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#2113732 - 07/06/13 12:37 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Norbert]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2661
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
management to get over their sentimentality,


From an American point of view, this perhaps makes sense.
There are exceptions but not many [left]

From a European view, this is [almost] unthinkable.

When talking to people like Ulrich Sauter, Udo Steingraeber, the Bluethners and even relative newcomers like Paolo Fazioli and Dr.Laul, the "sentimentality" of following their own genius or a long national tradition including that of their own forefathers' is a real one.

It is exactly what motivates them from day to day to do honor and live up to the task. It's something that goes without saying.

It gives their products a certain "authenticity" that is still being appreciated by many in today's market.

It's not just another "asset" that's up for sale - never will.

I'm not an economist but at least to me this makes for a promising, reliable and more "predictable" future overall.

Having grown up in post-war Germany whose economy was 90% shattered, I've seen it work with literally 10,000's of small family owned firms specializing in smaller production, high quality type products.

So, I may be somewhat prejudiced.

Let's see how this one will play out.

Norbert


Bravo !

No you are not prejudiced. All you say is very correct.

This is something today's modern New Yorkers will never appreciate. Money, money, money... That is what they worship.



Edited by Hakki (07/06/13 12:38 PM)
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#2113736 - 07/06/13 12:49 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1784
Hey Norbert, how come you left the Burgetts off your list? Surely they rank up there with Dr. Laul.

I guess I do not need really to ask why you omitted them, having reviewed the list of brands you sell. . . . You probably have not had the chance to talk with them. They are incredible, and devoted to their brand and to the goal of keeping North American piano manufacturing alive.

I guess we will have to wait and see what happens with Steinway. But that was always true. Mason and Hamlin might end up the only North American-made piano. I would not like to see that happen, I have to say--Steinway could become great again. And our continent needs to keep up its glorious piano traditions. I do think the Burgetts are doing a great job, but it would be nice to keep Steinway here too.


Edited by Rank Piano Amateur (07/06/13 12:56 PM)

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#2113741 - 07/06/13 01:00 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
What about Walter Pianos?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2113747 - 07/06/13 01:10 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Norbert]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
management to get over their sentimentality,


From an American point of view, this perhaps makes sense.
There are exceptions but not many [left]

From a European view, this is [almost] unthinkable.

When talking to people like Ulrich Sauter, Udo Steingraeber, the Bluethners and even relative newcomers like Paolo Fazioli and Dr.Laul, the "sentimentality" of following their own genius or a long national tradition including that of their own forefathers' is a real one.

It is exactly what motivates them from day to day to do honor and live up to the task. It's something that goes without saying.

It gives their products a certain "authenticity" that is still being appreciated by many in today's market.

It's not just another "asset" that's up for sale - never will.

I'm not an economist but at least to me this makes for a promising, reliable and more "predictable" future overall.

Having grown up in post-war Germany whose economy was 90% shattered, I've seen it work with literally 10,000's of small family owned firms specializing in smaller production, high quality type products.

So, I may be somewhat prejudiced.

Let's see how this one will play out.

Norbert


I agree. The difference in point-of-view between the European piano industry owners and that of Steinway couldn't be more different.

Mason & Hamlin and Walters are philosophically closer to the Europeans that to Steinway.

[I am not a dealer for, nor a consultant to any of the companies mentioned in this thread.]
_________________________
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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#2113804 - 07/06/13 02:54 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
I'm going to do a "Karnack" the magnificent prediction. All pre buyout Steinway piano prices
will skyrocket(and used ones too!) ... smile


Edited by Bob Newbie (07/06/13 02:55 PM)

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#2113852 - 07/06/13 04:46 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
So, in the midst of all this doom and gloom speculation, are there any official statements on what's going to happen?
_________________________
2012 Kawai K3

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#2113884 - 07/06/13 06:16 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
mahermusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 347
Loc: U.S.A.
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Mason and Hamlin might end up the only North American-made piano.


...cough, cough... WALTER!!!!!... cough, cough.....
_________________________
Charles R. Walter 1520 QA Mahogany #531739 w/ High Polish, Renner and Quiet Pedal

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#2113929 - 07/06/13 08:00 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:

This is something today's modern New Yorkers will never appreciate. Money, money, money... That is what they worship.


Don't know about New Yorkers.

