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#134345 - 01/18/07 09:39 PM The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Jolly Offline
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Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14056
Loc: Louisiana
Oh, just a take-off on something Rick Clark said in another place...

As a consumer, are you:

A)less likely

C)don't give a rolling red rat's rectum

..to buy a piano or piano line that Larry Fine likes? :3hearts:
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#134346 - 01/18/07 09:53 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
George K Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 999
Loc: The Midwest
I may be blowin' smoke here, but in the Piano Book, aren't the recommendations (and criticisms) the result of a survey that he did of techs who have checked out the piano? Not sure about the supplements, though, they may be just his[/b] opinion.
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#134347 - 01/18/07 10:10 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Monica K. Online   blank

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17846
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I would say it influenced my opinions. I read his book carefully, nay, compulsively while shopping. I chose the M&H over other pianos he ranked higher, so it wasn't the sole determinant. But I'm sure his high regard made me more favorably disposed to it in the first place and induced me to try it out.
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#134348 - 01/18/07 11:32 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Climber Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/06
Posts: 224
Loc: Colorado
I'd say "more likely" unless he has forgone the assemblage (is that a word??) of leaning the heaviest on technician advice in his publications. If he's forgone the "assemblage" then I'd be inclined to say "don't give a rolling red rat's numb chucks".

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#134349 - 01/19/07 12:24 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
tonychar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/06
Posts: 105
Loc: CA
I think the value in the book for me was in seeing all of the buyers tips. The book taught me about inspecting a piano in detail, and understanding the mechanics.

Also equally important, it outlines the marketing approach of the piano industry.

As to specific pianos? I used it as a basic guide, but ultimatly, it is impossible to keep in print an up to date guide to the entry level and Asian pianos, things are changing so rapidly.
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As of 1/13/07 owner of Nordiska 5'5" Model G

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#134350 - 01/19/07 06:22 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
AD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 193
_________________________
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Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
And I am Marie of Romania.

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#134351 - 01/19/07 08:28 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
agilis Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 11
Loc: West Jersey
As a non-playing newbie to both piano buying and ownership, I think the Fine book serves an important role as a baseline. I tend to be very analytical during purchases (numbers versus feeling), and the fine book gave me a good baseline to start. I used the book several times to lookup things like Kawai vs. Yamaha vs. Boston, and the relative quality of various brands.

I tempered much of what he said with these boards. Every other post here is "am I getting a good deal" or "is this a good piano"? That was useful, as was the search ability here.

The most valuable thing to me about the fine book was the supplement. I purchased the supplement hoping to understand retail versus street pricing, and I feel the guide helped me with that. For my $15 investment in the supplement, I was able to negotiate nearly $1,000 off of a brand that in my area, from my dealer, is non-negotiable.

In the end, I bought the one that sounded the best to me. The Fine book, and this forum, both made me more comfortable that it was a good decision at a fair price. My ears told me it was the right decision.

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#134352 - 01/19/07 10:45 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Any pianist can figure out if they like the touch and tone of a piano. The real value in Fine's book, to me, is in the predicted reliability and technical assessments: construction, materials, fit and finish things that a typical buyer may not have the skills to assess.

For example, Fine's groups make it easy to see that if you're shopping for a piano for a church or rehearsal room, you need something sturdier than the lowest group.

--Cy--
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#134353 - 01/19/07 11:59 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426
Exactly, Cy.

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#134354 - 01/19/07 04:45 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14056
Loc: Louisiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jolly:
Oh, just a take-off on something Rick Clark said in another place...

As a consumer, are you:

A)less likely

C)don't give a rolling red rat's rectum

..to buy a piano or piano line that Larry Fine likes? :3hearts: [/b]
Basically, the context that exists....NAMM is currently underway, and as some of you know Rick is called in to prep some of the pianos. Rodger Jolly has done stuff like this in the past...some of the techs who post on this board have done NAMM's.

But piano techs prep pianos the way they believe is "best". That "best" may differ in tone or touch from another tech. Not saying one is better than the other, just different.

Along comes Larry Fine to the booth, to kick the tires and try out a few pianos. If Larry likes what you've done, it can give the line a better billing in the next supplement. If he doesn't, the piano may remain the same, or even fall - all based on what Fine likes.

It's the old subjective rater thing, but boiled down to a single defining event, possibly even a couple of defining instruments.
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#134355 - 01/19/07 05:37 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426
I would think he wouldn't judge a brand or model on the basis of the voicing or regulation of one sample. However, if he noticed that the design, materials, or workmanship were deficient it would raise questions.

