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#1471629 - 07/10/10 10:27 AM Question about piano material
youngzi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 26
Is it common practice to build rim with maple and basswood? I know maple is very good hardwood, but isn't basswood really soft?

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#1471649 - 07/10/10 11:26 AM Re: Question about piano material [Re: youngzi]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2700
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Most rims are made of hardwoods: maple, birch, beech, oak, lauan, walnut, or other locally available, suitable material. Based on the common uses for basswood, I would assume its role in rim construction was for ornamental elements, not structural. Not all pianos design around hardwood rims, most notable Bosendorfer which makes their rims out of spruce.

However, in general, I would not make a judgment about a piano for any one design element. Think of it as part of the recipe. For some recipes, an ingredient is appropriate and for others it is not. The inclusion of basswood in the design doesn't say much about how or why.

Also, whether a type of wood is designated "hardwood" has little to do with its hardness. It has to do with whether it has leaves or needles. Wikipedia - Hardwood

Pianos designed around dense hardwood rims (maple, oak, birch, etc.) tend to have different characteristics than those designed around more moderate (lauan) or less dense (spruce) rims, but still this is just an ingredient in the recipe. It's the final result that can make for strong opinions one way or another.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1471689 - 07/10/10 01:08 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: youngzi]
yumo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/02/10
Posts: 70
Originally Posted By: youngzi
Is it common practice to build rim with maple and basswood? I know maple is very good hardwood, but isn't basswood really soft?


I had similar concerns over the use of basswood. Not sure how long it has been done, but time will tell whether it is a good solution I suppose.
_________________________
Disclosure: I shouldn't even be here and I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to pianos, piano playing, teaching music, or politics.

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#1471846 - 07/10/10 05:24 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: yumo]
youngzi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 26
Thanks for your explanation, Sam. I am not trying to judge on a piano for this element. I am just doing research in my piano exploration journey. Be more specific, in the Hailun 178 spec I read, it states inner&outer rim are made of multi-laminate Map & Basswood. Does it mean that both inner&outer rims are made of laminate wood with one layer of maple and one layer of basswood, or it means the inner rim is made of maple laminate and outer rim is made of basswood?

In HG198 spec, it clearly exclaimed that rims are made of alternating maple/walnut laminate. It makes more sense since both maple and walnut are hardwood.

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#1471886 - 07/10/10 05:54 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: youngzi]
Gary at Encore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 250
Loc: Dallas, TX
Hello youngzi,
Your question can be answered on Monday as I ask Hailun people. What I do know is that the 198 piano is designed with better materials, such as a soundboard and hammers from Germany. It also has many other design improvements such as in the soundboard, bridges, and strings. The 198 is a newer design and is designed to compete with the finest German pianos and to be better than other Asian pianos.

The 178 was designed earlier and is a very nice design with very good materials. The extra price of a 198 brings with it many improvements including a better rim. If you would like to meet with me in the store I can go over each of these.

Thanks
_________________________
Bluthner, Steingraeber, Pleyel, Hailun, Kemble, Baldwin, Story and Clark, Pearl River, Ritmuller and others (store owner)www.encore-pianos.com

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#1473152 - 07/12/10 09:02 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Gary at Encore]
Gary at Encore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 250
Loc: Dallas, TX
Today I had a long conversation with Frank Emerson who is the chief engineer and piano designer at Hailun. He previously had similar jobs at Mason and Hamlin and Baldwin. We covered several topics which are of interest to those who want to know how Hailun pianos are constructed and as to why they sound as wonderful as they do.

Youngzi asked about the rim materials of Hailun pianos.

