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Topic Options
#76740 - 09/29/04 01:28 PM Young Chang Warranties Good
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10561
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
The following is a letter from the president of Samick Music Corp.:

Y 0 U N G C H A N G
September 24, 2004

JASON'S MUSIC CENTER INC.
8230 RITCHIE HIGHWAY
PASADENA, MD 21122

Dear Young Chang Dealer,

With all of the recent changes at Young Chang in Korea, I believe it is important to clarify for you and your customers the warranty situation.
When SMC, America's largest piano supplier, was appointed the distributor for North and South America for Young Chang, Bergmann, Pramberger, Weber and Kurzweil, we made specific arrangements to cover the warranty on all past, present and future instruments. This is a long-term agreement and as long at it is in effect, SMC is committed to cover the warranty.

We believe it is critical to our future success to make sure that all of the pianos, still under warranty, are fully protected and covered. This will insure the customer's investment in one of our fine pianos is assured.

You are at liberty to show this letter to potential customers that may have been led to believe that Young Chang pianos are not covered by a valid warranty.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Jones President, SMC
_________________________
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
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#76741 - 09/29/04 01:42 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6189
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#76742 - 09/29/04 01:44 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
The key phrase being of course, "as long as it is in effect".

If Samick in Korea doesn't convince the Fair Trade Commission to change their minds, watch how quickly it goes "out of effect".


By the way Steve..... stock up really heavy on Prambergers.....
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#76743 - 09/29/04 01:46 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Eric F Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 518
Loc: La Quinta, CA
Steve,
When you spoke to Samick, did you get any more info on the bancruptsy thing with YC? What's the real situation with Samick/YC and the Korean courts?
_________________________
Eric Frankson
"Music comes first from my heart, and then goes upstairs to my head where I check it out." - Roberta Flack

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#76744 - 09/29/04 07:13 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Thanks, Steve.. good news. A lot better than 'yer outta luck'..
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

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#76745 - 09/29/04 07:18 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
SWCovington Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 83
Loc: Houston
From the Korea Times on Sept. 21st.

Young Chang Files for Bankruptcy


By Cho Hyung-kwon
Staff Reporter

Young Chang, the nation’s leading piano maker, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday as the company failed to honor 300 million won in maturing bills.

The company said that it could not honor the bills due to a worsened business environment and lack of extra cash flow.

However, some market watchers speculated that the piano manufacturer may have intentionally filed for bankruptcy to protest against the Fair Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision earlier this month, ordering Samick Musical Instruments to sell its stake in Young Chang.

Last March, Samick, the nation’s second largest piano maker, acquired 48.6 percent in Young Chang to become the largest shareholder, thus creating a dominant domestic piano manufacturer.

But on Sept. 9, the FTC said that the acquisition violated antitrust laws as the two companies accounted for 92 percent of the upright market.

The two firms also captured 64.4 percent of the grand piano market and 63.4 percent of the digital piano market.

The FTC ordered Samick to sell is entire stake within one year, a move strongly opposed by Samick.

Some said that even though Samick had the potential to bail out Young Chang, it decided not to do so to protest against the FTC’s orders.

Samick had contended that overseas piano manufacturers were eating away the domestic market share rapidly and the increasing competition was hurting the profitability of domestic players.

However, the FTC said that consumers would have less choice and the two firms would be monopolizing the piano market due to their dominant positions.

Young Chang was suspended from trading before the market opened Tuesday due to bankruptcy.
_________________________
Scott Covington, Owner
The Piano Store, Inc.
713-539-3567

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#76746 - 09/29/04 07:23 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
SWCovington Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 83
Loc: Houston
After review of other posts, I declare the above coming post from the department of redundancy department.
_________________________
Scott Covington, Owner
The Piano Store, Inc.
713-539-3567

Top
#76747 - 09/29/04 07:26 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3355
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
 Quote:
Originally posted by SWCovington:
department of redundancy department. [/b]
Are you sure it's not the redundant department of departmental redundancies?
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#76748 - 09/29/04 07:35 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
SWCovington Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 83
Loc: Houston
Hey Keith....one day I will learn.
_________________________
Scott Covington, Owner
The Piano Store, Inc.
713-539-3567

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#76749 - 09/29/04 07:53 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Trooper94 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/26/04
Posts: 12
Loc: Paris, TX
If SMC is no longer a distributor for Young Chang in North and South America, SMC will not have to honor any warranties for Young Chang right?

I'm looking into buying a Young Chang, but very concern with the warranty from a potential bankrupt company.

