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#1704489 - 06/29/11 06:35 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Dave Horne]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
Computer-aided modeling and piano design is relatively new. Del and many companies have been re-designing pianos to get rid of suboptimal aspects leftover from the centuries.

I had asked him one time about the upper bass sounding kinda tubby near the break even on a 6' grand. It was caused by the "foreshortened bass bridge" and the reason for using such bridge was "obsolete design". So they still use such designs. On new pianos. Even on larger ones.

Good thing some designers and companies have the initiatve to correct such issues. This is why I look for Del's posts for the design snippets and why I am a bit curious about the future and growth of piano engineering as an academic discipline.


Edited by gnuboi (06/29/11 06:37 PM)

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#1704505 - 06/29/11 07:22 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Dave Horne]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Isn't piano design a mature technology? Are there still aspects of piano design that can be improved upon ... and if so, what exactly?

You mean aside from those I've already listed in my previous post? Well, improvements could also be made in tuning stability, low bass performance (especially in smaller pianos), musical transparence across the bass/tenor break and freedom from false beating in the treble. There are new shapes to be explored and new material to be incorporated. And just for you, better integration of pickup electronics.

ddf
_________________________
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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#1704533 - 06/29/11 08:04 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Del]
Sparky McBiff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 1112
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Fascinating stuff Del.
I figured that somehow some of the Chinese manufacturers probably copied well established brands but I had nothing to back it up with.
I certainly don't fault Brodmann for copying the Steinway and I wonder if they did the same for their 212 Grand which is the only one I have played.
(I was duly impressed with it but unfortunately it was out of my budget range).
I wonder then if the same copying technique was also used by Hailun because I do know that they make mention of the fact that for their 198 the design was done by George Emerson and for their 218 grand the design was done by somebody named Stephen Paulello.
I've always wondered how much input these guys actually had. Did they design from the ground up or only let Hailun use their name, or something in between?
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#1704557 - 06/29/11 08:50 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Sparky McBiff]
Glenn NK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 457
Loc: Victoria BC
Originally Posted By: Sparky McBiff

I certainly don't fault Brodmann for copying the Steinway and I wonder if they did the same for their 212 Grand which is the only one I have played.
(I was duly impressed with it but unfortunately it was out of my budget range).


I'm going to have to check my sources of information; what I'd been told about the origin of the (modern) Brodmann is that prototypes were developed by Bosendorfer prior to it being purchased by Yamaha.

The Steinway connection is new to me, but it may well be fact.

From what I can find, the Bosendorfer lineage seems to be: Hoffman then Brodmann then Bosendorfer.

http://www.palacepianos.com/portal/piano-pedia/101-joseph-brodmann.html#.TgvFeWFBqbo

The Wikipedia site used to have a reference to Brodmann indicating that Bosendorfer worked for Brodmann, and eventually bought the company from Brodmann.

A friend of mine (a piano dealer, restorer, and tech) had a Brodmann in his shop a year or so that was being sold to a customer. It was a beauty to behold and play.

Glenn

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#1704627 - 06/29/11 10:50 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Glenn NK]
Dara Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1042
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
A friend of mine (a piano dealer, restorer, and tech) had a Brodmann in his shop a year or so that was being sold to a customer. It was a beauty to behold and play.

Why, I believe that was my piano, Glenn smile
And yes, it is!

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#1704675 - 06/30/11 12:14 AM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Sparky McBiff]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
Just guessing here, but when Frank E. and Stephen P. were given the chance to design a new model, wouldn't you think they'd get as much artistic and engineering freedom as they could ask for (without incurring too high cost of manufacture, of course)? I mean, why else would Chen Hailun hire them...


Edited by gnuboi (06/30/11 12:14 AM)

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#1704689 - 06/30/11 01:16 AM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Glenn NK]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
I'm going to have to check my sources of information; what I'd been told about the origin of the (modern) Brodmann is that prototypes were developed by Bosendorfer prior to it being purchased by Yamaha.

The Steinway connection is new to me, but it may well be fact.

I think you have to separate the history and heritage of the original company—and the original pianos—from those of today’s company and today’s pianos. What they actually have to say is this:
“Today Brodmann’s world headquarters is still located in Vienna, Austria, not far from the original factory and only five minutes away from the famous opera house and the historic old town. The city, with its musical history as well as the heritage of Joseph Brodmann and his pupil Ignaz Bösendorfer, continue to influence the way Brodmann pianos are built to this day.”

