FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer...

Posted by: Ginster6

FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 02:13 PM

I finally got call back.. from Hailun, China. did not talk the Mr. Chen. but another person in there.

Hailun 178 and under..
solid spruce core, veneer top and bottom.

hailun 198 and over..
solid spruce all the way.

reason for this. 178 and under usually purchase for home. so they veneer it so it was be used all over the world and soundboard will not crack or deform, from weather issues. (longer lasting).
note... it is not multi-layer wood compress together (laminated) .

this info is not to be "FLAME"
this topic is FYI talk.



Posted by: Aliwally

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 02:15 PM

Thank you. Good information, and it makes sense too.
Posted by: Del

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 03:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Ginster6
I finally got call back.. from Hailun, China. did not talk the Mr. Chen. but another person in there.

Hailun 178 and under..
solid spruce core, veneer top and bottom.

hailun 198 and over..
solid spruce all the way.

reason for this. 178 and under usually purchase for home. so they veneer it so it was be used all over the world and soundboard will not crack or deform, from weather issues. (longer lasting).

This is, of course, the definition of a laminated panel. I’m not sure what you mean by the following:
Quote:
note... it is not multi-layer wood compress together (laminated) .



Not to get back on my soapbox or anything…but I still think it is long past time that we—as an industry—started to own up to the idea that laminated soundboards can be good things.

ddf
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 03:41 PM

Del,

Is your soap box made of laminated wood?
Posted by: Ginster6

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 04:21 PM

from wiki

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) is an engineered wood product that ""uses multiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives"". It offers several advantages over typical milled lumber: it is stronger, straighter, and more uniform. It is much less likely than conventional lumber to warp, twist, bow, or shrink due to its composite nature. Made in a factory under controlled specifications, LVL products allow users to reduce the onsite labor. They are typically used for headers, beams, rimboard, and edge-forming material.
Posted by: Ginster6

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 04:24 PM

like i say.. that was the info I got. not looking to start a war here. nor am I a expert.

All I know is, my hailun 178 will be arriving next week. and I dont care what it is made of..

smile
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 04:43 PM

The fact that you don't care what your Hailun's soundboard is made of is telling. There are two key issues here: the tone quality the soundborad (and the rest of the scale design) produces, and the durability of the soundboard.

Tone quality is highly subjective, and in this case, you like the tonality. So the laminated aspect of the board as it relates to tone quality is not a downside in your case. Laminated soundboards are inherently stronger than solid spruce boards and hold crown better. So the 2nd factor is a clear advantage to the laminate.

Significant upside - you like the tone and the board is more durable. And in your case there is no downside!

In effect the germaine issue is not the soundboard's material, but whether or not you like the tonality produced. So, in effect, evaluating the tonality "automatically" evaluates the soundboard construction.
Posted by: Kieran Wells

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 04:46 PM

It's like this:

Posted by: turandot

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 05:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Ginster6
I finally got call back.. from Hailun, China. did not talk the Mr. Chen. but another person in there.

Hailun 178 and under..
solid spruce core, veneer top and bottom.

hailun 198 and over..
solid spruce all the way.

reason for this. 178 and under usually purchase for home. so they veneer it so it was be used all over the world and soundboard will not crack or deform, from weather issues. (longer lasting).
note... it is not multi-layer wood compress together (laminated) .

this info is not to be "FLAME"
this topic is FYI talk.





That exact breakdown was posted here on PW a year or so ago..

I think what is not stated is that if a maker decides a specific soundboard cost that it is willing to take on in producing a piano which has a specific total cost, the veneered soundboard may have advantages over the solid if the cost allocated is relatively low, and the solid board available at that cost is crappy.

One of the things about the Hailun team is that they introduce a lot of new models. They will shortly have on the US market an HG 180 grand. That piano, with the same series designation as the 178 and only 2 cm longer, will feature a solid spruce board. Hailun will undoubtedly use that solid board as a selling point. You won't have to telephone Ningbo to find out about it. They have not used the veneered board as a selling point. This approach creates confusion.

