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#1386024 - 03/01/10 10:47 PM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: fingers]
Nick Mauel Offline
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Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 799
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
I didn't think it was possible to spread FUD using any of Larry Fine's statements. He is clearly against it.

A dealer who cites Larry Fine's statements is exactly the opposite of a dealer using FUD tactics.

(FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt)
_________________________
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Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
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#1386027 - 03/01/10 10:49 PM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: fingers]
fingers Offline
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Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 799
Loc: Westchester, NY
Quoted from the preface of the 2nd Edition of The Piano Book-
" Finally, the very popular but troublesome numerical ratings of piano quality have been removed because of overuse and abuse..."


"...As a result, some reviews have been "softened" a little to keep the peace and avoid expensive litigation. Although I don't think any reader will be misled, you may wish to "read between the lines" as you read the brand reviews..."

Evidently, the astute Mr. Fine understood these challenges way back when.

fingers
_________________________
Playing piano at age 2, it was thought that I was some sort of idiot-savant. As it turns out, I'm just an idiot.

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#1386030 - 03/01/10 10:56 PM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Nick Mauel]
fingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 799
Loc: Westchester, NY
Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
I didn't think it was possible to spread FUD using any of Larry Fine's statements. He is clearly against it.

A dealer who cites Larry Fine's statements is exactly the opposite of a dealer using FUD tactics.

(FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt)


Nick,

Please don't pretend to be naive. You know very well about 'spin". Give me a break!

fingers
_________________________
Playing piano at age 2, it was thought that I was some sort of idiot-savant. As it turns out, I'm just an idiot.

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#1386034 - 03/01/10 10:59 PM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: fingers]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3662
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Originally Posted By: fingers
Quoted from the preface of the 2nd Edition of The Piano Book-
" Finally, the very popular but troublesome numerical ratings of piano quality have been removed because of overuse and abuse..."
fingers


The current rating system is also used in the same manner.
What's the difference?
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of Fine Heirloom Pianos

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#1386042 - 03/01/10 11:09 PM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Mark_C]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7394
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C


I love "tangents" as much as anybody, but I always thought tangents aren't supposed to be instead of the original point. I'd love to know which other piano ratings anyone feels should have been different.


Well, Mark. Certainly your own tangent is as valid as any other, but the thread topic is changes to the structure of the ratings, not the rankings of individual pianos.

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Perhaps Steinway will consider purchasing an advertisement.


Well, that's the thing Nick. I don't know if you're joking or serious, but leverage is the issue here. It's not so much who has it because that can go back and forth as relationships develop. It's more about how it's used or not used.

I was checking out the new Hailun website this afternoon and noticed the prominent links to PW and PB - links which praised both enterprises.

Who's got the leverage in this c ross-linking? Did money change hands? Which direction? If it passed to PW will Frank leverage Hailun competitors by telling them Hailun is a client and they'd better get on board too? Even my teenage son did that when he was selling sponsorships for his track and field team. Once he nailed down the first pizza shop account, everything fell into place with the others. grin

Will Hailun expect favorable treatment here? Will you [Nick] spend sleepless nights worrying that Hailun has too much influence on this forum? grin

These are silly little examples, but it really is a whole different ballgame once the ad revenues enter the picture. Some people have implicit trust in Mr. Fine. Others wonder about undue leverage or influence peddling, not because it's Mr. Fine's style, but because it's the way of the world.

For consumers like me it just makes sense to see how it shakes out. Personally, whatever it is, even just a slick coffee table item with no teeth, I fully expect it will reek with integrity. However, I can understand the huge concerns of people who make their living selling pianos, and,,,,,,, getting back to that Steinway text alteration, I can understand why Mr. Fine might soften that text just so he wouldn't supply free ammo to dealers competing against Steinway.
_________________________
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#1386046 - 03/01/10 11:16 PM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: turandot]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20127
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Originally Posted By: turandot
Well, Mark. Certainly your own tangent is as valid as any other, but the thread topic is changes to the structure of the ratings, not the rankings of individual pianos.....

It is?
That's not how I read it.
Let's see what he asked:

"If you were rating pianos, based on quality of construction, performance, and image, how would your ratings differ from Larry Fine's Current Ratings?"

I can't see that as meaning what you said, even if I try real hard.

But I appreciate that you at least addressed this. Nobody else has.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1386063 - 03/01/10 11:39 PM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: fingers]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 799
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
Originally Posted By: fingers
Quoted from the preface of the 2nd Edition of The Piano Book-
" Finally, the very popular but troublesome numerical ratings of piano quality have been removed because of overuse and abuse..."