It is anybody’s guess as to just what it means to say, “the city, with its musical history as well as the heritage of Joseph Brodmann and his pupil Ignaz Bösendorfer, continue to influence the way Brodmann pianos are built to this day.” Personally I don’t see much of either the original Brodmann or Bösendorfer in the current Brodmann line. It is true, of course, that Christian Höferl and Colin Taylor both did, at one time, work for Bösendorfer. I don’t know the actual heritage of the other pianos in the Brodmann product line, but as Larry Fine says in the latest Piano Buyer, “The scale design of the 6' 2" model PE 187 is said to be similar to that of a Steinway model A….”

(I should add that—also according to Piano Buyer—in at least some of Brodman’s product lines some components are sourced from Europe and their top-end “Artist” pianos have at least some of the final work done in Germany.)

ddf
_________________________
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#1704691 - 06/30/11 01:26 AM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: pianoloverus]
Glenn NK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 457
Loc: Victoria BC
"scale design said to be similar" isn't terribly definitive is it.

Glenn

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#1704692 - 06/30/11 01:28 AM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Dara]
Glenn NK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 457
Loc: Victoria BC
Originally Posted By: Dara
Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
A friend of mine (a piano dealer, restorer, and tech) had a Brodmann in his shop a year or so that was being sold to a customer. It was a beauty to behold and play.

Why, I believe that was my piano, Glenn smile
And yes, it is!


So you are the fortunate owner. My friend was quite impressed with it. A lot of bang for the buck so to speak.

It reminds me of the main line in the ad for the Belgian beer (Stella Artois) - "she is a thing of beauty."

And what do you know of its heritage or background?

Glenn


Edited by Glenn NK (06/30/11 01:30 AM)

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#1704695 - 06/30/11 01:40 AM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Glenn NK]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
"scale design said to be similar" isn't terribly definitive is it. Glenn

No, but the company did send an old Model A over to China and a suitable amount of time later the Model 187 went into production. You tell me....

ddf
_________________________
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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#1704696 - 06/30/11 01:44 AM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: pianoloverus]
Pianolance Offline
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Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
It just occured to me that Baldwins made in China are copies of Baldwins made in America. Certianly these copies must have some of the same issues Del mentioned in his posts - from what I have gleened from PW the Chinese Baldwins are not equal to the American Baldwins, yet many models are supposed to be exact copies. Hummm. Del always fascinates me with his perspective - he's a wise old owl for sure.
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#1704697 - 06/30/11 01:49 AM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Pianolance]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
It just occured to me that Baldwins made in China are copies of Baldwins made in America. Certianly these copies must have some of the same issues Del mentioned in his posts - from what I have gleened from PW the Chinese Baldwins are not equal to the American Baldwins, yet many models are supposed to be exact copies. Hummm. Del always fascinates me with his perspective - he's a wise old owl for sure.

None of the pianos bearing the name “Baldwin” that I saw at the last NAMM show had much resemblance to the Baldwin pianos that were made in the U.S.

ddf
_________________________
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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#1704732 - 06/30/11 04:14 AM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Del]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
And just for you, better integration of pickup electronics.

Not to side track this discussion, but in the pianos I've played that use pickups (GranTouch, AvantGrand), the optical sensors do not interfere at all with the action. The only concession that Yamaha makes is to embed a piece of metal in the bottom side of every key to interrupt the light. It in no way interferes with the action of the piano.

All of the sensors on the top side are placed in such a way that do not interfere with the action and can be easily removed. I've removed the sensors to get at the action on my GranTouch. In my limited knowledge it would seem the technology of optical sensors in the pianos I've mentioned are a mature technology.
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#1704919 - 06/30/11 12:40 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Dave Horne]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
And just for you, better integration of pickup electronics.

Not to side track this discussion, but in the pianos I've played that use pickups (GranTouch, AvantGrand), the optical sensors do not interfere at all with the action. The only concession that Yamaha makes is to embed a piece of metal in the bottom side of every key to interrupt the light. It in no way interferes with the action of the piano.

All of the sensors on the top side are placed in such a way that do not interfere with the action and can be easily removed. I've removed the sensors to get at the action on my GranTouch. In my limited knowledge it would seem the technology of optical sensors in the pianos I've mentioned are a mature technology.

I wasn't really thinking of key pickups, more like imbedded accelerometers and/or force sensors within the vibrating mechanism of the piano to allow direct pickup without microphones.

