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#117106 - 01/30/02 05:39 PM Re: King of the Hill
Penny Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2943
Loc: San Juan Capistrano, CA
The market is full of inefficiencies and pufferies. Just ask Enron shareholders!

FWIW, Steinway is just short of its 52-week high, which was recorded at $20.85, which occured in May of last year. In between then and now, it plummeted to $13. Almost tech-style volatility! In 1998, it hit its 5-year high around $34.

In 1997, it started out even with the major indices (Dow Jones, S&P, Nasdaq), but lost ground consistently since late 1998. (Yes, I know in any comparison, they start out even, but Steinway ran neck and neck with the indices for almost two years, before tech mania had us reaching for the stars!)

The P/E is 11, faily low by modern standards. I think it is seen as a value play right now, but I don't think this stock will make anyone filthy rich for the foreseeable future.

In fact, I'm not sure what the shareholders are so enthusiastic about. From the last earnings report, the company does not foresee any growth in the coming year:


Steinway net falls, sees lower global piano sales
Thursday November 1, 4:49 PM EST

WALTHAM, Mass., Nov 1 (Reuters) - Steinway Musical Instruments Inc. (LVB) on Thursday said third-quarter net income fell, and the musical instruments maker said the weak economy will drag down global piano sales.

The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company said its net income fell to $2.5 million, or 28 cents a diluted share, from $2.8 million, or 31 cents a diluted share, in the same period last year.


Operating profits rose 18 percent to $4.3 million from $3.6 million last year, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 12 percent to $12.1 million from $10.8 million last year. Net sales in the quarter rose 9 percent to $82.9 million.

Steinway said it expects U.S. market conditions to remain difficult and negatively affect consumer confidence overseas, leading to a 15 percent to 20 percent decline in global piano sales in the fourth quarter.

It said it will cut domestic piano output at its New York factory to maintain appropriate inventory levels. Steinway Chief Executive Dana Messina said in a statement the company expects 2001 EBITDA to be even with last year and earnings per share of $1.50 to $1.65.

penny

[ January 30, 2002: Message edited by: Penny ]

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#117107 - 01/30/02 05:47 PM Re: King of the Hill
SR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/12/01
Posts: 718
Loc: Los Angeles
Jolly...

 Quote:
Why won't people do the research? Are they all just lemmings?


People must be lemmings to pick Yamaha ? All quality thought must match your's ?

In truth most shoppers don't know what to like. They don't trust their ears, they don't know a light quick action when they touch one. It's safer to go with the piano the church owns or go with Uncle Milties brand, rather than make a mistake buying something that in their mind nobody's ever heard of. Is this correct ? Well yes and no.
If they don't care to learn first then they need to take the route that gives them piece of mind, after all it's their money.

Hard as it may be for you to fathom some might actually prefer Yamaha.

Regards

Steve
_________________________
www.mozartforum.com

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#117108 - 01/30/02 05:52 PM Re: King of the Hill
Brian M Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/30/02
Posts: 10
Loc: New York
Penny,

What does the symbol (LVB) stand for? I checked their website and did a little research online but I cant figure it out.

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#117109 - 01/30/02 05:54 PM Re: King of the Hill
Penny Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2943
Loc: San Juan Capistrano, CA
Ludwig van Beethoven!!!!!!!!!

penny

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#117110 - 01/30/02 06:03 PM Re: King of the Hill
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
I guess what I have a problem with is the assumption that anyone who buys a Yamaha:
a.) Has not done their homework
b.) Is obsessed with the name on the fallboard. (is a lemming)
c.) Has been duped into paying more for less piano.
d.) Obviously does not have an ear for quality tone.

For the record, I am not a Yamaha owner. However, after playing quite a few pianos during my career (and a great variety in the last 6 months), I can tell you that my own preferences would take a C3 over several of the pianos championed on this board (including Estonia, Walter, SP, etc.).

The point is that this is subjective territory we're in. Any claims to the contrary are irresponsible.

[ January 30, 2002: Message edited by: SteveY ]
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#117111 - 01/30/02 06:44 PM Re: King of the Hill
EricL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 140
Loc: Upstate NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by SteveY:
....several of the pianos championed on this board....[/b]


I think a more appropriate or accurate way to say this is:

<....several of the pianos championed by some people on this board....>

I wholeheartedly agree with you. Obviously, not everybody who posts on this board agrees with everyone else on everything. The types and brands of pianos we own or aspire to own are as diverse as the group. I personally do not 'champion' some of the brands that some posters repeatedly spoke highly of. Hey, may be I am just a man with 'poor taste' or someone who really don't know anything about pianos. Just to put things in perspective, I drive a Saturn that Consumer Report labelled as "unremarkable". But as long as I am happy with it, who cares what other people think.