1) The 178 and smaller pianos have hard maple outer rims. The smaller inner rim is made of a softer Asian basswood. This inner rim has maple inserts made into the basswood in places where bolts will be put into the rim. These harder maple inserts keep the screws from ever getting loose.
2) The 198 and larger Hailun pianos have maple outer rims and walnut inner rims and do not need the inserts. This is part of the expense of the larger pianos.
3) The rim wood material, and the size and strength of the rims, are only one feature of the sound and quality of the piano. However more expensive pianos usually have harder rims and thicker and stronger rims.
4) Another quality feature is the size and strength of the large boards beneath the soundboard. The more massive the beams are then the stronger the piano is, the more stable the soundboard is, and the more rigid the piano is --- with benefits including giving a better higher treble of the piano.
5) Frank said that the very high quality of the tone and sound of the Hailun pianos comes more from things other than the rim materials and structure. The soundboard materials and design, the string scale designs, the rib scales, and the hammers contribute more than the rims.
6) For instance the soundboards are rib crowned like European pianos instead of being compression crowned like Yamaha, Steinway, and many pianos. This allows the crown to be designed more carefully and help the soundboard to keep its tone and the piano tuning stability better even through changing humidity conditions and years.
7) the Hailun soundboard material is a solid spruce core which gives the very good tone, and then there are carefully designed laminations on the top and bottom to create greater life, stability, and to prevent cracking and loss of crown.
8) The quality of a piano and its pleasing tone is far more than the specifications. The care full design and prototype testing makes greater differences. To that end pianos like Hailun which go through periodic improvements in design can keep getting better and better. He believes that his work is a continual process of creating better designs and better pianos.

I believe this. I equate this to the many things that I have read and heard about Estonia, Petrof, Steingraeber, Schimmel, and others which have been working hard year after year to improve their pianos in design and materials and building processes.
_________________________
Bluthner, Steingraeber, Pleyel, Hailun, Kemble, Baldwin, Story and Clark, Pearl River, Ritmuller and others (store owner)www.encore-pianos.com

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#1473228 - 07/12/10 11:33 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Gary at Encore]
fingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 799
Loc: Westchester, NY
That's some marketing spiel you have there!

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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#1473459 - 07/13/10 12:11 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: fingers]
yumo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/02/10
Posts: 70
Don't get me wrong, I am impressed with the results of the Hailun, and the craftsmanship of the parts I looked at (action). While there were some compromises I saw, they seemed to be reasonable. For example, the bolts that hold the two keyboard endplates down were not as thick as found on other pianos I looked at, yet they seemed to still be stronger than necessary. They also seemed to mate with a nut or a threaded piece of metal functioning as a nut, embedded in the end butts. This seemed superior to me, a lay person, than other designs I've looked at that used very thick wood screws into the keyboard end butts. (My terminology should make it abundantly clear that I am a layperson:). I am not a piano technician, or piano player, so take that with a grain of salt. Even so, Hailun does seem to be the best made Chinese piano I looked at, and I recently wrote a very positive review from a layman’s perspective.

I am also not a cabinet maker, but the use of basswood concerns me even more after reading what you wrote, Gary. The salesperson I spoke with was completely upfront on materials used in a hailun piano, but I think in general the use of basswood will raise eyebrows among consumers, even if it there was a good reason to use it.

I do thank you for taking the time to dig in, and type up your findings, though. I have purchased some Chinese made furniture for my son's room in the past, and while it is still functional, I don't think it is heirloom quality. There are two components to my estimations. The construction isn't great. And, it is made from basswood. Remember, I'm talking about consumer grade furniture in my son's room. I knew this when I bought it, though, and decided I would rather acquire functional furniture for my son than to sit and worry about him damaging higher quality furniture.

What's wrong with the basswood? It is easily gouged for one thing, and doesn't seem to hold its finish well for another. How does it hold laminate glues when used to make a rim, I wonder?

Granted, I am not an expert at these things, and some of what I spew here may just be I don't like the wood.

Ultimately, if basswood was selected as a cost saving engineering compromise that's too bad. It seems less expensive labor and reasonable shipping costs should leave room for quality material. How much money is saved by using a mixture of basswood and maple?

Now, if basswood were selected because it sounded better, lasted longer, resisted humidity, laminated better, etc., even though it cost more, the sell would be easier.

Using a mixture of woods to construct the rim also makes me wonder about the relative thermal expansion coefficients, as well as their relative reaction to changes in humidity. Could this possibly lead to stresses in the rim in response to temperature and humidity changes found in a normal home?