Inexperienced shoppers who don't know the particulars of board cost allocated to a piano's total design will receive the message that the HG180 is the better piano. They will not take into account that at the 178's price point the veneered board may be the superior solution. Disclosure is a key part of educating consumers. Sometimes companies take a stab at it, but they quickly resort to their old ways.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 06:43 PM

Quote:

In effect the germaine issue is not the soundboard's material, but whether or not you like the tonality produced. So, in effect, evaluating the tonality "automatically" evaluates the soundboard construction.


thumb thumb

Luckily this time a "germaine"- not another "german" issue...

Norbert grin
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 07:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
In effect the germaine issue is not the soundboard's material, but whether or not you like the tonality produced. So, in effect, evaluating the tonality "automatically" evaluates the soundboard construction.
I think the question is more complicated than this. Isn't there the possibility that even if one likes the tone of the piano with a laminated soundboard one might like the tone of the same or similar piano with a non laminated soundboard even more?
Posted by: ChrisVenables

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 07:25 PM

Originally Posted By: turandot

One of the things about the Hailun team is that they introduce a lot of new models. They will shortly have on the US market an HG 180 grand. That piano, with the same series designation as the 178 and only 2 cm longer, will feature a solid spruce board. Hailun will undoubtedly use that solid board as a selling point. You won't have to telephone Ningbo to find out about it. They have not used the veneered board as a selling point. This approach creates confusion.

Inexperienced shoppers who don't know the particulars of board cost allocated to a piano's total design will receive the message that the HG180 is the better piano. They will not take into account that at the 178's price point the veneered board may be the superior solution. Disclosure is a key part of educating consumers. Sometimes companies take a stab at it, but they quickly resort to their old ways.


Companies such as Yamaha introduce even more new models than Hailun. There's nothing wrong with change and progress as long as it's backed up with facts.

Having seen and heard both the Hailun 178 model with veneered soundboard (I find veneered soundboards at this price point not much different to non veneered) and the V180 (V for Vienna - Austrian soundboard tonewood, from Kolbl) although the string lengths are similar, the iron frames are quite different with the 178 having the almost rectangular frame cutouts and the 180 the more Bosendorfer-ish (!) circular type - the 180 winning hands down. How much of that is soundboard v frame difference could keep PW aficionados debating for a lifetime. Hailun's selling point is, in this case biased toward the Austrian tonewood soundboard rather than the frame difference. In my view, the frame design (scaling) and using different hammers (don't know for sure if this will be the case in the US) makes more tonal difference than small differences in soundboard material. I would apply that reasoning to most piano designs.

The Hailun 168 is a shorter version of the V180 - totally new and at 5'6" a very 'creamy' sounding piano. Much like a Bose 170, but just that bit cheaper......
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/15/11 08:47 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
In effect the germaine issue is not the soundboard's material, but whether or not you like the tonality produced. So, in effect, evaluating the tonality "automatically" evaluates the soundboard construction.
I think the question is more complicated than this. Isn't there the possibility that even if one likes the tone of the piano with a laminated soundboard one might like the tone of the same or similar piano with a non laminated soundboard even more?


Since pianos that are identical except for a solid v. laminated board are not available the point may be moot. One must find a piano that satisfies them tonally, whatever the construction of the board.

The exception is that, should it be a piano with a laminated board be the one that is tonally satisfying, a bonus is realized in that the board is virtually indestructable.

Bottom line: If the tone is satisfying and the price is right, the construction of the soundboard is a "red herring".
Posted by: schwammerl

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/16/11 12:59 AM

Quote:
How much of that is soundboard v frame difference could keep PW aficionados debating for a lifetime. Hailun's selling point is, in this case biased toward the Austrian tonewood soundboard rather than the frame difference. In my view, the frame design (scaling) and using different hammers (don't know for sure if this will be the case in the US) makes more tonal difference than small differences in soundboard material. I would apply that reasoning to most piano designs.


Chris,

Although this might be the subject of an entirely new thread just a few observations/questions here.

The fact that Hailun will make the soundboard material the selling point for the new models - and not the other modifications - is presumably related to the fact that presenting soundboard differences in a sales talk is at least seen as easier to explain in a 'vulgar' way to the layman (although we learned here it is not always that easy) than is explaining other differences such as frame?

Quote:
In my view, the frame design (scaling) and using different hammers (don't know for sure if this will be the case in the US) makes more tonal difference than small differences in soundboard material.