Different preferences for different people is what makes this world interesting. If everybody agrees with everybody on everything about a piano, we only need one type, one size, one brand, one style, and one color for a piano, and everyone will be happy owning this one piano!

Eric

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#117112 - 01/30/02 07:39 PM Re: King of the Hill
subarus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 215
Thank you Larry for the eye-opening post. I just have a few more questions.

Do I need to bring a technician to evaluate a piano that does not adopt those production steps to reduce inconsistencies, even though its brand new ?

Could you recommend a piano (new) for 15K ?

One last thing, Larry said: " The Asian culture is one that places little value on things once they get a little old. ". Not intending to go any further into argument, however may I suggest alteration to the statement " Yamaha is one that places little value on piano once they get a little old ". If this is what you mean, I couldn't agree more.

thanks again

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#117113 - 01/30/02 08:33 PM Re: King of the Hill
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14037
Loc: Louisiana
SR,

Please read the entire thread. The discussion started as a way to ascertain opinions as to whether Yamaha will remain at the top of the heap in respect to consumer sales. It later turned into a discussion about "branding" and the importance thereof.

Do I think Yamaha is a bad piano. No.

Do I have a corner on the truth? More than some and less than others. And sometimes I'm dreadfully wrong.

Can a Yamaha be YOUR dream piano. Absolutely.

Is it the best value on the market? Not IMHO.

Do people who purchase major consumer goods based on little or no research, who wouldn't know Middle C from Hi-C, and only buy the piano based on what is popular, lemmings? Yep.
_________________________
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#117114 - 01/30/02 08:37 PM Re: King of the Hill
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Subarus,

You better not bring a tech if you plan on buying from Larry. He'll get insulted and he won't sell you a piano.

IMO, I don't care if you are buying a Yamaha or a Boesendorfer, bring a tech. IT'S YOUR MONEY you are spending. Just make sure to minimize any collusion between the dealer and the technician. And make sure the tech isn't feeding you a line of bull because he's working for another dealer.

FWIW, I have played two C6's and one C7 which were truly outstanding. But I can't be as complimentary to the others I have encountered.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#117115 - 01/30/02 09:37 PM Re: King of the Hill
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3288
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
Terrific thread!

This thread sounds a lot like our discussion in the desert; lots of the same issues. I believe the conclusion was when we were finished, that it DOES matter what's in the box, but you can do more to improve sales by tinkering with the brand than the product itself.

"What's in the box" has a buzzword - it's called "protection of the brand". Yamaha does a bang-up job of protecting the brand. If consistency in the brand lineup is what you want, then Yamaha has that one dialed. Big and small, upright and grand, they all have a remarkably similar action and tone. So similar that it HAS to be a production built piano, there is no other way to make them that consistent. I do not view this as a bad thing, and I suspect that this tone was decided upon after exhaustive research in to what the average buyer at each price point wants their piano to sound like. As a factory guy, I admire a factory that can engineer repeatability in to something so complex as a piano.

Yamaha has also done a remarkable job of marketing their product. I am not sure how they went about it, but everyone knows the brand name, and most feel pretty comfortable with it. Some artists among us may feel differently, but Yamaha appears to be doing a darned good job of satisfying the average piano buyer. You don't do that with a poor product - no matter what they spin is - not for very long.

Did all of these things make me run out and buy one? Well no, they didn't. But I am not Yamaha's target buyer, and you can be sure they have a little box where they classify buyers like myself. I suspect that most of us here are not Yamaha's target buyer, even though many of us are or could be perfectly contented with a Yamaha product. Why are we not the target?

Enter "art" and "artists" - the nemesis of product marketing gurus and their advertising brethren. Anyone who cares enough about the product to actually read and contribute to a forum such as this one is not the sort that branding is going to impress. We are just as likely to buy something used as new, and confound the marketing guys with terms like "musical patina" and "development of soul". We are definitely not the people you want in your focus group

So then we come back to protecting the brand. If one is to sell to people who are not impressed with branding and advertising, the product must stand on it's own merits. Judging by the number of satisifed Yamaha owners on this forum, the product will compete on it's own merits. Matters of personal taste aside, there are one heck of a lot of people who like their Yamahas, and like them a lot.

Overpriced? Depends on your definition. Overpriced is when no one will buy your product because it is too expensive. Keeping in mind that the sum total of the product is the product itself + the marketing effort, Yamahas are priced just right. They move off of the showroom floor in volumes most piano manufacturers would kill for.

Best price/value ratio? Not for me, but then again I buy everything used. For many though, the value is there. Resale value, brand recognition, a distinctive sound that Yamahas seem to maintain for 20 years. Like it or hate it, Yamahas sound like Yamahas, and seem to do so forever.