To be clear, I am no basher of Chinese goods, Chinese manufacturing, or economical compromises. I do think it is fair to say that many Chinese manufacturers are still learning quality control, and have been going through the same growing pains Japanese manufacturers went through during the 1970s. And it looks to me that Hailun is further along that path than others.

But it would be good, from an engineering perspective, to know if Hailun has done any highly accelerated life testing (HALT) on their rims (and other components) in order to better estimate how their solution/compromise/material selection will hold out in the long run.


Edited by yumo (07/13/10 12:16 PM)
_________________________
Disclosure: I shouldn't even be here and I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to pianos, piano playing, teaching music, or politics.

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#1473471 - 07/13/10 12:27 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: yumo]
yumo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/02/10
Posts: 70
One other thing, if you have feedback to engineers at Hailun, suggest they look at a book by Gregg K. Hobbs titled "Accelerated Reliability Engineering: HALT and HASS" Other books on the topic also exist.

The methods described in the books can be used to make products that last a very long time. (Sadly, a lot of manufacturers of goods, any goods, are producing disposable goods these days.)

But a piano, which I consider a long life good, could benefit from the ideas in the books.

As an example, I have a calculator made in 1989, designed and manufactured by HP. My understanding is that they used HALT/HASS methods to design and manufacture it. And it turned out very well, in the sense that the calculator I am using has been dropped three to four feet onto tiled concrete several times throughout its long life, and doesn't have so much as a crack on it, and is still a workhorse. I have read stories about these calculators being set on the roofs of cars, with the car driving off, and the calculator falling to the pavement, and then being run over by another car, and still working.


Today, calculators are 1/3 the cost, but have 1/4 the useful life. There are trade-offs here, in that newer calculators have better, faster, lower power electronics. Whether or not applying HALT/HASS to a scientific calculator is a good idea today is debatable, and the evidence points to the fact that calculators that can last 30 years won't be bought by price conscious end users.

But as far as a piano goes, using HALT on a piano rim using mixed materials may be beneficial from a marketing perspective and a warranty perspective, since pianos are expected to last longer than 4 or 5 years.


Edited by yumo (07/13/10 12:28 PM)
_________________________
Disclosure: I shouldn't even be here and I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to pianos, piano playing, teaching music, or politics.

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#1473472 - 07/13/10 12:27 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: yumo]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21396
Loc: Oakland
First of all, basswood is a hardwood. So is balsa, for that matter. The difference between hardwoods and softwoods is that hardwoods come from deciduous trees and softwoods come from conifers. Where different species of woods lie in the range of actual hardness does not depend on whether it is a hardwood or softwood. They are interwoven on the scale. Balsa is very soft. Yew, a softwood, is very hard.

Basswood is one of the softer woods, but it is similar to poplar, which is widely used for cabinet wood. Both of them carve and machine very well. Like most woods, they hold up very well. There should be no problem with them lasting the life of the piano.

As to how well a given wood works for its role in the piano, that is a function both of the species of wood and the design of the piano. Ultimately, you have to judge a piano by how it sounds.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1473500 - 07/13/10 01:06 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: yumo]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2700
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Hello yumo,

I think it is just fine to raise these questions but I'll add some perspective.

From the time this forum started until about 3 years ago, there were regular questions about Bosendorfer's use of spruce in their rims (it took all those years for this community to deride those questions as FUD). Competitors were known to poke at this element of construction like it was a bad thing. The same things you notice about your son's basswood furniture could be noticed if they were made out of spruce. Materials science is all about appropriate application.

It's kind of like that that formerly popular allegation that "Kawai uses those cheap plastic parts." It's not so popular to try and criticize that anymore because they are open for people to see, compare and decide.

Outside of piano making, Lauan is primarily used as cheap plywood. Wikipedia calls it Mixed Hardwood Ply, i.e. wood of unknown origin, however it is used without complaint in Yamaha, Kawai and other brands. I wouldn't want a coffee table made of Lauan, but my first piano was a Yamaha and I know the customer who still owns it, is happy, and never had a question about the cabinet materials.