But those money worshipppers will have a harder time to do so when there's none left.

But then I can't really tell what people do in this economy..

Norbert frown
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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#2113940 - 07/06/13 08:31 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: mahermusic]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
Originally Posted By: mahermusic
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Mason and Hamlin might end up the only North American-made piano.


...cough, cough... WALTER!!!!!... cough, cough.....


cough*cough*Ravencroft*cough*cough

Somehow, with all this talk about money grubbing banksters, I feel the need to apologize for the fact that my dad works for a certain big financial company whistle


Edited by SBP (07/06/13 08:33 PM)
_________________________
2012 Kawai K3

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#2113965 - 07/06/13 09:29 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: SBP]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1776
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: SBP
Originally Posted By: mahermusic
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Mason and Hamlin might end up the only North American-made piano.


...cough, cough... WALTER!!!!!... cough, cough.....


cough*cough*Ravencroft*cough*cough

Somehow, with all this talk about money grubbing banksters, I feel the need to apologize for the fact that my dad works for a certain big financial company whistle


So he's a criminal?
_________________________


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

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2113977 - 07/06/13 09:52 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: SBP]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6368
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: SBP
Originally Posted By: mahermusic
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Mason and Hamlin might end up the only North American-made piano.


...cough, cough... WALTER!!!!!... cough, cough.....


cough*cough*Ravencroft*cough*cough


True - but (per Larry Fine) "Currently, only four to six [Ravenscroft] pianos are produced yearly, with pricing beginning at $230,000 for a model 220, and up to $550,000 for a model 275 with "all the extras," including titanium string terminations, exotic veneers, intarsia, artwork, and inlays of precious stones." Probably wonderful instruments, but hardly an option for the vast majority of piano buyers......

and what about Astin-Weight?? *cough, cough* grin
_________________________
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#2113991 - 07/06/13 10:23 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1784
Sorry for my omissions. This thread is a terrific reminder that there are great American made pianos out there!

Top
#2114004 - 07/06/13 10:57 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6368
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Sorry for my omissions. This thread is a terrific reminder that there are great American made pianos out there!


But just not enough of them !! smokin
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2114005 - 07/06/13 11:00 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 441
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Unfortunately, there are only so many places (colleges, concert halls) that can afford Steinway's exorbitant prices. In today's economy, how many people can really afford near six-figure pianos? Steinways are great, but there are many other manufacturers that provide much more "bang for your buck." Those are the companies that will survive, instead of being sold off to the highest bidder. RIP, Steinway & Sons.


Steinway's sales in to institutions is strong, even in this challenging economy. Also, you base your conclusion on sales of Steinway & Sons pianos, leaving out Boston, Essex, and band instruments - all significant contributors to Steinway's income stream.

You ask "...how many people can really afford near six-figure pianos?" Steinway makes only about 4000 pianos per year. There is a huge pool of potential buyers.


I don't know much about the other brands, but Bostons are overpriced for what they are. IMO, so are Steinways (not everyone will agree). Many people/institutions buy Steinway based on the name alone. Now that Steinway "sold out" I'd be surprised if the quality stays the same. The Steinway name won't carry as much heft as it used to. In the age of digital pianos, the acoustic piano makers that survive will be the ones who can make a quality piano at an affordable price.



Edited by Radio.Octave (07/06/13 11:01 PM)
_________________________
Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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#2114114 - 07/07/13 09:24 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: carey]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Sorry for my omissions. This thread is a terrific reminder that there are great American made pianos out there!


But just not enough of them !! smokin


There may be another one coming soon.
_________________________
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.

Top
#2114118 - 07/07/13 09:37 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: carey
But just not enough of them !

There may be another one coming soon.

Steve - That's just too much of a teaser to not beg for some inside info! You gotta tell us more or face the throngs of crazed villagers rampaging with torches.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2114123 - 07/07/13 09:58 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Radio.Octave]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1776
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Unfortunately, there are only so many places (colleges, concert halls) that can afford Steinway's exorbitant prices. In today's economy, how many people can really afford near six-figure pianos? Steinways are great, but there are many other manufacturers that provide much more "bang for your buck." Those are the companies that will survive, instead of being sold off to the highest bidder. RIP, Steinway & Sons.


Steinway's sales in to institutions is strong, even in this challenging economy. Also, you base your conclusion on sales of Steinway & Sons pianos, leaving out Boston, Essex, and band instruments - all significant contributors to Steinway's income stream.

