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#2027495 - 02/05/13 02:30 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1725
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Aaron, I'm really sorry to hear you having to go through all this mess. That doesn't sound right with a higher end piano like that. Man all we want to do is practice and play. Stuff like this can take over your life... frown

I hope you get it sorted out one way or the other. Keep us posted and best with it.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP5, CP4, Nord Piano 2

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#2027501 - 02/05/13 02:40 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14098
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
...and for those piano players who have lynx's ears: if you want a piano virtually free of falseness, save your nickels and buy a Fazioli or a Steingraeber. In my estimation, that is about as pure a tone as is available out there. Everything else...., well,... beats. (YMMV)


True, but not having false beats doesn't mean you like piano.
Overall sound and identity is still an entity by itself.

Again, a top tech with experience in this matter is IMHO the answer.

Checking on German websites and talking to some techs over there, false beats, i.e. "unreine Seiten" are neither uncommon nor unmanagable.

http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=...html&prev=/

http://www.pia-nola.de/klavier-und-fluegel-beratung1.php

Of course they couldn't have been talking about German pianos...

Norbert wink


Edited by Norbert (02/05/13 02:47 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2044210 - 03/06/13 10:53 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Aaron Garner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento, Ca
Thanks to all your suggestions. Quite a bit of work has been done on the piano, but no improvement. The tech replaced some strings, checked the capo, replaced some bridge pins and drilled holes in the bridge to add lead (mass). He's run out of ideas. I think he might try adding more mass to the bridge in the upper register, but he doesn't hold much hope for any improvement. At this point, I'm not willing to let my piano be used as an experiment. In the meantime, I've emailed and called Mason and Hamlin at least 2 dozen times and I've never had one person call me back. Even the dealer in Oakland wouldn't respond. I'm not impressed with with their customer service and so much for having a 5 year warranty. I'm sad to say that I need to solve the problem through the legal system which is not the best way to go in my opinion. Thanks again for all the input, it was very helpful.
_________________________
2013 Mason and Hamlin BB
Full-time music professor (theory) and jazz pianist

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#2044238 - 03/06/13 11:23 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
I am sorry to hear about the issues with the M & H...the advice in these pages is spot on...i worry a little about the modifications that technicians have done in trying to solve the false beats...you may have invalidated any warranty..worth checking...
Have done a lot of work prepping grand pianos over the years and solving some issues that have eluded others and there needs to be a forensic approach...right now it will be hard to see what is original on the instrument...making it more complicated.
There are a number of things that can be tried...each in isolation...one string at a time with careful monitoring of any changes either good or bad...

Most of the guys in Sac know me...techs and at Piano Disc management...
Happy to discuss this off line if you are interested...
good luck

Peter Sumner
Curator of Pianos and Principle Concert Piano Technician
Stanford University
California
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#2044245 - 03/06/13 11:31 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Aaron Garner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento, Ca
Peter,

You have made a good point, but the tech was sent out from M and H. He does all of their warranty work. He's very good and I'm sure you know him and his partner. I've also had another very well-known tech evaluate the piano and he came to the same conclusion about the tuning issue. He did not do any work on it for the reasons you mentioned, he only tuned it. The only work done on the piano was paid for and authorized by M and H. I get the feeling M and H thinks I'll just drop the issue and go away which isn't going to happen.

Thanks for the response.
_________________________
2013 Mason and Hamlin BB
Full-time music professor (theory) and jazz pianist

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#2044254 - 03/06/13 11:43 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
Hey Aaron...
Thanks for the clarification...guess I didn't pick that up from the thread...
Have one suggestion...get that pitch cranked up...maybe to A443...nothing will break....if it is done carefully..
That will change a whole bunch of stuff and at that point get the strings LIGHTLY pushed or tapped down on the bridge...this is prep 101...then tune again to A443 and listen...the treble strings can then be pushed up just forward of the V bar...tune again...listen...
This isn't easy stuff...especially in a instrument built to a high standard...
There may be an inherent issue in this instrument and treble beats suck big time...just hang in there
P
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#2044263 - 03/07/13 12:02 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Aaron Garner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento, Ca
Peter,

Thanks for the tip. I think your last statement is probably the sad truth. I was talking to one rebuilder and he said he's rebuilt dozens of pianos that turned out great, but every now and then one will have a tuning problem and he said he never knows why because he doesn't do anything different. M and H are great pianos, but maybe mine is just a lemon for some reason.

By the way, have you ever heard of drilling holes in the bridge and putting lead in them?