"...As a result, some reviews have been "softened" a little to keep the peace and avoid expensive litigation. Although I don't think any reader will be misled, you may wish to "read between the lines" as you read the brand reviews..."

Evidently, the astute Mr. Fine understood these challenges way back when.

fingers

Fingers,

The 2nd edition of The Piano Book is from 1990. Since you are quoting passages regarding reviews and rankings, is this not too far in the past? Or, is it OK to reference reviews from 20 years ago?

In the paragraph just before the one you quoted from, Mr. Fine notes the challenge he had come to understand: "As consumers became aware of the book, its impact on piano sales was felt, and I found myself and my work very much noticed in the industry."
_________________________
Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
239-206-4541 direct line
www.nickspiano.com

Concert Piano Technician, Dealer, and Pianist

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#1386082 - 03/02/10 12:02 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Mark_C]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7394
Loc: torrance, CA
Mark C,

You're right. The OP was misleading. A while back, between the time that the InFinite British Columbian and US Allies stormed the Piano Buyer Ad Revenue Tower and the time in which Udo Steingraeber signed Terry's piano, pocketed Terry's Montblanc, and left town.......somewhere in between there at some indistinct moment that will forever be remembered even though it cannot be precisely reckoned, Steve had an epiphany and said what he really wanted from the thread........that being, to be hammered from all sides.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1386098 - 03/02/10 12:39 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: turandot]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20127
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: turandot
Mark C,

You're right. The OP was misleading....

Thanks for the acknowledgement, turandot.
But I don't think the OP was misleading at all.
I think the problem was that the title was ambiguous, and people just ran the wrong way with it, without closely reading the post (which did totally clarify the title).

And for some reason, Steve never came in and told people that they were going in the wrong direction. Maybe he decided he was happier with what people thought he had asked......
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1386119 - 03/02/10 01:27 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Mark_C]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7394
Loc: torrance, CA
Quote:

And for some reason, Steve never came in and told people that they were going in the wrong direction.


He did. Here you go.

Quote:
The reason I posted this thread is that Larry is examining possible alternatives to the rating system currrently in Piano Buyer. We see the upside to these ratings as well as the downsides.

Many of the suggestions made here, while appreciated, in reality could not be accomplished.

Perhaps I should have asked "How would you suggest Piano Buyer ratings and rating process should be structured"?
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1386122 - 03/02/10 01:32 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: turandot]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Yes -- I thought that wasn't a clarification, but a change, as he seemed to imply at the beginning of the post you quoted (in a part that you omitted). I meant he never just said people were addressing a different question than he had asked, which it seemed they were.

If this other thing really was what he meant in the first place, then I was the one who misinterpreted the OP.

But obviously, no matter. Y'all are off in this other direction, and Steve seems happy enough with it.
In a way. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1386123 - 03/02/10 01:33 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: turandot]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14601
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
"How would you suggest Piano Buyer ratings and rating process should be structured"?


Personally I have come to believe "no structures" - "no ratings"

Why not let people decide what they wish to buy and how much they are willing to spend on their puchase.

Just as cars or other big ticket items.

It's happening everywhere else in world.

Norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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#1386130 - 03/02/10 01:46 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Mark_C]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7394
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Yes -- I thought that wasn't a clarification, but a change -- sort of a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" (as he seemed to imply at the beginning of the post you quoted, although you omitted that part). I meant he never just said people were addressing a different question than he had asked, which it seemed they were.

If this other thing really was what he meant in the first place, then I was the one who misinterpreted the OP.


Mark,

I dug that post out from under the rubble. That's enough exertion for me. smile I'll leave you to your thoughts about why and why not.

_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1386131 - 03/02/10 01:47 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Norbert]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20127
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Why not let people decide what they wish to buy and how much they are willing to spend on their puchase.

You want no evaluations, no ratings???

Quote:
Just as cars or other big ticket items.....

Evaluations and ratings of cars and other big-ticket items are very prevalent and extremely popular, and people rely on them hugely.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1386141 - 03/02/10 02:20 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Steve Cohen]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Perhaps Steinway will consider purchasing an advertisement.


Spring 2010 (out in a week or so) - Page 12 wink

Well! There you have it!

The decision of Fine, Cohen et al to soften the critique of Steinway was a commercially sound one for the publication.

If Steinway continues to advertise and commits to multiple pages for multiple years, then the sky is the limit on how they can improve their ratings!

Quid pro quo.

Ain't the America way great?

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#1386148 - 03/02/10 02:28 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: theJourney]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14601
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
You want no evaluations, no ratings???


While this may work fine for some people and be even be 'necessary' for some - it's becoming way too political for my own taste.

