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#2270319 - 05/02/14 05:58 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
I get the impression from my research that Pearl River, Hailun and Parsons Music have become the "Big Three" of the Chinese piano industry, the firms most likely to prevail against the Japanese giants Yamaha and Kawai. I also get the impression that these two Japanese firms still have the edge over their Chinese rivals in "build quality" (fit, finish, durability), and thus can justify their higher prices.



Which pianos exactly?

Japanese have been making for long variable lines of quality - all at different price points.

You cant summarized them simply all into one: some of them are same or even lower rated by Piano Buyer:

http://www.pianobuyer.com/spring14/43.html

Let's check the comparable quality between Japanese and Chinese at same price points - then talk again.

Better yet: simply play some these pianos and compare them to anything you like, even at twice the price.

"Quality" is becoming a word constantly needing re-interpretation in today's market..

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (05/02/14 08:25 PM)
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#2270555 - 05/03/14 01:20 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Frankni Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 150
Loc: UK
Are there any pianos which contain the name Hailun

&#28023;&#20262;

in characters on the fall board? Would look pretty, wouldn't it? (The characters represent the Mandarinisation of the Western name Helen.) I just returned from China, but alas didn't make it to Ningbo even though it is just across the bay from Shanghai (and connected with the Shanghai peninsula through the world's longest bridge).


Edited by Frankni (05/03/14 01:45 PM)
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#2272935 - 05/08/14 05:17 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
PianistOne111 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Utah
Not sure what you tried to type there but it's 海倫. And I highly doubt Chen Hailun's parents chose his name based on a Greek name Helen. However, I agree that having "海倫" on the fallboard would be pretty sweet, but the average piano buyer isn't ready for such...differentness.

Edit: Oh damn. It seems I can't type it either. I distinctly remember being able to type Chinese on PianoWorld a while ago though.


Edited by PianistOne111 (05/08/14 05:21 PM)
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#2273042 - 05/08/14 11:56 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Norbert]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 595
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
I get the impression from my research that Pearl River, Hailun and Parsons Music have become the "Big Three" of the Chinese piano industry, the firms most likely to prevail against the Japanese giants Yamaha and Kawai. I also get the impression that these two Japanese firms still have the edge over their Chinese rivals in "build quality" (fit, finish, durability), and thus can justify their higher prices.



Which pianos exactly?

Japanese have been making for long variable lines of quality - all at different price points.

You cant summarized them simply all into one: some of them are same or even lower rated by Piano Buyer:

http://www.pianobuyer.com/spring14/43.html

Let's check the comparable quality between Japanese and Chinese at same price points - then talk again.

Better yet: simply play some these pianos and compare them to anything you like, even at twice the price.

"Quality" is becoming a word constantly needing re-interpretation in today's market..

Norbert


Okay, Norbert, let's compare specific models.

In this corner - the Kawai GX-3BLK and the Yamaha C3X;

In this corner - the Brodmann PE187 (made by Parsons), the Ritmuller GH188R (made by Pearl River), and the Hailun HG198.

Based on my industry research and on what I have read on the Piano Forum, the Brodmann, Ritmuller and Hailun models listed above appear to offer roughly the same refinement of tone and touch as the Kawai and Yamaha models listed above. Please let me know if my conclusion is correct or incorrect.

The Kawai and Yamaha models listed above are significant more expensive than the Chinese challengers listed above. Can I assume that Kawai and Yamaha try to justify their higher prices solely because they have a higher level of build quality (fit, finish, durability) than the Brodmann, Ritmuller and Hailun models? Or do Kawai and Yamaha also claim that their models listed above still have an advantage in touch and tone over these Chinese "upstarts"?

Dealers who sell the models listed above can chime in. I'd also love to hear from consumers who have compared the Japanese-made "gold standard" intermediate-grade pianos listed above to the Chinese-made upper-level-consumer-grade pianos listed above. (For instance, compared the Yamaha C3X to the Ritmuller GH188R, compared the Kawai GX-3BLK to the Hailun HG198, etc.)