It has to do with protecting the brand.....
_________________________
Defender of the Landfill Piano

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#117116 - 01/30/02 10:29 PM Re: King of the Hill
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13976
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
ALL WELL SAID, folks...but times are indeed
...A CHANGING! [As they always have!]

First of all, lets give credit where credit is due and congratulate the success Yamaha has had with their pianos,monster-marketed or not, overpriced or not.

They clearly have accomplished hugely.

We also know they're not the only ones.

For a tiny nation like Estonia to come from nowhere and have their whole production, no
matter how small,completely presold is HUGE!

For Korea to come out from economic doom and
now offer truly excellent automobiles, musical instruments and other consumer products...is another...huge!

For 10 German piano companies competing in the world's toughest high end market[by far] to hang on after 100 years and thrive....is...monstreously...HUGE!!

There are many players here. All of them wonderful and huge in their own way.

BUT... the world is.....a changing.

Because we starting to realize that.....
...they actually EXIST!

P.S.whisper...whisper...THEY ALWAYS HAVE!!

Norbert Marten
www.heritagepianos.com
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#117117 - 01/30/02 11:56 PM Re: King of the Hill
David Burton Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1757
Loc: Coxsackie, New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brian M:
Steinway Musical Instruments (NYSE: LVB) closed today at $19.60, near a 52 week high and up 38% in the last quarter. The price of a share of their stock, like the price of their products is ultimately determined by the marketplace.[/b]


By the way, anyone notice that the stock symbol for Steinway is not an abbreviation for Steinway but the initials of one of the great composers? Yeah and they pay reasonably good dividends too. Being a Steinway stockholder, I appreciate that, despite the fact that the company is pretty much run for the benefit of its four largest investors. But God love em, if it weren’t for them, there would be no Steinway left.

Now Larry’s piece on Yamaha was stunning, yeah it was a good piece, really tore them apart without any apologies, truly politically incorrect. He was out and out calling them a bunch of charlatans. The only problem is that it probably doesn’t matter too much. In the long run we’re all dead.

In the perfect piano world, there would be more makers, not fewer, than there are now and each would turn out a limited number of pianos each year. None of these little companies would be a growth industry. You’d pay for the costs of doing it all right of course. There’d be a fair amount of competition over the niceties of piano tone. This is sort of like what the German market is like today and even more so what the American market was like a hundred years ago.

But pianos are in some sense tied to industrialization and as nations industrialize and as their middle classes develop, expand and want the latest in culture, a fine piano, one made in their own country, becomes a badge of distinction. Yes, that’s right, owning a piano, especially a GRAND piano (why else do they call them that anyway) is owning a status symbol. It has weight, permanence, it’s a machine, a piece of fine furniture, all at once.

These days, in ten years most things wear out. If Yamahas are designed to last for ten not sixty years, then so what? If you can’t buy a new one after that time then there’s something wrong with YOU. And yes, that does mean that things are judged in a more temporal kind of way.

I was thinking the other day that the big message of America to the rest of the world is how great it is to be a teenager living in………..Southern California, FOREVER, and that is the great goal of American culture; never grow old, wear out everything you own and replace it with new, consume, consume consume!!! No wonder Americans are so obese! I’m going on a crash diet next week. How about you?

And environmentalists be damned! If the economics of supply and demand change; if materials for something get too expensive, they’ll just use cheaper substitutes and everything will be just as good as it was when the choicer, more traditional materials were used, they’ll even talk you into thinking that the substitutes make it better, like Smart Balance is better than butter even though humans have been eating butter for tens of thousands of years and the nutritional facts surrounding the consumption of such things as Nutrasweet are not yet fully comprehended . Sound familiar?

Yamaha: Elton John plays one and thousands, nay millions, nay tens of millions know who he is so when he appears on TV and everyone sees YAMAHA on his piano they say, “good enough for him, good enough for me,” whether it’s an S or a C, and as I said a few months back, the S’s didn’t thrill me that much. Why I’d rather have a C. But come on, Sviatislax Richter said Yamahas were OK and he was a phenomenal player.

I used to know a guy who had two matched C7’s in his studio and he traded them in every two years. He could at the time being a highly regarded teacher and studio musician who could read anything you put in front of him. And back then, Yamahas were really cheap compared to their competition. I doubt he could do that now.

Why Yamaha? Because of the economics of the thing; scale of production, reasonably good and predictable workmanship. How good do they sound new? I don’t really like them. After 10 years? Can’t imagine they’re any better. After 20 or 30 years? Have no idea. I guess I’ll ask Peter Bondy next time I see him, which may be soon.

