What's A Name Worth??

Posted by: K-52SM

What's A Name Worth?? - 08/04/12 05:58 PM

Story & Clarke, Wm Knabe & Co. Chickering & Sons, Wurlitzer, Sohmer, Weber, Ivers & Pond, Hallett & Davis, Kranich & Back, Winter, and others to numerous to mention. What's a name worth?? I often wonder when I see these familiar names of the great American piano era past, now being produced in lands offshore and far away, what's a name worth? Were these iconic brand names sold for a song? Or were they just given away and picked up for nothing? What's a name worth? What would you pay for a brand name like Wurlitzer, Chickering, Winter, or Gulbransen? Would you pay anything for a now defufnked name?? That is if You are going into the piano buisness

Tommy
Posted by: Norbert

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/04/12 08:59 PM

The more you pay for "name" [only] - the less is sometimes left for piano itself....
Not saying a good name ain't worth nothing, but a bit of 'reality check' won't be a bad idea.
My wife does have a lovely name - but I didn't marry her because of it...

Norbert wink
Posted by: thetandyman

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 12:03 AM

My name is worth about $278 including a roll of "forever" stamps! HAH! Seriously, certain pianos seem to hold their value if you buy them used or keep them for many years. Steinway is one name that comes to mind. If you buy one right after it is a few years old, It may never depreciate during your ownership. It is also a valuable name to drop at cocktail parties. Years ago, I found that the phrase, "I own a Steinway" commanded respect. But I was young and had alot to learn. Now I appreciate the sound and action and keep my purchases to myself!
Posted by: thetandyman

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 12:19 AM

One more note, The names of Marantz, Fisher, Webcor etc. were once well known American companies. These names and more, were sold to out of the country manufacturers, and the resulting products bear NO resemblance to the original products. When someone say "I own a Marantz stereo", It could be very valuable vintage audio equipment, OR it could be cheaply made transistor crap. Such seems the same with pianos. One sad item sold overseas was the Kurzweil systhesizers. Back in the '80's, Kurzweil 250 boards were cutting edge, but profit took over and this US company sold out. One example, I do a radio talk show in a American auto manufacturing town, and often field calls about buying American. I always ask what kind of telephone the caller is using. Well, case closed!
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 07:38 AM

To Clarify Things. If I Wanted To Bring Back One These Old Names To Market, Say Ivers & Pond, Chickering, or some of the others mentioned, what do you think would be required to pickup one of these brands interms of purchaee of the name or are some of these names available for little or nothing?
Posted by: carey

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 10:32 AM

As I see it, use of a "well-known" name on a foreign built instrument that bears little resemblance to the original American built product is simply a ploy to get unsophisticated and unsuspecting consumers to purchase a piano.

Personally, I have always liked the Weber models built by Young Chang. I even owned a Weber baby grand for a few years. BUT the Weber marketing strategy (see link below) is extremely misleading. It implies that the current Young Chang built models are similar to the instruments of the past - when, in reality, the only thing they have in common is the Weber name. When purchasing a piano these days, one needs to look past the name on the fallboard and understand where and how the instrument was designed and built.

http://weberpiano.com/weber-history
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 11:22 AM

Hi K-52,

It is an interesting question. Copyright law would come into play. If the name is no longer, or has never been copyrighted, use would be free and you would be able to the copyright it for your own use and protection. The cost of a specific copyright would be dependent on the fee from the owner of the copyright. Maybe that is one of the reasons that pianos are named after composers.

I have no idea if there is an average in the piano industry. I am sure that the "great" and familiar names command big bucks. Privacy laws with contract negotiations keep this very sealed, and covered by the privacy act. It would only be known to those engaged in the negotiations.

Another interesting question is whether there would be inclusion of royalties.

Rich, was there a copyright on the Cunningham name, and if so, was it included with the purchase of the business? Was the name of the business seperate from that of the piano?

Sorry if I have asked a no-no, I don't mean to be rude or nosey, only currious. I'm not asking about the cost, only the proceedure of how it all works.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 01:14 PM

Branding is worth everything. After material costs, a 9' Steinway costs about the same as a 9' Young & Chang. The difference is the name. Same goes for Nike, Adidas, Rolex, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, etc.

If I were to buy a name, I would not want to purchase one that is worthless. I would try to get the best brand I could afford, and then spend as much time and effort as I could rehabilitating the name of the brand. In the case of pianos, that could take an entire generation, because people get entrenched in their particular points of view no matter what the evidence indicates, and "taste" predominates the other senses, including "common". So, you would have to be acutely aware of that in light of any purchasing considerations. wink
Posted by: Jonathan Alford

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 03:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Derulux
Branding is worth everything. After material costs, a 9' Steinway costs about the same as a 9' Young & Chang. The difference is the name. Same goes for Nike, Adidas, Rolex, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, etc.


I disagree - it is not the name that makes a Steinway different from a Young Chang, it is how the materials are put together.

Jonathan
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 06:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Jonathan Alford
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Branding is worth everything. After material costs, a 9' Steinway costs about the same as a 9' Young & Chang. The difference is the name. Same goes for Nike, Adidas, Rolex, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, etc.


I disagree - it is not the name that makes a Steinway different from a Young Chang, it is how the materials are put together.

Jonathan

And you don't think that, at all, you are at least in part paying for the name??
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 07:20 PM

Quote:
And you don't think that, at all, you are at least in part paying for the name??


Hmmm...a C&A program with 2 to 5 concert level instruments not sold to a dealer, but there in a city in case an S&S artist wants to play one.

What cost in inventory alone for every major market place being serviced in the world? 1 mill.? 10 mill.? 50 mill.?

This does not count the many permanent concert venues that have pianos placed by S&S. Now how much cost?

Add the cost of keeping artists on your roster after they have achieved a career. Once they no longer need to be a "branded" artist, many explore the world's other great voices. Now how much cost?

Please do not misunderstand me. Steinway has built some wonderful pianos and they are certainly built differently from Young Chang, but they are not the only voice out there and IMHO are not nearly the most interesting either.
Posted by: mahermusic

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 08:17 PM

My Sister-In-Law's Mother-In-Law (stay with me here...) has a brand new Kohler & Campbell that hew salesperson stated was built in the U.S.A.... She was so happy she was supporting an American workforce... that is, up until the point I broke the news to her.

What? Don't look at me like that... I HAD to say something...
Posted by: carey

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 09:05 PM

Originally Posted By: mahermusic
My Sister-In-Law's Mother-In-Law (stay with me here...) has a brand new Kohler & Campbell that hew salesperson stated was built in the U.S.A.... She was so happy she was supporting an American workforce... that is, up until the point I broke the news to her.

What? Don't look at me like that... I HAD to say something...


The salesperson was either ignorant or dishonest. On the other hand, your S-I-L's-M-I-L is typical of the consumer who shells out big bucks without doing their research. Not to worry, however, because the K & C she bought will still probably serve her well - no matter who built it.
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 09:52 PM

What if the Chickering or Wulitzer brand were available?? What's a name worth ?? What would you pay for such an iconic American Name if it were Possible to bring them back to the market place??
Posted by: Jonathan Alford

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/05/12 09:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Alford
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Branding is worth everything. After material costs, a 9' Steinway costs about the same as a 9' Young & Chang. The difference is the name. Same goes for Nike, Adidas, Rolex, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, etc.


I disagree - it is not the name that makes a Steinway different from a Young Chang, it is how the materials are put together.

Jonathan

And you don't think that, at all, you are at least in part paying for the name??


In part yes, but you said branding is everything.

Jonathan
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 09:27 AM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: mahermusic
My Sister-In-Law's Mother-In-Law (stay with me here...) has a brand new Kohler & Campbell that hew salesperson stated was built in the U.S.A.... She was so happy she was supporting an American workforce... that is, up until the point I broke the news to her.

What? Don't look at me like that... I HAD to say something...


The salesperson was either ignorant or dishonest. On the other hand, your S-I-L's-M-I-L is typical of the consumer who shells out big bucks without doing their research. Not to worry, however, because the K & C she bought will still probably serve her well - no matter who built it.


It is VERY unlikely that the salesperson did not know where that piano was made. He/She certainly knew it was not in the U.S.
Posted by: carey

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 09:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: mahermusic
My Sister-In-Law's Mother-In-Law (stay with me here...) has a brand new Kohler & Campbell that hew salesperson stated was built in the U.S.A.... She was so happy she was supporting an American workforce... that is, up until the point I broke the news to her. What? Don't look at me like that... I HAD to say something...
The salesperson was either ignorant or dishonest. On the other hand, your S-I-L's-M-I-L is typical of the consumer who shells out big bucks without doing their research. Not to worry, however, because the K & C she bought will still probably serve her well - no matter who built it.
It is VERY unlikely that the salesperson did not know where that piano was made. He/She certainly knew it was not in the U.S.


thumb thumb

Posted by: Rank Piano Amateur

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 09:47 AM

If the origin of the piano is important to your relative, and if there was a misrepresentation about the piano, perhaps she should speak with the dealer about taking the piano back. In my view, salespersons should not be able to induce people to buy their products by misrepresenting them; the only recourse is to return the item for a full refund. That is, of course, if the origin of the piano is important to the buyer.
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 09:52 AM

You know he probably said something like, "When you buy Kohler and Campbell you are buying a great American name with a long history of quality, American made instruments." That would be deceptive and greasy, yet still technically correct. He probably didn't come right out and say, "This here particular piano was made in the USA", unless she bought a used model.
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 11:05 AM

Winter, Wurlitzer, Conn, Currier, What's a name worth?? What can you expect to pay to aquire one of the old now defunct unused brand names. $50, $5oo, $5000, $5oooo, Or $5oooooo If you Wanted to start a new piano company what would you pay for a known brand name??
Posted by: Rank Piano Amateur

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 11:20 AM

Many (if not most) of the old names have owners already. If one wanted a particular name, research would be required to find out to whom the name belongs and for what the owner would be willing to sell it (if, of course, the owner is willing to part with it).

