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#120865 - 07/26/08 01:45 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Alex,[/b] I missed your post re Kassman having become a Bluthner dealer. IMO that's a good thing, because he is well established and already had the Irmler line. (Have heard an Irmler only via a recording. Like its mellow tone.)

Bluthner's take on the "family of pianos" concept will be a little more difficult to implement in the states, because the firm is not yet well known. Americans are becoming more knowledgeable, so the long run prospect, IMO, is good.

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#120866 - 07/26/08 03:09 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
master88er Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 789
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
M&B:

As you well know, R.KASSMAN was a Kawai dealer for several DECADES and, in fact, we were a charter inner circle dealer for nearly our entire time as a Kawai Dealer, and I have great respect and admiration for many folks at Kawai, including Harry Kawai. I have been to Japan many times (including recently) and the fact that they are now choosing to build products primarily in Indonesia does not mean they are any less of a quality piano than when they were primarily built in Hammamatsu. The fact that Bluthner has produced a piano in Irmler that, IMHO is qualitatively equal to the products Kawai is producing throughout its line-up, but with a European emphasis on warmth of sound and traditional Irmler/European design is a credit to Christian Blüthner and his foresight. In times past, many hailed Koichi and Shigeru Kawai for doing exactly the same thing, as proudly declared in the "Artisan Select" brochures of the 1990's. For years, Kawai proudly extolled its "more European" approach to sound in comparing its products to Yamaha.

The fact that you recently lost a Kawai grand sale to an Irmler should indicate that you are spending far TOO much of your time denegrating other products and not enough time extolling the virtues of those you sell!

"BTW Hirotaka KAWAI uses his real last-name; I wonder if Christian's last-name is really Bluthner?"

You should really check your facts before you start slinging mud. Perhaps you were unaware that Shigeru Kawai was NOT a Kawai!!! He married the daughter of Koichi Kawai and took HER family name! Again, this is a well documented fact and your lack of knowledge about the brands you purport to represent is astonishing.

"C) Since you brought up the name of Mr. Kassman. If I remember well a few moths ago YOU will not recognize him as Bluthner dealer. Today he still claims to be a Bluthner dealer; and all he has is one Bluthner on the floor.
Is this all it takes to be a Bluthner dealer? One piano."

You are incorrect as to the number of Blüthner pianos R.KASSMAN currently has in stock. While it is interesting that you are so obviously worried about us as a competitor that you allege to know my inventory/products intimately, you neglect to take into account instruments that may be on loan or recently sold. The fact that we provided pianos (including Blüthners, Steingraebers and Sauters) to the renowned international music festival in Napa Valley, Festival del Sole, perhaps accounts for you or your detectives incorrectly counting our stock. Next time, just identify yourselves so we can offer you a cup of coffee.

We have been a Blüthner dealer since 1997. My relationship with Christian Blüthner and the factory continued even when I took a hiatus from retail to care for ailing family members. Christian Blüthner is a valued friend and business associate (as is Ulrich Sauter and other European manufacturers). The direct factory relationship that I enjoy admittedly sometimes results in misunderstanding with the USA representatives. But as with any family, these small issues are always resolved byt the diligent managment of Christian Blüthner, contrary to your immature assertions.

"E) I’m a dealer but not that dealer. But since you opened a can of worms, I’ll take up on it."

Many in this forum have challenged you to reveal yourself. Your vitriol coupled with your cowardace are nausiating and denegrate not only the brands you purport to represent, but also piano dealers in general. Whether you are Scott McBain of McBain/Carnes piano San Jose or Don Belville of Marin piano is inconsequential. Your recent postings taking cheap shots at other dealers and manufacturers that you don't represent while hiding under a mask is evidence of your lack of moral character and fiber. IMHO you have lost all credibility with the people in this forum, which is your just reward!
_________________________
Russell I. Kassman
R.KASSMAN, Purveyor of Fine Pianos
Berkeley, CA

FORMER US Rep.for C.Bechstein

SF Area Dealer: SteingraeberGrotrianSauterEstoniaKayserburgBaldwinBrodmannRitmller
www.rkassman.com
russell@rkassman.com
510.558.0765

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#120867 - 07/26/08 03:17 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
master88er, [/b] glad to learn that you're an official Bluhner dealer. I like the "family of pianos" concept.

