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#1823395 - 01/12/12 01:45 PM Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Tenor70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 62
Loc: United Kingdom
Just wondered what opinions the forum had on Chinese grand pianos makers


Edited by Tenor70 (01/12/12 01:45 PM)

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#1823437 - 01/12/12 02:41 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
While I am sure opinions will vary among the Forumites, Larry Fine rates the Perzina as the current top-rated Chinese-made piano.
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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1823446 - 01/12/12 02:52 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Steve Cohen]
Evieo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/10/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Houston Tx
My personal opinion are 3 Chinese manufacturers-----Haillun Perzina and Broadman They are equally as good in my opinio

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#1823455 - 01/12/12 03:08 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Steve Cohen]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3334
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
While I am sure opinions will vary among the Forumites, Larry Fine rates the Perzina as the current top-rated Chinese-made piano.


The op asked about grands and the Perzina grands are rated below Brodmann, Hailun and Ritmuller.
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#1823502 - 01/12/12 04:25 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
While I am sure opinions will vary among the Forumites, Larry Fine rates the Perzina as the current top-rated Chinese-made piano.


The op asked about grands and the Perzina grands are rated below Brodmann, Hailun and Ritmuller.



I missed that. Thanks for the correction.
_________________________
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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#1823516 - 01/12/12 04:52 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
Rotom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 1670
Hailun, Brodmann seems good. Irmler, a subsidisry of Blüthner, also sounded good to my ear, but is not on the charts of Larry Fine. Essex is also quite nice. Ritmüller is good indeed. Good luck

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#1823529 - 01/12/12 05:11 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Steve Cohen]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7219
Loc: torrance, CA
Hi Tenor,

I gather from this thread that you're still sitting on the fence.

It seems pretty clear that Brodmann, Hailun, and Pearl River (through the Ritmuller label) are all seriously trying to export grand pianos to the West that can compete on grounds other than price. I'd say that's true of Heintzmann as well and I'm sure I'm missing some others.

The piano that I've liked the best (and which might have an inside track in terms of tone for a classical vocalist) is the Brodmann PE 187. However, I haven't tried them all by any means, and this is a very personal thing. That particular piano, the Brodmann PE 187, is made by Parsons Music in their Toyama factory. The factory has some other notable clients, including Kawai. I think it's safe to say that they do good work when they're paid well.
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#1823554 - 01/12/12 05:55 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3348
Fandrich & Sons, which imports stock Chinese pianos and extensively modifies/preps them in Washington State. Hailun is also good.
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#1823558 - 01/12/12 06:02 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Steve Cohen]
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
Quote:
Larry Fine rates the Perzina as the current top-rated Chinese-made piano.


Larry Fine rates the Perzina grands below Hailun/Brodmann/Ritmüller with even a 'tentative' remark.

And the question is about grand pianos.

schwammerl.


Edited by schwammerl (01/12/12 06:03 PM)

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#1823613 - 01/12/12 07:51 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
A question of what's "best" is always dangerous to answer.

From my own observation and experience, the answer cannot be given by "brands" alone but more in consideration of individual models.

In the Brodmann line of pianos, while the shorter 162 grand is nice, the 187 and 212 grands are definitely outstanding.

In Hailun we have been mostly impressed with their respective 178 and 7'grands. The much discussed V series came as a complete surprise for those attending last year's NAMM and was extremely well received by all those who had a chance to try them.

Among those were a number of highly seasoned players including one admitted concert pianist. [the guy from Argentina - anybody remembering?]

Ritmuller has a 170 grand that IMHO "stands out" from their own and is a piano of virtually same quality as their larger 6' cousin.

And so it goes.

It's not just 'brand' but definitely 'model' also

Would expect same with some other brands worth same or similar consideration.

At same time, several makers are right now designing and re-designing existing models. The race is on in earnest with expectations of bar being raised higher and higher.

Including prices.

My own feel is that the time of good-excellent quality Chinese at very affordable prices is soon nearing the end.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (01/12/12 08:04 PM)
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#1823633 - 01/12/12 08:19 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1973
Loc: Philadelphia area
The latest Cunningham grand, that just came into their showroom this past week, is very impressive. Tim said there are a few changes from last year's model.