Even if a name is not currently owned, using a now-defunct piano brand name for purposes of misleading the public could be very problematic. There are, of course, good reasons to use an old manufacturer's name, but misleading the public is not one of them.
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 01:17 PM

Are you Saying that Samick, Young Chang, Pearl River, Gibson, Baldwin,Wurliter, Yamaha, and the designed by Steinway Series are misleading the public?? If A Company gives a accurate historical timeline of the brand, and makes it clear the transparent truthful facts about the current product line Are you saying That this is misleading? Young Chang Built Grands for Baldwin And Wurlitzer. Was this Misleading?? Larry Fine reports that Samick Has developed or is developing from old engineering records the Wm Knabe line. It is said that they are even shiping back old Knabe Models for Further Product Development. Is This Misleading the Public?? Does a Company not have the right to develope new product specifications or totaly new product designs. Can a company not change it's manufacturing location??
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 01:43 PM

Baldwin (now part of the Gibson family of brands) DID change it's manufacturing location and is one of the few American companies to do it that way. Companies like Samick, Young Chang and Pearl River have never hid the fact that they are Asian companies. Other names like Kohler and Campbell, Knabe and Wurlitzer are where the confusion comes in. These are names that are purchased and used on instruments that have little or nothing to do with the original companies. Persoanlly, as a classic Knabe owner, I'm glad the Samick is trying to reproduce the Knabe line by going back to the Knabe roots and recreating the piano from there, but it's hardly a matter of Knabe moving its manufacturing location. When Aolean took over Knabe, Mason and Hamlin and Chickering those companies ceased to exist except on a fallboard. Is the new Mason the same as the old Mason and was the old Mason the same as the really old Mason? The irony is that the new Mason is probably closer to the really old Mason than just the old Mason.
Posted by: Rank Piano Amateur

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 02:09 PM

All I am saying is that it is misleading to say that a piano was made in the USA if it was not made in the USA. This is true with any product in any genre. If a salesperson induces a person to buy a piano by saying that the piano was made in the USA, and the piano was made elsewhere, it is misleading.

That is ALL I am saying. Of course the truthful sharing of truthful information is not misleading.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 03:29 PM

A few years ago I consulted a piano manufactuer that was in the process of buying rights to a reasonably well known brand name.

I can't reveal the details but the name sold in the mid 5 figure range.
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 04:17 PM

Thank-You Steve that's what I Was currious about. Marty thanks for your thoughts as well
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 04:23 PM

So a reasonably well known mid level company name would go for around $50,000 give or take as of a few years ago in Steve Cohen's personal experience. Sounds like a deal. Of course when you buy a name you buy the good and bad part of the name. Anybody want to snatch up Lester while the gettin' is good?
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Jonathan Alford
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Alford
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Branding is worth everything. After material costs, a 9' Steinway costs about the same as a 9' Young & Chang. The difference is the name. Same goes for Nike, Adidas, Rolex, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, etc.


I disagree - it is not the name that makes a Steinway different from a Young Chang, it is how the materials are put together.

Jonathan

And you don't think that, at all, you are at least in part paying for the name??


In part yes, but you said branding is everything.

Jonathan

It is. smile See Rich's post for a great example of some of the things you are paying for when you buy a Steinway. He brings up quite a few areas of "branding" that I did not mention.

My basic point is, within a certain small margin, the cost of materials, and the labor costs, and the machine costs, and the warehousing costs, and the distribution costs, etc. are all approximately the same. So the greatest variability in the price of a piano is the actual brand itself.

Now, I also want to address another good point you bring up, which probably amounts for the second greatest variability in cost: technological capability, specifically during the actual process of manufacturing the piano.

Here, you are absolutely 100% correct. The tighter the specifications, the harder it is to manufacture the piano to those specifications. So, companies with higher tolerances will produce cheaper pianos, and companies with much lower tolerances will produce far more expensive pianos. The tighter the specs, the higher the cost. However, companies also get very good at learning how to do this cheaply over time, because it saves on operating cost. So after a hundred years, most piano companies with big, old, prestigious names should be able to do this in a very cost-effective manner.


Now, I could not say for certain which cost outweighs the other because I'm obviously not privy to all of their itemized internal costs, but after reading through Steinway's annual report a couple of weeks ago, I have to believe that it is branding that costs more than anything else in the retail price of their pianos. I would probably also put Bosendorfer in this category. I must say, the finest piano I ever played was a Bosendorfer, but again, I don't see a $130,000 difference between a Bosendorfer and a Steinway. Or a $200,000 difference between a Bosendorfer and a Boston.

Is there a difference? Absolutely, I agree with you. A Bosendorfer and a Boston are not the same piano. But the biggest difference I can find is the name on the piano. wink




Rich- Saw your post. Excellent observations. I only chose Steinway in my example because it's the company whose structure I am the most familiar with. I read their entire annual report a couple weeks ago for the "Anybody can afford a piano if they really want to" thread, and I just haven't gotten around to doing so for any other major company in the industry. wink
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 09:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Derulux

It is. smile See Rich's post for a great example of some of the things you are paying for when you buy a Steinway. He brings up quite a few areas of "branding" that I did not mention.

My basic point is, within a certain small margin, the cost of materials, and the labor costs, and the machine costs, and the warehousing costs, and the distribution costs, etc. are all approximately the same. So the greatest variability in the price of a piano is the actual brand itself.


These costs are NOT the same. In some factories the instruments are hand-made by highly skilled labor, while in other the "labor" is done by CNC. Labor rates at Steinway as well as in Germany are exponetially higher than in China or Indonesia.

Quote:
Now, I also want to address another good point you bring up, which probably amounts for the second greatest variability in cost: technological capability, specifically during the actual process of manufacturing the piano.

Here, you are absolutely 100% correct. The tighter the specifications, the harder it is to manufacture the piano to those specifications. So, companies with higher tolerances will produce cheaper pianos, and companies with much lower tolerances will produce far more expensive pianos. The tighter the specs, the higher the cost. However, companies also get very good at learning how to do this cheaply over time, because it saves on operating cost. So after a hundred years, most piano companies with big, old, prestigious names should be able to do this in a very cost-effective manner.


If a factory is using CNC, often tight specs are far less expensive than the same task performed by skilled labor.
Quote:


Now, I could not say for certain which cost outweighs the other because I'm obviously not privy to all of their itemized internal costs, but after reading through Steinway's annual report a couple of weeks ago, I have to believe that it is branding that costs more than anything else in the retail price of their pianos. I would probably also put Bosendorfer in this category. I must say, the finest piano I ever played was a Bosendorfer, but again, I don't see a $130,000 difference between a Bosendorfer and a Steinway. Or a $200,000 difference between a Bosendorfer and a Boston.

Is there a difference? Absolutely, I agree with you. A Bosendorfer and a Boston are not the same piano. But the biggest difference I can find is the name on the piano. wink
Manufacturing any of the top tier pianos is far more expensive than manufacturing a more mass-produced product. Labor costs per piano are FAR greater in a hand-made piano.
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 09:20 PM

Steve - wait!

Are you saying that it actually costs Fazioli significantly more to produce their F212 grand than it does Sejung to manufacture a Falcone 208?

Is that what you are saying???

Jeez. Knock me over with a feather.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/06/12 09:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Derulux

It is. smile See Rich's post for a great example of some of the things you are paying for when you buy a Steinway. He brings up quite a few areas of "branding" that I did not mention.

My basic point is, within a certain small margin, the cost of materials, and the labor costs, and the machine costs, and the warehousing costs, and the distribution costs, etc. are all approximately the same. So the greatest variability in the price of a piano is the actual brand itself.


These costs are NOT the same. In some factories the instruments are hand-made by highly skilled labor, while in other the "labor" is done by CNC. Labor rates at Steinway as well as in Germany are exponetially higher than in China or Indonesia.

Manufacturing any of the top tier pianos is far more expensive than manufacturing a more mass-produced product. Labor costs per piano are FAR greater in a hand-made piano.

You bring up a very good point that I had not specifically included. Thank you.

Let's look at it: if I understand what you are saying correctly, in purchasing a top-tier piano, what we are actually purchasing is an outdated method of manufacture that is far more expensive than more modern forms of manufacture, but not necessarily any better. Do I have that correct? smile
Posted by: Rank Piano Amateur

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 08:49 AM

Derulux: I hope that you are not seriously arguing that paying people a decent salary to make glorious pianos is outdated. I also hope that you are not seriously arguing that a Fazioli, Steinway, or Bosendorfer is "not necessarily any better" than the cheapest mass-produced piano. And just think what your arguments would mean for the luthiers of the world!

I apologize if I have had a sense of humor failure here. It is hard to tell from your posts whether you mean it or not. I am inclined to think that Steve Cohen is correct in taking you seriously and in his response to your remarkable implication that labor costs are the same all over the world, and it is hard to imagine that anyone could neglect this fact and make any argument that depends on such a profoundly ignorant view.



Posted by: carey

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 10:00 AM

Originally Posted By: Derulux
if I understand what you are saying correctly, in purchasing a top-tier piano, what we are actually purchasing is an outdated method of manufacture that is far more expensive than more modern forms of manufacture, but not necessarily any better. Do I have that correct? smile


Sure - you have it correct....except for the part about "not necessarily any better." Case in point - Kawai RX series vs. Shigeru Kawai. grin
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 10:14 AM

According to Larry Fines pianobook, after a certain point costs increase dramatically for even tiny improvements in quality. Therefore, pianos that strive for quality above a pricepoint are going to be dramatically more expensive. According to Steinways own advertising, they strive to make the best piano possible and sell it at a price consistant to the quality. Many companies strive for price point above quality. There has been a good bit of talk here about Hailun and if they were able to produce a piano that would compete with the best of the best. That's not the reason for Hailuns existance. They are meeting their goals just as they are, making a decent piano at an affordable price. That's much different than Steinway, Bosendorfer, Fazoli, Ravenscroft, Stewart and Sons, etc. To say that a Steinway, or Fazoli uses out of date manufacturing is a total mischaraterization. A more accurate statement would be, Steinway and other top tier companies use artisan hand labor and a lot of it.
Posted by: Mike Carr

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 11:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
All I am saying is that it is misleading to say that a piano was made in the USA if it was not made in the USA. This is true with any product in any genre. If a salesperson induces a person to buy a piano by saying that the piano was made in the USA, and the piano was made elsewhere, it is misleading.