In general, I think Asian manufacturers have been much more open to the public about sourcing of parts, labor, design than almost any American or European maker. The info you ask for may or may not be available, but try asking the same questions to one of several venerable U.S. makers and see what kind of vague response you get if any at all.

At some point, I'll have to ask a Hailun designer why basswood was chosen out of a tremendous number of expensive & inexpensive wood types. I think that is the most appropriate question.

By the way, do you know why NY Steinway uses maple and why Hamburg used more beech? The original reason is that it was a locally available suitable material. It wasn't until probably 100 years later that they studied how it specifically contributes to the instrument. Science confirmed what they already knew. A lot of instrument design is like that.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1473885 - 07/14/10 12:26 AM Re: Question about piano material [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Gary at Encore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 250
Loc: Dallas, TX
Yumo. The large and chief stress bearing of the rim is the outer rim from which you see as the outer case. The inner rim is the rim upon which the soundboard sits upon. It is part of the inner structure. Most pianos use different woods for the inner and outer rims. Both of these rims are shaped like arches and because of this are very strong.

In my conversation with Frank Emerson yesterday he was talking about this very thing.

Please remember that the smaller Hailun pianos are the ones which use the basswood and maple insert inner rims. These sell for less than $15,000. The larger, and therefore needing greater strength, pianos use more massive rims and a harder inner rim wood.

Also these pianos are designed by men who have designed very well constructed and long lasting pianos before they came to Hailun. The smaller Hailun pianos were designed by Japenese designers who came from the top companies there. They worked to design their best pianos. The larger pianos were designed by the American, Frank Emerson, and the Frenchman, Stephen Pauello. They have put their names upon the pianos as their greatest designs.

Another thing that I have learned which makes the Hailun pianos sound different than the Japanese pianos is the type of soundboard. All of the European pianos that I know of use rim crowning as the method of building the soundboard. Steinway, Yamaha, and others use a less expensive and less precise method of compression crowning. Hailun uses the better rib crowning.

Rib crowning was the difference between the Kemble upright pianos and the almost exactly same Yamaha uprights. These were made in the same Yamaha owned English factory. By changing the soundboard to rib crowning, Kemble created a more warm and rich sound.

People who come into our store can learn about he different soundboard building methods and the new crown designs. For instance the Petrof new designs have a more complex crown design which creats a more even and rich sound accross the whole piano. (than the older Petrof designs.)

One of the added features of the larger Hailun pianos is a new football shaped crown instead of a basketball shaped crown on the soundboard, which most pianos use. These new shapes of crown allow the crest of the crown to run more along the treble bridge and allow more of the piano to benefit by the idea that the best sounding notes are centered over the crest of the crown.

Some of you may remember that Bluthner uses a cylinder shaped crown which has the crest of the crown running down the majority of the treble bridge.
wow But don't fret if you don't know what all this means.


Edited by Gary at Encore (07/14/10 12:29 AM)
_________________________
Bluthner, Steingraeber, Pleyel, Hailun, Kemble, Baldwin, Story and Clark, Pearl River, Ritmuller and others (store owner)www.encore-pianos.com

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#1473916 - 07/14/10 01:27 AM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Gary at Encore]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
Gary,

"7) the Hailun soundboard material is a solid spruce core which gives the very good tone, and then there are carefully designed laminations on the top and bottom to create greater life, stability, and to prevent cracking and loss of crown."

Hailun sound boards are laminated?


Mike
_________________________
smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#1473948 - 07/14/10 03:15 AM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Mike Carr]
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
Quote:
Hailun sound boards are laminated?


Why not? A lot of FUD has been spread over the years on this forum about this.
But what would be against it when well excecuted.

Del posted a lot about this subject; this is just one thread where Del comments on laminated soundboards in multible posts:

All other things being equal..

schwammerl.