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#1823837 - 01/13/12 05:08 AM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: turandot]
Tenor70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 62
Loc: United Kingdom

[i]Turandot wrote:

"I gather from this thread that you're still sitting on the fence.

It seems pretty clear that Brodmann, Hailun, and Pearl River (through the Ritmuller label) are all seriously trying to export grand pianos to the West that can compete on grounds other than price. I'd say that's true of Heintzmann as well and I'm sure I'm missing some others.

The piano that I've liked the best (and which might have an inside track in terms of tone for a classical vocalist) is the Brodmann PE 187. However, I haven't tried them all by any means, and this is a very personal thing. That particular piano, the Brodmann PE 187, is made by Parsons Music in their Toyama factory. The factory has some other notable clients, including Kawai. I think it's safe to say that they do good work when they're paid well."


I have tried several pianos in the past 4 months I have considered Estonia but here in the UK we do not have any dealers so I am unable to try one without a trip to the factory or mainland Europe.

Many techs here in the UK are anti- any Chinese grand so it is difficult to get opinions also longevity is an issue but not re-sale value whatever piano i buy will stay with me for some time. At the moment my current piano gets played an average of 3 hours a day - serious playing not just 'an opera singer accompanying himself at home or singing with an accompanist friend' not that this isn't serious playing!!



Edited by Tenor70 (01/13/12 05:25 AM)

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#1823842 - 01/13/12 05:18 AM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Norbert]
Tenor70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 62
Loc: United Kingdom
Norbert:

Here in the UK the W & L with slight modification are now being imported as Feurich 178 Professional II, I understand that Feurich are now owned by W & L?


Edited by Tenor70 (01/13/12 05:18 AM)

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#1823876 - 01/13/12 07:34 AM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
Tenor70,

Quote:
Here in the UK the W & L with slight modification are now being imported as Feurich 178 Professional II, I understand that Feurich are now owned by W & L?


The new Feurich (Ningbo) - fomerly W&L - have indeed already become available in Europe. As the new Feurich website is still not on-line it is difficult (also for dealers) to refer to any specifics.

Summarizing one can say that Ernest Bittner (W&L), Julius Feurich and 'Ibach', mainly for new upright designs joined forces and created the 'new' Feurich company to built further on the extensive dealer network of W&L in Europe (> 250 dealers; some 2500 pianos sold annually) and differentiate the instruments from e.g. Hailun (also Ningbo but not distributed as a brand in Europe) by using different components, separete production lines within the factory, different voicing, exclusive new designs (models) and continuing (and extending) the existing 'Feurich Service Centers'. The pianos transit through these service centers before being delivered to dealers.
As a matter of fact much depends on the proper functioning of these centers for delivering an already well prepped piano to the dealer.
A further key element is the deication of the dealer himself as to get out the full potential out of these pianos. In fact this is equally true for any piano coming from China: dealer competencies and dedication are key!

Some Uk dealers already stock the new Feurich pianos. Mailny these are ex W&L dealers. Old W&L stock can easily be distinguised from Feurich Ningbo: different music desk and the serial number on the plate starts with an 'F'. Examples:

Shackelfor Pianos Cheshire

Robert's Pianos

Besbrode Leeds

Similarly for the same line of pianos a dealer network is on it's way to be set up in the U.S..:

Feurich USA

In an above post someone mentioned the Cunningham Pianos. This is in fact a home brand.

In the UK you also have a home brand based on the Hailun Ningbo pianos. As with the new Feurichs the aim is to differntiate these instruments from the regular line by having fitted specific components, taking full responsibility of pre-delivery preparation (voicing & regulation) and making it an honour to providing a high standard of post-delivery service. So more or less the same strategy as above but on a smaller local and personal customer focussed scale.
As dealer competencies and dedication are key, you are lucky to have such a home brand in the UK: The Venables Pianos.

Venables & Sons grand pianos

Will not elaborate any further as I assume there will be opportunities to do so if and when further threads concerning this subject are being opened on this forum in the future.

schwammerl.