Edited by Almaviva (05/09/14 12:52 AM)

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#2273065 - 05/09/14 01:08 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
michaelha Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 814
Let's talk about composite actions and wood flanks.
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#2273133 - 05/09/14 06:37 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
joe80 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1162
I'm not quite sure what that chart means, but the Yamaha CX and the Kawai RX/GX series aren't on there. The Yamaha GC/GB and the Kawai GE/GM are.

I think these charts only tell a part of the story. Really, it comes down to individual pianos.

Almaviva, when I owned a Brodmann BG-187 (which became the PE-187), I preferred its tone to the Yamaha C3 (the CX3 wasn't available) and the Kawai RX-3. The other bonus was, at that time it was half the price of the Yamaha and Kawai.

What I noticed from the outset however, was that this particular Brodmann 187 made in that particular year, and others that I had tried made in that particular year, did not have the refinement of touch of a Yamaha or Kawai, even after fine regulation. I think that the problem was over-tight action centres, and the jack position was wrong. Now, perhaps (and this is a real possibility) my technician wasn't thorough enough in fixing the tight action centres or the jack position. I don't know, and have no evidence to back this up. Either the action just didn't have the refinement in it, or my technician wasn't as bothered with it. I will stress again, that this was a Brodmann, not a Hailun, and it was made in 2007, so that's quite a long time ago in terms of Chinese piano manufacturing improvements.

Also, the quality of the stringing on the instrument was not wonderful. The capo bar was cut and the strings in the treble were snapping, and I had to have the capo bar burnished and the piano's top section restrung after 5 years, in 2012. When the action started to require more and more work on it, I eventually bit the bullet and sold it, buying the Bluthner instead. As part of the deal on the Bluthner, my rebuilder took in the Brodmann to prepare it for sale, stripping down the action, knocking on the keys (the bushings had worn), releasing the action centres and toning the hammers. I didn't get a chance to play it after it was fully serviced so I don't know how it sounded, but by all accounts they were impressed with the overall quality of the piano, but just not the detail, and it was the detail that was causing the trouble. Also, the soundboard wasn't installed correctly on this piano but we decided to leave it as it was because it would have eventually become a full rebuild.

I know of other Brodmanns from that time and that particular batch that have had some similar problems when placed under concert pianist conditions - they just haven't aged very well.

That said, I have played some more recent models of Brodmann piano, and I've found them to be far superior to the one I had. By 2009 the actions were pretty much spot on, no creaks and stiffness, and the regulation issues were sorted out. I have no idea how the 2009 batch are doing after 5 years, but perhaps they're doing better than the 2007 batch. I would hope that they've sorted out the problems with the frame casting and the string work too. Perhaps there were no problems, perhaps I was just unlucky with that particular piano. It's possible, since even Steinway and Bosendorfer have turned out some pianos that have ended up needing to be returned to the factory under warranty.

I have played the Yamaha C3X, and I felt it was a far superior piano to any of the Brodmann 187s that I have played, by a mile. It has a far more responsive action, it has a beautiful tone, and it is solid. I feel the same about the Boston 193 and the Kawai GX3. They are far superior to the Brodmann 187s that I have played. I haven't, however, played a new Brodmann for quite some time and that's important here, because the quality may have improved over the years.

I have played Feurich pianos made by Hailun recently, and I felt that their sound was no match for Yamaha, Kawai or Boston. They were nice pianos, but they simply didn't have the tonal palette of the Japanese instruments. That's not a biased opinion, it's just what I found when playing them.

The Feurich and Brodmann pianos are still half the price of a Yamaha or Kawai, and to be honest they still represent good value for money, but to my ears and hands, they are simply not as good. Not yet.

In the same way, I haven't played a Yamaha C3X or C3, or Kawai RX3 or GX3 that matches ANY well prepared tier one piano. I expect that's why Yamaha produce the S and the CF series, and why Kawai produce the Shigeru. It caters for the high end market, and provides a tier one quality piano - at a tier one price.