You ask "...how many people can really afford near six-figure pianos?" Steinway makes only about 4000 pianos per year. There is a huge pool of potential buyers.


I don't know much about the other brands, but Bostons are overpriced for what they are. IMO, so are Steinways (not everyone will agree). Many people/institutions buy Steinway based on the name alone. Now that Steinway "sold out" I'd be surprised if the quality stays the same. The Steinway name won't carry as much heft as it used to. In the age of digital pianos, the acoustic piano makers that survive will be the ones who can make a quality piano at an affordable price.



Steinway didn't just suddenly "sell out." It's been a public company for years, and when a company is public, it must respond to the wishes of its many shareholders.

As for the suggestion that the only makers to survive will be those that make "a quality piano at an affordable price," a couple of points:

If by "survive," you mean, "sell many thousands of pianos," we're already there. The largest volume auto sellers are going to be Toyota, Hyundai,and Tata Motors, and the largest volume piano sellers are going to be Yamaha, Kawai, and one or more of the Chinese makers. Corollas are great if you want a Corolla or if that's the most expensive car you can afford.

In the meantime, I hear that a number of the top tier makers are producing all the pianos they can comfortably produce. They're going to survive precisely because enough buyers to keep them productively busy know the difference between a Hyundai and a Ferrari and would prefer a Ferrari, thank you very much.

Whether Steinway continues to occupy the market niche it now occupies will be entirely up to Steinway's new owners. My own guess is that they're looking to burnish and monetize an already valuable prestige brand name, and you can't meet that goal if product performance slips.

No one will buy a Ferrari (at a customary Ferrari price) that performs like a Hyundai. But enough are willing to buy cars that perform at or above Ferrari's current performance standards.
_________________________


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

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2114148 - 07/07/13 10:54 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: ClsscLib]
Jonathan Alford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 359
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib

No one will buy a Ferrari (at a customary Ferrari price) that performs like a Hyundai. But enough are willing to buy cars that perform at or above Ferrari's current performance standards.


Moving back to pianos - Steinway specifically, I agree, with one important qualifier - How many buyers can determine if the "Ferrari" they are looking to purchase performs like a "Hyundai?"

Jonathan

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#2114157 - 07/07/13 11:17 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Jonathan Alford]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1776
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Alford
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib

No one will buy a Ferrari (at a customary Ferrari price) that performs like a Hyundai. But enough are willing to buy cars that perform at or above Ferrari's current performance standards.


Moving back to pianos - Steinway specifically, I agree, with one important qualifier - How many buyers can determine if the "Ferrari" they are looking to purchase performs like a "Hyundai?"

Jonathan


Some, though surely not all. Same is true for car buyers.
_________________________


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

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2114213 - 07/07/13 01:20 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: ClsscLib]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1948
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib

Whether Steinway continues to occupy the market niche it now occupies will be entirely up to Steinway's new owners. My own guess is that they're looking to burnish and monetize an already valuable prestige brand name, and you can't meet that goal if product performance slips.

+1

_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2114279 - 07/07/13 03:55 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 544
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Sorry for my omissions. This thread is a terrific reminder that there are great American made pianos out there!


But just not enough of them !! smokin


There may be another one coming soon.


Maybe with Steve/Stephen also in his name? Family name starting with a "p"...?... wink

Building straight strung concert grands, the first after Erard, Pleyel and 1900? Actually residing in the nice Loire valley in France, God's Own Garden On Earth...?...
_________________________
Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

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#2114282 - 07/07/13 04:08 PM OT - car analogies... [Re: ClsscLib]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 544
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Alford
Moving back to pianos - Steinway specifically, I agree, with one important qualifier - How many buyers can determine if the "Ferrari" they are looking to purchase performs like a "Hyundai?"

Jonathan


Some, though surely not all. Same is true for car buyers.


If a Daewoo (Korean) car shall perform and be regarded as a "Chevrolet"..?.. Lousy General Motors tricksters and mobsters. Lousy american business behaviour to fault, to trick and to cheat the customers.

