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#1928132 - 07/17/12 03:02 PM 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
Our own Del made a statement about pianos being manufactured in China. Keep in mind that this was in 2003, almsot 10 years ago. Here is the quote:
Quote:
...I have been in three piano factories in China and I would have serious questions about the longevity of anything coming out of any of them. The problems range from the quality of the various glue joints to the quality of the wood used to the way the wood used structurally is handled. Mostly how it is dried and conditioned. It's still a matter of getting what you pay for. There is a reason (aside from the cost of labor) why more expensive pianos are more expensive, be they verticals or grands.

Del


I'm curious about how Del and others feel about pianos CURRENTLY coming out of China. Is this statement is still useful for those in the used market? Mostly I'm wondering what's changed in the last 9-10 years in Chinese piano manufacturing.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1928149 - 07/17/12 03:53 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5188
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
Our own Del made a statement about pianos being manufactured in China. Keep in mind that this was in 2003, almsot 10 years ago. Here is the quote:
Originally Posted By: Del
... I have been in three piano factories in China and I would have serious questions about the longevity of anything coming out of any of them. The problems range from the quality of the various glue joints to the quality of the wood used to the way the wood used structurally is handled. Mostly how it is dried and conditioned. It's still a matter of getting what you pay for. There is a reason (aside from the cost of labor) why more expensive pianos are more expensive, be they verticals or grands.


I'm curious about how Del and others feel about pianos CURRENTLY coming out of China. Is this statement is still useful for those in the used market? Mostly I'm wondering what's changed in the last 9-10 years in Chinese piano manufacturing.

Among the main players there have been significant improvements. In some cases companies like Kawai and Yamaha have been getting involved with the Chinese manufacturers and have been bringing with them their knowledge and expertise. They have also been bringing their quality and performance standards.

In other cases the manufacturers have been seeing the proverbial handwriting on the wall: Get Good or Get Gone. Some of these companies have been bringing in consultants from Europe and from the U.S. (Myself included.) If the company is receptive to change the results can be good. In most cases, I think, these collaborations have worked reasonably well.

The days of finding loose knots rattling around in the backposts of uprights or plywood lids with the raw edges exposed are pretty much gone.

Most of the Chinese-built pianos coming into the U.S. now represent a good to excellent price-to-performance value. Both their build quality and their performance have improved significantly over the past ten years.

I should add that this is not always true with some of the companies making pianos strictly for the Chinese market. On my last trip to China I was able to visit a couple of piano dealers where I did see some pretty sad examples of the pianomaker’s art. It is unlikely that we will see pianos from any of these manufacturers in North America.

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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#1928153 - 07/17/12 04:12 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
As always, an excellent answer Del, thanks. I do have a question though. It is my understanding that wages are rising significantly in China. How long will it be before the cost of labor is about equal to what it is here in the USA? At that point, will it make sense to continue to build products of any kind in China? Will heavy manufacturing move to another country with cheaper labor? Will manufacturing costs reach the point where the USA will have a competative edge because of shipping and import duties? So many questions.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1928168 - 07/17/12 04:50 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5188
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
As always, an excellent answer Del, thanks. I do have a question though. It is my understanding that wages are rising significantly in China. How long will it be before the cost of labor is about equal to what it is here in the USA? At that point, will it make sense to continue to build products of any kind in China? Will heavy manufacturing move to another country with cheaper labor? Will manufacturing costs reach the point where the USA will have a competative edge because of shipping and import duties? So many questions.

Wages in factories is certainly rising in China. On my last visit to Tianjin I was told that the average per capita income there was one of, if not the highest in China at something around $11,500 per year. And this is still rising at a fairly strong pace.

Low wages were not the only reason why U.S. manufacturers failed. While Japanese manufacturers were investing heavily in factories and tooling U.S. factory owners and managers were working on improving their annual bonuses. While Japanese managers were working on achieving ever-better manufacturing quality standards U.S. managers were bragging about how great their pianos were when they were shipping pianos riddled with manufacturing defects and poor quality materials and components. Some, not all, Chinese manufacturers are following the Japanese model. Others are following the old U.S. model. Guess which ones will survive?

Yes, I think a U.S.-based piano manufacturer could be successful even in today’s difficult piano market. It would probably source some components from other countries and would have to sell what U.S. factories and workers are capable of doing best; innovating and pushing the envelope to gain ever-better levels of performance at reasonable—not cheap—prices.

Such a factory could be built for a fraction of what some are investing in the coming U.S. election. Admittedly the profit potential of owning your own piano factory is not going to be as high as the potential profits to be gained by owning your own government but there would probably be more artistic satisfaction.

The trick in this sort of venture would be to balance the requisite investment in machines and equipment against the cost of hand labor. There are some operations that are simply done better by machine but those machines are not cheap. Other operations are done better when the tool is guided by a human hand but those humans don’t come cheap either. While the initial cost of a largely hand-guided factory is lower than a machine-centric factory the long term costs of the former are greater.

Another challenge would be developing the right product and market mix. I don’t see any American based piano maker being able to compete at the low end of the market. But the piano market is made up of more than just the bottom end. Were I involved in such a venture I’d want to see some experienced product people studying the international market to help decide on model sizes and price points.

And now let the fun begin….

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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#1928179 - 07/17/12 05:18 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1753
I think Del's explanation of the American piano market and its lack of success is a trifle simplistic. . . .But I have to believe that he already knows that!

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#1928186 - 07/17/12 05:33 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5188
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
I think Del's explanation of the American piano market and its lack of success is a trifle simplistic. . . .But I have to believe that he already knows that!

Yes, it is simplistic. You expected a book?

Actually I'd like to see a good book written about how to destroy an American musical icon -- Baldwin -- in just a couple of decades. I'm not qualified to write it but I'd sure like to read it. It could start just before Harrison/Smith and end with Gibson.

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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#1928191 - 07/17/12 05:41 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10453
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
I've been to facrories in China, Korea, Indonesia, and Japan. Many of those that Del has visited (and worked for).

The thoughts he has expressed on this thread are right on. Particularly on the level of improvement that has occured over the past 10 years, and continues to occur today.

On the other hand, prices on Chinese-made pianos are rising as well. This somewhat mitigates the improvements as it relates to value.

I can also tell you that a few manufacturers are looking beyond China and Indonesia. Coming soon....Vietnam, Cambodia??
_________________________
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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#1928205 - 07/17/12 06:15 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN

"Admittedly the profit potential of owning your own piano factory is not going to be as high as the potential profits to be gained by owning your own government but there would probably be more artistic satisfaction."

Del, this is just too funny. I love it!

I await the new Koch & Koch 12' Concert Grandioso.


Now, I must hide.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1928213 - 07/17/12 06:31 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
jrcallan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 362
Loc: Pennsylvania
DeL:

Bravo! Bravissimo!

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#1928214 - 07/17/12 06:31 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Minnesota Marty]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2379
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty


I await the new Koch & Koch 12' Concert Grandioso.



Fathertopianist could really run with this line. Epic win, MM.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#1928217 - 07/17/12 06:34 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1928252 - 07/17/12 08:14 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1753
At the risk of taking this thread too seriously, I would like to remind those reading it that the "value" that Chinese pianos have in this country is at least in large part based on the inexpensive labor with which they are produced. It can also, of course, be attributed in part to the unfair currency policies of the increasingly restrictive Chinese government, policies designed to keep the prices of Chinese exports low and imports high. It is all very well and good to take advantage of the low prices, but people need to know that they are benefiting from the labor of workers who have a far lower standard of living than do workers in this country and from economic policies dictated by a government with absolute control over such matters.

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#1928437 - 07/18/12 09:29 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10453
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Rank,

While much of what you say is true and a problem we all should keep in mind, theer are mitigating circumstances that you fail to take into account.

Most piano industry laborers in China and Indonesia are paid more and have a higher that average standard of living. Comparisons to our standard of living distort the reality. In my visits to Young Chang’s factories in Inchon S. Korea and Tianjin China as well as when I visited Samick’s factory outside of Jakarta, I spoke to a number of workers about their standard of living. They were quite satisfied and did not feel, nor did they seem exploited.

Yes, I’ve seen the reported abuses at other Chinese factories, and I am aware of the currency manipulations which certainly are unfair. But, from what I saw, the piano industry labor seems well in line.
_________________________
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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#1928443 - 07/18/12 09:42 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
NickZ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/12
Posts: 3
Very, very interesting topic!!!
I am new to pianos and is looking to buy one for my child of Craigslist this week. I was concentrating on either Kawai or Yamaha when I came across 10 y.o. J. Strauss & Sons Upright Piano for 2K.
Further investigation revealed that 'Strauss' is in the same 3rd group category of Upper Quality Consumer-Grade pianos same as Yamaha and Kawai according to http://www.thepianoreview.com/piano-ratings.html
I started to pull some additional information of blue book of pianos and it reveals that piano is actually made in China by SHANGHAI PIANO CO., which had discontinued production in 2006 and original MSLP of this instrument was $2,500.00 in 2002. Now, I am very hesitant to pursue it any further based on conversion within same forum thread.
Question: Have any of you can say anything positive about visiting SHANGHAI PIANO CO located in Shanghai China and has anything to say about their production line back in 2000 and with regards to J. Strauss & Sons Upright Piano?
Serial Number LF -29798
Manufactured in 2000
STRAUSS, Name used by the Shanghai Piano Company, Shanghai, China. See Shanghai Piano Co. For serial numbers.

Strauss (new listing)
L & M International, Inc.
6452 Bresslyn Rd.
Nashville, Tennessee 37205
615-356-3686


Thanks,

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#1928444 - 07/18/12 09:47 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1753
Steve: I agree that many workers in the piano industry in China are well paid relative to their compatriots. I also think that workers would be extremely reluctant to express dissatisfaction to anyone, let alone someone they cannot know well. Nor do workers in China or Indonesia have the same expectations about standards of living that workers in Europe and the United States have.

This does not mean, however, that China is not at an advantage because of lower labor costs, nonexistent environmental protections, and currency manipulation.

Some years ago, I read an article about the auto industry in which the author of the article noted that (1) Japanese cars cost less than their American counterparts, and (2) every single Japanese car made in Japan had a pre-existing subsidy of something like $6500 dollars because of Japan's health care and retirement systems. Quite an advantage.

This argument may or may not apply to Japanese cars today; many are actually made in the US, and cars have become fairly cosmopolitan creations anyway. But it is worth remembering that American products have to compete against subsidies like this across the globe.

Let's hear it for universal health care!

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#1928450 - 07/18/12 09:56 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: NickZ]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Nick - Welcome to Piano World!

When the initial reaction is; "A what, built by who?", it's probably time to look elsewhere.

$2,000 for a 10 y/o dubious piano from a "dead" maker which sold for $2.5K new, is just filled with too many red flags.

Run Away, Run Away, Run Away ...
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1928462 - 07/18/12 10:20 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
NickZ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/12
Posts: 3
Thanks Marty for your prompt response. You're absolutely correct about too many red flags.
I can't believe how thepianoreview site ranked this $2.5K J. Strauss & Son junk with 4 stars above Kawai's K5, K6 and K8 ranked at 3 1/2 stars.