But, now that you mention it, one of my complaints about how electronic keyboards trigger sound generation goes to the use of optical sensors rather than some form of impact sensor. So there is yet another area that could still use some R&D.

ddf
_________________________
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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#1704948 - 06/30/11 01:21 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Del]
Dave Horne Offline
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Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Del, I guess I misunderstood what you meant. I took the term 'pickup' to mean the optical sensor system and not 'mic' pickup. Sorry.
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#1704957 - 06/30/11 01:34 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: pianoloverus]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1790
Did I miss any references to patents on this thread? Why is it legal to copy someone else's piano design? Presumably, a complete copy would include patented elements.

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#1704986 - 06/30/11 02:28 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3665
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Did I miss any references to patents on this thread? Why is it legal to copy someone else's piano design? Presumably, a complete copy would include patented elements.


Patents eventually expire. If a piano manufacturer is copying a design that is 50+ years old, the patent would be well out of date. I don't think there's much that can stop them. Typical design patents are around 17-20 years, I think - although it may be possible to extent some types.

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#1705003 - 06/30/11 02:50 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: ando]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Did I miss any references to patents on this thread? Why is it legal to copy someone else's piano design? Presumably, a complete copy would include patented elements.


Patents eventually expire. If a piano manufacturer is copying a design that is 50+ years old, the patent would be well out of date. I don't think there's much that can stop them. Typical design patents are around 17-20 years, I think - although it may be possible to extent some types.

Things like the basic design of a piano are not covered by patent. There are “design patents” but these apply to the ornamental aspects of functional items. Architectural designs—buildings—are protected under provision of U.S. copyright law, as are yacht designs. I don’t know if similar protection is extended to piano designs.

In any case the designs being copied are typically 75 plus years old. No aspect of them is still protected by any patent.

ddf
_________________________
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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#1705068 - 06/30/11 04:34 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Del]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1316
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
It just occured to me that Baldwins made in China are copies of Baldwins made in America. Certianly these copies must have some of the same issues Del mentioned in his posts - from what I have gleened from PW the Chinese Baldwins are not equal to the American Baldwins, yet many models are supposed to be exact copies. Hummm. Del always fascinates me with his perspective - he's a wise old owl for sure.

None of the pianos bearing the name “Baldwin” that I saw at the last NAMM show had much resemblance to the Baldwin pianos that were made in the U.S.

ddf


To add a variation to this theme . . .

Back in the '80s, I was a Baldwin dealer and sold a small grand actually designed by Baldwin (not sure if that amounted to just specifying the stringing scale or more -- per previous conversations on this thread) and produced by Samick in Korea. When we got it in, even though the design was "sorta" Baldwin, it breathed "Samick" from every pore. I was disappointed because it had been represented as something that would be a "cheaper Baldwin",so to speak, and although understandably not an American Baldwin, something that would represent that heritage. Unfortunately, it did not. It had the tuning instability and action difficulties that were characteristic of other Samicks of the day yet without any element of tone quality comparable to an American Baldwin.

I mention this because even though there was no sense in which the design was "hijacked", instead being a product of collaboration with a quality American piano manufacturer, it was not possible to overcome the general state of the craft as it was at that factory at that time.

My point is to support what has been mentioned already by the observation of how much greater a challenge for someone who just acquires an end-product and thinks they can "copy" it without understanding the whole legacy of what went into it compared to a situation where there was active collaboration which still didn't really convey the "DNA" of the more respected make.
_________________________
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Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#1705093 - 06/30/11 05:20 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: kpembrook]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Back in the '80s, I was a Baldwin dealer and sold a small grand actually designed by Baldwin (not sure if that amounted to just specifying the stringing scale or more -- per previous conversations on this thread) and produced by Samick in Korea. When we got it in, even though the design was "sorta" Baldwin, it breathed "Samick" from every pore. I was disappointed because it had been represented as something that would be a "cheaper Baldwin",so to speak, and although understandably not an American Baldwin, something that would represent that heritage. Unfortunately, it did not. It had the tuning instability and action difficulties that were characteristic of other Samicks of the day yet without any element of tone quality comparable to an American Baldwin.

I mention this because even though there was no sense in which the design was "hijacked", instead being a product of collaboration with a quality American piano manufacturer, it was not possible to overcome the general state of the craft as it was at that factory at that time.

My point is to support what has been mentioned already by the observation of how much greater a challenge for someone who just acquires an end-product and thinks they can "copy" it without understanding the whole legacy of what went into it compared to a situation where there was active collaboration which still didn't really convey the "DNA" of the more respected make.

Baldwin’s design input consisted of supplying the nameboard decal, the branding on the plate and the color of the plate. There may also have been some changes made to some of the cabinet hardware, I don’t recall. It “breathed Samick from every pore” because it was a Samick piano.