And Larry, and Norbert too. I fully appreciate that you both know what makes a quality piano really good, but selling at the higher end of the economic production function; less product at higher cost thus higher prices, you have to expect fewer takers. That’s the breaks. You and Norbert may be selling the best, but the rest of us may not be able to appreciate it, or AFFORD it. If Yamaha is over priced AT THE MOMENT, then let the masses gorge themselves on cheaper thrills than either of you may possibly be able to stomach. Perhaps a smaller inventory or cheaper quarters would help you both. In any case rest assured that I would gladly rather send my best piano playing friends to buy your stuff than to the guys peddling Asians down the block. It’s just that new pianos are getting pretty dear, and probably deserve to be, and only the truly accomplished can fully appreciate the subtle differences. And one more thing, those Asians are clever. They CAN turn out a pretty decent piano for MUCH less money, even if it lacks the finer points of great German piano. Can most people in this culture HEAR the difference? You tell me.
_________________________
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http://dpbmss041010.blogspot.com/

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#117118 - 01/31/02 03:22 AM Re: King of the Hill
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Some good points David. I want to address them, and I also want to address Derek's snide remark as well, but it is 3am and I have to get some sleep. Somewhere in the course of the day tomorrow, I will address this. It's a good thread, but getting a little off course in my opinion.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#117119 - 01/31/02 05:46 AM Re: King of the Hill
freddie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 185
Loc: Indiana
I don't see anything wrong with buying a Yamaha if you can get it at a good price. The older "well taken care of" verticals that I have played seem nice and a good value. A person could buy a new Yamaha at a good price also if the dealer is motivated type (most Yam dealers aren't I think). A new T116 (assembled in Georgia) in a polished ebony cabinet for $4,000.00 or less isn't a bad deal, for example. If you don't have alot of extra dough, it's a great deal. A good used American/Euro piano is a great also.

The Yamaha tone and action are great for Jazz, Pop, or lighter toned classical work and if one expects it to be a heavyduty classical workhorse they are on the wrong track. I don't see anything wrong with Yamaha myself, but if you have "heavy" designs on playing deep classical music buy an expensive well made American or Euro piano. If you like the American rich churchish piano tone don't buy Yamaha either. Yamaha nor anything in it's price range can do it all. Yamaha is a lightweight action and toned piano and that's what it does best, so just don't play them if you dislike them.

Foam core keybeds, metal action rails, fake wood cabinets....If you look under the lids of other brands in this price range you might find some real eye openers as well.


I'm not trying to flame anyone here, just stating my opinion.


Freddie

[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: freddie ]
_________________________
"The best thing about being a bachelor is that you can get into bed from either side" - James Dean

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#117120 - 01/31/02 07:23 AM Re: King of the Hill
freddie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 185
Loc: Indiana
Hi,

I wanted to add that I agree with Larry and others here that you can get "better quality" new piano for the same price as a new "Yamaha" that is being sold at list price or close to it. For example: I've been to shops where they have a price tag of $9,000.00 or more on an ebony U3 and they expect to get it. I've found that most Yamaha dealers think their product is spun gold and will not haggle at all. Maybe being pulled down a few notches would be good for them and the buyer.


Freddie
_________________________
"The best thing about being a bachelor is that you can get into bed from either side" - James Dean

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#117121 - 01/31/02 10:28 AM Re: King of the Hill
Penny Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2943
Loc: San Juan Capistrano, CA
Freddie wrote:

 Quote:
Foam core keybeds, metal action rails, fake wood cabinets....If you look under the lids of other brands in this price range you might find some real eye openers as well.



Yamaha doesn't compete with the cheap Chinese pianos! In THIS price range (for the C-series), we're talking about Petrof, Estonia, Charles Walter and Schulze-Pollmann. None has those attributes. Solid key beds, solid maple rims, spruce soundboards and Renner actions are what you're more likely to find.

penny

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#117122 - 01/31/02 12:27 PM Re: King of the Hill
freddie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 185
Loc: Indiana
Hi Penny,

Yes your right about the grands. I don't know much about them, but I believe you. In verticals I don't think the specs are that important, after all they all pretty much sound like they are stuffed with pillows anyway (at least all of the affordable brands/models I've played sound like that to me). The affordable verticals all seem to have a sales gimmick to me (scales, lumbercore, ABS,....), but it all comes down to if the buyer likes the touch and tone. Then again maybe I'm wrong....

Freddie
_________________________
"The best thing about being a bachelor is that you can get into bed from either side" - James Dean

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#117123 - 01/31/02 01:57 PM Re: King of the Hill
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14037
Loc: Louisiana
The thread refers to consumer pianos, not just the C series grand pianos. And would Yamaha try to compete with cheap chinese pianos? In Europe I believe some of the Yamaha pianos are made in China. Same goes for some Kawai models in Europe.

It's interesting to read some of Steve C or Norbert's posts on who is or may be King of the Hill.