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#1928466 - 07/18/12 10:25 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10453
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Nick7,

The reason you see the piano review giving the J. Strauss such a high rating is that the importer of J. Strauss owns the review!

It was all a marketing ruse by East Coast Pianos, a company that has since, I believe, gone belly up.
_________________________
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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#1928470 - 07/18/12 10:31 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10453
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Rank,

I agree they have an unfair advantage.

And, what is your alternative to universal healthcare?
_________________________
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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#1928486 - 07/18/12 10:51 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: NickZ]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7149
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: NickZ
Very, very interesting topic!!!
I am new to pianos and is looking to buy one for my child of Craigslist this week. I was concentrating on either Kawai or Yamaha when I came across 10 y.o. J. Strauss & Sons Upright Piano for 2K.
Further investigation revealed that 'Strauss' is in the same 3rd group category of Upper Quality Consumer-Grade pianos same as Yamaha and Kawai according to http://www.thepianoreview.com/piano-ratings.html


Nick,

The only way to know if that particular J. Strauss is of sound construction and in good playing condition is to pay a technician to evaluate it. Since that's going to cost $100 or so out of pocket, I would only do it if that piano seems promising and your used market is so thin that the piano is a standout. In most local markets it would be overpriced.

If that piano had the faults that Del described 10 years ago, it would already be failing, so it may be serviceable. With the early Chinese export pianos, there were a few hits, some misses, and many near misses where the faults could be cleaned up by a good technician if the buyer was willing to pay for it. Since consistency was the biggest problem, in many cases you can't go strictly by which factory manufactured the piano.

I would not pay much attention to that web site or its rankings. Certainly everyone is entitled to own personal set of piano rankings, but the site owner does not identify himself, his affiliations, experience, or basis of knowledge for stated claims. There are certain oddities in the high ratings of certain pianos -- Knabe, Taylor, Falcone,, J. Struass, and Hallet among others. In addition, many piano brands are not included in the scheme. For example, there are no pianos from Pearl River, the world's largest piano manufacturer or from Petrof, Europe's largest piano manufacturer.

I don't know the purpose of that site, but it gives the appearance of being just another attempt to extract ad revenue from an industry that does not have much of a budget for advertising. It could even be the product of a retail operation which is trying to sell one of the overrated brands mentioned, and has skewed the ratings to use them as a sales tool to win customers away from Yamaha and Kawai.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1928565 - 07/18/12 01:54 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: turandot]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Steve - +1 thumb

Turandot - +1 thumb
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1928698 - 07/18/12 06:22 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1753
Steve: just to answer your question, I believe in universal healthcare. As far as I know, we are the only so-called first world nation that continues to ration health care based on wealth, as well as being the only first world nation that does not have universal health care.

So I don't need an alternative to universal health care.

Incidentally, or maybe not, this thread has provided a separate and additional reason to support health care for all: health care for all would erase some of the economic advantage that countries that do provide universal health care have over the United States, in terms of selling their products here. It would certainly help the price of pianos that are produced in this country!

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#1928712 - 07/18/12 06:43 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Steve: just to answer your question, I believe in universal healthcare. As far as I know, we are the only so-called first world nation that continues to ration health care based on wealth, as well as being the only first world nation that does not have universal health care.

So I don't need an alternative to universal health care.

Incidentally, or maybe not, this thread has provided a separate and additional reason to support health care for all: health care for all would erase some of the economic advantage that countries that do provide universal health care have over the United States, in terms of selling their products here. It would certainly help the price of pianos that are produced in this country!


Interested???

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co...dge_Postdlf.jpg

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#1928721 - 07/18/12 07:11 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
NickZ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/12
Posts: 3
Thanks Turandot for taking your time and explain the way piano manufacturing works. Based on your advised I am now concentrating my energy toward purchasing a brand new K3 as suppose to chasing one from the used market.
Once again, I am thankful for all of your timely responses pointing me to the right direction.

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#1928743 - 07/18/12 08:28 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
Rank,

This thread isn't about universal health care, but since you went there let me just say that if you were in England and you were having a heart attack you would have to wait for hours BEFORE an ambulance showed up to your house to take you to the emergency room, and then you would have to wait several more hours IN THE AMBULANCE (it's called ambulance stacking) before you got into the emergency room. Once in the emergency room, they hospital has a 4 hour time limit to see you, so you could potentially wait 4 more hours before you even saw a doctor. That's because of Universal Health Care available to all lucky British citizens. To be sure we have problems with our health care system that need to be addressed, but I say no thanks on universal health care. I know this will probably spark a debate, but anyone who believes that universal health care is the answer to our health care problems is misinformed. All universal health care brings is a whole new set of problems worse than the problems we already have.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1928744 - 07/18/12 08:31 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
Rank,

This thread isn't about universal health care, but since you went there let me just say that if you were in England and you were having a heart attack you would have to wait for hours BEFORE an ambulance showed up to your house to take you to the emergency room, and then you would have to wait several more hours IN THE AMBULANCE (it's called ambulance stacking) before you got into the emergency room. Once in the emergency room, they hospital has a 4 hour time limit to see you, so you could potentially wait 4 more hours before you even saw a doctor. That's because of Universal Health Care available to all lucky British citizens. To be sure we have problems with our health care system that need to be addressed, but I say no thanks on universal health care. I know this will probably spark a debate, but anyone who believes that universal health care is the answer to our health care problems is misinformed. All universal health care brings is a whole new set of problems worse than the problems we already have.


But Lance, you must agree that it has made the British piano manufacturing industry much more competitive worldwide. Why, just look at Kemble...er, wait...

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#1928757 - 07/18/12 09:30 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Sparky McBiff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 1112
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
Rank,

This thread isn't about universal health care, but since you went there let me just say that if you were in England and you were having a heart attack you would have to wait for hours BEFORE an ambulance showed up to your house to take you to the emergency room, and then you would have to wait several more hours IN THE AMBULANCE (it's called ambulance stacking) before you got into the emergency room. Once in the emergency room, they hospital has a 4 hour time limit to see you, so you could potentially wait 4 more hours before you even saw a doctor. That's because of Universal Health Care available to all lucky British citizens. To be sure we have problems with our health care system that need to be addressed, but I say no thanks on universal health care. I know this will probably spark a debate, but anyone who believes that universal health care is the answer to our health care problems is misinformed. All universal health care brings is a whole new set of problems worse than the problems we already have.


I've never seen such a disgusting example of complete lies and fabrications.

I am in Canada.

My father had a heart attack, as have several friends of mine.
Ambulances come as fast as they come in the US and probably faster, and the care they get is exemplary.

Personally I've experienced some rather SERIOUS health issues last year (complete kidney blockage and resulting major kidney infection).
An ambulance came for me within 10 minutes (on two occasions) and I have been hospitalized three times (a week each time) due to my kidney problems (and recurring infections from a failing kidney) and I have had several operations (laser lithotripsy) correcting those problems.

Since this was my first serious illness I was absolutely amazed at the level of care that I received both in the hospital and at home. (I had ongoing home visits by a nurse two or three times a week that went on for months).

If I were in the US I would have lost my house, and then some.
The only thing that I have had to pay for here was any prescription drugs, and these were less than I would have had to pay in the US.

The ONLY minor issue that I had was that I had to wait a bit longer than I would have liked to get my initial operation.

If you want to hijack the thread and discuss universal health care it would be good if you did not lie through your teeth about the reality of it.
Simply because you've willingly swallowed the LIES you've been told by the corporate financial propaganda machine about single-payer health care that is no reason to spread those lies to others.

I generally abhor people going drastically OT as this but I will not stand by and watch someone spread such blatant lies about something that literally saved my life (and many other people that I know here).

Note: The CBC here once did a nationwide survey of Canadians and asked them what the number one thing they liked about the country.
The answer? Our health care system.
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#1928766 - 07/18/12 09:47 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Pianolance Offline
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Well, I'm glad for you Canadians then. BTW I wasn't talking about Canada.
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#1928768 - 07/18/12 09:51 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Sparky McBiff]
ando Offline
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Loc: Melbourne, Australia
+1 Sparky.

Australia has a very good health system that every taxpayer contributes to. Nobody is ever left in an ambulance, nobody would have to wait for more than 15 minutes for an ambulance to get their their door in the case of a heart attack or stroke.

Our system, and Canada's by the sound of it, is light years ahead of the US system. People don't lose their financial security just to receive medical care. And if they don't have any financial resources, they don't go without care.

How anybody could suggest that the US has a superior system to a well run universal health care system really beggars belief. Of course, there are wealthy people who complain about the contributing more to our medical system, most of whom have private insurance over and above the government system, but most think it's the best solution for our country to make sure we don't have the horrifying outcomes of the US-style haves/have-nots system.

I don't know how it's implemented in every country but there are plenty of countries that do universal health care very well.

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#1928780 - 07/18/12 10:12 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Pianolance Offline
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My feeling is we should get back on topic and leave a discussion of universal health care for another day on another forum. Besides, pianos are much more interesting than universal health care. So, how about them Chinese pianos?
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#1928783 - 07/18/12 10:23 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Jonathan Alford Offline
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Registered: 08/10/11
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Loc: Colorado
I have a Chinese piano I love. Since I have only had it for 8 months I cannot tell you yet what it will be like in 10 years.

Jonathan

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#1928856 - 07/19/12 02:23 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Dave B Offline
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Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1914
Loc: Philadelphia area
Chinese Pianos come with free healthcare???

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#1928900 - 07/19/12 06:20 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
BoseEric Offline
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Registered: 03/08/06
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Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Steve:

Some years ago, I read an article about the auto industry in which the author of the article noted that (1) Japanese cars cost less than their American counterparts, and (2) every single Japanese car made in Japan had a pre-existing subsidy of something like $6500 dollars because of Japan's health care and retirement systems. Quite an advantage.



I'm a little confused. How does universal health care (which I am for btw) and retirement represent a SUBSIDY? My assumption would be that it represents an added cost and therefore a relative disadvantage to costs.
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#1928922 - 07/19/12 07:33 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
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Registered: 08/11/07
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Just to stay off topic for a moment: universal health care and government-funded retirement benefits are not really a subsidy, but they are sums that the manufacturer is not required to pay. Instead of building them into the price of a piano (or a car), the manufacturer can charge a lower price for whatever it is the manufacturer produces. It is true that these benefits must be paid for, but they will not be paid for as part of the price that the manufacturer charges.

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#1928970 - 07/19/12 09:22 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Just to stay off topic for a moment: universal health care and government-funded retirement benefits are not really a subsidy, but they are sums that the manufacturer is not required to pay. Instead of building them into the price of a piano (or a car), the manufacturer can charge a lower price for whatever it is the manufacturer produces. It is true that these benefits must be paid for, but they will not be paid for as part of the price that the manufacturer charges.


isn't that a function of the country's choosen tax system. A VAT collects as part of the purchase price.
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#1928982 - 07/19/12 09:57 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Rusty Fortysome Offline
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Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 194
Loc: USA
I am always curious of how pianos survive through time. For example, the Chinese versions or Korean versions or certain low-end makes. Most pianos made and sold on the cheap are probably forgotten and "disappear" without much exposure to technicians/tuners or anyone that registers info on the pianos. The Japanese have developed a strong couple of piano makers by examining longevity and advancing the way they build their instruments to match the ravages of time.