As long as there are are huge commercial interests at stake, it will be a battle ground forever.

Sorry to be blunt but I don't like the fact that things are seemingly becoming more commercial all the time.

This is only my *opinion*, no offense intended.

Anybody 'rating' violins, guitars, drumsets or church organs?

Think about it.

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

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#1386155 - 03/02/10 02:38 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: PianoWorksATL]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
In The Piano Book, and certainly The Annual Supplements there are year over year changes in the different editions that I believe are evidence of this eroding frankness.

Perhaps my favorite recent example was in the description of Steinway & Sons(NY):
...
It is certainly fair and reasonable for Larry to modify his words, to better explain his criticisms. I'm not accusing Larry of bowing to outside pressures, but side by side, readers may fairly call this language less frank in nature. From there, the reader is free to judge for themselves why softer words were chosen.


So you feel that the publication is suffering from less Frankness and is reflecting instead creeping Steveness? Or is it simply "business is business" where today's mission is -- coûte que coûte -- selling advertising and supplements and building shareholder value with "love for sale".

There is of course no free lunch. By offering free internet copy with a patina of objectivity and co-opting supposedly open and objective internet forums with "anything goes", under the table, "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" agreements, manufacturers who pay for the privilege can have access to a wonderful Trojan horse of a way to influence insecure piano buyers with "genuine" and "authentic" reviews of their products.

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#1386162 - 03/02/10 03:09 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: fingers]
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
Steve - just to clear up any misunderstanding, I have not said that you are a co-owner of piano buyer. I have merely stated that you have a financial interest in it. This conclusion can be reached from your own assertion of position (as we assume you are not for free: contributing editor and advertising director and now you have said that you are also a consultant to Mr Fine). And in any case you have previously confirmed that you do have a financial interest.

With respect, Steve, you are being obtuse in defending your conflict of interest, and your arguments about murderers etc are fallacious. Many industries, such as law, finance and banking, are regulated to deal with the well understood concept of conflict of interest. The purpose is to ensure that consumers or customers can have confidence that there could be none. There is no suggestion of impropriety - merely a method of adding credibility (because in the past there most definitely has been impropriety!)

Pianos don't matter much and hence there is no regulation. This does not erase conflicts of interest though. The potential for them still very much exists and we must take it on trust, apparently, that you and others are not influenced by these conflicts.

You must see that your potential conflict of interest is obvious. No one in this thread has said that you have been dishonest in any way. But it is the potential that damages the piano buyer, as a seed of doubt is inevitably sown in the minds of impartial users.

As to the editorial point. I have not described you as a co-editor. I assume that when Norbert or others make reference to a co-editor they are abbreviating your title from contributing to co. This obviously upsets you, but the reality is that any word, followed by "editor" must suggest in plain English usage, that you are doing some editing of material in piano buyer.

If you don't want to create the impression that you have an editorial role, then you should change your signature to show yourself as a contributor rather than an editor. Then the clear presumption would be that someone else is editing your material. Your signature and title presently creates a problem for you and for piano buyer.

It is hard for you credibly to deny that you have very frequently touted piano buyer on this web forum. Rarely have you pointed people to a relevant page in piano buyer - the touting is general rather than specific. This is consistent with the role of an Advertising Director, who is keen to demonstrate to advertisers both traffic and profile. Fair enough. Tout away - but don't expect all members to find it terribly palatable.

As you are a dealer and have had in the past by your own admission confidential consultancy relationships with piano manufacturers, and presumably hope to obtain further consultancy work in the future, it must raise in the mind of a dispassionate observer "might this man have pulled some punches in order to favour his contacts?"

Now, we on the forum know you would never do such a thing. But you must see that to the casual observer, the risk of bias remains. This undermines piano buyer's credibility.

Larry Fine has worked for many years to produce a book and regular supplements that was well respected in the industry. I have made no slur about this (contrary to your false assertion). I have merely stated what I believe to be a fact. It was well respected. I am not so sure that the respect remains at the same level today.

Larry Fine has taken a new path with piano buyer and introduced a commercial element. By its very nature this dilutes the perceived independence, whether or not it reduces the actual independence of view. This is logically undeniable.

Larry faces the difficulty of many people who are key to a business idea - it is closely associated with him and his own integrity. If he wishes to sell (as has been suggested many times) or retire, the value of the publication going forward can no longer depend on his personal integrity and name, and this presents a continuity problem that affects the business value of his venture. To continue, at some point Piano Buyer must have a new owner, or it will disappear. It seems to me that credibility going forward will depend greatly on the credibility of any new owner, co-owner or material participant. But this is a future issue for Larry.