Could it be that this discussion will take place in the future, but we will be discussing the dominant "brand" at that time......Young Chang?
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#117124 - 01/31/02 08:47 PM Re: King of the Hill
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13976
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Yes, perhaps Young Chang,perhaps someone else but you better watch out for the truly groundbreaking new 'Young Chang Platinum series' called "Joseph Pramberger"!!

The 'old boys' from Japan sure are!

This beast is no longer 'middle of the road',
....and they KNOW it!!

[NOT referring to Pramberger 'signature series' where the fallboard still spells Young Chang!]

David Burton:

Dealers across the continent now are selling
both Estonia AND J.Pramberger grands at or
BELOW.... Yamaha piano prices!

And that's gotta be..... SCARY!

BIG TIME!!

The end of the "high-balling" period?????

Perhaps! Perhaps not!

Or at least the beginning of a new period,
aptly named the.....

"Paying LESS for Getting MORE Period!"

[Perhaps we're so adjusted to having it the 'other way around'...we can't ever get it right any longer?]

P.S.During NAMM the Pramberger exhibit was solidly crampacked!!

And not only by the,at least by appearance, [somewhat nervous] Nippon boys and Fatherland
Meisters.

They obviously can spot trouble...

....when they see one!

And going by their [facial]looks ..it at least appeared....

...they DID SEE more than one!!


Norbert Marten
www.heritagepianos.com

[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: Norbert ]
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#117125 - 01/31/02 10:47 PM Re: King of the Hill
subarus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 215
It's not my intention to insult anyone bringing tech to a dealer..

Dealers kept telling me good things about their pianos within my budget... I only hear unfavorable remarks for those I am not interested in.. however, I am in no position to doubt him but as an asian bounded by culture, I need to hear both sides, the good and bad (yes, its the ying-yang thing) .. Yamaha is very good.. but its expensive.. makes perfect sense to me... now I know it also dont last very long but I have concluded from my research that its will last for my life time.. good but it could be better !

I understand that a dealer's primary objective is to make deal.. makes no sense for him to tell me about the shortcoming of his piano... and there is nothing wrong with him, in my book.. he is just doing his job.. same goes for other real-estates , computer equiptments, insurance consultants .. My expection is that they don't twist the facts when presenting their products. I know now that I will have to find the negative facts myself if I want to get my money worth when buying piano.

I read the 'bring tech to dealer' threat, and I understand most of the arguments from all sides involved.. if I bring a tech , the dealer will not get insulted..

I know this question is tricky, but its not my intention to be tricky for no reason... what are the things the tech should be looking for when inspecting new pianos. Has any of the techs here hired for such jobs ? Mind sharing your experiences ? I think it would benefit everybody more if those finding being brought out without telling the piano brand name..

thanks again

 Quote:
Originally posted by Derick:
Subarus,

You better not bring a tech if you plan on buying from Larry. He'll get insulted and he won't sell you a piano.

Derick[/b]

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#117126 - 01/31/02 11:29 PM Re: King of the Hill
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
You are correct, there are two forms of deception, blatant distortion of the truth, and simply not telling the whole story.

According to The Piano Book, it states:

...have a professional piano technician check the piano for those items that are beyond your ability to inspect, such as the regulation of the action and the tightness of the tuning pins...

Having a tech check tightness of the tuning pins (specifically mentioned in the earlier thread) was, according to Larry, a 'silly' waste of time and highly insulting to him, the dealer. And, then Larry wouldn't sell you a piano after insulting him. Sniff.

Perhaps it is a 'silly' waste of time depending on who you chose to believe. I prefer to be safe rather than sorry and would rather insult someone - you know who I was forking over tens of thousands of dollars to - than to end up with a POS piano.

IMO, you should buy The Piano Book. It's very informative and can tell you trouble spots in pianos you may potentially be interested in.

Best of luck,
Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#117127 - 02/01/02 01:25 AM Re: King of the Hill
subarus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 215
Hi,

 Quote:
Originally posted by Derick:

Having a tech check tightness of the tuning pins (specifically mentioned in the earlier thread) was, according to Larry, a 'silly' waste of time and highly insulting to him, the dealer. And, then Larry wouldn't sell you a piano after insulting him. Sniff.
[/b]


I think he mentioned that its ok with him if the tech's report is presented in his presence.. I think that is fair.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Derick:

IMO, you should buy The Piano Book. It's very informative and can tell you trouble spots in pianos you may potentially be interested in.
Best of luck,
Derick[/b]


That is something I want to avoid doing... I guess that is why people like me choose Yamaha.

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#117128 - 02/01/02 01:34 AM Re: King of the Hill
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Ok. Now I'll address you Derek. I assumed when I wrote the post which has made you decide to take potshots at me that I was talking to the usual group of intelligent people here. I see that you are relatively new, so I was unaware of your retention impairment. I'll write on a lower educational level to make sure you're able to follow what I am saying.