Wasn't part of the Chinese healthcare system based on piano makers also doubling the cases as caskets? I'd rather be buried in a Fazioli. Bet there are a lot of Chinese playing iron frames in heaven, instead of harps.
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#1929139 - 07/19/12 03:14 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
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Registered: 08/11/07
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Steve: Americans do not pay a VAT on purchases of imported goods, at least not as far as I know. Let's say there is a VAT on pianos in China. A person in China who buys a piano in China will have to pay it. An American who buys a piano imported to this country from China will not. This means that Chinese pianos after import into the US have an even greater competitive advantage.

Before I get criticized here, I have no idea whether there is a VAT in China or not. It's just an example. It works better with European pianos, because there is a VAT in Europe that Americans won't pay on pianos imported into the US, but European pianos are already expensive, probably due in large part to the first world standard of living obtaining in European countries.

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#1929158 - 07/19/12 04:04 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
spanishbuddha Offline
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Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2323
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
Rank,

This thread isn't about universal health care, but since you went there let me just say that if you were in England and you were having a heart attack you would have to wait for hours BEFORE an ambulance showed up to your house to take you to the emergency room, and then you would have to wait several more hours IN THE AMBULANCE (it's called ambulance stacking) before you got into the emergency room. Once in the emergency room, they hospital has a 4 hour time limit to see you, so you could potentially wait 4 more hours before you even saw a doctor. That's because of Universal Health Care available to all lucky British citizens. To be sure we have problems with our health care system that need to be addressed, but I say no thanks on universal health care. I know this will probably spark a debate, but anyone who believes that universal health care is the answer to our health care problems is misinformed. All universal health care brings is a whole new set of problems worse than the problems we already have.

Staying OT, sorry, I live in the UK, sure we have problems with public health budgets but this is mostly pure and utter BS. You've been suckered buddy. I don't know the US political debate, but clearly facts don't matter. That is the same here too BTW.

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#1929254 - 07/19/12 07:19 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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#1929488 - 07/20/12 05:57 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
mric Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 63
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
Rank,

This thread isn't about universal health care, but since you went there let me just say that if you were in England and you were having a heart attack you would have to wait for hours BEFORE an ambulance showed up to your house to take you to the emergency room, and then you would have to wait several more hours IN THE AMBULANCE (it's called ambulance stacking) before you got into the emergency room. Once in the emergency room, they hospital has a 4 hour time limit to see you, so you could potentially wait 4 more hours before you even saw a doctor. That's because of Universal Health Care available to all lucky British citizens. To be sure we have problems with our health care system that need to be addressed, but I say no thanks on universal health care. I know this will probably spark a debate, but anyone who believes that universal health care is the answer to our health care problems is misinformed. All universal health care brings is a whole new set of problems worse than the problems we already have.

I fear that you have been lied to by someone. On ambulances, let's compare London and New York to be fair to the the US (since response times are obviously lower in rural US communities because of geography). In London, 75% of critical calls arrive in under 8 minutes - the target is 10 minutes in New York. There are no waiting times for critical cases in London.

Infant mortality (deaths in first year after birth) is used fairly often to compare the effectiveness of healthcare systems. The US has reduced infant mortality over the last 40 years, but much slower than Europe. The US rate of 6.6 deaths per thousand is 50% more than the UK or South Korea, twice the rate of Portugal, Greece or Germany, but the US can be proud of being slightly better than Chile in its healthcare provision for infants.

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#1929512 - 07/20/12 07:54 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
BoseEric Offline
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Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Hard to believe Rush and Glen might be wrong about some things...
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#1929590 - 07/20/12 10:28 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: BoseEric]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
Hard to believe Rush and Glen might be wrong about some things...


laugh
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#1929694 - 07/20/12 12:57 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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As long as we are talking about "Chinese Pianos" we keep missing the point.

Like an old German friend of mine who just traveled the U.S., loved the country but hated the food.

What my friend did not realize is that the top 100 American restaurants rank among world's best and some of the finest dining can be found right here.

Chinese also is not "Chinese" considering there are several among them who take things very very seriously.

These guys want no less than becoming world's best and spending unheard of amounts of money getting there.

Some of this is summarized in this article admittedly published by Pearl River.

However, the article should be read in context of Chinese government rules whereby advertising is not encouraged and in some cases even prohibited unless seen more as "news release"

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/13/4628574/chinas-piano-manufacturing-technology.html

Just as a Chinese kid practicing 6 hours daily or the Chinese student graduating with highest marks from Harvard, these guys shoot for nothing but the top.

Keep underestimating Chinese will and determination and the biggest surprises may still be upon us.

Interestingly neither the Japanese nor the German manufacturers take this very lightly: their companies are watching carefully from the sidelines, some of the Germans I've spoken to already start wondering "why we should build pianos at all"

Underestimating or denying things is not how to get competitive product on market. Nor is it worth getting in the discussion if one "likes" these developments or not.

Simply speaking, such is our world today: it doesn't matter "where" you live and what your own philosophy might be.

Unless you're perfectly willing and having the means to pay more for "not necessarily more". Or even less....

In the meantime Americans still have the opportunity to buy Steinways, Charles Walters and Masons.

Germans can and perhaps should only own their own brands.

Already 40 years ago I started to wonder why they don't.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (07/20/12 03:22 PM)
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#1929739 - 07/20/12 02:18 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
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Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
At least the Chinese makers don't blow smoke and say they build for the North American climate.
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#1929794 - 07/20/12 04:19 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Norbert]
Kurtmen Offline
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Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
Quote:
Chinese also is not "Chinese" considering there are several among them who take things very very seriously.

These guys want no less than becoming world's best and spending unheard of amounts of money getting there.

Some of this is summarized in this article admittedly published by Pearl River.

However, the article should be read in context of Chinese government rules whereby advertising is not encouraged and in some cases even prohibited unless seen more as "news release"

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/13/4628574/chinas-piano-manufacturing-technology.html

Just as a Chinese kid practicing 6 hours daily or the Chinese student graduating with highest marks from Harvard, these guys shoot for nothing but the top.


Norbert as usual you take advantage of any available chance to give us some soft *spam*.

However your analogy of the Chinese student to the Chinese business man is completely absurd.
The Chinese business model is not about "shooting for the best" but "to make as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time".

If the worse piano in the world makes the most amount of Money; China will make it. If the best piano in the world makes the most amount of Money; China will make it.
However they are learning that business can’t be sustained making crap therefore changes are in progress.



Edited by Kurtmen (07/20/12 05:14 PM)
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#1929812 - 07/20/12 04:46 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Kurtmen]
Dara Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1028
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen

If the worse piano in the world makes the most amount Money China will make it. If the best piano in the world makes the most amount of Money; China will make it. However they are learning that business can’t be sustain making crap and therefore changes are in progress.


Kurtmen, unless English isn't your first language... you ought to learn.

Ya, I think we get your anti-Chinese rift.

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#1929827 - 07/20/12 05:03 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Dara]
Kurtmen Offline
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Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
Dara,
Not at all, I'm not anti-Chinese. I simply disagree with Norbert's analogy and provided my opinion.
However, I assume my opinion disturbed you a little but there is no need to reach for some sort of personal remarks.
You are welcome to show your discomfort in proper fashion by telling me why you disagree.

Relax thumb sit down and enjoy the forum.


Edited by Kurtmen (07/20/12 05:07 PM)
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#1929838 - 07/20/12 05:11 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Kurtmen]
Dara Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1028
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen

thumb sit down and enjoy the forum.


I'm sitting, and also enjoying listening to some fine piano music.

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#1929842 - 07/20/12 05:17 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Norbert]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Originally Posted By: Norbert
These guys want no less than becoming world's best and spending unheard of amounts of money getting there.
As Kurtmen pointed out a statement like this and the analogy to Chinese piano students seems awfully silly.

If the Chinese are trying to build the best quality, they have miles to go and haven't started at the right level either quality wise or price wise. Saying some Chinese pianos may be good values(for their price)is completely different from saying they are anywhere near the best.

Unless you think "best" means most commercially successful.

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#1929863 - 07/20/12 05:38 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Loc: Surrey, B.C.
There's no doubt that retailers for other oriental pianos will be the first to go on the denial trail.

Their curious denial is quite in sync with the fact that many if not most of their own pianos are also being built in China.

Except their companies choose on purpose to only build the lowest grade "entry-level" there often for no other reasons than to protect jobs at home.

Something for which you certainly don't need Lothar Thomma, Frank Emerson or Rudolph Ibach. Or needing to spend oodles of money building entirely new production facilities virtually unmatched in the West.

In fact the 'best business to be had' is permeating the myth that only foreign companies can build the best - at home of course....

Funny enough, some of the Germans I talk to are not so sure of this any longer themselves.

If I was the Chinese student, doctor, businessman, entrepreneur or simply curious world traveler, I would be a bit challenged by all of this. There's a new confidence of doing things and it's showing.

Many of the Chinese customers we see these days have a slightly different take on this : we clearly see this on the type questions we're getting, the quality of players trying the pianos, the research being undertaken and last not least - in actual "sales".

Admiring those who manage to stay in a permanent state of denial, it must be a convenient place to be - at least for the time being.

Let's count the time before some of same gentlemen will line up to become dealers themselves - if for nothing else but trying to avoid facing the biggest competition they hoped never having to deal with in their lives.

Most German dealers I know have by now...

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (07/20/12 06:07 PM)
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#1929884 - 07/20/12 06:05 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Nick Mauel Offline
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Registered: 12/05/08
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If Steinway decided to open a factory in China, could the quality of the pianos be at least the same or better than those from New York?

Why or why not?
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#1929886 - 07/20/12 06:07 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Dara]
Kurtmen Offline
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Registered: 03/10/08
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Loc: San Mateo, CA
I truly believe that Chinese piano manufacturers can build outstanding products. Why not?
Chinese piano makers have the financial resorts to bring the best designs, materials and builders.
The questions are:
Are they interested in building high-quality pianos?

Is there enough consumers’ confidence to pay the price for a high-quality piano made in China?

Is it worth for piano dealers to pay extra for a better Chinese piano?

My answer to all these questions is NO, based on the following reasons.

A) I constantly see advertising in all types of media selling Made in Japan, Made in the USA or Made in Germany or Europe. Never made in China.

B) Even those dealers who doesn't carry Kawai, Yamaha or Steinway somehow they try to advertise these three brands in their websites or promotional activities.

C) A very large number of dealers selling Chinese pianos still selling grey market Japanese pianos and rebuilt Steinways.

D) Must if not all Chinese Piano Makers CANNOT detach from making a connection of their products to Germany or Japan. This is something the Japanese companies don't do.

