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#1990526 - 11/24/12 11:28 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: Bob]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3498
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Bob
Now that we've all moaned about the reality.....what is the fix? Is there a fix? Should Guitar Center and Sam Ash be selling acoustic pianos? At least people come to those stores and would get exposed to acoustic pianos, if they were sold there. I haven't seen much traffic in the piano stores lately. Improved economy won't be enough. The young folks are of a digital mind. One store I visited sells 75% digital, 25% acoustic. I give it 20 years, and folks will yearn for a new acoustic piano, because all they can afford is a digital. Just as many yearn for a Steinway or other similar concert quality instrument today.

I predicted the coming digital dominance some 5 years ago in these forums. I'm sad to say my suggestions then have come true.



The digital dominance is more a product of the economic times than the quality of digital pianos. I checked out all the major players in the digital piano market recently, and while they have come a long way, they are still a LONG way off the experience of an acoustic piano. I think people still want acoustic pianos more than they want digitals - it's just that money isn't as plentiful as it used to be. I think the digital trend is not as powerful as it's suggested sometimes. ie. I don't believe it's driven by a digital mindset that goes along with smartphones, tablets etc. I believe it's driven by the lower cost in hard economic times. There is certainly a battle between digital vs acoustic for other reasons including portability and size, but I think it comes down to if and when the economy of the US and parts of Europe recover. If it takes too long, the majority of piano dealers will disappear and it will be hard to get them back given how expensive a start-up piano store is to get off the ground. Markets will be lost to digital stores and it becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy - people prefer digitals because that's all they can buy. If the economy turns around sooner, more dealers will be around and there could easily be a recovery of the piano market. Western countries have short memories, when times are good, they spend. Let's hope that's the case if the economy does bounce back. After trying out digital pianos recently, all I can say is we really need acoustic pianos to still be available!

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#1990607 - 11/25/12 07:46 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: ando]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
You know what I would love?

In the USA from movies (I have not been to the US in 20 years) in Baseball there are always batting cages, where for a couple of dollars you can have a go at 20 balls or something. Same with driving ranges, even shooting ranges shooting things you would never own like a 50 cal hand gun.

What is missing is something like a piano range. Where you can hire a piano for a couple of hours to jam.

Granted there is I suppose piano rental (not the buying kind) but even in 'pool a big city I can't find one, all of them demand I BUY the piano if I take up a rental.

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#1990629 - 11/25/12 09:03 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Most specialist piano stores in UK have teaching/ practice studios for rent by the hour.

Rental agreements generally provide for a percentage of rental to be applied to possible purchase. Taking up this offer is entirely optional.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#1990644 - 11/25/12 10:17 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1092
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: justpin


What is missing is something like a piano range. Where you can hire a piano for a couple of hours to jam.
Granted there is I suppose piano rental (not the buying kind) but even in 'pool a big city I can't find one, all of them demand I BUY the piano if I take up a rental.


Greetings,
If you were in my neck of the woods, there is always a new action somewhere nearby in a recent piano that I would love to have someone play on. I don't have a settling-in machine like the factories, so it would be great to have someone that wanted to really lay into it when it was new. Rachmaninoff or rock and roll, it wouldn't matter.
So, maybe if you look around at the local rebuilders, you may find that they would would welcome a player and would like to put a freshly built action under your hands for a while before the final regulation and voicing. I would. It can't hurt to call some up and offer your services as an action stabilizer in return for a place to play.
Regards,

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#1990648 - 11/25/12 10:22 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I'm setting here thinking... That's a first huh???? ME thinking??? smile It almost seems to me that piano manufacturer's, Kawai and Yamaha come to mind first, are shooting themselves in the foot. That is, they used to make acoustic pianos only, sold TONS of them, Yamaha still does by comparison to say, Steinway just as an example but with the both of them also making digitals and acoustic pianos, perhaps to survive, one line has to give in many aspects that being quality to some degree, to get them out the door and still make a profit.

They seem to be focusing more on digitals and making them better rather than accoustics making them better quality.... I know, it helps them to survive either way... I do know that the profit margin seems to be (or so I was told by one of our local dealers) much greater on digitals than on acoustic pianos.

Just 1.2 more cents worth...... smile
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1990657 - 11/25/12 11:00 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3498
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I'm setting here thinking... That's a first huh???? ME thinking??? smile It almost seems to me that piano manufacturer's, Kawai and Yamaha come to mind first, are shooting themselves in the foot. That is, they used to make acoustic pianos only, sold TONS of them, Yamaha still does by comparison to say, Steinway just as an example but with the both of them also making digitals and acoustic pianos, perhaps to survive, one line has to give in many aspects that being quality to some degree, to get them out the door and still make a profit.