That is ALL I am saying. Of course the truthful sharing of truthful information is not misleading.


I've never understood how Mason & Hamlin can still claim, with a straight face, to be Made in the USA, given that their iron plates, piano actions, and the cases for their uprights are not.

Mike
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 01:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
Derulux: I hope that you are not seriously arguing that paying people a decent salary to make glorious pianos is outdated. I also hope that you are not seriously arguing that a Fazioli, Steinway, or Bosendorfer is "not necessarily any better" than the cheapest mass-produced piano. And just think what your arguments would mean for the luthiers of the world!

I apologize if I have had a sense of humor failure here. It is hard to tell from your posts whether you mean it or not. I am inclined to think that Steve Cohen is correct in taking you seriously and in his response to your remarkable implication that labor costs are the same all over the world, and it is hard to imagine that anyone could neglect this fact and make any argument that depends on such a profoundly ignorant view.

It was not ignorance, my friend. It was simply a lack of addressing the entire topic in my original post. I admit this discussion has gone directions I did not intend or foresee, but I am happy to indulge. smile I have thought this through thoroughly, but I'd rather not post a book in the forum, so I try to stick to one topic at a time. However, the issue is so deeply complex, that I can see how it might come off that way. For that, I do apologize. The last thing that I am (or desire to be) is ignorant. I am the first person to either A) admit I don't know something, or B) stand corrected when someone does correct one of my inaccurate facts. (I actually do research nearly all of them before I post.)

Yes, I intend the train of thought to be serious and also coherent (which, per above, it might be a little short). I feel very strongly that there are some entrenched ideals that are completely challengeable and I am simply doing that. I understand if it is not a popular sentiment; I simply hope I bring up some thoughts people may not have considered before.


Since you bring it up, let's discuss decent salary. The technicians make one. The executives (which I have previously mentioned) do not. I would never begin to insinuate we should take a dollar or a dime away from a technician whose job is vital to the instrument. I do believe executives are egregiously overpaid.

Herein lies a conundrum, a paradox if you will. In order to make the piano more affordable to the American consumer, we must do one of two things: manufacture them where it is cheaper to do so, or mechanize and automate the process. This will allow the companies to sell the piano cheaper. However, manufacture overseas takes away American jobs and American income, so unless that person can find another job, the end might not be exactly what the means intended. (See reason #374 on this list of "why are we in a recession right now")

So, my original argument is rather simple: I have stated in the beginning that what you pay for firstly and mostly in a top tier piano is the brand, the name. This is, by the way, common of all brand-name products and luxury goods. I had thought this would be an accepted fact, but it has been very surprising to see the number of people who do not know this or believe it. Everything else about the products can be done for nearly the same cost. These companies simply choose not to. A "handmade" instrument is a luxury good, and can be charged at a luxury price. No one would pay $135k for a machine-made Steinway or $175+k for a Bosendorfer if it was machine-made. Can a machine make it? I don't doubt it. They make just as intricate products in other industries. Should a machine make it? This is a different conversation entirely, and one I did not initially mean to entertain because it is more subjective..

I hope this helps to clear up some of the things I have been saying? smile


Originally Posted By: pianolance
According to Steinways own advertising, they strive to make the best piano possible and sell it at a price consistant to the quality.

Translation: marketing. I'm not saying they don't accomplish what they set out to accomplish; Steinways are fine pianos. But this is a marketing line. wink

Originally Posted By: pianolance
A more accurate statement would be, Steinway and other top tier companies use artisan hand labor and a lot of it.

Translation: they can charge more. This is a common tactic of a luxury good producer in order to raise prices and, as a result, increase margin. Make fewer of them. Make them "hand made". Do this, and you can charge a fortune IF your brand name is consistent with your desired image.
Posted by: carey

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 02:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Mike Carr

I've never understood how Mason & Hamlin can still claim, with a straight face, to be Made in the USA, given that their iron plates, piano actions, and the cases for their uprights are not.


Just like Charles Walter has the audacity to claim that their instruments are made in the USA because they use Renner actions and Kluge keys.

Both M&H and CW pianos are assembled in the USA. As long as QUALITY standards are maintained, who really cares where some of the parts come from. Well - apparently YOU care !! grin
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 02:27 PM

Derulux, my friend, I am sure you are quite a nice fellow, but may I remind you that you said this:

"My basic point is, within a certain small margin, the cost of materials, and the labor costs, and the machine costs, and the warehousing costs, and the distribution costs, etc. are all approximately the same. So the greatest variability in the price of a piano is the actual brand itself."

And this is simply wrong. Sorry, it is just wrong.

You are correct in stating that luxury goods carry larger dollar margins than other goods (typically) - perhaps not larger percentage margins however, mind you. And specifically in the case of Steinway the largest dollar gross margin (and percentage margin) goes to the dealer - not the factory. That is just a fact. And that is due to marketing, in that you are correct.

I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but aren't you the person who attempted to "analyze" the Steinway annual report for us just a short time ago? I hate to tell you this but your "facts" were quite a bit off the mark. As the old saying goes - "Don't quit your day job"
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 02:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Furtwangler
Derulux, my friend, I am sure you are quite a nice fellow, but may I remind you that you said this:

"My basic point is, within a certain small margin, the cost of materials, and the labor costs, and the machine costs, and the warehousing costs, and the distribution costs, etc. are all approximately the same. So the greatest variability in the price of a piano is the actual brand itself."

And this is simply wrong. Sorry, it is just wrong.

You are correct in stating that luxury goods carry larger dollar margins than other goods (typically) - perhaps not larger percentage margins however, mind you. And specifically in the case of Steinway the largest dollar gross margin (and percentage margin) goes to the dealer - not the factory. That is just a fact. And that is due to marketing, in that you are correct.

I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but aren't you the person who attempted to "analyze" the Steinway annual report for us just a short time ago? I hate to tell you this but your "facts" were quite a bit off the mark. As the old saying goes - "Don't quit your day job"

Hello, there. I certainly hope that I am an agreeable person, but I leave that up to others' perception. smile I am perfectly fine disagreeing with someone, and do so quite often on subjective matters. However, I tend to do one of two things when people misquote facts: get roiled up or walk away. I know I should just walk away every time, and this is why: "Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with expertise." (I thought you might appreciate the saying, since you used one of your own.) But I don't always do it.

Now then, you are correct. I did say that. I amended it in a later post (I am not above amending or changing statements as they are corrected/brought into new light), but that seems to have been ignored. So, I will attempt to do so again.

I said this:
Quote:
My basic point is, within a certain small margin, the cost of materials, and the labor costs, and the machine costs, and the warehousing costs, and the distribution costs, etc. are all approximately the same. So the greatest variability in the price of a piano is the actual brand itself.


For clarity's sake, everyone would be correct in saying I probably should have said this:
Quote:
My basic point is, within a certain small margin, the cost of materials, and the labor costs, and the machine costs, and the warehousing costs, and the distribution costs, etc. should all be approximately the same. So the greatest variability in the price of a piano is the actual brand itself.


With that subtle change in wording, the rest of my diatribe would seem to hold. However, as I said, some people have brought up good discussion, and I enjoy it. So I hope we don't stop here..

One more saying, this one to counter yours: "If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong." wink
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 03:28 PM

"Are all" and "Should all be" are entirely different concepts and change the whole premise.

As pointed out often, labor costs are a significant factor and subject to many complex factors.

Material costs "are all" or "should all be" applies to neither premise. Check the costs of graded lumber and you will find significant differences.

The Steinway 'brand' has proven itself to be one of the very finest pianos ever built. It is able to command the price. It is sold in a free market economy. What any given product is "worth" is more than the sum, monetarily, of its parts. I use "parts" to include more than just the components which comprise any given piano.
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 03:30 PM

Well, I don't consider your posts a diatribe.

I think this is, hopefully, a discussion about a subject that is, or should be, of interest to members of this forum.

And to comment on your revised statement, I will say this without getting into details of how I arrive at this - the difference in manufacturing cost alone between a Japanese 7 foot grand and a Steinway B may be as much as 100%. Said another way, a Steinway B probably has a total cost of manufacture of nearly twice that of a Yamaha C6. But that in itself brings up an interesting point - Yamaha now has introduced as you probably are aware, a model CF6 7 foot grand. And the MSRP of that piano leads me to believe that it likely costs Yamaha about what it costs Steinway to make a B. I could be wrong, but I doubt it - would be the first time since 1973 or so. (just a little joke there)

So - it just costs a lot to make good stuff. The last 5% in quality may cost an additonal 40% to achieve. Just does.

Now I gotta go practice some more Bach. Wish you were here to give me a few pointers.







Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 03:34 PM

I'm no piano manufacturing expert but I believe that the cost of materials, and the labor costs, and the machine costs, and the warehousing costs, and the distribution costs are vastly different for any item that is hand made in the US or Europe and a product that's mass produced in Asia - particularly China and Indonesia. I would be amazed if the were within 200-300% of each other - again I'm not a manufacturing expert, but things like sand casting instead of vacuum casting of plates, superior woods, felts, leathers, strings, hammers, etc are far, far more expensive than cheapies. Packing 10 to 20 pianos in a crate and shipping them is far more efficient than shipping one or a few at a time. Warehousing? Don't really know about that. Machine costs? All I know is I can go to Harbor Freight and every cheap tool they have there is made in China. And then there's labor - you aren't trying to imply that Chinese wages are in anywhere near the same ballpark as European or American labor are you? Labor costs are on the rise in China but have not even approached first world rates as of yet.
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 05:12 PM

Lester, Wurlitzer, Chickering. What's A Brand Worth?? So you say that just maybe, just mayby a brand might be able to be Purchased in the mid five figure range?? Let's just suppose that we could purchase the Chickering Name and that our goal and disire was to have a premium say 5'7" grand produced based on the original specifications that made Chickering the Desirable premium piano that it Once was, but at a more accessable price. Where would you turn to. Asia, Eastern Europe, Some parts of the Americas?? What should this piano sell for, considering all of the excellent observations and points made in the previous post.
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 05:18 PM

I wouldn't think Wurlitzer or Chickering would be realistic as they have very recent Baldwin associations and most likely Baldwin still owns the names. I'd bet Baldwin wouldn't let them go for any type of realistic price. Lester on the other hand....
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 05:33 PM

Weeeeelll stanger things have happened. Just for fun WHAT IF???You never know if a manufactuer just might get motivated to get in gear and produce such a piano even if they don't let the name go. Could induce new vitality and interest in their portfolio of exsiting products.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 05:35 PM

Derulux.

You assumptions and positions show a lack of knowledge about the piano industry and piano manufacturing. You manifest that lack of knowledge in so may ways that it leads me to take your advice and walk away.

This discussion is sophomoric, so I'm outta here. I'd advise other to take Derulux's advice as well.
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 05:47 PM

Just dreaming and trying to have some fun. Sorry I seam so sophomoric to you
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 06:24 PM

K-52SM,

Sam wasn't addressing you! It was to one the responders who has created some ill will in the hijacked part of your thread.

The Lester has me ROTFL. You would need to contact Cinnamonbear and see if he wants to go into partnership with you to produce the piano. I believe he holds the copyright. The Lester name would be available for about $5.00. I would love to see a brand new Lester Concert Grand priced for about $150.000.

Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 06:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Pianolance
I wouldn't think Wurlitzer or Chickering would be realistic as they have very recent Baldwin associations and most likely Baldwin still owns the names. I'd bet Baldwin wouldn't let them go for any type of realistic price. Lester on the other hand....


Pianolance,

I completely understand what you are saying. Considering Baldwin's current problems, they might consider unloading the Wurlitzer, Chickering, and even Hamilton names. I would guess a high price tag would go with them. My guess, and an OOM guess, would be at least 1/2 Mil.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 07:20 PM

Firstly, I apologize for the length of this post. I tried to address everyone's thoughts and concerns the best I could. If you look in the quotes for your name, you can skip to my direct response to each of you. smile

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
"Are all" and "Should all be" are entirely different concepts and change the whole premise.

Entirely. Hence, my retraction. wink

Quote:
As pointed out often, labor costs are a significant factor and subject to many complex factors.

Interestingly, this is getting very close to a discussion of what my "day job" actually is. But, since no one asked, or at least everyone seems to have assumed I know nothing about the topic, I have stayed silent. But, you are correct. Thank you for repeating something I also said.

Quote:
Material costs "are all" or "should all be" applies to neither premise. Check the costs of graded lumber and you will find significant differences.

Here, you both have me and don't have me. You have me because I am not a sourcing expert for lumber. I have considerable expertise with international supply chain and distribution of it, but not the actual sourcing. However, I am not completely sure that this would cause a six-figure difference. I have very few of these industry-specific facts available to me. What I do know is business and marketing/branding. So I have been speaking more on a macro scale and to those points than trying to get down into the small details. If you do have a list of prices that more than one manufacturer pays for each of its piano's parts, I would actually be interested in doing this type of analysis.

Quote:
The Steinway 'brand' has proven itself to be one of the very finest pianos ever built. It is able to command the price.

This is my exact point, and I thank you for backing me up on it. smile



Originally Posted By: Furtwangler
Well, I don't consider your posts a diatribe.

Thank God, my friend.. it seems you are the only one. wink

Quote:
the difference in manufacturing cost alone between a Japanese 7 foot grand and a Steinway B may be as much as 100%. Said another way, a Steinway B probably has a total cost of manufacture of nearly twice that of a Yamaha C6.

This might be true, and I am sure if you are an industry expert, than you must know it to be true. I've never debated this point. What I've said--and I think I said it in my amended statement better than in my original, since there was some confusion--is that there is really no reason for such a large gap. A gap, yes, largely because of tolerance specifications, which I previously mentioned (but some people have yet to grasp that I did, indeed, mention it). But not as large a gap as retail prices seem to indicate.

Quote:
I could be wrong, but I doubt it - would be the first time since 1973 or so. (just a little joke there)

HAHA laugh Any chance you remember what you were so wrong about?

Quote:
Now I gotta go practice some more Bach. Wish you were here to give me a few pointers.

On Bach? Are you nuts?! haha Me giving you pointers on Bach would be about as worthwhile as listening to heavy metal in order to understand Mozart. wink

Originally Posted By: Pianolance

I'm no piano manufacturing expert but I believe that the cost of materials, and the labor costs, and the machine costs, and the warehousing costs, and the distribution costs are vastly different for any item that is hand made in the US or Europe and a product that's mass produced in Asia - particularly China and Indonesia. I would be amazed if the were within 200-300% of each other - again I'm not a manufacturing expert, but things like sand casting instead of vacuum casting of plates, superior woods, felts, leathers, strings, hammers, etc are far, far more expensive than cheapies. Packing 10 to 20 pianos in a crate and shipping them is far more efficient than shipping one or a few at a time. Warehousing? Don't really know about that. Machine costs? All I know is I can go to Harbor Freight and every cheap tool they have there is made in China. And then there's labor - you aren't trying to imply that Chinese wages are in anywhere near the same ballpark as European or American labor are you? Labor costs are on the rise in China but have not even approached first world rates as of yet.

As far as I can tell, you are completely correct in your assumptions. And no, I am absolutely not trying to imply that Chinese wages equal American wages. In fact, I am implying the exact opposite. wink

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Derulux.

You assumptions and positions show a lack of knowledge about the piano industry and piano manufacturing. You manifest that lack of knowledge in so may ways that it leads me to take your advice and walk away.

This discussion is sophomoric, so I'm outta here. I'd advise other to take Derulux's advice as well.

Steve, I've always considered your opinion and thoughts in high regard. I am sure that we are much closer to the same page than not, but our methods of arriving at those conclusions are somewhat different, and if we had a chance to sit down and discuss it, we would probably both see each others' points. I agree that things get muddled when so many voices and divergent threads emerge in one discussion. Sadly, you learned my own lesson before I could. wink
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 07:28 PM

The only names that still have "value" might be Chickering, and Baldwin Hamilton..
Wurlizer makes me think of "organ" not pianos and as for Lester you'd have to reach way back,and even then people would say ..who?
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 07:53 PM

Derulux,

Maybe the reaction to you is not about what you have to say, but how you say it. Over, and over, and over, and inferring that other's opinions are not of value or merit.

Until you changed you phrasing, you argued all that you had stated based on the original phrasing. It negates all of your previous comments of which you were adamant.

We do not agree on the value of a Steinway. I accept it and you think it is way overpriced for the reasons you have previously stressed.

I understand why Sam made his frustrated exit.

I have gone back to the original question from the OP, until your rebuttal butted in, that is.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 08:01 PM

Hi Bob,

You might be showing your tender age. Just a guess. Late 50's there were TV piano ads which used the phrase "Gee Dad. It's a Wurlitzer!" It's right up there with "Plop-plop, Fizz-fizz" and the glorious "Where's the beef?"

The pianos never carried the "Mighty" tag, however. But at the ballpark or arena, it sure was where Wurlitzer Ruled!
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 08:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Derulux,

Maybe the reaction to you is not about what you have to say, but how you say it. Over, and over, and over, and inferring that other's opinions are not of value or merit.

Until you changed you phrasing, you argued all that you had stated based on the original phrasing. It negates all of your previous comments of which you were adamant.

We do not agree on the value of a Steinway. I accept it and you think it is way overpriced for the reasons you have previously stressed.

I understand why Sam made his frustrated exit.

I have gone back to the original question from the OP, until your rebuttal butted in, that is.

I think that you are correct. I was very surprised, shocked even, at the wild ideas that people insinuated my statements suggested, when no such suggestion ever existed. I am glad you have persisted with me to help clear the air, though. I know going "against the grain" gets you splinters, so I was prepared for some of it, but I do not now, nor have I ever intended either animosity or arrogance. smile

To your point about Steinways: It's not so much that I think they are overpriced cart blanche. I think this is still a misconstruing of my thoughts, for which only I can take blame, since only I can explain what it is I mean to say. And if that explanation is lacking, then shame on me.

I do feel that Steinway has employed very specific and highly successful marketing techniques for a luxury product that allow them to charge the price that they charge. So, in effect, the "branding" concept I discussed at the earliest (though I think we both admit I might have had a better way to inject the thought to the discussion). It's not so much that they have to do things they way they do, but that they choose to.

I think that some people inferred that I mean to say a Steinway is equivalent to a Wurlitzer. Absolutely not. I mean only to compare Steinway to Steinway. And I didn't pick that up at the start of the conversation, which was my fault.
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 08:10 PM

Marty..looking at 60 smile...and I'm bemoaning watching progams I saw for "free" now I have to pay for!.. Have Gun Will Travel, Cheyenne, The Rifleman..Gunsmoke, Bonanza etc
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 08:24 PM

Derulux,

You seem to be confusing your concept of this thread with what was intended by the OP.