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#1473996 - 07/14/10 06:34 AM Re: Question about piano material [Re: schwammerl]
Gary at Encore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 250
Loc: Dallas, TX
Yes Mike, they are on the smaller grands. This method has been proven to work very well. That is why they can offer such a long warranty. And as well talked about earlier, Hailun has about the best warranty anywhere and 3 times some of the big name brands.
_________________________
Bluthner, Steingraeber, Pleyel, Hailun, Kemble, Baldwin, Story and Clark, Pearl River, Ritmuller and others (store owner)www.encore-pianos.com

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#1474142 - 07/14/10 12:09 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Gary at Encore]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED

Thanks Gary. It's not a fact Hailun makes overly clear in their brochure. At least not if you just skim over the material. Which models have the laminated sound board?


Mike
_________________________
smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#1474166 - 07/14/10 12:41 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Mike Carr]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2700
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Sorry to jump in, but I was just covering this topic:

In a nutshell, the soundboard has a traditionally made solid spruce soundboard which serves as the core. On the uprights, 1 very thin Spruce lamination is applied to the solid core at a slight angle to the core grain. This allows the soundboard to perform well around the world in different climates. The grand soundboards have top and bottom laminations over the core. To better understand, the laminations are about 1/12th or .0833% of the thickness of the solid spruce core. This is on models 151, 161, 178.

The selection of Strunz soundboards for the larger performance instruments coincides with all traditionally high quality soundboards but are therefore more environmentally sensitive and require a good, stable indoor climate.

Soundboard design is important for any piano, but I think Hailun's choice to use laminated soundboards acknowledges the greater importance for durability in a home piano (in homes around the world) over the marginal improvement that could be accomplished by using Strunz in every model. On the larger instruments that are more likely to be used in a performance venue, the justification is different.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1474217 - 07/14/10 02:37 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: PianoWorksATL]
youngzi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 26
Thanks, Sam and Gary. It makes sense.

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#1474289 - 07/14/10 04:14 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: youngzi]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2296
Loc: SoCal
Strange they would sweep it under the rug. The piano business seems very tradition bound.
_________________________
Gary

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#1474308 - 07/14/10 04:46 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: youngzi]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
Thanks for the Wiki link about Hardwoods. They have a pretty good article about Tilia species:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basswood . Some of them are known by the common name 'basswood,' and are used in making guitars and other musical instruments (which I did not know), as well as window blinds (which I did know, because I have some).

An excerpt:

"The timber of Tilia trees is soft, easily worked, and has very little grain, and a density of 560kg per cubic metre.[4] It is a popular wood for model building and intricate carving. Especially in Germany, it was the classic wood for sculpture from the Middle Ages onwards, and is the material for the elaborate altarpieces of Veit Stoss, Tilman Riemenschneider and many others. Ease of working and good acoustic properties also make it popular for electric guitar and bass bodies and wind instruments such as recorders. In the past, it was typically used (along with Agathis) for less-expensive models. However, due to its better resonance at mid and high frequency, and better sustain than alder, it is now more commonly in use with the "superstrat" type of guitar. It can also be used for the neck because of its excellent material integrity when bent and ability to produce consistent tone without any dead spots according to Parker Guitars. In the percussion industry, Tilia is sometimes used as a material for drum shells, both to enhance their sound and their aesthetics. It is also the wood of choice for the window-blinds and shutters industries. Real wood blinds are often made from this lightweight but strong and stable wood which is well suited to natural and stained finishes.
[Limewood Saint George by Tilman Riemenschneider, c. 1490.]"


Species in the genus Tilia were formerly classified in the taxonomic family Tiliaceae, but genetic studies have shown in recent years that there is good reason to move it into the mallow family, Malvaceae. This classifies it closer to its relatives okra, hibiscus, and cacao (chocolate).

Plants are classified mainly according to their sex organs (the flowers), rather than by their form.


Edited by Jeff Clef (07/14/10 04:47 PM)
_________________________
Clef


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#1474795 - 07/15/10 11:14 AM Re: Question about piano material [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
As far as I'm concerned, laminate vs. solid spruce soundboard is not the problem so much as this is the first I've heard about Hailun's so-called laminate sound board.

Hailun's 178 and smaller models having a plywood or laminate soundboard is not mentioned, as far as I can see, in Hailun's brochure literature. Wendl and Lung does mention, "Mutured spruce wood embedded in a precisely glued back frame construction . . ." and "Specifically climate-resistant construction with excellent dimensional stability and outstanding sound." All though what they actually mean, if they are even talking about a laminated soundboard, is not as clear cut as Yamaha Cable Nelson's simple, "laminated soundboard."