They seem to be focusing more on digitals and making them better rather than accoustics making them better quality.... I know, it helps them to survive either way... I do know that the profit margin seems to be (or so I was told by one of our local dealers) much greater on digitals than on acoustic pianos.

Just 1.2 more cents worth...... smile


Don't you think Yamaha has demonstrated a commitment to their C series though, Jerry? People have been heaping plenty of praise on the new CX series. And Yamaha has been copping plenty of flak for their relatively poor innovation in digital pianos lately, compared to Roland and Kawai. Kawai has also had a number of complaints about quality control in their digital lines, but I haven't heard the same complaints about the Kawai acoustics - although I wasn't super impressed last time I played the RX pianos, I have to say.

I think these two companies are fully committed to their acoustic future, but also see it as imperative to complete the full lineup of pianos right through the digital sector. Does make sense.

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#1990725 - 11/25/12 02:28 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
gsmonks Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/10
Posts: 593
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
These things go in cycles. I have an old Armand (a Heinzman stencil) that was built around 1900 in a time when they couldn't make pianos fast enough.

You have to remember that the upright piano was a Victorian phenomenon. It was built to go through doorways and snug up against the walls of Victorian parlours. It beat out other detritus such as square pianos and other forms that are now rare, and was paralleled by the now-defunct parlour pump organ.

The upright once again became the weapon of choice because of the direction of popular music, before, during and after the First World War, then found new life again in the Jazz Age.

It must be said that there was always a glut of pianos out there, because most were bought for people who didn't play them- especially kids. I don't know what the exact stats are, but a good number of concert grand pianos were bought to decorate living-rooms, and in the hope that children would take up the craft. As of this moment, there are two grands in the paper, free to the first person who comes and gets them. And there are pages of free pianos in the ads section of the paper. Check Kijiji, for one example.

There are several reasons why people prefer electronic pianos: portability, cost, apartment living which necessitates headphones, and the fact that people no longer live in the same house for generations. Moving a piano is a major pain in the arse. The piano I have now was given to me, and it took six of us to move the damned thing because of all the stairs and twists and turns.

But as I say, these things go in cycles. Upright bass sales were 'way down too, but sales are hot one again, partly because of Bluegrass, which has made that particular style of bass a hot item. The top makers of Bluegrass basses can barely keep up with demand right now.

In the piano world, the dedicated players of real pianos are and always have been in the minority. What the numbers reflect is popularity, such as you find when a particular breed of dog becomes very popular because of a movie. This leads to SPCA's being flooded with unwanted pets, and the same is true of unwanted pianos right now.

What we have right now is a buyer's market. If I had the space, I'd rent a 5-ton truck and load it up with unwanted pianos. All it would take to unload 'em all at a good price is for someone to make a movie about Jerry Lee Lewis.


Edited by gsmonks (11/25/12 02:29 PM)

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#1990813 - 11/25/12 08:28 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Oh sure, I do think that Yamaha is trying hard on both ends of the spectrum. Digitals and acoustics. I think when one attempts all aspects of the field, they can over extend their abilities too. At least, that's my take on it. smile Like myself for example. If I tried selling, rebuilding, reconditioning, refinishing, replacing pin blocks and on and on, I couldn't do it all well so I specialize in what I do best.

I realize of course, that Yamaha and Kawai are quite large and can diversify to some extent and probably should. I'm just thinking out loud basically looking at it from another angle is all.

I'm wondering if they both focused stronger on quality in all aspects of the piano sizes, more would sell and we'd all have less complaints too.

There are certain models of many piano companies that I truly dislike tuning due to the apparent lack of concern for quality in those particular models. Fixing that would certainly help them to sell more of them because more of us would recommend them.

Some of the distaste is preference for the feel of the piano and/or sound from pianists. Mine is more of a dislike of how they tune or stay in tune for one.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1990900 - 11/26/12 01:53 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14116
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
What we have right now is a buyer's market. If I had the space, I'd rent a 5-ton truck and load it up with unwanted pianos.


While this is true for a great many pianos out there, at same time there's others actually hard to get.

The irony of the times we're living in...