The references to Wurlitzer were about it's value as a trademark stencil. To revive a name and market it anew. Other than in your specific intrepretation of this thread, a Wurlitzer was not being compared to Steinway. The concept of marketing a new incarnation of the piano using the reputation of the old was what was being asked. And quite specifically, how much is the trademark worth? The trademark was what was of interest, not the cost of Samick compared to Steingraeber.

Baldwin tried it with "Wurlitzer" and "Chickering" and the results were not profitable. They are no longer in production.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 08:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Bob Newbie
Marty..looking at 60 smile...and I'm bemoaning watching progams I saw for "free" now I have to pay for!.. Have Gun Will Travel, Cheyenne, The Rifleman..Gunsmoke, Bonanza etc


Love It! - Love 'Em! - Me Too! What happened to Zorro and Rocketman, anywhy? Color TV? Never happen. In strutted the peacock, but ya still needed an antenna.

Yea, the Ponderosa of memories, with the cable bill.
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 09:07 PM

And just think..we only had 3 stations the 4th public tv, had basically nothing back then,
one day they came up with this new fangled thing called UHF a seperate box with 3 more stations (yipee)..so in addition to rabbit ears you had a little round antenna!
ha LOL! smile
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 09:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Derulux,

You seem to be confusing your concept of this thread with what was intended by the OP.

The references to Wurlitzer were about it's value as a trademark stencil. To revive a name and market it anew. Other than in your specific intrepretation of this thread, a Wurlitzer was not being compared to Steinway. The concept of marketing a new incarnation of the piano using the reputation of the old was what was being asked. And quite specifically, how much is the trademark worth? The trademark was what was of interest, not the cost of Samick compared to Steingraeber.

Baldwin tried it with "Wurlitzer" and "Chickering" and the results were not profitable. They are no longer in production.


I'm not so sure. The reason Baldwin failed is because of the perceived value of the brand name "Wurlitzer" and "Chickering". They weren't worth the price tag on the piano, so nobody bought them. The brand name has to be rehabilitated first, because ultimately (with a luxury item like a piano in particular) the value of the product is the value of the brand name.

That was the original direction I commented in. Everything else is in response to other posters. wink
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 09:18 PM

Aah Bob, I think I'm hearing the singing of Archie and Edith.

We have hijacked a thread.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 09:29 PM

The names didn't need rehabilitation at all. The junk inside didn't live up to the names. People were smart enough not to purchase a fake, and a lousy fake at that.
Posted by: Elkayem

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 10:05 PM

My wife's mother has a beautiful restored Chickering grand from the 30's, but I doubt this would have influenced me to buy a new, rebranded Chickering made somewhere in Asia by a company unrelated to the original maker. In my recent piano shopping, I was far more motivated by quality. Indeed, I was seriously considering Hailun, a brand introduced very recently. My decision to buy a used Schimmel was partially motivated by brand name, but only to the extent that I knew that Schimmel had a good reputation for quality. (Plus, I just liked how it played.) Of course the name on the fallboard can add or subtract from a piano's value. Yamaha and Kawai are arguably equivalent, but the Yamaha name can add thousands to the price tag. But doesn't that become meaningless if a piano brand dies and is revived by an unrelated company? Maybe this is why Baldwin failed with their revived Chickering. That and the poor quality of their piano. Maybe the OP would be better served putting the money into making a better quality piano and invent a new brand name.
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 11:56 PM

How About "GENESIS" A New Beginning.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/07/12 11:58 PM

Originally Posted By: K-52SM
How About "GENESIS" A New Beginning.

Wasn't that the subject of a Star Trek movie? laugh
Posted by: Elkayem

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 12:01 AM

Originally Posted By: K-52SM
How About "GENESIS" A New Beginning.

Catchy. I like it!
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 12:13 AM

"GENESIS" "Inspiring Tone" "A Thrilling Touch That Stirs The Soul"
Posted by: Elkayem

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 12:50 AM

It will sell well among Trekkies and in the bible belt. A twofer.
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 12:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Aah Bob, I think I'm hearing the singing of Archie and Edith.


Didn't Edith play a Lester spinet?
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 01:17 AM

Actually if someone could do for Chickering what Samick is doing for Knabe you could probably make a go of it. Baldwin isn't ever going to do that because they want Baldwin to be their upper line. Baldwin never seemed to fit in the mix with Steinway, Mason and Hamlin, Knabe, and Chickering. It seemed to be more of an entity unto itself. However, I still think Baldwin would want a pretty penny to release that name.
Posted by: Mike Carr

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 01:44 AM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: Mike Carr

I've never understood how Mason & Hamlin can still claim, with a straight face, to be Made in the USA, given that their iron plates, piano actions, and the cases for their uprights are not.


Just like Charles Walter has the audacity to claim that their instruments are made in the USA because they use Renner actions and Kluge keys.

Both M&H and CW pianos are assembled in the USA. As long as QUALITY standards are maintained, who really cares where some of the parts come from. Well - apparently YOU care !! grin



Carey,

Not that anyone is taking this thread seriously, but I purposely didn’t mention quality or country of origin. Both are irrelevant to my statement. I was specifically referring to another posters use of the term “Made in the USA” and what that means, especially as it pertains to truth in advertising, which is, more or less, the point of this thread.

While you may not appreciate the difference between “assembled” and “made” in USA, the distinction is relevant. Folks who have lost jobs to offshore labor know the difference and you can bet that because of the political implications and their, er, nod to patriotism neither Walter nor Mason are ever going to use the term “assembled” in USA. They are very aware of the difference and "care" about the implications to their marketing.

Steinway piano is probably the closest to what would be considered "Made in the USA" without too many qualifications. Walter would be distant second. And Mason in my opinion would be limping in at third. All three are fairly liberal with their "Made in USA" claims.


" . . . The Standard For Unqualified Made In USA Claims:
What is the standard for a product to be called Made in USA without qualification?

For a product to be called Made in USA, or claimed to be of domestic origin without qualifications or limits on the claim, the product must be "all or virtually all" made in the U.S. The term "United States," as referred to in the Enforcement Policy Statement, includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and possessions.

What does "all or virtually all" mean?
"All or virtually all" means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.

What substantiation is required for a Made in USA claim?
When a manufacturer or marketer makes an unqualified claim that a product is Made in USA, it should have — and rely on — a "reasonable basis" to support the claim at the time it is made. This means a manufacturer or marketer needs competent and reliable evidence to back up the claim that its product is "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.

What factors does the Commission consider to determine whether a product is "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.?
The product’s final assembly or processing must take place in the U.S. The Commission then considers other factors, including how much of the product’s total manufacturing costs can be assigned to U.S. parts and processing, and how far removed any foreign content is from the finished product. In some instances, only a small portion of the total manufacturing costs are attributable to foreign processing, but that processing represents a significant amount of the product’s overall processing. The same could be true for some foreign parts. In these cases, the foreign content (processing or parts) is more than negligible, and, as a result, unqualified claims are inappropriate.

Example: A company produces propane barbecue grills at a plant in Nevada. The product’s major components include the gas valve, burner and aluminum housing, each of which is made in the U.S. The grill’s knobs and tubing are imported from Mexico. An unqualified Made in USA claim is not likely to be deceptive because the knobs and tubing make up a negligible portion of the product’s total manufacturing costs and are insignificant parts of the final product.

Example: A table lamp is assembled in the U.S. from American-made brass, an American-made Tiffany-style lampshade, and an imported base. The base accounts for a small percent of the total cost of making the lamp. An unqualified Made in USA claim is deceptive for two reasons: The base is not far enough removed in the manufacturing process from the finished product to be of little consequence and it is a significant part of the final product. . ."

Hope that helps ya,

Mike
Posted by: carey

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 03:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Carr
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: Mike Carr

I've never understood how Mason & Hamlin can still claim, with a straight face, to be Made in the USA, given that their iron plates, piano actions, and the cases for their uprights are not.


Just like Charles Walter has the audacity to claim that their instruments are made in the USA because they use Renner actions and Kluge keys.

Both M&H and CW pianos are assembled in the USA. As long as QUALITY standards are maintained, who really cares where some of the parts come from. Well - apparently YOU care !! grin



Carey,

Not that anyone is taking this thread seriously, but I purposely didn’t mention quality or country of origin. Both are irrelevant to my statement. I was specifically referring to another posters use of the term “Made in the USA” and what that means, especially as it pertains to truth in advertising, which is, more or less, the point of this thread.

While you may not appreciate the difference between “assembled” and “made” in America, the distinction is relevant. Folks who have lost jobs to offshore labor know the difference and you can bet that because of the political implications and their, er, nod to patriotism neither Walter nor Mason are ever going to use the term “assembled” in America. They are very aware of the difference and "care" about the implications to their marketing.

Steinway piano is probably the closest to what would be considered "Made in the USA" without too many qualifications. Walter would be distant second. And Mason in my opinion would be limping in at third. All three are fairly liberal with their "Made in America" claims.


" . . . The Standard For Unqualified Made In USA Claims:
What is the standard for a product to be called Made in USA without qualification?

For a product to be called Made in USA, or claimed to be of domestic origin without qualifications or limits on the claim, the product must be "all or virtually all" made in the U.S. The term "United States," as referred to in the Enforcement Policy Statement, includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and possessions.

What does "all or virtually all" mean?
"All or virtually all" means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.

What substantiation is required for a Made in USA claim?
When a manufacturer or marketer makes an unqualified claim that a product is Made in USA, it should have — and rely on — a "reasonable basis" to support the claim at the time it is made. This means a manufacturer or marketer needs competent and reliable evidence to back up the claim that its product is "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.

What factors does the Commission consider to determine whether a product is "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.?
The product’s final assembly or processing must take place in the U.S. The Commission then considers other factors, including how much of the product’s total manufacturing costs can be assigned to U.S. parts and processing, and how far removed any foreign content is from the finished product. In some instances, only a small portion of the total manufacturing costs are attributable to foreign processing, but that processing represents a significant amount of the product’s overall processing. The same could be true for some foreign parts. In these cases, the foreign content (processing or parts) is more than negligible, and, as a result, unqualified claims are inappropriate.