I can follow you on this one. When then high end European piano manufacures - Steinway Hamburg, Bösendorfer, just to name two of them - not so long ago had to change supplier for their frames and find a new one, as their supply from a common frame manufacturer from the Czech Republic ended, this must have been a nightmare for those piano manufacturers?

schwammerl.
Posted by: turandot

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/16/11 01:46 AM

Originally Posted By: ChrisVenables


Companies such as Yamaha introduce even more new models than Hailun. There's nothing wrong with change and progress as long as it's backed up with facts.


Yeah, but Yamaha is entitled. Hailun is not. grin

Chris,

Maybe I'm missing something but in the range of the Hailun 168, 178, and 180 from Hailun, is it fair to say that Yamaha has two pianos and the one, the GC2, is a stripped down version of the other, the C2? Obviously, Hailun can do whatever it wants in the area of marketing and call it progress, but I don't think their message is clear at all.


BTW, your post indicates that you have examined the 178, 168, and 180. Are all of these to be offered in Europe through the same distribution channel?
Posted by: ChrisVenables

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/16/11 05:01 AM

Originally Posted By: schwammerl
......... presenting soundboard differences in a sales talk is at least seen as easier to explain in a 'vulgar' way to the layman (although we learned here it is not always that easy) than is explaining other differences such as frame?

Quote:
In my view, the frame design (scaling) and using different hammers (don't know for sure if this will be the case in the US) makes more tonal difference than small differences in soundboard material.

I can follow you on this one. When then high end European piano manufacures - Steinway Hamburg, Bösendorfer, just to name two of them - not so long ago had to change supplier for their frames and find a new one, as their supply from a common frame manufacturer from the Czech Republic ended, this must have been a nightmare for those piano manufacturers?

schwammerl.


I agree, it's more likely the layman would be taken in by a sales pitch about 'solid wood' rather than the technical blurb on their web spec sheet that the frame is 'new design to enhance tone projection; mid-low tenor bar on plate for more accurate bearing, decorative nose bolts and plate bolts' Personally, I'm more taken in by the frame design than the wood.

Regarding the iron frame question for European makers, I wouldn't have thought locating a new foundry would have caused much of a problem.

Regards.
Posted by: ChrisVenables

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/16/11 05:57 AM

Originally Posted By: turandot
Originally Posted By: ChrisVenables


Companies such as Yamaha introduce even more new models than Hailun. There's nothing wrong with change and progress as long as it's backed up with facts.


Yeah, but Yamaha is entitled. Hailun is not. grin

Chris,

Maybe I'm missing something but in the range of the Hailun 168, 178, and 180 from Hailun, is it fair to say that Yamaha has two pianos and the one, the GC2, is a stripped down version of the other, the C2? Obviously, Hailun can do whatever it wants in the area of marketing and call it progress, but I don't think their message is clear at all.


BTW, your post indicates that you have examined the 178, 168, and 180. Are all of these to be offered in Europe through the same distribution channel?


William

Yes, I agree, I think you are missing something - I've always thought that, but I wanted you to admit it first. grin

I think Hailun's message is clearer than Yamaha's and their model range less confusing. Your question was based on your selecting just three Hailun models from 5'6" to 5'10" and comparing that with two Yamaha models which fall within those lengths. A fairer comparison of the two companies ranges and 'duplications' would be to look at the whole range of each manufacturer:

Yamaha: GB1, 4'11"
GC1, C1, both 5'3"
GC2, C2 both 5'8"
C3, C3 studio, C3XA all 6'1"
S4, CF4, both 6'3"
C6, S6, C6XA, CF6 all 6'11"
C7, 7'6"
(plus concert)
i.e.,plenty of 'duplication' and reworking of existing designs.

I think one of Yamaha's reasons for having multiples of the same model, for example 4 models all 6'11", is that Yamaha pianos are sold in many outlets such as general music shops as a 'commodity' rather than a piano. Many of these shops don't have the skilled technicians to voice and prep a standard Yamaha to give it the warmth or personality that most customers want. So Yamaha do it for them, at a price, such as the XA, S and CF models.

Hailun
151, 5'00"
161, 5'3"
168, 5'6"
178, 5'10"
180, 5'11"
198, 6'5"
218, 7'2"
(plus concert)

i.e., no duplications.

Regarding European distribution channels, although I'm not a spokesman for Hailun, apart from OEM partners, I believe they intend to sell the 151, 168, 180, 198 as Hailun and the 161, 178 and 218 formerly Wendl, as Feurich. How they will tackle the 218 I don't know.