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#1823963 - 01/13/12 10:20 AM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7219
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Tenor70
[i]

Many techs here in the UK are anti- any Chinese grand so it is difficult to get opinions also longevity is an issue but not re-sale value whatever piano i buy will stay with me for some time. At the moment my current piano gets played an average of 3 hours a day - serious playing not just 'an opera singer accompanying himself at home or singing with an accompanist friend' not that this isn't serious playing!!



There are many techs here who are "anti-Chinese grands" too, but not many who will tell you exactly why. I think some of it is understandable conservatism basked on lack of track record, and some of it is lack of familiarity. For all the hoopla here about Chinese pianos, there are many techs who have never worked on one, whereas most techs have worked on hundreds of Yamaha and Kawai grands and are very familiar with their service requirements. Also, if a tech is employed to service a new Chinese grand and the retailer who supplied the piano hasn't set it up properly and worked out the kinks, the tech's opinion of that piano brand will be downgraded.

The best retailer to work with is the one who can defend in detailed product quality terms (not prestige) why his higher line costs more and what exactly you are giving up in choosing his Chinese value brand. In your case, that evaluation should be in the light of three hours of serious play daily. I know Chris Venables could and would do that. I assume some of your local dealers would do the same.
_________________________
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#1824000 - 01/13/12 10:55 AM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
dgybqh Offline
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Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 9
Loc: China, Dongguan
NORDISKAPIANO Chinese-made piano, from design to the highest overall level of technology, but unfortunately in the hands of XXX defeat.
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#1824049 - 01/13/12 12:15 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Everyone acknowledges that Chinese pianos are improving. Nonetheless, there remain in my view legitimate reasons to be still be somewhat skittish about them, as several of you have indicated the piano technicians in your countries have stated.

First, there isn't the same long solid track record that pianos from several other countries have carefully developed.

Secondly, it costs at least as much to bring a piano to the U.S. from China than Japan. Once at the dealership, Chinese pianos take up just as much floor space as any other and need to contribute significantly to the dealer's enormous overhead. And yet, despite these huge expenses, some of the prices are so low that it's hard to believe these give-away prices are SOLELY a function of inexpensive Chinese labor. It would make much more sense to figure that at least some of the difference for several of these brands might come from the use of less expensive (and therefore potentially lower quality) parts. I say this knowing that some have begun to use some German and Korean parts.

Finally, when we have limited information about how something will hold up in the long run, I don't think it's unreasonable to consider the country's overall track record. Germany has a reputation for making high quality stuff (e.g., Porsche, Steingraeber & Sohne, etc.) at the high end of the market. Japan has a reputation for making very reliable solid stuff often at a more middle-class price point (e.g., Toyota, Kawai, etc.)

I don't need to tell you what kind of reputation most Chinese stuff still has to this day, and from my experience, for good reason. OK--it's in flux and getting better. But I'd rather pay more and worry less. Larry Fine has yet to rate any of the many many Chinese piano lines as professional quality let alone performance quality.

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#1824100 - 01/13/12 01:20 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: turandot]
Tenor70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 62
Loc: United Kingdom
Thanks Turandot. No local dealers but Chris Venables has a very good reputation although he is 250 miles away from my home (a long way in UK terms!) but certainly worth a visit.
Originally Posted By: turandot
Originally Posted By: Tenor70
[i]

Many techs here in the UK are anti- any Chinese grand so it is difficult to get opinions also longevity is an issue but not re-sale value whatever piano i buy will stay with me for some time. At the moment my current piano gets played an average of 3 hours a day - serious playing not just 'an opera singer accompanying himself at home or singing with an accompanist friend' not that this isn't serious playing!!



There are many techs here who are "anti-Chinese grands" too, but not many who will tell you exactly why. I think some of it is understandable conservatism basked on lack of track record, and some of it is lack of familiarity. For all the hoopla here about Chinese pianos, there are many techs who have never worked on one, whereas most techs have worked on hundreds of Yamaha and Kawai grands and are very familiar with their service requirements. Also, if a tech is employed to service a new Chinese grand and the retailer who supplied the piano hasn't set it up properly and worked out the kinks, the tech's opinion of that piano brand will be downgraded.

The best retailer to work with is the one who can defend in detailed product quality terms (not prestige) why his higher line costs more and what exactly you are giving up in choosing his Chinese value brand. In your case, that evaluation should be in the light of three hours of serious play daily. I know Chris Venables could and would do that. I assume some of your local dealers would do the same.