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (11/26/12 01:55 AM)
_________________________
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#1990924 - 11/26/12 03:38 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
sleepingdog Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/11
Posts: 5
Luckily for me, here in Vienna there are still a good couple of shops alive. But as someone has already mentioned, many shops need to offer "something different" in order to make money.

An approach that seems to work is what the "klaviergalerie" is doing. They offer very cheap practice rooms (around 4 € / hour) which is perfect for those of us who can't have a grand piano in their tiny flats. You book online, go there and just play for 1-2 hours. On the one hand they make good money with it, since these rooms hardly need any maintenance, on the other hand you have to cross their showroom in order to get there - which means that those who are "generally" interested in buying a piano will stop and test them.

Originally Posted By: ando
I think people still want acoustic pianos more than they want digitals - it's just that money isn't as plentiful as it used to be. I think the digital trend is not as powerful as it's suggested sometimes. ie. I don't believe it's driven by a digital mindset that goes along with smartphones, tablets etc. I believe it's driven by the lower cost in hard economic times.


I doubt that money is "that" big of an issue - for me it was definitely the space/noise-issue. I could easily afford a real acoustic piano, but it's just impossible if you live in an apartment-building with thin walls. I mean, there is the law that "allows" you to practice 1-2 hours a day, but then each and everybody in the building will hate you. Not worth it.


Edited by sleepingdog (11/26/12 03:42 AM)

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#1990932 - 11/26/12 04:40 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: sleepingdog]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3498
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: sleepingdog


I doubt that money is "that" big of an issue - for me it was definitely the space/noise-issue. I could easily afford a real acoustic piano, but it's just impossible if you live in an apartment-building with thin walls. I mean, there is the law that "allows" you to practice 1-2 hours a day, but then each and everybody in the building will hate you. Not worth it.


There are parts of the world where discretionary spending has slowed to a crawl. Even people who have the money are not spending it as freely because they are feeling insecure about what lies ahead. I think it's a bigger factor than you realise - including in the US. We are lucky that Australia and Austria are doing relatively well.

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#1990991 - 11/26/12 09:35 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10446
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I'm setting here thinking... That's a first huh???? ME thinking??? smile It almost seems to me that piano manufacturer's, Kawai and Yamaha come to mind first, are shooting themselves in the foot. That is, they used to make acoustic pianos only, sold TONS of them, Yamaha still does by comparison to say, Steinway just as an example but with the both of them also making digitals and acoustic pianos, perhaps to survive, one line has to give in many aspects that being quality to some degree, to get them out the door and still make a profit.

They seem to be focusing more on digitals and making them better rather than accoustics making them better quality.... I know, it helps them to survive either way... I do know that the profit margin seems to be (or so I was told by one of our local dealers) much greater on digitals than on acoustic pianos.

Just 1.2 more cents worth...... smile


Jerry,

You and I very rarely disagree, but I have to disagree on this one.

There has been and continues to be a great deal of improvement in acoustic pianos. Kawai has made strides with the Millennium actions, Yamaha with the "C" Series in the 80s and the current "X" series; Young Chang with Del's designs, and to a lesser degree the Pramberger designs, now incorporated in some Samick lines.

We are seeing other experimenting with carbon-fiber soundboards and bridges with no downbearing. Self-tuning acoustic are only a few steps away. Stanwood, Touch-Weight, PianoDisc, and other after market innovations are significant.

The use of CNC machines have improved the tolerances of manufacturing and entry-level pianos are less expensive and of better quality that they were in the past.

Improvements in acoustic pianos are limited by the "traditional" aspects of piano ownership. Most musical instrument players want an instrument that is the same as they were trained on. Designs of stringed (and other) instruments have changed very little since their invention.

Acoustic pianos are "classic' instruments, bur within that stricture, I see a good deal of evolution.
_________________________
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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#1991046 - 11/26/12 11:41 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5281
Loc: Philadelphia
Wish I would have jumped into this thread earlier in its evolution. Lots of good points, including beethoven986's 7-point post on what is my page 4. And Steve is dead-on concerning acoustic improvements.. I'm not an industry expert, but I can still see it happening. Where I'd like to jump in is this:

Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: sleepingdog


I doubt that money is "that" big of an issue - for me it was definitely the space/noise-issue. I could easily afford a real acoustic piano, but it's just impossible if you live in an apartment-building with thin walls. I mean, there is the law that "allows" you to practice 1-2 hours a day, but then each and everybody in the building will hate you. Not worth it.