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#120868 - 07/26/08 07:08 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
 Quote:
Unless you are actually shopping for an Irmler, I believe that you have enough questions answered. I was told and Alex has told you that the US Irmlers currently in dealers were made in Poland and the ones which are now being prepared to be shipped to dealers are made in Korea.

Now it is time that you showed some courtesy to others.
Jordang,

I'm not sure that it is your right to tell me when I have had my question answered sufficiently. I have said nothing disrespectful to Mr. Hernandez. It is my experience in life that persistence and disrespect are quite different things. It is also my experience that persistence beyond a certain level bears no fruit, so I will not be asking the question again in this thread.

Regarding courtesy, there are some elements present in recent posts on this thread that are related to the usual internecine combat among competing industry people. I have not touched on those. Perhaps my simple straightforward questions have been lost in the overall texture of that commentary.

You are quite correct in your assumption that I am not shopping for an Irmler. However, I have an acquaintance who was, and he was interested in the same simple questions. Both at the point of purchase and beyond the actual purchase, he was denied an answer to those questions. He chose to go ahead and make the purchase anyway. The merits that he felt were present in the piano outweighed his concerns about its origin. I would say that is a very good endorsement of the piano by him, but I know that he is still troubled by the fact he could not get his questions answered.

There may come a time when consideration of a piano does not need to involve a consideration of the actual piano manufacturer, of the component manufacturers, and of the country of origin. That would be a fine thing, but realistically speaking, I don't think we are there yet. I don't think that Mr. Fine and some others with considerable influence in the industry feel that we are there yet either. Do you feel that we are?

Were I to ask where a Bluthner had been made, I obviously would receive a direct straightforward answer. I realize that manufacturers who are trying to build pianos with a good level of performance at an affordable price must keep their manufacturing and component sourcing options open to do the best they can within a budget for a target price. On the other hand, if a budget line such as Irmler has in its relatively short history been manufactured by different factories in different countries under different contractual arrangements, it does not instill in a buyer the same level of confidence that a long interrupted production run in one factory would.

Every piano maker is of course free to choose its own level of disclosure, just as every consumer is free to vote yes or no with his wallet. Personally, I would not buy a piano without first having an answer as to the country of manufacture. But that's one vote, perhaps the only vote. That doesn't matter to me. I just wouldn't do it.

Addendum:

BTW, Jordang, it is my understanding that the information you have provided in the quote I excerpted at the top of this post is incorrect.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#120869 - 07/26/08 10:03 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
Barbara G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 495
Loc: N. Texas
Turandot, you amaze me with your knowledge of the piano industry and you amaze me with your detailed writings here on PW. You have my real respect.

 Quote:
BTW, Jordang, it is my understanding that the information you have provided in the quote I excerpted at the top of this post is incorrect.
So that is why you quote Ori and me and then said that we were wrong. and you said :
 Quote:
It would seem impossible for all of the above to be correct.
You have never said why you think several of us are wrong. Ori, Alex, Ivan Kahn, and another Bluthner exec. have all said the very same thing. Irmlers sold in the US have been made in Poland and will now be made in Korea by Samack. Irmlers Students sold in Europe were made in China and the same pianos are still being sold in the US as Breitman until the supply is sold out. These pianos are no longer being made. Irmlers sold in Europe have been made in Poland. (The factory has been sold.) All of these pianos are designed by Bluthner and are shipped to Germany for finishing.
Now in courtesy, if you want to tell us that these four people are wrong, then you must tell us how they are wrong and bring your evidence.
_________________________
Master of Music, School Teacher, Church Musician- See "Our Adventure to a New grand" thread... http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/18212.html

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#120870 - 07/26/08 10:25 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Jordang,

Unless you are actually shopping for an Irmler, I believe that you have enough questions answered.

Just kidding

I never said that anyone was wrong. I said that if you added all of that quoted information together, it couldn't all be correct.

