions are the best made of the new cabinet style ( lift up hood style) after that they tend to get wonky with quality control. I also like its predecessor which is the 1947-49 cabinet style.

In the used market here the Yamaha brings more than the Baldwin but they are neck in neck for steady sales.
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#2230401 - 02/12/14 02:04 PM Re: Yamaha P22 vs Baldwin 243 [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 240
Thanks guys. I am looking for a warmer, mellower sound & nice low tones so with that said, sounds like you guys are saying the Baldwin 243 is the way to go over the P22 from a strictly tonal perspective? People around here are saying the Yamaha's are typically brighter and I've heard so many people say the Baldwin institutional studio uprights are famous for not only being workhorses but also their rich bass tones. So tonally it would make sense to go with the 243 as a start??

#2230416 - 02/12/14 02:19 PM Re: Yamaha P22 vs Baldwin 243 [Re: johnbarnesiii]
terminaldegree Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3490
Loc: WI --> GA
It really depends. The "signature" Baldwin sound could turn really brassy, brash, and unrefined if the piano was played a lot and the owner didn't keep up with maintenance and voicing. When properly voiced and in good condition, it might have the tonal attributes you seek.

If you're looking at used instruments exclusively, the stereotypes you hear about the tonal attributes of brands are not always reliable descriptions of what you will experience. Use, maintenance, environment, and replacement of parts can call change the sound significantly. We know nothing of these parameters for the pianos you're considering, so all of our advice is grossly generalized.
Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer


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