This kind of rebranding is altogether too common.

ddf
_________________________
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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#1705120 - 06/30/11 05:56 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Glenn NK]
Dara Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1042
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: Glenn NK
So you are the fortunate owner.

And what do you know of its heritage or background?


Hello Glenn,
Rather a coincidence that you played and mentioned here the same piano that I purchased.

I only know the information given on Brodmann's website regarding the history and formation of Brodmann Piano Company. There has also been quite a bit of discussion about this company here on PW over the past few years. I did a lot of research and playing of many pianos, new and used, when I was searching for a quality grand piano that would fit within my budget - it actually extended my original budget. The Brodmann 187 was the one I eventually chose.

The reference to Joseph Brodmann being the mentor of Bosendorfer is interesting historically, but seems to be used as more of a marketing scheme than anything to do with the design of Brodmann pianos.
Concerning scale design and other design features of their pianos, I suppose one would have to speak directly with the people who initiated and worked on developing these pianos.

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#1705122 - 06/30/11 05:57 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Del]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19582
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Del
Baldwin’s design input consisted of supplying the nameboard decal, the branding on the plate and the color of the plate. There may also have been some changes made to some of the cabinet hardware, I don’t recall. It “breathed Samick from every pore” because it was a Samick piano.

This kind of rebranding is altogether too common.

ddf
Does one maker do this because the other maker pays them to use their name? Or because there is already some connection between the two makers or...?

How concerned are they about the negative effect this might have on their reputation?

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#1705128 - 06/30/11 06:08 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: pianoloverus]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Del
Baldwin’s design input consisted of supplying the nameboard decal, the branding on the plate and the color of the plate. There may also have been some changes made to some of the cabinet hardware, I don’t recall. It “breathed Samick from every pore” because it was a Samick piano.

This kind of rebranding is altogether too common.

ddf
Does one maker do this because the other maker pays them to use their name? Or because there is already some connection between the two makers or...?

How concerned are they about the negative effect this might have on their reputation?

In this case it was simply that Baldwin wanted a low cost piano to fill a marketing niche. Samick did not yet have a strong presence in the U.S and this was one way to enter the market and further establish their manufacturing base.

Yes, some in the company were concerned about the effect such a deal would have on the company’s reputation but they were over-ridden.

ddf
_________________________
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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#1705144 - 06/30/11 06:25 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Dave Horne]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 545
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
And just for you, better integration of pickup electronics.

Not to side track this discussion, but in the pianos I've played that use pickups (GranTouch, AvantGrand), the optical sensors do not interfere at all with the action. The only concession that Yamaha makes is to embed a piece of metal in the bottom side of every key to interrupt the light. It in no way interferes with the action of the piano.

All of the sensors on the top side are placed in such a way that do not interfere with the action and can be easily removed. I've removed the sensors to get at the action on my GranTouch. In my limited knowledge it would seem the technology of optical sensors in the pianos I've mentioned are a mature technology.


There is another way to use "pickups".

An optical sensor does not interfer to the mechanism nor to the vibrations. An optical sensor ist placed at an exact place. Together with another optical sensor placed at another place you can measure time differences, i.e. speed.

You cannot measure sound by optical sensors nor by mechanical sensors like switches or DMS (which measure expansions mechanically and transfer them into a differentiation of resistance).

But what about a guitar pickup? ...or 88 of them? It measures the magnetic influence of a vibrating steel string into a magneto coil. And allows to amplify the sound (!) electronically.

I am with Del that there are huge chances of R & D regarding sensor techniques. May they be speed or force sensors, or may they be sensors like microphones or magneto pickups.

With such sensors I cannot see any "mature "technology" - regd. pianos.. wink Magnetical pickups - they are seldom tested or tried with a piano, IMHO. Or am I wrong?
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#1705332 - 06/30/11 11:48 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Del]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1316
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Del

Baldwin’s design input consisted of supplying the nameboard decal, the branding on the plate and the color of the plate. There may also have been some changes made to some of the cabinet hardware, I don’t recall. It “breathed Samick from every pore” because it was a Samick piano.

This kind of rebranding is altogether too common.

ddf


And I'm OK with that kind of thing as they did with Kawai about 15 years previously. It was a Kawai with the Baldwin's Howard name on the front. It said Kawai on the inside and there was no question about what it was or what it was supposed to be.

Story and Clark did the same thing with Yamaha.

But what was told to dealers was that there had been extensive Baldwin input into that particular model. We were explicitly given the impression that we should expect something that carried in some fashion a good bit of the Baldwin "DNA".