The fact is, no one really knows if Hailun laminates its soundboards or not. I'm only going by what Gary and Sam have said.


Mike




_________________________
smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#1474820 - 07/15/10 11:58 AM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Mike Carr]
Gary at Encore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 250
Loc: Dallas, TX
Mike.
What you are writing is akin to slander and misinformation of the worst type. The soundboards are not plywood in any manner of the word.
What has been carefully described is not even similar to plywood and you know it.

If you will take the time to read many of Dell Fandrich's posts about the advantages of a laminate soundboard you can not help but see that the Hailun method of putting a thin laminate spruce cover upon a solid spruce soundboard is a very good soundboard with very much improved life and the still very good sound of a spruce soundboard.

And if the problem is that Hailun has not personally disclosed this to you until recently sounds like you are some self appointed and very important authority which the piano world must bow before.

The proof of any design is in the quality of tone which comes out of the piano. The second proof is the quality of research and testing which it's design is built upon. Your attacks upon this seem not based upon anything but your desire to injure Hailun or your prejudice against new soundboard designs.

What you seem to want is a $12,000 grand piano with a genuine spruce soundboard of the Highest quality bought from the best sources and like unto a $50,000 piano. How do you propose that someone build a better piano to sell for $12,000?
Of course they must come and consult with the great authority Mike Carr before putting it into production.
_________________________
Bluthner, Steingraeber, Pleyel, Hailun, Kemble, Baldwin, Story and Clark, Pearl River, Ritmuller and others (store owner)www.encore-pianos.com

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#1474831 - 07/15/10 12:18 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Gary at Encore]
Gary at Encore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 250
Loc: Dallas, TX
Mike. Even a brief reading of some of your posts disclose that you are some unusual piano expert.
You claim to be retired and own a $50,000 Yamaha S4,.
Yet you claim to spend time constantly keeping up with prices at many stores, on Craigs List, and with regard to many brands of pianos. You claim to play and judge pianos on a continuous basis. And write as an expert on pianos of new and used, of all price ranges, and all brands.
Then you are quick to offer "expert" advice to steer people to Yamaha pianos.
You know about pricing on any piano even in Australia as you offer pricing advice to shoppers there.
And of course you are an expert on piano warranties and "Yamaha" has the best warranty of all. Kawai next best. and you are quick to criticize Hailun and everything about it. You criticize Hailun for having a one year warranty on the bench yet no other brand has any warranty on the bench.
And you are quick to criticize my spelling mistakes.
If I take the time to read some more of your self righteous and misleading posts what else will I find.
_________________________
Bluthner, Steingraeber, Pleyel, Hailun, Kemble, Baldwin, Story and Clark, Pearl River, Ritmuller and others (store owner)www.encore-pianos.com

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#1474847 - 07/15/10 01:16 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Gary at Encore]
Gary at Encore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/09
Posts: 250
Loc: Dallas, TX
Mike, you have attacked my integrity and the integrity of Hailun. However we have the highest integrity.

Now if you have any integrity you will admit your mistakes and apologize for this "plywood" slander and Hailun attack and disclose fully about yourself as you ask of others.

If you try to avoid the truth and increase the misinformation, then you have no integrity. So which will it be?
_________________________
Bluthner, Steingraeber, Pleyel, Hailun, Kemble, Baldwin, Story and Clark, Pearl River, Ritmuller and others (store owner)www.encore-pianos.com

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#1474856 - 07/15/10 01:28 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Gary at Encore]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
Originally Posted By: Gary at Encore
Mike, you have attacked my integrity and the integrity of Hailun. However we have the highest integrity.

Now if you have any integrity you will admit your mistakes and apologize for this "plywood" slander and Hailun attack and disclose fully about yourself as you ask of others.

If you try to avoid the truth and increase the misinformation, then you have no integrity. So which will it be?