E) I noticed often dealers using the size of the piano as selling point instead of the quality. It is very typical for dealers to say: "You can buy this 6'1" X brand for 50% less than the equivalent piano made by Kawai or Yamaha.

F) I never see advertising of X brand proudly Made in China.

G) When buyers ask, where is this piano made? Hardly ever a dealer answers China, without previously giving a talk about the German Components or parts from Europe.

H) The Chinese population in North America is a very significant consumer for the piano industry. I hardly see Chinese people asking for pianos made in China (rare).

These are facts of the piano industry. Hard to hear for those selling Chinese brands but hard to say this is not accurate...









Edited by Kurtmen (07/20/12 06:15 PM)
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#1929918 - 07/20/12 06:56 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
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#1929931 - 07/20/12 07:19 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: pianoloverus]
Del Offline
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Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5188
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
If the Chinese are trying to build the best quality, they have miles to go and haven't started at the right level either quality wise or price wise. Saying some Chinese pianos may be good values(for their price)is completely different from saying they are anywhere near the best.

Is there anyone else around here who remembers working the less-than-stellar pianos Yamaha shipped over here in the 1960s?

I can remember some fairly significant problems with their pianos.

I can also remember that some of the same types of comments being made about Chinese pianos today were being made about Japanese pianos back then.

How quickly we forget….

ddf
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#1929943 - 07/20/12 07:56 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Del]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
If the Chinese are trying to build the best quality, they have miles to go and haven't started at the right level either quality wise or price wise. Saying some Chinese pianos may be good values(for their price)is completely different from saying they are anywhere near the best.

Is there anyone else around here who remembers working the less-than-stellar pianos Yamaha shipped over here in the 1960s?

I can remember some fairly significant problems with their pianos.

I can also remember that some of the same types of comments being made about Chinese pianos today were being made about Japanese pianos back then.

How quickly we forget….

ddf
But even today after 50 years, with the exception of the super expensive CF and S models, I doubt many put Yamaha in the same quality(by this I mean performance quality and not build quality) as most Tier 1 and Tier 2 pianos in the Fine hierarchy. I don't doubt that if some Chinese company decided to build much more expensive models than at the present, they could eventually build the highest quality pianos.


Edited by pianoloverus (07/20/12 08:08 PM)

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#1929992 - 07/20/12 10:00 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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there are several statements made her based on myth, not facts, certainly not current ones. Nobody should be afraid of the truth and nothing personal is intended: here's my answer to Kurtman's above post:

Quote:
"I truly believe that Chinese piano manufacturers can build outstanding products. Why not? Chinese piano makers have the financial resorts to bring the best designs, materials and builders. The questions are: Are they interested in building high-quality pianos?


Some are - some aren't. Hailun Chen, Pearl River [Ritmüller-Kayserburg, Parsons ["Brodmann"] and few others have their ambitions set very high. These guys know the toughness of a fiercely competitive market on their own home turf and are going all out to raise the ante. They may not succeed to ascend to top tier pianos at this time but the speed by which they have accomplished things is frightening to say the least.
Give these guys a few more years and we could be in for one big surprise.

Quote:
Is there enough consumers’ confidence to pay the price for a high-quality piano made in China? Is it worth for piano dealers to pay extra for a better Chinese piano?


Quote:
My answer to all these questions is NO, based on the following reasons....


It is interesting that those dealers answering "No" are often dealers for Japanese pianos. Some of the dealers also don't tell their customers that the "Japanese" model they are looking at is in fact already made in China - yet it is always the "Japanese" company identity being sold. We have collected a number of pictures of those pianos" clearly depicting "made in China" on their factory crates. Often a shock to unsuspecting shoppers who never thought about this being possible...

Quote:
A) I constantly see advertising in all types of media selling Made in Japan, Made in the USA or Made in Germany or Europe. Never made in China.


This is valid criticism but expected to change fairly rather quick.. Certain Chinese pianos - especially when being highly selective - have reached a level where "made in China" is no longer a shameful label but the guarantee for excellent quality, great tone and unbelievable value. Add another 5 years and people will insist on "made in China" Simply because few will be prepared at that time to pay more without getting more. The onus will be increasingly on the more - not the less expensive pianos.

Quote:

B) Even those dealers who doesn't carry Kawai, Yamaha or Steinway somehow they try to advertise these three brands in their websites or promotional activities.

C) A very large number of dealers selling Chinese pianos still selling grey market Japanese pianos and rebuilt Steinways.


Simple because of "ease of selling" These dealers, for the most part, go with the flow knowing full well they're selling overpriced stuff. Personally I never had much regard for them.
Selling the same perfume simply for less than somebody else is not everybody's cup. Once the tide turns in favor of more critical shoppers [which it will..] these dealers will abandon their position overnight. Perhaps a fun play to watch from retirement...

Quote:
D) Must if not all Chinese Piano Makers CANNOT detach from making a connection of their products to Germany or Japan. This is something the Japanese companies don't do.


Not true, at least no longer. Nobody in manufacturing ever forgot the men with friendly smiles flocking to Germany and the U.S. with little cameras hidden in their breast pockets. Sure things developed from there but let's not forget where things started some 45 years ago....

There's also nothing wrong with a legit "German connection"
If Ferdinand Porsche would have gone to China designing and building cars, then selling them at 1/5 the price, I would perhaps own one. Perhaps you too.

Quote:

F) I never see advertising of X brand proudly Made in China.

G) When buyers ask, where is this piano made? Hardly ever a dealer answers China, without previously giving a talk about the German Components or parts from Europe.


We actually "do" - when and where applicable. Not all Chinese pianos of course have genuine German design, Renner hammers, Roslau strings, Strunz soundboards etc, but most of ours do.

We also don't sell "European" "German" or "Japanese" pianos" which may come from there and are actually [pre] manufactured in China including most of their critical parts and components... This has been one of the most shameful episodes and will simply speed up the way we will be looking at things.

Quote:
H) The Chinese population in North America is a very significant consumer for the piano industry. I hardly see Chinese people asking for pianos made in China (rare).


Brace yourself for some changes to come. As opposed to "easy selling" we constantly educate our customers about real quality and musical tone - especially at price point. Many start realizing this and become very grateful and appreciative customers. Their kids are exceeding in music everywhere and they love their instruments. If you believe that Chinese people like to spend more than necessary,better think again. There's a new Chinese awareness and national pride better be taken into consideration. This is no longer China run by the British or other outsiders. Once the cat is out of the sack the Chinese wall will come down even faster than the Berlin one did.

Quote:
These are facts of the piano industry. Hard to hear for those selling Chinese brands but hard to say this is not accurate...
"I truly believe that Chinese piano manufacturers can build outstanding products. Why not? Chinese piano makers have the financial resorts to bring the best designs, materials and builders. The questions are: Are they interested in building high-quality pianos?


This won't be the question. The real issue will be to deal with the Chinese postulates: "if you you like to sell in our market - build your stuff here, at least some of it or together with us."

The summary of all of this is that you can't bluff yourself through today's highly competitive market. Country of origin - outside world's absolute top makes - will become less and less important. And even those are moving [ at least some] of their production increasingly to China. 8000 German companies already have. And they're selling there like crazy...

Those who believe being able to work outside these realities better have a great retirement plan at hand.

They may need it.....

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (07/21/12 12:10 PM)
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#1930014 - 07/20/12 10:48 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Norbert]
Karl Watson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 295
Thanks, Norbert.

Your contributions are always informed and compelling.

I daresay that there are few here who can refute these very clear and logically reasoned arguments.

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#1930059 - 07/21/12 01:29 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: pianoloverus]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5188
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
If the Chinese are trying to build the best quality, they have miles to go and haven't started at the right level either quality wise or price wise. Saying some Chinese pianos may be good values(for their price)is completely different from saying they are anywhere near the best.

Is there anyone else around here who remembers working the less-than-stellar pianos Yamaha shipped over here in the 1960s?

I can remember some fairly significant problems with their pianos.

I can also remember that some of the same types of comments being made about Chinese pianos today were being made about Japanese pianos back then.

But even today after 50 years, with the exception of the super expensive CF and S models, I doubt many put Yamaha in the same quality(by this I mean performance quality and not build quality) as most Tier 1 and Tier 2 pianos in the Fine hierarchy. I don't doubt that if some Chinese company decided to build much more expensive models than at the present, they could eventually build the highest quality pianos.

But that really is the point isn’t it? In just the time I’ve been in the business Yamaha has gone from building cheap, troublesome pianos to building inexpensive, reliable pianos along with building pianos that rival some of the best pianos built anywhere in the world. I don’t recall that Kawai ever sent pianos to the U.S. that were quite as troublesome as those early Yamahas but they weren’t as good then as they have become now. And Kawai also now builds pianos that stand among the best of the world’s pianos.

Why should we think that the Chinese experience will be any different? The early Chinese-built offerings were, to put it mildly, pathetic. Now, just two decades later, some Chinese manufacturers are building pianos that are both inexpensive and are setting new standards for performance in their market categories. No, they do not yet rival the world’s best pianos but in their price ranges some of them are outstanding musical instruments.

Why should we think the best of these companies are going to stop here? Not all of them will continue to evolve, of course. Just like some Japanese piano makers did not. But some will.

The largest piano market in the world just now is China. It is a market that started out ignorant and naïve. But it is rapidly changing as the Chinese people become more conversant with Western music and Western musical instruments. Nothing stays the same and the most forward thinking and planning Chinese piano makers are not staying the same either.

ddf
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#1930115 - 07/21/12 06:28 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 794
I think you are spot on, Del. If China solves some of its main internal problems, the world will look quite different in a few decades, and not just in the realm of piano making. Boesendorfer is now owned by Yamaha. Who will own the most renowned piano makers in, say, 20 years (or less)?
_________________________
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#1930120 - 07/21/12 06:51 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Del]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19231
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
If the Chinese are trying to build the best quality, they have miles to go and haven't started at the right level either quality wise or price wise. Saying some Chinese pianos may be good values(for their price)is completely different from saying they are anywhere near the best.

Is there anyone else around here who remembers working the less-than-stellar pianos Yamaha shipped over here in the 1960s?

I can remember some fairly significant problems with their pianos. Five, ten, or 25 years from now anything could happen to change that.

I can also remember that some of the same types of comments being made about Chinese pianos today were being made about Japanese pianos back then.

But even today after 50 years, with the exception of the super expensive CF and S models, I doubt many put Yamaha in the same quality(by this I mean performance quality and not build quality) as most Tier 1 and Tier 2 pianos in the Fine hierarchy. I don't doubt that if some Chinese company decided to build much more expensive models than at the present, they could eventually build the highest quality pianos.

But that really is the point isn’t it? In just the time I’ve been in the business Yamaha has gone from building cheap, troublesome pianos to building inexpensive, reliable pianos along with building pianos that rival some of the best pianos built anywhere in the world. I don’t recall that Kawai ever sent pianos to the U.S. that were quite as troublesome as those early Yamahas but they weren’t as good then as they have become now. And Kawai also now builds pianos that stand among the best of the world’s pianos.
I don't think we're that far apart here.

