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wnjguy Offline OP
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I have begun a search for an upright piano for (Episcopal) church use. My local technician is on the look-out for a decent used instrument, but I haven't ruled out a new one if it is good quality and if we can raise sufficient funds. Cabinet must be low enough to see over the top to direct the choir--which rules out the taller Yamaha uprights. The Yamaha P-22 appears to be a practical compromise--using that as a kind of "yardstick" to compare other instruments. Need something comparable to that at the very minimum. I intend to check out the Charles Walter pianos at a dealer in Allentown, PA very soon.
I must confess that I am spoiled by my piano at home (a 6'4" grand)...
I would much appreciate thoughts and suggestions from the forum.
RM

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it would be hard to beat a Charles Walter for that circumstance. .. Actually, i used to play one that faced a choir... We ended up turning it to the side, so the sound could blend better for my ears.
It was plenty powerful and they have such wonderful actions... great expressiveness which a great directing tool.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
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Hi RM - Welcome to PianoWorld

Congratulations on being able to choose a piano, rather than having to put up with something hideous that was donated to the church.

One of the things to consider is the size of the church. Will it only be used for choral accompaniment? Or, chorus and congregation in hymn singing?

I think I agree with Apple, however:
Quote
it would be hard to be a Charles Walter..
(I'm not quite sure what she is saying.)

The Walter would be an excellent choice. Sound, Power, great Action, and the studios have cabinets/finishes which would fit into almost any architecture. It is also very rugged, would hold up in this situation, and would last, and last, and last. I think it would be a great choice.


Marty in Minnesota

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Besides Charles Walter, a more affordable option is the Hailun 116 studio upright. Well balanced tone, well made, excellent warranty.

Other common models competitive with P-22 are Kawai UST models, Boston UP 118 (more mellow), Knabe WMV247. It's not everything, but makes a pretty good list of competitive options in that size and style.


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My (Episcopal) church has a Yamaha P-22. My teacher, also my church pianist, much prefers my Kawai UST-9 over the P-22. (So do I.) He sometimes has to bang to heck out of the P-22 to keep up with the choir and congregations. My Kawai is much stronger.

I absolutely agree with Apple and Marty about the Charles Walter. Every one that I've played has felt wonderful. Nice voice. Powerful, too.

Good luck. Keep us informed

Charles

PS: How many can you seat? We seat around 250-270.

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Just a little hint if your buying a Walter.
Ask for the discount given to the dealers from the Walters when the piano is going to a Church.



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wnjguy Offline OP
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Checked out the Charles Walter piano...surprising sound for a console. Really need a studio model, and used ones are extremely rare. Cannot afford a new one. Going to look at a used Yamaha P-22 today. Side-by-side, the difference between a Yamaha (there was a used U-1 in the shop, also) and the Walter is obvious, but if the Yamaha is the only piano in the room, I'm thinking it would do just fine. Any thoughts from y'all?

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RM

It seems like you have already decided to settle for ...............
Where is the enthusiasm from your first post? I'm now a little confused on what you are after. If you would answer some questions we could all be more helpful.

How large is the church/congregation?
How many voices in the choir?
What are you playing on now?
What is the budget for the piano?
Is the vertical height no longer an issue?

You have been given so much excellent advice in this thread. Yes, all congregations are always being asked to contribute for something or other. It is up to you to create the excitement to provide your congregation with what is best suited for your church.

Please don't settle for .............................


Marty in Minnesota

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wnjguy Offline OP
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In answer to your list...
This is a small parish...about 100 families on the register (not all of whom are active). Our space is limited. The original part of the building is a small stone meeting-house built around 1769. A social hall (where the choir also rehearses) of approximately the same dimensions was added in the 1990's. The choir consists of 11 singers (when all are present) and they are a very dedicated group. At present, there is a very good Rodgers (electronic) organ in the sanctuary, and we use a rather old Roland HP3800 for rehearsal. We recently had two keys break on the Roland, costing over $200 to repair, which was the instigation for this whole issue. I think (as do our priest and senior warden) that money invested in the maintenance of a real piano would be better spent. My initial proposal was to donate about half the cost if a good used instrument could be found somewhere between one- or two-K. The height of the instrument must allow for me to see over the top when directing the choir...The Yamaha U1 might work, but is really higher than ideal. While we do not use a piano in the sanctuary often, it would be occasionally moved between the two rooms (through a standard single door). I have a technician friend who is helping and advising me in this search.

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There is no internal difference between a Charles Walter console and studio model. The only difference is the case.

You seem to be looking for a school studio model. A used Everett or Hamilton, or even a Kimball would be worth looking at if one shows up on the market. You can sometimes find them for under $1000.


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One major mistake often made by chirches is buying a "living room" piano and expecting it to have the volume needed to accompany the chior and be heard at the back of the church.

Undersized pianos often get abused by players trying to beat volume out of the instrument.


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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Besides Charles Walter, a more affordable option is the Hailun 116 studio upright. Well balanced tone, well made, excellent warranty.

Other common models competitive with P-22 are Kawai UST models, Boston UP 118 (more mellow), Knabe WMV247. It's not everything, but makes a pretty good list of competitive options in that size and style.


That is a pretty comprehensive list, Sam.

To the OP - you seem to be in my general area. I invite you to come and audition most of those options under one roof.

Good luck in your search.


Rich Galassini
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
To the OP - you seem to be in my general area. I invite you to come and audition most of those options under one roof.

Rich, do you think you may be getting a little too close to advertising on the forum here? The OP already knows you are a piano dealer in their area.

Rick


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Looked at a Yamaha P-2 (had never heard of that model) that was pretty awful--pivot pins coming unglued, very sluggish action and dull sound (not what I would expect from Yamaha!), and more cracks in the sounding board than I could count! On the other hand, just how serious are a few (one or two) cracks? I owned an old Knabe grand many years ago that had some cracks but still sounded great. I ask because I also looked at a used Everett that sounded good, but had two cracks in the sounding board that I could see. I think the issues with that Yamaha were far more than just the sounding board. The Everett piano sounded good, felt good, but the cracks are whispering to me, "Run Forest, run!

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Soundboard cracks are usually only cosmetic.


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Originally Posted by BDB
Soundboard cracks are usually only cosmetic.
I feel more explanation is necessary. In most cases, a crack is an outward symptom, like a person coughing. For most people, a simple cough isn't a problem, but you will look deeper to see if it is a minor allergy, a seasonal cold, or the plague sick .

Because it is an easy flaw to see, many people place too much importance on a visible crack. When it is serious, there will be other apparent symptoms, though maybe not obvious to the layperson.

I disagree that they have no effect on performance (because at a basic mechanical level, it is another hole in the membrane - a membrane that already has holes wink ). Stated somewhat differently, most of the cracks you will encounter are just a minor symptom of the piano's environment, not an indication of imminent or ongoing problems.

The P2 is a good model, but it sounds like the one you encountered had real condition issues. The badly cracked soundboard may have contributed in a small part to the dull tone, but other flaws are more likely responsible. As you saw, the other flaws were well beyond the symptom stage.


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Missed out on the Everett. Just found a Baldwin-Hamilton, circa 1974 in like-new condition. Price very reasonable (seller is moving) ....giving it serious consideration.

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Baldwin Hamilton's are good institutional pianos.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
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Our church has a Baldwin 243 studio... a great church piano!

Plus, I have a Baldwin 243 studio piano as well. I've thought about selling it and shopping around for another piano adventure, but I honestly like the tone and how it plays (not that I can play all that well smile ).

Good luck!

Rick


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I put a deposit on it....Like-new condition for $500 total. Sweet deal, I think.

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