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#134356 - 01/19/07 05:37 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1300
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
Larry Fine provided a good service by telling people how pianos work, what problems to look for and some historical data on piano companies that is interesting.

In my opinion, the piano ratings are pretty much useless. His ratings mean nothing to me and are, after all, only one man's ratings.
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#134357 - 01/19/07 05:47 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426
He collected surveys from technicians about their experiences with pianos in the field. That gives me information I could not obtain on my own.

I can evaluate the touch and tone of a new piano. How could I know, on my own, that a model or brand of piano has pinblock problems unless I buy it and cross my fingers. (I'm not naming names, but we've got a warranty replacement coming soon.) The biggest problem is the lack of timeliness, especially without a fifth edition, plus a certain understandable reluctance to say that manufacturer X has durability problems.

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#134358 - 01/19/07 07:46 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
moenbailey Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/07
Posts: 5
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
I really liked the Larry Fine book and valued his opinion on pianos. We just bought an Estonia and are very happy. We were very interested in other pianos, both new and reconditioned. I read the entire book and bought the update. As a hands on general contractor who has custom built cabinets, entire buildings, sprayed lacquer and been hired as an expert for building structure failure studies I felt the book is solid information.
The information that can be gained from the book helps in choosing between a piano that sounds good now to one that will most likely sound good later (many years). I would recommend reading everything Larry Fine has to say, balancing it with the pianoworld members views and as everyone else says play alot of pianos.

I wasted many years trying to help people make better choices about their home purchasing, remodeling, and repairing decisions. People don't want to hear what they don't want to hear. Almost all of these people lost a great deal of money. You need to be a smart as you can be. larry Fine is a solid way to begin your purchase.

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#134359 - 01/21/07 09:13 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
pianistique Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/19/07
Posts: 5
Loc: paris
I read the book from Larry Fine and then I go the NAMM and buy a Chinees piano(grand).
Why? For the excellent sound and the very friendly price.
And there are a lot of people at the NAMM who's changed their opinion about Chinees pianos.
I am the owner of a Perzina grand.I am very happy and my friends too.

Claire
_________________________
I love Chinees pianos

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#134360 - 01/21/07 10:07 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Kingfrog777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 243
I did not read the book since we bought a GB1. We did not want to spend over $8k for a piano and did not care to buy a Chinese made stencil. Too much confusion and mis representation there. It came down between Pearl River and Yamaha. Pearl River looked better. Yamaha sounded better.

I believe Chinese pianos are really good pianos for the money especially. but I do not believe I would pay for a former premium brand that is made in the same factory as other former premium brands. Pramburger is a perfect example. Its not the same Pramburger as when Mr. Pramburger was alive.
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Piano, pro audio,guitar and MI sales.
Yamaha, Pearl River, Bergmann, Remington.

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#134361 - 01/21/07 11:04 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
John Perkins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 136
I didn't and don't find the Larry Fine books very helpful. I'd prefer to talk to people, as on this forum, with actual experience with the pianos. It is clear in his book that he personally knows a lot about some brands and very little about others. The opinions of techs are useless unless I know who the tech is doing the talking. That is like saying "a lot of musicians like this piano". Who are those musicians? That would make a difference whether I take the comment seriously.

In regards to the price supplement, I was disappointed. Saying you can get 10 to 30 percent off, say, a $116K piano is not a very helpful tip.

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#134362 - 01/21/07 11:36 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
CHAS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/03
Posts: 521
Loc: Ski Country of Colorado
I learned a lot from Fine's book. When he praised the Kawai carbon action I played some of them. Then I bought one. I preferred its tone to that of the European pianos in the same room, which surprised me.
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#134363 - 01/21/07 12:08 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
John Perkins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 136
 Quote:
Originally posted by AD:
"Not sure about the supplements, though, they may be just his opinion."

George,
Someone who we both trust told me a while back that one brand in the Fine supplement (which was being discussed at length on PW at the time) was ironically reviewed by a.n.other.

Andy [/b]
I have no idea what this post means. Can you elaborate Andy?

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#134364 - 01/21/07 01:34 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Rich D. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1274
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
Pianistique,
All your posts (5 in total) advertise Perzina. Do you sell them?

Rich
_________________________
Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"

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#134365 - 01/21/07 01:45 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
CTPianotech Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 1473
Loc: CT
pianistique is also bluespower and ladylover

'they' have all signed on in the last couple weeks, and all have identical posts.

