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#1252223 - 08/19/09 09:50 PM Larry Fine's new book and website are "live".
Larry Fine Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/06
Posts: 30
Loc: Boston, MA
Please see my letter to Piano World members introducing Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer.
_________________________
Publisher and Editor, Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer
and Author, The Piano Book

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#1252951 - 08/20/09 08:50 PM Re: Larry Fine's new book and website are "live". [Re: Larry Fine]
Alden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 211
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Greetings denizens of the digital side.

I just wanted to add my welcome to Larry's. I'll be interested in hearing about what you found useful, where we missed the mark, and what you'd like to see in future.

Its not just about acoustics anymore! wink

Cheers,
Alden
_________________________
Alden Skinner
DP Technical Advisor, PianoBuyer Magazine
| VSL Imperial | Pianoteq Pro | Logic Pro |

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#1253037 - 08/20/09 10:50 PM Re: Larry Fine's new book and website are "live". [Re: Alden]
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
Alden, I don't believe something like this exists now... but are you guys going to do Tiers on digitals the way you've done with acoustics in the past?

I would think this would be a difficult list to keep relevant and current, the way the industry changes. But I'm not ITB, so what do I know?
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#1253052 - 08/20/09 11:24 PM Re: Larry Fine's new book and website are "live". [Re: Always Wanted to Play Piano]
Alden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 211
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Hi Always - I've been considering whether or not to do this and, if so, how to define the criteria. Its a very different situation than on the acoustic side due to the considerable variations in digitals and a much shorter list of manufacturers.

There would definitely be fewer tiers.
_________________________
Alden Skinner
DP Technical Advisor, PianoBuyer Magazine
| VSL Imperial | Pianoteq Pro | Logic Pro |

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#1253366 - 08/21/09 12:28 PM Re: Larry Fine's new book and website are "live". [Re: Alden]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Alden
Hi Always - I've been considering whether or not to do this and, if so, how to define the criteria. Its a very different situation than on the acoustic side due to the considerable variations in digitals and a much shorter list of manufacturers.

There would definitely be fewer tiers.


Hello Alden and congratulations for your work on Pianobuyer.

I would strongly advise against a ratings table of any sort for many reasons, most of which I'm sure are obvious to you.

First (and most obvious) If the publication is to be a guide and is to solicit advertising, it makes sense for its content to be focused on guiding choices by educating shoppers toward a thorough understanding of the instruments, IOW through knowledge that leads to an informed decision rather than endorsements that lead to an uniformed decision based on others' opinions.

Second There is a tendency here and in the marketplace for first-purchase shoppers to want to be told what to do (buy). Perhaps this is a by-product of Internet age shopping, but whatever the reason, it makes sense to encourage shoppers to explore and learn rather than to judge blindly. I believe that what you have done does encourage shoppers to explore, and ultimately can enable them to make correct choices based on identifying their own needs, wants, and subjective preferences.

Third There is the matter of instrument owners. Piano Forum history over the last few years has proven conclusively that each time Larry rolls out a new ratings table, a lively debate ensues among brand-concscious owners. Actually, even the period preceding the rollout is a time for many members to salivate as they gird for battle. I guess it's a bit like a sports league where competitive matches produce standings, except that competitive matches among piano brands are lacking and Larry's tables become the standings instead (even though I'm sure that is not his intent). This phenomenon is occurring right now in the Piano Forum. A line overlooked (Yamaha S) is a lover spurned; the oversight is an atrocity really grin A brand forced to keep company with less prestigious members (NY Steinway) is seen to have been slighted. This sentiment hasn't been expressed and debated yet, but trust me, it will (in spades). An upbeat positive view of pianos from China will bring a Mona Lisa smile to the faces of their owners, but won't satisfy the lust for more. This is already evident. Simply put, ratings are ultimately divisive and you can't win.

Finally The dealers. Larry's ratings tables in whatever form he places them have always been and will continue to be seized on by dealers in an attempt to exploit them far beyond Larry's intent. In the piano forum, dealers who stock brands that have fared well will offer disingenuoous and gratuitious congratulations to him in public posts telling him what a stellar effort his latest publication is (nauseating but true / check it out) grin. Then they will build on their drooping bouquets to Larry by adding encomiums to their own inventory. In retail shops all across the US, promotional materials will be prepared and house sales pros trained to distort the ratings beyond all reason.