..the name for these procedures? "Marketing". Ethics and Moral categories don't apply and matter any longer. The DEAL You ought to have to close. Nothing else matters. To increase the capital turnover profits. The trial is: to earn big money - by spending little money. The qualification is named "Master of Business Administration".
_________________________
Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

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#2114319 - 07/07/13 05:33 PM Re: OT - car analogies... [Re: Steve Cohen]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1776
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Someone is having a bad hair day.
_________________________


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

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2114323 - 07/07/13 05:45 PM Re: OT - car analogies... [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1784
BerndAB: given that 40% of Steinway belongs to a non-American company, your criticism seems a bit unfounded at least in this case. As was pointed out earlier on this thread, the transaction must have been okayed by this entity.

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#2114326 - 07/07/13 06:03 PM Re: OT - car analogies... [Re: Steve Cohen]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2187
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
BerndAD,
I share your frustration with the MBA class. MBA schools study business cases much like law students study law cases, this is where they learn to create many separate balance sheets for the same operation including putting some liabilities "off balance sheet". If I was audited by the IRS and I showed them several sets of books for my business transactions-they would prosecute me for tax fraud. But somehow this magically become OK when it is a corporate entity.

Some of these MBA schools are in state operated educational institutions. I wonder if we shouldn't be looking at this as a form of "State sponsored economic terrorism"!

To those posters who worry that Steinway is run by a bunch of noveau riche troglodytes who have no esthetic sensibilities and lack the ability to appreciate sharp chisels and well-seasoned wood-I have met several principals over the recent years and they all seem very skilled at running the company. Current management and ownership must have sought Kohlberg out-but this is speculation on my part.

Now is the opportunity for someone with a spare $500 million or so who wants to build Steinways to put in their bid. That leaves me out!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2114340 - 07/07/13 07:21 PM Re: OT - car analogies... [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 544
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Some of these MBA schools are in state operated educational institutions. I wonder if we shouldn't be looking at this as a form of "State sponsored economic terrorism"!


+1

I didn’t say one single word for or against any people involved in the Steinway management or momentary ownership like Mr Kim. I distrust the financial people from Wall Street, from Francfort et cetera. And I distrust the MBA education in Germany because of the lack of ethics, I’ve seen a lot of young ethos-free MBA people acting in big companies...

I am an engineer, specialist in machinery and gearbox fabrication, CNC and CAD technology. For me to earn money involves to produce goods and the knowledge to do so, to distribute them and to deliver them to customers, that’s real economy and honest work.

The other “economy" (try to generate financial profits from finances only..) is Voodoo economics for me.

Money itself doesn’t generate real value. It always needs men, human work and intelligence in handling real goods and information regarding goods and manufacturing processes.

If money alone "generates" money, then this profit money is the loss at other men.
_________________________
Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

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#2114369 - 07/07/13 09:27 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: ClsscLib]
Radio.Octave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 441
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Unfortunately, there are only so many places (colleges, concert halls) that can afford Steinway's exorbitant prices. In today's economy, how many people can really afford near six-figure pianos? Steinways are great, but there are many other manufacturers that provide much more "bang for your buck." Those are the companies that will survive, instead of being sold off to the highest bidder. RIP, Steinway & Sons.


Steinway's sales in to institutions is strong, even in this challenging economy. Also, you base your conclusion on sales of Steinway & Sons pianos, leaving out Boston, Essex, and band instruments - all significant contributors to Steinway's income stream.

You ask "...how many people can really afford near six-figure pianos?" Steinway makes only about 4000 pianos per year. There is a huge pool of potential buyers.


I don't know much about the other brands, but Bostons are overpriced for what they are. IMO, so are Steinways (not everyone will agree). Many people/institutions buy Steinway based on the name alone. Now that Steinway "sold out" I'd be surprised if the quality stays the same. The Steinway name won't carry as much heft as it used to. In the age of digital pianos, the acoustic piano makers that survive will be the ones who can make a quality piano at an affordable price.



Steinway didn't just suddenly "sell out." It's been a public company for years, and when a company is public, it must respond to the wishes of its many shareholders.

As for the suggestion that the only makers to survive will be those that make "a quality piano at an affordable price," a couple of points:

If by "survive," you mean, "sell many thousands of pianos," we're already there. The largest volume auto sellers are going to be Toyota, Hyundai,and Tata Motors, and the largest volume piano sellers are going to be Yamaha, Kawai, and one or more of the Chinese makers. Corollas are great if you want a Corolla or if that's the most expensive car you can afford.