There is a report post button on the lower right hand corner of all posts.
_________________________
Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
D-C installations, Player-Piano installations/service
Ritmuller/Pearl River

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#134366 - 01/21/07 01:55 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
Pianistique:

Eef you wewe twooly Fwench you would pwonounce Chinees "Chinois."

Example:

C'est tres obviouse que vous n'adorez pas le piano chinois.
_________________________
Full-Time Music/Entrepreneurship Major: (Why not compose music AND businesses?)
Former Piano Industry Professional
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Roland Atelier AT90R
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#134367 - 01/21/07 02:55 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
John Perkins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 136
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianistique:
I read the book from Larry Fine and then I go the NAMM and buy a Chinees piano(grand).
Why? For the excellent sound and the very friendly price.
And there are a lot of people at the NAMM who's changed their opinion about Chinees pianos.
I am the owner of a Perzina grand.I am very happy and my friends too.

Claire [/b]
You live in Paris, and you went all the way to the Los Angeles NAMM show to buy a Chinese piano? Sure you did.

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#134368 - 01/21/07 10:33 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14413
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
We all learn in this business as we go along and Larry Fine is no exception.

I have always greatly respected Mr. Fine's attempt to be on top of things and be as accurate as is humanly possible.

Larry has a difficult job to do and does it with great diligence and sincerety.

If things need to be changed or adjusted as new facts are becoming available to him - he will - just get his most recent Addendum or Annual Supplement of the Book.....

http://www.pianobook.com/supplement.html

In the meantime everyone choose the piano of his/her own heart, his/her pocketbook and his/her wife's or husband's approval.....

Norbert ;\)
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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#134369 - 01/22/07 03:17 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
MrsSV Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/06
Posts: 519
Personally after getting a great deal of help from the forum and Fine's book I can say that I needed both to come to the conlusions I came to- which produced a purchase I am exceedingly happy with. I needed both- the book and this forum. There are several member's opinions I trust a great deal- as well I believe Fine's book and his assessments to be trustworthy...understanding that there will never be 100% agreement from everyone concerning his assessments.

But don't mind me Jolly- I'm pretty clueless about SOME things.

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#134370 - 01/22/07 03:24 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
MrsSV Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/06
Posts: 519
Final answer:

I am

D) More informed.

Because he took the time to give an opinion that I view as trustworthy. I find his opinions/assessments to be a great starting place for researching a piano purchase...especially for the clueless, the newbies and the inexperienced.

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#134371 - 01/22/07 10:51 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14056
Loc: Louisiana
MrsSV wrote:
 Quote:
But don't mind me Jolly- I'm pretty clueless about SOME things.
Well, as espoused in the motto of a fictitious college, Knowledge is good .

I suspect that Fine, as most people, relies on his own judgement more than the judgement of others, especially in the realm of the subjective.

Consider the orginal scenario...not every tech preps the same way. The prep may be good, or even excellent, but different guys aren't going to do things the same way. For instance....if Rodger helps prep for Samick, Rick for Geneva and Lisa for Bechstein, they will do what they believe shows the maximum potential of the piano they are working on. These folks are all first-class piano people. However, if we throw these guys in a bag, shake them up and dump them randomly in the NAMM booths, what will be the end result of a different tech working on a different piano?

And when Fine drops by the booth, as he did this year, he's like any other pianist when they sit down to a piano. Sure, he can ascertain build quality, but a trained monkey can do that. Much of the area that seperates the good from the very good can lie in the subjective realm.

So, IMO, the subjective hinges not only on whether he likes the piano he plays, but whether he likes the work of the person who prepped the piano.
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#134372 - 01/22/07 11:19 AM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14413
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
When Larry Fine plays a piano.....

 Quote:
So, IMO, the subjective hinges not only on whether he likes the piano he plays, but whether he likes the work of the person who prepped the piano.
Including the factory.

90% of the pianos I played at NAMM had not been properly prepped.

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

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#134373 - 01/22/07 01:39 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
birchy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Vancouver
he can ascertain build quality, but a trained monkey can do that...

Really? What are you feeding that monkey?


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#134374 - 01/22/07 03:09 PM Re: The Larry Fine SEAL OF APPROVAL
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14056
Loc: Louisiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by birchy:
he can ascertain build quality, but a trained monkey can do that...

Really? What are you feeding that monkey?

[/b]
Purina Monkey Chow , of course! ;\)
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