Example: A company produces propane barbecue grills at a plant in Nevada. The product’s major components include the gas valve, burner and aluminum housing, each of which is made in the U.S. The grill’s knobs and tubing are imported from Mexico. An unqualified Made in USA claim is not likely to be deceptive because the knobs and tubing make up a negligible portion of the product’s total manufacturing costs and are insignificant parts of the final product.

Example: A table lamp is assembled in the U.S. from American-made brass, an American-made Tiffany-style lampshade, and an imported base. The base accounts for a small percent of the total cost of making the lamp. An unqualified Made in USA claim is deceptive for two reasons: The base is not far enough removed in the manufacturing process from the finished product to be of little consequence and it is a significant part of the final product. . ."

Hope that helps ya,

Mike


Interesting - thanks Mike.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 03:37 AM

What is taken seriously is that the Chickering or Wurlitzer from Baldwin never claimed to be made in the USA. It is the same with the Boston and Essex, though those aren't stencils.

I assume that Genesis will be incorprated in the USA and thus would be an American Company. The pianos could be produced anywhere but could not be labeled made in the USA. Are they American pianos, however? It gets us to two interesting problems of semantics.

If a house is constructed of Canadian pine and hardware and erected in Cincinnati, is it built in the USA? Is it made in the USA? It certainly is made in America. You add an HVAC system built in Mexico and the house is still made in America. "Built" and "Made" cause big problems. The usage of USA and America also cause problems. My Canadian friends often point this out to me.

Honda and others proudly claim to be built in the USA. They seem to be careful to not claim to be made in the USA, but the majority of the parts are made in America.

When Genesis introduced the extremely successful model H-52, they decided to continue with the new Chickering. They bought the trademark from Baldwin, er, Gibson, and built a new plant in Mexico for the total construction of the pianos using only lumber from Canada. I was marketed as Made in America. Citizens of the US cried foul, while the Canadians and Mexicans cheered. It might be in the courts for years.

Buoyed by success, Genesis introduce the Leszt, by Lester. It ultimately led to the demise of the once great Genesis Piano Company. Edith wept and even Archie had to comfort her.
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 05:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Pianolance
Actually if someone could do for Chickering what Samick is doing for Knabe you could probably make a go of it. Baldwin isn't ever going to do that because they want Baldwin to be their upper line. Baldwin never seemed to fit in the mix with Steinway, Mason and Hamlin, Knabe, and Chickering. It seemed to be more of an entity unto itself. However, I still think Baldwin would want a pretty penny to release that name.


NOW YOU'RE CATCHING ON
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 08:54 AM

Baldwin always had good TV exposure..Liberace in the 50s, Lawrence Welk show..
many jazz players on TV in the early sixties would be seen playing a Baldwin
grand..Dave Brubeck..etc..
Posted by: Elkayem

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 09:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty

I assume that Genesis will be incorprated in the USA and thus would be an American Company. The pianos could be produced anywhere but could not be labeled made in the USA. Are they American pianos, however? It gets us to two interesting problems of semantics.


Apple products read "Designed by Apple in California". Perhaps Genesis could adopt that standard as well.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 09:32 AM

Originally Posted By: Derulux

I'm not so sure. The reason Baldwin failed is because of the perceived value of the brand name "Wurlitzer" and "Chickering". They weren't worth the price tag on the piano, so nobody bought them.


On what do you base that statement? I don't think it has any validity. There were far more compelling issue that lead to Baldwin's failure.
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 09:54 AM

Wurlitzer..organs & jukeboxes..never as a piano..the 2 survivorable names on that list regarding piano's are Baldwin & Chickering..and if I had mega millions I'd buy the
Chickering name.. smile
Posted by: carey

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 09:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Pianolance
Baldwin never seemed to fit in the mix with Steinway, Mason and Hamlin, Knabe, and Chickering. It seemed to be more of an entity unto itself. However, I still think Baldwin would want a pretty penny to release that name.


Back in the 70's when I was a piano major/teacher, most colleges and universities I came in contact with had either a Baldwin or Steinway concert grand on their recital hall stages. Other brands (usually older instruments) were often found in teaching studios - but Steinway and Baldwin were clearly the instruments of choice - and folks had a strong preference for one or the other. Baldwin may have been an entity unto itself - but their best instruments were clearly competitive, and were considered an affordable alternative to Steinway. Of course, that was then - and things change.
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 10:39 AM

I couldn't agree more. Baldwin has always made a very fine piano. According to Larry Fines piano book, early editions, Baldwin made an incredible range of products that went from among the best in the world to among the worst. The way I understand it, they even sued Larry because of his reviews of their products. Most people would agree that Artist Grands and Institutional uprights made by Baldwin were very fine instruments. I just think it's funny how Baldwins have always seemed to be separated from other fine pianos. YOu always hear about Steinway and Mason and Hamlin, often mentioned with these names are Knabe and Chidkering - and then there's Baldwin. In the Sesame Street song, "One of these things just doesn't belong here" that would be Baldwin. Not sure why that is. Of course I'm talking about vintage instruments of 20+ years ago, not the modern instruments of today.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 10:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Derulux

I'm not so sure. The reason Baldwin failed is because of the perceived value of the brand name "Wurlitzer" and "Chickering". They weren't worth the price tag on the piano, so nobody bought them.


On what do you base that statement? I don't think it has any validity. There were far more compelling issue that lead to Baldwin's failure.


Derulux,

Please explain this statement which is ambigious. It wasn't until Steve's response that I realized it has two different interpretations. What did you mean by perceived value? Was it that these "names" were lesser than the Baldwin name itself, or that the names were on par with Baldwin, but didn't live up to the expectation?
Posted by: Rickster

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 10:51 AM

The Chickering grands made by Baldwin in the early 80's - early 90's were Baldwins with the Chickering name on the fall board... very nice pianos. They had the accujust hitch pins too (specific Baldwin DNA).

And, I've read that Condoleezza Rice owns a Chickering. smile

Rick
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 11:04 AM

Condoleezza Rice is my favorite side dish.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 11:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Derulux

I'm not so sure. The reason Baldwin failed is because of the perceived value of the brand name "Wurlitzer" and "Chickering". They weren't worth the price tag on the piano, so nobody bought them.


On what do you base that statement? I don't think it has any validity. There were far more compelling issue that lead to Baldwin's failure.

The fact that the consumer base did not purchase the product, which you're right, could indicate more than one thing. But, I am always willing to listen to a more compelling argument.. care to add more? smile

Originally Posted By: MinnesotaMarty
Derulux,

Please explain this statement which is ambigious. It wasn't until Steve's response that I realized it has two different interpretations. What did you mean by perceived value? Was it that these "names" were lesser than the Baldwin name itself, or that the names were on par with Baldwin, but didn't live up to the expectation?

Unfortunately, I've less details than I would like to delve into a micro analysis of why the brands failed. So I am left only to look at the macro. One of the biggest contributors to a failed brand in a luxury market is the market-perceived value of that brand versus the price tag on the product and the other options available to the consumer within that market.

Hoping if Steve wants to get into micro analysis that he provides the details.. because I openly admit I don't have 'em. I would definitely like to hear more from him, though, other than, "Your point isn't valid." wink
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 11:52 AM

Pianolance,

I'm not so sure of the timeline of your ranking. In the early 20th century the big-name American pianos were Steinway, Chickering, and Knabe.

Midway in the century, the usual names mentioned were Steinway, Baldwin and Mason. Though still respected, Chickering and Knabe no longer were at the forefront. During the late 1980's and and 90's it was in flux again.

Charles Walter emerged and Mason soared. Steinway slipped a bit, but was still the name which was held in highest regard. It was also during this time that the piano community was learning of the great European imports and Yamaha and Kawai finally gained merited respect.

The internet has totally changed our awareness of what is available and how we obtain information. "Word of mouth" is no longer from the mouth, but from the (non-piano) keyboard. With this, a greater amount of knowledge is available to the first time buyer. But, it can also be very confusing.

Gone is the time when the primary source of information for a recommendation was from respected musicians in the immediate geographical area. Often the quality of a given instrument was assessed as to the regard in which a dealer was held. The concept was that Mr. Such-N-Such was on the school board, active in his church, and leads the local food drive, he must, therefore, sell the best pianos. Now we seem to need to know if the hammers are Renner, who supplied the pinblock, how the soundboard is laminated using wood from trees grown where, etc. Personally, I would like to know the name of the sheep supplying the hammer felt.

The question of who builds the best piano in America has faded into the past. Now it falls within the parameters of the world. All that said, I think that if you would ask a fine, advanced pianist, who is not a self-professed piano nut, if (s)he likes Fazioli, the reply could very well be, "especially with meatballs."
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 12:25 PM

Derulux,

Steve's response was to your very direct statement: "The reason Baldwin failed is because ...." You stated it as definative and all encompassing. Steve pointed out that it is not as simplistic as you portrayed. I totally agree with Steve. If you don't have access to all of the facts, which you admit, don't state your opinion as fact.

It's that simple.
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 12:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Pianolance,

I'm not so sure of the timeline of your ranking. In the early 20th century the big-name American pianos were Steinway, Chickering, and Knabe.

Midway in the century, the usual names mentioned were Steinway, Baldwin and Mason. Though still respected, Chickering and Knabe no longer were at the forefront. During the late 1980's and and 90's it was in flux again.

Charles Walter emerged and Mason soared. Steinway slipped a bit, but was still the name which was held in highest regard. It was also during this time that the piano community was learning of the great European imports and Yamaha and Kawai finally gained merited respect.