There is a difference between a new piano and an older piano Derek. The things you need to look for in a new piano is different from the things you need to be concerned about when looking at a new one. If you'll take your trusty Piano Book out and actually read things in context, you'll find that the concern over loose tuning pins involve *older, used* pianos, not new ones, unless of course you are looking at the cheapest piece of crap you can get your hands on, in which case you need to be concerned with a heck of a lot more than just pin torque. I agree 100% that a buyer should check the torque of the pins on any used piano he or she may be considering. Now if you want to run around wasting your time and money paying technicians to torque check the pins in every new piano you may consider, you are free to do so. But - and this was my point Derek - it is a silly waste of time to do so when you're looking at new quality pianos. In 30 years as a dealer and a technician, I have yet to run across a quality piano that had loose tuning pins in it right out of the box. There are far more important things one could be doing with their time and money when trying to select a new piano than looking for loose tuning pins in a new piano, and I was trying to get that point across so the person who mentioned it could focus on more important areas of concern. But as I said, if that trips your trigger, you go right ahead. Just don't try to get a smartass attitude with me because you aren't smart enough to understand what I was talking about.

Now, as to "insulting" me as a dealer: Those who have been around here for any length of time have come to know that I am not one to mince words, but at the same time I make every attempt to be professional in how I do business, and accurate in how facts are presented. Most are aware that I will bend over backwards to help the customer in any way that I can. Those who have been here a while are also aware that I have no problem with a customer bringing their own technician into my store. I even said as much in the post you didn't read properly. I also went so far as to explain the ground rules that I would put on that technician in an effort to *assure* the customer that they got their money's worth from their technician so they would end up with quality information instead of getting taken by a dishonest or incompetent tech. If you had been spending more time trying to learn something and less time thinking of how to take a potshot at me, you could have benefitted from the information.

When I used the word "insult", I wasn't speaking literally, I was trying to make a point. Many here were smart enough to see this, and understand the point being made. Apparently you aren't quick enough on the uptake to do so. But don't give me your "sniffs" and such as you attempt to paint me as being some sort of snob dealer. It isn't my fault you can't read.

Here's the point I was trying to make, and I think it is pretty clear when you take the time to read the entire thread in context. There is a lot of information that gets written on these boards, some good, some not so good. Sometimes a piece of information that is not so good if left unchallenged begins to take on its own truth, and becomes accepted as good information. Checking the torque on tuning pins in a new piano is one of those things, because it is an inspection point meant checking used pianos, not new. I see people who are looking only at new pianos being told to have a tech inspect it for them, and that's ok. But they also get told to check the pin torque, wear on the hammers, wear on the bridges, etc, and this is just simply not something that has to be checked on new pianos. The customer is inspecting a new piano by using the inspection points intended for an older used one. If no one corrects this mistake, you'll have people all over the country who are looking at new pianos spending all their time looking for things they can't find instead of looking where they *ought* to be looking.

If you want to spend your time and money inspecting new pianos using the inspection points for an old used piano, looking for loose tuning pins, worn bridges, worn hammers, that's your business. You can also take your mechanic with you when you buy your next brand new car and have him check the compression ratio on the engine cylinders, and inspect the front end and the brakes for wear if you want to. The car dealer will think you're just as nuts as a piano dealer will think you are when you check out a new piano like it was an old one, but if that's what you want to spend your time doing, you can. But a customer who comes into my store will be educated on the proper things to spend their time looking for. And when they leave, they will be armed with the proper information they need to make a wise choice and which will help them in every store they shop in, not just mine.

And no, you don't come into my store with the attitude that I am a crook that you have to check behind to make sure you aren't going to get screwed. Doing business with me means we will have a long term professional relationship, and I can decide I don't want to be in that relationship with someone just as quickly as they can decide they don't want to be in one with me. If a customer is unsure of themselves simply because they don't know what to look for themselves, and having their own tech with them will make them feel better, then by all means, bring the tech. But bring a good one, because I will chew him up and spit him out right in front of you if he isn't good or if I pick up on something that lets me know he has a hidden agenda. I will do everything in my power to help that customer become comfortable in their decision making process, and in deciding whether they ought to trust me or not. I'm smart enough to realize that if they don't know me then I must earn their trust. But if they come in with the attitude that I am a crook, or can't be trusted, and let me know they have no intention of letting me earn their trust, then yes - they can leave through the same door they came in. I will show a customer every respect, but I will demand the same respect back. I don't play games with them on price or with facts, and I don't allow them to play games with me in either of those areas either. There's a price on the piano, and that's the price. There is truth and there is sales spin. I give you the facts without the spin, good, bad, indifferent, about any piano even if it is one I sell. I don't show you a Korean or Japanese piano and tell you it will compete with pianos it isn't meant to compete with. If with an open mind they decide they just don't like me, or don't trust me, I take no offense to that if they've honestly given me the opportunity to try and earn their trust and respect. But I don't take any crap off anyone - a customer, a stranger on the street, or a smart aleck on a messageboard.