Best wishes.
Posted by: turandot

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/16/11 07:45 AM

Chris,

Thank you for posting the entire range of Yamaha grands. It provided clear proof that Hailun, even in its infancy, has covered both sides of the curial 2 cm difference between 178 cm and 180 cm and between 198 cm and 200 cm, whereas Yamaha has missed that boat entirely. grin

Quote:
I think Hailun's message is clearer than Yamaha's and their model range less confusing.


Well, yes....if the message you mean is

We are pleased to have you as our distribution partner and welcome your fine old German name on our product. Now that the ink is dry, be advised that we're going to put the screws to you with the introduction of upgraded models in our own name that by sheer coincidence are just a skosh longer,. Oh, and BTW, we'll be taking along smaller OEM partners for the ride

I may be missing something cognitive but my olfactory sense is still functioning.

Quote:
How they will tackle the 218 I don't know.

Good word..."tackle". It fits.

I'll hazard a guess. It it somehow goes to Feurich, a day later Hailun will put out a press release on a Hailun 220 with Bolduc board and full German Renner action.
Posted by: ChrisVenables

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/16/11 09:28 AM

Originally Posted By: turandot

Well, yes....if the message you mean is

We are pleased to have you as our distribution partner and welcome your fine old German name on our product. Now that the ink is dry, be advised that we're going to put the screws to you with the introduction of upgraded models in our own name that by sheer coincidence are just a skosh longer,. Oh, and BTW, we'll be taking along smaller OEM partners for the ride

I may be missing something cognitive but my olfactory sense is still functioning.



William

If I'd meant your above interpretation of 'the message', I would have written it myself thanks. grin

Planning production of new models takes a least a year. Both the 168 and 180 were designed and produced well before the planned changeover between Wendl and Feurich so there was no deception there by Hailun. Wendl had been working with Hailun for several years before that anyway and would have been well aware of any new product development.

I agree with you that what happens with small OEM's may be another matter.

A Hailun 220? Good idea!
Posted by: Ginster6

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/16/11 11:04 AM

chris...
is your piano made by hailun?.. birdeye inside rim sound like a hailun to me.. in thh 5'-10"
Posted by: ChrisVenables

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/16/11 11:43 AM

Yes Ginster6. We offer three different types of hammer head depending on the customer's ideals, different key spec and lots of prep, custom voicing and regulating.
Posted by: Tom FU

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/17/11 12:47 AM

Originally Posted By: ChrisVenables
Yes Ginster6. We offer three different types of hammer head depending on the customer's ideals, different key spec and lots of prep, custom voicing and regulating.


Crhis,

Wow, your website is awesome, very professional thumb . Even some piano manufacture's websites are not as informative as yours. But the new academy 168 and 180's webpage seemed missed, or not ready yet?

For 180, I remember Rotom posted about his comment few days ago, just as positive as you mentioned above.

But how about the new 168? No one has give any feedback yet. If compared to HG178, is 168's "creamy" tone quality better than 178? I always feel that 178's tone is a little bit thin, lacking some richness. I don't know if this is due to the "laminated" soundboard. Also, 168 is smaller than 178, could this 10cm shortage result in a big loss in its bass deepness even with solid spruce soundboard, new designed iron plate and other secret details we yet haven't known?

Tom
Posted by: ChrisVenables

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/17/11 04:33 AM

Thank you Tom for the compliments regarding our website. My son William, (Tur- all the best people seem to be called William) grin does it all in-house.

We will be video recording the 168 and 180 next weekend as we only received these models end of August. Thereafter they will be featured on our website as per our other models.

The 178, as you rightly say, being 10cm longer, does have a better overall bass than the 168, but the 168, especially after our hammer work and prepping produces one of the creamiest sounds I've heard in a grand at this price point. The very low bass on the 168 however, is very warm, pure and deep.

I've not experienced the 'thin' sound you mentioned on the 178 and I would attribute any tonal thinness to lack of dealer prepping and certainly not because of a veneered soundboard which I have no problem with at all.
Posted by: Tom FU

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/18/11 04:35 AM

Originally Posted By: ChrisVenables
We will be video recording the 168 and 180 next weekend as we only received these models end of August. Thereafter they will be featured on our website as per our other models.