Thank you for your nice comment, but I really don't know so much. The little that I do comes from asking questions, getting answers, and getting further independent confirmation of those answers. You can probably see the irony there I would think.

Anyway, I'm sending you a PM because I think that you and I both can admire a company's efforts to bring cheap pianos to a higher level of performance. I'm afraid that's getting lost here in this thread with its industry backstabbing. So look for the 'evidence' in your message box. \:D
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#120871 - 07/26/08 10:28 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1735
No one has responded to the question implicit in my quotation from Larry Fine's supplement. Are Irmlers still being made or not? I would love to know. If they are no longer being made, it would answer the question of where Irmlers are now being made.

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#120872 - 07/27/08 12:49 AM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
Barbara G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 495
Loc: N. Texas
Rank piano Amateur, I believe that your question has been answered by me several times. Irmlers were being made in Poland but the factory has been sold so they are no longer making them there. Currently they are being made in Korea and being shipped to Germany for final finishing. So for a while no Irmlers were being made. However, I was told a month ago that the new Irmlers had not yet arrived in the US.
_________________________
Master of Music, School Teacher, Church Musician- See "Our Adventure to a New grand" thread... http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/18212.html

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#120873 - 07/27/08 08:32 AM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Rank,

Please note that while Jordang is no doubt trying to be helpful, (s)he does not represent Bluthner in any capacity. If you wish to explore why Mr. Fine's new update would say that Irmler is no longer being made while simultaneously new Asian Irmlers are in fact for sale in the US and have in fact been sold in the US, you might inquire directly to Mr. Fine. Bear in mind that a contract with the new Asian supplier would need to have been signed, that the pianos would have needed to be built, that the pianos would have needed to be shipped from Asia to Leipzig, and that the pianos would have needed to then be shipped from Leipzig to the US to be available for sale, and in fact some actually sold at around the same time the update was released.

Mr. Hernandez is an official representative of Bluthner. Unless the Republic of Samick is a country, he has not confirmed that the new Irmlers have been manufactured in any country. He has declined my invitation to do so.

Since you have been exploring many questions about the new Fine supplement here recently, it might be good to take your questions directly to Mr. Fine. If your interest is in clarifying certain things in the book, and not in getting advice about buying a piano, you may get a free answer. \:D It's worth a shot in my estimation.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#120874 - 07/27/08 12:08 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
Alex Hernandez Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 1966
 Quote:
Originally posted by turandot:

Mr. Hernandez is an official representative of Bluthner. Unless the Republic of Samick is a country, he has not confirmed that the new Irmlers have been manufactured in any country. He has declined my invitation to do so.
[/b]
In a previous post I wrote the following:

"The current Irmler imports achieve that, and with the belly's and in many instances almost complete instruments (that come from Samick) this goal has been accomplished."

Please read my post before implying that I am being evasive.

Thanks
_________________________


Blüthner USA, LLC

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#120875 - 07/27/08 12:42 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
Glaswegian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 278
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
Sorry to butt in to an argument that has nothing whatsoever to do with me, but is all this stuff really important?

Why am I poking my nose in? When I was looking for an upright piano I followed the best advice that many people give on this forum and tried out lots of pianos and chose the one which I liked the touch and tone of best which fitted my budget. After trying Yamahas, Kawais, Kembles (I'm in the UK) I finally settled on an Irmler. To my ear at least, it had the best tone of all the pianos I tried and I loved the touch, just perfect for me.

Do I know where it was made? No, no idea. The thought never crossed my mind and I never asked.

And I'm a very happy Irmler owner, wouldn't dream of swapping it no matter where it was made.

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#120876 - 07/27/08 01:07 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#120877 - 07/27/08 05:15 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13974
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
People sometimes forget that much of the mentality and motivation of German manufacturers is driven by other forces than is commonly assumed over here in North America.

Let's not forget while America has always been busy talking about "America", a huge new nation called the "European market" has long emerged, a borderless nationhood of countries closely aligned in politics, defense, commerce and culture.

Add to this that Germany/Europe has always been by far the strongest market for traditional German makers themselves with almost all their tradionally supplied stores there having meantime adopted their own Chinese house brands - something which has affected the market there in a very considerable way.