Thanks again.
_________________________
2013 Mason and Hamlin BB
Full-time music professor (theory) and jazz pianist

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#2044271 - 03/07/13 12:10 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
What is a false beat?
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


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#2044284 - 03/07/13 12:29 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
Drilling holes in a bridge is a new one on me...filling with lead is a new one on me...
To answer the last question posted...
A false beat is one that is heard in a single wire as opposed to a beat that is heard when two wires are an interval apart and the beat rate assists in tuning....a false beats is a pain and just gets in the way..
It is really supposed to be a physical impossibility...a single wire beating...but it results from issues at the string/wire termination points at the bridge and/or the V bar...or a kink in the wire...and, and, and.....
Eliminating false beats is possible in many cases, but it must be noted that in some cases it results in the vitality of the sound being 'dumbed down' compared to the surrounding strings...
The beats are usually noticed during long sustained sounds but are rarely noticed in quick passages...

hope that helps..
P
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#2044288 - 03/07/13 12:36 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Aaron Garner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento, Ca
I should probably let a piano technician reply to this, but a false beat is when an individual string has sort of a beating sound. To me it sounds like two strings not in tune. Pretty much all of my upper two octaves has this sound and therefore does not sound like it has clean unisons. You can actually see it on a tuning machine when trying to tune one string. I'm sure others can offer a better explanation. All I know is that tuners can't get clean sounding unisons on my M and H BB.
_________________________
2013 Mason and Hamlin BB
Full-time music professor (theory) and jazz pianist

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#2044297 - 03/07/13 01:26 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14098
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
The above is a good example how technical jargon or postering of sorts - instead of simply getting results - can confuscate an issue.

Even more treadful is the fact that a company does not seem to respond to a customer's query, something the maker here would perhaps reconsider if they'd know "who" is actually being involved....

[Kudos and respects to Aaron not having played this card wow]

The situation shows just once again that when discussing "pianos" a lot more is involved than generally meets the eye.

For us it always has been part of our own decision "who" to represent - and perhaps who "not"

We once had an action geometry problem with a Sauter 7' grand piano we couldn't solve. [or at that time didn't know "how"..]

Sauter company immediately sent us their top technician all the way from Germany to rectify the situation.

No questions asked....

Understanding that Sacramento is less of a distance here?

Norbert wink


Edited by Norbert (03/07/13 01:36 AM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2044602 - 03/07/13 04:10 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1907
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Aaron Garner
I'm sad to say that I need to solve the problem through the legal system which is not the best way to go in my opinion.

Aaron, in case you haven't seen my PM, I'd suggest you post recordings of some offending notes at pp to ff on the tech forum, together with some close up shots of the strings at the capo bar and the bridge. It might just help to pinpoint the problem and lead to a solution.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2044615 - 03/07/13 04:17 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
What's up with M&H? You guys have got me worried. There has been no update on their website since August(or February, I never can tell with USA dates)2012. Is anybody home there? I had my new (dormant 2009 wood action) M&H delivered last summer. It had a broken A0 shank. Not fixed yet. According to my dealer, the part is still on order.

As an aside, I seem to have only one note (A#5) that has false beats (on all the strings of the triad). Can't get it to settle down. All other notes on piano have no issues.

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#2044679 - 03/07/13 06:12 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Withindale]
Aaron Garner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento, Ca
Ian,

How would I get a shot of the capo? I'm pretty sure I remember where it is. Would I take the action out and stick a camera under the strings? I can Google capo. By the way, pretty much all of the notes in the upper two octaves have false beating. I'll see if I can take some pictures this weekend. Their tech did check the capo and said it was fine.

Mwm, sorry you are having some issues as well. I've yet to have anyone answer an email or phone call. I know the Burgett brothers from years ago and they are really nice people so I'm surprised at how they do business. Perhaps they don't get involved until something escalates. I should reiterate that they have sent their tech guy out a number of times, but nothing has been fixed. If this were a car, I'm quite certain that most dealers would replace it if they couldn't fix it.

The dealer did call me back (amazing) and said M and H was working on it.
_________________________
2013 Mason and Hamlin BB
Full-time music professor (theory) and jazz pianist

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#2044695 - 03/07/13 06:43 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
My issues are minor relative to yours. During the period that I was in the process of choosing/aquiring my piano, I communincated with Cesar R. at M&h many times. He was most helpful and instructive. I would think a replacement is in order. You would most defintely need to choose one from the floor. There appears to be a significant variability in the sound at the moment. Good luck. Keep us posted.

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#2044701 - 03/07/13 06:47 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7085
Loc: Rochester MN
What PW needs is a Mason Mike - Sorta like Kawai Don, only different.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2044707 - 03/07/13 06:54 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1907
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Aaron Garner
How would I get a shot of the capo? I'm pretty sure I remember where it is.