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#76750 - 09/30/04 04:53 AM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
 Quote:
Originally posted by SWCovington:
Hey Keith....one day I will learn. [/b]
Go any stock tips Scot? \:D

Top
#76751 - 09/30/04 08:12 AM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10561
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Trooper94:
If SMC is no longer a distributor for Young Chang in North and South America, SMC will not have to honor any warranties for Young Chang right?

I'm looking into buying a Young Chang, but very concern with the warranty from a potential bankrupt company. [/b]
My understanding is that the agreement to honor warranties was long term and obligated SMC to honor all YC warranties on any units sold in the past, present or future. Should they discontinue representing YC in the future they would still be obligated to honor warranties on products already sold.
_________________________
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
#76752 - 09/30/04 08:58 AM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Unless they cannot get the FTC to change their ruling, and the YC bankruptcy becomes a total one, with no one else buying the name. Then, the agreement is void.

I can't understand why they want it in the first place. If they have to divest themselves of YC, I don't see any other piano maker buying them. So in my opinion, either the FTC changes their ruling (which is unlikely) or YC is toast.

Just buy up as many Prambergers as you can get your hands on Steve, as fast as you can.......
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#76753 - 09/30/04 09:49 AM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
There surely is some risk in buying a YC product right now.. but.. if you get the product at the right price, it is probably worth the gamble.

Anybody have any statistics on MAJOR warranty repairs necessary on YCs or on new pianos in general? For the sake of argument, let's define major as $1K or more.
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

Top
#76754 - 09/30/04 10:32 AM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana

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#76755 - 09/30/04 11:07 AM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Fred Altenburg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 172
Loc: New Jersey
I agree with lb that major repairs on new instruments industry wide is less than 5%. YC's Korean instruments are well built and have a good history, so I think this should not be a critical factor in the purchase if one should find a piano they like.

Disclaimer: Altenburg Piano is not a Young Chang dealer.
_________________________
Purveyor of fine Pianos and Organs
www.altenburgpiano.com
908 351 2000

Top
#76756 - 09/30/04 11:48 AM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Thanks, lb and Fred.

Question: If YC goes out of existence, would there be a service center to ship it to? If there was no warranty why would I ship it there?

I would imagine I would have it fixed locally by one of a couple great piano men here in Baldwin Country. (Well.. ex-Baldwin Country anyway)
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

Top
#76757 - 09/30/04 12:25 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Fred Altenburg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 172
Loc: New Jersey
The only risk a purchaser may have is if the manufacturer tanks. Then when it comes time to sell or trade up the name will be poo-pooed at negotiation. This is the obvious.

There is a small % chance you will not find warranty coverage and even smaller % chance anything major will even go wrong with the piano.

Michael,
You reside in a area that is full of good tuners and technicians. I do not think you will have any regrets if you choose the Korean YC. This of course is my opinion, but if you have doubt about the purchase you should speak with the dealer and feel[/b] reassurance.
_________________________
Purveyor of fine Pianos and Organs
www.altenburgpiano.com
908 351 2000

Top
#76758 - 09/30/04 01:52 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10561
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
I've been in the business all my life. (Let's just say 50+ years!) We have sold literally tens of thousands of pianos.

I have NEVER returned a piano to a service center for warranty work. In EVERY instance where a covered problem manifested that could not be corrected in the home, the piano was replaced with a new one at no charge to the consumer.

This goes for every manufacturer we have represented since our founding in 1937, at least as far as I, or my living familty can remember.

The defective piano was most often fixed by us and sold as a repaired, used piano. From 1961, when Yamaha 1st started to import pianos thru about 1968, we replaced about 15 pianos under warranty. This was about 1% of sales. Each one was put in an airtight "baggie" and AIR FREIGHTED back to Hamamats, Japan. Yamaha's position was that, if the piano had a defect that couldn't be corrected in the home, they wanted the crew that made the piano to determine what went wrong. The problems stopped concurrently with their seasoning the pianos. Of course, whether or not this was cause/effect is a matter of debate.

Even if YCK were to cease to exist (remember, Samick was in bankruptcy for years and is now the largest distributer in the USA), from what I have heard, Samick would be obligated under the warranty on pianos that were sold under their ownership.