The internet has totally changed our awareness of what is available and how we obtain information. "Word of mouth" is no longer from the mouth, but from the (non-piano) keyboard. With this, a greater amount of knowledge is available to the first time buyer. But, it can also be very confusing.

Gone is the time when the primary source of information for a recommendation was from respected musicians in the immediate geographical area. Often the quality of a given instrument was assessed as to the regard in which a dealer was held. The concept was that Mr. Such-N-Such was on the school board, active in his church, and leads the local food drive, he must, therefore, sell the best pianos. Now we seem to need to know if the hammers are Renner, who supplied the pinblock, how the soundboard is laminated using wood from trees grown where, etc. Personally, I would like to know the name of the sheep supplying the hammer felt.

The question of who builds the best piano in America has faded into the past. Now it falls within the parameters of the world. All that said, I think that if you would ask a fine, advanced pianist, who is not a self-professed piano nut, if (s)he likes Fazioli, the reply could very well be, "especially with meatballs."


MinnMart,
You are much more detailed and correct. I was speaking in general terms. And, I DO love a good plate of Fazoli with Meatballs.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 12:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: Derulux

I'm not so sure. The reason Baldwin failed is because of the perceived value of the brand name "Wurlitzer" and "Chickering". They weren't worth the price tag on the piano, so nobody bought them.


On what do you base that statement? I don't think it has any validity. There were far more compelling issue that lead to Baldwin's failure.

The fact that the consumer base did not purchase the product, which you're right, could indicate more than one thing. But, I am always willing to listen to a more compelling argument.. care to add more? smile


Unfortunately, I've less details than I would like to delve into a micro analysis of why the brands failed. So I am left only to look at the macro. One of the biggest contributors to a failed brand in a luxury market is the market-perceived value of that brand versus the price tag on the product and the other options available to the consumer within that market.

Hoping if Steve wants to get into micro analysis that he provides the details.. because I openly admit I don't have 'em. I would definitely like to hear more from him, though, other than, "Your point isn't valid." wink


If you don't have the details, then don't assert your unsupported theories as fact! Applying macro thinking to an individual case is often incorrect. In this case, egregiously so. Baldwin's problems were dominantly poor financial leveraging and debt. The company was mismanaged at the very top by a new CEO that had no background in the piano industry.

Your statement "The fact that the consumer base did not purchase the product, which you're right, could indicate more than one thing." contains a compound statement thst is false. Consumers were purcghasing Baldwin pianos.

Your opinions and beliefs are not facts and are considerably misleading and mis-guided.


Again the fact that "One of the biggest contributors to a failed brand in a luxury market is the market-perceived value of that brand versus the price tag on the product and the other options available to the consumer within that market." has no bearing when discussing a specific entity.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 12:48 PM

I'll PM ya with my receipe for Fazioli Carbonara.
Posted by: Mike Carr

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 01:20 PM

Steve,

Quote:
The company was mismanaged at the very top by a new CEO that had no background in the piano industry.



Attacking one poster's, in your own words, "unsupported theories as facts", with your own unsupported theories as facts is a bit ridiculous. I see you were careful not to mention names.

Mike
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 01:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Mike Carr
Steve,

Quote:
The company was mismanaged at the very top by a new CEO that had no background in the piano industry.



Attacking one poster's, in your own words, "unsupported theories as facts", with your own unsupported theories as facts is a bit ridiculous. I see you were careful not to mention names.

Mike


My information come from a number of executives at Baldwin during the crisis. [Not the CEO.] There is relatively universal agreement within the piano industry about the causes of Baldwin's downfall.
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 01:34 PM

FWIW

I have a friend who was in an executive position with Baldwin in those days who would agree totally with what Steve has said.

The company's demise was swift and sudden.

Takes a long time - decades - to build up an organization.

It can evaporate in 12 months.

I have seen it happen in other industries.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 01:42 PM

Um, Mike,

The difference is that Mr. Cohen is acknowledged as one of the most respected individuals in the industry, regarding those very facts.

There is the old adage to consider the source. Usually it implies a negative connotation. In this instance, it is unquestionably the opposite.

Before you speak, you might want to provide for yourself, a sound basis for your comments.

I would not be one to question Mr. Cohen's credibility.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 03:00 PM

It will be perhaps interesting to compare notes on that subject once again in the next few years.

We may be in for a lot more surprises than people reckon at that time.

Outside certain premium makers, the Chinese domestic market will drive the largest percentage of world consumption. It will be interesting to see who will still be making it at that time and who "not".

One thing for sure, bluffing your way around and pretending things won't be going nowhere.

My own guess is that the above discussion for the most part, will be mute by then.

Norbert
Posted by: Mike Carr

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 08:45 PM

Steve,

While I generally don't concern myself with the intellectual honesty of self-styled internet experts, Who exactly were these so-called Baldwin executives going to point the finger at? Themselves? Come on, Steve. Industry gossip is not facts. No matter how you dress it up or how many times you repeat it, it's still gossip.

It might have helped if you'd mentioned the savant who was at the helm when Baldwin went famously bankrupt, one of the biggest bankruptcies at the time in American history. And the savings and loan debacle?

Mike
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 09:19 PM

Unbelievable
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 09:40 PM

But consistent
Posted by: carey

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 09:59 PM

For your reading pleasure......

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2009/11/09/story6.html?page=all
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 10:03 PM

Since we are posting articles now, try this...


http://www.meiea.org/Journal/html_ver/Vol03_No01/Vol_3_No_1_A2.html
Posted by: carey

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 10:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Furtwangler
Since we are posting articles now, try this...


http://www.meiea.org/Journal/html_ver/Vol03_No01/Vol_3_No_1_A2.html




ha I was in the process of posting that one as well when my computer crashed.....
Posted by: Elkayem

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/08/12 11:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Rickster
The Chickering grands made by Baldwin in the early 80's - early 90's were Baldwins with the Chickering name on the fall board... very nice pianos. They had the accujust hitch pins too (specific Baldwin DNA)

In the 2003 version of The Piano Book, Fine writes that Baldwin's Chickering line of grands was adapted from the Classic line, which "received one of the worst reviews ever to grace the pages of The Piano Book." He also states that in the most recent survey (as of 2003), every one of the Chickering grands "received poor marks for tone quality, with technicians calling the tone 'hollow', 'woody', 'brassy', and 'not very pleasant.' " Is this the source of Baldwin's suit?

I believe Larry Fine was referring to models from the late 90's.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/09/12 12:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Elkayem
Originally Posted By: Rickster
The Chickering grands made by Baldwin in the early 80's - early 90's were Baldwins with the Chickering name on the fall board... very nice pianos. They had the accujust hitch pins too (specific Baldwin DNA)
In the 2003 version of The Piano Book, Fine writes that Baldwin's Chickering line of grands was adapted from the Classic line, which "received one of the worst reviews ever to grace the pages of The Piano Book." He also states that in the most recent survey (as of 2003), every one of the Chickering grands "received poor marks for tone quality, with technicians calling the tone 'hollow', 'woody', 'brassy', and 'not very pleasant.' " Is this the source of Baldwin's suit?

I believe Larry Fine was referring to models from the late 90's.

Well, I based my comments about the Baldwin made Chickering from my own personal experience playing one on occasion. I’ve also tuned it a few times.

Okay, what the heck… I disagree with Fine and all his technician friends here… maybe the one I play on occasion is an anomaly and all the rest of them are crap. smile

Rick
Posted by: Elkayem

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/09/12 12:48 AM

Rick, if only Larry had included you in his survey, how differently things would have turned out for Baldwin. If only... wink
Posted by: Mike Carr

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/09/12 02:38 AM

I’m not sure I'd give equal weight to both a gossipy trade journal fluff piece and a Federal Judge’s findings, but it does illustrate the risk of showing up in court armed with little more than innuendo and second-guessing after the fact.

I kinda doubt Wanger's tale of woe was introduced as evidence. The tip-off was when she glossed over the previous fearless leader's 9 billion dollar bankruptcy as "some financial trouble in the 70s." Hmm. She could've at least gotten the right decade. About like saying Charles Manson was a pretty good old boy except for that rought spot in the sixties. And what's up with the needs pyramid? Huh? Is that anything like the cone of truth? Self actualization? Sounds like something at a renaissance fair.

And all these ex-Baldwin executives running around? Seems like they'll say whatever you want them to say quicker than a hobo will jump on a ham sandwich. I guess they're still hungry.

Mike


Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/09/12 09:34 AM

Mike

Thanks for your usual insightful comments.grin

Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/09/12 02:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Pianolance
According to Larry Fines piano book, early editions, Baldwin made an incredible range of products that went from among the best in the world to among the worst. The way I understand it, they even sued Larry because of his reviews of their products.


Just to clarify (and posting as Larry's representative):

There was never legal action between Larry Fine and Baldwin.

Larry's policy has always been to provide manufacturers a copy of his review (now Company Profile] prior to publication, to provide them with the opportunity to check for factual errors. In an early edition of The Piano Book (c. 1989) upon review Baldwin was unhappy with its review and threatened Larry with legal action. Rather than make changes he felt were unjustified, Larry simply omitted Baldwin from the brand review and instead posted a notice explaining why he omitted Baldwin.

When the next edition cane out several years later Baldwin did not repeat their objection.
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/09/12 03:25 PM

Thanks for that clarification Steve. I had that edition of the piano book, which was very strange, specifically for its omission of the Baldwin brand. I remember reading Larrys explination at the time, but that was so many years ago that it was a bit fuzzy. I looked for my old copy of The Piano Book but alas it is nowhere to be found. So legal action was only a threat and didn't actually take place.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/09/12 03:43 PM

Correct.

And you post wssn't really a problem, I just felt uncomfortable not clarifying.

It is surprising, at least to me, that in all the years that Larry has been publishing industry facts, opinions ratings, and pricing information, that he hasn't ever been sued.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/09/12 05:57 PM

Amazing, but just heard the new news of who's apparently building the new grands for Baldwin in China now.