One thing you will hear from nearly all of my customers - I take my profession very seriously. And when they leave my store, whether they buy from me or not, they learn more about buying a piano - *any piano* - than they learned at all the other places they went to combined. If they buy somewhere else as a result of the education I gave them, that's fine. All I ask is that they educate themselves properly so they don't fall for sales gimmicks, salesman's tricks, or bogus information like paying a technician to check the torque on a brand new name brand piano because some pinhead on a messageboard thought it was a good idea.

Do you understand me now, slick?
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#117129 - 02/01/02 03:27 AM Re: King of the Hill
Anonymous
Unregistered


Great answer, Larry!

 Quote:
In 30 years as a dealer and a technician, I have yet to run across a quality piano that had loose tuning pins in it right out of the box.


And even if such a thing happens, wouldn't that be covered under the warranty anyway?

I didn't even consider bringing an independent tech along when I bought my old and rebuild piano from a local dealer. Why?
Because I trust the dealer. He's got a widespread reputation for doing quality work, selling quality products and above all being honest to me as a customer.
My trust was rewarded.

Nici

[ February 01, 2002: Message edited by: Nici ]

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#117130 - 02/01/02 03:39 AM Re: King of the Hill
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Larry,

I've 'lurked' on this board off and on for years and you consistenly prove that you are a prima-donna. Why? Because prima-donnas never mince words, frequently get highly insulted, are very judgemental, don't listen, can't listen, won't listen, and terminate a discussion with "GET OUT".

Does this sound familiar Larry? "That's silly. I won't sell you a piano. You don't trust me. I'm insulted. Get out of my store."

Larry, a professional? Yup, professional prima-donna. Larry PPD.

Later,
Derick PHD (for real) - you got me beat Lar!

P.S. BTW dude, you definitely can't read! See pages 60-61 of The Piano Book - Third Edition.
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#117131 - 02/01/02 09:28 AM Re: King of the Hill
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
Derick

Larry’s right on this one. IMHO it is a waste of time having a tech inspect a new piano. If you are dealing with a respectable dealer on a decent new piano, you should not have any problems. If problems do occur as could happen with any product, they will take care of them.

Larry Fine in his third edition does recommend taking a tech to inspect to inspect a new piano. Larry Fine is a book salesman. In his fourth edition he says that it is a waste of time trying to get useful information from Internet piano forums, and he names this one.

There is a lot of misinformation posted here everyday, but for the most part it is discussed and corrected. There is also a lot of misinformation in Larry’s book, but it is one mans opinion and it doesn’t get corrected till a new edition is published, if then.

lb

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#117132 - 02/01/02 11:09 AM Re: King of the Hill
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
lb,

It's all in the delivery... Your, IMHO opinion statement, is not the least bit offensive. But having someone state that something is a "silly waste of time..." is very abrasive. Larry probably believes that falls under the category of "not mincing words". I feel it's rude and judgemental.

I realize that Larry Fine frequently makes statements that are based solely on his opinion. Nevertheless, I think that 90% of his book is accurate - even the section on checking the tightness of tuning pins on a new piano. Here's why...

A few years ago a friend of mine who owns a high-end, very well reguarded, grand piano got quite a surprise. After he had the piano for 10 years he started noticing that it would not stay in tune for very long. He mentioned this to his tech who said "The tuning pins are pretty loose." The tech then added, "but they never were particularly tight since day 1."

This tech, who tunes and maintains approximately 60 Steinway grands for a prestigious college, should have told my buddy about this years ago. The tech, is very highly regarded however he is also a PPD. This tech feels the ONLY piano to own is a Steinway. Anything else is a POS PSO. The tech said that he NEVER finds loose tuning pins on a Steinway. Implication being that loose tuning pins on anything other than a Steinway is TBE.

If my friend had purchased the piano from the PPD on this forum, and brought in this tech, the fur would definitely fly. But once their ego's re-entered the earth's atmosphere and the torque wrench came out, the tech would prevail.

Unfortunately, my buddy found out about the loose tuning pins a little too late. The dealer he bought the piano from is highly respected and has been mentioned on this forum in a very positive light. When my friend called the dealer, they said that they were very sorry but the warranty was up.

Is this a rare situation? Probably. But my friend could have been spared several thousands of dollars had he followed Mr. Fine's advice.