Also, I think we should calm down the debate a little - if I say that a Yamaha C3X isn't as good as a Hamburg Steinway Model A, that's seen as acceptable and taken as obvious. If I say that a Brodmann 187 isn't as good as a Yamaha C3X, then there is a barrage of people on here waiting to tell me I'm wrong. But I haven't played the Chinese piano that matches a Yamaha C3X, and none of them are close to the Hamburg Steinway, even those that are being regarded as direct copies of the Hamburg Steinway. They're not direct copies, incidentally. They are cosmetically copies, but that's where it ends.

I am completely open to the possibility of a piano coming on to the market in that price range that blows the competition out of the water, and perhaps we are far closer to that than we realise. In this country there is still a bias against Chinese pianos at dealer level. This is quite an important factor because SOME dealers don't prepare the pianos properly, particularly if they are stocking more expensive instruments, so the pianos don't get a fair hearing.

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#2273149 - 05/09/14 07:58 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7284
Loc: Rochester MN
joe80 - Thank you for your very well thought out and well stated posting. I completely agree with your assessments and the manner in which you have drawn your conclusions.
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Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2273153 - 05/09/14 08:02 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: joe80]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 595
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Thank you, Joe. This is exactly the kind of input that I was hoping to get from my post. The fact that you are a professional pianist - a consumer who can appreciate the fine points of distinction between different pianos - makes your response that much more valuable.

I had gotten the impression from my readings that the leading Chinese companies (Hailun, Parsons, and Pearl River) had closed the actual "quality gap" between them and the Japanese companies, and that Kawai and Yamaha were relying on their superior name recognition and their reputation for building solid, reliable pianos to justify their higher prices. Based on what you have said, that is not the case.

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#2273155 - 05/09/14 08:13 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: joe80]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 549
Loc: Lewes DE
Having just completed a three week process of buying a grand piano I thunk I can add some additional perspective.

I'll make this brief. First, full disclosure; I have a strong bias toward Yamaha for a number of reasons. Having said that, my bias is not strong enough for me to overlook a better value.

After auditioning several brand of pianos, I came to the conclusion that for "consumer-grade" pianos (their term not mine) I think the Hailun represented a better value than the Yamaha GB or GC series. I was really surprised about this, as before our piano search began I had never heard of Hailun.

However, after thinking the whole thing over (and getting some VERY valuable real-world experiences from this Forum) we decided to bite the bullet and move up to Yamaha CX line, which is considered "intermediate-grade". Yes, this piano was about 40% more and the other pianos we auditioned, but given this will be a lifetime purchase for us, and about another $90 per month for five years, this was a no-brainer decision.

Now, if Hailun and the like take the next logical step and produce a higher quality piano at the Yamaha CX or the Kawai GX series level, then those Japanese companies will really start to sweat.

BTW: The Kawai GX and Yamaha CX series are on the chart. You have to go back one page on the link and you will see them, and how they compare to other higher-quality pianos.


Edited by BrianDX (05/09/14 08:17 AM)
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#2273160 - 05/09/14 08:36 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9189
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
I haven't really contributed to this thread yet and frankly, I haven't read through it all yet, but I wanted to respond to latest post by Joe. Joe, your post is well balanced, well thought out and I agree with it.

I would like to inject my personal experience.

I can speak for the Matchless Cunningham project, for example. The project was a tremendous commitment of time, capital, and resources, and continues to be so.

The Cunningham pianos are different from Hailun pianos. They are different in scale design, soundboard design, rib and bridge placement, hammers, and action geometry.

What we are looking for in a piano, and what spurred us on to this undertaking is different from what Chen Hailun is looking for. It is also different from what a Yamaha C3X is fundamentally. But to get the final product that we are looking for takes many hours of work after the piano arrives to us from the Hailun factory.

The attention to detail that Yamaha puts into the C3X is impressive. It is a very good piano.