My point was that at present no Chinese makers are building pianos that have the equivalent goals(building the best piano possible) as the Shigeru or Yamaha CF or S series. At present, they are building inexpensive pianos not even designed to compete with the Tier 1 and Tier 2 pianos the way those Kawai and Yamaha models do.

Hence Norbert's analogy to Chinese piano students(who do try to be the best)seems incorrect. Five, ten, or 25 years from now anything could happen to change this.



Edited by pianoloverus (07/21/12 08:09 AM)

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#1930126 - 07/21/12 07:15 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
The question remains,just what "kind" of piano are we talking about?
a piano that has limited shelf life? say 20 or less yrs?
then is ground up and pulverized to make compostite wood decking?
then you go out and buy a shiny new one like a car and repeat the process
all over again? this kind of thinking would kill the rebuild market!

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#1930155 - 07/21/12 08:50 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Just thinking back - to the sixties

My mother was a piano teacher and we lived in NE Wisconsin. We were friends with the family who owned Don Poh Piano Co., in Green Bay. Don called my mother one day and asked Mom to come try a new piano line. He wouldn't tell us what it was. At the store were two new pianos with a funny name. The pianos blew both of us away. Neither had been tuned or prepped. Mom just about fell on the floor when the price was revealed as it was so inexpensive.

In about the same time frame, we happend upon a piano at a music store, in Appleton, whose name reminded us only of motorcycles. It was an OK piano and my mother pronounced it as being not quite at the same level as the instruments in Green Bay. She disliked the action. I was only about 11-12 at the time.

However the pianos made an impression when they first arrived, at least to pianists. My mom always described the difference in tone as the difference between a Harley and one of those inported "street-screamers." Dad rode a Harley, so there was some prejudice involved.

Yep, Kawai was the Harley, and Yamaha was the "street-screamer."

One thing was quite apparent; there were now some good pianos available at a price point considerably lower than Steinway, Baldwin, or Mason. Something new was happening.

Now, four decades later, we are seeing the same thing happening with the emergence of the Chinese pianos. I am still amazed at what is available at an entry level price. I am also thrilled at the birth of new truly fine pianos as represented by Estonia and C. Walter.

The street race has raged since the sixties and there are some new entrants moving into the pack from China.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1930171 - 07/21/12 09:27 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10453
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Norbert.

You claimed several times in this thread that pianos marketed as being Made in Japan are actually made in China. There are only 2 significant Japanese piano monufacturers, Yamaha and Kawai (who also makes Boston).

Quote:
It is interesting that those dealers answering "No" are often dealers for Japanese pianos. Some of the dealers also don't tell their customers that the "Japanese" model they are looking at is in fact already made in China - yet it is always the "Japanese" company identity being sold. We have collected a number of pictures of those pianos" clearly depicting "made in China" on their factory crates. Often a shock to unsuspecting shoppers who never thought about this being possible...




Quote:
There's no doubt that retailers for other oriental pianos will be the first to go on the denial trail.

Their curious denial is quite in sync with the fact that many if not most of their own pianos are also being built in China.


Please substantiate your claim. Which models of Yamaha and Kawai are made in China? Which models are made in China but labeled on the crate as being made in Japan?

You say, as quoted above, (and have said in the past) that you have pictures of Japanese piano crates marked "Made in China". I spoke to Larry Fine about your claims. Please produce those pictures.

Please be clear in your reply...no dancing around the issue.
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#1930180 - 07/21/12 09:54 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Roger Ransom Offline
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Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1241
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
I, obviously, don't know very much about piano making in China but I have a couple questions I've wondered about for some time.

1. Has any Chinese piano company actually made an all out effort to design and build a very high end piano or are they trying to build pianos at a specific price point intended to make as much money as possible?

2. It sure seems like the skill is available in China to build anything at any level desired. Just look at some of the unbelievably high quality art work that is being produced and has been produced in the past. It is second to none in the world.

3. It seems like (to me at least) that if they decided to produce a piano to rival any piano in the world, price and effort be damned, they might be able to do that. It may not be worth the cost and effort?

I recall laughing in derision when I heard that a Japanese company was going to design and build a luxury car when I was accustomed to seeing good, small, basic cars built there. Clearly I was dead wrong.

Maybe the Chinese just haven't seen a big enough benefit to building a relative few very high level pianos when they can make lots of money building zillions of lower cost pianos?

I sure don't know but it makes me wonder.
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#1930193 - 07/21/12 10:27 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 430
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas

In 2004 Kawai began to build a piano parts plant in China and by 2007 hoped to have a complete piano plant in operation.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/kawai-musical-instruments-manufacturing-co-ltd#ixzz21GdL25xk
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#1930194 - 07/21/12 10:29 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Roger Ransom]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10453
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Roger Ransom
I, obviously, don't know very much about piano making in China but I have a couple questions I've wondered about for some time.

1. Has any Chinese piano company actually made an all out effort to design and build a very high end piano or are they trying to build pianos at a specific price point intended to make as much money as possible?

2. It sure seems like the skill is available in China to build anything at any level desired. Just look at some of the unbelievably high quality art work that is being produced and has been produced in the past. It is second to none in the world.

3. It seems like (to me at least) that if they decided to produce a piano to rival any piano in the world, price and effort be damned, they might be able to do that. It may not be worth the cost and effort?

I recall laughing in derision when I heard that a Japanese company was going to design and build a luxury car when I was accustomed to seeing good, small, basic cars built there. Clearly I was dead wrong.

Maybe the Chinese just haven't seen a big enough benefit to building a relative few very high level pianos when they can make lots of money building zillions of lower cost pianos?

I sure don't know but it makes me wonder.


Could a Chinese manufacturer make a piano with the same quality level as say Bosendorfer or C. Bechstein. I would think that, cost being no object, they could.

However selling such an instrument, even in relatively low quantities, would be a huge uphill battle.

Shoppers looking for a top tier instrument are buying more than "performance". They are buying reputation, the prestige of ownership and the aura of the brand. They simply are not looking to own even a great sounding off-brand.

Since the marketing is an insurmountable hurtle, there is no effort at production.
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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1930195 - 07/21/12 10:31 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
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Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 430
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
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#1930196 - 07/21/12 10:33 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Roger Ransom]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Laughing Roger,

You pose some interesting questions. The same thoughts have passed through my mind but then I wonder about things like high speed trains derailing or bridges collapsing. Sometimes it seems like high technology crashes into execution.

At the price point, some of the instruments are pretty amazing. It would be interesting if Hailun or Pearl River competed with a top tier introduction. They certainly could muster, or borrow, the skills needed but they still suffer from lack of name recognition in the U.S. and Canada. It took years for Kawai and Yamaha to become familiar names to the general buyer. Then Kawai popped up with the Shigeru. It sure changed a lot of minds and attitudes. It kicked Yamaha out of complacency.

If the question were posed for an off-the-cuff answer, if you would purchase a $90K Steinway or a $90K Pearl River, what would be the most prevelant reply?

_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1930202 - 07/21/12 10:44 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 305
Loc: CA
I am in complete agreement with Del. I am actually in the market to buy a piano. I am not looking for the finest pianos -- just for a good home piano. Based on Larry Fine's ratings, I created a mental model of how the different brands / models stack up. Now that I have been visiting dealerships and actually listening to the pianos in the category / price range of interest to me, what my ears are telling me does not match up with the expectations set from reading the piano book, and I am having to fight the bias developed from the opinions in this book from an authority. In my price range, of the Chinese pianos I have listened to, the Weber 5''9" (this was probably a Del design piano) sounded pretty good to me. The Ritmuller sounded very good to me. The Hailun -- not so much to my taste. The couple of used Kawai RX-2s I have looked at sound excellent as well. Which one should I pick? I have been biased towards the Kawai because Larry Fine rates them 2-3 notches above the Chinese pianos, even though common sense would argue for picking the new piano that sounds just as good, comes with a 10-yr warranty and a dealership behind it. Exactly why does LF put the Ritmuller / Hailun below the RX series? I have no idea -- only the designers like Del may know. But I am still influenced by that opinion.

If I have that level of bias for a modest piano (and I think that I am representative of a fair number of consumers who are using these same sources of information to form their preferences), would these Chinese manufactures have any shot at selling high end pianos? I think it would be a hard sell. They are doing the right thing by focusing on the consumer segment for now and trying to get credibility based on the one competitive advantage in that segment -- price.

BTW, the piano is for my 7-yr old daughter, who knows nothing about brands / country of origin, and does not suffer from these biases. Her (mostly) unbiased rating of the pianos she has tried so far:

Tied at the top: A very fancy Schimmel and a 20-year old Baldwin (I wish I had the courage to buy a piano from a manufacturer who is out of business. It was a gorgeous sounding piano -- and cheap)

Next: Kawai RX-2, Ritmuller, Weber

Next: Yamaha (don't remember the models), Hailun (5'-10")

Mostly unbiased because she still thinks a shiny black cabinet is the best :-0


Edited by rlinkt (07/21/12 10:50 AM)

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#1930209 - 07/21/12 10:58 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: rlinkt]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3524
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: rlinkt


.... and a 20-year old Baldwin (I wish I had the courage to buy a piano from a manufacturer who is out of business. It was a gorgeous sounding piano -- and cheap)


If it's a 20 year old piano, you're not going to be wanting further dealings with the factory that made it - regardless of whether they are in business or not. A Baldwin can be rebuilt, serviced, regulated like any other piano. It's a non-issue I think - especially if you love it and it's cheap. You should get it inspected by a technician and if it checks out, buy it!

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#1930213 - 07/21/12 11:02 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: rlinkt]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 430
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
Originally Posted By: rlinkt
... and a 20-year old Baldwin (I wish I had the courage to buy a piano from a manufacturer who is out of business. It was a gorgeous sounding piano -- and cheap)



They are not out of business. I needed a part and was directed to an authorised dealer that got me the sustain spring in less than a week. Anyway, what does it matter when the action was probably a Renner and the strings and such are off the shelf items? I bought mine in the same undervalued market that is still with us and can probably sell it for the same amount as I paid.
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#1930231 - 07/21/12 11:28 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: ando]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10453
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: rlinkt


.... and a 20-year old Baldwin (I wish I had the courage to buy a piano from a manufacturer who is out of business. It was a gorgeous sounding piano -- and cheap)


If it's a 20 year old piano, you're not going to be wanting further dealings with the factory that made it - regardless of whether they are in business or not. A Baldwin can be rebuilt, serviced, regulated like any other piano. It's a non-issue I think - especially if you love it and it's cheap. You should get it inspected by a technician and if it checks out, buy it!


+1
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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1930238 - 07/21/12 11:45 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Guapo Gabacho]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 305
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Guapo Gabacho
Originally Posted By: rlinkt
... and a 20-year old Baldwin (I wish I had the courage to buy a piano from a manufacturer who is out of business. It was a gorgeous sounding piano -- and cheap)



They are not out of business. I needed a part and was directed to an authorised dealer that got me the sustain spring in less than a week. Anyway, what does it matter when the action was probably a Renner and the strings and such are off the shelf items? I bought mine in the same undervalued market that is still with us and can probably sell it for the same amount as I paid.