I meant from above from the tuning pins to the capo and a bit beyond. Ed McMorrow wrote about string spacing earlier on. Better news from the dealer.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2044808 - 03/07/13 09:58 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: Aaron Garner
If this were a car, I'm quite certain that most dealers would replace it if they couldn't fix it.

The dealer did call me back (amazing) and said M and H was working on it.


Hi Aaron,

I'm sure you're upset about your piano, but I'd like to point out that a piano shouldn't be compared to a car. If you wanted to go that route--well, you bought a 2007 model in 2012, and you did 'drive it' off the lot after you'd inspected it. What would they replace it with? Another 2007? I'd think the better route for them would be to either give you a refund (probably not likely), or give you credit towards a new model with the WNG action.

Also, I'm curious: The problem with the upper two octaves only appeared to you when a tuner came and said he couldn't tune it properly, or did you notice that there was something wrong before that point? Are they really unplayable notes? Or just not as nice as the rest of the keyboard?

I too bought a MH BB last year, but it was used, and the dealer refused to give me a warranty because I'm finicky. That, and he lowered the price further than he appeared to want to. Go figure. In any case, I'm just telling you this because now that I've had my piano for 5 months of course I've found lots of little things that could bug me, BUT, without having a warranty, I find they don't really bother me as much as they could.
My last piano was as close to perfect as I could find (a Shigeru SK2), but chose character, with flaws, over it. I still question my wisdom in all this, but in the meantime I grow to appreciate the MH more everyday, warts and all.

I hope you get your issue resolved one way or another. Its not a nice feeling thinking you're in a situation you can't change.
_________________________
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#2044879 - 03/08/13 03:26 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Aaron Garner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento, Ca
Scepticalforumguy,

Your point is well taken and I agree.

Like a lot of pianos in stores, the BB needed to be tuned. It wasn't horrible, but still out. Yes, I did notice it before the tuner came, but I assumed that after it settled into my house after a few tunings it would be fine. The upper two octaves just cannot be tuned so that the unisons sound clean.

I'm not sure how to answer the question about the notes being unplayable. Sure I can play the upper two octaves, but they don't sound in tune. There are actually more notes in other parts of the piano that have problems. I think it's a defective piano and two other very respected techs have agreed.

I'm going to give them a few more days before I find another way to solve the problem. The last thing I want is a lawsuit, but if that's what it takes I'll go that route. I just hate the idea of not being able get the issue resolved between me and M and H.

I'll keep you posted. Perhaps M and H will make this right, but I have my doubts.
_________________________
2013 Mason and Hamlin BB
Full-time music professor (theory) and jazz pianist

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#2044918 - 03/08/13 06:06 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: scepticalforumguy]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19195
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: scepticalforumguy
Originally Posted By: Aaron Garner
If this were a car, I'm quite certain that most dealers would replace it if they couldn't fix it.


Hi Aaron,

I'm sure you're upset about your piano, but I'd like to point out that a piano shouldn't be compared to a car. If you wanted to go that route--well, you bought a 2007 model in 2012, and you did 'drive it' off the lot after you'd inspected it. What would they replace it with? Another 2007? I'd think the better route for them would be to either give you a refund (probably not likely), or give you credit towards a new model with the WNG action.
The point of the car analogy was simply to say the piano should be replaced if it cannot be fixed. It certainly doesn't have to be replaced with a 2007 model, but I think the OP should have a choice of wood or WNG actions and, most importantly, a particular BB that he likes. If the piano has to be replaced it certainly shouldn't cost the OP any more money no matter what the price of a new BB is.

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#2044944 - 03/08/13 08:37 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Numerian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1075
It seems to me if the M&H technician sent out to fix the problem tells the customer the false beats in the upper two octaves are irreperable, and that the piano has a basic flaw, the manufacturer needs to replace the instrument per the terms of the warranty. This is what other manufacturers do. Why is this so complicated for M&H?

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#2045007 - 03/08/13 10:59 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Aaron Garner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento, Ca
Pianomarevelous and Numerian,

I completely agree with both of you and all the comments on this forum have been very meaningful to me. I not only teach for a living, but I spend many hours at my piano so having a good instrument is extremely important. I still really love M and H pianos and believe that the vast majority are fine instruments. I know they are because I've played many.

On a positive note, after literally dozens of calls and a few emails, I finally got a reply from M and H. I didn't get a resolution, but at least it's a start. I really would love to have my faith restored in M and H because I think they are fundamentally good people. I used to record for the Piano Disc Company when they first started and were really small. I know Kirk and Gary are super nice people which is why I have been so puzzled at how they have handled this. The other people I've met in Sacramento are also good people even if some of their business practices are a little flawed.