Everybody knows it is much easier to sell a cheaper piano than an expensive one, and the traditional manufacturers there had to make their moves to react to this situation somehow.

As a result, and this perhaps more than anything else, the situation has pursuaded some of the German makers to not only "get in on the Chinese pie" - as is commonly assumed - but also ensure to keep their flock in line eating "same grain" from the "same mill" - as they have done for a very long time in the past ....

Nobody likes the "new kid on the street" - and the German manufacturers, realizing their own traditional world had been changing around them, were no exception to this.

Add next the advantages of offering interesting 'trade-up schemes' similiar to Steinways' Essex-Boston-Steinway model plus the hope to sell *billions of Chinese* ;\) your own pianos - made there of course - and the *ring of logic* starts to close ever more quickly....

The net result is a dissemination of products and qualities today as never seen before, something that will IMHO,offer both rewards and failures in the long run.

My own take is that the dangers actually outweigh the hoped-for [short-term?] advantages in the future, but this is simply my own opinion as a German raised writer.

This despite the fact, that VW for example, has booked a 36% increase in car sales this year - this being based entirely on the Chinese market and their Chinese production facilities there......

In the meantime, consumers may wish to make their decisions based on their own take of things - and of course as always - the instrument itself.

If the Chinese [and certain others..] will be beaten at their own game now or in the future, remains to be seen.

A competitive world it *is* - and most certainly increasingly - *will be*.

As a German manufacturer, personally speaking, I certainly would focus my own resources exactly where I can - always have- and most likely always *will* succeed.

Having done so for a very long time.... \:o

Just an opinion, of course - no special powers of prediction intended or pretended....

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

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#120878 - 07/27/08 06:25 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
I'm more optimistic for those manufacturers over the long run. Americans are becoming more knowledgeable and the Chinese are already showing interest in Steinway. If the manufacturers of other premium brands work to establish a reputation in China, their A lines should do well there.

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#120879 - 07/27/08 07:41 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
Alex Hernandez Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 1966
_________________________


Blüthner USA, LLC

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#120880 - 07/28/08 05:45 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
swampwiz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 561
Loc: Louisiana, USA
It looks like I have spawned a great thread.

I wonder if Larry Fine has updated his ratings to include all the various changes in the Blüthner family. If I were consumer that read that Irmler is Tier 2C, and unknowingly bought a Chinese Irmler (that obviously would be rated as Tier 4), I would be quite upset.

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#120881 - 07/29/08 10:10 PM Re: Is Irmler made in China?
M&B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/06
Posts: 262
Loc: California
Posted by Alex Hernandez:
 Quote:
The current Irmler imports achieve that, and with the belly's and in many instances almost complete instruments (that come from Samick) this goal has been accomplished. Still, the time and expense that is invested to bring these components/instruments to Leipzig for optimization and final preparation before they arrive in the U.S. elevates their performance and in my opinion shows a sincerity of intention regarding the value intended for the public.

Please Sir Swampwiz may I kindly rectify your stament?
Korea...Korea...please it is not made in China. Our Chinese fellows could get offended at this point they are making better pianos than their Korean comrades.

BTW Since I'm already here I would like to ask Mr. Hernandez...

Bluthner ship components and provide specifications to Samick. Obviously because this is a new project Bluthner provides a number of experienced personnel to supervise the operation.
Then the whole batch of pianos gets ship back to Leipzig for optimization, by this time all pianos get unboxed and are absolutely free of defects. Once the very same guys who work on Bluthners finished working on the pianos; they will be crated again and ship to America. (By the way no wonder why Mr. Kassman doesn't get his Bluthners on time; people at the factory are too busy OPTIMIZING Irmlers) \:D

IMO With all that goes into building Irmlers, they should cost as much as Bluthner.
I'm just thinking in terms of shipping cost, import taxes, custom fees, transportation from the docks to the factory and everything else involved in the process.
Unless they are just another stencil.
How do you wholesale a 52" for less than $3200?
_________________________
Piano Dealer
Representing Kawai, Mason&Hamlin.

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