All of these points do not mean that piano buyer is no longer useful to some people. It is free and, leaving aside the common argument that something free is worth exactly what you paid for it, it still delivers information and a method of comparing instruments that many find interesting and worthwhile.

My own very personal view, is that piano buyer is a somewhat less independent publication that it was. It is perceptibly less frank and I would be more inclined to question whether it is telling me the whole story these days. This is of course just a personal view and others may well hold a different opinion.

Kind regards

Adrian
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#1386324 - 03/02/10 09:21 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Norbert]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20189
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Norbert

Mr. Cohen's title, according to his own signature and Piano Buyer listings on page 2, is "Advertising Director" and "Contributing Editor"

It's the "Co-editor" that carries - at least in my mind - a very special responsibility for fairness, independence and neutrality.
The first sentence says "contributing editor". The very next one says "co-editor" which not only changes the word but IMO implies equality with Larry Fine as an editor. This seems completely illogical.

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#1386326 - 03/02/10 09:22 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Norbert]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10599
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
"How would you suggest Piano Buyer ratings and rating process should be structured"?


Personally I have come to believe "no structures" - "no ratings"

Why not let people decide what they wish to buy and how much they are willing to spend on their puchase.

Just as cars or other big ticket items.

It's happening everywhere else in world.

Norbert


Because most perple know very little about pianos (and much more about cars, which are also extensively rated). And most shoppers don't have the time to invest that would be necessary to gain an in-depth understanding of the piano market, or even about those brands that are locally available. I would even go as far as to say that Brodmann, Perzina, Hailun, Ritmuller, May Berlin, Palatino, and others are being given serious consideration by more shoppers due to their improved and improving ratings in Piano Buyer. Shoppers are looking for help, and while Piano Buyer certainly isn't perfect, it is the best alternative available.

I am very proud to be a part of it.
_________________________
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Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1386328 - 03/02/10 09:26 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: pianoloverus]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10599
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Norbert

Mr. Cohen's title, according to his own signature and Piano Buyer listings on page 2, is "Advertising Director" and "Contributing Editor"

It's the "Co-editor" that carries - at least in my mind - a very special responsibility for fairness, independence and neutrality.
The first sentence says "contributing editor". The very next one says "co-editor" which not only changes the word but IMO implies equality with Larry Fine as an editor. This seems completely illogical.


Not only illogical, but an outright falsehood. I am not, a co-editor, nor have I ever claimed to be. That invention was Norbert's.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1386347 - 03/02/10 10:04 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: AJB]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7394
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: AJB


My own very personal view, is that piano buyer is a somewhat less independent publication that it was. It is perceptibly less frank and I would be more inclined to question whether it is telling me the whole story these days. This is of course just a personal view and others may well hold a different opinion.


I guess you feel that at some point Piano Buyer or one of its predecessors was giving you the whole story. That doesn't really square with your expressed opinions of Fine publications in the past. I doubt from anything you've said in the past that you've ever based a purchase (or accepted free loan grin) of a piano based on Fine's take.

The man has said in his opening remarks that he welcomes his role as a GUIDE rather than a CRITIC and that Piano Buyer has a different thrust and different purpose from his earlier publications. Your arguments are always carefully structured, but Fine's opening remarks in Pianobuyer are far more impressive, to the point, and pertinent to an understanding of what Piano Buyer purports to do.

The publication exists because of ad revenue. It will succeed or not succeed based on content. Fresh content is on the immediate horizon. You're jumping the gun.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1386359 - 03/02/10 10:20 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: theJourney]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3527
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Perhaps Steinway will consider purchasing an advertisement.


Spring 2010 (out in a week or so) - Page 12 wink

Well! There you have it!

The decision of Fine, Cohen et al to soften the critique of Steinway was a commercially sound one for the publication.

If Steinway continues to advertise and commits to multiple pages for multiple years, then the sky is the limit on how they can improve their ratings!

Quid pro quo.

Ain't the America way great?



No worries, Journey, this statement did not make it into the Piano Buyer from the last full edition of the Piano Book:
“Although the reviews in this book tend, by their nature, to highlight the problem areas, my sense is that most technicians feel that Steinway grands, properly serviced, are among the best-performing pianos- if not THE best- made.” (p.146)

Well, that could complicate the story....

Remember it's not just what is said; it's what is NOT said as well.

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#1386363 - 03/02/10 10:27 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: turandot]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20189
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: AJB
My own very personal view, is that piano buyer is a somewhat less independent publication that it was. It is perceptibly less frank and I would be more inclined to question whether it is telling me the whole story these days. This is of course just a personal view and others may well hold a different opinion.