It did "look" different from any other Samick when you looked at the plate. It wasn't -- as far as I know -- just another production model of Samick that had the Baldwin label stuck on as had been the case with the Kawai Baldwin Howard.

One could also bring up the Boston -- made by Kawai under some arrangement with Steinway. Boston's are OK for what they are, but they don't impress me as very "Steinway-ish". In a sense, the positives of the Boston experience seems to have flowed the other way. After a circumspect period of time, Kawai's RX series emerged -- which was an order of magnitude superior to the KG series.
_________________________
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USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#1705362 - 07/01/11 12:46 AM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: kpembrook]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5317
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
And I'm OK with that kind of thing as they did with Kawai about 15 years previously. It was a Kawai with the Baldwin's Howard name on the front. It said Kawai on the inside and there was no question about what it was or what it was supposed to be.

Story and Clark did the same thing with Yamaha.

But what was told to dealers was that there had been extensive Baldwin input into that particular model. We were explicitly given the impression that we should expect something that carried in some fashion a good bit of the Baldwin "DNA".

It did "look" different from any other Samick when you looked at the plate. It wasn't -- as far as I know -- just another production model of Samick that had the Baldwin label stuck on as had been the case with the Kawai Baldwin Howard.

One could also bring up the Boston -- made by Kawai under some arrangement with Steinway. Boston's are OK for what they are, but they don't impress me as very "Steinway-ish". In a sense, the positives of the Boston experience seems to have flowed the other way. After a circumspect period of time, Kawai's RX series emerged -- which was an order of magnitude superior to the KG series.

Well, I was Baldwin R&D at the time and I can assure you that there was no design input from Baldwin. I don’t know what the marketing story was like on these pianos but as far as I know the whole thing was done by Samick.

ddf
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Delwin D Fandrich
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Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1705835 - 07/01/11 07:06 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: Del]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1316
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
Well, I was Baldwin R&D at the time and I can assure you that there was no design input from Baldwin. I don’t know what the marketing story was like on these pianos but as far as I know the whole thing was done by Samick.

ddf


I appreciate the insider's perspective. I sold the store not too much later and the subsequent owner didn't continue with the Baldwin dealership.

But what annoys me is that I represented to the customer that although it was made by Samick for Baldwin it was a "better than stock" Samick because of what I had been told about its pedigree. If I'm scammed, that's one thing. But if I unwittingly scam a customer, that's much worse. After a couple of tunings, I knew that we both had been "had".

As it happens, the original owner (pianist in a jazz group) fell over dead at a gig and ultimately the piano wound up at a local church. I have been very accommodating over the years with service as my contribution to make up for the piano not being what it was represented to be.
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#1705871 - 07/01/11 08:02 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: pianoloverus]
Dara Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1042
Loc: west coast island, canada
Wow, that's a dramatic story of that particular piano/player.

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#2304309 - 07/20/14 08:30 AM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: pianoloverus]
gynnis Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/14
Posts: 148
Loc: Florida, Connecticut
I think one of the keys to this discussion is "high volume". I really don't think anyone is going to be manufacturing 100,000 pianos of one design type that will warrant all of the design, manufacturing, and quality engineering (never mind staff training) that will make pianos a "manufacturing" art. It will always be a "craft" art.

This will be especially true if wood is the major manufacturing medium. While some headway has been made in converting actions to composite materials, and plate casting is a more exact "science" than it was 50 years ago, we are still a long way from building the sound producing parts of a piano from anything but wood in production quantities. Until Del's composite sound board is proven out in production volume, you are not going to replace a good belly man.

For comparison, when I was involved with the material processing industry, a small production run for refrigeration compressors was 25000 pieces with a line manufacturing life of about 50 million. If you were making plastic milk bottles or aluminum cans, we are talking millions per day.
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Seiler 206, Chickering 145, Estey 2 manual reed organ, Fudge clavichord, Zuckerman single harpsichord, Technics P-30, Roland RD-100.

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#2304395 - 07/20/14 12:37 PM Re: Copying a maker's scale design [Re: pianoloverus]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2337
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Each piano manufacturer develops a "style" to their assembly protocols. This has a great influence over the character of the final product. I have seen many piano companies who change some specification in a particular model, and yet when you play the piano you notice no change to the way they typically perform. This tells me that the way a piano is assembled is often more powerful in shaping musical quality than subtle design differences.

As to making great Steinway copies-the great rebuilders are doing that!

Also, the configurations of some of the fixtures used to produce components has a great influence on musical character. It is very difficult to reverse engineer a product properly without access to the information contained within the fixtures. The piano itself does not contain that information.
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In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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