Having said that I have people choose a Cunningham over it. Money clearly has something to do with that decision, but it isn't the only factor in their decision.

My 2 cents,
_________________________
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Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#2273193 - 05/09/14 10:12 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: BrianDX]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 595
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Now, if Hailun and the like take the next logical step and produce a higher quality piano at the Yamaha CX or the Kawai GX series level, then those Japanese companies will really start to sweat.


Brian, it appears that the Chinese firms have already mounted their assault on the "intermediate-grade" segment of the piano market. Parsons Music make both the Brodmann Artist Series and the Wilh. Steinberg AC line of pianos. Pearl River have introduced their Kayserburg Artist line. Hailun are in the process of introducing their Emerson line.

Thank you for your post. You too were able to notice a higher level of touch, tone and build quality in the intermediate-grade pianos over the upper-level consumer-grade pianos.


Edited by Almaviva (05/09/14 11:40 PM)

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#2273211 - 05/09/14 11:07 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Rich Galassini]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 595
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Rich,

The "Matchless Cunningham Piano" line is in the "Upper-Level-Consumer-Grade" category on Larry's fine chart in Piano Buyer. Are you stating that the Cunninghams have comparable touch, tone and build quality to the more expensive pianos in the "Intermediate-Grade" category?

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#2273256 - 05/09/14 01:19 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Almaviva]
Grandman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 189
Loc: Usa
Originally Posted By: Almaviva
Rich,

The "Matchless Cunningham Piano" line is in the "Upper-Level-Consumer-Grade" category on Larry's fine chart in Piano Buyer. Are you stating that the Cunninghams have comparable touch, tone and build quality to the more expensive pianos in the "Intermediate-Grade" category?


I believe this to be the case. And, as Rich has stated, each Chinese company is different, their pianos are built using different scales, different components, different designers, etc., and all should be judged on the merits of their pianos separately. Larry Fine has made the point that the piano buyer's guide's "...summary is intended less as a ranking of quality than as a description of how manufacturers and dealers position their products in the marketplace, which is largely along lines of price, country of origin, and reputation. While these factors are often associated with quality, that association is far from perfectly consistent...Due to globalization and the computerization of manufacturing, virtually all pianos now sold in the West are competently made and without major defects, and the differences between them are increasingly subtle and subjective. In addition, price is sometimes more a reflection of labor costs in the country of origin than of quality. While its still clear that high-end pianos are better than entry-level ones, comparisons of instruments that are closer in price are less conclusive, and much more subject to the whims of personal preference, how well the pianos have been prepared for sale, room acoustics, and so forth. Furthermore, even those responsible for the technical design of pianos often cant agree on which features and specifications produce the best instruments!"

Just because the Cunningham is rated as a consumer grade piano does not necessarily mean that it takes a back seat in quality and tone to a yamaha cx or kawai gx piano.


Edited by Grandman (05/09/14 01:30 PM)

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#2273299 - 05/09/14 03:05 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Minnesota Marty]
michaelha Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 814
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
joe80 - Thank you for your very well thought out and well stated posting. I completely agree with your assessments and the manner in which you have drawn your conclusions.


How come when I say the exact same thing people accuse me of being a Kawai dealer in disguise? Just kidding, but yes, I also totally agree with what Joe said.
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#2273350 - 05/09/14 05:25 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Almaviva]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7284
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Almaviva
Rich,

The "Matchless Cunningham Piano" line is in the ...

Almaviva,

I'm sure you realize that you have put Rich in a situation where he can't possibly reply. As the co-owner of the piano company which produces the instrument, he needs to follow the guidelines of the forum and is restricted from "tooting his own horn."

But, I have no such limitation.

My own opinion of the Cunningham pianos is at they stand on their own in comparison to any piano. The thing that totally pulls them well ahead of others in their "group" is their complex tonal palette. They produce the richness and variation of sound coloration which is remarkable in pianos of any price point. At only 5'10", the Parlour model is a real 'ear-opener.' Go a step larger and you have a major instrument of performance stature. I'm looking forward to being able to sample the new Concert Grand which I have heard is a truly fine instrument.