In the meantime, I hear that a number of the top tier makers are producing all the pianos they can comfortably produce. They're going to survive precisely because enough buyers to keep them productively busy know the difference between a Hyundai and a Ferrari and would prefer a Ferrari, thank you very much.

Whether Steinway continues to occupy the market niche it now occupies will be entirely up to Steinway's new owners. My own guess is that they're looking to burnish and monetize an already valuable prestige brand name, and you can't meet that goal if product performance slips.

No one will buy a Ferrari (at a customary Ferrari price) that performs like a Hyundai. But enough are willing to buy cars that perform at or above Ferrari's current performance standards.


Steinways are hardly Ferraris. They are more like a Lexus, which is in essence, and overpriced Toyota. I know all the Steinway snobs will get their panties in a bunch over this, but oh well. Steinways are overrated.
_________________________
Kawai RX-6 BLAK

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#2114379 - 07/07/13 10:27 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Radio.Octave]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1776
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Radio.Octave
Unfortunately, there are only so many places (colleges, concert halls) that can afford Steinway's exorbitant prices. In today's economy, how many people can really afford near six-figure pianos? Steinways are great, but there are many other manufacturers that provide much more "bang for your buck." Those are the companies that will survive, instead of being sold off to the highest bidder. RIP, Steinway & Sons.


Steinway's sales in to institutions is strong, even in this challenging economy. Also, you base your conclusion on sales of Steinway & Sons pianos, leaving out Boston, Essex, and band instruments - all significant contributors to Steinway's income stream.

You ask "...how many people can really afford near six-figure pianos?" Steinway makes only about 4000 pianos per year. There is a huge pool of potential buyers.


I don't know much about the other brands, but Bostons are overpriced for what they are. IMO, so are Steinways (not everyone will agree). Many people/institutions buy Steinway based on the name alone. Now that Steinway "sold out" I'd be surprised if the quality stays the same. The Steinway name won't carry as much heft as it used to. In the age of digital pianos, the acoustic piano makers that survive will be the ones who can make a quality piano at an affordable price.



Steinway didn't just suddenly "sell out." It's been a public company for years, and when a company is public, it must respond to the wishes of its many shareholders.

As for the suggestion that the only makers to survive will be those that make "a quality piano at an affordable price," a couple of points:

If by "survive," you mean, "sell many thousands of pianos," we're already there. The largest volume auto sellers are going to be Toyota, Hyundai,and Tata Motors, and the largest volume piano sellers are going to be Yamaha, Kawai, and one or more of the Chinese makers. Corollas are great if you want a Corolla or if that's the most expensive car you can afford.

In the meantime, I hear that a number of the top tier makers are producing all the pianos they can comfortably produce. They're going to survive precisely because enough buyers to keep them productively busy know the difference between a Hyundai and a Ferrari and would prefer a Ferrari, thank you very much.

Whether Steinway continues to occupy the market niche it now occupies will be entirely up to Steinway's new owners. My own guess is that they're looking to burnish and monetize an already valuable prestige brand name, and you can't meet that goal if product performance slips.

No one will buy a Ferrari (at a customary Ferrari price) that performs like a Hyundai. But enough are willing to buy cars that perform at or above Ferrari's current performance standards.


Steinways are hardly Ferraris. They are more like a Lexus, which is in essence, and overpriced Toyota. I know all the Steinway snobs will get their panties in a bunch over this, but oh well. Steinways are overrated.


I drive a Toyota and have done so for years. To me, a Lexus is a much finer car. More than I ask for in a car, so it's irrelevant to me, but the distinction is pretty clear.
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#2114589 - 07/08/13 10:15 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
"Steinways are hardly Ferraris. They are more like a Lexus, which is in essence, and overpriced Toyota. I know all the Steinway snobs will get their panties in a bunch over this, but oh well. Steinways are overrated."

What is it with you. You insult anyone who owns a Steinway and their piano. I don't think you would say such things if you were meeting me and other Steinway owners in person. Your opinions about pianos, their owners and cars are worthless.

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#2114599 - 07/08/13 10:43 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8563
Loc: Georgia, USA
This thread has served its purpose and is no longer news worthy. I’d hate to see it morph further into unfriendly territory and exchanges of opinions that have nothing to do with Steinway being bought out…

If something new develops someone can start a new thread.

Rickster
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