Word must be going around who's good over there...

Baldwin reps: when you're making the announcement?

Norbert wink
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/09/12 06:09 PM

I'm not a Baldwin rep but I was told [not confidentially] that it was Parsons.

Were you told differently?





Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/09/12 06:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
I'm not a Baldwin rep but I was told [not confidentially of course] that it was Parsons.





Does Parsons own any Savings & Loans?

Would they like to?? grin
Posted by: BoseEric

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 06:45 AM

Also, F Troop ... (sorry, I tuned in late)
Posted by: Mike Carr

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 11:48 AM

Furtwangler,

Quote:
Thanks for your usual insightful comments.




If you say so. What I’m more concerned about is accuracy, probably like a lot of people who prefer a piano forum to a chat room or popularity contest. Your statement from an, er, ex-Badlwin executive that Baldwin’s demise was “swift and sudden”, shows a lack of familiarity with the facts which you further compound by offering a “case history” from an industry writer who seems more interested in leadership theories and gossip than any actual history.

Does any of this matter ten years down the road? No. Ultimately you are left with one fact, Baldwin wasn’t selling enough pianos to cover a long legacy of missteps.

What's a name worth? Despite becoming the Baldwin executive men's club's favorite scapegoat, former CEO Karen Hendricks was able to clear hers. After all the finger pointing, the numerous recitals of alleged acts, and the gossip and innuendo, District Court Judge Thomas Rose made his ruling, “Essentially all of the unsecured creditors’ alleged breaches consist of an arguable fact followed by unsupported allegations of what could have occurred, but did not occur, based on the arguable fact. Said another way, the unsecured creditors’ alleged breaches consist mainly of after-the-fact second-guessing.”

Mike
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 11:55 AM



We can read, have read, and don't need to read it again.
Posted by: Mike Carr

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 11:59 AM


A guy standing on a street corner holding up a sign? Somehow, Marty, that fits you perfectly.

Mike
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 12:05 PM

You know nothing about me - I do tire of you, however.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 12:07 PM

Come on, folks, I know this thread has been entertaining, but let’s keep it civil...

Rick
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 01:00 PM

I don't always read posts from piano forum iconoclasts, but when I do, I read Mike Carr.

Sometimes Mike is off the mark, but he provides some useful insight. The fact that so many industry people dislike him must mean something. I think he's a good part of the forum, different viewpoints should always be welcome.

Civility is always welcome, too, of course.
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 01:07 PM

Whats A Name Worth ???? HOW CAN AN OLD FAMILIAR FRIEND LIKE IVERS & POND, CHICKERING, WURLITZER, CONN, WINTER, LESTER OR EVEN BETSY ROSS (LOL) BE BORN AGAIN ??? SAY CHICKERING IS GIVEN A NEW REBIRTH AND WE HAVE FOUND OUR SOURCE TO HELP US PRODUCE OUR PREMIUM PERFORMANCE PIANOS, WHAT MODELS SHOULD BE REINTRODUCED FROM THE GOLDEN ERA OF PIANOS. WHAT STYLES, FINISHES, AND AT WHAT PRICE POINT WOULD MAKE THE LINE SUCCESSFUL, KEEPING IN MIND THAT THE GOAL IS TO MAKE CHICKERING A MORE ACCESSIBLE PREMIUM PERFORMANCE PIANO THAT CHICKERING ONCE WAS. ACCESSABLE TO MORE MUSIC TEACHERS, THE MIDDLE CLASS, INSTITUTIONS, STUDENTS AND THOSE DESIREING MORE THAN JUST AN ORDINARY COMMON PIANO. WHAT WOULD THAT PIANO SELL FOR

TOMMY
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 01:32 PM

Word of the day:
i·con·o·clast 
noun
1. a person who attacks cherished beliefs, traditional institutions, etc., as being based on error or superstition.
2. a breaker or destroyer of images, especially those set up for religious veneration.

By the way, typing in all caps is the equivalent of "SHOUTING"
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 01:35 PM

Originally Posted By: K-52SM
Whats A Name Worth ???? HOW CAN AN OLD FAMILIAR FRIEND LIKE IVERS & POND, CHICKERING, WURLITZER, CONN, WINTER, LESTER OR EVEN BETSY ROSS (LOL) BE BORN AGAIN ??? SAY CHICKERING IS GIVEN A NEW REBIRTH AND WE HAVE FOUND OUR SOURCE TO HELP US PRODUCE OUR PREMIUM PERFORMANCE PIANOS, WHAT MODELS SHOULD BE REINTRODUCED FROM THE GOLDEN ERA OF PIANOS. WHAT STYLES, FINISHES, AND AT WHAT PRICE POINT WOULD MAKE THE LINE SUCCESSFUL, KEEPING IN MIND THAT THE GOAL IS TO MAKE CHICKERING A MORE ACCESSIBLE PREMIUM PERFORMANCE PIANO THAT CHICKERING ONCE WAS. ACCESSABLE TO MORE MUSIC TEACHERS, THE MIDDLE CLASS, INSTITUTIONS, STUDENTS AND THOSE DESIREING MORE THAN JUST AN ORDINARY COMMON PIANO. WHAT WOULD THAT PIANO SELL FOR

TOMMY


Tommy, you should consult with Rich G, he did it with the
Matchless Cunningham. He knows the ins and outs and pratfalls.
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 02:02 PM

Pianolance

Please accept my apologies. I meant no offence. I should not have used such terms to illustrate my passion for my dream idea. I with all sincerity did not mean to attack you or anyone elses personaly held beliefs. Please accept my apology and I extend that to anyone that I offended. I should have been more thoughtful about what I was saying.

As for all caps I didn't mean to shout. Sometimes It's just easier for me sometimes than using the shift key for the occational capital,you see I have sever tremors from parkinsons
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 03:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Plowboy
I don't always read posts from piano forum iconoclasts, but when I do, I read Mike Carr.

Sometimes Mike is off the mark, but he provides some useful insight. The fact that so many industry people dislike him must mean something. I think he's a good part of the forum, different viewpoints should always be welcome.

Civility is always welcome, too, of course.


Yeah he is a real sweetheart. And, as he himself put it - he is only concerned about accuracy.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 03:20 PM

Tommy,

It seems that we have given you all of the advice we can. None of us has ever tried it, and don't know about it. We can only speculate, as you have done.

Pianolance gave you the best advice to contact Rich Galassini. To the best of my knowledge, he is the only individual who has done this very thing. It would be best to contact him in a PM.
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 03:53 PM

No problem at all K-52SM, I took no offense. The only reason I posted the definition of Iconoclast is because I thought it was an interesting word.

I think your idea is tantalizing and it would be interesting if someone could do for Chickering what Samick has done for Knabe. Of course the ultimate would be to follow what the new Mason and Hamlin has done but I fear that would be cost prohibitive.

There are a few GREAT names out there such as Ivers and Pond (which I believe is also owned by Baldwin but I'm not sure) and some other smaller makers that still had a reputation for very high quality such as Steiff, what you are proposing would pretty much have to be a labor of love, but pulled off, it could be great.
Posted by: carey

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 03:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Mike Carr

What's a name worth? Despite becoming the Baldwin executive men's club's favorite scapegoat, former CEO Karen Hickman was able to clear hers.

Which name - Karen Hendricks or Karen Hickman ??? grin
Posted by: K-52SM

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 07:21 PM

Marty and Forum members

Thank-you much for the facinating discussion, debate and opinions contributed to this thread. It certainly took some interesting turns. It would certainly take a hercalian effort to make something like this happen.This was just more of a 'what if?" curiousity on my Part.

Perhapes the question should be, with all the branding potential that "Chickering" has, why does "Baldwin" seem to be sitting on all that. Premuim Performance Pianos at affordble accessable Prices.

Not everyone that wants a Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, Charles Walter, or Baldwin for that matter, not that they are not fine piano much deserving of thier fine reputations, Some folks want something different, unique and prestigous with all that comes with a not so commonly found But familiar name
What a potential gold mine
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 07:36 PM

Originally Posted By: K-52SM
Marty and Forum members

Thank-you much for the facinating discussion, debate and opinions contributed to this thread. It certainly took some interesting turns. It would certainly take a hercalian effort to make something like this happen.This was just more of a 'what if?" curiousity on my Part.

Perhapes the question should be, with all the branding potential that "Chickering" has, why does "Baldwin" seem to be sitting on all that. Premuim Performance Pianos at affordble accessable Prices.

Not everyone that wants a Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, Charles Walter, or Baldwin for that matter, not that they are not fine piano much deserving of thier fine reputations, Some folks want something different, unique and prestigous with all that comes with a not so commonly found But familiar name
What a potential gold mine




I hate to disappoint you but Chickering has virtually zero brand equity.

The name Chickering would only be known by piano nerds like me.

There are only 2 brands of pianos that have even measurable brand awareness in this country and you can pretty well guess what those are.

A potential gold mine? I highly doubt it.

IMHO
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 07:59 PM

Well certainly Chickerings of the late 19th & early 20th are worth rebuilding..
they are listed among the top makes alongside Steinway,M&H, and Knabe..of that period..
and chickering is include in that list..
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 08:42 PM

I'm with Furtwangler.

My specialty in piano consulting is marketing. I've been in many meetings with piano manufacturing execs discussing marketing issues, including Yamaha, Bechstein, Samick and Young Chang.

For many years Chickering made a very good piano. However, its name recognition and its image outside of the piano community (dealer, manufacturers, serious players and enthusiasts) is very low.

Kimball and Wurlitzer have exponentially higher name recognition and quite frankly, even those brand names have little value. In fact, the Kimball name was basically abandoned before being picked up a few years ago at no cost.
Posted by: BoseEric

Re: What's A Name Worth?? - 08/10/12 09:12 PM

Karen Hendricks, but then...what do I know...