Well, that will be great to hear how these new academy grands sound under your excellent voicing work.

Originally Posted By: ChrisVenables
The 178, as you rightly say, being 10cm longer, does have a better overall bass than the 168, but the 168, especially after our hammer work and prepping produces one of the creamiest sounds I've heard in a grand at this price point. The very low bass on the 168 however, is very warm, pure and deep.


So if there is a comparison, I mean, under the same prep and without considering the bass deepness, 178 and 168, which do you think has a better tone quality and is more attractive to its audience? Do the solid soundboard, able hammers, new ion plate and other new designs make huge differences in the sound?

Originally Posted By: ChrisVenables
I've not experienced the 'thin' sound you mentioned on the 178 and I would attribute any tonal thinness to lack of dealer prepping and certainly not because of a veneered soundboard which I have no problem with at all.


Now I see what an important prep work is a must for pianos made under Chinese mass-production line...

I really like both the 152 and the 200 grands' tone on your website. To be honest, I've never heard such beautiful tones from those grands in my local Hailun dealer-shops.
Posted by: ChrisVenables

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/18/11 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Tom FU

So if there is a comparison, I mean, under the same prep and without considering the bass deepness, 178 and 168, which do you think has a better tone quality and is more attractive to its audience? Do the solid soundboard, able hammers, new ion plate and other new designs make huge differences in the sound?



Under the exact conditions that you mention above, the 168 is extraordinarily sweet in the mid section around mid C to 2 octaves above, there is little to choose between between a 168 and 178 in the top section. The longer piano wins at the bass break.

Most of these pianos are going to be bought by families who play for pleasure and are looking for a warm, lyrical tone, e.g. to quote from our website: "ideally suited to those wanting a piano for a more intimate environment, chamber-work or vocal accompaniment." If you're a pro player and looking for a piano under 6'00" to thrash and one that perhaps has more raw cutting power, then I'd suggest a Yamaha, or a Steinway if you have the cash.

Regarding your question on comparing how different components in these models alter the sound, it's the sum of the parts rather than each individual part, plus the amount of dealer's prep such as regulating, strike point, string levelling, hammer shaping and toning.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 09/18/11 12:44 PM

Quote:
Now I see what an important prep work is a must for pianos made under Chinese mass-production line...


No more, no less than all other "mass-produced" pianos.
Or for that matter - 'any pianos'.

While there once was a time when extensive preparation was necessary for Chinese made pianos, this no longer seems necessary, at least not for the pianos we've seen in recent times.

When recently visiting a prominent dealership, many of his pianos of hadn't been tuned even once, let alone "extensively prepped"

To be frank, even some of those top tier pianos sounded less than impressive, not denying that they *could* if properly set up.

Amazingly, among them were some rather lofty "non-mass-produced" names....

Norbert
Posted by: SweetMusicLover

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/23/12 02:43 AM

Norbert,

By way of introduction, I'm David Rodgers a long time piano tech.

I couldn't agree with you more. A few years back I had two Estonias sent to me straight from the factory for preparation for the customers, installation of Pianomation systems and transport damage repair.

The pianos sounded like garbage when I got them out of the crates. I couldn't believe how bad they were. I went about regulating, pounding the action and strings in, reregulating, tuning and tuning and tuning, then regulating some more and finally voicing.

I was quite surprised at what left my shop. They were downright respectable pianos anyone would be happy to own for the price.

DR
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/23/12 03:01 AM

Originally Posted By: SweetMusicLover

The pianos sounded like garbage when I got them out of the crates. I couldn't believe how bad they were. I went about regulating, pounding the action and strings in, reregulating, tuning and tuning and tuning, then regulating some more and finally voicing.

I was quite surprised at what left my shop. They were downright respectable pianos anyone would be happy to own for the price.


Huh? confused
Posted by: wouter79

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/23/12 05:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Del

This is, of course, the definition of a laminated panel. I’m not sure what you mean by the following:
Quote:
note... it is not multi-layer wood compress together (laminated) .


ddf


I suppose what they refer to as "multi-layer wood" is just plywood?
Posted by: turandot

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/23/12 09:47 AM

You suppose wrong.

If you happen to be at a lumber yard, check the edge of its top grade of plywood to count the number of thin layers of equal width that are laid across each other. You won't find anything resembling a substantial solid core sandwiched between two thin skins.