As has been mentioned many times in this forum, a trip to Cunningham's is a delightful experience. It is well worth a side-trip whenever in the area.

In my opinion, the Cunningham simply blows the competition away. Compare them to anything you chose; they don't need any excuses or 'buts' when you compare them to any brand or label.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2273357 - 05/09/14 05:42 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
I haven't, however, played a new Brodmann for quite some time and that's important here, because the quality may have improved over the years.


They have - by quite a bit.

Brodmanns may need more set up work but when properly done are beautiful pianos.

Just sold one to a prominent local pianist who had budgeted for a much more expensive piano before.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (05/09/14 08:45 PM)
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#2273387 - 05/09/14 06:42 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1528
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Almaviva
Rich,

The "Matchless Cunningham Piano" line is in the ...

Almaviva,

I'm sure you realize that you have put Rich in a situation where he can't possibly reply. As the co-owner of the piano company which produces the instrument, he needs to follow the guidelines of the forum and is restricted from "tooting his own horn."

But, I have no such limitation.

My own opinion of the Cunningham pianos is at they stand on their own in comparison to any piano. The thing that totally pulls them well ahead of others in their "group" is their complex tonal palette. They produce the richness and variation of sound coloration which is remarkable in pianos of any price point. At only 5'10", the Parlour model is a real 'ear-opener.' Go a step larger and you have a major instrument of performance stature. I'm looking forward to being able to sample the new Concert Grand which I have heard is a truly fine instrument.

As has been mentioned many times in this forum, a trip to Cunningham's is a delightful experience. It is well worth a side-trip whenever in the area.

In my opinion, the Cunningham simply blows the competition away. Compare them to anything you chose; they don't need any excuses or 'buts' when you compare them to any brand or label.


Marty:

So...let me get this straight;

Are you saying that you like them?

smile


Edited by Furtwangler (05/09/14 07:23 PM)

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#2273408 - 05/09/14 07:25 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Furtwangler]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7284
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Furtwangler
So...let me get this straight;

Are you saying that you like them?

They'll do in a pinch.

wink
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2273435 - 05/09/14 07:55 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Minnesota Marty]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2704
Loc: Atlanta, GA
FWIW, Hailun Chen is motivated to manufacture pianos. He has cultivated and nurtured great designers, and these designs attracted many brands, plus even more who source components from Hailun. I believe he is at least as excited to build for partner brands as he is to build pianos with his own name.

The processes of fast growth and refinement naturally oppose each other, but the commitment and direction toward premium instruments is clearly evident. Thinking historically, as leading manufacturers have emerged from a manufacturing superpower, consumer demand sets the pace. What does the timeline for Yamaha or Kawai look like? What is the consumer demand in the US? Germany? UK? China? India? What is the buying culture? How different is the shopping experience in Shanghai vs San Francisco?

Our little industry has always had low, middle & high quality, has always had dozens to hundreds of brands, has always had enough variety to make small brands viable regardless of the marketing efforts of big brands. Giants fall and are resurrected, but interestingly enough, many brands can dominate one market and be completely left out of another.

Without that perspective, all the recent huffing, puffing and flag planting in this thread might annoy me. I wanted to share my trip, and I was proud of how many of the photos turned out. I'm delighted to represent Hailun pianos, delighted for each customer we introduce, delighted for the schools and churches that choose them despite the predisposition toward certain brands, and delighted that the competition feels pressure from them. wink

I was disappointed when Frank Emerson left Hailun earlier this year when his contract expired, but I couldn't help smiling when I heard he was hired away by the competition...Steinway. grin

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Compare them to anything you chose; they don't need any excuses or 'buts' when you compare them to any brand or label.
Hello Marty. I love your relentless enthusiasm. I bet Rich would give you fair trade value on your Steinway whenever you are ready.
_________________________
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PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bsendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
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#2273437 - 05/09/14 08:01 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7284
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Hello Marty. I love your relentless enthusiasm. I bet Rich would give you fair trade value on your Steinway whenever you are ready.