IMHO, anyone who buys something substantial should have another pair of eyes look at it.
If they don't, they are treading on very thin ice. How goes that old expression "Buyer beware".

Derick

[ February 01, 2002: Message edited by: Derick ]
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#117133 - 02/01/02 12:29 PM Re: King of the Hill
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Main Entry: pri·ma don·na
Pronunciation: "pri-m&-'dä-n&, "prE-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural prima donnas
Etymology: Italian, literally, first lady
Date: 1782
1 : a principal female singer in an opera or concert organization
2 : an extremely sensitive, vain, or undisciplined person
---------------
Since I'm not the principal female singer in an opera or concert organization, and since that wouldn't further your case any even if I was, I will assume that you have concluded that I am extremely sensitive, vain, and undisciplined.

Next, since you have told LB that you didn't find his comment that it was "a waste of time" offensive, but you found my comment that it was a "silly waste of time" offensive, I will conclude that what is bothering you is the use of the word "silly", since that is the only difference in the two statements.
--------------------
Main Entry: sil·ly
Pronunciation: 'si-lE
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): sil·li·er; -est
Etymology: Middle English sely, silly happy, innocent, pitiable, feeble, from Old English s[AE]lig, from s[AE]l happiness; akin to Old High German sAlig happy
Date: 14th century
1 : archaic : HELPLESS, WEAK
2 a : RUSTIC, PLAIN b : obsolete : lowly in station : HUMBLE
3 a : weak in intellect : FOOLISH b : exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense or sound judgment
Helpless and weak is an archaic use of the word silly, so I wouldn't have meant it in that way. Rustic, plain, or humble is an obsolete use of the word, so I wouldn't have used the word with that intended meaning either. Since you are a Phud, you should be able to note then that we now have two possible ways left that I could have been using the word. You have eliminated the possibility of my using the word silly to mean "weak in intellect", because you have branded me a prima-donna, and as a prima-donna I have already shown you the words I will use if I want to tell you that your intellect is lacking, and the word silly wasn't it. Therefore, the only way I could have intended to use the word silly was with the meaning "FOOLISH b : exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense or sound judgment".

It is usually considered a foolish act to waste your time. Therefore, wasting your time having the tuning pins inspected on a new piano would be foolish. If you did this because you didn't know any better, then one would say that you were doing this because you lacked sound judgement on the issue. That doesn't mean you're silly, and it doesn't mean you can't educate yourself and eliminate the problem of lack of sound judgement. If on the other hand you chose to ignore the advice of those who know the facts and tried to provide them to you in an attempt to help you, and instead of learning from their knowledge you chose to attack them with snide remarks, at that point one would have to conclude that you fall under the definition of "exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense".

In conclusion, Mr. Derek with the Phd, while the original poster would have been making a silly mistake as defined by "doing the wrong things out of a lack of sound judgement" - a problem that is easily fixed by simply educating yourself, you on the other hand are bound and determined to cling to your silly viewpoint as defined by "exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense" - in other words, in spite of your Phd you ignore the ever mounting evidence that your view is incorrect and build strawman arguments to allow you to avoid applying common sense. In the course of doing so, you chose to attempt to sling dirt at me because you weren't smart enough to follow the meanings of the words you were reading through not so subtle little snide remarks, which I find far more offensive than using the word "silly" in the context that it was used. You started this little tiff with your snide little digs, which are the actions of "an extremely sensitive, vain, or undisciplined person". But.....Mr. Derek with the Phd.... isn't that the definition of a prima-donna?
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#117134 - 02/01/02 01:13 PM Re: King of the Hill
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Lar,

Once again, you've proven that you are a prima-donna. Either you are not listening, don't want to listen, or can't bring yourself to listen. You never addressed the problem my friend had with his piano. Perhaps that's because it flies in the face of all you so-called 'advice'.

Sorry, but you already dubbed me a 'wise-ass'. You really don't want to give up your crown now do you? .

So Mr. Larry, you ARE a prima-donna. Goodbye.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#117135 - 02/01/02 01:36 PM Re: King of the Hill
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
In defense of Larry:
When I was searching for a piano, I emailed Larry asking him a couple questions. Even though I was new to the board, and my email was unsolicited, he was gratious enough to give me real answers to my questions. If my memory serves me correctly, he even did this several times. Because I have local options for the pianos he carries (I don't live near Larry), it really wasn't an practical option for me to purchase a piano from him. And yet knowing he'd never see a dime from my purchase, he still was a helpful resource. (A belated thanks Larry!!!)

The other side:
However, I find Larry's latests posts toward Derick to be missing the gratiousness he so generously gave to me. Perhaps Derick's words were not deserving of much grace, but I believe that's what professionalism is all about: showing people respect whether they deserve it or not.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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