Interestng -- I thought getting action parts, if needed, would be a problem. Knowing this does change the playing field considerably. Thanks for the guidance.

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#1930242 - 07/21/12 11:51 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: rlinkt]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10453
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: rlinkt
Exactly why does LF put the Ritmuller / Hailun below the RX series? I have no idea -- only the designers like Del may know. But I am still influenced by that opinion.


I can officially shed some light on the issue you find confusing.

Larry's strategy in formulating the ratings is to try to base it on the various factors important to the typical buyer. This goes beyond performance (tonality and touch) to include design, anticipated longevity, reputation, anticipated resale values, quality of manufacturer's parts and service support to its dealers and to consumers, as well as how it is perceived in the marketplace by industry pros and consumers.

For example, while the performance of two competing brand might be similar, if one has a considerably better reputation and name recognition (which often affects resale values), a better parts and service department, and a strong history for longevity, it may well be rated higher than a manufacturer who lacks those attributes.

Taken in the context I described herein, the ratings should make more sense.
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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1930253 - 07/21/12 12:25 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Steve Cohen]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 305
Loc: CA
Quote:

This goes beyond performance (tonality and touch) to include design, anticipated longevity, reputation, anticipated resale values, quality of manufacturer's parts and service support to its dealers and to consumers, as well as how it is perceived in the marketplace by industry pros and consumers.

Taken in the context I described herein, the ratings should make more sense.


It makes sense once you take the market perception and expected resale value into consideration. That just makes it so much harder for the new entrants to gain market share. No wonder the Chinese manufacturers are tripping over each other to license the old brands.

I want to convey my thanks to the members on this board who have taken the time to share their knowledge and demystify the space for a newbie like me.

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#1930256 - 07/21/12 12:32 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14120
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Cohen said:

Quote:

Please substantiate your claim. Which models of Yamaha and Kawai are made in China? Which models are made in China but labeled on the crate as being made in Japan?


You didn't read right. The pianos are often represented as implied Japanese made products without revealing that the model in question is a actually made in China - as per crate.

This information does not appear to be always given voluntarily or upfront by the dealer when showing product - unless when specifically probed by customer.

I'm sure that conscientious dealers are doing things differently and are more transparent.

Your position appreciated.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (07/21/12 12:35 PM)
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#1930267 - 07/21/12 12:45 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Norbert]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10453
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Cohen said:

Quote:

Please substantiate your claim. Which models of Yamaha and Kawai are made in China? Which models are made in China but labeled on the crate as being made in Japan?


You didn't read right. The pianos are often represented as implied Japanese made products without revealing that the model in question is a actually made in China - as per crate.

This information does not appear to be always given voluntarily or upfront by the dealer when showing product - unless when specifically probed by customer.

I'm sure that conscientious dealers are doing things differently and are more transparent.

Your position appreciated.

Norbert


I understand.

Thanks.
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#1930273 - 07/21/12 12:59 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Quote:
Larry's strategy in formulating the ratings is to try to base it on the various factors important to the typical buyer. This goes beyond performance (tonality and touch) to include design, anticipated longevity, reputation, anticipated resale values, quality of manufacturer's parts and service support to its dealers and to consumers, as well as how it is perceived in the marketplace by industry pros and consumers.


If this is the case, I'm sorry to say that a lot of ratings don't make any sense - at least to me.

IMHO "touch and tone" is still where it's at, at least when judging a piano from a musical point of view.

"design" is an interesting factor to consider: are people like Lothar Thomma's or Frank Emerson not prominent enough and among the very best guys in the business?

"Anticipated longevity" is another tough one: German manufacturers and perhaps Steinway with 200 years of tradition hold exactly this usually against their oriental counterparts who have been around for far less than that.

The other items are all troublesome as well to say the least: who has the inside that a piano costing $ 30,000 new has a better "resale value" or 'less loss of depreciation' than one costing just a fraction of that?

It's not easy and I certainly don't envy Mr. Fine's job. However, for real players and musicians - especially those on tight budgets - the piano itself will always be the most important factor.

How can there be more to food than its taste, freshness including perhaps the way of being cooked?

Does one rate restaurant food how "famous" the cook is or how long the restaurant has been around or is expected to be in business?

Comparing and 'rating' pianos especially in same or similar price ranges is where its really at in today's market.

At least for most consumers and piano shoppers we happen to meet.

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (07/21/12 02:07 PM)
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#1930289 - 07/21/12 01:42 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 305
Loc: CA
The rating strategy can certainly be questioned. It makes a lot of sense for people who overweight those decision criteria. There could be a different rating strategy for people who only care about the performance -- ie the group that mostly cares about the taste and less about the kitchen it came from. Me -- I love street food :-)

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#1930322 - 07/21/12 03:01 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...Kurtmen, unless English isn't your first language... you ought to learn..."

Dara, I'm surprised at you. You usually represent your point of view intelligently, and I've found your posts enjoyable and spirited. But this is not an example of your best.

You may not have had the opportunity to speak with Kurtmen in person. I can tell you that he is a gentlemanly person, very well-informed in his field, intelligent and perceptive. No, English is not his first language, but the qualities I mentioned are the ones which stand out in a conversation with him. I also think that someone who has been able to maintain a long-term career when business conditions are so unfavorable, commands some respect simply for that.

"...In just the time I’ve been in the business Yamaha has gone from building cheap, troublesome pianos to building inexpensive, reliable pianos... I don’t recall that Kawai ever sent pianos to the U.S. that were quite as troublesome as those early Yamahas... And Kawai also now builds pianos that stand among the best of the world’s pianos.

"Why should we think that the Chinese experience will be any different? The early Chinese-built offerings were, to put it mildly, pathetic. Now, just two decades later, some Chinese manufacturers are building pianos that are both inexpensive and are setting new standards for performance in their market categories..."


Accurate enough, as far as it goes. If we remember back to the pianos which were being produced in America in the 1960's... well, most of us would rather not, rightly wishing to forgo the embarrassment. And of course, that is what opened the door to the first low-cost imports from the Orient--- that, and low-cost shipping around half the globe, and some favorable political factors.

The Chinese products have been their own worst ambassador, from "stainless steel" cutlery that rusts in the dishwasher, to poisonous pet food, tainted infant formula, and a lot of lead where it should not be--- there's a long list of horrors. No doubt they will start doing better when they realize that Americans have stopped going to WalMart to scarf up Chinese-made bargains (since our own jobs have been shipped over there and the bargains don't look so affordable anymore, especially considering the quality), or that we no longer make trips there for new livers, freshly harvested from executed convicts, or we realize that the polluted air generated there blows right across the Pacific to us. And a few other things.

I should hope the pianos made there are getting better... but I already made my buying decision, and shopped elsewhere. Not just for pianos, either; I've gotten used to looking at the tags that say "Product of _____." I'm sure Del is far better-informed than I about current trends, and quality and price do count... but other factors also count. Availability of parts and technical support, local service, and the reputation of the company matter a lot to me, espeially when it's an expensive musical instrument that I expect to have and use daily for many years.

I think it's a great thing that the country is waking up and discovering music, and that so many are interested in learning piano. But that is a topic for a different post.
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#1930323 - 07/21/12 03:04 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: rlinkt]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Originally Posted By: rlinkt
The rating strategy can certainly be questioned. It makes a lot of sense for people who overweight those decision criteria. There could be a different rating strategy for people who only care about the performance -- ie the group that mostly cares about the taste and less about the kitchen it came from. Me -- I love street food :-)


I, (and I can speak for Larry on this), agree that the methodology can certainly be questioned. And, if anyone has a better way, they too are welcome to publish.

It is what it is. And we find that it is very helpful to a significant percentage of shoppers.
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#1930330 - 07/21/12 03:17 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Quote:
Availability of parts and technical support, local service, and the reputation of the company matter a lot to me, especially when it's an expensive musical instrument that I expect to have and use daily for many years.


This is a good point but in today's market nobody can do less than excellent. Personally I don't know a single manufacturer who is not looking after it's customers very well today.

For example years ago we had an issue with one particular Brodmann grand in Alberta where humidity can go down to 2-5 degrees in winter. The customer received a brand new piano within one week. It even surprised us...

What customers are entitled to is to pick the criteria of choice themselves. Outside tone,touch, musical appeal and of course *price*, these however become harder and harder to determine, at least on a general basis.

Rest assured that anybody coming here and ordering an Estonia or Sauter concert grand before even greeting, won't ever be questioned for even one single second....

Norbert wink
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#1930380 - 07/21/12 06:19 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: pianoloverus]
master88er Offline
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Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 844
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

My point was that at present no Chinese makers are building pianos that have the equivalent goals(building the best piano possible) as the Shigeru or Yamaha CF or S series. At present, they are building inexpensive pianos not even designed to compete with the Tier 1 and Tier 2 pianos the way those Kawai and Yamaha models do.



Actually, that is not true. This article was published in the Sacramento main newspaper last week : KAYSERBURG

Clearly, Pearl River has exactly that in mind and having put these pianos side by side to some of the most revered and prestigious pianos on the planet, I dare say that (IMHO) they are well on their way.
Originally Posted By: kurtman

G) When buyers ask, where is this piano made? Hardly ever a dealer answers China, without previously giving a talk about the German Components or parts from Europe.


While I accept Kurtman's comments I must admit to chalking it up to "sour grapes." After all, I could counter by saying that most Kawai and Yamaha salesman don't bother selling the virutes of their products compared to the Chinese brands but simply state "well, you know that's made in China don't you?"

It's also disingenuous to point fingers when, not 20 years ago, Japanese manufacturers were touting their affiliation or similarity to German manufacturers, and companies like Kawai even built pianos with names like Schiedmayer!


Edited by master88er (07/21/12 06:29 PM)
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#1930383 - 07/21/12 06:35 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: master88er]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: master88er
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

My point was that at present no Chinese makers are building pianos that have the equivalent goals(building the best piano possible) as the Shigeru or Yamaha CF or S series. At present, they are building inexpensive pianos not even designed to compete with the Tier 1 and Tier 2 pianos the way those Kawai and Yamaha models do.



Actually, that is not true. This article was published in the Sacramento main newspaper last week : KAYSERBURG
Thanks for that information.

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#1930386 - 07/21/12 06:41 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Quote:

My point was that at present no Chinese makers are building pianos that have the equivalent goals(building the best piano possible) as the Shigeru or Yamaha CF or S series.


Nor do those Japanese makers building this very select group of high end pianos. 99% of the rest of their models have nothing to do with these special group and it's not the type piano most shoppers are looking at when considering Japanese.

If and when Kayserburg, Ritmüller or Brodmann will introduce their first "made in Germany" pianos later this year, it also has nothing to do with Chinese pianos in general.

The basic point is that things are moving on for average consumers and at an alarming, ever more rapid pace.

Those who wish to ignore the whole thing can do as they please.