You must ask yourself: "How stong is your stomach"? grin
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1253421 - 08/21/09 01:53 PM Re: Larry Fine's new book and website are "live". [Re: turandot]
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
I guess what would be more useful would be comparisons / reviews of the market leading digital pianos. Those of us on this forum are comparatively well-informed, but the typical piano buyer (your target audience, yes?) is less so. Or, failing that, general descriptions of the product lines. I'm pretty familiar, for example, with the low end of the DP market... Privia vs. Arius vs. Celviano vs. low end Rolands, etc. But I am completely unaware of what you get for your money once you step up into the $k, $8k market. In mind, probably out of my naivete, I just can't imagine why anyone would pay that kind of money for a DP. Perhaps there is a very good answer to this.

Then again, maybe you have this material, and I am just not seeing it.
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#1254208 - 08/22/09 07:07 PM Re: Larry Fine's new book and website are "live". [Re: Always Wanted to Play Piano]
Alden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 211
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
turandot - you'll be pleased to know that I'm currently disinclined to introduce a rating system. Largely because I can't think of a system that would be meaningful. Besides, if I did *nessun dorma*, particularly me...

Always - I did a comparison article on upper-end stage pianos. I'm curious to know if this is the sort of thing you had in mind.
_________________________
Alden Skinner
DP Technical Advisor, PianoBuyer Magazine
| VSL Imperial | Pianoteq Pro | Logic Pro |

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#1254222 - 08/22/09 07:37 PM Re: Larry Fine's new book and website are "live". [Re: Alden]
pilgrimjoel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Michigan
The DP industry changes quickly, and until they are handcrafted by master-craftsmen without plastic parts, what's the point of ranking them?

However, I found the DP section rather lacking and wonder if it deserves its own book with more substantial reviews of leading models. Just a thought. On the one hand, I can see the merits of introductory discussion of DPs and silent systems in this book. On the other hand, I'm not sure you can do acoustics and DPs justice in one volume.

That said, it is a first effort and a work in progress that will improve (I'm sure) with time. And this ongoing effort is very much appreciated!

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#1254287 - 08/22/09 09:41 PM Re: Larry Fine's new book and website are "live". [Re: pilgrimjoel]
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
I'll take a second look, Alden. I think I missed it the first time.
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#1254304 - 08/22/09 10:24 PM Re: Larry Fine's new book and website are "live". [Re: Always Wanted to Play Piano]
pilgrimjoel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Michigan
Let me clarify. Actually, the main section on DPs is fine (no pun intended) for this kind of book. The profile section seemed thin. For example, you briefly mention the different actions that Kawai uses. That's it. Just a list really, and by itself, that is not going to help the average consumer. What does it mean? Here, some more detailed reviews of major models could help a consumer understand these differences.

The price list for this section, however, is great and much easier to understand than the acoustic list. Of course, there are reasons for that. The pricing of acoustics is much more complicated.

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#1254391 - 08/23/09 03:15 AM Re: Larry Fine's new book and website are "live". [Re: Alden]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Alden
turandot - you'll be pleased to know that I'm currently disinclined to introduce a rating system. Largely because I can't think of a system that would be meaningful. Besides, if I did *nessun dorma*, particularly me...

Always - I did a comparison article on upper-end stage pianos. I'm curious to know if this is the sort of thing you had in mind.


Alden,

I don't mess with Nessun Dorma much. It's too big. I have a couple of piano arrangements: one where I merged it with Chaplin's 'Smile', but I'm not satisfied with them. M. Butterfly is more fertile territory for piano than Turandot IMO

I enjoyed your piece on stage pianos coming home. That approach seems better to me than ratings since it tells you why you might find one more useful than the other. At today's level, virtually everything would seem to be useful to someone. Ratings cause such a commotion. Oh, I said that before I guess. grin

Your mention of the Yamaha nylon guitar caught my attention because it's the one thing I wish I could import to my Roland.

There seems to be a lot of interest here in the $1k to $1.5k price point for people getting their feet wet. Maybe you could line up a group of consoles and use a similar approach to run them down. Just a thought.

Props again for the whole package. Much appreciated!
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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