I have an M which might be available for consideration. But, he ain't gettin' my C, no way, no how!

grin
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Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2273457 - 05/09/14 09:09 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
these designs attracted many brands, plus even more who source components from Hailun.


Perhaps shouldn't ask but this would be very interesting to know...

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

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#2273458 - 05/09/14 09:11 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 595
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Almaviva
Rich,

The "Matchless Cunningham Piano" line is in the ...

Almaviva,

I'm sure you realize that you have put Rich in a situation where he can't possibly reply. As the co-owner of the piano company which produces the instrument, he needs to follow the guidelines of the forum and is restricted from "tooting his own horn."



Actually, Marty, I DIDN'T realize that I had put Rich in an awkward situation. I simply thought that he couldn't proselytize in a brazen or aggressive manner, or make brash claims without offering substantive evidence to support such claims.

I was hoping that my question would give Rich an opportunity to elaborate on what he does to the partially-completed pianos after they are delivered to Philadelphia, the steps or processes that go beyond the usual "dealer prep" on an already-finished piano.



Edited by Almaviva (05/09/14 09:17 PM)

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#2273470 - 05/09/14 09:41 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Almaviva]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7284
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Almaviva
I was hoping that my question would give Rich an opportunity to elaborate on what he does to the partially-completed pianos after they are delivered to Philadelphia, the steps or processes that go beyond the usual "dealer prep" on an already-finished piano.

That, I think, wouldn't be out of bounds at all, and I do hope he will elaborate.

Calling Rich - Mr. Galassini, your presence is requested in this thread!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2273497 - 05/09/14 11:17 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Almaviva]
PhilipInChina Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 797
Loc: China
"Actually, Marty, I DIDN'T realize that I had put Rich in an awkward situation. I simply thought that he couldn't proselytize in a brazen or aggressive manner, "

Scarcely that. Steady on old chap.


Edited by PhilipInChina (05/09/14 11:19 PM)
_________________________
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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#2273502 - 05/09/14 11:36 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PhilipInChina]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 595
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Thank you, Philip.

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#2273551 - 05/10/14 05:50 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Almaviva]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9189
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Sorry Alma et al,

I have been out of town at the Rodgers Organ factory outside of Portland, Oregon this week. (A whole other thread possibility. Thrilling time there!) This put me behind at work and I haven't seen this thread since this question:

Originally Posted By: Almaviva
Rich,

The "Matchless Cunningham Piano" line is in the "Upper-Level-Consumer-Grade" category on Larry's fine chart in Piano Buyer. Are you stating that the Cunninghams have comparable touch, tone and build quality to the more expensive pianos in the "Intermediate-Grade" category?


Although it has been discussed in my stead I am happy to state the facts. Here are the facts.

Hailun Chen doesn't mess around and frankly he doesn't need the Cunningham Piano business. For that matter he probably doesn't need Hailun sales in the USA. Sorry guys, but we are only a small drop in his bucket of sales. If he only serviced domestic sales demand in China for his product he would be very busy.

I knew Sam had been to a Hailun dealer meeting because my business partner, Tim Oliver, rescheduled a visit there so it would not be the same time. We didn't want the dealer activity to be distracted by us and/or us by them. Plus Hailun USA would not have wanted that either.

Tim goes there regularly. He has actually developed some conversational Mandarin. His visits correspond with the beginning of a manufacturing run of our product (which happens regularly), development of a new design, or a tweak in design.

I need to start with the fact that Hailun Chen builds a fine piano. He likes his designs and they are successful. Our piano is different because what we desire is different. The differences include scale, soundboard dimensions, bridge placement, hammers, action geometry, and finishing.