There are parts of the world where discretionary spending has slowed to a crawl. Even people who have the money are not spending it as freely because they are feeling insecure about what lies ahead. I think it's a bigger factor than you realise - including in the US. We are lucky that Australia and Austria are doing relatively well.

Money is absolutely one of two major issues (the other being the gradual culture shift away from forms of entertainment that would require a piano). Any time there is a recession/depression, money is tight. People begin to budget, sometimes for the first time in their life. The first thing they cut out are "luxury" goods. Here, you have to be careful-- true luxury goods (the stuff only the super-wealthy can buy) will continue to sell. But moderate luxury goods (the stuff the upper-middle, and sometimes middle-middle, can afford), practically disappear.

Unlike some other, more positive posts about the state of the piano industry, I am not sure that a true "recovery" is coming. We're still headed for a fiscal cliff. So long as the population is aging, wages are stagnated, jobs are scarce, and housing is in the toilet, I don't see how the general economy is expected to recover, let alone the piano market. If people don't have discretionary funds to spend, this type of market will never recover. It may change to adapt to the market, but I don't consider change to be a "recovery" of the old market. I consider it an adaptation/evolution in order to survive in the new market.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1991052 - 11/26/12 11:53 AM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: Steve Cohen]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I'm setting here thinking... That's a first huh???? ME thinking??? smile It almost seems to me that piano manufacturer's, Kawai and Yamaha come to mind first, are shooting themselves in the foot. That is, they used to make acoustic pianos only, sold TONS of them, Yamaha still does by comparison to say, Steinway just as an example but with the both of them also making digitals and acoustic pianos, perhaps to survive, one line has to give in many aspects that being quality to some degree, to get them out the door and still make a profit.

They seem to be focusing more on digitals and making them better rather than accoustics making them better quality.... I know, it helps them to survive either way... I do know that the profit margin seems to be (or so I was told by one of our local dealers) much greater on digitals than on acoustic pianos.

Just 1.2 more cents worth...... smile


Jerry,

You and I very rarely disagree, but I have to disagree on this one.

There has been and continues to be a great deal of improvement in acoustic pianos. Kawai has made strides with the Millennium actions, Yamaha with the "C" Series in the 80s and the current "X" series; Young Chang with Del's designs, and to a lesser degree the Pramberger designs, now incorporated in some Samick lines.

We are seeing other experimenting with carbon-fiber soundboards and bridges with no downbearing. Self-tuning acoustic are only a few steps away. Stanwood, Touch-Weight, PianoDisc, and other after market innovations are significant.

The use of CNC machines have improved the tolerances of manufacturing and entry-level pianos are less expensive and of better quality that they were in the past.

Improvements in acoustic pianos are limited by the "traditional" aspects of piano ownership. Most musical instrument players want an instrument that is the same as they were trained on. Designs of stringed (and other) instruments have changed very little since their invention.

Acoustic pianos are "classic' instruments, bur within that stricture, I see a good deal of evolution.


Hi Steve,

Thanks for your comments! smile

I know they are making improvements. wink Didn't mean it that way. Meant they are (maybe) shooting themselves by trying to sell both products and that greater improvements might be made if they focused more on one or the other. But, I could be all wet too in my way of thinking about it.. I'm open minded about it..
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1991064 - 11/26/12 12:22 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 334
Loc: San Diego, CA
I know that we often bemoan the fact that digital pianos are replacing acoustics pianos and pushing them and stores that sell them to obsolescence. But consider that just the opposite might be happening. Could it be that the introduction of digital pianos and low cost electric keyboards have pulled in new players who otherwise would have taken up guitar or no instrument at all? Then some fraction of those new players get hooked and eventually move up to an acoustic instrument? I think that it is quite possible that without the advent of DPs, the market for acoustics would currently be even smaller.

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#1991205 - 11/26/12 06:27 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: SoundThumb]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 802
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: SoundThumb
I know that we often bemoan the fact that digital pianos are replacing acoustics pianos and pushing them and stores that sell them to obsolescence. But consider that just the opposite might be happening. Could it be that the introduction of digital pianos and low cost electric keyboards have pulled in new players who otherwise would have taken up guitar or no instrument at all? Then some fraction of those new players get hooked and eventually move up to an acoustic instrument? I think that it is quite possible that without the advent of DPs, the market for acoustics would currently be even smaller.