Gary,

Are we having a "moment" here? grin



The Great Authority Mike Carr (you can just call me the "Great One" for short. No bowing, please)
_________________________
smoke 'em if you got 'em

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#1474859 - 07/15/10 01:36 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Mike Carr]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10457
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Mike,

What is your background and experience as it relates to pianos?
_________________________
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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#1474905 - 07/15/10 02:29 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Steve Cohen]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2296
Loc: SoCal
I hope I'm not putting words in Mike's mouth, but the issue is not the soundboard, but the subtle obfuscation of the soundboard design.

Samick makes no secret of its surface tension soundboard, and IIRC makes a point of the lifetime warranty on that soundboard.

As Del has pointed out before, there is no real sound issue with the laminate board. So why hide it?

Certain posters here attack Steinway for not being innovative, and then hide the innovations of their own products?

Why is innovation in pianos something to conceal?

You have to admire the guts of Kawai to go with the ABS action parts. They gave their competitors plenty of ammunition to bash them, but weren't afraid to try something new.
_________________________
Gary

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#1474918 - 07/15/10 02:57 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: Gary at Encore]
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
Quote:
The soundboards are not plywood in any manner of the word.


It is really sad that so many words need to be spend on commments from people who either cannot read, intentionally misinterpret what is written or at least do not want to make an effort to read what is published.

Spruce the Hailun specsheet says:

Hailun 178 specifications

schwammerl.

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#1474971 - 07/15/10 04:13 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: schwammerl]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5226
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Since my name has been dropped several times on this thread, perhaps I can be permitted a few comments…

I began to recognize the value of laminated soundboards back in the late 1970s. My studies into what were then the mysteries of piano design led me to believe that there were advantages to laminated wood technologies that, if properly developed, could make laminated soundboards at least equal to, if not superior to, the so-called “solid spruce” soundboards commonly in use. Added to this was the reality that humanity was using up the kinds of forests that were the sources of our best tonewoods at rates much faster than they were being replaced.

With all of this in mind I began advocating the use of highly designed and engineered laminated soundboards back around 1980. And I started designing them into new pianos in the mid 1980s. All the while I was being told I was, in a word, whacko.

It has long been the practice of many piano dealers and manufacturers to malign the materials and design features of competitor’s products. Many, if not most, dealers and manufacturers have at one time or another criticized the laminated soundboards as a class—and, yes, the word “plywood” has frequency been bandied about—while the virtues of solid spruce soundboards has been praised no matter how badly designed and/or fabricated they might have been. But only, of course, when those plywood soundboards were found in a competitor’s products.

I suggested, those many years back, that the industry was talking itself into a coming marketing nightmare if it kept doing what it was doing. There were few receptive ears back then but that marketing nightmare has arrived and we are now going to reap what we have sown.

My only suggestion now is to acknowledge our mistakes of the past and move on. I can appreciate how manufacturers and dealers might want to obscure the fact that the soundboards in the pianos they are now promoting are built around laminated soundboards but I think this is a mistake. Sooner or later the astute customer is going to discover that the piano he/she is considering—or has already purchased—contains one of those dreaded laminated soundboards and is going to wonder about it.

None of this would be a controversial issue if piano manufacturers and piano dealers had not made it a controversial issue. My position in all this has not changed; laminated soundboards are going to play an increasingly important role in piano manufacturing and technology. That the transition is now going to be some difficult is a problem of our own making. There are going to be those who delight in tossing our own words back in our collective faces. We may as well acknowledge that reality and move on.

ddf


Edited by Del (07/15/10 04:47 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1474973 - 07/15/10 04:16 PM Re: Question about piano material [Re: schwammerl]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2296
Loc: SoCal
schwammerl, the specification says nothing about a laminated board. Upthread Gary at Encore wrote:
7) the Hailun soundboard material is a solid spruce core which gives the very good tone, and then there are carefully designed laminations on the top and bottom to create greater life, stability, and to prevent cracking and loss of crown.

Now, he's gotten facts about Hailun wrong in the past, and this might be another case of that.

The question is why is this so hush-hush. Is the soundboard laminated or not? And does it really matter one way or the other?
_________________________
Gary

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