Others may find surprising reward in looking at some of the already incredible, highly appealing "Chinese made" options around them.

Including some of the makes not usually suspected to manufacture there....

Years ago I already said :

"one day there will be only real high end pianos in one group"

"and all the rest in the other"

We're there - or very close.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (07/21/12 07:07 PM)
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#1930399 - 07/21/12 07:30 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Norbert]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:

My point was that at present no Chinese makers are building pianos that have the equivalent goals(building the best piano possible) as the Shigeru or Yamaha CF or S series.


Nor do those Japanese makers building this very select group of high end pianos. 99% of the rest of their models have nothing to do with these special group and it's not the type piano most shoppers are looking at when considering Japanese.
What do the percentages of their pianos made have do with the goals of building the models I mentioned? The answer is "Nothing."


Edited by pianoloverus (07/22/12 01:02 PM)

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#1930423 - 07/21/12 08:30 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Norbert]
Steve Cohen Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
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Originally Posted By: Norbert
[quote]Years ago I already said :

"one day there will be only real high end pianos in one group"

"and all the rest in the other"

We're there - or very close.

Norbert


I wouldn't say we are there. But close??? I think we are less than a decade away. From my perspective that IS close.
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#1930430 - 07/21/12 08:55 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Quote:
I wouldn't say we are there. But close??? I think we are less than a decade away. From my perspective that IS close.


Hey Steve, I heard you plan to retire in about 10 years?

Norbert grin
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#1930434 - 07/21/12 09:03 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Steve Cohen Offline
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laugh
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Since 1937.

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

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#1930616 - 07/22/12 10:37 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Jeff Clef]
Dara Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1028
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
Dara, I'm surprised at you. You usually represent your point of view intelligently, and I've found your posts enjoyable and spirited. But this is not an example of your best.


Hello Jeff, just catching up with your comment here. Thanks for expressing your viewpoint.
I'm not always at my best ; )
It's not easy to get a 'read' on many of the different people and personalities that post here. I freely admit that my contributions here aren't always in the most positive light. From my experience on writing on PW (the only forum I've engaged in) it sometimes brings out the worst in me.
I do have somewhat of an issue with China. After a lengthy search I purchased a piano manufactured there, which is a very fine instrument and which I'm also very grateful for.
China to me is somewhat of an abstraction, since I haven't been there. It's easy to imagine that this massive country is populated with a very caring culture. In this day and age it would be wonderful to see/hear/experience more individuals and cultures going beyond the grips of suppression, diminishment, control that I gather from my gleanings.
I couldn't care less about anyones agenda and ego.
We all have this one life to make something, interact, observe and share.

No intended slight towards Kurtmen.

Ultimately, the world of pianos is as insignificant and interesting as most anything else.
I'm very grateful to live in a place in this world (and also recognize it within myself) of freedom of intent, expression, and actuality.
And encourage it.

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#1930666 - 07/22/12 12:13 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: master88er]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5188
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: master88er
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

My point was that at present no Chinese makers are building pianos that have the equivalent goals(building the best piano possible) as the Shigeru or Yamaha CF or S series. At present, they are building inexpensive pianos not even designed to compete with the Tier 1 and Tier 2 pianos the way those Kawai and Yamaha models do.

Actually, that is not true. This article was published in the Sacramento main newspaper last week : KAYSERBURG

Clearly, Pearl River has exactly that in mind and having put these pianos side by side to some of the most revered and prestigious pianos on the planet, I dare say that (IMHO) they are well on their way.

You do understand that this piece was written by the good folks at Pearl River...?

ddf
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#1930773 - 07/22/12 03:40 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Dara:

Nice post - balsam for the soul!

Only an artist from Salt Spring Island could write such insightful, self-depreciating comments. Make sure you'll be on the market when over, glad to get some of your pictures!

Norbert thumb
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#1930823 - 07/22/12 05:10 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Del]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 317
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Del - I thought the same thing myself when I read that article. It's that kind of thinly-disguised puff piece ad which passes for journalism these days. But, it probably does speak to future intentions of Pearl River. Most people remember when the Hyundai Excel came out and it was widely criticized as an automotive piece of junk. Now, their top models compete to a pretty high degree with Lexus. Time does change a lot of things! Who knows? ...twenty years from now, your grandkids could be reading Harry Potter Chang and the Half-Priced Chinese Steinway.


Edited by Emissary52 (07/22/12 06:59 PM)
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#1930839 - 07/22/12 05:54 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
K-52SM Offline
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Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 38
Would it be possible for piano manufacturing to competively return to America with investment in new manufacturing technology? Has any serious thought been given to how this might be done? The old names might be gone but could we see new ideas in product development, new excitement, new brand names our own desire to own inovative affordable high quality state of the art American built pianos?

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#1930842 - 07/22/12 06:00 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Norbert]
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 423
Originally Posted By: Norbert


- How can there be more to food than its taste, freshness including perhaps the way of being cooked?


- Does one rate restaurant food how "famous" the cook is or how long the restaurant has been around or is expected to be in business? Norbert smile


i) Oh là là Norbert! Those comments were almost direct blows to my sensitive taste-buds.... wink
I can only wonder if you have spent much time in the gastronomic corners of France? Any gourmet - worthy of that title - will advise that before one even gets into savouring the taste, freshness or the way a dish is cooked, there are two additional essential rituals. The appreciation of the initial aroma, followed by how pleasing the dish is to the eye, which necessitates slowly turning the platter.
(Truly, the very first time I set eyes on a new Fazioli, I had to walk around it twice to savour it's splendor before sitting down on the bench to 'taste').
Conversely I bet many folks purchased a Lindner piano thinking it looked pretty good, only to find later that it caused chronic indigestion and heartburn!
Being located in a wonderful corner of SW France, I like to think I know and fully appreciate good food. Believe me, many times I have fallen in love with a dish before ever having tasted it.


ii) Oh yes, very much so in France (with the exception of "expected to be in business" I would think).
I believe that the name of famous chefs here and their restaurants certainly play a part on how a certain 'colour' guide book extolls the virtues of the food - not always justified imho. Not unlike some piano reviews in fact.
"Bon appetit!"
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#1930844 - 07/22/12 06:00 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: K-52SM]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3524
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: K-52SM
Would it be possible for piano manufacturing to competively return to America with investment in new manufacturing technology?


I don't think it's the technology that causes the discrepancy - it's more the cost of labour and cost of production in different countries. More a political thing.

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#1930848 - 07/22/12 06:08 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Would it be possible for piano manufacturing to competively return to America with investment in new manufacturing technology? Has any serious thought been given to how this might be done? The old names might be gone but could we see new ideas in product development, new excitement, new brand names our own desire to own inovative affordable high quality state of the art American built pianos?


This is the only question that is of any meaning, at least to me. I have always thought exact same and the talk about "Chinese" or for that matter "Japanese" pianos should be seen 'relatively' within the same discussion.

This is especially true considering there are some U.S. makers left today that should have been much more supported, such as C.W or smaller operators like Dell Fandrich.

So, ladies and gentlemen: why is this not happening in your/our own country? If I was American, I certainly would look at this very seriously But so went the affairs of the world and the wise guys starting the whole global economy surely never anticipated [or cared..] what would eventually lie ahead.

With us consumers following eagerly being offered what at least initially looked like ever cheaper prices for consumer goods - including pianos.

Only when we really think about all of this can one understand why the question to which extent others out there like the Chinese are advancing at such incredible speed.

We left a huge void and it was "us" who did this.

Since we have long decided to leave major manufacturing to the Japanese, Mexicans, Chinese etc, it's no good to blame others or keep denying that things are just not happening out there.

They are and - at ferocious speed.

So how to convert all of this back to scratch one?

You tell me.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (07/22/12 07:32 PM)
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#1930859 - 07/22/12 06:25 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
The chinese do make some beautiful black lacquer decorative cabinets, with centuries old
expertise, so I expect their piano finishes to be beautiful....
now making a beautifully sounding piano is another matter entirely... smile

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#1930873 - 07/22/12 06:53 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: ando]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 317
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
ando - I think you're spot on with your comments. Take the example of Apple, for instance, with their iPads. They are built with the latest "bleeding edge" technology by Foxcomm in China. Even if that technology could be exported to the US, the labor costs could not be matched. Sad to say, but if $499 Chinese-made iPads were sold in the same store with identically-spec'd "Made in the USA" models for $1299, those American-made ones would languish on the shelves. While the piano market differs significantly from the electronics trade, many of the same economic principles apply. The median (half make more, half make less) income of the typical US family is now $49,445 as of 2010. It has probably dropped since then. So even if a very efficient American company decided to produce extremely high-quality pianos (at say half the price of a Steinway), they would have a steep market climb to establish themselves in these tough economic times. The median US family generally could not afford one, and would still be looking elsewhere for a lower-priced alternative. Just as a curiosity, I think it would be fascinating to know what the incomes are, of today's piano buyers, in relation to the amount they spend on their pianos. But I think it's safe to say that Walmart employees rarely visit Steinway Hall to purchase their pianos.

Norbert - Just this week, we learned that the average Canadian Family has a higher net worth than their US counterparts. Better man those border crossings with Machine-gun Mounties like Texas and Arizona! grin BTW, thanks for the Kayserburg PM info!


Edited by Emissary52 (07/22/12 07:04 PM)
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#1930906 - 07/22/12 08:28 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Better man those border crossings with Machine-gun Mounties like Texas and Arizona!


No, no it's your guys at the border that shine these things in our face when we Cunucks are visiting you..... cry

Even had to give up my 2 apples, lettuce and avocados [ all imported from U.S.]

P.S.the Cascades are wonderful and we much loved our little excursion. Almost ended up playing at the Winthrop Blues Festival on way home...

Norbert thumb
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#1930930 - 07/22/12 09:21 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Norbert]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 317
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Gee Norbert, That sounds so severe! Pilfering your California,Washington state or Mexican fruit & vegetable selections! Here, I thought that the male Canadian border guards and female US border guards would be dueting "Indian Love Call" over and over! Shows I never got further North than upstate NY! grin


Edited by Emissary52 (07/22/12 09:22 PM)
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#1930939 - 07/22/12 09:58 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Gee Norbert, That sounds so severe! Pilfering your California,Washington state or Mexican fruit & vegetable selections! Here, I thought that the male Canadian border guards and female US border guards would be dueting "Indian Love Call" over and over! Shows I never got further North than upstate NY!


Fully agreed, if only...

By the way, next morning, after we had consumed the wonderful California lettuce, apples and avocados we tried one more time to cross.

Tata - never forget the feeling no longer being considered an enemy of the state..

Not quite finished with our experience the day before I told the female border guard: "better find what I have hidden in the camper: welcome to keep it if you like..."

After few minutes probing she gave up knowing full well I was only teasing her. But then she wanted to know.

I showed her my toothbrush.

Offer declined.

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

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#1930984 - 07/22/12 11:51 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: K-52SM]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: K-52SM
Would it be possible for piano manufacturing to competively return to America with investment in new manufacturing technology? Has any serious thought been given to how this might be done? The old names might be gone but could we see new ideas in product development, new excitement, new brand names our own desire to own inovative affordable high quality state of the art American built pianos?