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#1824103 - 01/13/12 01:24 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
I believe that argument could be summarized "everybody knows they are cheap junk". No need to talk about specific instruments in the face of such a convincing generalization as that.
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#1824117 - 01/13/12 01:48 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7219
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Tenor70
. No local dealers but Chris Venables has a very good reputation although he is 250 miles away from my home (a long way in UK terms!) but certainly worth a visit.[


Tenor,

I don't know if it's any closer, but I've heard good things about how Hurstwood Farms preps its Chinese pianos and presents them realistically to customers without hype.

Hurstwood stocks Wendl&Lung. I don't know if they are transitioning from W&L to Feurich.

http://www.hurstwoodfarmpianos.co.uk/
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1824211 - 01/13/12 04:31 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Larry Fine has yet to rate any of the many many Chinese piano lines as professional quality let alone performance quality.


A closer look of what's really going on appears to be painting a slightly different picture.

Within Consumer Grade Pianos certain brands are moving up the scale surprisingly quick - some may say "uncomfortably quick"

We're not talking advancement up the scale taking several decades - but few years.

In fact, some of the better Chinese made pianos are now in very same company of certain Japanese models which have meantime "dropped" down a notch - rather than being advanced up to next level.

This, also in only "few years", by the way...

Attached Piano Book ratings from 2010 - 2011: watch the changes in one single year:

2010: http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall10/47.html

2011: http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall11/45.html

Anybody analyzing and watching the market on an ongoing basis can't help but acknowledge how fast things are moving, perhaps "uncomfortably quick" for some...

In the end you can do all the "advancing" or "dropping" you want - it's piano buyers who will be making decisions of their own in today's highly varied market.

With plenty of new, highly attractive choices out there, one is no longer surprised to hear so much about them - some of it even surprising us dealers.

Not always the best feeling when someone's arriving with $ 20,000 to buy a new grand, but then leaves happily having spend only a fraction of that....

As I had predicted a long time ago: in very short time there will be only 2 major groups of pianos: top class, top quality and then - "everything else"

Let everyone sort out exactly *what is what* - in each class.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (01/13/12 05:22 PM)
_________________________
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#1824271 - 01/13/12 05:45 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Brent H]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: Brent H
I believe that argument could be summarized "everybody knows they are cheap junk". No need to talk about specific instruments in the face of such a convincing generalization as that.


This misses the point. We all know Chinese pianos are improving. "Made in Japan" once meant junk and now means quality. The Chinese appear headed in the same direction.

However, no one can deny that the Chinese are currently still in this transition.

If I were young, I'd buy a P-95 digital for the cost of a weekend out of town, and then sit it out till the Chinese completed this transition.

But I'm old. I need a piano now. I can't wait for that sweet spot wherein the quality of Chinese instruments had completed this transition but before the prices go crazy. This happened with the Japanese. By the 1970s a U-series upright had become a solid instrument but cost next to nothing. Then, over time, the yen went from 360 to the dollar to about 76. There are no bargains any more. The Chinese are following the same path.

I wish them luck and will watch as the changes unfold, but till then I'm buying quality--not rapidly improving quality.

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#1824275 - 01/13/12 05:52 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Norbert]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7219
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Norbert

A closer look of what's really going on appears to be painting a slightly different picture.

Within Consumer Grade Pianos certain brands are moving up the scale surprisingly quick - some may say "uncomfortably quick"

We're not talking advancement up the scale taking several decades - but few years.

In fact, some of the better Chinese made pianos are now in very same company of certain Japanese models which have meantime "dropped" down a notch - rather than being advanced up to next level......

Anybody analyzing and watching the market on an ongoing basis can't help but acknowledge how fast things are moving, perhaps "uncomfortably quick" for some...

In the end you can do all the "advancing" or "dropping" you want - it's piano buyers who will be making decisions of their own in today's highly varied market.

With plenty of new, highly attractive choices out there, one is no longer surprised to hear so much about them - some of it even surprising me.