+1
_________________________
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#1991208 - 11/26/12 06:32 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: tonedefreegan]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1713
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: tonedefreegan
Originally Posted By: justpin
Its to do with tiger parents


Interesting. And funny! Especially the bit about guitarists disguising themselves on youtube. We are talking about adult guitarists, I assume. Which just makes it that much funnier - grown humans going to that much trouble for such a silly reason. What, I wonder, do they think their parents will do? fall down dead from the shame of having a guitarist in the family?



I used to tell my parents that I played piano in a house of ill repute. It was easier than telling them that I worked on LaSalle Street.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

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#1991219 - 11/26/12 06:58 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
Dave B Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1891
Loc: Philadelphia area
SoundThumb, I was going to make the same point. Most of the pianos I service are flanked by Keyboards. Just about every pianist, amateur and professional, have both acoustic and digital. With, of course, a spattering of synthesizers. The "mini moog" seems to be very popular item these days.

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#1991220 - 11/26/12 07:12 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: sleepingdog]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19223
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: sleepingdog
I doubt that money is "that" big of an issue - for me it was definitely the space/noise-issue. I could easily afford a real acoustic piano, but it's just impossible if you live in an apartment-building with thin walls. I mean, there is the law that "allows" you to practice 1-2 hours a day, but then each and everybody in the building will hate you. Not worth it.
I don't think this is a critical issue for the population in general, because it wouldn't explain the recent decrease in sales unless you think people have started living in apartments more frequently than before.

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#1991224 - 11/26/12 07:26 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
jrcallan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 361
Loc: Pennsylvania
Aside from issues of the recession and discretionary income, I bought a Casio digital piano at Costco on a lark a few years ago. Now I have a used Kawai studio upright, am taking lessons and have become knowledgeable about baby grands since I plan to acquire one within the next few years.

So, to SoundThumb's point, if it weren't for a cheap digital, I wouldn't be in the market for an acoustic at all.

BTW, I still make much use of the Casio AP-45 which has held up very well indeed.

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#1991233 - 11/26/12 07:56 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: justpin]
dsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
I think all of those reasons are valid but first and foremost is reduced (or zero) discretionary income.

My economic reality today is very different comapred to when I was young.

Not too long ago, the difference between a tuning from an RPTG tech and a non-RPTG tech was the difference between eating for a week and not eating. I am sure my RPTG tech did not understand this at the time but his cost for less than one hour of labor was literally a week of take-home pay for me.

I'm doing better now and thinking about upgrading. I have the cash. But it would mean giving up two years of living expenses at a time when the CNN calculator says I need $750K in today's dollars to retire at 65 (not really all that far away).

So dealers, please keep these facts in mind. It is not that we don't want to support you. We do! But we don't want to commit economic suicide in doing so.

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#1991235 - 11/26/12 08:00 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: dsch]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19223
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: dsch
I am sure my RPTG tech did not understand this at the time but his cost for less than one hour of labor was literally a week of take-home pay for me.
Even at the minimum wage, it seems like 40 hours of work would pay far more than an hour of a tech's time?

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#1991238 - 11/26/12 08:03 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: pianoloverus]
dsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: dsch
I am sure my RPTG tech did not understand this at the time but his cost for less than one hour of labor was literally a week of take-home pay for me.
Even at the minimum wage, it seems like 40 hours of work would pay far more than an hour of a tech's time?


Not in my county's school board. It was literally poverty level. They cut weekly hours to 35 and pay was only for 9 months with summers off. It was the best I could do at the time.

Some college adjunct positions are similarly low. It beat the heck out of unemployment, though!

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#1992169 - 11/28/12 09:47 PM Re: Piano shops aren't surviving [Re: Dave B]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3833
Originally Posted By: Dave B
SoundThumb, I was going to make the same point. Most of the pianos I service are flanked by Keyboards. Just about every pianist, amateur and professional, have both acoustic and digital. With, of course, a spattering of synthesizers. The "mini moog" seems to be very popular item these days.


I find digital pianos with acoustic as well, however, teachers report that 50% of their students only have a digital piano, or worse, a small keyboard. A piano store reported selling 75% digital, 25% acoustic. Digital are the Spinets of yesteryear. The "starter" pianos.

Yes, acoustic piano sales will climb as the economy improves, but acoustic pianos are still on a long term, decades long, downward slope. 200,000 per year in the 1970's to 35,000 per year today is a downward slope in acoustic pianos - especially when you consider population increase since the 1970's. In contrast, digital piano numbers climb higher each year.

I would have to see a lot more than 35,000 acoustic sold in a year to call it a growth market.
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