Anyway, thanks again for all the generous responses and private emails. Hopefully this will have a happy resolution.
_________________________
2013 Mason and Hamlin BB
Full-time music professor (theory) and jazz pianist

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#2045021 - 03/08/13 11:34 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Norbert]
Mark VC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 110
Originally Posted By: Norbert
The above is a good example how technical jargon or postering of sorts - instead of simply getting results - can confuscate an issue.

Even more treadful is the fact that a company does not seem to respond to a customer's query, something the maker here would perhaps reconsider if they'd know "who" is actually being involved....


Treadful and Confuscate are my new favorite words. smile

Mark

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#2045033 - 03/08/13 11:55 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14098
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Aaron:

Wishing you a happy outcome! Agree that the owners of Mason Hamlin have always impressed me as very fine people.
It's the dealer, the other 'company' which keeps confusing me..

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

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#2045036 - 03/08/13 11:59 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1797
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The Tech's advocating the placement of lead upon the bridge/soundboard to solve false beats in the treble are on the wrong path. The added mass will only damp the volume of tone and make it have a thinner sounding tone.

Some aspects of false beats are still a bit of a mystery to the piano world. I would have to hear and inspect the piano to make any meaningful diagnosis-so posting here has it's limits.

Good luck.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2045039 - 03/08/13 12:05 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Norbert]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1797
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Norbert,
I am surprised that a piano dealer who prides himself on knowing a "world famous piano technician" would have to get a tech from Germany to come to BC to solve a Sauter action problem. Perhaps you need to find better tech's locally-or have they soured on you?
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2045057 - 03/08/13 12:55 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14098
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
I am surprised that a piano dealer who prides himself on knowing a "world famous piano technician" would have to get a tech from Germany to come to BC to solve a Sauter action problem.


Don't know where this came from as it doesn't address company resonsibilty. Warranty starts at dealer level.

If I detect a level of cynicism or glee in your message don't understand what motivates you to it.

The problem with our piano was the action geometry which made piano a bit touch too heavy for most of our customers.

This was about 18 years ago.

When they send a factory tech who then re-drilled & reset all the capstans and then re-regulated entire action I thought it was exemplary service.

It was also interesting to watch a 65 years old factory tech tackling such issue with great confidence and experience.

In fact several local techs attended at that time and were very interested to meet the man and see him in action.

It was particularly nice seeing a company taking responsibility looking after its customer. [us] It's also nice a company is not denying that problems can occur and then acting on it in a responsible manner.

The piano is now used in home concerts and loved by every single pianist playing on it.

Hoping the same will come true for Aaron!

At same time why not contact OP and see if your own expertise as top RPT would be of help to him to resolve the case?

Opportunity to gain hero status!

Norbert thumb


Edited by Norbert (03/08/13 02:04 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2045058 - 03/08/13 12:57 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1522
Loc: Danville, California
"On a positive note, after literally dozens of calls and a few emails, I finally got a reply from M and H."

These are "very fine people"?

Very fine people return customers' phone calls.

Sorry - I am not impressed.

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#2045075 - 03/08/13 01:45 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
Aaron Garner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento, Ca
Furtwangler,

I would have to agree with you. I guess the comment was my attempt to focus on something positive for my own sanity. This ordeal has caused a lot of stress in my already stressful life and the fact that they emailed me was positive. This has also taken up a tremendous amount of my time which like most of us I have very little of. But, I do absolutely agree. Just a simple response like, "we're working on the problem" would have made a world of difference in my book.
_________________________
2013 Mason and Hamlin BB
Full-time music professor (theory) and jazz pianist

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#2045108 - 03/08/13 02:54 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
My previous company did a study against our close competitor on the number of defective units both companies shipped. Our competitor shipped significantly larger number of defective units. We had always been proud of our quality in general but no manufacturing company could ship 0% defects, still our defect rate was at less than 1% while our competitor was closer to 12%.

The reason for the study was that our competitor had a customer satisfaction rate of 95% while we had a customer satisfaction rate of only 80%. What's more the study showed that while the initial customer satisfaction of our competitor was only at 65% because of the high defect rate, because they had such excellent customer response time and speedy field replacement response that their customer satisfaction went to 95% versus our 80% even though we rarely shipped defects.

There is a lesson here. If customer response is ordinary, it really doesn't matter how good your stuff is. Customers do not remember an uneventful purchase. They do remember when they had problems and you were there to resovle their problem quickly leading to a much better impression of your company than the company that didn't give them any trouble to begin with.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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