The Pramberger designs have a very significant market value as do the YC factories. Like them or not, their more massive soundboard and unique scale design produces a tone that appeals to a large segment of the market. Current or future owners would be VERY foolish not to honor all YC warranties. Look what happened to Baldwin when Henry refused to honor their warranties.
_________________________
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
#76759 - 09/30/04 02:02 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
SWCovington Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 83
Loc: Houston
I agree with Fred, Jason and most of the above. In seven years, we have filed one warranty claim which was handled beautifully. (Note we do not claim broken strings, minor repairs, etc.)

I do not think the current status of Young Chang is going to affect the company (or their warranties) long term, nor would I be afraid to purchase one if you really liked it. No way the South Koreans are going to let the company go down the tubes. Their production is too vital.

Barring a catastrophic piano, which I have yet to see in any make, my store would honor warranty work whether we were backed up by the manufacturer or not...solely to maintain our reputation.

Good luck in your search.

SWC
www.thepianostore.com

(NOTE: Not a Young Chang dealer.)
_________________________
Scott Covington, Owner
The Piano Store, Inc.
713-539-3567

Top
#76760 - 09/30/04 02:06 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Their production has been at about 15% capacity for the last few years. They are strangling to death under union contracts. If the Fair Trade Commission refuses to back down on their ruling, who do you see on the horizon that would be interested in buying YC?
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#76761 - 09/30/04 02:11 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3770
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
Would a start-up Chinese firm take the plunge?
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#76762 - 09/30/04 02:39 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
For the consumer: note that the dealers themselves are saying that they would back the warranty even if the company refuses to do so.

So there's the real answer: buy from a dealer you can trust, and who will back the product even if the parent company does not. Many dealers had to do this with Baldwin. I know Fred Altenburg has a brand new Baldwin M in his showroom taken apart because he had to fix a customer's M, even though Baldwin disavoved the warranty. He needed some parts, and took them from another new one. BOth Steve and Scot Covington would appear to back the products the same way also.

So if the warranty is really important to you, make sure you choose a dealer who is as good as the warranty claim.

Top
#76763 - 09/30/04 02:50 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Fred Altenburg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 172
Loc: New Jersey
I doubt it Curry, because the Chinese firms are the main reason YC has this situation. On the other hand, if YC is purchased by a Chinese Co. things will run differently and people are resistant to change (just ask Henrey).

I bet in 10 years from now we will be looking back on how the industry used to be just as the old timers rehash stories about Elmer Brooks and Harold (Harry) Sohmer days.
_________________________
Purveyor of fine Pianos and Organs
www.altenburgpiano.com
908 351 2000

Top
#76764 - 09/30/04 02:53 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3770
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
Fred, sad but true.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

Top
#76765 - 10/01/04 09:45 AM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Fred,

I bought the piano in early August, and I too very much doubt that I will need anything serious in warranty work. I grew up with them and checked this one out thoroughly, although I did send the first one back.

I spoke with my dealer last week and they have said the warranty is through them first, and they will honor it regardless, so no problems here.

I don't know why I would worry about this.. heck, I drive city freeways! Now THAT is scary!
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

Top
#76766 - 10/02/04 08:41 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Bratpak Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 9
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Larry,
Why are you urging Steve to stock up on Prambergers? I am relatively new to the forum and do not know the personalities yet. The reason I am curious is that I just purchased a JP185. Not knowing anything about pianos I hope I made a good choice. It has a great sound. My first piano ever, and I am now taking lessons. Is Steve the Pramberger dealer?

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#76767 - 10/02/04 08:50 PM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Bratpak,

It's just the dry humor on here..JPs, of which I have a JP-185 in rosewood, have been a topic of much debate on here. Do some searches and you will find a wealth of posts, positive and negative.

Many posters on here, and justifiably so, tend to prefer the European made pianos, which are mostly much more expensive.

I just got done playing mine for the third hour today and I grow to love and appreciate it more each time. Which finish did you get?
_________________________
Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

Top
#76768 - 10/03/04 12:51 AM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Relax and enjoy your Pramberger, Bratpak. You have nothing to worry about. Your piano will serve you well. Steve sells Pramberger, and I'm just trying to give him a "stock tip". Sort of a "get 'em while you can" type thing. He won't get it, but in time it will become clear. In the meantime, congratulations on your piano, and don't pay any attention to my cryptic comment to Steve. There's nothing about it for you to worry anything about. Your piano is just fine.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#76769 - 10/03/04 09:56 AM Re: Young Chang Warranties Good
Jazzmandave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 154
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Bickering over technicals is not the point.... the point is they're not stable. duh.
_________________________
David Rooksby
D.S.M., Pearl River Piano Co.
Canada & Northwest USA
www.pearlriverusa.com

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