Plywood is designed with one purpose in mind. A laminated soundboard is designed with another purpose in mind. Differet properties of strength and flexibility are sought in each. There is commonality in that both are cost-driven alternatives, but as Del has pointed out in this forum, the musical potential and long-term stability of a laminate board of cost X may well exceed the musical potential and long-term stability of a solid board of the same or even higher cost due to the scarcity and cost of superior solid tonewood.

Labeling laminated boards as plywood in similar to labeling Kawai's current piano action as plastic. Comments from within the piano industry that equate a laminate board to plywood are driven by marketing, not engineering.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/23/12 03:10 PM

Quote:
If you happen to be at a lumber yard, check the edge of its top grade of plywood to count the number of thin layers of equal width that are laid across each other. You won't find anything resembling a substantial solid core sandwiched between two thin skins.


No, of course not, because LAMINATED WOOD is not MULTI-LAYER WOOD but solid wood with a thin laminate. Please read again. Hailun is stating they are NOT using multi-layer wood.

I still suppose that they mean plywood by multi-layer wood.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/23/12 09:13 PM

Quote:
Hailun is stating they are NOT using multi-layer wood.


If this is indeed true then it is incorrect - they clearly not stating fact.

We have always presented to our customers the truth when subject came up.
The better dealers out there sure do and have done same.

And then there are always some other makes where this quagmire doesn't even have to come up....

Norbert wink
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/23/12 09:32 PM

Depends on the model.

Some use Strunz soundboards

Some don't

Some use custom soundboard made from Austrian Spruce

Depends

One thing though - they all sound great. So who gives a rat's a**
Posted by: turandot

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/24/12 09:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Furtwangler
Depends on the model.

Some use Strunz soundboards

Some don't

Some use custom soundboard made from Austrian Spruce

Depends

One thing though - they all sound great. So who gives a rat's a**



Obviously, Hailun gives a rat's arse. They've gone to great lengths to bury the meaning of laminate under a "meniscus coating". One wonders what percentage of the English-speaking population would gues that the coating is actually a thin wooden panel.

Whether you think they all sound great or not, they do sound different. and with no one in the industry other than Pearl's Kayserberg wiling to take a chance on putting a laminate into something that is not entry-level, it's not surprising that consumers still give a rat's arse too.
Posted by: Rotom

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/24/12 09:47 AM

One question: If the Laminate boards with that "Meniscus spruce" coating sound different to ones with solid spruce boards, at least you could explain HOW exactly they sound different, as opposed to just saying "they sound different". Otherwise it is a pointless statement to say that, as they could very well sound the same depending on the obvious variables.
Posted by: turandot

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/24/12 10:22 AM

I don't think it's pointless, but maybe it's futile because you can't isolate the soundboard difference in Hailun models as the sole characteristic that differentiates them. They are of course of different lengths with different scale designs, and as their retailaers will occasionally point out -- different guest designers.

Even if we largely eliminate the length difference by comparing the 180 to the 178, we're still stuck with the fact that each one has a different plate design (among other variables). So, I'll grant you that it's a bit futile to nail anything down.

My own subjective impressions are that the 161 and the 178 have the same musical character and that while it's pleasant, it's not a distinctive or memorable character. I've always felt (from 2007 actually) that those two were good pianos for the asking price through, meniscus or no meniscus. My impression of the 218 is that it is distinctive, memorable, and just a very fine piano period.

I wasn't throwing a bucket of cold water at Hailun, although I do find their dodge of the term laminate particularly amusing and creative. My point was that only a maker who embraces laminate technology in a way that does not obscure it and takes the risk of putting it to use in some of its more expensive models can do much to advance the cause of laminate boards among people who have been trained by industry marketing for decades to worship the solid spruce board.
Posted by: Rotom

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/24/12 11:43 AM

Originally Posted By: turandot
I don't think it's pointless, but maybe it's futile because you can't isolate the soundboard difference in Hailun models as the sole characteristic that differentiates them. They are of course of different lengths with different scale designs, and as their retailaers will occasionally point out -- different guest designers.

Even if we largely eliminate the length difference by comparing the 180 to the 178, we're still stuck with the fact that each one has a different plate design (among other variables). So, I'll grant you that it's a bit futile to nail anything down.