Not a chance.

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#1930986 - 07/22/12 11:54 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Furtwangler]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5188
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Furtwangler
Originally Posted By: K-52SM
Would it be possible for piano manufacturing to competitively return to America with investment in new manufacturing technology? Has any serious thought been given to how this might be done? The old names might be gone but could we see new ideas in product development, new excitement, new brand names our own desire to own innovative affordable high quality state of the art American built pianos?



Not a chance.

And why not? (Of course you have to define that "affordable" part.)

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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#1930989 - 07/23/12 12:02 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Michael Taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/11
Posts: 361
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Not in this lifetime. Unions, healthcare, corporate taxes, workers compensation laws......we will be lucky to be able to make snowmen in this country.
_________________________
Piano obsession started November 2010.
Ragtime Butcher
Kayserburg U123
http://www.youtube.com/user/michaelt3032


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#1931238 - 07/23/12 11:38 AM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Kurtmen]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7149
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen
I truly believe that Chinese piano manufacturers can build outstanding products. Why not?
Chinese piano makers have the financial resorts to bring the best designs, materials and builders.
The questions are:
Are they interested in building high-quality pianos?

Is there enough consumers’ confidence to pay the price for a high-quality piano made in China?

Is it worth for piano dealers to pay extra for a better Chinese piano?

My answer to all these questions is NO, based on the following reasons.

A) I constantly see advertising in all types of media selling Made in Japan, Made in the USA or Made in Germany or Europe. Never made in China.

B) Even those dealers who doesn't carry Kawai, Yamaha or Steinway somehow they try to advertise these three brands in their websites or promotional activities.

C) A very large number of dealers selling Chinese pianos still selling grey market Japanese pianos and rebuilt Steinways.

D) Must if not all Chinese Piano Makers CANNOT detach from making a connection of their products to Germany or Japan. This is something the Japanese companies don't do.

E) I noticed often dealers using the size of the piano as selling point instead of the quality. It is very typical for dealers to say: "You can buy this 6'1" X brand for 50% less than the equivalent piano made by Kawai or Yamaha.

F) I never see advertising of X brand proudly Made in China.

G) When buyers ask, where is this piano made? Hardly ever a dealer answers China, without previously giving a talk about the German Components or parts from Europe.

H) The Chinese population in North America is a very significant consumer for the piano industry. I hardly see Chinese people asking for pianos made in China (rare).

These are facts of the piano industry. Hard to hear for those selling Chinese brands but hard to say this is not accurate...



Kirtmen,

Although most of these are, as you say, facts of the industry, they are facts of the marketplace, not of construction methods, materials, execution, or the end result. Reputations, both good and bad, have a habit of outlasting reality. It is certainly feasible that in the never-ending search for engineered cost savings and cheap labor, ostensibly 'Japanese' pianos may slip a notch or two in the quality of their reality while the reality of some Chinese brands begins to outdistance their reputations.

I'm not implying that it has happened, but when Kawai begins to offer its European retailers a choice of K3's, one built in Indonesia and one 'built' in Japan, and offer the former at a discount to the latter as a sweetener, one begins to sense that more is in play than preserving a reputation built on national pride.

Nonetheless, I think you capture the business reality of Chinese piano manufacture and manufacture in general.

Is there enough consumers’ confidence to pay the price for a high-quality piano made in China?

Not at this time certainly. The Chinese know that it would be a tough sell both on the home market and the export market to take on the competition without a cost/value play. Reputations change slowly and incrementally. No sense in letting manufacture get too far ahead of that.

Is it worth for piano dealers to pay extra for a better Chinese piano?

Probably not. My guess is that even enthusiastic Chinese piano retailers like Nick and Norb realize that at a certain price point, the higher flooring cost combined with customer resistance to price parity for a Chinese product would make that proposition unattractive.

Personally, I don't think China is particularly concerned if its emerging middle and upper classes crave and buy luxury imports. In a socio-economic macro sense, it's far more important to keep the basic commodities of life flowing through domestic manufacturing channels than it is to discourage the purchase of luxury imports. That approach not only provides the home market with affordable products of slowly increasing quality, but creates far more jobs that the manufacture of so-called 'handmade' high ticket exclusives. China desperately needs those jobs, as the massive transition from an agrarian economy to a manufacturing one still presents a world of problems.

When you as a nation need to worry is when you can't make, sell, or buy shoes, underwear, toaster ovens, or technology that are home-grown because almost all of your former domestic manufacturers have gone into hiding in Chinese factories.

Hmmmm. That sounds vaguely familiar.


BTW, Kurtmen, not that it's any consolation, but your English is a damned sight better than my German. grin
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1931277 - 07/23/12 12:50 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: turandot]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2280
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: turandot

When you as a nation need to worry is when you can't make, sell, or buy shoes, underwear, toaster ovens, or technology that are home-grown because almost all of your former domestic manufacturers have gone into hiding in Chinese factories.


For sure.

As for quality, if foreign companies specify that their Chinese suppliers produce cheap crap, that's what the Chinese will produce. To think that's all the Chinese can do is a mistake, IMHO. As del pointed out "made in Japan" used to be a joke.
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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#1931303 - 07/23/12 01:34 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 783
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
I suppose I should add something to this thread since I was mentioned in a previous post as "enthusiastic Chinese piano retailer" shocked [Please note, I feel this strictly depends on the company producing the product and using 'China' as a broad label is not helpful]

My experience in supplying the answers below is based on the Brodmann and Hailun pianos.

Regarding some questions that were posted earlier:

1) Are they interested in building high-quality pianos?

2) Is there enough consumers’ confidence to pay the price for a high-quality piano made in China?

3) Is it worth for piano dealers to pay extra for a better Chinese piano?

My answer to all these questions is YES, based on the following reasons:

1) I recently had a meeting with Colin Taylor the co-founder and technical director of Brodmann and asked a lot of technical questions. They are very interested in building a quality product. Of course I have observed the workmanship and materials up to this point which are indicative of higher quality, but just wanted to make sure that those intentions will remain or migrate even further up the scale.

2) Yes, provided that it is shown and explained to them what they are getting. After a thorough examination, the attributes are clearly visible and these reinforce the more easily observed tone and touch which are already superior to most pianos.

3) Piano Dealers are consumers, too. The value proposition accelerates as the price rises, so I will gladly pay more for the high-end. These are the most compelling options.

I can assure you that sophisticated consumers are choosing these pianos. It is not a rare event for me to sell the larger Brodmanns, the 7' and 7'6" which I regularly stock and sell and which do require a fairly significant investment.

Many here may remember this first poster:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1840275

Who later concluded this:

Re: Recommended Dealers for following brands! [Re: GCdreamer]
Auntie
Full Member

Registered: February 07, 2012
Posts: 20
Wow!! My first post without seeking advice!! GCDreamer, I am an amateur piano player and don't think I have any bias. I have just been on the journey you are about to take [with a smaller budget], and I live in Florida. The Estonia is carried (frequently....you must call first)in a showroom in Venice and Bonita Springs...both owned by Nick Mauel...nickspianos@gmail.com. I was at the Bonita facility yesterday...I must tell you I think it would be worth a trip for you and, also, a lot of fun. Call and make an appointment. Nick is knowledgeable and plays and is a tech and loves his pianos, tunes them, moves them for you in the showroom so you can hear different sounds. He voiced and tuned one, before I arrived, to my taste...which was unheard of for me. He LISTENS to what you are looking for in a piano. But I am also writing to say that I did what the people on the forum suggested and played a lot of pianos. Yesterday I played a relatively inexpensive [relative being the key word here] Brodmann at Nick's and found the 7 footer to be exquisite. Gorgeous to look at, magnificent to play. [It is now like sugar plums dancing in my head.] And whoever said a great piano can make you think, "I didn't know I could play that well", was right on the money. I even grew with confidence in the showroom as I hit those fabulous bass notes. Anyway, I thot it would be closer to you and a great day trip and you must try the Brodmann. Auntie

(Proud new owner of a Brodmann 212, increased initial budget)

_________________________
Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
239-206-4541 direct line
www.nickspiano.com

Concert Piano Technician, Dealer, and Pianist

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#1931325 - 07/23/12 02:53 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Nick Mauel]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7149
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
I suppose I should add something to this thread since I was mentioned in a previous post as "enthusiastic Chinese piano retailer"


Not really necessary at all, particularly as a pretense for simply plugging your brands and sticking in a customer testimonial to boot. Really, have you no shame whatsoever?

All I wrote was that even for a retailer such as you who is enthusiastic about his Chinese brands, there would be a price point at which you would need to think long and hard before absorbing the flooring cost and pitching the pianos to the consumer market which expects to pay less for Chinese product.

It's a simple fact that consumers expect to pay less for pianos made in China than they do for those of equivalent size from Japan, the US, and Europe. That fact of the marketplace may of course change over time, but that is the reality of the present day.

If you want to tell me that you would be happy to stock Chinese grands with size and price equivalency to Yamaha C. Mason and Hamlin, Estonia, or Schimmel Konzert, then go ahead and do so. I like a joke as well as anyone.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1931339 - 07/23/12 03:34 PM Re: 10 year old statement about Chinese pianos [Re: Pianolance]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 783
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
Turandot,

You make too many assumptions and state these as facts, when they are not facts at all.

I stated as a simple premise that dealers are piano consumers too. I can see what I am getting for the price paid and judge accordingly, looking for the best value at each price level. And I don't have to worry about any flooring costs since I pay for everything upfront to have more room to discount.

Originally Posted By: turandot

It's a simple fact that consumers expect to pay less for pianos made in China than they do for those of equivalent size from Japan, the US, and Europe. That fact of the marketplace may of course change over time, but that is the reality of the present day.

This is your guess to the question regarding whether or not consumers would invest the same amount in a piano coming out of China. The answer is "Yes they have." Particularly in regard to the larger Brodmanns or Hailuns, customers who were going the spend "x" amount for a particular Japanese piano were able to choose a bigger and far better sounding piano for the same amount. Since the investment level was the same and sometimes more, the confidence in the product also had to be maintained.

What you perceive as a 'plug' is what is necessary to supply proof of your errant remarks or speculations. The testimonial I supplied was completely unsolicited and the customer never appeared on the Forums again to reveal what she had purchased. But it shows that someone with a significant budget would choose the type of piano that is being discussed here for same reasons that many others have as well.


Originally Posted By: turandot

If you want to tell me that you would be happy to stock Chinese grands with size and price equivalency to Yamaha C. Mason and Hamlin, Estonia, or Schimmel Konzert, then go ahead and do so. I like a joke as well as anyone.

Of course you are right about this but after we leave the price and value realm of the best pianos from China the next big step up is - Estonia! Here we have far better quality for the Japanese price point. I no longer see value in prices for Japanese pianos, and my vendors are carefully chosen.


_________________________
Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
239-206-4541 direct line
www.nickspiano.com

Concert Piano Technician, Dealer, and Pianist

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