As I had predicted a long time ago: in very short time there will be only 2 major groups of pianos: top class, top quality and then - "everything else"

Let everyone sort out exactly *what is what* - in each class.
Norbert


Two references to "uncomfortably quick" here, in quotes no less, presumably is to stress th point. Who is being discomforted? Who is being quoted?

I rather doubt that piano makers assess their fortunes by seeing where they stand in the latest Fine edition. I think they would look at unit sales, order books, margins, production and marketing costs, and growth, stagnation, or decline of their brand in world markets in which they compete.

BTW, if there really is a Japanese piano which has "dropped" from a higher category into consumer class, I'd like to know what brand and line it is.

Still, I can understand any retailer of Chinese brands' exasperation with Fine's creation of the professional category. In the instances of Yamaha and Kawai artist level pianos, it seems to be more of a lifetime achievement award than a reflection of any actual changes in the pianos being produced. And why a couple of other minor brands not normally associated with use by professionals are tossed into the category is beyond my comprehension.

One of the fascinating aspects of the Chinese piano boom is the inevitable consolidation that lies ahead. There are already some casualties: the aftermath of Gibson's purchase of DongBei, the end of W&L and Steigerman, the failure of the first Brodmann CE series, and the change of factory sourcing in several stencils from one Chinese factory to another.

Who really knows what lies ahead? Who has the leverage between Parsons Music and Brodmann? How big will Yamaha's commitment to production facilities in China become? When will Hailun take matters in Europe into its own hands? What Chinese state-supported makers will lose their subsidies because in the view of the state they don't employ enough homeland Chinese to contribute meaningfully to social betterment? Like every wave that hits the shore, some debris is swept onto the beach and left behind as the wave recedes into the path of the next one.
_________________________
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The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1824296 - 01/13/12 06:13 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: turandot]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: turandot
. . . BTW, if there really is a Japanese piano which has "dropped" from a higher category into consumer class, I'd like to know what brand and line it is. . .


I just checked. You appear to be right and, as best I could tell regarding Japanese pianos MADE IN JAPAN, Norbert is wrong.

Boston; Yammy C grands, U-series uprights; Kawaii verticals, RX grands, have all been promoted from top of consumer class (2010) to the professional desigation of which you speak (2011).

All the other made-in-Japan lines (viz., Kawai's GM grands and Yammy's GB grands) have stayed where they were.

None of these made-in-Japan pianos has slipped even half a Larry Fine notch.

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#1824297 - 01/13/12 06:14 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
BTW, if there really is a Japanese piano which has "dropped" from a higher category into consumer class, I'd like to know what brand and line it is.


Perhaps it's not the "dropping" but by not advancing into same class as "professional quality" - the division between higher and lower groups of pianos by same manufacturer is clear.

Quote:
None of these made-in-Japan pianos has slipped even half a Larry Fine notch.


And that's where the real misunderstanding lies.

IMHO Japanese manufacturers have long decided - seemingly "on purpose" - to build only their lower grade pianos in Indonesia and elsewhere.

This achieves 2 objectives at same time: not only does it protect jobs at home and prevents political turmoil but it also reinforces the etablished image Japan as a quality builder.

Fact is, that mass-production of any product today is becoming less influenced "where" it is done - but rather "how"

8000 German companies are meantime manufacturing in China, next time check where your Braun or Bosch appliance comes from.

Including your top of the line I-pad, your copier, you name it.

If we still are not believing the Chinese have both the determination and means to make things up to our standards, we are hugely misjudging the entire situation.

Problem is that it is happening so quick that many believe denying this development makes the process perhaps "more comfortable" - but it's changing nothing.

No, the Chinese won't be building top Mercedes or Audis any time soon, but Mazdas and Toyotas they surely will.

In fact, solar or electrical powered.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (01/13/12 06:34 PM)
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#1824305 - 01/13/12 06:25 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Norbert]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Perhaps it's not the "dropping" but by not advancing into same class as "professional quality" - the division between higher and lower groups of pianos by same manufacturer is clear.


To set the record straight, for what it's worth a bunch of made-in-Japan pianos DID advance from consumer to professional. (See my note above.) The others stayed put, neither advancing nor falling.

Of course if some Chinese pianos continue to advance, there could come a time when the lack of advance for some Japanese pianos could eventually make life tough for the Japanese.