My own subjective impressions are that the 161 and the 178 have the same musical character and that while it's pleasant, it's not a distinctive or memorable character. I've always felt (from 2007 actually) that those two were good pianos for the asking price through, meniscus or no meniscus. My impression of the 218 is that it is distinctive, memorable, and just a very fine piano period.

I wasn't throwing a bucket of cold water at Hailun, although I do find their dodge of the term laminate particularly amusing and creative. My point was that only a maker who embraces laminate technology in a way that does not obscure it and takes the risk of putting it to use in some of its more expensive models can do much to advance the cause of laminate boards among people who have been trained by industry marketing for decades to worship the solid spruce board.


That is a great post. In my opinion it is basically entirely accurate. My sincere thanks, Turandot.
Posted by: Supply

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/24/12 12:52 PM

Originally Posted By: turandot
...My point was that only a maker who embraces laminate technology in a way that does not obscure it and takes the risk of putting it to use in some of its more expensive models can do much to advance the cause of laminate boards among people who have been trained by industry marketing for decades to worship the solid spruce board.
Agreed, except for the finger pointing at industry marketing. I think laminate's (perhaps undeserved) bad rap does not stem from industry propaganda, but rather from the tens of thousands of 1960 and 70s vintage consoles still out there with "Lifetime Garantee" soundboards made of a medium quality door skin, which sound like crap. That proof is in the pudding.

It is one of the problems of long-lived consumer goods such as pianos. Even if quality is raised up to a high level, those 20, 30, 40 year old mistakes are still out there, hindering a company's (or product's) rise of reputation. Perfect analogous example: plastic (oops, did I say that? I meant composite) action parts.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/24/12 02:01 PM

The discussion is in my mind not about the alleged superiority of certain components but the HONESTY and transparency about a manufacturer's own statements.

If you can't believe what a maker says, who can you then?

Norbert
Posted by: wouter79

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/24/12 03:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
Hailun is stating they are NOT using multi-layer wood.


If this is indeed true then it is incorrect - they clearly not stating fact.


Well, that's how I read Ginster6's post.
Ginster6, is the quoted text Hailun's or yours? Particularly, the last sentence emphasized by me

Originally Posted By: Ginster6
I finally got call back.. from Hailun, China. did not talk the Mr. Chen. but another person in there.

Hailun 178 and under..
solid spruce core, veneer top and bottom.

hailun 198 and over..
solid spruce all the way.

reason for this. 178 and under usually purchase for home. so they veneer it so it was be used all over the world and soundboard will not crack or deform, from weather issues. (longer lasting).
note... it is not multi-layer wood compress together (laminated) .
Posted by: Enrico

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/24/12 03:37 PM

This type of laminated soundboard has been around a long time. Samick has been doing this type of board on all of their low end pianos since the mid 1980s. I have sold many samicks with the thin layer with solid layer in the middle laminated boards. They tried to call it a moisture barrier or some other type of marketing lingo. This is all Hailun is doing as well. The better and more expensive Kohler and Campbell pianos used the same scale but gave you a solid spruce soundboard. Your right that there is nothing wrong with this, but it is done not to improve upon the product, but to create a more profitable piano for the manufacturer. Guitar players know this as well, A solid spruce top of a guitar is better than a laminate. It just translates the sound better. If Hailun feels they want to enter at a lower price point and cut costs why not in this economy.
Posted by: turandot

Re: FYI. Hailun Soundboard answer... - 10/24/12 04:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Norbert
The discussion is in my mind not about the alleged superiority of certain components but the HONESTY and transparency about a manufacturer's own statements.

If you can't believe what a maker says, who can you then?

Norbert


Norbert,

If you feel a meniscus coating accurately describes Hailun's use of thin wood panels to sandwich the core, then I would concede that it's better than nothing. I suppose it's ancient history now, but scroll back to when you were selling 178's branded as Steigerman Premium, the Steigerman webiste was pimping solid boards -- no meniscus, no skin, no thin top or bottom panel. So I guess from that perspective, we can all celebrate Hailun's new-found transparency grin, while also conceding that their laminate board pianos cannot be faulted in the way that the ones cited by Jurgen could be faulted..

Jurgen,

I hadn't thought about it from your angle, but you are right. The shortcomings of the laminates of that generation are part of the reluctance to advance the cause today.