I am extemely familiar with the Piano Supplements for the last ten years at least. I am extremely familiar with the last two editions of The Piano Book and the Piano Buyer. I see nothing in the PB that indicates it's "perceptibly less frank" than ealrier editions of the Bupplement or Piano Book.

I don't think even a single example of this has been given on this thread. The one example about the review of NY Steinway referred to two editions of the Supplement and was easily explained by Fine's statement that quality control was improving.

I think it's silly to expect that the phrasing of each review to be exactly the same every time. This would assume that the opinions of the people giving those reviews to Larry Fine and Fine's own opinion have to remain fixed. It would also assume the same collection of people are responsible for the input on each piano for every edition.

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#1386368 - 03/02/10 10:34 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Steve Cohen]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
(He also invented what he said about 'cars and other big-ticket items.' You didn't have to concede on that.)
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1386376 - 03/02/10 10:43 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: pianoloverus]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10599
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Let me put the advertising issue in perspective:

The single biggest asset Piano Buyer has is Larry Fine and his reputation. (I know I'll be personally attacked on this, and could, in advance name those who will do so, and what they are going to say!)

The cost of a full-page ad in Piano Buyer to multi-issue advertisers is relatively inexpensive.

Would we jeopardize Larry's reputation by "accommodating" an advertiser for such an insignifcant amount?

Give me a break!!!

_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1386379 - 03/02/10 10:45 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: Mark_C]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3527
Loc: US
AJB set out the conflict of interest issue very well. The idea that there has to be a bleeding body or smoking gun is simply wrong. It's a matter of protecting against the thousands of small and not so small ways that decisions can be affected consciously or unconsciously at every point in an evaluation process as I wrote before-- ranging from whose opinions are sought, how the questions are worded and interpreted, how they are weighted, wording choices, etc. Credibility as an independent rating source depends on maintaining the appearance as well as the reality of independence from the entities that stand to benefit from the ratings. This has been the elephant in the room all along since the Piano Buyer appeared.

Sophia

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#1386382 - 03/02/10 10:46 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: theJourney]
terminaldegree Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3049
Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: theJourney

Well! There you have it!

The decision of Fine, Cohen et al to soften the critique of Steinway was a commercially sound one for the publication.

If Steinway continues to advertise and commits to multiple pages for multiple years, then the sky is the limit on how they can improve their ratings!

Quid pro quo.
Ain't the America way great?


1. Wasn't NY Steinway downgraded in the last tiered rating system in the Piano Buyer?
2. Has NY Steinway quality control/finished instruments improved in the past few years? The technician I respect most seems to think that the current new crop of NY S&S are the best he's ever seen in his lifetime. How many NY S&S pianos do you get to play over there?
3. Isn't S&S and their affiliated dealers one of the largest advertisers in all musical publications in the US? Local, state, and national music teachers organizations, industry publications, etc. etc.

Your "conspiracy theory" seems weak at best based when put in perspective. Yes, I'm an apologist...
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer

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#1386395 - 03/02/10 11:17 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: terminaldegree]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14601
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
I assume that when Norbert or others make reference to a co-editor they are abbreviating your title from contributing to co.


Exactly, not very hard to figure out...

Everybody can understand what a "Director for Advertising" is.

But "Contributing editor"? Is this a secret?

Or is this part of it:

Quote:
Larry and Me.

That's what we were doing at NAMM. You should remember, you were there right next to us as we interviewed Indrek on updating our Estonia information for their profile..


Norbert


Edited by Norbert (03/02/10 11:22 AM)
_________________________
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604-951-8642

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#1386399 - 03/02/10 11:22 AM Re: How Would You Rate Pianos? [Re: terminaldegree]
Plowboy Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2518
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: terminaldegree

1. Wasn't NY Steinway downgraded in the last tiered rating system in the Piano Buyer?
2. Has NY Steinway quality control/finished instruments improved in the past few years? The technician I respect most seems to think that the current new crop of NY S&S are the best he's ever seen in his lifetime. How many NY S&S pianos do you get to play over there?
...


So you're saying that while Steinway quality improved, they got downgraded in Piano Buyer. Maybe if they had purchased an ad they wouldn't have been smacked down.

I don't think this is the case at all, but this is a perfect example of the can of worms that gets opened when advertising revenue comes into play.

So perhaps the answer is indeed that the best way to change the ratings of pianos is to have no rating. Keep the Piano Book style descriptions and prices of pianos along with good articles about pianos and shopping for them. That would remove any idea of conflict of interest, no?
_________________________
Gary

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