This happened to us (America) decades ago, when there was a point before the yen began to rise wherein the Japanese were making better quality pianos than many of ours and selling them here at a lower cost. This killed many many American piano makers.

I've been to Japan several times and my sense is despite all their economic woes, they're arguably smarter than we are and are not likely to go down the same way we did. Remember when Hallet Davis, Henry F. Miller, Kohler & Camble, Knabe, Chickering, Aeolian, and many many other brands were true American pianos?

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#1824312 - 01/13/12 06:36 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: jivemutha]
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
Quote:

Originally Posted By: Brent H

I believe that argument could be summarized "everybody knows they are cheap junk". No need to talk about specific instruments in the face of such a convincing generalization as that.


This misses the point.


I do not think Brent H missed the point at all, on the contrary he hit the point very well.

This is not a thread about 'Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China' in general terms. I have the feeling the OP simply is trying to get help for a dilemma he is struggling with.

If indeed he thinks "many techs here in the UK are anti- any Chinese grand" and " no local dealers but Chris Venables has a very good reputation although he is 250 miles away from my home (a long way in UK terms!)" i.e. no or few other dealers can be found "to work with" who can defend in detailed product quality terms (not prestige) why his higher line costs more and what exactly you are giving up in choosing his Chinese value brand" then it is indeed pointless "talking about specific instruments".

If neither a dealer nor a tech (or both) can be found by the OP he will never be happy with any of those grands how good they may be.

No argument can ever bring him into the comfort zone.

schwammerl.

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#1824314 - 01/13/12 06:36 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Of course if some Chinese pianos continue to advance, there could come a time when the lack of advance for some Japanese pianos could eventually make life tough for the Japanese.


Glad you said that: it's already happening - big time...

Quote:
I've been to Japan several times and my sense is despite all their economic woes, they're arguably smarter than we are and are not likely to go down the same way we did.


I'm not so sure about that. People are smart in different ways.
Americans can do things few others can, so can the Germans, French, Belgians or everybody else.

Not to forget the Japanese or Chinese.

In a commercial world that is becoming mainly price driven, some will have the advantage no matter *who* they are.

Let's not forget it wasn't the Chinese who invented *outsourcing* - it was us.

I'm all for outfoxing those guys, but we have to come up with something better than belittling what happened in the meantime, the new products being made or denying the strength, talent and potential of those involved.

I know many don't want to talk about this honestly especially as strong commercial interests happen to be involved.

The genie is out of the bottle and it's becoming a monster....

As a dealer in today's market and at least 'practically speaking' I am very happy to offer some of the "best there is" - and some of the better, yet highly affordable quality for consumers.

It may sound corny, but a *child's smile is a smile* and when people can afford something nice of very good quality, something they couldn't easily otherwise, it's all right by me.

While many are struggling in today's economy with monthly bills, it brings pleasure offering pianos one would be proud to own oneself.

In fact I'll think it'll increasingly tough for those relying mainly on "name brand recognition" without making a compelling case of clearly superior quality.

This IMHO is a challenge now - and will be even more in future.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (01/13/12 07:03 PM)
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#1824322 - 01/13/12 06:45 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: Tenor70]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
I was summarizing friend jivemutha's argument and saying that if one truly believes that the very fact of being made in China means it is junk, then the rest of the discussion would not matter. I was not agreeing with that line of argument, simply pointing out that it was a very unsubtle one we've all heard many times before at this point.
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#1824356 - 01/13/12 07:28 PM Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China? [Re: jivemutha]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19460
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: jivemutha
Originally Posted By: turandot
. . . BTW, if there really is a Japanese piano which has "dropped" from a higher category into consumer class, I'd like to know what brand and line it is. . .


I just checked. You appear to be right and, as best I could tell regarding Japanese pianos MADE IN JAPAN, Norbert is wrong.

Boston; Yammy C grands, U-series uprights; Kawaii verticals, RX grands, have all been promoted from top of consumer class (2010) to the professional desigation of which you speak (2011).

All the other made-in-Japan lines (viz., Kawai's GM grands and Yammy's GB grands) have stayed where they were.

None of these made-in-Japan pianos has slipped even half a Larry Fine notch.
Correct.

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