By finishing, I refer to what we do to the pianos when they arrive in Philadelphia. We spend many hours on each piano, even the uprights. Here is a candid of an upright Cunningham beginning the prep. process:



As you can see the upright does not yet have the action or keyboard in it. We begin with the strung back, which, like the grands, has a tunable duplex system. We start there. Not every aliquot is perfectly placed. We adjust them. While the piano is open we go through it. There are always adjustments to be made.

Next the key sticks are installed. They are checked over, bushings are adjusted, balance is checked.

The action, which has been gone through before installation is now installed. It is finely regulated and voiced. The tone we are looking for is different from what Hailun Chen enjoys. That is OK. There is room for both designs and for both pianos to be successful.

Finally, we go over the cabinetry. We have a full time finishing staff right on the premises and, as most here already know, we do polyester work on the premises. So each piano is buffed and "deluxed" so the instrument will look it's absolute best. Flaws are repaired before they are seen by the public or a dealer.

Bottom line - any piano is a culmination of the materials chosen, the design chosen, and the execution of that design with the given materials. Additionally, every piano will benefit from the type of work we put into the Cunningham, but we do it so our chosen design and chosen materials will shine they way we wish for it to.

To Sam Bennett, I am sorry if you feel I highjacked your thread here. That was not my intent.

Further, you mentioned that Frank Emerson's contract was up with Hailun earlier this year. He has not been active at Hailun for about 2 years. As far as I know, his last project at Hailun was our design work. He was only there for our design work at the time and no longer had responsibilities involved with Hailun design.

I don't want to say more than that here because I don't want to somehow embarrass anyone, but please call me. I would like to know what you were specifically told.

My 2 cents,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#2273598 - 05/10/14 10:41 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9189
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
One more thing,

I thought that a quote from Jonathan Coopersmith might be more valuable than anything I can say:

"I am quite pleased with my Cunningham Piano, especially in comparison to what else is available even for many thousands of dollars more. I have trust in the product and the company and highly recommend this piano."
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#2273615 - 05/10/14 11:14 AM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7284
Loc: Rochester MN
Rich,

You need to edit the "Matchless" site to add Mr. Coopersmith's name to his quote. It's a quotation without a citation. That is true for the other quotes on the model pages other than for Mr. Khaner. Even Mr. Watts' name is missing.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2273631 - 05/10/14 12:07 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
I need to start with the fact that Hailun Chen builds a fine piano. He likes his designs and they are successful.



That's funny.

Someone infamous here said exactly this about 5-7 years ago and was laughed out of the halls then....

This from a dealer who is hardly selling this brand any longer.

Personally I like Rich's upgrading of the piano and have no doubt it's a fine[r] piano in the end. But then a 'stock Hailun' can be a pretty formidable piano as well.

Re "factory tour" a dealer friend of mine once took a wrong turn during his own tour and saw some very "interesting" pianos being made there. Now that the part I would have personally found the most interesting one... wink

For us, Hailun has been a good make in the past but IMHO with somewhat variable performance involving their individual models.

In this regard I vividly remember the discussions I had about this very subject with Frank Emerson and Mr. Chen himself.

I also remember when during Namm 2000 I took Mr. Chen's charming niece 'May' by hand testing with her some pianos [uprights] by certain others. [only to be thrown out from there... grin]

Interesting reaction later, seemingly quite appreciative..

May I wish all parties well to making even better sounding pianos in the future: they obviously doing very well as is!

Norbert smile



Edited by Norbert (05/10/14 12:12 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2274271 - 05/11/14 09:04 PM Re: Hailun Piano Factory Tour [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9189
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Rich,

You need to edit the "Matchless" site to add Mr. Coopersmith's name to his quote. It's a quotation without a citation. That is true for the other quotes on the model pages other than for Mr. Khaner. Even Mr. Watts' name is missing.


Thank you Marty. I haven't found anyone else who cannot read the names of the quotes at the bottom of each page. If anyone would double check from your computer I would really appreciate it.

www.matchlesscunningham.com

Thank you in advance all.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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